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Dumraon

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Sanatana Shahi or Devraj 2 (1324 – 1344) came from Ujjain in Malwa and settled at Karur, pargana Dunwar (Dist. Shahbad , Bihar), Succeeded by son, Somraj (1344 – 1389). He was succeeded by Harrraj (1389 – 1394) . N.B. releationship to Somraj not known). Died fighting with the Sharqui Rulers of Jaunpur ( U.P.) . Succeeded by brother Gajraj (1394 – 1414). His reign was spent in fighting with the Jaunpur Muslim . Succeeded by the youngest brother Jagdev (1417 – 1424). The struggle against Jaunpur Nawab’s continued. Succeded by son Sangram Deo (1424- 1454). The fight against Ibrahim Shah Sharqui of Jaunpur went on day and night and for the Ujjains, it was a fight for liberation. After his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Ishwar Singh (1454 – 1456) Too ease – loving was captured and killed by Jaunpur forces. Succeeded by younger brother Onkar Dev (1456-1489) – valiant prince who effectively thwarted the onslaughts of the Sharqui Rullers of Jaunpur. Succeeded by son Durlav Dev (1489 – 1519). Era of peace and prosperity for Parmars (Ujjains) and for Bhojpur (Shahbad) after 100 years struggle with Sharqui Rulers of Jaunpur . Succeded by son Shivram Singh (1519 – 1534) who shifted the capital to Bihta near Dauwar in Shahabad. After a fatricidal struggle. He was killed by the forces of his nephew, Gajpati (1539 – 1557) and became the Ruler. He moved his capital to Naya Bhojpur . In this struggle was aided by Farid Khan of Sasaram (SHER SHAH). Gajpati later became devout ally of The Mughals of Delhi (HUMAYUN). But during Akbar’s reign, rebelled and was chased from place to place. He took refuge in a dense forest of Rohtas hills and never returned. Probably he died there about 1577. Succeeded by his cousin, Dalpat s/o Shivram Singh(1577 – 1601). Ruled only for Four years . He to o rebelled against the Mughals . After 1580 was open rebellion and became a fugitive until he was treacherously killed in 1601. Dalpat was succeeded by a worthless man named Mukuthani in 1601 a thoroughly incompetent man and highly unpopular amongst his kinsmen . He was forced to abdicate in favour of his nephew, Narain Mal s/o Horil Singh in 1607. Raja Narain Mal (1607- 1621) was a man of foresight and vision. He got Mughal Nizam of Bihar murdered at Ranisagar (between Dumraon and Arrah) and then made up with the Mughal Govt. through the friendship of Prince Khurram (JAHANGIR) securing the title of Raja and a mansab of one thousand horses.

Chero tribes again rebelled which was put down . Battle of Buxar against Chero and Munda forces (1607 – 1608) where latter were ultimately routed . During his life time , he rose high in Mughal estimation and favour . He chose Jagdishpur as his capital. A successful ruler but was assassinated at Basudhar (near Ithari) in a family feud. Succeded by nephew, Amar Singh (1648- 1665) eldest son of Raja Narain Mal after a lapse of twelve years. He was helped by Shah Shuja (Govenor of Bengal) and thus got back possession of the Bhojpur estate. In his entire reign he spent fighting on the side of Shah Shuja and thereafter the ruling power in Delhi, and ultimately allied himself with Aurangzeb. Amar Singh played a promiment role in the Eastern theatre and in the wars of (Mughal) succession. He constructed the new capital at Mathila (nine miles south of Dumraon). Next his son Rudra Pratap Naiain Singh (1665 – 1699). He moved at his capital to Naya Bhojpur. Loyal to Mughal Government for seventeen years, thereafter revolted. Later made up, cooperating with local Governors, but again rebelled . Aurangzeb later ordered to sack Naya Bhojpur and to capture and execute him. This was accomplished after a great deal of fighting and Rudra Pratap Narain Singh was captured and executed in Patna . He had no male issue. He was succeeded by his nephew Mandhata Singh (1699- 1708). He shifted the capital to Buxar and later bought back to Mathila . Staunch ally of the Mughal government. Family intrigues which led to his brutal murder in 1708. Despite all the tensions, he did laudable work – Improved administration and constructed several buildings near Mathila. Succeeded by Raja Horil Shah (1708 – 1746). Division of family – one brother going to Jagdishpur and the other to Buxar, while the eldest ( Horil) remains in Dumraon (Mathila) and remained loyal to the Mughal government., who granted several favours to him. His capital was at Mathila. Later shifted to Dumraon. Family strife. Combination of Jagdishpur and Buxar families drove him temporarilyout of Mathila. With help of the Mughal government he regained his kingdom – also made up with his kinsmen of Jagdishpur and Buxar. He constructed extensive buildings in Dumraon (Horilnagar) as it was then called. Succeeded by his son Chhaterdhai Singh (1756- 1770). Faced difficulty in clearing revenue dues and ultimately revolted against the Mughal government . Later resisted the Bengal government under Alivardi Khan and Mir Kasim. The Ujjaini families of Shahbad were always a thorn in the side of the government. After the famous Battle of Buxar 1764 and the and supremacy of the British (East India Company) Raja Chhatterdhari Singh came under British protection as a Zamindar. He is considered to be a successful Chief of Dumraon. Succeeded by Raja Jai Prakash Singh (1805 – 1838). He was the eldest son of Dust Daman Singh(younger brother of Raja Bikramjit Singh). A great philanthropist also a builder. Biharriji temple at Raj Garh (Dumraon) was constructed by him(in about 1824). From his time the Rajas of Dumraon held the title of Maharaja Bahadur, given by the British.

