This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Elevation||391 m (1,283 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Vehicle registration||MP 44|
Rampura is a town in the Neemuch district of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Which was Ruled by Chandrawats of Mewar. The Chandrawats, an offshoot of the Mewar's Sisodias Rajputs, ruled the paragana (district) of Rampura, and held the title of "Rao." The ancestors of the family migrated from Chittorgarh, the home of the Sisodia rulers, during the period of Rana Sanga due to the internal strife, and established their own kingdom at Rampura in the central provinces of India. From there they conquered Bhanpura and Ajabgarh pargana (now Bhangarh and Ajabgarh), a deserted town in Alwar district.
As of the 2001[update] India census, Rampura had a population of 17,761. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%; 14% of the population is under 6 years of age. Rampura has an average literacy rate of 64%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 75%, and female literacy is 53%
Rampura is a small town in the Aravalli Range, Rampura has experienced a martial past. Many battles were fought here between the Rajputs, Marathas, Mughals and British forces. It is located on the west side of the Chambal River. Its location, connecting Malwa with Rajputana through the Mukundara Pass, made Rampura strategically important to all those with territorial ambitions and consequently a political shuttlecock.
Rampura also housed hundreds of families of Nandwana community. These families were very rich, but due to some conflict with Chandrawat rulers, all families evicted the Rampura within a night.As an evidence, there are many old houses debris, near by Baddaa talaab.This community's goddess Vankul maataa temple is still situated near badaa taalab.Still many people from community visit the temple to worship the goddess.
Rampura takes its name from a Bhil warrior. The town was established around the 8th century by the Rajputs after they defeated the Bhil fief, Rama. The legend is that Rama, who lived on one of the islands in the Chambal, valiantly fought the marching Rajput forces to defend his people and his territory. Even after being decapitated, his torso, with swords in both hands, kept fighting the invading forces until it fell at Shankhoddhar, "Shankhodhara" or "Sankhodhara" (now submerged under the waters of Chambal since the late 1950s after the construction of the Gandhi Sagar Dam), where an annual fair was held since then. Scattered throughout the town are numerous shrines to the Bhil deities or lost warriors, called Chhappan Bap Ji, literally meaning the "Honorable Fifty-six," perhaps as a reference to each troop of 56 stationed at various locations to defend the original settlement.
The occupying outsiders soon made this place their home. The fertile soil and abundance of water made life great. The hills offered protection. The rivers offered a way to trade but also protection. No one dared cross a swollen Chambal during the monsoons. Rampura served as a quick gateway to Rajputana, to Ujjain, to Dhar. However, the strategic location of Rampura made it a choice territory to occupy was also one of the main causes of its ruin.
For centuries, Rampura remained a prosperous Mandi—central distribution place of grains and harvest. It was also known for its fine weavers and the small-blade kitchen knife (not to be confused with the long-blade gravity knife popularly known as the "Rampuri knife" from Rampur, UP.) The Rampura weavers have long since disappeared, but the knives are still available in the local bazaar.
It is said that sometime between the late 13th and early 14th centuries, Ala ud din Khilji passed through Rampura, and briefly camped at "Patar-Sa-Ka-Khet" or "Padshah-Ka-Khet", literally translating as "the Emperor’s Farm." During one of the Islamic invasions, the adjoining "Padshahi BaoDi" or the four-walled water reservoir, with entrance steps, is said to have been built on an ancient temple grounds using the temple material for its construction.
In the late 16th century the Mughal Emperor Akbar made Rampura an independent principality after capturing it as a part of the Mewar territory. Until 1660, Rampura remained under the Mewar Maharana, who paid annual tribute to the Mughals. For a brief period the Rampura rulers served the Mughal army, and for a while the district enjoyed peace and tranquillity.
