Rao Tula Ram

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Rao Tularam Singh
Raja Rao Tula Ram.jpg
Rao Tula Ram on a 2001 stamp of India
Reign1838 -1857
PredecessorRao Puran Singh
SuccessorBritish Raj
Borncirca (1825-12-09)9 December 1825
Rampura, Rewari, Ahirwal, Punjab region
Died23 September 1863(1863-09-23) (aged 37)
Kabul, Afghanistan
FatherRao Puran Singh
MotherRani Gyan Kaur

Rao Tularam Singh (circa 9 December 1825 – 23 September 1863) king of Rewari was one of the key leaders of the Indian rebellion of 1857 in Haryana, where he is considered a state hero.[1]

He is credited with temporarily driving all of the British rule from the south-west Haryana during the rebellion, and also helping rebel forces fighting in the historic city of Delhi with men and money. Noted as a good administrator and military commander.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He was born on 9 December 1825 in Rampura suburb of Rewari in a royal Yaduvanshi Ahir family to Rao Puran Singh (son of Rao Tej Singh) and Rani Gyan Kaur(daughter of Rao Jahari Singh).[3][4]

He was named Tula Singh at brith. His education, including weapons training and ore riding, started from the age of 5 years. His father died of pneumonia when he was 14 years of age. At that time he was coronated after his name was changed to Tula Ram.[4]

Historic context[edit]

Ahir rulers of Tijara[edit]

Since 8th century CE during the Tomar dynasty and Chauhan dynasty, Ahir had captured the area surrounding their headquarter at Tijara, and Rao Tula Ram and Raos of Ahirwal had descended from them.[5]

List of rulers of Rewari[edit]

Ahirs of Rewari served mughal empire from 16th century till 18th century, then Jats of Bharatpur, followed by Maratha Empire and finally the British Raj until Rao Tula Ram stood up against British:[5]

  • Ruda Singh (r. 1555-?): Ruda Singh descended from the Raos of Tijara. On 17 May 1540, Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun at the battle of Kannauj. On 22 June 1555 after the detah of Sher Shah and his son, in the Battle of Sirhind against Surs Humanyu was assisted by Rida Singh. After the victory, Humanyu rewarded Ruda Singh with a jagir of a forested area of Rewari. Ruda Singh established his thikana at Bolni village and cleared the forests to establish more villages.[5]
  • Ram Singh, also known as Ramoji, (r. ?-?): He successeded Ruda Singh, built a fort at Bolni, reated a small calvary, captured two freeboters of the area who were troubling the mughalss and for which Akbar granted him a mansab (military rank) as the faujdar of Rewari sirkar in Delhi subah. he continued to rule during Akbar and Jahangir's rule.
  • Shahbaz Singh (r. ?-1640): Son and successor of Ram Singh, ruled during the times of Jahangir and was killed in 1640 while fighting the chaudhary "Hathi Singh Badgurjar" of Dhena (Badshahpur).
  • Chaudhary Nand Singh (r. 1640-1713): Son and successor of Shahbaz Singh. Meanwhile, Hathi Singh Badgurjar had joined the army of thakur Churaman (r. 1695-1721), the Jat ruler of Bharatpur State. During the time of Aurangzeb (r. 1658–1707), Churman's forces use to regularly attack mughal forces and snatch the revenye sent to Delhi from mughal provinces. Nand Singh and his brother Mian Singh, who were on the side of mughals, attacked and killed Hathi Singh on instructions of Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb rewarded Nand Singh with additional paragana and the title of chaudhary. He established vollage of nandrampur and Dharuhera, and moved his headquarter from Bolni to newly built place at Rewari near his eponymous Nand Sagar pond.
  • Rao Balkishan (r. 1713-1739): Eldest son and successor of Nand Singh was granted the title of Rao. He was killed on 24 February 1739 during Battle of Karnal while fighting on the side of mughals forces of Muhammad Shah (r. 1719–1748) against the invader Nadir Shah. After his death, Muhammad Shah gave instruction to build a monument in Karnal in his honor and gave him posthumous title "Bahadur Bachcha-Shamsher Bahadur".
  • Rao Bahadur Gujarmal (r. 1739-1750): Brother and successor of Balkishan was granted the title of Rao Bahadur with a mansab (ceremonial rank) of 5000 soldiers by Muhammad Shah, given additional jagir of 52 villages each in Narnaul and Hisar, his jagir also included Rewari, Jhajjar, Dadri, Hansi and Karnal. In 1743 he was granted more villages. He build his father tomb in Rewari; built forts Gokulgarh and Dighal; minted coins at Gokulgarh; established Brahmpur and Morna villages in Meerut. Hathi Singh Badgurjar's descendant Bahadur Singh of Ghasera and Baloch Chief of Farrukhnagar were his arch foes. During the time of rise of Jats rulers of Bharatpur when mughals were declining, Gujarmal offered his services to Bharatpur's Jat ruler Maharaja Badan Singh (r. 1722–1755). Bhadur Singh's brother-in-law Todarmal of Neemrana invited Gujarmal home and killed him in 1750. After this Raos fief declined rapidly.
  • Rao Bhawani Singh (r. 1750-1758): Son and successor of Gujarmal was incompetent. Nawab of Jhajjar, Baloch Chief of Farrukhnagar, Raja of Jaipur State all took over the villages of Bhawani Singh who was left with only 23 villages. Meanwhile, on 24 April 1753 Jat ruler of Bharatpur Maharaja Surajmal attacked, defeated and killed Rewari's Rao's arch foe Bhadur Singh who was on the side of mughal king Ahmad Shah Bahadur (r. 1748–1754). During this 3 month siege of Ghasera and final battle Bhawani Singh fought on the side of Jats, though ultimately victorious 15,000 jat forces also lost lives. Bhawani was killed in 1758 by his own manager Tulsi Ram.
  • Rao Dilel Singh (r. 1758-?): Son and successor of Bhawani singh was equally incompetent, who died issueless.
  • Rao Ram Singh (r. ?-1785): Adopted son and successor of Dilel Singh. His manager was Tulsi Ram's son Rao Mitra Sen Ahir. In 1780, joint forces of Ram Singh and Mitra Sen of Rewari, Begum Samru, and Shah Jahan III's general Mirza Najaf Khan attacked Rajput forces of Jaipur State in Narnaul. Jaipur Rajput retailated by attacking and sacking Rewari in 1981. In 1785, Marathas attack and killed Rao Singh. His rule was short lived.
  • Rao Hira Singh (r. ?-?): Brother and successor of Ram Singh installed by Marathas. his rule was short lived. After his death Zauki Ram Bania of Rewari took over the reign.
  • Interlude with rule of Zauki Ram Bania
  • Rao Tej Singh (r. ?-1823): Rao Ram Singh's mother asked for help from the Martaha's local vassal Rao Tej Singh - the ruler of Tijara who had also descended from the same family as Ram Singh. Marathas had given him jagir of Taoru,Nuh, Sohna, Palwal, Hodal, Bawal, Kotkasim , Pataudi and Tapukara which he controlled by Taoru. He killed Zauki Ram and took over Rewari. After's martaha's defeat in Anglo-Maratha wars and Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon in 1803, control of Rewari passed to British who then became new masters of Tej Singh. During British Tej had grant of 61 villages. he died in 1823.
  • Rao Puran Singh (r. 1823-?), Rao Nathu Ram (r. 1823-?) and Rao Jawahar Singh (r. ?-1823): Tej Singh's estate was divided among his three sons. Jawahar SIngh died issueless and his estate was redistributed to his two surviving brothers.
  • Rao Tula Ram (r. 1839-1857), Rao Gopal Dev (r. ?-1857): After the death of Puran Singh and Nathu Ram, their sons Tula Ram and Gopal Dev respective took over their respective jagirs. Tula Ram declareed independnece in 1857 and Goapl Dev acted as hig general. Cousins Tula and Gopal fought together against British in 1857, where they lost.
  • Interlude, direct British Rule from 1857 to 1877, they established a large cantonment at Bariawas.



