Vibhuti Narayan Singh
Maharaja Vibhuti Narayan Singh (5 November 1927 – 25 December 2000) was king of Banares, a city considered holy, located in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. He was the last Bhumihar king of the Kingdom of Kashi.
Vibhuti Narayan Singh was born on 5 November 1927. He was adopted in June 1934 by Maharaja Aditya Narain Singh (1874–1939), the King of Benaras. After the Maharaja's death on 4 April 1939, Vibhuti Narayan Singh was appointed his successor the next day. Since he was still a minor at the time, a working committee was formed to look after the kingdom.
Singh studied at Mayo College, Ajmer. He received his master's degree in Sanskrit from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, where he studied with the famous grammarian, Vagish Shastri. He was a scholar of Sanskrit, Veda and Purana.
On becoming an adult in 1947, Singh took charge of his inheritance. He lived at Ramnagar fort and had a keen interest in cultural activities. His ancestors had started the world famous RAMLILA of Ramnagar based on Ramayan and under his guidance these remained popular in Benares.
He had a full-fledged court of justice in his fort and an army.
His kingdom was dissolved and merged into India on 15 October 1948 and his army was converted to PAC stationed at Ramnagar.
After the independence of India, Singh became Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, from where he was awarded a D.Litt.. He also established Vishwa Sanskrit Pratisthanam for Sanskrit research under the guidance of Vagish Shastri. He established Akhil Bhartiya Kashiraj Nyas which published several books on oriental studies. He established Kashi Raj trust which also runs the museum comprising exhibits like palanquins, costumes, swords, sabres etc.
On 28 January 1983 the Vishwanath Temple was taken over by the government of Uttar Pradesh and its management was transferred to a trust of which Singh was president.
In 1947, under his leadership, the Shree Kashi Naresh Education Trust laid the foundation of the Kashi Naresh Government Post Graduate College (KNPG), in the Gyanpur of Bhadohi district (U.P).
An intermediate college is named after him in Gyanpur and another in Surajpur at Mau district in Uttar Pradesh.
- "Maharaja of Benares Passes Away". The Indian Express. 5 April 1939. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- "Successor of New Ruler Announced". The Indian Express. 6 April 1939. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- Baldev Upadhyaya Kashi ki Panditya Parampara, Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Varanasi.
- Official website of Varanasi
- KNPG College home page
- "Varanasi bids adieu to Kashi Naresh". The Times of India. 27 December 2000. Retrieved 7 May 2017.