In 1702 after the death of Bhajja Singh, Churaman emerged as a leader and shortly gathered 500 horse riders and thousands of soldiers. Nand Ram, the Zamindar of Hathras, also joined hands with him along with 100 horse riders. Churaman employed the famous brigand of Mendoo and Mursan in his army. Churaman constructed a fort at place known as 'Thoon', lying at about 150 km in west of Agra. Within a short span there were 80 villages under the Thoon state and possessed an army of 14 - 15 thousands.
The maintenance of such huge army required money and Churaman decided to loot the rich states of Kota and Bundi. He acquired Sinsini from the Mughal - Rajput combine in 1704 after having bordered the fort at which point seeing his fate sealed, the Durgpal took a small amount and emptied the fort immediately. Churaman was extremely calculative and managed to make the enemy flee without having to go in for any bloodshed and battle. In 1705 there was a war with Mughal subadar Mukhtar khan of Agra and with Rajabahadur in 1707 at Sinsini, very soon the second war at Sinsini 1000 Jats lost their lives but they got the victory.
Churaman apparently chose to be passive on the Sinsini affair and applied self-control on his grasping habits, though local malefactors sometimes involved in plundering on the roads. Until 1713, he devoted himself to the colonial service and did not permit any obstructions on the road. Early in 1708, Churaman helped the local naib faujdar, Rahim-ul-la Khan while suppressing the local Afghan rebels. He attacked the village of Thiravali and accompanied the Khan in a journey against the Baloch rebels of Shergarh. Churaman and his associates won the battle and the opposition promised to make over a property worth two thousands to the Jat. This further enhanced his image as a powerful chief.
Jai Singh asked Churaman to detach himself form the Sayyid and thereby co-operate with him against the Mughals, who were out to destroy the Hindus. In return, the Raja promised him to drive out his opponent, Jaitra Singh, from the paragana of Kaithwada. Churaman deserted the Sayyid and eventually wrested that place form Jaitra Singh. This episode incidentally, depicts Churaman at his real self - clever and decisive. From Sayyid Hussain Khan’s camp, he moved towards Kama, where Raza Bahadur, the local faujdar was preparing to fight the local Rajput zamindar, Ajit Singh. His disorderly ways caused worry to both the local faujdar as well as to the ambitious Churaman, whose chief stronghold, Thoon, lay close to Kama.
Both these forces united and with a big force 18,000 attacked Aiit Singh who confronted the enemy with about 10,000 horses and gunners. A bitter fight resulted near Kama in which the Rajput weaponry played a major role in repulsing the Jats and the Mughals. The triumphant rebels pursued their enemies up to Khoh and after three days they rallied again and then charged the Rajputs. The Mugla-Jat combination appeared to gain advantage. But the Rajputs, fighting bravely re-emerged victorious. Churaman and his men were surrounded by the Rajputs towards the end and sallied out against the besiegers. Churaman however received wounds from a sword cut delivered by a Rajput soldier, while he was on his way to Thoon
About two months later, Churaman joined Mir Khan, the faujdar of Narnaul. Jai Singh Naruka of Jawali, offered them a rigid resistance but had to move back and take cover in flight. It is said that Churaman's brother Ati Ram was a friend of the Naruka, he brought about a settlement between Churaman and the Naruka, and hence, further operations were given up.
In the battle of Lahore, Bahadur Shah I and Churaman joined Azim-ush-Shah. However largely due to his arrogance and learnings, he was presented a khilat and re-instated in his mansab. This clemency reflected the general policy of Jahandar Shah's government. The Emperor sent order to Churaman and several Rajput Rajas to join prince Azu-ud-Din, who had been send to Agra to watch the movements of Farrukh Siyar. But all of them postponed and Azi-ud-Din was consequently defeated at Khajuha. Churaman came with a big force and fought on the side of the Emperor at the battle of Agra. Churaman went back to Thoon carrying treasures, many elephants and camels together with their baggage. The Jats so meticulously looted the place that Farrukh Siyar could not find anything other than a filthy screen and a small wooden platform to sit on, while receiving the homage of his officials. The battle of Jajau plays a vital role in the career of Churaman. After Aurangzeb died in 1707, Churaman planned to expand his state. In the battle of Jajau in 1707, he looted both armies of Azam as well as Muazzam. Churaman was wise and thus decided to be honest to the New Mughal ruler with a outlook to protect huge wealth of booty. He appeared before Bahadur Shah on 15 September 1707 and presented him with gifts.
In January 1709 Churaman signed an agreement with Jai Singh II, and cleared the way of victory for the Rajputs in wars of Sambhar and Kaman and Bahadur Shah’s goal to negotiate with them. Because of the agreement Churaman intensified his campaign to eliminate Rajput Zamindars and capturing back the Jat areas occupied by Kachwahas. He revived back Sogar, Khohari, Kaman, Kot, Khunthare, Bhusawar, Ithera, Jadila and Chaugdara. In 1710 Churaman came together with Bahadur Shah in his Sikh campaign. He participated in Sadhaura and Lohagarh wars and went up to Lahore with Bahadur Shah. However, Churaman was excused unconditionally and returned his old Mansab.
Churaman was a good soldier, a fine diplomat and his successful defence of Thoon against Raja Jai Singh stands out as his masterpiece. Churaman was a skilful military organizer and introduced the training, equipment and expansion of the Jat army into a calculable force. He also improved upon the system of Jat defence by building strong mud-forts like Thoon with arms and ammunitions. Badan Singh, the nephew of Churaman was his associate in every campaign. It was due to Badan Singh that once Churaman lost his temper, and from chagrin swallowed up a dose of deadly poison, which he always carried with him and went to an orchard in that village lay down and died in sleep. After a long time, men were sent to search for him and they found his dead body.
(Last Updated on : 02-02-2010)
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