He ruled for 18 years from 1839 to 1857, from the age of 14 to the age of 34 years.[4] Headquartered in Rewari, extent of area under his princely state was in a narrow strip in South Haryana from Kanina Khas (Mahendragarh district) in west, Farrukhnagar in northeast, Gurugram in north, Faridabad in northeast, Ferozepur Jhirka in east and Bawal in south.[4] He was a good administrator and military commander.[2]

War of independence[edit]

Initial success[edit]

On 17 May 1857 he along with his cousin, Rao Gopal Dev, and four to five hundred followers, deposed the local tehsildar and occupied Rewari. He raised a force of about 5000 soldiers and set up a workshop for manufacturing the guns and other ammunition. Rao Tula Ram helped Emperor Bahadur Shah and other rebel forces who were waging war against British in Delhi. He sent Rs 45000/- through General Bakht Khan, ten days before the fall of Delhi and supplied large quantities of necessary commodities and supplied two thousand sacks of wheat .

The battle[edit]

Rao's forces fought against the British on 16 November 1857 in the field of Nasibpur on outskirts of Narnaul. The first charge of Rao Tularam's forces was irresistible and The British forces scattered before them, and British commanding officers Colonel John Grant Gerrard and Capt. Wallace were beheaded and Lieutenant Graiji, Kennedy and Pearse were severely wounded.[6] Rao's forces were composed of ahir soldiers[5]

Rao was at the point of defeating the British force under Colonel Gerrard when the pro-British, Sikh army from the pricnely states of Nabha, Kapurthala, Jind and Patiala came to their rescue.[7]


After that British forces have heavy artillery and infantry they broke the backbone of Rao's forces and the commanders of Rao's, Rao Kishan Singh, Rao Ram Lal, Sahjada Muhammad Ajam, nephew and son's of Abdus samad Khan and many others top ranking officers were killed in action. The battle of Narnaul was undoubtedly one of the most decisive battles of the uprising of 1857. The English felt jubilant over their success in this confrontation, for it resulted in the marked close of the crucial period of the struggle in the Haryana region and Northern Rajasthan.[6]

