The Invincible State of Bharatpur

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The Royal House of Bharatpur traces its history to the 11th century. The rulers of Bharatpur were from the Jat Sinsinwar clan of which is an indo-sythian tribe that migrated in India around AD100. The descendants of Khanu Chandh became leaders of the Jat caste and rose to considerable power during the Mughal decline in the late seventeenth century. Looking at their valor, Rajput king of Jaipur granted him Bharatpur as their State. At the end of the 17th century, Jat Baija, Zamindar of the village of Sansani, took advantage of the weakness of the Mughal Empire to enlarge his territory. His descendants, Churaman Singh and Badan Singh, continued the expansion, the latter being the founder of the fortress of Bharatpur in 1724. Budan Singh was succeeded by Maharaja Suraj Mal, under whom the power of jats reached its zenith. Suraj conquered a vast territory in north-central India, including the Imperial cities of Agra and Delhi. Thereafter the Jats proved fickle allies, making and breaking alliances with the Mughals, the Mahrattas, and the British, losing territory to all three, but also gaining Deeg in the process. The British, under Gerard Lake, 1st Viscount Lake (Lord Lake), fruitlessly besieged the fort of Bharatpur twice, in 1804 and again in Siege of Bharatpur (1805) during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, eventually settling for a subsidiary alliance after the failure of the second siege. The fort eventually fell to Stapleton Cotton, 1st Viscount Combermere’s (Lord Combermere) forces in 1826 in the three weeks siege of Bharatpur after the British had intervened to unseat a usurper, and was demolished. Thereafter, the Jat Maharajas proved to be good allies to the British, supplying large numbers of recruits for the Presidency armies and participating in Imperial campaigns. In August 1947 the state acceded to the newly independent Dominion of India. In 1948 it became part of the Matsya Union and in 1949 was absorbed into Rajasthan. Members of the ruling family continue to be active in national and regional affairs. Several members of the family have served as members of parliament and in the state legislature.

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