Man Singh Tomar

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Raja Man Singh Tomar
The Ruler of Gwalior
Reign 1486 A.D. - 1516 A.D.
Birthplace Gwalior
Died 1516 A.D.
Place of death Gwalior
Predecessor Kalyanmal Tomar
Successor Vikramaditya Tomar
Consort Gurjar queen Mrignayani
Issue Many
Royal house Tomara Dynasty
Father Kalyanmal Tomar
Religious beliefs Hinduism

Raja Man Singh Tomar[1] was the most illustrious of the Tomar rulers of Gwalior who ascended the throne in 1486 AD.[2][3]


Raja Man Singh Tomar was born to Raja Kalyanmall Tomar of Gwalior.[4] He was a great ruler and ruled for over 30 years. In his years the Tomar were sometime at feud with and sometimes allies with the sultans of Delhi. Amongs others, he married famous Gujari rani 'Mrignayani'.Tradition has it that Mrignayni was very beautiful and courageous woman who said no to veiling her face like other queens did and fought a few battles along with Raja Man Singh. She resided in a separate palace made exclusively for her, the Gujari Mahal and did not sit among other queens during ritual bathing or musical show. Raja Man Singh was a great warrior and great patron of Music. One of the nine gems of his court was Tansen.[5]

Fight Against Lodhi Kings[edit]

Man Singh was the greatest of the Tomar rulers of Gwalior, who ascended the throne in 1486. He also repelled several attacks on the fort by Sikandar Lodi Delhi. He sued for peace in lieu of 80 Lakh rupees and a number of Elephants and valuable jewels. Sikandar Lodhi wanted another attack but every time he was either sued for peace and never confronted. Things changed at his death and in 1516, Ibrahim Lodhi laid siege on the fort. Man Singh died while the siege was on but his son held on to the fort for one year before surrendering.[6]...

Art and Music[edit]

Raja Man Singh was one of the greatest patrons of Arts and Music.

Dhrupad Gharana[edit]

Raja Man Singh was patron of Dhrupad gharana.[7] The word Dhrupad is the Hindi form of the original Sanskrit, Dhruvapada, a combination of Dhruva = structured or rigid and Pada = word. He was pivotal in replacing Sanskrit with Hindi in music.


The 15th century Gujari Mahal is a monument of love by Raja Man Singh Tomar for his Gujari queen, Mrignayani. After he had wooed and won her, Mrignayani demanded for a separate palace with a constant water supply from the River Rai. The outer structure of the Gujari Mahal has survived in an almost total state of preservation, the interior has been now converted into an archaeological Museum.

Within Gwalior Fort, also built by Raja Mansingh Tomar, is the Man Mandir Palace,[8] built between 1486 and 1517. The tiles that once adorned its exterior have not survived, but at the entrance, traces of these still remain. Vast chambers with fine stone screens were once the music halls, and behind these screens, the royal ladies would learn music from the great masters of those times.


  1. ^ Matthew Atmore Sherring, Hindu Tribes and Castes, Volume 1, Page 139
  2. ^ Sir Alexander Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India,Four reports made during the years, 1862-63-64-65, Volume 2, Page 387
  3. ^ Chob Singh Verma , The glory of Gwalior, page 68
  4. ^ Sir Henry Miers Elliot, Memoirs on the history, folk-lore, and distribution of the races of the northwestern provinces of India, page 164
  5. ^ Girīśa Caturvedī, Sarala Jag Mohan, Tansen, page 20
  6. ^ Sir Alexander Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India,Four reports made during the years, 1862-63-64-65, Volume 2, Page 388
  7. ^ Ritwik Sanyal, Richard Widdess, Dhrupad: tradition and performance in Indian music, page 48
  8. ^ R. Nath, Islamic architecture and culture in India, page 63