|Princely State of British India|
|Imperial Gazetteer of India|
|•||Independence of India||15 August 1947|
|•||1931||5,123 km2 (1,978 sq mi)|
|Density||95.1 /km2 (246.2 /sq mi)|
|Today part of||Rajasthan, India|
The descendants of Khanu Chand became leaders of the Jat caste and rose to considerable power during the Mughal decline in the late seventeenth century. At the end of the 17th century, Jat Baija, Zamindar of the village of Sansani, took advantage of the weakness of the Mughal Empire to enlarge his territory. His descendents, Churaman Singh and Badan Singh, continued the expansion, the latter being the founder of the fortress of Bharatpur in 1724.
Badan Singh extended his territories and received enhanced titles and honours. He was succeeded by Suraj Mal, his nephew, stepson, and adopted son, under whom the power of the Jats reached its zenith. Suraj conquered a vast territory in north central India, including the Imperial cities of Agra and Delhi. Thereafter the Jats proved fickle allies, making and breaking alliances with the Mughals, the Mahrattas, and the British, losing territory to all three, but also gaining Deeg in the process. The British, under Gerard Lake, 1st Viscount Lake (Lord Lake), fruitlessly besieged the fort of Bharatpur twice, in 1804 and again in Siege of Bharatpur (1805) during the during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, eventually settling for a subsidiary alliance after the failure of the second siege. The fort eventually fell to Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere's (Lord Combermere) forces in 1826 in the three weeks Siege of Bharatpur after the British had intervened to unseat a usurper, and was demolished. Thereafter, the Jat Maharajas proved to be good allies to the British, supplying large numbers of recruits for the Presidency armies and participating in Imperial campaigns.
In August 1947 the state acceded to the newly independent Dominion of India. In 1948 in became part of the Matsya Union and in 1949 was absorbed into Rajasthan. Members of the ruling family continue to be active in national and regional affairs. Several members of the family have served as members of parliament and in the state legislature.
According to Alexander Cunningham and William Crooke, the city of Gohad was founded by the Jats of Bamraulia village, who had been forced to leave Bamraulia by Raja Nahar Khan, a satrap of Firuz Shah Tughluq. Gohad developed into an important Jat state, and was later captured by the Marathas. The Jat people of Gohad signed a treaty with the British and helped them capture Gwalior and Gohad from the Marathas. The British kept Gwalior and handed control of Gohad to Jat people in 1804. Gohad was handed over to the Marathas under a revised treaty dated 22 November 1805 between the Marathas and the British. As a compensation for Gohad, the Jat ruler Rana Kirat Singh was given Dhaulpur, Badi and Rajakheda; Kirat Singh moved to Dhaulpur in December 1805.
Dholpur was taken by Sikandar Lodhi in 1501, who transferred it to a governor in 1504. In 1527, the Dholpur fort fell to Babur and continued to be ruled by the Mughals until 1707. After the death of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Raja Kalyan Singh Bhadauria obtained possession of Dholpur, and his family retained it until 1761. After that, Dholpur was taken successively by the Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur; by Mirza Najaf Khan in 1775; by the Scindia ruler of Gwalior in 1782; and finally, by the British East India Company in 1803. It was restored by the British to the Scindias under the Treaty of Surji Anjangaon, but in consequence of new arrangements, was again occupied by the British. In 1806, Dholpur again came under the Jat rulers, when it was handed over to Kirat Singh of Gohad by British as a reward for their loyalty. Dholpur thus became a princely state, a vassal of the British during the Raj.
Ballabhgarh was another important princely state established by the Jat people of the Tewatia clan, who had come from Janauli village. Balram Singh, the brother-in-law of Maharaja Suraj Mal was the first powerful ruler of Ballabhgarh. Raja Nahar Singh (1823–1858) was another notable king of this princely state.
