Conflicting claims have been made regarding the origin of the Rastogis. Most informants believe that the Rastogis belong to Suryavanshi, a division of Kshattriya Varna(Todd 1925). Their name is thought to be derived from "Rohtas" ('Rohit' meaning sun, 'aas' meaning Vansha). Rohatagi (1953) however, claims them to be descendants of the mythical king 'Harishchandra', who had a son named Rohit from whom the name Rastogi is derived, and the caste is also sometimes known as Rohatagis. Stiil, another view (Crook 1896) is that they are a subgroup of 'Vaishy Varna', a view probably based on Nesfield's (1885) theory of the occupational basis of the caste system; Rastogis are traditional money lenders(Bankers) and business men. The most tenable theory is that the Rastogis are the descendants of the mythical king Harishchandra. Some eleven centuries ago they established their rule in the three places, one to the south of Kashi on the banks of river Som, a second in the Punjab to the west of Indraprastha, and a third at Kannauj. Of these, the first extended their kingdom further to the southeast and retained the name of their ancestral prince Rohit in the name of their capital Rohtasgarh. the second who migrated to the Punjab named their kingdom Rohtak also after the prince Rohit, while the people who migrated to Kannauj and ruled upto the fifth century A.D. later became known as Rothari Rajputs.
- Excerpts from research paper published by Sudha Rastogi & Deepak Tyagi
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