Man Singh II

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Sawai Man Singh II
Maharaja of Jaipur
Man Singh II.jpg
Man Singh II at an early age
Reign 1922–1948
Coronation 18 September 1922
Born August 21, 1912
Birthplace Isarda
Died June 24, 1970 (age 58)
Place of death Cirencester, England
Consort Maharani Marudhar Kanwar, Maharani Kishore Kanwar, Maharani Gayatri Devi
Issue 4 sons and a daughter
Royal house Maharaja of Jaipur
Father Sawai Singh (Thakur Sahib)
Madho Singh II (adoptive)

Sawai Man Singh II ( Mor Mukut Singh; August 21, 1912–June 24, 1970 ) was the last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur State belonging to Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. He ruled the princely state between 1922 and 1949, when the state acceded unto the Dominion of India. Thereafter, he held office as Rajpramukh of Rajasthan between 1949 to 1956.[1] In later life, he served as Ambassador of India to Spain. He was also a notable sportsman and celebrated polo player.

Early life[edit]

Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II

Sawai Man Singh II (also known in Jaipur as "SMS") was born Mor Mukut Singh, the second son of Sawai Singh (Thakur Sahib) of Isarda by his wife Sugan Kunwar from Kotla (Uttar Pradesh). His father was a nobleman belonging to the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. Mor Mukut grew up in the dusty, walled township of Isarda, a chief Thikana of the Rajawat sub-clan which lies between the towns of Sawai Madhopur and Jaipur in present-day Rajasthan. His family was connected to the ruling house of Jaipur and Kotah (where his father's sister was married). The then-Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Madho Singh II, had been born the son of a former Thakur of Isarda and had been adopted into the ruling family of Jaipur. After giving him up for adoption, Madho Singh's actual father had in turn lacked for an heir. He adopted the son of a distant kinsman and was succeeded by that lad as Thakur of Isarda. That lad was Sawai Singh, father of Mor Mukut Singh. In this manner, Mor Mukut could be reckoned near kin to Maharaja Madho Singh II of Jaipur.

After being adopted to become Maharaja of Jaipur, Madho Singh II had numerous (no less than 65) children by various concubines, but the highly superstitious Maharaja was warned by a sage against having legitimate heirs and thus took great care not to impregnate his five wives. On March 24, 1921, Madho Singh II adopted Mor Mukut to be his son and heir. The boy was given the name "Man Singh" upon his adoption. Madho Singh II died on September 7, 1922 and was succeeded by Man Singh as Maharaja of Jaipur and head of the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. The new Maharaja was eleven years old.

Maharaja of Jaipur[edit]

The Maharaja inspecting Jaipur State forces during World War II

Upon obtaining his ruling powers, Man Singh embarked on a program of modernization, creating infrastructure and founding numerous public institutions that would later result in Jaipur being selected the capital of Rajasthan. At the time of India's Independence in 1947, the maharaja acceded Jaipur to the Dominion of India and in March, 1949 he merged the princely state with the new state of Rajasthan, surrendering his sovereignty and accepting the appointment of Rajpramukh of that state until the office was abolished when the Indian states were further re-organised in 1956. Although the Indian princes had relinquished their ruling powers, they remained entitled to their titles, privy purses and other privileges until the adoption of the 26th amendment to the Constitution of India on 28 December 1971. Accordingly, Man Singh II remained Maharaja of Jaipur until his death.

In 1958, Man Singh was one of several rulers who realized the potential of tourism in Rajasthan, turning Rambagh Palace into a luxury hotel. Under his rule various laws of land reform were first introduced in his state, such as the Jaipur Tenancy Act. Later in 1956, the Jagidari (feudal) form of political administration were abolished during the government of the Congress Party in India. In 1965, the Indian government appointed Sawai Man Singh, Indian Ambassador to Spain. Utilising his various contacts in Europe, he spent much of his time in Europe to ensue new military technology and arms-deal for the Indian army (Crewe).

