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Rajput clan: Bundela
Descended from: Vindhya Range
Branches: -
Ruled in Bundelkhand
Princely states: Orchha (1501-1950)
Datia (1626-1950)
Panna (1732–1950)
Ajaigarh (1765–1950)
Charkhari (1765–1950)
Chhatarpur (???-1785)

The Bundelas are a Rajput clan of Chattari lineage who ruled several states in central India in Bundelkhand region from the 16th century.

Portrait of Rao Vir Singh

Rule at Bundelkhand[edit]

Chhatris (cenotaphs) of Bundela rulers, on the Betwa River near Orchha.

Bundela rulers received constant military support from Ahirs.[1] In the 14th century Sahanpal Bundela, together with Parmars, and Chauhans captured Garhkundar, near Damoh from a Khangar king. The Bundela chief Rudra Pratap (ruled 1501–1531) founded the state of Orchha.[2]

The Bundelas were (and still are) Chhatri Suryanvanshi Rajputs by origin. In the early fourteenth century, their earliest known ancestor, Sahanpal Bundela, first came down into southern India, along with the armies of the Rajput Parmara and Chauhan kings and captured the regions forming what we now know as Bundelkhand (in the present states of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh). The Bundela clan settled down in this region as vassals of the other two Rajput clans.

Subsequently, there were many small principalities and fiefdoms that arose from these main Bundelkhand kingdoms (such as Ajaigarh, Banda, Banka, Banpur, Bijna, Chanderi, Chirgaon, Chatrapur, Datia, Durwai, Jhansi, Khaniadhana, Mahewa, Mahoba,Orchha, Panna, Shahagarh, Tori Fatehpur, etc), mainly as inheritances of the various Bundela princes.

  • 1501 - 1531 Rudra Pratap Founder of the Orcha kingdom (in modern Madhya Pradesh).1531 When Rudra Pratap dies, his sons, Bhartichand and then Madhukar Shah, succeed him in order at Orcha while his other son, Udayjeet Singh rules the minor sub-kingdom of Mahewa.
  • 1531 - ? Udayjeet Singh Son. Raja of Mahewa.
  • 1531 - 1554 Bharatichand Brother.
  • 1545 Bharatichand captures Chanderi, and in 1545 tries to stop Sher Shah Suri (bête noire of Moghul emperor Humayun) from attacking Kalinjar, albeit unsuccessfully.
  • 1555 - 1592 Madhukar Shah Brother. 1592 Madhukar Shah fights against the Moghuls, but eventually has to flee to the jungles where he dies a natural death.
  • 1592 - 1605 Ram Shah Son. Deposed. Orcha is annexed by the Moghuls but is later restored after the Bundelas accept vassalage and the raja is granted the fiefs of Chanderi and Banpur. Later he is replaced by Emperor Akbar with his brother.
  • 1605 - 1627 Vir Singh Dev Brother. The king builds several monuments, forts and temples. His son, Jhujhar Singh, succeeds him while another son, Bhagwanrao, forms his own kingdom at Datia, and yet another son, Hardaul, forms his own kingdom at Baragaon. His descendents later form their own small Bundela principalities such as Banka Pahari, Bijna, Chirgaon, Durwai, and Tori Fatehpur.
  • 1627 - ? Bhagwanrao Son. Raja of Datia.
  • 1627 - ? Hardaul Brother. Raja of Baragaon.
  • 1627 - 1641 Jhujhar Singh Brother. 1641 Jhujhar Singh rebels against the Moghuls, but is killed in battle against Emperor Shah Jahan.
  • 1636 - 1641 Devi Singh
  • 1641 - 1653 Pahar Singh Son of Vir Singh. Raja of Orcha and Kaniadhana.
  • 1653 - 1672 Sujan Singh I Son.
  • 1672 - 1675 Indramani Singh Brother.
  • Chatrasal, a relative of the king, begins his struggle against the Moghuls with an open revolt.
  • 1675 - 1684 Jaswant Singh Son. During this period, Chatrasal, son of Champatrai, continues to struggle against the Moghuls.
  • 1684 - 1689 Bhagwat Singh Son.
  • 1689 - 1735 Udwat Singh Son.
  • 1707 Upon the death of Aurangzeb, Chatrasal removes himself from Moghul vassalage with help from the Marathas and proclaims an independent Bundela kingdom at Panna.
  • 1735 - ? Amar Singh Son. Raja of Khaniadhana.
  • 1735 - 1752 Prithvi Singh Brother. Lost much territory to Marathas.
  • 1752 - 1765 Mahendra Sanwant Singh Granted title of Mahendra by Moghul Emperor Alamgir II.
  • 1765 - 1768 Hati Singh
  • 1768 - 1775 Man Singh Ancestor of Garauli royal family.
  • 1775 - 1776 Bharti Singh Adopted from the Bundela state of Bijna.
  • 1776 - 1817 Vikramjit Singh Adopted from the Bundela state of Bijna.
  • 1812 Vikramjit Singh becomes a vassal of the British.
  • 1817 The raja abdicates the throne in favour of his son, Dharampal, but after Dharampal's death in 1834, he once again becomes king, only to die in the same year.
  • Sir Pratap Singh Sir Pratap Singh (1874-1930) shown after receiving his knighthood from Britain
  • 1817 - 1834 Dharampal Son.
  • 1834 Vikramjit Singh Re-ascended the throne following the death of his son.
  • 1834 - 1841 Tej Singh Adopted from the Bundela state of Bijna.
  • 1841 - 1854 Sajjan Singh Adopted from the Bundela state of Bijna.
  • 1854 - 1874 Hamir Singh Adopted in 1862, crowned in 1865.
  • 1874 - 1930 Sir Pratap Singh Received knighthood and seventeen gun salute from the British.
  • 1930 - 1956 Vir Singh Acceded to India in 1949.
  • 1947 - 1950 India gains independence from Britain on 14 August 1947 and by 1949 all the princely states (barring one or two) have been merged, one by one, into the Indian state, signing the instrument of accession with the new Indian national government. India is declared a republic on 26 January 1950, leaving the princes holding their titles and little more.
  • 1956 - Present Devendra Singh

See also[edit]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Ravindra K. Jain (1 January 2002). Between history and legend: status and power in Bundelkhand. Orient Blackswan. p. 32. ISBN 978-81-250-2194-0. Retrieved 31 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Mausoleum of Raja Rudra Pratap]". British Library. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 

Bundela Rajas of Bundelkhand (Orcha) AD 1501 - Present Day