Succeeded by grandson, Maharaja Bahadur Janki Prashad Singh, (1838 – 1834) a minor aged 13. His uncle Maheshwar Bux Singh (Later Maharaja) who was the most able and well respected in the family.
In 1843 after a premature death of Maharaja Janki Prashad Singh, while returning from Jagannath Puri where he had gone for pilgrimage , Maharaja Maheshwar Bux Singh was the natural choice for succession and he ruled wisely and well from 1843 to 1881, leaving his son Maharaja Radha Prashad Singh to succeed him later knighted by the Queen Emperor.

Maharaja Bahadur Sir Radha Prashad Singh (1881- 1884) was ease – living and had no mind of his own , depending on his own Dewan, Jai Prakash Lal. The latter no doubt raised the prestige of his master and of Dumraon Raj by opening several public institutions in and around Dumraon e.g. Raj School, Model Agriculture and Cattle Farm, making donation to the public causes in Bihar and Calcutta , acquiring the Burmah (Burma) Property for cane and later founding of Zirawadi Sugar Mill. Maharaja Bahadur Sir Radha Prashad Singh Died in 1894 without any son. His Mharani Beni Kueri succeeded (1894 – 1907), a very able lady who conducted the affairs of the Raj (without any Dewan) much more efficiently than her late husband.

MAHARAJA BAHADUR SIR KESHAV PRASHAD SINGH KT. CBE 1879 - 1933

Married first in Jamrorh, no issues

Married again after death of his first wife to Rashbansi Devi of Baraon, two sons and five daughters.

Education- Upto class 7 at Raj High School,Dumraon

Maharaja Bahadur Sir Keshav Prashad Singh was born on the 28th September 1879, as a cadet of the Dumraon Raj Family. On the death of the late Maharani Beni Prashad Kuari in 1907, he became entitled to succeed the Raj. He was a great fighter and conscious of his rights. The Litigation between him and claimant who alleged to have been adopted, is a matter of history. He successfully conducted the litigation and obtained possession of the Raj in 1911 as a result of compromise effected by the government and the Court of Wards in the High Court. In 1914 the title of Maharaja Bahadur was conferred upon him and he was invested in December 1914, by Sir Charles Bayley, K.C.S.I the then lieutenant Governor of Bihar and Orissa. He was elected a member of the Council of State and sat as such from 1921 to 1925. In 1926 he was appointed a member of Executive Council of the Governor of Bihar and Orissa. Also served as Finance Member till 1929 . He was The Vise President of Executive Council and Leader of Legislative Council, Bihar and Orissa, from 1927 till 1929 when he resigned. The title of C.B.E. was conferred in him in 1920 and was knighted in January 1930.

His life was a life of anxiety, but he had indomitable courage. Amongst the cares of Litigation and management he found time to effect various improvements for his tenantry and in extending medical relief to them. He died on the 23rd of September 1933 at an early age of 54.

