Suraj Mal

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Suraj Mal
Maharaja of Bharatpur
Bahadur Jung
Maharaja Suraj Mal
Illustration of Maharaja Suraj Mal smoking a hookah on a terrace
Reign r. 1755 – 1763 AD
Coronation Deeg, 23 May 1755
Predecessor Badan Singh
Successor Jawahar Singh
Born 13 February 1707
Bharatpur
Died Script error: No such module "age".
near Delhi
Wives Maharani Kishori
Rani Gauri of the Rajput clan[1] (Rajput Queen)[2]
Issue Jawahar Singh
Nahar Singh
Ratan Singh
Nawal Singh
Ranjit Singh
House

Sinsinwar Jat

Dynasty
Father Badan Singh
Mother Maharani Devki
Suraj Mal
Battles/wars Battle of Bagru
Battle of Ghasera
Capture of Delhi
Battle of Kumher
Capture of Agra Fort
Capture of Farrukhnagar

Maharaja Suraj Mal (13 February 1707 – 25 December 1763) or Sujan Singh, was a Hindu Jat ruler of Bharatpur in Rajasthan, India. Under him, the Jat rule covered the present-day national capital Delhi and districts of Agra, Aligarh, Alwar, Bharatpur, Bulandshahr, Dholpur, Etah, Etawa, Faridabad, Firozabad, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Hathras, Jhajjar, Kanpur, Mainpuri, Mathura, Mewat, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Palwal, Rewari, and Rohtak.[3][4]

A contemporary historian had described him as "the Plato of the Jat tribe" and by a modern writer as the "Jat Odysseus", because of his "political sagacity, steady intellect and clear vision".[5] The Jats, under Suraj Mal, overran the Mughal garrison at Agra. Suraj Mal was killed in an ambush by the Rohilla troops on the night of 25 December 1763 near Hindon River, Shahadra, Delhi.[4] In addition to the troops stationed at his forts, he had an army of 25,000 infantry and 15,000 cavalry when he died.[4]

Early life[edit]

Suraj Mal was born on 13 February 1707, to Badan Singh and Rani Devki into a Hindu Jat family of Sinsinwar clan in Bharatpur, Mughal India (present-day Rajasthan, India). Suraj Mal was the founder of Kingdom of Bharatpur. The Hindu Jat Kingdom reached its zenith under Maharaja Suraj Mal. He fought 80+ battles in our life and won all the battles. Suraj Mal was famously known as a hindua suraj. He had won Delhi twice, first time on 10 May 1753 and second time on 24 December 1763. He had political rivalry with several local Rajas and civilizational rivalry with Muslim chieftains and powers like Mughals, Pathans, Afghans, Rohillas and Balochs etc.

Established the Bharatpur[edit]

Maharaja Suraj Mal conquered the site of Bharatpur from Khemkaran Sogaria, the son of Rustam, in the year 1733 and established the Bharatpur town in the year 1743. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. He started living in Bharatpur in year 1753.[6]

Lohagarh Fort[edit]

File:Iron Fort - Bharatpur India (4609963201).jpg
Lohaghar Fort buit by Maharaja Suraj Mal

Lohagarh Fort was built in 18th century by Raja Suraj Mal. Besides this, Suraj Mal built many other forts and palaces.This fort is the only fort in India that no one in history has won. Lohagarh Fort is considered as one of the strongest fort as British could not capture it in spite of several attacks. Lord Lake made a siege of the fort in 1805 for six weeks but in spite of so many attacks he could not annex it.

Jawahar Burj and the Fateh Burj were built to celebrate the victory over Mughals and British. The fort is surrounded by deep moats. There is a legend which states that the fort will fall down if a crocodile takes up all the water of the moats. There is also a legend which states that a gate of the fort was brought from Delhi which Alauddin Khilji brought from the fort of Chittorgarh. The gate was brought and fixed in the fort in 17th century.

Attack on the fort by British General Lake wanted to create enmity between Rajput and Marathas so he reminded Raja Ranjeet of the treaty. At that time Holkar was in his protection and Raja refused to hand him to the British. British laid a siege on the fort and attacked it under the command of Lake but were defeated badly. Many of their soldiers and officers were killed. After two days British broke the wall and the Jats attacked them through artillery.

In the third attack, the British successfully crossed the moat but the attack of Jats filled the moat with the bodies of soldiers. General Lake was asked to have a peace treaty but he refused saying that reinforcement is coming. The combined forces of Holkar, Amir Khan and Ranjeet Singh attacked the British.

When the British force was reinforced from the troops that came from Mumbai and Chennai, they renewed the attack. The British soldiers were attacked by boulders but still some of them succeeded to enter the fort but British suffered heavy losses. Around 3000 were killed and several thousand were injured. After this Lake went into peace treaty with the Rajputs.