The Jat rulers Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana (1707–1756) and Maharaja Chhatar Singh Rana (1757–1782) occupied the Gwalior Fort twice, Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana from 1740 to 1756, and Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana from 1780 to 1783. Maharaja Suraj Mal captured the Mughal stronghold Agra Fort on 12 June 1761 and it remained in the possession of Bharatpur rulers till 1774. After Maharaja Suraj Mal, Maharaja Jawahar Singh, Maharaja Ratan Singh and Maharaja Kehri Singh (minor) under resident ship of Maharaja Nawal Singh ruled over Agra Fort.
The chronology of Sinsinwar Jat clan rulers of Bharatpur is:
- Gokula, ? - 1670
- Raja Ram, 1670–1688
- Churaman, 1695–1721
- Thakur Khanu Chand, Chief of the Sinsinwar Jats. His son Thakur Bhav Singh (by Amrit Kaur), married a daughter of Achal Singh of Sogharaia, and had a son, Raja Badan Singh.
- Badan Singh, 1722–1756. 1st Raja of Bharatpur 1722/1756, Thakur of Deeg and founder of Bharatpur; he was granted the title of Brijraj by Maharaja Jai Singh II on 23 November 1722; he constructed the Royal Palace and Gardens at Deeg as well as a temple at Dhir Samir ghat of Vrindavan; he was also an accomplished poet; he married 25 Ranis, including Rani Devki of a Jat family from Kama, and had issue, 26 sons. He died 7 June 1756 at Deeg.
- Maharaja Brajendra Suraj Mal Bahadur, 1756–1767. 2nd Maharaja of Bharatpur 1756/1763, born about February 1707, created Raja Brajendra Bahadur, he took a large part in the numerous struggles of the first half of the 18th century between the Mughals, Marathas, Rohillas and Afghans and extended his borders until they included Agra; married 14 wives.
- Maharaja Jawahir Singh, 1767–1768 (son of Brajendra SURAJ MAL Bahadur by Rani Ganga), 3rd Maharaja of Bharatpur 1763/1768, he defeated the Raja of Jaipur in a war and was murdered at Agra in 1768 during hunting.
- Maharaja Ratan Singh, 1768–1769 son of Brajendra SURAJ MAL Bahadur by Rani Ganga), 4th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1768/1771 or 1768/1769, married and had issue. He too was murdered after a short reign.
- Maharaja Keshri Singh, 1769–1771, 5th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1771 or 1769/1776, died 1776.
- Maharaja Nawal Singh, 1771–1776 (son of Brajendra SURAJ MAL Bahadur by Rani Kavaria), Regent of Bharatpur 1771/1776, died 1776.
- Maharaja Ranjit Singh, 1776–1805 (son of Brajendra SURAJ MAL Bahadur by Rani Khet Kumari), 6th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1776/1805, during his reign, Najaf Khan, stripped the Jats of all their possessions leaving only the fort of Bharatpur and territory of nine lakhs in value; after Najaf Khans death in 1782, Maharaja Scindia seized what was left but was persuaded by Suraj Mal's widow to restore 11 districts to which a further 3 districts were later added, which afterwards remained as Bharatpur State; he provided assistance to General Lake at Agra in 1803 and was rewarded with a number of districts, however the following year, in November 1804 at the Battle of Deeg, he made open war on the British forces, repelling four assaults on his fort, until after a nearly two month siege he was compelled to make peace and a new treaty was made on 4 May 1805, by which he was made to pay an indemnity of 20 lakhs, though he was confirmed in his possessions except for the parganas made over to him in 1803; married and had issue. He died in 1805.
- Maharaja Randhir Singh, 1805–1823, 7th Maharaja of Bharatpur, died 1823. An 1805 siege by the British ended in the latter's withdrawal.
- Maharaja Baldeo Singh, 1823–1825, 8th Maharaja of Bharatpur, married and had issue. He died in 1825.
- Maharaja Durjan Sal, 1825–1826, 9th Maharaja of Bharatpur (usurper), opposed his cousin's accession and imprisoned him. British forces eventually laid siege to Bharatpur for three weeks and on 18 January 1826, the fort was stormed by troops under Lord Combermere and dismantled, the Maharaja was then imprisoned at Allahabad.
