Raja Badan Singh Or Raja shri Mahendra “Brij Raj” Badan Singh (Reign: 1722–21 May 1755) was the formal founder of the princely state of Bharatpur. He was son of Thakur Rup Singh who was Jagirdar Of Deeg and nephew of Rao Churaman Singh Of Thun .And Cousin Brother Of Raja Mukam Singh Of Thun.

Ancestors :-
Raja Badan Singh Of Deeg was decent of Thakur Sobha who defeated the Kalals in 12th century at Bayana and founded Sinsini over their land, established Sinsina/ Sursain temple at Sinsini married Devsani and because originator of Sinsinwar Dynasty of Sinsini.

His sons –
Sons of Badan Singh: Badan Singh had issue, 16 sons. The list is as under:
• Yuvraj Sujan Singh , Later Maharaja SurajMal
• Pratap Singh , Later Raja Of Weir
• Kanwar Akhai Singh , Thakur Of Akhaigarh
• Kanwar Ram kishan Singh , Thakur Of Mahloni
• Kanwar Guman Singh, Thakur Of Gadoli.
• Kanwar Bhawani Singh, Thakur Of Senthari.
• Kanwar Dalel Singh, Thakur Of Agahwali
• Kanwar Duleh Singh, Thakur Of Ashtawan
• Kanwar Devi Singh, Thakur Of Peepali
• Kanwar Jodh Singh, Thakur Of Bajoli
• Kanwar Bir Narayan Singh, Thakur Of Bansi
• Kanwar Umed Singh , Thakur Of Bachamandi Thakuran.
• Thakur Ram Bal Singh , Thakur Of Khatka
• Kanwar Lal Singh, Thakur Of Suhans
• Thakur Subha Ram Singh , Thakur Of Hasanpur
• Kantar Man Singh , Thakur Of Gadoli

• Raja Muhkam Singh Bahadur downfall :-

After the death of Thun ruler Rao Chudaman Singh Bahadur , a dispute arose between his nephew Badan Singh and his
son Muhkam Singh regarding Rajpatha. But Raja Muhkam Singh became, about which Badan Singh was unhappy.Muhkam Singh was an able leader, he had proved his fighting ability by defeating the Deputy Subedar of Agra and Saadat Khan, the Viceroy of Agra. Muhkam Singh also challenged the Mughal authority by helping rebels like Ajit Singh of Mewar and Chhatrasal of Bundi. The Mughal emperor had no choice but to send Jai Singh II of Amer against the Jats. Jai Singh raised an army of 14,000 men and marched towards the Jats strongholds. Muhkam Singh forced that army to retreat, he attacked Jai Singh’s army several times in the night causing heavy losses on both sides. However day by day the garrison felt the heavy artillery of the siegeers. Muhkam Singh knew that the fort would fall in no time so he took as much of the treasure as he could and destroyed the rest with gunpowder. On 7-8 November 1722, Muhkam Singh took the assistance of the Jodhpur Maharaja where he paid three lakh rupees to the Jodhpur Maharaja to help him against Jai Singh. An army from Jodhpur was sent under Bijayraj Bhandari to rescue Thun, although by the time the Jodhpur army reached Jobner, it was too late as most of the Jat strongholds had fallen and many smaller forts had been destroyed. With no option but to go into exile, a Mughal army was sent to pursue him, though he was saved by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Throughout this war, Badan Singh, the Jagirdar of Deeg, was on the side of Raja Jai Singh. Badan Singh became the ruler of Deeg princely state with the help of Sawai Jai Singh. And He received “Raja” Title from Farrukhasiyar.

• Badan Singh became Brijraj

On 18 November 1722, the Rajput Mughal army besieged Mohkam Singh’s Toon fort, took it and plowed it with donkeys. Thus the Jat kingdom of Badan Singh emerged from the donkeys of Thun, Jatauli and other forts. After the fall of Thun and Jatauli, Badan Singh formally became a good friend of the Jaipur court on 23 November 1722. Jai Singh honored Badan Singh with the title of ‘Brajraj’ i.e. King of Brij. And was given the Kotwali of Agra. Apart from this, he also got the jagirs of Mathura, Vrindavan, Mahavan, Hisar, Chhata, Kosi and Hodal parganas for revenue of Rs. 50-60 lakhs as revenue.

• His Battles :-
• The battle of Mandu 1729

Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur got the Subadari of Malwa in October 1729. He was ordered to move against the Marathas. The Kachhwaha showed a great courage in the war against Marathas. Raja Jai Singh had requested the help of the army from Bharatpur, then Raja Badan Singh had helped Jaipur under the leadership of his elder son Maharaja SurajMal . At the end of 1729 the Marathas were defeated in this war and Mandu came under Jai Singh

• The battle of Bhopal 1737

Sawai Raja Jai Singh sent the army against Peshwa Bajirao to help Nizam-ul-mulk under the leadership of his son Iswari Singh and Diwan Raja Ayamal. Badan Singh also sent Jat army in support of Jai Singh under the leadership of his second son Pratap Singh, Later Raja Bahadur Of Weir. There was a fierce battle on 24 December 1737 in which Nizam-ul-mulk was badly surrounded. At last on 6 January 1738 Peshwa Bajirao was forced to make a treaty with Jai Singh at village Doraha near Bhopal.

