By Prabhakar Dhari Sinha
The Atharva Bhumihar Brahmins of Kaundiniya gotra ( pronounced Kaundiliya commonly) are descendents of Nayay Bhatt. Nayay Bhatt was not only an ascetic person but a great scholar of Vedas, particularly of Atharva Veda so his descendants come to be known as Atharva Bhumihar Brahmins.
The surname Bhatt, as per history originates from “Sanskrit” meaning scholar. They were said to be a clan of Brahman descendants of intellectual Vedic and Divine Saint. There are no definite details of their place of origin, somewhere in history it is mentioned that they were from the region between Narmada and Godavari. The mentioned region is a vast area and is impossible to locate the exact location. However, the connection that the region of their origin is near River Bhima, Maharastra cannot be ruled out. This may be the reason that when Bhatt’s fled from their Ashram in Bihar, they settled down at Bhimanagar on the banks of River Bhima in 12th century. In present era, the people with surname Bhatt are found in Karanatka, Gujarat and Kashmir. The Bhatt’s of Gujarat are not Brahmins and in Kashmir they are Muslims. Where as Bhatt’s of Karanatka are Brahmins.
The Bhatt’s have a close relation with Bihar and had an Ashram on the east bank of the River Sone, possibly near its confluence with the Ganges at Maner or further up river near Arwal. This has been stated by Bana Bhatt (7 Century AD) in the introduction to his famous work “Kadambari”. The Ashram may have existed near Mera village near River Sone. Mera is near Paliganj in Patna district and about 13 kms to Arwal. A scion of the same Ashram was Aryabhata, the great author of several theories on Mathematics and Astronamy. He came to Kusumpura (identified by both Hindu and Budhist as Patliputra, modern day Patna) for advanced studies. On those days Nalanda University was the center of learning in whole India, so Aryabhata continued his work from nearby places. He put up astronomical observatory at Taregana near Patna. He was the first mathematician to use zero in place value system and his work on approximation of pi is accurate to five significant figures. On the occasion of Aryabhata’s birthday a fair (mela) used to be held at Kha-Gaul near Danapur. The place got its name symbolizing his work. All the mentioned places are in approach ability to each other.
Bhatt’s of this Ashram closely worked in contact with the scholars of Nalanda University. When it was burned down during 12th century Afghan invasions, its inmates along with those of the Bhatt’s Ashram fled to Deccan region where there was no effect, with the manuscripts saved by them from invasion. The Bhatt’s settled down at Bhimanagar. In those days it was part of Bijapur. Presently the Ujjaini dam on River Bhima, generates hydro electric power is nearby. Bhimanagar is adjacent to The NH 9 Pune – Solapur highway. The River Bhima is one of the main rivers of Maharastra and is longer than River Krishna. The source of the river is Sahaydri Hills on Western Ghats. The famous Jyotirlinga temple of Bhimashankar is just a few kilometers from the source of River Bhima. The river falls over terraces of rock from a height of 300 ft above sea level and flows south-east for a long journey of over 850 kms through Maharastra before merging into River Krishna along the border of Karanatka and Telegana about 24 kms north of Raichur. The banks of Bhima are generally low and after meeting Indrayani, one of the tributaries, are entirely alluvial. The river in rainy season floods the area and the muddy deposits left after rain water recedes, are fertile and yield crops with minimal labour. The significance of these details is to understand that in those days people choose to live near good source of water to enable them to survive and to ensure that their clan prospers.
It is a fact that the origin of Chitpavan Brahmans as per Sahyadri khand was in Sahyadri hill area. One of the Gotra of Chitpavans is Kaundiniya. Ther are very few caste having Kaundiniya gotra. Is it a mere coincidence that the origin of Bhatt’s and Chitpavans are almost at the same place with similar gotra? The similarity does not end there but like Chitpavans our ancestors too have sharp features with prominent forehead, sharp nose, fair complexion etc. So there may have some connection between them but now it is next to impossible to establish the relationship.
More than two centuries later, the condition in North India had improved when our ancestor Nayay Bhatt was born. Subsequently, he along with his wife and other members of the family decided to visit Gaya and other pilgrimage centers from Bhimanagar to offer prayers for peaceful rest of the soul of their ancestors. In those days the journey was long, difficult, tedious and tiring with no path or trail to follow. People had to depend on Sun, Moon and Stars to find their way. They had to carry enough food materials and provisions to last the journey. The mode of transport were horses, carts and by foot. They had to be equipped with armaments to protect themselves not only from robbers but also from wild animals.
Nayay Bhatt was well aware of the earlier Ashram of Bhatt’s in the area, so when it became impossible for him to return back to Bhimanagar due to advanced stage of his wife’s pregnancy he decided to settle down in Bihar. He claimed back not only the area of Ashram but also surrounding area to start a new life here. The ruler of the area was a Cheru. The ruler was impressed by the scholarly knowledge of Nayay Bhatt and tried to reward him with valuables. He refused to accept any offerings, so the ruler offered him folded betel leaves. Nayay Bhatt accepted the same as courtesy. He returned with it to his house where he failed to concentrate in his spiritual worship, thereafter, he opened the betel leaves and found that the ruler had put some gold nuggets in it as a reward. He was not happy with the deception and predicted that the ruler would lose the territory one day and his descendants will rule in his place. His prediction came true and after the ruler was expelled, his descendants occupied the territory. These facts are backed by what Sir Francis Buchanan wrote in his Journal of 1811-12, page 163, dated 18th Feb. He stated “Arwal- 8 miles to Mera and halted on the ruins of a Cheruwan’s house. The Atharba Brahmans who are the owners of the country say that the Kol and Cheru are the same, that, none now remain but that they are to be found in the Southern hills. They are expelled by Mullick Beo after which the Atharba Brahmans came and occupied the country.”
There was no exact date of arrival of Nayay Bhatt in Bihar, but his great grandson Rajendra Bhatt helped Sher Shah Suri in driving out Emperor Humayun from Throne of Delhi in 1540, so if an average life expectancy of 50-60 years is taken, he would have been came here in 1450 AD or so. There is no information about the year of his death. He survived by his son Gajendra Bhatt, a great scholar and upright person and was married in distinguished family of Sheur. Sheur was part of erstwhile Dhanwar Estate in Hazaribagh district.
The family history is full of eminent personalities of different era. One of them was Rajendra Bhatt great grandson of Nayay Bhatt and grandson of Gajendra Bhatt. Rajendra Bhatt was a brave man with acumen to lead people. He was excellent warrior and created a niche in the society with his fighting ability. He collected persons and trained them to form an army full of spear-men, sword fighters and archers. Sher Shah Suri Afghan chieftain based at Sasaram was very impressed with his valour, capability and asked him to join in his campaign to oust Mughal Samrat Humayun. He helped him in the war fought at Buxar in which Humayun lost and retreated to Delhi. Sher Shah pursued and drove him out from the throne and became Samrat of India. Sher Shah granted many “sanad” and “jagir” of the area to Rajendra Bhatt (which when translated means rent free grant) for his support and contribution in establishing him as Emperor. After death of Sher Shah in 1545, the grant continued, even after Humayun reclaimed his throne and thereafter also during successive Mughal rulers. This is the first “sanad” our ancestor got and as per Hindu rule, only eldest son become heir of the property and this was known as “Primogeniture”. Others got cash support or some villages for their livelihood as suggested in “Mitakshara”. He had three sons namely Ram Chander Bhatt, Krishan Chander Bhatt and Gopi Chander Bhatt. Ram Chander and Gopi Chander got Andhari and Balia village respectively for livelihood and Krishan Chander became heir and stayed with his father in Ankuri village.
KAPUR CHAND RAI
His grand son, Kapur Chand Bhatt, son of Krishan Chander Bhatt maintained close relation with Mughal Emperors and it helped him to expand his estate. He had five sons and all of them got equal share in the property. They changed their surname to ‘Rai’. Going through history of Seventeenth century many royals opted for ‘Rai’ surname.It also indicates that after a few century after coming to Bihar, they fully adopted the local culture and tradition. Ram Charan Rai urf Ram Chander Rai was in the 9th generation. He was an intelligent person and due to his acumen increased the family fortune by a good amount. He had 3 sons Jagbadan Rai, Kanak Singh Rai and Rai Singh Rai from his first wife. After death of his first wife he married again and blessed with son Jadoo Rai. Jagbadan Rai got Akhtiyarpur village where as Rai Singh Rai and Jadoo Rai got share in Mera village. Kanak Singh was heir of family property. The sons of the family other than heir of family property settled down in different villages given to them as per ‘Mitasahra’ principle. Some of the important villages which the descendants got as per the same principle were Andhari on the western bank of River Sone, now in Bhojpur distt., Akbarpur, Mahabalipur, Bherariya, Parsurampur, Ankuri, Akhtiyarpur, Mera, Sehra, Sihi etc.
Jagbadan Rai at Akhtiyarpur had two grand son Sheo Nandan Rai and Jai Nandan Rai. Sheo Nandan Rai’s son was Chacka Singh who shifted to Tera village and made good fortune there. His descendants are still residing there. Jai Nandan Rai was blessed with 5 sons. The youngest one was Puran Singh and one of his grand son was Bhuwan Singh. He had two sons, Umaro Singh and Pahalwan Singh. Pahalwan Singh accompanied Rani Jaswant Singh after death of Raja Jaswant Singh and used to manage her estate of Masaurah and Arwal. He had only two daughters where as his brother Umrao Singh had 3 sons, Rambakash Singh, Shivbakash Singh and Shankardutt Singh. Shankardutt Singh was related to Maharaja Mitrajit Singh of Tekari as their wife were sisters. He had two sons Beni Prasad Singh and Thakur Prasad Singh. He died at a young age of 25 years. Rambakash Singh on advise of Mitrajit Singh got about 200 Bigha of jungle cleared at Durra and also purchased small Zamindari of Kharashi. He became a prominent Zamindar of the area. Beni Prasad Singh had two sons Bhawani Prasad Singh and Sambhu Prasad Singh and their great grand sons were Chandrasekhar Prasad Singh (B.P Singh side), Parmeshwari Prasad Singh, Justice Shyam Nandan Pd. Singh and Ram Nandan Pd. Singh. Parmeshwari Pd. Singh was married to eldest daughter of Raja Amawan. His son is Justice Shashank Shekhar Singh.