In 1689, during the times of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, great-grandson of Akbar, a dispute began in Rampura with the succession of Rao Gopal Singh Chandrawat. As history would witness, this family feud ultimately became the cause of the break-up of an independent state. In 1698, while Gopal Singh Chandrawat was serving Prince Bidar Bakht (grandson of Emperor Aurangzeb), in Deccan, his son, Ratan Singh, took over control. Gopal Singh appealed to the Emperor, who paid no heed. At the instigation of Malwa Governor, Mukhtiyar Khan, Ratan Singh converted to Islam, taking the name Islam Khan, whereupon he was formally presented with the district of Rampura, and he subsequently re-named the town of Rampura as Islampura — a name that never took on. In June 1700, Gopal Singh abandoned the imperial forces, and returned from Deccan to Rampura, helped by Bhim Singh, son of Rao Ram Singh Hada (or Hara), of Kota. On 10 June 1700, Emperor Aurangzeb, stepped in to put an end to the revolt, and directed Prince Bidar Bakht to immediately go to Rampura; who ignored the orders but sent the governor of Malwa to intervene. In June 1701, Mukhtiyar Khan, son of Iftikhar Khan, Governor of Malwa, marched into Rampura to capture Gopal Singh, who fled to Mewar. In February 1701 at Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar’s instigation, Udaibhan Saktawat (of Malka Bajna) gave Gopal Singh shelter and helped with money. In December 1702, Abu Mansar Khan, the Governor of Malwa, was informed by Ratan Singh and Kirti Singh (son of Rawat Pratap Singh of Deolia/Pratapgarh) that Maharana Sangram Singh’s forces had marched into the territories of Rampura. In 1703, Gopal Singh submitted to emperor Aurangzeb and was pardoned, and restored to his mansab, He was appointed Fauzidar in Hyderabad. In 1705, Gopal Singh lost his position and was short of money. Desperate yet hoping to re-claim Rampura, in January 1706, he joined the Marathas and asked for their assistance to enter Rampura through Dhar/Mandav region. However, this attempt failed as Bidar Bakht had already reached Badnagar. Pledging loyalty to the Marathas, in March of that year, when the maratha forces attacked Gujrat, Gopal Singh was with them.
Rampura briefly enjoyed a couple of years of peace. In November 1705, Ratan Singh, who was with the imperial forces, left the army without permission and went to Ujjain, wherefrom he returned to Rampura. He started writing conciliatory letters to Maharana. Maharana’s response was less than lukewarm. In February 1706, Ratan Singh once again pledged his loyalty to Maharana. However, Maharana was anxious to regain control of Rampura– his lost province– for himself. In fact, as seen later, the district (pargana) of Rampura would be formally given to Prince Madho Singh, infant son of Maharaja Jai Singh of Amber/Jaipur, by his wife, a Mewar princess. In the 1704 Jai Singh was appointed by Prince Bidar Bakht as the Governor of Malwa. Jai Singh, who had previously continued to manage the Rampura affairs for the Maharana on behalf of Prince Madho Singh (as the latter’s inheritance). Thus for a while, for all practical purposes, Rampura was "governed" more as an Amber/Jaipur territory than that of Mewar.
In 1706, Gopal Singh sought help of the Marathas and thought of entering Malwa through the Mukundara Pass. Aurangzeb had died in 1707 and Farukhsiyar had either killed or defeated his brothers and claimed the Mughal throne. Subsequently, Gopal Singh and Maratha forces reached Gujrat. On 28 August 1709, the forces of Maharana attacked, but Ratan Singh repulsed the attack and was rewarded by emperor Farukhsiyar for his victory. After this Maharana did not want to help Gopal Singh.
Much encouraged, Ratan Singh, attacked and conquered Ujjain, and began entertaining greater territorial ambitions. The new Malwa Governor, Amanat Khan, warned Ratan Singh, but to no avail. At a battle in Sarangpur, Ratan Singh defeated Rahim Beg, a sidekick of Amanat Khan, causing the latter to march with his forces to attack Ratan Singh. Aided by his Rohilla chum Muhammad, Ratan Singh fought the imperial army in the battle at Sunera, about 10 miles south-west of Sarangpur. Ratan Singh was killed. The year was late 1712. Amanat Khan reached Rampura where all of Ratan Singh’s allies, including his harem, surrendered. Pleased with this victory, Emperor Jahandar Shah decorated the Khan with the title "Shahmat Khan."
