Profile Source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Arakh are an ancient kshatriya clan which once ruled large areas of Awadh, the area of Uttar Pradesh that borders Nepal's western end.
The Arakh were said to be so powerful that they performed horse sacrifices to prove their dominance. Neighboring groups apparently dared not defy this group.
They trace their descent to the clan to which Lord Rama belonged.
"Arakh" is said to be the distorted form of "Arka" which is Sanskrit for "sun".
One of their most popular rulers was Maharaja Tilok Chand Arkawanshi:
"In 918 AD, he led a powerful army against king Vikrampal of Delhi and after defeating him, took control of Delhi. Subsequently, nine generations of Maharaja Tilok Chand ruled over Delhi. In 1093 AD Maharani Bhimadevi, the religious-minded widow of Govind Chand (who died without an heir), handed over the reins of her empire to her spiritual guru Hargovind.
The empire of Maharaja Tilok Chand comprised areas of Delhi and large parts of Awadh including its mountainous areas. Maharaja Tilok Chand Arkawanshi was a worshipper of sun-god (Arka) like his fore-fathers. He built a large sun-temple named Balark temple in Bahraich, which was later destroyed by the Turkish invaders."
What are Their Lives Like?
The Arakhs are poor and work in agriculture, as shop-owners and as laborers. They are also highly illiterate.
What are Their Beliefs?
Arakhs worship Lord Arka, the sun god as well as Lord Shiva. It is apparently the worship of Arka ("sun" in Sanskrit) that gives them their people group name.
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