CHOUDHARI AJAB SINGH
Kanak Singh Rai dropped Rai from his surname and was known as Kanak Singh. He had 5 sons, who not only brought further glory to family but also got their name in the various Gazetteers and Journals published during British rule and in gazetteer published by Bihar government. His eldest Son was Than Singh who got Karanpura village as his share. He got the title of Chaudhari for his work by Nawab Of Bihar. Ajab Singh was second son and inherited family property. Third and fourth son were Keshari Singh and Mohkam Singh and they got Sihi and Kapura village as their share. The youngest son was Kanchan who got the title of Raja from Mughal Emperor. Choudhari title was bestowed on Ajab Singh in the year Julashi 50 or Fasali 1114 which means 1707 AD by the Governer of Bihar Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan at the time of Mughal Emperor Aurranzeb. Choudhari Ajab Singh was an able leader and an efficient administrator and due to his impartial principals people were happy during his period of rule. He was blessed with 4 sons, Lal Sahi, Dular Sahi, Anand Sahi and Gulal Chand. In the Patna district Gazetteer of 1970 by N. Kumar it was stated that the most ancient Bhumihar families of district, descended from Choudahri Ajab Singh.
Chaudhari was the title granted mainly to leading Zamindar of the locality by Mughal rulers. He was mainly concerned with the collection of revenue. They distributed and stood surety for the repayment of the taqvi ( small peasents who take loan for seed & crop) loans. He was a counter check on ganungo ( revenue collection man of a paragana) and also stood surety for the lessor Zamindars in case of default in revenue payment. From Dastur-ul-Amal Alamgiri it appears that the allowance to the Choudhari was not very substantial, but they are allowed to held extensive revenue free (inam) lands. Also, this was an important position in the hierarchy of Mughal rule.
Kanchan the youngest son of Kanak Singh was a courageous, energetic, brave and intelligent man. He purchased the 4 annas zamindari of Arwal paragana from Sheikhsaadi and his relatives and whole zamindari of Masurah paragana. When Chodhari Dal Singh and Tej Singh fled to Bhojpur after war and were killed along with Kunwar Sudhist Narayan, Kanchan claimed the whole zamindari of Arwal paragana. He thus became owner of both paragana and got the title of “Raja” from Mughal Samarat. This royal period continued till death of Rani of Jaswant in1830 AD.
Raja kanchan was a closed confidant of Syed Hussain Ali Khan. When Hussain Ali Khan became Naib Subedar of Bihar province on 1st April 1708, he appointed Raja Kanchan as his ‘Dewan’. Naib Subedar is a Persian word literally meaning Deputy Governor and report to Subedar of the Subha. On those days Bengal was a Subha and Subedar means Governor. Generally during Mughal rulers the Subedar were Prince, son of the ruler. Dewan were the Chief Revenue Officer of province and they ensure that timely and genuine revenue was collected. In addition to this Raja Kanchan had to look after the criminal and civil related matters of the province. Prince Farukhsayer was Naib Subedar of Bengal and sought help of Hussain Ali Khan in toppling the Emperor Jahandar Shah from Delhi Throne. Hussain Ali Khan elder brother was Syed Hasan Ali Khan urf Abdullah Khan and was at that time Naib Subedar of Allahabad, both were known as Syed brothers in history of Mughal empire. They conspired against the emperor along with Farukhsayer and ensured his defeat in the war at Agra in 1713 and stalled Farukhsayer as Emperor. Abdullah Khan was made Wazir and Hussain Ali Khan as Mir Bakashi by Farukhsayer.
Raja Kanchan during absence of Hussain Ali Khan worked as Naib Subedar of Bihar. Later he was shifted to Delhi and was made Naib Wazir after Syed brothers became the King makers and carried the administration in the name of Emperor. They got Raja Kanchan appointed because Abdullah Khan was not much interested in administrative work.
Raja Kanchan was not only an able administrator but fearless with impeccable integrity. These facts are evident from old documents where it is informed that he got released many zamindars who were in jail due to non payment of revenue, on their assurance to pay the same. Another anecdote is that once one Begum returned the cloth to him saying that it is not fit for her. Raja Kanchan kept the cloth and sent her a message that if those cloths are not fit for her than whether she would wear cloths made of leaf of Bamboo tree. The Begum became very angry and complained to Samarat. Raja Kanchan narrated the whole affairs before the Emperor who forgave him due to his truthfulness and above mentioned virtues.
Raja Kanchan had only one daughter who was married to Bir Singh Of Tekari. He gave him three villages Jaguwara, Tekari and Simbhudiara to establish him. Raja Kanchan kept the three sons of Bir Singh, namely Tribhuwan Singh, Sunder Singh and Chatra Singh with him and got them educated and trained in warfare. Later Bir Singh purchased 100 villages under Sanaut Paragana from the monetary help of Raja Kanchan. On his advise Mughal samarat bestowed the title of ‘Raja’ to Bir Singh in 1717-18.
Since Raja Kanchan had no son he adopted his brother Chaudhary Ajab Singh youngest son Gulal Chand as his legal heir. He wrote an adoption letter in 1714 in his favour so that there should not be any dispute in his getting the property. The letter was written in Pharsi but he signed it in Hindi. He built his Kila at Paliganj but at preset no trace of it, is found. He died some time in late 1718 or in January 1719 as per ‘farman’ received by Gulal Chand from Emperor Farukhsayar.
RULERS OF THE ESTATE DURING 18th CENTURY
18th century was turbulent period for the country due to decline of Mughal Empire, emergence of regional rulers and subsequent invasion of Nadir Shah in 1739 led to complete collapse of Mughal rule. Taking full advantage of prevalent chaotic scenario of the empire and fractioned regional rulers, East India Company by applying the divide and rule policy and treachery established British rule in the later half of the century.
The Atharva Bhumihar Brahmin family fortune saw a high in the beginning of the century with Kanchan becoming ruler of Masurha and Arwal Parganas, but later rulers could not do much to expand the estate. There was continuous inheritance problem among the rulers of the estate because no rulers had male offspring except Raja Bahadur Singh. When request of Raja Jaswant Singh to adopt a male child from descendants of Lal Sahi was not acceded, an serious inheritance problem arose since there was no other male family member alive. So, after death of Raja Jaswant Singh in 1813, his Rani started looking after the estate, but due to mismanagement the Parganas were got auctioned, after her death in 1830. However, the descendants of Lal Sahi established themselves as a separate entity to become a leading Zamindar of Bihar with their intelligence, administration acumen. The present family of Dharhara, Achuwa, Pakibagh, Ular, Ainkhan and Bharatpura are all descendants of Choudhari Ajab Singh’s eldest son Lal Sahi.
The history of the family is not a documented one and it has to be compiled from different sources piece by piece and arranged in order of its occurrence. Therefore, every information has to be checked from available sources, this include recall by elders about their ancestors and traditions from memory, for authenticity. Small write ups are available at Bharatpura library about ancestors on some papers and registers with family tree in pieces. The contents were taken down in 1989-90 by me and do not know its present status at library. The information thus collected became basic ground to write chronological history of the illustrious family.
The second source of information was a booklet titled ”History of Atharva Bhumihar Brahmin” printed in 1948, written and printed by one Sri Chandrasekhar Singh of Dorra along with family tree. The booklet concentrates only on the rulers and few members of the family and later part of the booklet shifts the focus on the Dorra and Tera family history. The booklet based on the basis of the Government report of 1793 through which permanent settlement was made by East India Company. The settlement was made to curtail the powers of rulers and Zamindars and fix uniform taxes to enable them to become undisputed ruler and rule the natives without any challenge for their autocratic way. In spite of my best effort, I failed to obtain and see the report. The translated version of the report from booklet is as under-
“Kanchand purchased the Zamindar of Arwal and Masurha Parganas and was proclaimed himself as Raja. After death of Raja Kanchand his adopted son Gulal Chand succeeded him. Gulal Chand was son of Raja Kanchand elder brother Ajab Singh. After Gulal Chand’s death, his brother Dular Singh’s son Gandharva Singh became the ruler. He built a Garh (Fort) at Paliganj. The ruins are still visible. After Gandharva Singh was killed in the hands of sepoy at Paliganj, was succeeded by his uncle Anand Singh, brother of Dular Singh. He died in 1765. After his death Dular Singh’s grandson Bahadur Singh became the fifth heir of Raja Kanchan. Naib Subedar Mohammed Kasim called him at Patna in 1766 and told him that pay the tax (Malguzari) of the area on date otherwise he would be abdicated. Hearing this Raja Bahadur Singh jumped from the window of the palace of Naib Subedar into overflowing Ganges River and drowned into it. The Naib Subedar Md. Kasim sent some boat to rescue him but due to fast current in the river he was not saved. Next day Mohammed Kasim installed his son Jaswant Singh as Raja, bestowing the Zamindari of Arwal and Masurha.”