Capture of Delhi[edit]

Maharaja Suraj Mal attacked Delhi on 9 May 1753. The Nawab of Delhi Ghazi al-Din III was defeated on 10 May 1753 and Delhi was occupied by Jats many people left Delhi and headed for what is now New Delhi. The Mughal army could not protect them. On 13 May Safdar Jang was dismissed as wazir and appointed in his place Intijam, with Imad as Mir Bakshi. On Suraj's advice, Safdar Jang reacted by appointing Akbar Ādilshāh as emperor. On 14 May the Jats sacked Chārbāg, Bāg-e-kultāt and Hakīm Munīm Bridge, and the next day Jaisinghpura, burning several areas. On 16 May the Jats attacked Delhi and defeated Sādil Khan and Raja Devidatta in a battle. On 17 May the Jats captured Feroz Shah Kotla. In the fight against the rohilles, Najib Khan was wounded and 400 rohillas died. The Nawab of Delhi called for help from the Marathas.[7]

Battle of Kumher[edit]

Mughal Emperor Alamgir II and his rebellious courtier Siraj ud-Daulah were having a factional feud. Suraj Mal had sided with Siraj. Alamgir sought the help of the Holkar Marathas of Indore. Khanderao Holkar, son of the Maharaja of Indore, Malhar Rao Holkar, laid a siege on Suraj Mal's Kumher in 1754. While inspecting the troops on an open palanquin in the battle of Kumher, Khanderao was hit and killed by a cannonball from the Bharatpur army. The siege was lifted and a treaty was signed between Jats and Marathas, which later proved helpful for Suraj Mal in consolidating his rule.[8][9]

Capture of Farrukhnagar[edit]

The successive Nawabs ruled over a large tract of land in the area, for over 70 years until they were overthrown by the Jat ruler of Bharatpur, Farrukhnagar was captured by Suraj Mal of Bharatpur, a Jat state in around 1757, defeating Musa Khan son of Kamgar.[10]

Battle of Bharatpur[edit]

It was fought between Jats and Afghans on 12 february 1757. Ahmad Shah Durrani a afghan ruler attacked on Bharatpur. Durrani dared not proceed to attack on Deeg. Maharaja Surajmal's troops fought against him in Ballabgarh, Chaumunha, Gokul, Kumher and in Bharatpur. Jat army stopped Afghan army. Surajmal's forces defeat the Abdali's forces. At last Abdali had to leave the war and retreat. During this he ruined and looted the holy places of Mathura and Vrindavan.

Suraj Mal and Abdali[edit]

After his victory over Dattaji on 10 January 1760, Ahmad Shah came to Delhi, and called upon Raja Surajmal to pay him tribute and join his camp. On such occasions Surajmal invariably played a humble role, pleading that he was a petty zamindar. He informed the Shah that he would readily pay his share to the lawful Government of Delhi at the fixed time of payment. If the Durrani stayed in India and assumed sovereignty, he would obey him as his legal master. At the time of demand he possessed no money as his country had been ruined by the constant movements and pillage of Marathas and Afghans. It was not in Durrani’s nature to tolerate such defiance. He besieged Surajmal’s fort of Dig on 6 February 1760*. After a short while he realized that it would require a very long period to reduce a strongly fortified, largely garrisoned and heavily provisioned fortress. In such cases he did not make it a matter of prestige. He quietly raised the siege, and marched in pursuit of Malhar rao.

Having routed the Maratha chief at Sikandarabad on 4 March 1760, Ahmad Shah marched upon Koil (modern Aligarh) which belonged to Raja Surajmal, and invested the Jat fort of Ramgarh. It was commanded by Durjansal. The fort was well-garrisoned and fortified , and large stocks of provisions had been stored therein. The fort could have resisted for long; but the qiladar was disheartened at the occupation of the entire upper Ganga Doab by the Afghans, and to save himself from massacre he capitulated in a fortnight or so.[11]

Protect Marathas after Third Battle of Panipat[edit]

The Marathas were defeated by Afghan armies at the third battle of Panipat and a hundred thousand Maratha survivors reached Suraj Mal's territory while returning south, sans arms, sans clothes and sans food. Maharaja Suraj Mal and Maharani Kishori received them with tender warmth and hospitality, giving free rations to every Maratha soldier or camp follower. The wounded were taken care of till they were fit to travel. Thus, Maharaja Suraj Mal spent no less than three million rupees on their sick and wounded guests.[12]

Capture of Agra Fort[edit]