He was especially noted as an enthusiastic (10-Goal) polo player, winning among other trophies the World Cup in 1933. During the 1950s, Man Singh owned Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, West Sussex, which was sold to L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology in 1959.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Marriages[edit]

His initial marriages were to suitable brides chosen from the royal family of Jodhpur, whose Rajput heritage and social ranking were similar to his own. His first wife was Maharani Marudhar Kanwar, sister of Sumer Singh, Maharaja of Jodhpur. His second wife was Maharani Kishore Kanwar, niece of his first wife and daughter of Sumer Singh. His most famous relationship, however, was his courtship and subsequent espousal of the legendary beauty, Gayatri Devi of Cooch Behar, daughter of Maharaja Jitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar and his wife, Indira of Baroda.

Children[edit]

Man Singh had several children; his daughter married the Maharaol, while his younger sons and grandson married princesses from Jubbal, Tripura, and Lunawada. He was succeeded on the throne by his eldest son, Bhawani Singh.

Man Singh's children:

By his first wife, Marudhar Kunwar

(Sister of Sumer Singh, Maharaja of Jodhpur: one son and one daughter)

  • Bhawani Singh (1931 - 2011), succeeded his father's title in 1970. He married 1967 Padmini Devi, daughter of the Maharaja of Sirmur, and had one daughter;
    • Diya Kumari (b. 1970), married in 1997, and had one son;
      • Padmanabh Singh (b. 1998), a great-grandson of Man Singh II through his mother, he was declared royal and adopted by her father in 2002.
  • Prem Kumari (1929 – 1970), who married in 1948, the Maharawal of Baria, and had one daughter, married into the Dumraon royal house, and had one son (a great-grandson of Man Singh II).
By his second wife, Kishore Kunwar

(Daughter of Sumer Singh, Maharaja of Jodhpur, and also her co-wife's niece: two sons)

  • Jai Singh, received the title Raja of Jhalai (b. 1933), He married in 1983 to Vidya Devi, daughter of the Raja of Jubbal and had one son.
    • Ajay Singh
  • Prithviraj (b. 1935); received the title Raja of Bhagwatgarth. He married and divorced (or separated from) Devika Devi (she died 2009, a few months before her aunt Gayatri Devi),[3] daughter of Ramendra Kishore Dev Varman of Tripura, and had 1 son.
    • Vijit Singh, who married in 1991 with daughter of the Maharaja of Lunawada, Minakshi Singh, and had 2 sons; Vedant Singh (b. 1992),vSiddhant Singh (b. 1996) and a daughter Mokshita Singh (b. 1993).
By his third wife, Gayatri Devi (1919 - 2009)[4]

(one son)

  • Prince Jagat Singh, (1949 - 1997) received the title Raja of Isarda was married in 1978 (divorced 1987) to a Thai princess.
    • Lalitya Kumari (b. 1979)
    • Devraj Singh, (b. 1981)

Full name and titles[edit]

  • Lt. General His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur
  • 1911-1921: Mor Mukut Singh of Isarda
  • 1921-1922: Yuvraj Shri Man Singh, Yuvraj of Jaipur
  • 1922-1931: His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur
  • 1931-1934: Lieutenant His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur
  • 1934-1935: Captain His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur
  • 1935-1940: Captain His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur, GCIE
  • 1940-1944: Major His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur, GCIE
  • 1944-1945: Lieutenant-Colonel His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur, GCIE
  • 1945-1946: Major-General His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur, GCIE
  • 1947-1970: Major-General His Highness Saramad-i-Rajaha-j-Hindustan Raj Rajendra Maharajadhiraj Shri Sir Sawai Man Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur, GCSI GCIE

Death[edit]

The unveiling ceremony of Sawai Man Singh's statue in Jaipur on Rajasthan day, 30th March 2005

In 1970, Man Singh suffered an accident while playing polo in Cirencester, England. He died later the same day. He was survived by his four sons. He was succeeded as Maharaja of Jaipur and head of the Kachwaha clan by his eldest son, Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur. Following his death Indira Gandhi was finally able to repress the power of India's former rulers in democratic India as they formed a large bulk of her opposition party, the Swatantra party.

A statue of Sawai Man Singh was installed at the Ram Niwas Bagh in Jaipur, the statue was unveiled at a grand function on 30 March 2005.[4]

His successor, Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh of Jaipur died on 17 April 2011, aged 79.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Former Governors of Rajasthan". Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Visit Historic Saint Hill Manor". Saint Hill Manor. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Talukdar, Rakhee. "Royals won’t tell what Gayatri will holds". Saint Hill Manor. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Sharma, Abha. "The people's princess". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 

See also[edit]