Badan Singh

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Badan Singh
Maharaja of Bharatpur
Reign 1722–1755 AD
Predecessor Raja Ram Jat
Successor Maharaja Suraj Mal
Died 21st May 1755
Deeg
House Sinsiniwar Jat Dynasty
Religion Hinduism

Badan Singh (Hindi: बदन सिंह) (Reign: 1722–21st May 1755) was the formal founder of the princely state of Bharatpur. He was nephew of Churaman. Badan was born in Jat family. After the death of Churaman on 22 September 1721 there were family disputes between Badan Singh and Mohkam, son of Churaman. Badan Singh aligned with Jai Singh II of Jaipur to avoid the anger of Mohkam Singh. In this family feud Jai Singh supported Badan Singh.

Jai Singh's second expedition against Jat people[edit]

Again did Raja Jai Singh Sawai appear on the scene to subdue the Jats. On 9 April 1722 Raja Girdhar Bahadur, Arjun Singh of Orchha, Ajit Singh of Kama and others were placed under him. He began his operations with 14,000 horseman, and the number by subsequent reinforcements rose to 50,000. Now he marched and when he was still on his way to Thun, Badan Singh coming from Deeg, met him once more, and offered him presents. Jai Singh reciprocated the gesture by presenting, a shield and a sword.[1] The sons of Churaman were besieged in Thun, whose chief defence was a belt of impenetrable jungle. The imperialists gradually closed upon the fort by cutting the trees. Badan Singh who was with the army of Raja Jai Singh pointed out the weak spots and helped in the reduction of two fortified outworks. After conducting the defence for about two months, Mukham Singh lost heart, and secretly fleeing from Thun, took refuge with his father’s ally, Raja Ajit Singh Rathor. Next morning the Raja wanted to entre the fort. But Muhkam Singh's flight, despite abundance of supplies in Thun, convinced Badan Singh of the leader's treachery. He therefore prevented the Raja from going inside the fort and thereby prevented a major disaster. In fact Muhkam Singh while had laid a death trap for the enemy. He dug up mines in the fort and spread gunpowder on their floor. Hardly had Jai Singh decided otherwise when the fort mines began to explode, "hurling the stones through the sky". Jai Singh expressed his gratefulness to Badan Singh for having wisely saved his own life and his associates' lives.[2][3][4] On November 18, 1722; the imperialists entered the place. The ruler of Jaipur Jai Singh entered into an agreement with Badan Singh in his camp at Thun. The Raja placed a turban on his head. The French missionary says that he also bestowed upon the Jat chief the title of "Raja of Brij", the teeka, the nishan, the naggara and the five-coloured flag (which was that of Raja of Jaipur also). But Badan Singh took no other title except that of Thakur.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

Badan Singh became Brijraj[edit]

On 18 November 1722 the Rajput-Mughal combined army besieged the Thoon fort of Mohkam Singh, took it and got it ploughed by Asses. Thus the Jat state of Badan Singh rose from the ashes of Thoon, Jatauli and other forts.

After the fall of Thoon and Jatauli, Badan Singh became formally a samanta of Jaipur Darbar on 23 November 1722. Jai Singh in exchange honoured Badan Singh with the title of Brijraj i.e. the king of Brij. He was permitted the use of Nagara, Nishan and Pachrang flag and gave the Kotwali of Agra. Besides, he was also given the Jagirs of Mathura, Vrindavan, Mahavan, Hisar, Chhata, Kosi and Hodal parganas for revenue of Rs. 50-60 lakh.

Expansion of the state[edit]

Badan Singh was not given the entire area in occupation of his uncle Churaman and his sons. He was only thakur of Deeg. Even then he maintained patience, political balance and loyalty to Jai Singh. He was clever enough to understand the circumstances of those times.

Badan Singh planned to win over the confidence of his own Jat community and at the same time maintaining a balance with Rajputs and Mughals. With this vision he established his permanent residence and office near Deeg. After this he planned to make friendly relations with the influential zamindars and sardars of the Jat state. To implement his plan he married his most competent son Suraj Mal to Hansia, the beautiful daughter of most influential Chaudhary of Jatwara Ratiram. He recruited all the people in the army of Mohkam Singh in his own army. Badan Singh himself established marital relations with chiefs of various groups. He had 25 Queens. This helped him to increase his influence. He took in his side not only Jats and Rajput groups but also Brahmans. He awarded titles like Faujdar, Bakhshi and Sardar to many powerful people to take them into his side. He also allured the Gujars of Deeg and Nagar parganas by awarding them with the title of ‘Dhau’. This way he became an undisputed leader of mass over vast areas.

Khemkaran Sogaria who was a close associate of Churaman was still against him. This problem was solved by his young son Suraj Mal. Suraj Mal eliminated Khemkaran and acquired Sogaria pargana from Khemkaran. Badan Singh also acquired 31 villages of Agra and the Jat dominated Kagaraul pargana on lease. With such a tact and vision Badan Singh could expand his state bigger than that of Churaman within a decade.

