Tekari Raj

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Tekari Raj was a zamindari in South Bihar, the Tekari family belonging to the Bhumihar Brahmin community it controlled 2,046 villages big 7,500 km2 area.[1]

A Maharani of Tekari (Tikari) haveli, on the Ganges, Rishikesh.

In the Mughal period, Tekari was a rich estate, protected by Bhumihar Brahmins as part of the Mughal Empire.

The emblem of the Kingdom of Tekari was a pigeon attacking over an eagle sat on the perch of a tree. Pundits said "this jungle of tetris (a kind of tree) is the place where the fort should be made," and declared it very lucky.

"The zamindari of Tekari owed its origin to an imperial grant made about the time when the Mughal empire first began to decay." The mansions of the Maharaja of Tekari dominated the Patna riverfront in 1811-12.[2] Maharajas of Tekari like Maharaja Mitrajit Singh were renowned for their scholarship and for their works of poetry and history.[3]

Maharaja Hit Narayan Singh of Tekari was said to have been "a man of a religious turn of mind...who became an ascetic and left his vast property in the hands of his wife" shortly after inheriting a lion's share of the estate in the 1840s.[4]

During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, suspicions were entertained by the East India Company's officers in Bihar about the Rani of Tekari, who had sympathy for the movement. The Commissioner of Patna favoured demolishing the Fort of Tekari and removing the Rani to Patna. The Lieutenant Governor of Bengal did not approve of these measures but guns and ammunition found at Tekari were seized.[5]

History[edit]

Tekari has played an important role in the socio-economic and political history of Bihar in not only the later medieval period but the modern period as well.[6] It is situated about 15 km to the west of the modern town of Gaya. It is surrounded by the rivers Morhar and Jamune.[6]

The Tikari Rajas were Bhumihar Brahmins, chief of drontikar or dron-ticar clan of bhuinhar brahmins of bhardwaj gotra from ancient ascetic's village tikar which is lost now days. , who held their estates in Pachrukhi.[6] Maharaja Vir Singh of this family played an important role in defeating the rebellious potentates in his neighbourhood.[6] In recognition of the support, in the year 1719-20, Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah honoured Vir Singh with a Khilat, the ceremonial sword and robes and the title of Raja.[6]

This is an ancient Raj.[7] Its authentic genealogy goes down to the days of the Mohammadan ascendency in India.[7] Raja Soondar Singh Bahadur of this family distinguished himself, and his fidelity and zeal proved himself worthy of notice of Emperors of Delhi.[7] Nawab Alivardi Khan, or Mahabut Jang, and other Subadars of Bengal, were much pleased with him,......even spoke of their thanks being due to him for his excellent services to them.[7] In the battles of Saseeram, Narhat, etc., he was of much assistance to the Nawab, on whose recommendation he was honoured with Khelat, etc., from the Delhi Court.[7] The second volume of Sair-ul-Motaakhereen, a Persian history (pp. 500 to 734) contains accounts of his bravery and battles fought by him.[7] The existing fort at Tekari owes him its completion and improvements.[7] He died in the battle in 1758.[7] He had no issue and adopted Raja Boniad Singh Bahadur from the family.[7]

Raja Boniad Singh was born in 1732. He allied himself to the British Government and remained faithful from the time of Colonel Clive to that of Captain Knox.[7] On this account, Nawab Kasim Ali Khan ordered him, with certain other zemindars of Behar, to proceed to Purneah, and treacherously had him drowned on the way in the Ganges.[7] He founded in village in Sahibgange, and called it after his own name Boniadgung.[7] He died in 1762. His son Maharaja Miturjut Singh Bahadur was only a few months old when he died.[7]

Miterjut Singh remained under his mother's care.[7] His abilities won for him the approval of the Imperial Court of Delhi, and he was accordingly honoured with the title of Maharajah.[7] During the Mutiny of Kulhan, Zillah Kharakdieh, he assisted the British Government with his own forces.[7] "With a view to the public good he constructed a bridge over the river Jomoni, between Gaya and Tekari, caused a large tank to be excavated at Dharamshala which, during the late famine, proved of very great use to man and beast."[7] He had nearly doubled his revenue.[7] He died in 1841 and was succeeded by his eldest son Hit Narain Singh born in 1801.[7]

Hit Narain Singh "was honoured with the title of Maharajah accompanied by the Khelat, etc., by the British.[7] He was religious minded and his estate was managed well by his wife who managed it by a will, 29th October 1877, transferred it to Maharani Rajroop Kuar her daughter.[7]

The Maharani's public works of utility are:[7]

(1)Construction of a temple at Patna at a cost of more than a lakh of rupees;

(2)Construction of a temple and a large building adjoining it at Vrindavan at a cost of Rs. 3 1/2 lakhs - a ghat for Rs. 36000;

(3)"At the time of the Mutiny of 1857, she protected and kept safe the Bhalua Chatti, which lies the road to Calcutta";

(4)During the late famine she spent a large sum of money in feeding and assisting the famine-stricken people.