This report raises two issues; one Gandharva Singh became ruler after the death of Gulal Chand whereas, in the papers available at Bharatpura Library, Gandharva Singh declared himself as the ruler of Arwal and Masurha Parganas in the absence of Raja Gulal Chand. Raja Gulal Chand had gone to Delhi with a request for relief in payment of the additional taxes which was imposed on the Jagirdars, as many successor states emerged after the decline in authority of Mughal ruler, had either totally stopped payment of taxes or made nominal payment. This and plundering of Nadir Shah ruined the financial position of empire and to improve it, Emperor Mohammed Shah imposed more taxes.
The second issue is confusion in the similarity in the name of Mohammed Kasim the Naib Subedar and Mir Mohammed Kasim the Nawab of Bengal, Bihar was a province under him. Mir Kasim became Nawab through a secret deal with the British after Mir Jaffer was forced to abdicate by them in 1760. Mir Kasim in his concerted and conscious attempt to rebuild his independence from the British shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Monghyr. He remodeled his Army and established a gun manufacturing hub there. All this rebuilding required more money so he started demanding higher taxes from Zamindars and other nobles. This undermined the finance of the Zamindars and others and many of them were not able to meet the demand. Those opposed were called, tortured and ruthlessly murdered. The Britishers sensing their vulnerability attacked him at Monghyr. Facing the heat he ran to Patna and again after some time the English attacked and this time drove him out of Bihar. Mir Kasim was Nawab of Bengal from 1760 to 1763. After battle at Buxar in 1764 he fled to west Uttar Pradesh and died in 1777 as pauper near Delhi. I searched many documents to identify the Naib Subedar Mohammed Kasim but failed to get any information about the person. The modus operandi in case of Raja Bahadur Singh is similar to what was adopted by Mir Kasim in dealing with defaulters Zamindars, threaten them and force them to take ultimate steps and who opposed torture and murder them. So, it is least possible that two men had same trait in their character. Then if two Mohammed Kasim were same then another issue arises about the year in which this incident had taken place. In 1766, Mir Kasim was nowhere in scene as a ruler of Bihar so in that case there may had been some miscalculation in calculating the year from “fasli”to “AD”. At present we have to rely on the available documents only and one or two years here and there is not going to affect much of our history.
The booklet “History of Atharva Bhumihar Brahmin” also mentions the years of regime of the rulers –
Raja Kanchan 1720-40
Gulal Chand 1740-45
Gandharva Singh 1745-55
Anand Singh 1755-65
Bahadur Singh 1765-66
Jaswant Singh 1766-1813
Rani Jaswant Singh 1813-30
Here again the author didn’t verify the available documents. Because as per Mughal emperor Farukhshahyar’s firman issued to Gulal Chand, Raja Kanchand died in early 1719. So the period of regime of Gulal Chand commenced from 1719 and not from 1740. This has been copied by someone in his autobiography and also by author in his book about history of Tekari Raj without any one taking pain in checking the history book. Raja Kanchand rose to power during Emperor Farukhshahyar tenure, which was from 1713 to 1719. This has also been acknowledged and documented in the booklet also. Further to sustain the above facts a translation of Emperor Farukhshahyar and Muhammed Shah firman’s from “ Pharsi” to English is available at Bharatpura Library. This translation was done by Sir Khuda Bux Khan in 1906 and is as under-
The sum and substance of the first paper marked “A”
That Raja Gulal Chand the adopted son of Raja Kanchand submitted a petition to the Emperor Farukhshahyar, reporting the death of his father and praying to be installed in the place of his father on which this order is passed by Qutbed Mulk the vazir to the effect that fifteen lacs twenty two thousand Dams in Pargna Masudha a subah in Bihar formely the Jagir of Raja Kanchand should continue to be in possession of Raja Gulal Chand his adopted son.
This order is dated 8th Rahi II in the 8th year of that Monarchs reign.
Second paper Marked “B” is in support of the above order and given the details of the Jagir together with a copy of the grant and the final order that the Jagir are granted.
This order was passed in the reign of Emperor Mohammed Shah dated 22nd Mohurram in the first year of his reign.
It is impossible to translate these papers literally.
Sd- Khuda Bux Khan- 13.9.06
It is not out of context here to mention that there may have been many such firman or order received by the members of the family from time to time for the help extended to the empire. It may be lying unattended at Bharatpura library or due to negligence destroyed or lost with time. Presently it is difficult to decipher them because of its “Pharsi” language.
Raja Gulal Chand was the youngest son of Choudhari Ajab Singh and nephew of Raja Kanchand . He succeeded Raja Kanchand after his death in 1719. He lost the reign to his nephew Gandharva Singh, son of his brother Dular Singh while he had gone to Delhi for relief in payment of additional taxes. On his return he was very aggrieved by the development but as he had no heir, he consoled himself with the fact that one day or other someone from the family would have succeed him. He shifted to Rampur Mohkam and lived his rest of life with his eldest brother Lal Sahi and his son Budhan Singh. He was very affectionate towards Budhan Singh and treated him as his own son. Later on Rampur Mohkam came to known as Bharatpura on the name of Bharat Singh.
Gulal Chand wife Rani Karna Kunwar after death of her husband established a “Shiv linga” at a distance north of the village and daily worshiped the deity for rest of her life. Later a temple was built and known as Karnaeshwarnath temple. Earlier a fair used to be held there every year on the eve of “Shiv ratri” festival.
Raja Gandharva Singh installed himself as ruler of Pargana Masuraha in absence of Raja Gulal Chand in 1740. He was son of Dular Singh who was elder brother of Gulal Chand. He was brave and intelligent person and with his foresight expanded the estate by capturing nearby areas. There is no paper or firman available to support his ascendance as the ruler. However, in the permanent settlement it was mentioned that he ruled between 1745 and 1755. He constructed a fort at Paliganj and died on the hands of some sepoy at Paliganj in 1755.
He had no issue, so adopted his elder brother Tribhuwan Singh’s son Bahadur Singh as heir. After death of Gulal Chand he granted Zamindari of Badsara Mahal to Budhan Singh and Sehra to Duleep Singh, younger brother of Budhan Singh. He also granted Zamindari of Soharampur to his elder brother Tribhuwan Singh.
Raja Anand Singh ruled the estate from 1755 to 1765; he was the third son of Choudhari Ajab Singh and uncle of Raja Gandharva Singh. Actually at the time of death of Raja Gandharva Singh his adopted heir Bahadur Singh was minor so till he reached the age Anand Singh looked after the estate and became the Raja. His reign was event less.
Bharat Singh was the youngest son of Dular Singh. His two elder brothers were Tribhuwan Singh and Raja Gandharva Singh. In the Patna District Gazetteer of N. Kumar published by Bihar Government in the year 1970 where under “Places of Interest” following information had been provided about Bharat Singh “quote” Bharatpura seat of a branch of the family of Chaudhri Ajab Singh. The village derives its name from Bharath Singh, who is described in the Sair-ul-Mutakharin as Zamindar of Arwal and Masaurha, though he was actually uncle and guardian of the minor Raja Bahadur Singh. Bharath Singh built here a fort and palace in the middle of the eighteenth century. Unquote, In the Government report through which permanent settlement was done in 1793, it was not mentioned that Bharat Singh was the ruler of Arwal and Masurha Parganas.
As Bahadur Singh was minor at the time of demise of Raja Gandharva Singh, there were 2-3 contenders of the estate. Bahadur Singh real father Tribhuwan Singh was one of them but after he got Zamindari of Soharampur from Raja Gandharva Singh, shifted his base to Soharampur and thus was out of contention, the others were Anand Singh, Bharat Singh and Budhan Singh. As already stated elsewhere Budhan Singh side of family members were not interested so Anand Singh became the Raja however due to his age, his nephew Bharat Singh helped him in running the estate and also took care of minor Bahadur Singh. Bharat Singh died in 1765 and was issueless.
Bharat Singh donated 151 bighas of land at Deogarh to the priest Devaki Nand Jha in 1757. The document of this donation is available with the priest as per papers available at Bharatpura library.
Raja Bahadur Singh was the youngest son of Tribhuwan Singh and was adopted by Raja Gandharva Singh as his heir. He was minor at the time of death of Raja Gandharva Singh and became ruler after reaching the age in 1765. He requested the Naib Subedar of Patna to bestow him with the title of “Raja” after death of both Raja Anand Singh and Bharat Singh. In 1766, he was called by Naib Subedar Mohammed Kasim to Patna and was asked to deposit all the tax dues at the time of Bharat Singh on that day itself otherwise he will be abdicated. The situation caught Raja Bahadur Singh off guard and he took extreme step by jumping from the window of the Naib Subedar’s palace into overflowing Ganges River and was drowned in it. He was survived by his only son Jaswant Singh.
Raja Jaswant Singh was a child at the time of his father’s death. Next day after death of Raja Bahadur Singh the Naib Subedar Mohammed Kasim installed him as the Raja, bestowing the Zamindari of Arwal and Masurha Parganas. His Uncle Kalyan Singh urf Chakka Singh the eldest son of Tribhuwan Singh, succeeded his father as Zamindar of Sohrampur took benefit of the situation and seized the estate from Jaswant Singh in 1766, as there was no adult male member of the ruling family alive after death of Raja Bahadur Singh. In 1767, he failed to pay the taxes of the estate and fled and hide into a Jungle due to strictness for the payment of taxes. Later on, when he came to know that payment of taxes has been made, he returned from the hiding but died on the way back. His wife who was alive up to fasli 1177 i.e. 1770 A.D. sought the help of Mansharan Singh son of Budhan Singh to help her only son Bhagwant Singh to properly run the estate after death of his father Kalyan Singh. Bharat Singh’s wife also advised Mansharan Singh to extend his support and guidance to young ruler and also mentor Raja Jaswant Singh for his future role as the ruler of the estate.
