The Princely State of Ajaigarh included around three hundred and forty four villages and one town in the year 1941. The region was incorporated as a part of the Bundelkhand Agency, which was a sub division of the Central India Agency. The capital of the princely state was situated in Ajaigarh during the British dominion.
History of Princely State of Ajaigarh
Ajaigarh was founded in the year 1765 by a Bundela Rajput Guman Singh, who was the nephew of Raja Pahar Singh of Jaitpur. The Bundela Rajputs were the ruling family of the Princely State of Ajaigarh. After the death of Jagat Raj, the son of Chhatarsal, Pahar Singh, and the second son of Jagat Raj got engaged in a constant struggle with Guman Singh and Khuman Singh, the sons of Kiryat Singh, his elder deceased brother and his nephews. Later after a settlement, Guman Singh was granted the district of Banda and the fort of Ajaigarh. In the year 1792, the nephew of Guman Singh and successor to the royal throne of Banda, Bakht Singh, was deposed by Ali Bahadur. He was compelled to survive on an insufficient pension from his subjugator.
After the year 1803, the British East India Company gained supremacy in the region of Bundelkhand. The British authorities granted a pension to Bakht Singh, followed by some territory in 1807 and by more lands including the Ajaigarh fort in the year 1809, which was captured by the British forces from Lachman Dawa, one of the primary military leaders in Central India. The territory was appointed as a princely state in 1809 under the administrative control of the Bundelkhand Agency of the Central India Agency. In the year 1812, a sanad was issued which confirmed the holdings of the native state of Ajaigarh. After the death of the fourth ruler of Ajaigarh state, Bijai Singh, the princely state was to have escheated, but as the issue was under consideration, the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 commenced in the nation. The mother of the late native ruler loyally supported the British administration and later in acknowledgment of her service, the succession of Ranjor Singh was allowed in the 1859 by an illegitimate brother of Bijai Singh.
The native ruler of the princely state of Ajaigarh held the title of Sawai Maharaja, after the year 1877. The ruler resided in the town of Naugaon, also known as Nowgong, located at the foot of the hill of the fortress of Ajaigarh. The Ajaigarh fort was located atop a steep hill with a height of above 800 ft. It contained the remains of various temples that were adorned with ornately carved sculptures. The Princely State of Ajaigarh was accorded as one of the salute states of India with a gun salute of 11 guns. The Sawai Maharaja exercised the powers of a ruling prince. In the year 1862, as a reward for the help provided by the native ruler during the great revolt of 1857, the British Government of India abolished the obligation of Ajaigarh to pay annual relief, known as nazarana to its overlord on each succession. The last ruler of the state in the year 1947 was the seventh Sawai Maharaja since the restoration of Bakht Singh.
Accession of Princely State of Ajaigarh
In the year 1947, the last ruler Sawai Maharaja Punya Pratap Singh, acceded his state to the newly formed Union of India, also known as Dominion of India on 1st January 1950. The former ruler of the region was granted a privy purse of a huge sum and the courtesy use of his styles and titles. But all these were revoked in the year 1971 by the government of India under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, during the period when all such privileges were revoked from all former Indian princes. Later the erstwhile princely state of Ajaigarh was incorporated as a part of the new state of Vindhya Pradesh. Most of the region, even Ajaigarh town, was included in the district of Panna, and a smaller portion became a part of the district of Chhatarpur. On 1st November 1956, the state of Vindhya Pradesh was merged with the modern India state of Madhya Pradesh.
Rulers of Princely State of Ajaigarh
The chronology of the native rulers of the princely state of Ajaigarh are mentioned below-
* Raja Jagat Raja (1731- 1758)
* Raja Pahar Singh (1758- 1765)
* Raja Guman Singh (1765- 1792)
* Raja Bakht Singh (1792- 1793)
* Raja Ali Bahadur (1793- 1802)
* Raja Shamsher Bahadur (1802- 1804)
* Raja Lakshman Dada (1804- 1807)
* Raja Bakht Singh (1807- 1837)
* Raja Madho Singh (1837- 1849)
* Raja Mahipat Singh (1849- 1853)
* Raja Bijai Singh (1853- 1855)
* Interregnum (1855- 1859)
* Raja Ranjor Singh (1859- 1877)
* Rajmata of Ajaigarh- acted as Regent 1858- 1868
* Sawai Maharaja Ranjor Singh (1877- 1919)
* Sawai Maharaja Bhopal Singh (1919- 1942)
* Sawai Maharaja Punya Pratap Singh (1942- 1947)
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