Works done by Maharaja Ram Kishan Singh[edit]

Maharaja Ram Kishan Singh, the adopted son of Maharaja Hit Narain Singh, succeeded him after his death in 1861.[7] He died in 1871.[7]

His works of utility were as follows:[7]

(1)A temple at Ayodhya for a lakh of rupees;

(2)A temple at Dharamshala, Gaya for Rs. 60,000;

(3)Rs. 10,000 for the repair of roads in 1869 through the Collector of Gaya;

(4)Rs. 2000 to Patna College;

(5)Rs. 10,000 for the relief of famine sufferers in 1874;

(6)"Gave considerable portions of land free of charge for making roads, and construction of the Patna Hospital buildings.

Works by Maharani Rajroop Kuer[edit]

The works of utility of Maharani Rajroop Kuer, the widow of Ram Kishun Singh:[7]

(1)A building for Tikari school - Rs. 5000;

(2)Purchased government security for the maintenance of the school - Rs. 30,000;

(3)Her relatives, and dependents annual contribution to the school - Rs. 1000;

(4)Purchased books for that school through the Collector of Gaya - Rs. 1300;

(5)Annual grant of scholarships and medals - Rs. 200;

(6)Annual subscription of Government, Gaya school - Rs. 500;

(7)Subscription to the industrial school at Bankipore in commemoration of the visit of the Prince of Wales - Rs. 10,000;

(8)Annual subscription to school at Jamodha, Jehanabad - Rs. 48;

(9)Annual subscription to school at Sherghati, Gaya - Rs. 25;

(10)Annual subscription to school at Jehanabad - Rs. 25;

(11)Annual subscription to school at Society at Gaya - Rs. 120;

(12)Annual subscription to Dharam Samaj Pathshala, Gaya - Rs. 100;

(13)Has established at her cost a Pathshala in every large mauzah in her zamindari;

(14)A new dispensary at Tikari in honour of Her Majesty's Queen Victoria Assumption of the title, Empress of India under the name "the Empress Dispensary Tikaree" - Rs. 30,000;

(15)A building for the above dispensary - Rs. 6400;

(16)Annual subscription for hospital at Gaya - Rs. 48;

(17)Annual subscription for hospital at Jehanabad - Rs. 96;

(18)Annual subscription for Bankipore Girl's School - Rs. 60;

(19)Annual subscription to Calcutta Zoological Garden - Rs. 5000;

(20)Annual subscription to Madras famine - Rs. 1050;

(21)Annual subscription for repairs of road between Tekari and Fatehpur - Rs. 16000;

(22)Construction and repair of ghat and tank at Masaudhi and designed with Government's sanction "Temple's Pond" - Rs. 13,000;

(23)Considerable free land to Government;

(24)Proposal of establishment of a class in Tekari High School for teaching and training of her Patwaris;

(25)The proposal of a plan of a press;

(26)Gives alms, relief, cash, clothing to the poor at Tekari to nearly 200 persons everyday.

Contribution in social and cultural spheres[edit]

The House of Tikari has made large contributions in the social and cultural spheres of the area.[6] The present day Tikari Raj High School and Tikari College owe their existence to the benevolence of the Raj.[6] The Gaya Public Library (the oldest District Library in Bihar) and the Gaya Club, which is the hub of social activity in Gaya town, stands on land donated by the Tikari Raj.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yang, Anand A. (1999). Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Bihar. University of California Press. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-520-21100-1. 
  2. ^ Chatterjee, Kumkum (1996). Merchants, Politics and Society in Early Modern India: Bihar: 1730 - 1820. BRILL. p. 36. ISBN 978-90-04-10303-0. 
  3. ^ Chatterjee, Kumkum (1996). Merchants, Politics and Society in Early Modern India: Bihar: 1730 - 1820. BRILL. p. 209. ISBN 978-90-04-10303-0. 
  4. ^ Yang, Anand A. (1999). Bazaar India: Markets, Society, and the Colonial State in Bihar. University of California Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-520-21100-1. 
  5. ^ Chaturvedi, Ritu (2007). Bihar Through the Ages. Sarup & Sons. p. 283. ISBN 978-81-7625-798-5. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Srivastava, N.K. (2010). Raja Sundar Singh of Tekari and his Ancestry (p. 133-142) in Prajna-Bharati Vol-XV, The Journal of K.P.Jayaswal Research Institute. K.P.Jayaswal Research Institute, Government of Bihar, Patna. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Chaudhary, V.C.P. (1980). Imperial Honeymoon with Indian Aristocracy (Appendix 15, A Brief History of the Tikaree Raj, Calcutta, 1878, pp. 1-33). K.P.Jayaswal Research Institute, Government of Bihar, Patna. 

References[edit]