Raja Bhagwant Singh got the title of Raja in the year 1769 i.e. fasli 1176 from the Naib Subedar of Patna. Due to young age he was not aware of the intricacies of a ruler so Mansharan Singh looked after all the work of the estate. Raja Bhagwant Singh died issueless at a young age in the year 1777 i.e. fasli 1184. Raja Jaswant Singh was still a minor so Mansharan Singh continued to look after all the affairs of the estate till he attended the age in 1779.
Raja Jaswant Singh was issueless and no male members were alive on his side of family except on the side of Lal Sahi’s grandson Mansharan Singh side so he asked his uncle Mansharan Singh for adoption of one of his son as his heir. Mansharan Singh rejected the proposal and asked him to take care of the estate himself since he had come to the age to rule. Shortly after this episode Raja Jaswant Singh found himself all alone without any one of the family helping him in affairs of the estate so he shifted his capital from Paliganj to Belkhara and built his palace there. There he called on Jagbadan Rai’s descendant Pahalwan Singh from Tera to help him to look after the estate’s work. In the Government permanent settlement of 1793, it was stated that the owner of Arwal and Masurha Parganas was Raja Jaswant Singh and his family members. Raja Jaswant Singh retained Mahal Akbarpur and some other village and donated 11000 Bighas of land of the area to Lakhraj Brahmins. Raja Jaswant Singh died in 1813. However, in “An account of the districts of Behar and Patna in 1811-12” by Francis Buchanan it was stated that the widow of Raja Jaswant Singh was managing both Parganas after the death of Raja Jaswant Singh, so there may had been some discrepancies in the conversion of the periods from “fasli” to A.D. and Raja Jaswant Singh may have died earlier than 1813.
As stated elsewhere after death of Raja Jaswant Singh his Rani started to look after the estate. The Rani tried once again to adopt some one from the family as her heir but no one obliged her. After sometime the Rani defaulted in payment of taxes of Arwal Pargana and it was auctioned by the Government. Thereafter, the Rani shifted her capital from Belkhara to mauza Sikaria under Masurha Pargana. She constructed a palace there to live.
Here I quote the extracts from the book “An account of the districts of Behar and Patna in 1811-12” by Francis Buchanan about Arwal and Masurha Parganas (Page 600 to 603) where a detailed account were given along with details of the ruler and how the Rani functioned –
“Arwal (Arwel, Glad.) It is a fine estate mostly situated in the division of the same name, but partly also in that of Daudnagar. The free lands that have been measured are estimated in the public records at 17,255 bighas, but lands to the annual value of 12,92,220 dams have also been granted free of assessment, if these have been valued at the same rate with the measured land, they should amount to 83,000 bighas. The whole of the free land is divided into 52 lots, but even the persons registered as owners of these lots amount to 139, and it is probable that the owners in reality are twice that number. The assessed lands, according to the public registers, about to 1,77,036 bighas, which pay 49,500 rupees, and are divided into 62 lots belonging to 148 persons that are registered, besides 3 lots that are at present in the Company’s hands, as no one would bid for them when brought to sale for the arrears of rent, owing probably to an unequal assessment. In the whole estate, from its appearance on the map, besides rivers, barren lands, roads, &c., I reckon that there are 3,81,644 of Lodi Khan, the assessed proportion of which will be 2,43,000, so that the owners on an average have 569 Calcutta bighas for the 100 rupees; but the assessment has probably been very unequally distributed, as some lots are not saleable. Owing to the lowness of the assessment about one quarter part is waste. This estate seems originally to have belonged to Raja Kangchan, a military Brahman of the Atharba tribe. He was succeeded by Gandharva Saha, the son of his brother Ajub, who was succeeded by his brother’s son Bharath Saha, who left the estate to his nephew, Bahadur Saha. Then came his nephew Bhagawanta Singha, who was followed by his brother Jaswant Singha, whose widow is the present owner. Nephew (Bhatija) in the above account is taken in a very indefinite sense for a Kinsman. She is awoman 50 years old, expensive in her habits and involved in debt. She is particularly fond of travelling, and in the dry season lives much in tents, with which she is very well provided. She keeps six horses, two camels and several carts for conveying her baggage. About 100 of her relations live at her expense, and she has in her family about an equal number of domestic slaves. She has rather more than one half (91,000 bighas according to the register) of all the assessed lands in this estate, and a considerable portion of the rest. Besides this, several of those who have small lots in perpetuity pay her a commission, as being the original owner (Malek). Raja Mitrajit has purchased a share, estimated in the public records to contain 14,418 bighas. The only land which pays a money rent consists of the spots near the village that are watered from wells. All the reminder is rented by a division of the crop, the landlord and tenant taking equal shares, after deducting the expenses of harvest, and the value is settled by a survey; but the people here being uncommonly litigious, the tenant and surveyor seldom agree and a plot of each crop is usually reaped, and the produce taken as an average for the whole. The landlords are not willing to give leases nor, for what reasons I did not learn, would the tenants accept of this security for their possessions. Six sixteenths of the rents are farmed. The average produce is about 3 ¼ rupees for the Calcutta bigah, so that, were the whole cultivated, the profits of the owners would be very good.
Masaura is another fine estate which originally belonged to the same family. It is mostly situated in the division of Vikram, but a considerable portion is in that of Arwal. In the public records it is estimated to contain 1,81,377 bigahs, of which 1,70,427 are assessed, and pay 38,793 rupees. From the appearances on the map I shall judge, that the whole extent will be about 2,27,000 of Lodi Khan’s measurement, of which the assessed part may be about 2,14,000 bigahs, so that the owners have about 639 Calcutta bigahs for the 100rs. The part in Vikram division is very fully occupied, that in Arwal is rather neglected. The Rani of Jaswant, whose name on account of her sex it would be considered as disrespectful to mention, has large share, reckoned in the public records at 50,353 bigahs, for which she pays 12,347 rs.
The Rani has two public officers for collecting her rents, one for Masaura is under the management of a Kinsman, who conducts all her affairs, and is called a Tahasildar. Under him is a Dewan at 10rs. a month; five clerks (Matsuddis) at 5rs. each; one valuer of money at 5rs.; one jumadar or chief guard at 4rs.; 30 Peyadahs or common guards at 2 or 3rs.; one record keeper (Duftary) at 5 rs,; one sweeper has 10 bigahs of land, or about 1 3/4r. a month. For Arwal pargunah she keeps one Tahasildar or steward at 20rs. a month; three clerks at 5rs. each; one cash keeper at 5rs.; one chief guard at 4rs.; ten or twelve guards at 2 to 3rs. Besides this owing to the unusual litigiousness of this part of the district, she has two agents (Vakils) at Gaya, who have 20rs. a month; an agent with the collector 10rs.; two agents at Patna for the court of appeal, one of whom has a salary of 5rs.and the other is paid by commission on each suit. These are public agents known to the native officers of the courts and called Vakils, but she keeps agents of another kind called Mokhtars or attorneys, two at Gaya, and two at Patna, each receiving 5rs. a month. Although, as I have said, the Rani is in debt, I am told, that she has purchased a part of Maner ; but this does not appear on the public records, the purchase having been made in some other person’s name, probably as a resources, should she involve herself so, that her proper estates must be brought to sale. It is not unlikely, that the debts were contracted in order to make these purchases, which she probably given to her own relations at the expense of her husband’s estate.”
Some of the details by Francis Buchanan in his above report does not match with the history of the family, available in the Bharatpura Library or in the Permanent settlement report of 1793, prepared by East India Company that gave brief report on the rulers of the Pargana Masurha and Arwal based on the firmans issued to the rulers by Mughal Emperor or their representatives at subha Bihar. Gandharva Singh was grandson of Choudhri Ajab Singh and not his son. Jaswant Singh was son of Bahadur Singh and cousin of Bhagwant Singh, not his brother. Some of the rulers were not mentioned in the report as Buchanan based the details on the local people hearsay, who with time created their own story about the rulers.
The Rani of Jaswant broke all relations with Mansharan Singh side of family and relied on the relatives of her maternal side and took their help and support to rule the Parganas. She purchased properties for them in Maner Pargana. However, they were not competent enough to effectively manage the estate and there was default in timely collection and payment of taxes which resulted in auction of Arwal Pargana. She lived lavishly and ruined the estate’s economy and geography by mismanagement. Here it is not out of context to assess the reason for her extravagant style of functioning. It was a revenge on the family members of Mansharan Singh, who didn’t helped her, to adopt male child of theirs as her heir. She knowingly indulged in destroying the estate, donated a large part of the estate to Brahmins and gave rest of the property to her manager Kirat Singh. So, a fine estate established by Raja Kanchand with his wisdom, policy and battle expertise was completely ruined by her exploitations.
After her death in 1830, Girwar Dhari Singh son of Mansharan Singh fought a legal battle against the will of the Rani of Jaswant in favour of Kirat Singh on the ground that it was not a valid document because she has no right to give the property to a person who is not a family member of Raja Kanchand, who establihed the estate and on the principals of “Primogeniture”.
The Primogeniture is applied in history to inheritance of real property and is the right by law or custom of the legitimate, first born son to inherit his parent’s entire or main estate, in preference to daughters, elder illegitimate sons, younger sons and collateral relatives. The son of a deceased elder brother inherits before a living younger brother by right of substitution for the deceased heir. In the absence of any children, brother succeeds individually, to the inheritance by seniority of age (subject to substitution). Among siblings sons inherit before daughters. In the absence of male descendents in the male line there are variations of primogeniture which allocate the inheritance to a daughter or a brother or in absence of either to another collateral relative in a specified order. A collateral relative is someone who is descended from an ancestor of the subject and is a legal term for a relative descended from a brother or sister of an ancestor and thus a niece, nephew or cousin.
