Rao Madho Singh at the age of fourteen was popular for his ability as a fighter. It was one of the reasons why a separate kingdom was carved out for him. He fought for the ageing Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, against his usurper son, Aurangzeb. The history of Kota is dotted with tales of courage and sacrifice. Five of Rao Madho Singh's six sons died on the battlefield. While Bundi was hidden away from the invasions amidst the hills Kota was not that fortunate. It was threatened by Mughal rulers, the Maharajas of Jaipur and Mewar, the Maratha warlords, and sometimes their own cousins in Bundi. It was through diplomacy that the rulers of Kota would often safeguard their kingdom. One such move was an alliance with the Marathas through a treaty in the 18th century to keep the Kachhawas rulers of Jaipur away from Kota.
One of the most interesting characters of modern Rajput history is Zalim Singh, a statesman and diplomat. He was often known as the "Talleyrand of North India" and the "Machiavelli of Rajwarra." Beginning as a general of the Kota armies he went onto become the Regent of the kingdom when the ruler died. He left an infant son on the throne. At this time Zalim Singh reorganized the kingdom and he was the first one who signed a treaty with the British. By doing this he ensured that Kota would be divided into his sons equally. This treaty was signed in the year 1817. Under the guidance of Zalim Singh Kota prospered. Due to this treaty a new state of Jhalawar was formed in 1838. his diplomatic decisions and smart moves gave Kota recognition amongst the Rajputana states.
In the Indian history too Kota was of great importance as it was one of those kingdom's that took part in the Revolt of 1857.