A Rajput is a member of one of the major Hindu Kshatriya groups of India. They enjoy a reputation as formidable soldiers and it is common to find many of them serving in the Indian Armed Forces. The British Government also accepted them and recruited them heavily into their armies. Current-day Rajasthan is home to most of the Rajputs, although demographically Rajput populatiomer Rajput states are found spread through much the subcontinent particularly in north and central India.
Historically, Rajputs rose to prominence during the 9th to 11th centuries, notably the four Agnivanshi clans, namely the Pratiharas (Pariharas), Solankis (Chaulukyas), Paramaras (Parmars), and Chauhans (Chahamanas), rose to prominence first. Rajputs ruled more than four hundred of the estimated six hundred princely states at the time of India's independence. Out of them 121 were Salute states Rajputs ruled 81 of them at the time of independence of India.
The 1931 census reported a total of 10.7 million people self-described as Rajput. The United Provinces (being approximately present-day Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand combined) reported the largest population of Rajputs, at 3,756,936. The (then united) province of Bihar & Orissa, corresponding to the present-day states of Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand, reported a Rajput population of 1,412,440. Rajputana, which was almost co-terminus with the present-day state of Rajasthan, reported a figure of 669,516. The Central Provinces and Berar reported a figure of 506,087, the princely state of Gwalior of 393,076, the Central India Agency of 388,942, the Bombay Presidency of 352,016, the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir of 256,020, and the Western India States Agency of 227,137 Rajputs. The undivided province of Bengal (including present-day Bangladesh reported a figure of 156,978 Rajputs. The princely states of Baroda and Hyderabad reported figures of 94,893 and 88,434 respectively.
As a forward caste, Rajputs have not been counted as a caste in the official census in the Republic of India. There are some estimates by private organizations. The Joshua Project as of 2009 estimates 41 million Hindu Rajputs, 18 million Muslim Rajputs and 0.8 million Sikh Rajputs, or some 60 million in total.
Rajputs typically speak whatever languages are spoken by the general population of the areas in which they live. Hindi and Rajasthani are the primary languages, as most are situated in the "Hindi-speaking states," but Gujaratiis also spoken among Rajputs residing in Gujarat.