The descendants of Lal Sahi were collateral relative because Lal Sahi was the nephew of Raja Kanchand who established this regime. Other nephews of Raja Kanchand were Dular Sahi, Anand Singh and Gulal Chand. But they didn’t have a surviving descendants at the time of this crisis. So, Girbar Dhari Singh and his brothers as well as Babu’s of Sehra were collateral relatives since they were the descendants of Lal Sahi’s son Budhan Singh and Dileep Singh respectively. The will of the Rani of Jaswant did not hold and the estate was restored to the family. However the estate was got divided into two equal half, one half of it going to the descendents of Budhan Singh family and the other half to Dileep Singh family.
LAL SAHI AND HIS DESCENDANTS
Lal Sahi was the eldest son of Choudhari Ajab Singh, born around 1680 AD. From a very young age he started helping his father in discharging his duty of “Choudhari”and was witness of the ascent in family fortune with decline in Mughal rule. His exposure to intricacies to govern made him an intelligent and prudent person. He succeeded his father after his death and got the all the property. He continued to live at Rampur Mohkam ( later come to known as Bharatpura) and in no time became a popular leader by his help and support to the people of the area. In order to improve the condition of the people, established a market (Bazar) at Sehra, where all the things of necessities were available at reasonable price. These steps made people happy and prosperous as their income increased from the business in the market and the people started calling the place as Lalganj Sehra as a tribute to him.
The turn of events, in course of time changed the whole equation in the affairs of the family. In absence of male offspring among the rulers of the estate they had an inheritance problem, Raja Gulal Chand wanted to adopt Lal Sahi’s second son Budhan Singh as his heir, when Gandharva Singh s/o Dular Sahi come to know about this developments, he started looking for opportunity to displace Raja Gulal Chand. It come early when Raja Gulal Chand went to Delhi to request the Mughal Emperor to reduce the new taxes and during his absence, Gandharva Singh installed himself as new ruler of Masurha and Arwal Parganas. This setback and Raja Gandharva Singh decision to replace the Zamindari of Rampur Mohkam from Budhan Singh to Bharat Singh, forced Lal Sahi and his descendants to maintain a distance from them in their affairs. However, whenever the rulers faced crisis Lal Sahi descendants helped them to overcome it, but they didn’t allow them to adopt their male child as their heir.
Lal Sahi brothers were Dular Sahi, Raja Anand Singh and Raja Gulal Chand. His sons were Jason Singh, Budhan Singh and Dileep Singh. Jason Singh used to live with his father and brother Budhan Singh at Rampur Mohkam. He had no issue and died at a young age. Budhan Singh was the heir of his father so Dileep Singh got Sehra for his livelihood but spent most of the time in company of his brother at Rampur Mohkam.
Budhan Singh was a good nature person and people of the area had a special love for him. Raja Gulal Chand after he lost his regime, spent remaining life with him at Rampur Mohkam. He got zamindari of Bhadsara Mahal in place of zamindari of Rampur Mohkam from Raja Gandharva Singh, but continued to live at Rampur Mohkam. His income from the zamindari was around Rs. 2000-2500, which was a handsome amount in that period. His only son was Mansharan Singh.
Babu’s of Sehra
Dileep Singh the third son of Lal Sahi got Sehra for his livelihood, later Raja Gandharva Singh confirmed the zamindari to him. Dileep Singh sons were Kehari Singh, Mangal Singh and Mahipati Singh.
Mahipati Singh had no issue so the zamindari of Sehra after Dileep Singh was divided in equal two halves between Kehari Singh and Mangal Singh. Mahipati Singh further developed the market established by his grandfather Lal Sahi, and the locals, there fore, say that the market was established by Mahipati Singh. This is common that people with time create their own story.
Kehari Singh had two sons, Manorath Singh and Dilla Singh. After death of Kehari Singh in around 1780 AD, Manorath Singh started looking after their share of property effectively. Manorath Singh was child less and used to live with his brother Dilla Singh. Manorath Singh went for journey to Kashi (Benaras) in the year 1807, baishakh sukal 11, and there he stated to Panda that he is from Bharatpura. Manorath Singh And his uncle Mangal Singh gave Mansharan Singh a signed agreement that they do not have any interest in Belkhara estate, and he is the sole owner of it.
Dilla Singh son was Pehalwan Singh. His wife got share in the property at Akbarpur Bhadwar Mahal in Belkhara estate. He applied to Collector to enter his name as co-shareholder of the property, which was granted in the year 1830-31, but before it materialise he died, leaving behind two sons, Shital Prasad Singh and Kishun Prasad Singh. Kishun Prasad Singh had no son where as, Shital Prasad Singh had a son , Shivnandan Prasad Singh. He was born in the year 1850, sharwan krishan 11 and had a good knowledge of Hindi and Pharsi. His annual income was around Rs. 80000/-. He was married to a girl from Chainpur and his sons were Ramnandan Prasad Singh and Shyamnandan Prasad Singh. He become devotee of Vishnu and use to spend his life peacefully in worship. He died at the age of 62 years in the year 1912, aghahan krisan 12. Ramnandan Prasad Singh was married to daughter of Maharaj Kumar Shiv Pratap Sahi of Hathua and Shyamnandan Prasad Singh was married to daughter of Rajkumar Rudraksh Nandan Singh younger brother of Raja Shivraj Nandan Singh of Sheohar Estate on 5th May 1912. Further details are not available.
Mangal Singh had 5 sons, Doman Singh, Kolahal Singh, Harnam Singh, Chaturshal Singh and Neknam Singh. Kolahal Singh and Chaturshal Singh were childless. Others had children, but in due course some of their descendants had no issue where as some had. Their life was uneventful and some of their offsprings left Sehra and settled somewhere. Two of Mangal Singh’s great great grandson Ved Narayan Singh and Lekh Narayan Singh went to mouza Kundi near Biharsharif and settled there. One of the great grandson of Mangal Singh was Awadh Prasad Singh nickname Bacchu Singh, grandson of Doman Singh and son of Trilok Singh. His second son Laxmi Narayan Singh was married to the daughter of Rajkumar Dip Narayan Singh Of Ramnagar. After marriage his in-laws kept him at Ramnagar. The Maharaja of Ramnagar was Sir Ishwari Prasad Narayan Singh (1835-1889), liked him since he was his brother- in -law. His wife died early leaving behind a son Raghunath Prasad Singh. After the death of his wife, Laxmi Narayan Singh married second time with daughter of Amarjeet Singh of Gangapur, Basantpatti against the wishes of Maharaja of Ramnagar and he was banished from Ramnagar. His second wife was Phuwa (Aunt) of Raja of Ausanganj Deo Narayan Singh. His father-in-law had only four daughters so he requested the Raja to allow Laxmi Narayan Singh to live at Golabagh, Ausanganj.
Laxmi Narayan Singh’s son Raghunath Prasad Singh after death of his mother, was groomed and taken care by the ladies of the royal family at Ramnagar, even after his father was ousted of Ramnagar he stayed there. His yagnopavit ceremony was conducted by Maharaja of Ramnagar and his marraige was soleminsed by him. The Maharaja become very angry and aggrieved by his behaviour after he come to know after his return from Chakia, a place in his kingdom near Banaras, that he didn’t went to Ausanganj on hearing death of his father. When confronted by the Maharaja he gave the reason for not going there because of heat, this complicated the matter further and he barred him to come to his court or any other official and public function and stopped to have any conversation with him. He did the final rites of his father when courtier of the kingdom persuaded him that it is his duty and he must carry it, but the aversion of Maharaja did not end. However, the ladies of the royal family maintained their benevolence on him and on their plea the Maharaja made some arrangements for his comfortable livelihood. He blew away his chance to be in line of Ramnagar throne by his foolishness and arrogant behaviour. Maharaja Ishwari Prasad Narayan Singh had no biological heir hence, he adopted his brother Babu Nar Narayan Singh’s son Prabhu Narayan Singh as his heir.
Through they had good income from the zamindari of Sehra and later on from the half of the share they got of Rani Jaswant Singh estate after the judgement of the court since they were the descendants of the other half of collateral relatives. Girbar Dhari Singh and his brothers got the other half of the share. They ruined their share of the property by lavish living, uncontrolled expenses and mismanagement to such a extent that some of them become pauper and had a difficult time in their life. The basis of the legal battle against the will of Rani Jaswant Singh is described elsewhere.
The present whereabouts of any of their descendants is not available.
Mansharan Singh ( Mansaram Singh)
He was the only son of Budhan Singh and inherited his property. He not only retained the property but consilidated it to a great extent by his effective administration skill and acumen in management of affairs. One example of his effective control over the affairs of his administration was how with ease he got back Mouza Ular after it was confiscated. Nain Singh sold Mouza Ular to Raja Gulal Chand which was Jagir of Narayan Singh. In the year 1762, Nawab Mir Kasim on complaint of Barson Narayan Singh, who was a carrier of Raja Sukhlal, that Mansharan Singh had been occupying the Mauza Ular treacherously and forcefully, confiscated it. Mansharan Singh through Advocate Sukhdeo Ray filed the sale deed of the property to appropriate authority that it is illegally confiscated so, it should be restored to him. During the hearing of the case the witness of Motbir proved to be decisive and when Barson Narayan Singh found that he is going to lose the appeal and the authority is in the process of awarding the verdict in favour of Mansharan Singh, he fled from the scene. It was year 1772 when he obtained the title of Mauza Ular. He also obtained an undertaking from Babu Mangal Singh and Manorath Singh of Sehra that they had no share in Belkhara estate in the year 1780.
After death of Raja Bahadur Singh the estate of Mashura and Arwal was in crisis since the heir Raja Jaswant Singh was minor and others like Kalyan Singh and his son Bhagwant Singh had no experience to rule. To overcome this situation Mansharan Singh looked after all the affairs of the estate till Raja Jaswant Singh come to age. But, when Raja Jaswant Singh wanted to adopt one of his son as heir, Mansharan Singh parted his way with him.