He introduced mechanized farming in the district of Shahbad by getting a fleet of tractors and other unheard of implements like Seed – Drill etc. At Parasbanna farm, he sunk tube wells. He encouraged Sugarcane cultivation for which he put factory at Bikramgunj in 1930. Sugarcane being a cash crop, it was a far sighted vision for improvement of agriculture. Alas, it did not work out as he had wished since the soil, climate and rainfall mainly in the Sone Command area(2/3rd of Shahbad district) was not suitable. The Factory was sold in 1942. Other modern techniques of farming as prevalent in U.K. and U.S.A. were introduced. The agricultural workshop at Belkharia(Dumraon) was brought on sound lines.

Love of Horticulture, led him to have one of the best fruit gardens in Bihar at his residence “BARA BAGH” with a wide varieties of fruits of all kind. KHATMA- BIL- KHAIR (A rare variety of Mango which is only found in “BARA BAGH” and is not found any where in the world) of KOATH which he snatched from the Belgrami Nawab family as a result of rent – suit litigation.

A man of imposing physique, though only 5”5” in height, with wide shoulders, a massive jaw and a thrusting nose, he kept regular with exercise, akhara jousts,oil- massage (with four hefty masseurs) everyday. Considering his school education ended in class 7 and that he had no formal education, all that people could say was that he was a remarkable and formidable personality in Bihar.

Among the major litigations, he had to face from the time he ascended to the gaddi was (i) the re opening of compromise by the “minor claimant” of the adoption case (which lasted beyond his lifetime and ended only in 1949,(ii) The Burmah (Burma) case with Haji Sinah S/o ex dewan Jaya Prakash Lal (Sinah) (iii) Its offshoot, the litigation with Maharaja of Rewa. These took most of the time and money of the Raj. The Latter two cases were satisfactory disposed off before 1930.

MAHARAJA BAHADUR RAM RAN VIJAY PRASHAD SINGH (1907 – 1949)

Born in November 1907 within a week of death of Maharani Beni Kueri.

Eldest child of Maharaja Bahadur Sir Keshav Prashad Singh. Five sisters and one brother, M.K. Vishwanath Prashad Singh born in 1923.

Education - Raj high School, Dumraon and Mayo College Ajmer (Rajasthan) excelled in studies as well as horseman ship. Squad Commander of college riding team 1924 – 1926, Capt Polo team 1925 and 26.

Married- 1925 to Kanak Kumari D/o Maharaj Nahar Singhji of Devgarh Baria (panch mahal), Gugrat , 2 sons and 2 daudhters –Yuvraj Kamal Singh 1926 Maharaj kumari Sangeeta Kumari, 1928, Maharaj kumar Ranvijay Singh (Kismat) 1932 and Maharaj kumari Ujjalla Kumari 1933.

Chairman District board Shahbad 1930 – 1932.

Ascended the gaddi on death of his father, September 1933. Inherited a depleted treasury and a huge debt owing to continuous litigation. Also inherited the “MINOR CASE” the claimant to the Raj on account of alleged adoption who was seeking to re-open the compromise made after the title was decided in 1911. Leave petition went up to Privy Council, where leave to re-open was obtained by the claimant lost both in 1st and 2nd appeal (1947) whereupon the matter was finally decided by Privy Council in 1949 in favour of Maharaja Bahadur Ram Ranvijay Prashad Singh. Thus in his short span of life (died at the age of 42) he was saddled with this long drawn major title litigation which lasted his whole life time.

Inspite of such enormous disadvantages, being a brilliant all round person, statesman and administrator, he argumented and multiplied the finances of the Raj on sound footings, raising efficiently in administration of Zamindari management to the standard of the British government.

Political and Public Life

In the first State Assembly Election 1935 – 36 stood as an Independent Candidate but lost. Was elected to the Central Legislative Assembly for a short period but remained for the full term up to 1942 – 43.

Vise President of all Kshatriya Mahasabha from 1938 – 39 till 1945.

Took part in the Bihar Land Owners Association along with the president, Maharajadhiraj of Darbhanga Sir Kameshwar Prashad Singh. Was patron and founder member of Bihar Veterinary College Patna.