- Maharaja Balwant Singh, 1825–1853, 10th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1826/1853, born 1819, he was imprisoned by his cousin in 1825, but restored to the gadi in January 1826, under the Regency of his mother and the superintendence of the Political Agent, the Rani was removed later that same year and a Council of Regency was put in place; married and had issue. He died 1853.
- Maharaja Jashwant Singh, 1853–1893, 11th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1853/1893, born 1851, during his reign the State rendered loyal assistance to the British Government in 1857 and maintained order in the vicinity of Bharatpur; the state was administered by a Council under the Political Agent until 1872 when he was granted full ruling powers; married 1stly, 1859, Maharani Bishan Kaur, daughter of Maharaja Narendra Singh of Patiala, married 2ndly, Maharani Darya Kaur, and had issue. He died 12 December 1893. Maharajkumar (name unknown) Singh (by Rani Bishan Kaur), died 4 December 1869. Maharaja Ram Singh (qv); Rao Raja Raghunath Singh, born 7 January 1887, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer 1895/1905 (Class-Captain 1903/1905), then with the Imperial Cadet Corps, Dehra Dun; he was appointed to the Bharatpur State Council in 1911, married and had issue. He died after 1930. Kunwar (name unknown) Singh, married and had issue. Kunwar (name unknown) Singh, married a daughter of Rai Amarjeet Singh of Kuchesar, and had issue.
- HH Shri Brijindar Sawai Maharaja Ram Singh Bahadur Jang, 1893 - 1900 (Exiled); 12th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1893/1900, born 9 September 1872 at Lohagarh, Bharatpur; installed 25 December 1893, removed from the administration of his state in 1895 and finally deposed in 1900 (#1); married 1stly, HH Maharani Kishan Kaur, married 2ndly, HH Maharani Giriraj Kaur, died after 1918 and before 1931, and had issue, two sons and two daughters. He died 1929. Lt.Col. HH Shri Maharaja Shri Brajendra Sawai Kishen Singh Bahadur Jang (by Maharani Giriraj Kaur)(qv) Maharaj Giriraj Singh; Maharajkumari Gajindar Kaur; Maharajkumari Gokul Kaur
- Maharani Giriraj Kaur, regent 1900–1918.
- Lt.Col. HH Shri Maharaja Shri Brajendra Sawai Maharaja Kishen Singh Bahadur Jang, 1900–1929, 13th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1900/1929, born 4 October 1899, K.C.S.I. [cr.1926]; educated at Mayo College, Ajmer (College Diploma 1916) and for a short time at Wellington College, England in 1914; he was granted full ruling powers in November 1918, he was responsible for a number of reforms in the state of Bharatpur, including a reorganization of the army in 1919, Hindi was made the state language, primary education was made compulsory, Ayurvedic hospitals were set up, an exhibition to promote trade and arts was set up on an annual basis, the introduction of a system of participation of public in state affairs through credit banks, issuing society and village panchayat acts was started, the Brij-mandal in Shimla was established, and Social Reform Acts were enacted; he was appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the British Army on 24 October 1921, he presided over the Jat Mahasabha Adhiveshan organized at Pushkar in 1925; in consequence of the disorganisation of the State Administration and Finances he was deprived of his ruling powers in September 1928; married 3 March 1913, a daughter of Kunwar Gajindar Singh of Faridkot, died 18 August 1929, and had issue, four sons and three daughters. He died 27 March 1929 (#2). HH Shri Maharaja Shri Brajendra Sawai Vrijendra Singh Bahadur Jang (qv); Rao Raja Gajendra Singh [Girendra Raj Singh], died 1940. Rao Raja Edward Man Singh, born in July 1920 (1922?), married Rani Anant Mala, Princess of Kagal Junior, born 1926, died 1991, and had issue, three daughters. He died in February 1985. (Rajkumari Girrendra Kaur, born 5 November 1946, married 23 May 1972, Brig. Jitendra Pal Singh of Saidpur, and has issue, one son and one daughter. Kumari Gauri Singh; Kanwar Gaurav Singh; Rajkumari Ravindra Kaur, born 4 June 1952, unmarried. Rajkumari Krishnendra Kaur, born 10 April 1954, married 26 April 1982, Kanwar Vijay Singhji of Sihi, and has issue, one son and one daughter. Kumari Ambika Singh; Kanwar Dushyant Singh; Rao Raja Giriraj Saran Singh, born in September 1924?, M.P.