From the first marriage Mansharan Singh had four sons and a daughter. The sons were Kunj Bihari Singh, Girbar Dhari Singh, Ras Bihari Singh and Bal Govind Singh. After death of his first wife he married again and had a son Nem Dhari Singh.
The son-in-law of Mansharan Singh unfortunately died young. The daughter was also very young and at the time of death of her husband was at her maternal place Bharatpura. In spite of assurance and support from all family members, she went to an isolated place and jumped into pyre, along with the head gear of her husband which she always kept along and become “Sati”.
Mansharan Singh went to pilgrimage to Mathura and other holy places in the year 1781 and his visit details were available in the records of “Panda” Narayan Choubey of Mathura. The exact date of his death is not available but he died somewhere around 1785-86. His second wife handed over her son Nem Dhari Singh who was a child then to her daughter- in- law, wife of Kunj Bihari Singh and entered the pyre of her husband and become “Sati”.
In this vast history of the family only these two instances of “Sati” happened, this was the prevalent practice of the aristocratic society in those periods. No other case of “Sati” described anywhere. The success of the family, its rise and expansion was only possible because they adopted a progressive and an unorthodox lifestyle. They kept abreast with the time and were first to adopt all reforms for betterment of themselves, their ryats and society.
Kunj Bihari Singh had no children and died young in the year 1791. The East India Company in the year 1790, settled Bhadsara Mahal in his name. After his death Girbar Dhari Singh become the owner of the property. Ras Bihari Singh and Nem Dhari Singh stayed at Bharatpura. One of the descendants of Ras Bihari Singh, Gopal Narain Singh established a library at Bharatpura in the year 1913 with the help from descendants of Girbar Dhari Singh and other relatives by way of cash and donations of rare books and manuscripts . Bal Govind Singh made his residence at AinKhan village and some of his descendants still reside there.
Girbar Dhari Singh
He was the second son of Mansharan Singh and after death of his elder brother Kunj Bihari Singh become the heir of his father property. He was married to the daughter of Raja of Bettiah, Jugal Kishore Singh.
Jugal Kishore Singh become Raja of Bettiah in the year 1762, after death of Raja Dhrup Singh. Bettiah Raj was established by Raja Agrasen or Ugrasen in or about the middle of 17th century and received the title of ‘Raja’ from Emperor Shah Jahan (1628 – 1658). It was called Reasut of Sirkar Champaran consisting of four Parganas known as Majhwa, Simrown, Babra and Mahisi. Before, East India Company assumed the Government of the Provinces, Bettiah Raj was the largest zamindari in Bihar, even after bifurcation by them it was second largest zamindari with annual income of more than Rs. 20 lakhs. The history of the Bettiah Raj Family can be traced back to the year 1244 when one Gangeshwar Deo left Nimkhar Misiri in Lucknow and established himself at Jaithur, in the district of Saran in the Tirhut Division of Bihar. Raja Agrasen was the ninth descendant of Gangeshwar Deo. In the year 1659 after the death of Raja Agrasen his son Raja Guj Singh, succeeded him and built the palace at Bettiah. He was succeeded in the year 1694 by his son Raja Dalip Singh. After death of Raja Dalip Singh in the year 1715, his son Raja Dhrup Singh become the Raja.
Raja Dhrup Singh had a daughter Bonga Babui, married to one Raghunath Singh of Majhwa in the district of Mirzapur, her son Jugal Kishore Singh was adopted by him as heir. In his efforts to free himself from the controls of East India Co. Nawab Mir Kasim started demanding more taxes from zamindars and other nobles to rebuild his force. Those opposed were tortured and even murdered. The case of Raja Dhrup Singh is one them, he was attacked and captured by Mir Kasim’s force, to escape his torture he ended his life by taking poison in the year 1762.
Raja Jugal Kishore Singh entered into possession of the Bettiah Raj in the year 1762. On the assumption of the Government of Bengal by the East India Company, Raja Jugal Kishore Singh offered some resistance to their authority and Company’s troops were despatched to enforce his submission. Raja Jugal Kishore Singh fled into neighbouring state of Bundelkhand and his estates were seized and placed into management of Company’s officers. After some negotiations with the Government, Raja Jugal Kishore Singh returned to his estate, consisting only Parganas Majhwa and Simrown after bifurcation by the East India Co. Raja Jugal Kishore Singh accepted the decision of the Co. which was formally announced on July 24, 1771 in the following terms -” The Committee of Revenue having approved of the reinstatement of Raja Jugal Kishore Singh, we have now granted to him the zemindari of Majhwa and Simrown pergunnahs, and have settled his revenues as follows”. In the following year he and owners of Pargana Babra and Mahisi defaulted in payment of revenue due to heavy taxes and entire Sirkar passed into possession of the Co. and was held by farmers of revenue on temporary settlements until the year 1791. Raja Jugal Kishore Singh received an allowance for maintenance from the Government. The Governor-General-in-Council (Lord Cornwallis) restored the possession of the Parganas to the descendant of Raja Jugal Kishore Singh on September 22, 1790. Raja Jugal Kishore Singh died in or about 1783 leaving behind his only son Raja Bir Kishore Singh. Maharaja Anand Kishore Singh succeeded his father Raja Bir Kishore Singh in 1816. He was granted the title of Maharaja Bahadur for personal use in 1830, and as a hereditary title in 1837. He died in 1838, without any issue and was succeeded by his younger brother Maharaja Bahadur Nawal Kishore Singh. His son Maharaja Bahadur Rajendra Kishore Singh succeeded him after his death in the year 1855. He was succeeded in the year 1883 by his only son Maharaja Bahadur Sir Harendra Kishore Singh. He died at a young age of 39 years in the year 1893, leaving behind no heir. After death of his first wife in the year 1896, the British officers in connivance with some insiders of the court conspired against the second wife and got her declared insane to enable them to place the Bettiah Raj under Court of Wards in 1897. That was the end of more than 250 years old Bettiah Raj. From 1897 till independence, the British officers and courtiers together looted the estate from all its wealth and assets. Some of them created small estate and zamindari out of looted assets.
On the assumption of Government of Bengal by the East India Company, its officials started to raise revenue in arbitrary manner, causing great hardship to Rajas/Zamindars and many defaulted in payment of tax. The rebellion of Raja Chait Singh of Ramnagar was result of Warren Hastings, Governor General demand for higher tax and more army personnel than the agreed one with him. Most of the estate/parganas were under the management of East India Company officers during Warren Hastings tenure. He was accused of corruption and impeached but acquitted. He was replaced by Lord Cornwallis in 1786 and during his Governor General’s tenure reinstatement of many zamindari took place. To improve the administration and have a hinderless expansion of the territory, in the year 1790 the Court of Directors comprising Lord Cornwallis and Sir John Shore (later Governor General) of East India Company issued a ten year (decennial) settlement to Zamindars which was made permanent in the year 1800. By the permanent settlement act of 1793, the Zamindars power of keeping the armed forces were taken back and they remained just the tax collectors of the land. The power of Zamindars were considerably weakened as they were not allowed to hold any court as it was brought under the supervision of collector appointed by the Company. As per permanent system Rajas and Taluqdars were recognized as Zamindars. The Zamindars were supposed to collect land revenue from the peasants. As per permanent settlement :
- The rate of revenue was not to be increased in future.
- The Company officials believed that this will give some motivations to Zamindars to invest in land.
- Zamindars would be assured of long term returns of continuous flow of revenue.
- It also created a new social class of landlords who were loyal to British.
The land became a desirable commodities as tax demand was inflexible, and no allowance was made for times of drought, flood or any natural calamities. As a result many Zamindars immediately fell into arrears and East India Company officials got the opportunity to quickly acquire wealth necessary to purchase land through profitable bribes and corruption.
So, the turmoil in Bengal which started after Emperor Aurangzeb’s death was set to rest with this settlement and there was total surrender by all Zamindars to British rule and paved the way for their uninterrupt loot of assets for almost next 60 years without making any effort to develop the country.
Girbar Dhari Singh got the Permanent settlement of Bhadsara Mahal in his and his three younger brothers name in the year 1793, after death of his elder brother Kunj Bihari Singh. All the four brothers seperated in the year 1800, and as a gratitude and respect from his younger brothers, he received an extra village in the divided property. His wife received villages Majharia, Pakaria etc. from her father, Raja of Bettiah as gift (Khincha). It was prevalent custom of aristocratic family to gift some immovable assets to their daughters so that, in case of unseen misfortune she can fall back upon it for her livelihood. These villages were with the family up till abolition of zamindari by Indian Government.
In his “Account of the districts of Bihar and Patna” of 1811-12 Sir Francis Buchanan stated in the chapter Estate – Masaurha ” Giribaradhari an Atharba Brahman probably of the same family, has a considerable share of this estate, estimated in the public record at 10740 bighas; and he seems to be a person of some note, as his family has intermarriages with the Raja of Betiya, and the Raja of Parsa, when I was at the place, had come to marry a daughter with a numerous attendance and great tumult.”
In Journal of Francis Buchanan. he stated ” I went south 3 coses (6 miles) to Bhorotpur (Bharatpura), with a view of seeing some land that produces soda, having previously sent people to dig a well in the place in order to ascertain how far the water might be affected. On coming to the well I found no soda near it; about twenty yards from it a very little could be discerned in one spot of the rice field. The people said that there was plenty there, and would not show me any other place. The Zemindar was busy at the marriage of his daughter, his son-in-law had come from a distance, he had pitched seven or eight tents, two or three of them large, and had three elephants. In short, he seems to be a person of note, and is called a Raja. The house of the zemindar large, and some part of brick.”