Land marks and contribution

  • 1936 – 39 Improved Dumraon Raj Hospital Construction of 10 bedded Maternity Hospital with fully equipped Labour Room.
  • 1937 – 38 Marble Statue of Late Maharaja Bahadur Sir Keshv Prashad Singh and its installation in Raj Garh in front garden of Bihaiiji Temple.
  • 1940 – 1941 Setting up of Bihar lantern Factory on a small scale, the third industry of its kind in India. Which flourished till 1970 and closed down in 1987.
  • 1948 Donation of 20 acres of land for H. D. Jain College, Arrah .
  • 1949 Title appeal hearing at the Privy Council in London attended by the Maharaja Bahadur himself,our solicitor, Hy. Was Pollock and sons who was a partner of Gandhiji in South Africa.
  • 1949 November 13th - Death of Maharaja Bahadur in Shilong.

Enterprise, Business and Development (Dumraon Raj Zamindari)

  • The Sugar mill at Bikramgunj, which had been installed in 1930 by his father Maharaja Bahadur Sir Keshav Prashad Singh, owing to poor recovery of sugar, began giving losses. It was wiser to close it down which initiative was taken in 1942 and was later sold.
  • The Zamindari income of the Raj in Shahbad and Ballia (U.P.) was augmented and increased substantially by rehabilitating large uncultivated areas and attracting tenants thereon. Besides this, valuable properties were also acquired outside Bihar in places like Calcutta , Dehradun, Mussoorie, Shilong and many other places. Which were all wise investments.
  • Agricultural Farms were put on sound and efficient lines. New Tube Wells were sunk, Latest models of Tractors were brought. Rice threshing machines were bought from America.
  • Several industries were conceived by him to the small Lantern Factory unit and project reports prepared and studied. But could not be implemented in his life time. Out of these, his son (Maharaja Bhahdur Kamal Singh) was to put up the Dumraon Cold Storage and Ice Factory in 1952 and the textile mill in 1968
  • Being interested in Veterinary services and improvement of Live – stock, He encouraged the government of Bihar with its project of Haryana Cattle breeding made available in 1947 – 48 over 500 acres of land at Dumraon at nominal price. The farm was established after his death in November 1949.

CONCLUDING NOTE

He was a man of outstanding ability and dominating personality whom most people feared to face or question. Unlike his father who was fair complexion and also unlike any of his sisters or brothers, he was Dark with curly hair both inherited from his mother. In height 5’6’ with long arms massive for- arms and a formidable chest. Apart from horse riding, pig sticking and polo, his next love was hunting (Shikaar), accounting for nearly 40 tigers and other big game not only in the forest of Sasaram and Rohtas but all over India and Nepal. He was one of the finest rifle and gun shot in the Country, winning acclaim in all shooting meets and events.
Died at an early age of 42 after being Maharaja for 16 years. Left behind his widow Maharani Kanak Kumari , four children (two married and two unmarried), a sound administration and full treasury albeit the concluding stages of Zamindari’s in India.

MAHARAJA BAHADUR KAMAL SINGH 1949- PRESENT

Born 29th September 1926 (Raj Garh Dumraon)

Eldest son of Maharaja Bahadur Ram Ran Vijay Prashad Singh
Two sisters and one brother.

Education- Col. Brown School Dehradun, D.A.V College Dehradun, Patna Law College

Married to Usha Rajya Laxmi d/o Raja Bahadur Vishwanath Pratap Singh of Tiloi

Children- Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh, Maharajkumari Mridhula Kumari and Maharajkumar Manvijai Singh

Carrier and events up to 1949 death of Maharaja Ram Ran Vijay Singh

1947- called to I.M.A. Dehradun for military Cadet Course ,could not join due to serious Typhoid in Jaipur.
1948- made Managing Director of Dumraon Industries (Pvt)ltd.
1948 October – made General Officer Dumraon Raj.
1949 November 13 – death of Maharaja Bahadur Ram Ran Vijay Singh in Shilong. Body was flown in our Navion aircraft to Banaras.

