The origin of the Gurjars is uncertain. Many Gurjars claim descent from Suryavanshi Kshatriyas(Sun Dynasty) and connect themselves with the Hindu deity Rama. Historically, the Gurjars were Sun-worshipers and are described as devoted to the feet of the Sun-god (God Surya).Their copper-plate grants bear an emblem of the Sun and on their seals too, this symbol is depicted. Also the Gurjar title of honor is Mihir which means Sun. Ancient Sanskrit Poet Rajasekhara in his plays styled Gurjar rulers as Raghu-kula-tilaka (Ornament of the race of Raghu), Raghu-gramani (the leader of the Raghus)and so forth.
In Ramayana, it is described that a war was fought among demons and gods.Gurjars fought against demons under the leadership of King Dasharatha. There is also references of gurjar widows in Yoga Vasistha, whose husbands laid down their lives in the battlefield, having their heads tonsured as a mark of their bravement. In Mahabharata war also Gurjars fought and later on along with lord Krishna migrated from Mathura to Dwarka, Gujarat.
The Gurjar clan appeared in northern India about the time of the Huna invasions of northern India. Some scholars, such as V. A. Smith, believed that the Gurjars were foreign immigrants, possibly a branch of Hephthalites (“White Huns”). Mr. Devadatta Ramakrishna Bhandarkar (D. B. Bhandarkar) (1875–1950) believed that Gurjars came into India with the Hunas, and their name “Gujar” was sanskritized to “Gurjara” or “GÅ«rjara”. He also believed that several places in Central Asia, such as “Gurjistan”, are named after the Gujars and that the reminiscences of Gujar migration is preserved in these names. General Cunningham identified the Gurjars with Yuezhi or Tocharians.
General Cunningham and A. H. Bingley consider the Gurjars as descendants of Kushan/Yueh-chi or Tocharians of Indo-Scythian stock.In the past, Gurjars have also been hypothesized to be descended from the nomadic Khazar tribes, although the history of Khazars shows an entirely different politico-cultural ethos In Gazetteer of Bombay Presidency, the British civil servant James M. Campbell identified Gujars with Khazars. Scott Cameron Levi, in his The Indian Diaspora in Central Asia and its Trade, 1550-1900, mentions Kazar (Khazar, could also refer to Kassar) and Kujar (Gujar) as two different tribes with links to Central Asia.
Some others claim that the Gurjar caste is related to the Chechens and the Georgians, and argue that Georgia was traditionally called “Gujaristan” (actually Gorjestan).However, there is little evidence for such claims. The word “Georgia” derived from the Arabic and Persian word Gurj, and not Gujjar or Gurjar.
A 2009 study conducted by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, under the supervision of Gujjar scholar Dr.Javaid Rahi, claimed that the word “Gujar” has a Central Asian Turkic origin, written in romanized Turkish as Göçer. Study claimed that according to the new research, the Gurjar race “remained one of the most vibrant identity of Central Asia in BC era and later ruled over many princely states in northern India for hundred of years”.
According to Scholars such as Baij Nath Puri, Mount Abu (ancient Arbuda Mountain) region of present day Rajasthan had been abode of the Gurjars during medieval period. The association of the Gurjars with the mountain is noticed in many inscriptions and epigraphs including Tilakamanjari of Dhanpala. These Gurjars migrated from Arbuda mountain region and as eatly as sixth century A.D, they set up one or more principalities in Rajasthan and Gujarat.Whole or a larger part of Rajasthan and Gujarat had been long known as Gurjaratra (country ruled or protected by the Gurjars) or Gurjarabhumi (land of the Gurjars) for centuries prior to Mughal period.