Role of Jai Singh II[edit]

In this success there was a great contribution of Jai Singh. Jai Singh was governor of Agra Suba. Badan Singh often visited Jaipur Darbar as per Royal customs on the occasion of Dashhara by presenting gifts. He also constructed a palace in Jaipur for his residence. That area is known as "Bas Badanpura" (Camp of Badan Singh) in Jaipur even today. Badan Singh never visited the Mughal Darbar even after inviting many times. He called himself a thakur and never treated himself as Raja. It was with a view to respect the feelings of people and protects his own self-respect. badan singh ancient palace

Inclusion of Mewat[edit]

Mev people inhabited areas surrounded by hills near the northern boundary of Bharatpur state. They were creating problems for people by looting them. Jai Singh also wanted to control them. The task of solving this problem was assigned to his son Suraj Mal and a close relative thakur Sultan Singh. They did it successfully. Suraj Mal was tactfully eliminating the Amils of Jaipur state and establishing his own Thanas. Badan Singh got the Jagir of Mewat for revenue of Rs. 18 lakh per annum.

The battle of Mandu 1729[edit]

Sawai Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur got the Subadari of Malwa in October 1729. He was ordered to move against the Marathas. The Kachwahas showed a great courage in the war against Marathas. Jats took part in this war against Marathas under the leadership of Suraj Mal. At the end of 1729 the Marathas were defeated in this war and Mandu came under Jai Singh.

The battle at Bhopal 1737[edit]

Sawai Raja Jai Singh sent the army against Peshwa Bajirao to help Nizam-ul-Mulk under the leadership of his son Iswari Singh and Diwan Raja Ayamal. Badan Singh also sent Jat army in support of Jai Singh under the leadership of his second son Pratap Singh. There was a fierce battle on 24 December 1737 in which Nizam-ul-mulk was badly surrounded. Marathas won the battle and on 7 January 1738, a peace treatY was signed between Peshwa Bajirao and Jai Singh at village Doraha near Bhopal.[11]

Gangwana war 27 May 1741[edit]

On 7 May 1741 when Jai Singh was busy in negotiations with Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in Dholpur, he received information about Bakht Singh Rathore's planning of attack on Amber. Jai Singh returned with an army of 100,000 people. This army included Jats also. There was encounter by Bakht Singh with the army of Jai Singh at place called Gangwana near Ajmer. This battle was fought on 27 May 1741. Jat army took part in this battle under the leadership of Suraj Mal. Jai Singh was defeated with heavy losses.

Last Period of Badan Singh[edit]

Badan Singh spent the last period of his life in Deeg and Sahar. He had inclination for art and architecture since beginning. Natwar Singh has mentioned that Badan Singh had extraordinary sense of beautification even though he was illiterate. According to him the grand lay out of palaces and gardens of Deeg was entirely that of Badan Singh.

Badan Singh did the beautification of Deeg fort. The palaces constructed by him at Deeg are known as 'Purana Mahal'. He got constructed Parkotas around Kumher and Weir towns along with new construction of buildings in forts. Sahar was his place of choice so he got constructed beautiful buildings and developed gardens there. He also got constructed a temple at 'Dhir Samir' ghat of Vrindavan.

Badan Singh himself was a poet and encouraged poets. He brought famous poet Somnath from Mathura and appointed as teacher of Suraj Mal.

The craftsman of Agra had become jobless due to the meager financial conditions of Mughal ruler. Badan Singh brought these craftsman from Agra and gave them work. He also engaged large number of people in works like digging of ponds, making bricks, developing grass lawns etc. There was nobody without work in his state.

Badan Singh died on 21st May 1755 at Deeg. His successor was Maharaja Suraj Mal.

Assessment of Badan Singh[edit]

Badan Singh was the formal founder of the princely state of Bharatpur. Badan Singh expanded his state through vision and political tacts. He believed in peace rather than in war and bloodshed. The people in his state were safe. He has made great contributions for the architecture, art, poetry and craftmenship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in Mughal Empire, p.90
  2. ^ Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 17a-18b
  3. ^ Kamwar, II, 484
  4. ^ G.C.Dwivedi, The Jats, Their role in Mughal Empire, p.91
  5. ^ Memoires des jats, 16
  6. ^ Rustam,495
  7. ^ Dastur Qaumwar, VII
  8. ^ U.N.Sharma, Itihas,321
  9. ^ Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh (Delhi:2003),34
  10. ^ Mujma-ul-Akhbar in Elliot, VIII,361
  11. ^ S.R. Bakshi and O.P. Ralhan (2007). Madhya Pradesh Through the Ages. Sarup & Sons. p. 384. ISBN 978-81-7625-806-7. 
Badan Singh
Sinsiniwar Jat Dynasty
Born: ? ? Died: 1755
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Churaman
Maharaja of Bharatpur
1724–1756 AD
Succeeded by
Maharaja Suraj Mal