Taking advantage of his son’s death, on 24 January 1715, Gopal Singh re-captured Rampura with the help of Mewar army. However, Maharana only gave him a part of the original Rampura state and kept the most of the district for himself. On 16 September 1717, Emperor Farukhsiyar granted pargana of Rampura to Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar. Durgadas Rathore, who after Aurangzeb's death had freed Jodhpur from the Mughals and successfully installed Prince Ajit Singh to the Marwar throne, did not get along with the latter, left Marwar and took charge of the newly re-acquired district of Rampura for Maharana. Durgadas died at Rampura in 1718, and his funeral rites were performed on the banks of the Shipra where a chhatri (cenotaph) was built to consecrate his memory. This beautiful structure, built in the Rajput style of architecture, houses a statue of Durgadas which crumbled down.
In August 1719, an agreement was signed by Gopal Singh and his grandson Sangram Singh, which reduced Rampura, a full-fledged state, into a zamindari, paying a tribute and obedience to the Maharana. However, Sangram Singh became quite unruly. He also got in a dispute with the Kota ruler, Durjan Sal, and approached the Mughal Emperor for help. However, none was received, and on his way back to Rampura, Sangram Singh was killed. His brother, Badan Singh, succeeded him. This, and few other storms brewing would shape the destiny of Malwa in a broader sense, and, therefore, of Rampura.
On 20 February 1719, Nizam Rafi-ud-Darazat was appointed Governor of Malwa. In May of that year, he reached Ujjain. However, less than a year later he was ordered to return to Delhi. On his way, he reached Mandsaur on 13 April, and passed through Rampura to travel up to Mukundara Pass, but changed his mind and returned to Ujjain ignoring the imperial orders. On 19 June 1720, the imperial forces were badly beaten and Nizam and his Maratha allies chased them and mercilessly looted them. With Malwa under his territory, Nizam had already returned to south on 28 April of that year. On 30 August 1722, Raja Girdhar Bahadur, a nephew of Allahabad ruler Raja Chhabile Ram, was appointed the Governor of Malwa. He held that post until 15 May 1723. For the Emperor, he continued to make several unsuccessful attempts to re-capture Rampura.
During the rainy season of 1722, Bajirao Peshwa decided to attack Malwa. On 18 January 1723, he set out. On 10 February, he reached a place called Gardavad, near Dhar. Crossing the river Mahi, he reached Badkasha (present-day Bolasa in Jhabua district), and decided to camp out and wait for the Nizam who was on his way from Delhi to Gujrat. On 13 February the Nizam and Peshwa met and negotiated terms and reached a certain understanding that affected the events about to unfold. The two traveled together up to Raipuria, and after a 2-day halt, Peshwa returned to Badkasha on his way to Khandesh after crossing river Narmada on 25 February. Peshwa again crossed Narmada near Hoshangabad, and on 18 March and re-entered Malwa. After wandering for a couple of weeks, on 5 April, he headed south. By now, the Nizam was headed back to Delhi. For almost a decade during this period, Rampura remained turbulent.
On 15 May 1723, Raja Girdhar Bahadur was dismissed as Governor of Malwa, only to be re-appointed on 2 June 1725. Although the circumstances of his dismissal are not clear nor any record of the negotiations leading to his re-appointment are known to exist, a document, dated 8 August 1725, states that "...if Mohakam Singh does not accept appointment as Governor of Malwa, Girdhar Bahadur will be summoned at the Imperial court..." (Page 172 of Malwa in Transition...." His second tenure would last until 29 November 1728, when in a battle at Amjhera with the Marathas, both Girdhar Bahadur and his nephew Daya Bahadur were killed. The winning Maratha army happily looted the imperial goods, as well confiscated their artillery and ammunition.
With Girdhar Bahadur’s death, the last hope of imperial stronghold in Malwa became extinct. Rampura for a while enjoyed being a part of the Mewar territory. On 26 March 1729, at Jai Sigh’s repeated pleading, Maharana gave the district of Rampura to the former’s infant son Prince Madho Singh, with Jai Singh’s assurance that much like 16 other subordinate territorial heads, Madho Sigh, when he came of age and became Jaipur ruler (instead of his elder half-brother Ishwari Singh), would also remain loyal to Mewar.
In 1734 Jai Singh openly annexed Rampura (along with Bundi) for the purpose (or under the pretext) of stopping the advancing Maratha forces into Rajputana. In 1734 a large army was sent from Delhi under Khan-e-Dauran, joined by Rajput armies from Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Kota all in an attempt to expel the Marathas from North India. This huge army was encircled by the cavalry of Malhar Holkar and Ranoji Sindhia at Rampura and stopped in its tracks for 8 days.