• Gangwana war 27 May 1741

On 7 May 1741 when Jai Singh was busy in negotiations with Peshwa Balaji Bajirao in Dholpur, he received information about Bakht Singh Rathore’s planning of attack on Amber. Jai Singh returned with an army of 50000 people. This army included Jats also. There was encounter by Bakht Singh with the army of Jai Singh at place called Gangwana near Ajmer. This battle was fought on 27 May 1741. Jat army took part in this battle under the leadership of Maharaja Suraj Mal. Bakht Singh was defeated.

Inclusion of Mewat

Mev people inhabited areas surrounded by hills near the northern boundary of Bharatpur state. They were creating problems for people by looting them. Jai Singh also wanted to control them. The task of solving this problem was assigned to his son Suraj Mal and a close relative thakur Sultan Singh. They did it successfully. Maharaja Surajmal was tactfully eliminating the Amils of Jaipur state and establishing his own Thanas. Badan Singh got the Jagir of Mewat for revenue of Rs. 18 lakh per annum.

• Role Of Sawai Jai Singh Of Jaipur :-

Jai Singh had a big contribution in this success. Jai Singh was the Subedar of Agra Suba. Badan Singh often visited the Jaipur court by presenting gifts on the occasion of Dussehra as per royal customs. He also built a palace in Jaipur for his residence. That area is still known as Badanpura. Badan Singh never went to the Mughal court even after being invited several times. Because he believed in better relations with his Hindu royal families than with the Mughals.

• Architecture :-

Badan Singh had some aesthetic sense and a taste for architecture too, which is testified by the remains of his numerous buildings and garden-palaces. He beautified the fort of Deeg with handsome palaces, which are known as the Purana Mahal.
At Weir in the Bayana district, he planted within the fort a large garden with a beautiful house and reservoirs in the centre, now called Phul-bari.
He also built palaces at Kamar as well Sahar, which are now in ruin, and dedicated a temple at Vrindavan, known by the poetic name of Dhir Samir.
Badan Singh lived to a ripe old age, which he spent in happy retirement at Sahar, leaving the management of his State to his most capable son Maharaja Suraj Mal.

• Retired from state affairs

Badan Singh had many sons. Out of them Suraj Mal and Pratap Singh were competent and popular. To avoid any family feud in future Badan Singh got constructed separately strong forts and palaces at Kumher for Suraj Mal and at Weir for Pratap Singh. It is believed that due to his health conditions Badan Singh handed over the state of Weir to Pratap Singh around 1738-40 and declared Suraj Mal as successor for the rest of state and handed over the administration to him. Due to untimely death of his son Pratap Singh on 2 November 1745 and severity of his eye problem he decided to retire from active royal affairs.

• Last Period of Badan Singh :-

Badan Singh spent the last period of his life in Deeg and Sahar. He had inclination for art and architecture since beginning. Natwar Singh has mentioned that Badan Singh had extraordinary sense of beautification even though he was illiterate. According to him the grand layout of palaces and gardens of Deeg was entirely that of Badan Singh. Badan Singh did the beautification of Deeg Fort. The palaces constructed by him at Deeg are known as ‘Purana Mahal’. He got constructed Parkotas around Kumher and Weir towns along with new construction of buildings in forts. Sahar was his place of choice so he got constructed beautiful buildings and developed gardens there. He also got constructed a temple at ‘Dhir Samir’ ghat of Vrindavan.

Badan Singh himself was a poet and encouraged poets. He brought famous poet Somnath from Mathura and appointed as teacher of Suraj Mal.

The craftsman of Agra had become jobless due to the meager financial conditions of Mughal ruler. Badan Singh brought these craftsman from Agra and gave them work. He also engaged large number of people in works like digging of ponds, making bricks, developing grass lawns etc. There was nobody without work in his state. Badan Singh died on 7 June 1756 at Deeg.

•Assessment of Badan Singh :-

After Rao Churaman Singh Of Thun, Raja Badan Singh was the founder of Kingdom Of Bharatpur. Because Before Rao Churaman Singh Of Thun they were Jagirdar, Raja Badan Singh expanded his state through vision and political tacts. He believed in piece rather than war and bloodshed. The people in his state were safe. He has great contributions for the architecture, art, poetry and craftmenship.

• Death Of Raja Badan Singh Of Bharatpur

Raja Badan Singh died in 21 May 1755, And after that the kingdom came into the hands of his eldest son Sujan Singh (also know as Maharaja Surajmal). And Maharaja Surajmal had built an Samadhi in Deeg in the memory of his father . And when the kingdom came in the hands of Maharaja Surajmal, he made his own contribution to Indian history. He took history to a different extreme. Due to which he was counted as one of the greatest warriors in Indian history.

Reference :-
• The Jats – Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Chapter V,p.97

• Vide Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 22a-22b, 26b; Pathena Raso, quoted by Ganga Singh, op.cil., 100

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