(Lok Sabha) from Mathura, serving two terms, married 1stly, January 1942 (div.1958), Maharajkumari Sushila Devi of Kapurthala, born 14 December 1918 at Kapurthala, died 1974 in Simla, married 2ndly, 1962, Mrs. Pamela Singh (divorced from her first husband), and had issue. He died December 1969. Rajkumar Anup Singh, born 25 December 1942, educated at Bishop Cotton School, Simla and Cornell University in the U.S.A., studying a course in agricultural management, married 1stly, 1969 (div. 1974), Kumari Vijaya Kumari, born 1951, daughter of Thakur Gopal Singh of Bhajji State, a forest range officer better known as Mooshoo Mian, married 2ndly, May 1980, Surrinder Kaur, born 1946, a Sikh lady from Shahzadpur jagir in Haryana, no issue. Rajkumar Arun Singh [Prince Oogie], born 13 February 1947, educated at Bishop Cotton School, Simla and at St. Stephen's College, Delhi University; M.L.A. (three times) from Deeg constituency in Bharatpur District, first elected M.L.A.in 1993 as an independent. He was twice an independent M.L.A. and the third time he stood and won from the I.N.L.D. party ticket. He died unmarried 15 March 2006 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital of kidney failure. His body was taken to Bharatpur on the same day, and he was given a state funeral (as he was an M.L.A.) at the Bharatpur Royal Cemetery. Maharajkumari Bibiji Kusum Kaur, married 1933, Kanwar Surendra Pal Singh of Unchagaon, Bulandshar District in the United Provinces. Maharajkumari Bibiji (name unknown) Kaur, died 19 May 1930 at Mussoorie. Maharajkumari Bibiji Padma Kaur (Kunwarani Vrish Bhan Kunwar), born 18 September 1919, married Kunwar Brijendra Singh of Moradabad Distt., and had issue. She died 1945 in Mysore.
- Colonel HH Shri Maharaja Brajendra Sawai Vrijendra Singh Bahadur Jang, 1929–1947 (Signed the instrument of accession to the Indian Union), 14th Maharaja of Bharatpur 1929/1995, born 1 December 1918; he succeeded to the gadi on 14 April 1929; Member of the Lok Sabha 1962/1971; married 1stly June 1941, Yuvarajkumari Jaya Chamunda Ammani Avaru [HH the Maharani of Bharatpur], died 1954, daughter of HH Yuvaraja Sir Sri Kantirava Narasinharaja Wadiyar of Mysore, and his wife, HH Yuvrani Kempu Cheluvammanniyavaru, married 2ndly, 1961 (div. 1972), HH Maharani Videh Kaur of the Urs family of Mysore, born 1933, died 1985, by whom he had issue. He died 8 July 1995.
The line is nominally continued
- HH Shri Maharaja Shri Brajendra Sawai Vishvendra Singh Bahadur Jang, 15th Maharaja of Bharatpur.
Symbols of Bharatpur State
The former flag of the princely state was a rectangular tricolor with three horizontal stripes of saffron, white and blue. Its design and colour scheme happened to be very similar to the official flag that would be adopted for the future independent Dominion of India.
In the last three years before joining the Indian Union a new flag was adopted for Bharatpur that had a broad Chartreuse coloured band and the coat of arms in the middle. During that brief period (c.1943 - 1947) Bharatpur became the only political entity ever to have a chartreuse coloured flag. Bharatpur State also had an elaborate coat of arms.
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Vol 8, P-73 Bharatpur State
- R. C. Majumdar, H.C. Raychaudhury, Kalikaranjan Datta: An Advanced History of India, fourth edition, 1978, ISBN 0-333-90298-X, p. 535-36
- Media related to Bharatpur State at Wikimedia Commons