Jawahar Singh

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Jawahar Singh
Maharaja
Maharaja of Bharatpur State
Reign 1763–68
Predecessor Maharaja Suraj Mal
Successor Maharaja Ratan Singh
House Sinsiniwar Jat Dynasty
Father Maharaja Suraj Mal
Mother Rabri Devi
Religion Hinduism

Maharaja Jawahar Singh (r. 1763 – 1768) (Hindi: महाराजा जवाहर सिंह) was a ruling Maharaja of the Bharatpur State. He succeeded to the throne when his father Maharaja Suraj Mal died in 1763. At the time of Raja Suraj Mal's death in 1763 Jawahar Singh was in Farrukhnagar.

Jawahar Singh ascended the throne[edit]

Maharaja Suraj Mal's nobles placed Nahar Singh on the throne. On hearing this news Jawahar Singh lost his temper and sent a letter to Bharatpur expressing how painful it was that while the dead body of his father Suraj Mal was restless for his head, his sons were quarrelling among themselves for the throne. Jawahar Singh announced that he would soon return to Bharatpur and would contend for the throne only after taking revenge for his father’s head.

By the time he reached Bharatpur, the news had spread that Jawahar Singh took shelter with the Raja of Karauli. Bal Ram brother-in-law of Maharaja Suraj Mal the commander of Bharatpur forces closed the gates of Bharatpur fort and prepared for war against Jawahar Singh. Ultimately, however, he accepted Jawahar Singh's claim to the throne. Maharaja Sawai Jawahar Singh ascended the throne of Bharatpur with the title of Bharat Indra.

Jawahar Singh’s revenge[edit]

Maharaja Jawahar Singh punished all those courtiers who had opposed his succession to the throne. Nahar Singh fought a war against him with the help of Karauli and the Marathas, but was defeated. Jawahar Singh helped the Raja of Dholpur to be independent of the Marathas. He also made alliances with the East India Company against the Maratha Leader, Raghunath Rao. He had his maternal uncle Balram murdered. Raja Suraj Mal had been maintaining superficially friendly relations with Raja Madho Singh of Jaipur, in spite of his having a born foe of the Bharatpur 'Raj'. Jawahar Singh did not approve of it. After the death of Nahar Singh, Jawahar Singh called his wife and his children back from Jaipur to Bharatpur, but Madho Singh refused to send them. In reply, Jawahar Singh gave shelter to Pratap Singh, a rebel Sardar of Jaipur, and demanded Pargana Kama of Jaipur, which was adjacent to Bharatpur. He further annoyed Madho Singh by adopting the title of Sawai, which was the title adopted by Madho Singh's father, Raja Jai Singh.

Jawahar Singh’s march against Delhi[edit]

In October 1764, Jawahar Singh had marched against Delhi with 100 cannons,60,000 Cavalry of his own, 25,000 Maratha soldiers of Holkar and 15,000 Sikh soldiers.

After a siege of several months Najibuddin appealed for peace. But Jawahar Singh was determined to take revenge for his father, by severing his head. After several days, some Rohilla leaders came to the camp of Jawahar Singh with Zubita Khan who sought the intervention of Maharaja Holkar.

Holkar tried to persuade Jawahar Singh to make peace on the condition that Najibuddaulah would pay the whole expenditure for the war. Jawahar Singh did not accepted this offer and continued attacking mughals. After the battle was won, he then returned to Bharatpur and with him he brought the gates of Delhi Red Fort which were taken by Mughals from the Chittor Fort after Akbar's victory in Siege of Chittorgarh (1567 CE) over Rajputs of Chittorgarh.

To celebrate his victory he renovated and built the Sheetla Mata Mandir Gurgaon whose blessings he had sought in the war. She is Kripi (wife of Guru Dronacharya) who was the teacher of the Pandavas and Kauravas according to Indian epic Mahabharata and Gurgaon is named after him.[1]

The Pushkar bath by Maharani Kishori[edit]

Maharani Kishori, wife of Maharaja Suraj Mal, who had adopted Jawahar Singh, was adept at political intrigues. She was pained to see that Jawahar Singh was not adopting a favourable policy towards the members of the family and the nobles. She knew that only keeping him engaged in warfare could control him. She also knew that the Rajputs could never tolerate this abrupt rise of Jat rule and would always resist the latter's efforts to gain power. The solution for both the problems lay in war.