Agra was the richest town during that period. Maharaja Suraj Mal decided to capture Agra fort to re-establish his influence in doab region. On 3 May 1761 the Jat army of Suraj Mal with 4000 Jat soldiers reached Agra under the command of Balram and gave the message of Maharaja Suraj Mal to the kiledar (in charge) of Agra fort that the army wanted to cross the Yamuna and needed camping place. The kiledar gave the sanction for camping. Meanwhile the Jat army started entering the fort, which was resisted by the guards in which 200 people died. Jat army started war from Jamamasjid. During this period Maharaja Suraj Mal stayed at Mathura to observe the situations. On 24 May 1761 Maharaja Suraj Mal along with Imād and Gangadhar Tantya moved from Mathura, crossed Jamuna and reached Aligarh. From Aligarh his army moved and captured the areas of Jat ruler koīl and Jalesar. They reached Agra to help his army at Agra in the first week of June. Maharaja Suraj Mal arrested the family members of the guards staying in Agra town and pressurized the guards of fort for surrender. At last the kiledar agreed to surrender by receiving a bribe of Rs 1 lakh and jagir of five villages. Thus after a seize of one month Maharaja Suraj Mal captured Agra Fort on 12 June 1761.[13]

Death[edit]

Fight with Surajmal and Najib. The Rohilla under Najib-ud-daula had now been encircled and the war was inevitable. Ruhella alongside Baloch Sayyidu Muhammad Khan, Afzal Khan, Zaibita Khan had mobilized the troops which was still weaker in number and weaponry against King Surajmal Military. Jat foray on to the enemy was mobilized from both front and rear end and it was potent enough to have decimated the combined Rohilla and Baloch in two days, but a deceitful ambush by Sayyidu near the Hindon river base took the King Surajmal with surprise. Outnumbered and suddenly the King Surajmal attained Martyrdom on the night of 25 December 1763.

Legacy[edit]

His large cenotaph is at Kusum Sarovar, Govardhan, Uttar Pradesh.[14] His imposing chattri is flanked on either side by two smaller chattris of his two wives, "Maharani Hansiya" and "Maharani Kishori".[15] These memorial chattris were built by his son and successor Maharaja Jawahar Singh.[citation needed] The architecture and carving is in the pierced stone style and the ceiling of cenotaphs are adorned with paintings of the life of Krishna and Suraj Mal.[15] His court poet Sūdan recorded his biography in Sujān Charitra.

Notable institutes named after him include Maharaja Surajmal Institute of Technology, Maharaja Surajmal Brij University, Bharatpur and Surajmal Stadium metro station.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

Principality of Farrukhnagar

References[edit]

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  1. Dwivedi, Girish Chandra; Prasad, Ishwari (1989). The Jats, their role in the Mughal Empire [archive]. Arnold Publishers. p. 238. ISBN 978-81-7031-150-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Dalal, Ajit (20 February 1999). "The Tribune...Saturday Plus Head" [archive]. The Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Maharaja Surajmal" [archive]. www.istampgalley.com. Retrieved 29 June 2021.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Chaudhuri, J. N. (1977). "Disruption of the Mughal Empire: The Jats" [archive]. In Majumdar, R. C. (ed.). The History and Culture of the Indian People. Vol. 8: The Maratha Supremacy. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 157. OCLC 1067771105 [archive]. Retrieved 20 December 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. R.C.Majumdar, H.C.Raychaudhury, Kalikaranjan Datta: An Advanced History of India, fourth edition, 1978, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 0-333-90298-X, Page-535
  6. http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/photocoll/m/019pho000000037u00052000.html#:~:text=Bharatpur%20became%20the%20state%20capital,and%20capturing%20Agra%20in%201761 [archive].
  7. S. B. Bhattacherje (1984). Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates [archive]. New Dawn Press. p. 595. ISBN 978-1-932-70549-2.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Advanced Study in the History of Modern India 1707-1813, by Jaswant Lal Mehta, pp606 [archive]
  9. Images of Women in Maharashtrian Literature and Religion [archive], edited by Anne Feldhaus, pp185-186
  10. Sharma, Suresh K (2006). Haryana: Past and Present [archive]. Mittal Publications. pp. 89–90. ISBN 81-8324-046-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Gupta, Hari Ram (1961). Marathas And Panipat [archive] (in und).CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "All you need to know more about Maharaja Surajmal and the third battle of panipat" [archive]. Jagran. Retrieved 23 December 2019.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Sir Jadunath Sarkar. Fall of the Mughal Empire: 1754-1771 (Panipat) [archive]. M. C. Sarkar, 1966.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Cenotaph of Raja Sooruj Mull, Govurdhun. 97140, British Library online collection [archive]
  15. 15.0 15.1 D. Anand, 1992, Krishna: The Living God of Braj [archive], Page 56.

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Suraj Mal [archive] at Britannica

Suraj Mal
Sinsiniwar Jat Dynasty
Born: 1707 Died: 1763
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Badan Singh
Maharaja of Bharatpur
1755–1763 AD
Succeeded by
Maharaja Jawahar Singh