(Last Updated on : 18/02/2014)
The princely state of Bharatpur
has been ruled by great rulers like Suraj Mal and Jawahar Singh. The rulers of Bharatpur were primarily the Jats. They caused much tumult in the first half of the 18th century, with their rule spreading over vast tracts of land and their fortune rising to great heights in a short time. The Jats added a feather to their caps by bringing the downfall of the proud and dreaded colossus of Hindustan-the Grand Mughals. The passion for independence and liberty drove ordinary peasants to do extraordinary things. It was from peasantry that the military cult of Jats emerged and gradually the Jat Kingdom was set up with its capital at Bharatpur by the industrious Jat rebels, which reached its zenith under Suraj Mal
and Jawahar Singh.
With the decline of the Mughal Empire
in the early 17th century, the Jats established a state in the Mewat region, south of Delhi, with its capital at Deeg
. Leaders like Gokula, Raja Ram, Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together and moulded them into a force to be reckoned with. Maharaja Suraj Mal , son of Badan Singh, is referred to as the greatest ruler who conquered the site of Bharatpur from Khem Karan of Sogharia clan. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around it. It was Suraj Mal 's chief objective to fortify Bharatpur so well as to make it absolutely impregnable and a worthy capital of his kingdom.
After Suraj Mal it was Maharaja Jawahar Singh (1764-68) who ascended the throne. In celebration of his victories over the Mughals he had raised the Govardhan gate and Delhi gate. He was a gallant war veteran. He had no sons and hence was succeeded by his brother Ratan Singh. He was a connoisseur of architecture. His infant son Kehri Singh succeeded him who died at a young age. In the absence of any capable and powerful ruler, the inevitable result was a civil war and maladministration within the state. Conflict arose between Maharaja Nawal Singh and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. In the fratricidal war fought between Nawal Singh and Ranjit Singh in April 1 770, Gosain Balanand, the brave leader of the impetuous Naga sannyasis, courageously offered a fierce battle on the side of Nawal Singh and lost much of his Naga force. Nawal Singh's health was indifferent, and he finally died, thereby, clearing the way for Ranjit Singh to ascend the throne of Bharatpur.
These internal dissensions caused the economic condition of the state to deteriorate. Another threat to the Bharatpur kingdom were the Mughals. In a combat with the Mughals, Ranjit Singh initially lost and was sent to exile but revived he back triumphantly, giving the Mughals a crushing defeat. He was succeeded by his eldest son Randhir Singh. This period witnessed hostilities and estrangement as well as friendship between the Bharatpur house and the British. Maharaja Randhir Singh tried to improve the condition of the state administration by abolishing the giant army. He levied the taxes and ruled for 18 long years in peace and harmony. He had no sons and was succeeded by his brother Maharaja Baldeo Singh. After his succession he was confronted with some family disputes and sought help from the British East India Company. He ruled over for a very short span of time. Balwant Singh as an infant became the ruler after his father Baldeo Singh but was imprisoned by his cousin Durjan Salbut was later freed by the British army. He was religiously tolerant ruler and constructed both temples and mosques. His only son Jashwant Singh succeeded him who was a popular ruler among his subjects and was known for his kindness and generosity.
Maharaja Ram Singh ascended the throne after Jashwant Singh and he was succeeded by Maharani Girraj Kaur. However wit the coming of the British the scenario changed. Finally after independence in 1947, Bharatpur acceded to the dominion of India.