Succession and events thereafter

Ascended the Gaddi in November 1949
1950-51- Bihar government prepares for abolition of Zamindaris. The bill was finally enacted by the end of 1951. Established the Dumraon Cold Storage.
1952 - Elected to the parliament from buxar as an independent candidate. In June 1952 Dumraon Raj was formally handed over to D.M. (Shahbad).
1954 – Established Maharaja Bahadur Ram Ran Vijay Prashad Singh College (now Maharaja College) at Arrah and donated land for educational institutions in Shahbad and Ballia.
April Maharani Usha Rani Girls School Founded at Raj Garh Dumraon by Maharani Saheba, the first Girls School in the Area. In 1957 he was Elected to the Parliament for the Second term as independent member. In 1958-61- Donated 15acers land to Methodist Church for T.B. Hospital PratapSagar. Formation of Dumraon Charitable Trust for promotion of education and allied charity by Endowment of Raj Garh (Palace) Dumraon,besides other properties outside Dumraon in 1960.
1961- Zamindari issues were still dragging endlessly and unrevolted. However the four earlier trusts (all Charitable)of the Raj created by the late Maharaja in1948 were reorganized by the Government in 1956 and annuity on ad interim basis was received these Trusts were-

  • Dumraon Raj Temple Endowment
  • Dumraon Raj Hospital Trust
  • Dumraon Raj Veterinary Hospital Trust
  • Dumraon Raj Bikramgunj Hospital Trust

The compensation Rolls had to be given three times for Dumraon Raj Zamindari to comply with various amendments and statement of land in “Khas” possession had also to be submitted three times. Yet the compensation for Dumraon Raj was not received. On the other hand without any effort on the part of the Raj, compensation for the U.P. portion was received in full in 1956.
In 1962 the Maharaja lost the elections for the third term which ended his political carrier. In the same year in the month of July Punjab mail train collided with a goods train at Dumraon Railway Station at 10 p.m. leaving 60 dead and 100 injured. The service was rendered by Maharaja Bahadur and all senior officers and staff of Dumraon Raj and was appreciated by both passengers and Railways authorities.

1968- Dumraon Textile is Started.
1975 – 76 Became the Vise President of Bihar Chamber of Commerce.
1977- Became the President of Bihar Chamber of Commerce.

Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh married to Uma Devi of Champrajpur in 1972.
Maharaj Kumar Sumair Vijay Singh is born on the 8th of April 1974.Educated at Raj Kumar College Rajkot.
1983- Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh got divorced from his wife Uma Devi.

In the year 1985 Maharani Saheba dies in AIIMS, Delhi on 1st of April.

1986 11th March – Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh got married (second time) to Maharaj Kumari Kanika Devi daughter of Maharaja Manikya Kishore Kirit Deb Burman of Tripura.
24th November 1986 - Maharaj Kumar Manvijai Singh is married to Arunima Devi d/o Col.D.S. Jamwal(retd) of Akhnoor.

The same year the Lantern Factory closes down due to losses

11th February 1988 - Raj Kumari Aakriti Kumari is born d/o Maharaj Kumar Manvijai Singh and Arunima Devi. Educated at Mayo College Girls School and presently studying in Miranda House (Delhi University).

10th January 1990 – Maharaj Kumar Shivang Vijay Singh is born. S/o Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh and Yuvrani Kanika Devi. Educated at Sela Qui world School (Dehradun),presently studying in Indian Institute of Hotel Management Aurangabad.

12th September 1990 – Raj Kumari Rohini Kumari d/o Maharaj Kumar Manvijai Singh. Educated at Mayo College Girls School and presently studying in Perl Institute of Fashion Designing (New Delhi).

31st August 1991 – Maharaj Kumar Samridh Vijay Singh is Born s/o Yuvraj Chandra Vijay Singh and Yuvrani Kanika Devi. Currently being educated at Sela Qui World School (Dehradun).

2000 – Dumraon Textile LTD shuts down due to heavy losses.

13th December 2001 – Maharaj Kumar Sumair Vijay Singh is married to Rajkumari Pritika Devi of Jamnia.

13th September 2004 –Raj Kumari Sidhangana Kumrai is born d/o Maharaj Kumar Sumair Vijay Singh and Maharaj Kumari Pririka Devi.

13th July 2009 – Raj Kumar Durv Vijay Singh is born s/o Maharaj Kumar Sumair Vijay Singh and Maharaj Kumari Pririka Devi.