The details justify that Lal Sahi descendants had created a niche in the society with their intelligence and broader outlook. Though they were not the rulers at the Parganas Masaurha and Arwal, had relationship with the prominent ruling family. After death of Rani Jaswant Singh, Girbar Dhari Singh fought a legal battle for cancellation of the will made by her, through which she had made one Kirat Singh, the owner of her remaining estate. The officials of East India Company were not inclined to favour Girbar Dhari Singh, but he convinced them that the will of Rani Jaswant Singh was invalid because she had not established the estate but inherited it from the forefathers of her husband and as per principles of ‘Primogeniture’, only living collateral relatives had a right over the property. He also gave the justification based on ‘Mitakshara’ principles, which was followed by hindu family at settling dispute on the rights of property. Finally, he got the will of Rani Jaswant Singh cancelled and the property got divided into descendants of Lal Sahi. The babu’s of Sehra got half of the property and the other half was divided equally between Girbar Dhari Singh and his three brothers.
Girbar Dhari Singh had three sons, Chhatra Dhari Singh, Tilak Dhari Singh and Jagat Dhari Singh. His only daughter was married in the family of Raja of Parsa. ‘Dhari’ means a tall, wide shoulders male with a unique sex appeal. He may be firm and strong from outside but he is warm and sweet from inside and never expects something in returns. He is smart, kind and has a great sense of humor. His personality quite matched these qualities so he sufixed ‘Dhari’ with his sons name and the family is continuing the tradition.He along with his sons Chhatra Dhari Singh and Tilak Dhari Singh went to plimigrage at Kashi ( Banaras) and other nearby places in the year 1801. It was noted in the documents of Gopal Panda. The actual year of his death is not known but he died after 1830 on the banks of river ‘Sarayu’ at Godna. Presently known as Godna Matiya about 5 KMs from Chapra.
Chhatra Dhari Singh
The eldest son of Girbar Dhari Singh was born sometime in the year 1786.He was the heir of his father’s property. He was very religious and pious person and spent most of his time in worship and devotional work. In order to live a secluded life he constructed a house at Anuwa village in Gaya district so that there be no disturbances in his religious duties. He spent most of the time there and when he found that his zamindari related work was getting neglected due to his spiritual leaning, he asked his younger brother Tilak Dhari Singh to take care of zamindari.
He had a son Ram Dhari Singh and a daughter. The daughter was married in the Zamindar family belonging to Jetharia clan of Saraha in Muzaffarpur district. On the request of his son he separated from his brother. Later, so much discord happened between them that the brothers even stopped seeing each other. After his son took full control of the zamindari, he left Bharatpura and started to reside at Jaggernath Puri. There, he totally devoted himself in the worship of deity. After some time, Ram Dhari Singh send someone there to bring news about his well being. It was informed by the priest and others that one day while he was worshiping in the temple, suddenly he vanished before them from there and nobody had seen him since then, even though they have searched the whole area. Similar incidents had occurred in case of Mira, Kabir and Sant Gyaneshwar.The date and year of this incident is not available.
Tilak Dhari Singh
He was second son of Girbar Dhari Singh, born in the year 1788. He was intelligent, brave and a statesman, mostly used to live at his maternal father’s place at Bettiah or at Bettiah place, Pathari Ghat, Patna. He was also involved in the affairs of the ‘Bettiah Raj’, one such incident is described here:
He was the person who made excellent arrangement on the eve of marriage of the daughter of Bettiah Maharaja in the family of Raja Benaras. He had deputed fourteen hundred assistants on the every bank of the river where the marriage party was to stop or descend. Their duty was not only to receive them but also to access the number of persons and animals accompanying the marriage party and arrange all type of provisions double in quantity for every camp for one week. The marriage party was spread over a large area and to identify the status of the person staying in that particular camp, different colour flag were fixed at the top of it. The arrangement was so fool proof that there was not a single complaint by the marriage party.
After he got the charge of the zamindari from his elder brother Chhatra Dhari Singh, he not only carried out his duty as Zamindar of the area efficiently but also concentrated on acquiring the area lost due to negligence of Rani Jaswant Singh and other members of the clan. The ‘Arwal Pargana’ which was got auctioned due to non payment of taxes at the time of Rani Jaswant Singh was his prime target. To reclaim it he filed a case in the court after death of Rani Jaswant Singh and his father Girbar Dhari Singh. The court awarded the zamindari of ‘Arwal Pargana’ of value amounting more than lakhs to him, which he was not ready to share it with his brother because he was of the view that he got it independently, as such, no one has got right over it. Chhatra Dhari Singh was of the view that the zamindari is in his name, so every property acquired through the surplus of the zamindari income had to be shared equally between the brothers. This conflict could not be solved as such he could not pay the amount required to acquire the ‘Arwal Pargana’. Moreover, Raja Mitrajeet Singh of Tekari, a relative, was interested in that Pargana, requested Tilak Dhari Singh to forgo the Pargana so that he can purchase it, when auctioned. Tilak Dhari Singh, after considering all the probabilities, let it go. In the year 1840, Raja Mitrajeet Singh purchased the zamindari of ‘Arwal Pargana’ through auction. As a gratitude, Raja Mitrajeet Singh gave eight or ten villages of ‘Goh Pargana’ to his mother, wife of Girbar Dhari Singh. This family were the maternal relatives, as Raja Kanchand’s daughter was married to Bir Singh of Tekari.
It is not out of order here to discuss the story of rise and fall of ‘Tekari Raj’ in few words. Raja Mitrajeet Singh was the Great Grandson of Bir Singh. Bir Singh got the title of ‘Raja’ in the year 1718-19 during Emperor Farukh Shahyar regime on the advice of Raja Kanchand. His son were Tribhuwan Singh, Sunder Singh and Chhatar Singh. Raja Bir Singh died in the year 1728 and was succeeded by elder son Tribhuwan Singh. He died young in the year 1736 at a age of 28-29 year. He had four son, Fateh Singh, Buniyad Singh, Bechu Singh and Nehal Singh. At the time of death of his father Fateh Singh was only 10-11 years old, so, his uncle Sunder Singh took over the reign of the estate. Sunder Singh was a warrior and involved in numerous battle to prove his superiority in the region. His was the golden period for ‘Tekari Raj’. He defeated many rulers of adjacent estate and annexed them into his estate and got the title of ‘Raja’ from Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. His only son Dulah Singh was got killed in one such battle. He was the actual ruler of the estate, until he was killed by his security guard Gulam Gaus on Basant Panchami day in the year 1758. Fateh Singh, in order to avoid payment of revenue, got the zamindari entered in revenue record in the name of his brother Buniyad Singh. So, Buniyad Singh become the owner of the zamindari in 1759, when revenue was fixed on the basis of revenue record. But due to non payment of taxes he was arrested by Mir Kasim, Nawab of Bengal. After his release on assurance of payment of higher revenue, his allegiance to the Britishers, annoyed Mir Kasim so much that he summoned all the male living members to Monghyr and after torturing them got them brutally murdered. Raja Buniyad Singh along with his elder brother Fateh Singh and nephew Trilok Singh who was less 20 years old lost their life on 5-10 1763. Mir Kasim when he come to know that Raja Buniyad Singh has a son he sent his emissaries to Tekari to kill him. Raja Mitrajeet Singh, the only son of Raja Buniyad Singh was an infant, a year old survived due to presence of mind of his caretaker who took him to a isolated place and gave him in custody of some loyal person of the estate. He remained there till the Britishers become the ruler of Bengal. They recognised him as the ruler of the estate, but as he was a child, the estate was put under court of wards. On coming to age he become the ruler and remained loyal throughout his life to Britishers. He had two son and three daughter from his Hindu wife where as, from his muslim concubine Barsati Begum he had issue and he had to share his Aurangabad estate with them for their livelihood. He died in 1840 at a age of 78 years. The decay of ‘Tekari Raj’ started after his death, the estate was divided in two parts, his eldest son Hit Narayan Singh become owner of 9/16 of estate, whereas the youngest son Mod Narayan Singh got the rest 7/16 share. Hit Narayan Singh got the title of Maharaja on 10-11-1845 from Lord Hastings. Both the son had no male offspring from Hindu wives whereas, Mod Narayan Singh had sons from muslim concubine Barati Begum and had to make provision for them by giving some part of the estate. The Hindu wives of both side took charge of the estate after Maharaja Hit Narayan Singh started to live at Patna with his Spanish wife and death of Raja Mod Narayan Singh. They adopted their close relatives to rule the estate but none of them could bring back the aura of original estate. Later on, the 9/16 part of the estate passed into hands of Maharaja Gopal Sharan Narayan Singh, son of the daughter of adopted Ram Kishun Singh, where as the 7/16 part passed to daughter Rani Bhuvaneswari Kunwar daughter of the daughter of Narayan Singh, who was son of adopted Rang Bahadur Singh. Lt.Colonel Maharaja Gopal Sharan Narayan Singh, fought in the World War 1, destroyed the estate with his extravagant lifestyle and four marriages ( Two with Hindu lady, one with Australian lady and one with the daughter of a muslim courtesan of Gaya) and died a pauper in 1958 after zamindari abolishment. Rani Bhuvaneswari Kunwar was married to Raja of Amawan, Harihar Prasad Narayan Singh in the year 1904, after her marriage the 7/16 share of the estate merged with Amawan estate. This is the sad end of ‘Tekari Raj’.