After the battle of Narnaul Rao Tularam moved in to Rajasthan and joined the force of Tantia Tope for one year but the forces of the Tantia Tope were defeated by British forces in the battle of Sikar in Rajasthan. After which Rao Tularam left India to seek help from the Shah of Iran (also see Anglo-Persian War from November 1856 to April 1857), Dost Mohammad Khan ruler of Emirate of Afghanistan (also see First Anglo-Afghan War from 1938 to 42) and Alexander II Emperor of All Russia against British colonial empire. Rao Tularam's estates were confiscated by the British in 1859, though proprietary rights of his two wives were retained. In 1877, his title was restored to his son Rao Yudhister Singh, who was made head of the Ahirwal area.[8]

After Rao Tula Ram's defeat, his arch rivals meo who often raided and plundered ahir villages attacked Jourassi village and massacred a total of 111 Ahirs, Brahmins and Jats.[5]


On 23 September 1863, he died in Kabul in Afghanistan at the age of 38 due to some infection that spread to his wholebody.[8][4]


A statue of Rao Tularam in Jhajjar

The Government of India issued a postage stamp on 23 September 2001 featuring Rao Tularam.

Instutions named in his honor[edit]

Institutions named in his honour include:

  • Rao Tularam Memorial Hospital, Jaffarpur Kalan, Delhi[9]
  • Rao Tularam Market, Nihal Vihar, Nangloi, Delhi
  • Rao Tularam Market, Mohan Garden, Hastsal, Delhi
  • Rao Tularam Govt. Sarvodaya School, New Delhi
  • Shri Tula Ram Public School, Sultanpuri, Delhi
  • Rao Tularam Stadium, Rewari, Haryana
  • Shahid Rao Tularam Park, Near LIC office, Chandausi, Sambhal district, Uttar Pradesh
  • Rao Tularam Marg, near IGI Airport Delhi
  • Rao Tularam Chowk, Khera Village, Gurgaon, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Chowk, Friends Colony, Mahendergarh, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Chowk (Naiwali Chowk), Rewari, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Memorial Park, Rewari, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam National Prograce Sen. Sec. School, Bikaner, Rajasthan
  • Rao Tularam Model Collage, Sec 51 Gurgaon
  • Rao Tularam Circle (Jail circle), Alwar, Rajasthan
  • Rao Tularam Fountain Park, Sec 4, Gurgaon
  • Rao Tularam Stadium, Dhana Kalan, Hisar, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Sen. Sec. School, Jamawadi, Hansi, Haryana
  • Shahid Rao Tularam Sen. Sec. School, Surjanwas, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Khel Stadium, Patuada, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Khel Stadium, Misri, Chaki Dadari, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Chowk, Jhajjar, Haryana
  • Shahid Rao Tularam Park, Basant Vihar, Bahadurgarh, Haryana
  • Rao Tularam Vihar, Rewari, Haryana

Martyr's fair[edit]

A two-day Shahidi mela (martyr's fair) is held annually in September at Rampura suburb of Rewari city to commemorate the death anniversary of Rao Tularam.[10][4]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • K.C. Yadav, Rao Tula Ram, National Book Trust of India (2008). ISBN 978-81-237-5110-8
  • Er. Anil Yadav," Krantidoot- Rao Raja Tularam (1999) Sarita Book House, Delhi


  • Dr. Ravindra Singh Yadav & Vijay pal, 1857 Ki kranti k purodha: Rao Raja Tularam,2013 Punit Publication, Jaipur ISBN 978-81-88559-54-1
  1. ^ "Republic Day Celebrations". The Tribune. 28 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b Haryana (India) (1988). Haryana District Gazetteers: Mahendragarh. Haryana Gazetteers Organization.[page needed]
  3. ^ महान योद्धा थे राव तुलाराम, अंग्रेजों से आखिरी सांस तक लड़े : अजीत सिंह, Dainik Bhskar, 10 Dec 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Rao Tularam - family and history, Hindiremedy.com.
  5. ^ a b c d e SDS Yadava, 2006, Followers of Krishna, Lancer Publishers, page 49-55.
  6. ^ a b Prakash, Buddha (1967). Glimpses of Haryana. University of Kurukshetra. p. 110. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  7. ^ Dr P., CHOPRA (15 August 1973). WHO’S WHO OF INDIAN MARTYRS Vol 3. Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. pp. 146–147. ISBN 9788123021829. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  8. ^ a b Punjabi University (2001). "The Panjab Past and Present, Volume 32". Punjab (India). Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, Original from the University of Michigan. pp. 76, 77, 78. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Directorate of Health Services". Department of Health. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  10. ^ R. K. Upadhyay (1996). Widowed and Deserted Women in Indian Society. India. Dept. of Women and Child Development & Harnam Publications. p. 71. ISBN 9788185247113.