On 21 September 1743, Jai Singh died, following which succession dispute began between heir apparent Ishwari Singh and Prince Madho Singh. According to a 1708 treaty between Mewar and Jaipur, the Jaipur throne was to be of Jai Singh's son by his wife, a Mewar princess. Madho Singh, who was born in 1728 was considered to be that claimant albeit defying the conventional succession laws and rights. In 1743, Ishwari Singh was crowned and recognized as the Jaipur ruler by the Mughal emperor. In 1750, Madho Singh, with the help of Malhar Rao Holkar's army, defeated Ishwari Singh, and on 29 December claimed the Jaipur throne for himself. Ishwari Singh committed suicide rather than be humiliated at the hands of Holkar. In exchange for the assistance given to Madho Singh in his contest for the Jaipur throne with Ishwari Singh, Madho Singh offered Holkar Ranthambore and the surrounding territory. However, Malhar Rao wanted 1/4 of the Jaipur revenue. In retaliation, on 10 January 1751, at Madho Singh's orders, all Marathas present in Jaipur city were killed; however, he managed to convince both Sindhia and Holkar of his innocence. Thus, Rampura officially became a part of the Jaipur territory, and remained so until 1757. On or about 12 April 1757, as a result of much pestering over the years, Malhar Rao Holkar finally received Rampura, Bhanpura and Tonk, and two other districts, but not without initial threats from both sides followed by serious negotiations.
Rampura, willingly or otherwise, continued to play a host to many. In 1804, as a result of a strategic blunder that followed with a lot of finger pointing in all directions, Lt. Colonel William Monson and his army were stopped by a flooded Chambal, and from late July through 30 August ended up spending time in Rampura before retreating.  Maratha-British confrontations continued over the years, with the Holkars maintaining control over Rampura. The last big loss the marathas suffered was at Mahidpur on 21 December 1817. Subsequently, under the Treaty of Mandsaur, on 6 January 1818, Rampura, much like the rest of the Holkar State, became a part of the British territory.
In the following years, peace had still not been fully restored in the Rampura district. After the Mandsaur Treaty in 1818, Holkar had lost most of his possessions, and it was only in 1856, in consideration of Rs. 16,000/-, and exchange for construction of a bridge over Gohi River, Holkar got back the Sendhwa fort. The region, however, experienced no peace or relief. As recorded in the official documents of the Central India Agency -Indore, the anarchy and confusion that prevailed in Holkar's territories previous to the conclusion of the Mandsaur Treaty had completely ruined the finances of the region. Holkar's minister Tantia Jogh set out to effect this recovery. It is reported that, in 1819, two insurrections broke in spite of formation of the Mahidpur Contingent and posting of a body of about 500 cavalry. These insurrections only added greatly to the challenges that Jogh was already facing. One was an imposter personating Malhar Rao Holkar and another Hari Rao a cousin of the Maharaja. By the time these were put to rest—literally—serious conflicts arose at the Rampura borders. The time was around 1821, and the troublemakers were the Thakur of Bhatkheri and his cronies. As a punishment, a part of the Bhatkheri Thakur’s' Jagir was confiscated and another of the leading insurgents, Bhairur Singh, delivered himself. Towards the end of 1822, it became necessary to employ a detachment of the British troops at Barkhera. As also reported in the official records of the Central Malwa Agency-Indore, in 1826, British made an agreement with Holkar, the states of Dhar and Dewas, as well as others in Malwa securing the British the exclusive right to purchase opium grown in Malwa. However, this did not work and in 1829, the monopoly was abandoned. Instead, a transit duty was levied upon the opium in its passage through the British territories to the seacoast.
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Rampura
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- http://www.search.com/reference/Islamic_conquest_of_the_Indian_subcontinent (Look under Madhya Pradesh/Mandsaur District because until the mid-1990s, Rampura used to be in the Mandsaur District.)
- "Monson's Retreat: India,1804". Napoleon-series.org. Retrieved 2012-10-27.
- A History of Jaipur by Sir Jadunath Sarkar
- Malwa in Transition - A century of Anarchy by Maharaj Kumar Dr. Raghuvir Sinh of Sitamau (Bombay, 1936), with foreword by Sir Jadunath Sarkar (Thesis submitted to Agra University for D. Lit).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neemuch.|