Maharani Kishori expressed her desire to her proud son that she wanted to go for a sacred bath at Pushkar. Jawahar Singh pointed out that Pushkar was situated in the territory of his eternal and deadly foe, Raja Madho Singh, who would not tolerate her arrival at Pushkar with a large retinue, and advised her that if at all she were keen to go for Pushkar bath, she would go with only a few followers and Rupa Ram the Purohit.

The Rani retorted by saying that she was the mother of Jawahar Singh, and the Rani of Maharaja Suraj Mal and taking a bath like Marwari women would hurt her pride, and that she would like to take her bath along with the Rajput Ranis there.

Jawahar Singh marched to Pushkar with 600,000 Cavalry, 50 lakh Infantry and 100,000 Cannons. With fluttering banners and beating drums they entered Jaipur territory and set up an impressive camp in the Sandy plains of Pushkar.

Maharani Kishori was weighed in gold, which was given in charity.

Diplomacy with the Rathore Clan[edit]

Bijay Singh Rathore wanted to make an alliance with the Jats against the Marathas he believed that a Rajput-Jat alliance had the strength to not only defeat the Marathas but to also extend their kingdoms and thus welcomed Jawahar Singh on the bank of the sacred lake, at Pushkar. Jawahar Singh conveyed to Bijay Singh that as he was in mourning of his father Surajmal, therefore, as per tradition, he would not be able to come and meet Bijay Singh first. Hearing this, Bijay Singh himself went and met Jawahar Singh in his camp. The two met and a lot of rejoicing took place. Bijay Singh presented two elephants, four horses and two guns to Jawahar Singh. The next day, Jawahar Singh visited Bijay Singh’s camp and was again presented two horses. On 6 November 1767 (Kartik fullmoon day), the two Rajas exchanged turbans and sat down side by side on the same carpet like brothers and sent an invitation to Sawai Madho Singh to come and join them. This further infuriated Sawai Madho Singh who did not want a jat to enter his territory. Bijay Singh was more than willing and welcomed Jawahar Singh on the bank of the sacred lake, at Pushkar. Even at the Battle of Maonda and Mandholi when Bijay singh got to know that Sawai Madho Singh had attacked Jawahar Singh he quickly sent a detachment of Rathore Cavalry but could not reach on time.

War with Madho Singh[edit]

Jawahar Singh made the big mistake of leaving Pratap Singh the rebel of Jaipur, for the defence of Bharatpur. He considered Partap Singh to be a reliable man, but in this he was deceived.

When Pratap Singh came to know about the Pushkar. He left Bharatpur undefended, and joined the camp of Madho Singh. Pratap Singh instigated Madho Singh against Jawahar Singh. All the Rajput rulers assembled at Pushkar and held a conference in which no Jat rulers were invited. Raja Madho Singh said in this conference that the Jat ruler had injured the vanity of all the Rajputs. It was here that Raja Vijay Singh Rathore pointed out that after all the Jats were also Hindus and if they donated liberally on this auspicious occasion according to their financial position, it must not be taken as humiliation by Rajputs. Madho Singh, however, rejected this advice and appealed for war. The decision of this conference soon reached Jawahar Singh. He was expecting it.

Madho Singh laid on ambush in a valley to intercept Jawahar Singh on his return. Jawahar Singh had anticipated this and took the alternative route via Tanwarawati, near the present day Neem-ka-Thana, Maonda and Mandholi villages, this area was a bottleneck surrounded by hills. The column of troops with cavalry and artillery was marching under the leadership of Captain Samru.

The palanquins of the Ranis were escorted by Jawahar Singh in the rear of the column. All of a sudden Rajputs attacked them from three sides. It was a fierce battle. It is said that 5,000 casualties occurred in the Battle of Maonda and Mandholi.

Madho Singh invaded Bharatpur on 29 February 1768 and wounded Bharatpurs greatest general Dan Shah. Jawahar Singh later hired an army of 20,000 Sikhs at the price of seven lakhs which forced Madho singh to retreat back to Jaipur.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guru in gurugram
  2. ^ Jadunath Sarkars History of Jaipur pg.256
Jawahar Singh
Sinsiniwar Jat Dynasty
Born: ? ? Died: 1768
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Maharaja Suraj Mal
Maharaja of Bharatpur
1763–1768 AD
Succeeded by
Maharaja Ratan Singh