Tilak Dhari Singh had constructed a bungalow and a garden at Ular for his living after he started looking after the zamindari work. His ambition was to rule the old Belkhara estate and took steps towards it by acquiring property which the family lost due to Rani Jaswant Singh folly or got divided due to expansion of family. Nem Dhari Singh’s wife inherited a share in the property at Belkhara, which was auctioned by the Government to realise the overdue taxes, he purchased it. Similarly, he purchased 1/4th portion of the property from the Babu’s of Sehra. Thus, he expanded the zamindari from 2 Annas to 7 Annas ( The old Rupee constituted of 16 Annas. Hence, 16 was often taken as whole, from which divisions were made during those period for everyone to understand). However, he could not realise his ambition because of feud among the family members over the share.
He used to live a solitary life and there were security to ensure his safety and privacy. Nobody was allowed to disturb him unnecessary or stay before him after completion of work. He spent all his spare time in reading books, had a good collection of books and ‘Mahabharat’ was his favourite book. He had no issue, so, adopted his younger brother Jagat Dhari Singh’s son Dharam Dhari Singh. He died in the year 1848 on Bhadra Sukal Astami at Bettiah Place, Pathari Ghat, Patna.
Jagat Dhari Singh was the third son of Girbar Dhari Singh. He was married to the daughter of bhadewe lineage at Harolli in Muzaffarpur district and had two son and a daughter. His daughter was married at Ramgarh. Due to ill health he become incapable, which made him so unhappy and stressed that he drown himself in the river Ganges to relieve himself from all misery, in the year 1857 on Phalgun Krishan Pakch. His wife died on Jeth Sukal 9.
His eldest son was Tej Dhari Singh, a devout person and so, also known as Bhaktu Babu. He had a good knowledge of Sanskrit, when everyone was more interested in learning ‘Pharsi’ as this was the official language. He was married to the daughter of Eksariya lineage at Bagorra. He used to live in a cottage at Ular, like a hermit. His wife lived at her parent’s place, she had kept his wooden sandal with her and worshiped it daily. When she found that she is not going to live further, send the sandal to her husband so that nobody disrespect it after her death. He had given his share of property on contract. The annual income from the property was around Rs. 40000/- but the contractors gave him only Rs. 15000/- to 20000/-, which he used to spend on religious work. He ate only once in a day and there was no other expenditure of his. He went on pilgrimage to Kashi (Benaras) in the year 1860 and in the ledger of the Panda (Priest) wrote ” Shri Bhakti Dhari Sambharan Lipiam” in Sanskrit. He had no issue and died in the year 1880 on Asharha Krishan. After his death, his nephew Dhanush Dhari Singh received a part of his property.
Dharam Dhari Singh alias Tenni Babu was the youngest son of Jagat Dhari Singh and adopted son of Tilak Dhari Singh. He was married to the daughter of Maharaj Kumar of Madhuban. He had two son, Dhanush Dhari Singh and Harihar Dhari Singh. The share of property received from his father were disputed and he faced further setback because of extravagant lifestyle of his son Dhanush Dhari Singh, forced him to spend most of his time at Bettiah Place, Pathari Ghat, Patna. He gave all the land except land near Bharatpura on contract and lived on its earning. He died in the year 1874 on Baishakh Krishan Second.
Dhanush Dhari Singh built a house at Ular and used to live in it. He was more concerned over his physical comfort. He had unlimited expenses to fulfill his desires. Even before the amount of loan taken by his father was paid, his loan dues increased so much that the lenders filed case against him to recover the amount. He raised loan from some Kolkata based lender to pay the outstanding amount to all others lenders. In order to pay the amount of loan raised, he fixed an annual amount of Rs. 9000/- only towards his expenses. But he failed miserably to control his expenses and due to his excessive expenditure, had to forego all his land. He had separated from his brother because he didn’t wanted any interference in his life. He had no son but had a daughter who was married to Kumar Sarvajeet Pratap Bahadur Sahi son of Raja Krishna Pratap Bahadur Sahi and brother of Raja Shatrujeet Pratap Bahadur Sahi of Tamkuhi. Kumar Sarvajeet Pratap Bahadur Sahi was a well known music artist. The granddaughter of this daughter was married to Kedar Narayan Singh of Ausanganj.He died in the year 1911 on Magha Krishan Chaturdashi.
Kedar Narayan Singh was the son of Rajendra Dhari Singh from Nem Dhari Singh side of the family. Rajendra Dhari Singh was married to Gulab Kunwar, daughter of Sri Narayan Singh and Dulhin Ram Kunwar Sahiba of Ausanganj estate. In absence of male heir, Kedar Narayan Singh was adopted by Mst. Dulhin Ram Kunwar Sahiba as her heir. Ausanganj estate, after a compromise in the dispute between British Govt. and Jagirdar Har Narayan Singh, came under the Superintendence of the Court of Wards, Ghazipur in 1837 and British Govt. granted an annual pension of Rs. 36322 and 8 annas to Babu Har Narayan Singh and his heirs in perpetuity.By this arrangement Babu Har Narayan Singh and his successor no longer remained the proprietors of the Pargana or the Jagir and become entitled to merely a pension.
Harihar Dhari Singh was born in the year 1857 and after death of his father, started to live at Bharatpura. After some time the brothers separated and started to live a separate and independent life. His father loan liabilities of over 7 lakhs also fall on him, after the separation. The annual income was only Rs. 50000/- and he tried his best to meet the ends with this income. He was a generous person by nature and helped everyone who come to him for help. He was a great disciple of deity Durga and during ‘Navratri’ used to arrange ‘Ranchandi Havan’ etc. at the temples at Kashi, Vindhyachal and Deogarh.
The prayer hall at the old ‘Karnaeshwarnath temple’ at Bharatpura was got constructed by him. He was for 10 years member of District Board and Bankipur Hospital. The dispensary at Bharatpura was established by him and he used to give to the Government Rs.600/- annually towards expenditure incurred for treatment of others and Rs.125/- for maintenance of it. The Post Office at Bharatpura was opened due to his efforts. Due to his generosity, the loan amount continued to grow and when he found that it is impossible for him to repay the dues he handed over his estate to Court Of Wards. He raised a loan of Rs.150000/- on 8 annas rate of interest from them to repay the loan amount. In lieu of this loan he had to mortgage lands worth Rs. 25000/- , he failed to get it released during his lifetime. Further, to that he had to sell lands worth Rs. 15000/-, to repay the loan amount . There was regular eradication in his property till he was alive.
He was married twice, had 5 daughters from first marriage and one daughter from second marriage. His three daughters were married at Saraha, two at Chainpur and one at Parsa. He died in the year 1906 due to heart attack after taking dinner on Chaitya Krishan second.
RAM DHARI SINGH AND DHARHARA
On the page 139, Lewis Sydney Steward O’Malley reported Gazetteer of Bihar and Orissa, District Gazetteer Patna, published in the year 1924,” Of the historical families of the district only those of Tikari, Masaurha, Rajgir & Islampur survive as considerable Zamindars. The property of the Tikari zamindars lies chiefly in the separated portion of Zila Bihar, as does that of the Zamindars of Rajgir ( the Hosseinabad family, descended from the brother of Ibrahim Ali Khan with whom Rajgir was settled in 1782 ). The Masaurha family , descended from collateral branches of that of Raja Jaswant Singh, dominate the pargana as a clan, though there has been much subdivision of proprietary rights. They are commonly known as the Babus of Sehra, Bharatpura and Dharhara, and an account of their is given in Chapter xvii.
A village in the Dinapore subdivision, on the Bihta-Paliganj road. This is the seat of a branch of one of the most ancient Bhumihar Brahman families of the district, descended from Choudhri Ajab Singh, brother of Raja Kanchand, zamindar of Arwal-Masaurha. The last of the descendants of Raja Kanchand to hold that great estate was Raja Jaswant Singh, who died without heirs and whose widow ( The lady is described in Eastern India as the widow of Yasamanta owing to a misreading of Buchanan’s manuscript ) wasted much of the property. After her death what was left of the estate was divided between sons of Mansarn Singh ( Great Grandson of Ajab Singh and ancestor of the Dharhara and Bharatpura branches of the present family ) and Dilip Singh, grandson of Ajab Singh, ancestor of the Babus of Sehra. The details are taken down from Page 207 of the Bihar Orissa, District Gazetteer Patna by L.S.S. O’Malley, 1924.
In the Patna District Gazetteer of 1970 by N. Kumar, in Places of Interest on page 637, the details on Dharhara was given on same line as L.S.S. O’Malley’s Gazetteer of 1924. The additional information given was that of population, which as per 1961 census was 1025 persons ( 5045 males and 480 females ).
An anecdote, regarding our Great-Great Grand father Babu Ram Dhari Singh urf Beradar babu. Mr Salone , a Spanish whose family got some property of Arwal paragana from Tekari Raj in lieu of marriage of one of the lady to Tekari Maharaj, raised a dispute over some property with Babu Ram Dhari Singh. Ram Dhari Babu was an intelligent, well mannered, no nonsense, brave person ordered his Sipahi to beat Salone if he again trace pass his property fully aware of the consequences of his action against european as Britishers have zero tolerance in such cases . His sipahi carried out the order and Salone filed a criminal case against Ram Dhari babu. The news of impending one sided severe punishment to Ram Dhari babu spread. It was decided by Maharaja Bettiah, Banaras and other Rajas/Zamindars to be present in the court in his support when Ram dhari babu appears there.The British Judge was astonished to see such a distinguished dignitaries present in his court and asked them why they have come to his court. They in one voice told the Judge that Babu Ram Dhari Singh is not only their relative but a distinguish Zamindar in his own right and they have come to extend moral support to him.The Judge was impressed by his aura and Ram Dhari Babu escaped severe punishment like life imprisonment, forfeit of Zamindari with a fine. It is moral, culture, tradition,aura cultivated by our ancestors through the centuries that we still maintain a position in this materialistic society.