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Sultanpur District Uttar Pradesh

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History of Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh

The Sultanpur district Gazeteer published in 1903 A.D. sheds some light on the history and origin of the district. It notes that the chief land owning families of the time were the Rajputs of various clans, who possessed 76.16% of the total land area. Among them Raghuvanshies and the Rajkunwars popularly known as Rajkumar thakurs along-held over one-fourth of the district, while their kinsmen, the Bachgotis and Rajwars owned 11.4 and 3.4%, respectively. The Rajkumars were the proprietors nearly the whole of Aldemau. Their chief was the Maharaja of Bhaddaiyan but after rebelling in 1857,the Raja of Dera was acknowledged as the head of Rajkunwars by the victorious British forces. The head of Bachgotis was the Raja of Kurwar while the taluqdar of Samrathpur represented another branch of the family. The chief of Rajwars was the taluqdar of Pratabpur. Another member of the Rajwars family was the Raja of Hasanpur. Allied to him were the families of Maniarpur and Gangeo and between them they owned a large portion of the central area. Next to Bachgotis and their kinsmen come the Bandhalgotis, who owned almost the whole of Amethi pargana. Their head was the Raja of Amethi, while the taluqdar Shahgarh belonged to the same clan. The Rajputs with large properties in the district were the Bhale Sultans who owned 4.72%, the Kanhapurias with 4.7%, and the Bais with 2.8%. Bhale Sultans were dwelling in the north west corner of the district in the parganas of Isauli, Musafirkhana and Jagdishpur. The Kanhpurias were chiefly confined to pargana Gaura Jamo, almost the whole of which belonged to them. The Bais were scattered about in small groups.

Another important branch of the land owning clans was the house of Raj Sah. Raj Sah had three sons, Ishri Singh, Chakrasen Singh and Rup Chand. From Ishari Singh, after nine generations came Bijai Chand, who had three sons. Harkaran Deo. Jit Rai, and Jionarain. Harkaran Deo was the ancestor of Nane]0mau taluqdar; the descendants of Jit Rai were the owners of Meopur Dahla, Meopur Dhaurua, and Bhadaiyan; and from Jionarain descended the Raja of Dera. The fourth descendant of Jionarain led the first of the six colonies of Rajkumars across the Gomti and planted himself at Dera on the banks of the river. This house became one of the main branches of the Bachgotis of Sultanpur.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century Babu Madho Singh, eleventh in descent from Jionarain was the rular of the estate which consisted of 101 villages. Babu Madho Singh who is remembered as the successful leader and who managed his property well died in 1823. He was succeeded by his widow, Thakurain Dariao Kunwar, a most remarkable woman, who through toil and turmoil not only bravely held her own, but added to her estates than her husband had done in his lifetime. The direct line of succession had ended with the death of Thakurain's husband, Babu Madho singh. The Next male collateral heir was Babu Rustam Sah, whom Thakurain disliked. Babu Rustam Sah was in the service of Maharaja Man Singh, the nazim of the day and with his help succeeded in capturing Thakurain and made her write a deed in his favour. That formidable woman, whose pride was hurt grieved for a few months and died. Rustam Sah was given the possession of the property by the nazim. Rustam Sah came to know later that the nazim had ulterior motives in helping him. A fight would have followed and Rustam would have killed nazim, but for a pandit who advised him that the time was not propitious. Later, Rustam Sah sought asylum across the British border and was made the taluqdar of Dera, which consisted of 336 villages. Rustam Sah rendered excellent service during the Mutiny. He died in 1877 and was succeeded by his nephew, Raja Rudra Pratap Singh.

Role in Vedic culture and literature

Lord Rama divided, during his lifetime, his vast kingdom among his brothers and sons. His son, Kush succeeded to the south Kosala with its capital at Ayodhya. The old city of Sultanpur which lay on the right bank of the Gomti is said to have been called Kusapura or Kusabhavanpur, having been named after Kusa, who is locally believed to have founded it. Kusa appears to have extended the Aryan ideals and institutions to the Vindhya region. The story of his marriage with a Nag princess testifies that he propagated Vedic culture among aborigines. Afterwards the central power of Kosala became week and Dirghayajna, the ruler of Ayodhya, was subdued by Bhima, one of five Pandavas in the Mahabharat War (Mahabharata, Sabhaparva). A few generations later, in the period of king Para, Ayodhya was occupied by the king Divakara of Sravasti branch, founded by Rama's second son, Lava. The District then began to be ruled over by the Kosala kings from their capital at Sravasti. The tract of river Gomti around the village Dhopap (pargana Chanda, tehsil Kadipur) is described as Dhutpap in Visnu Puran. The original town was situated on the left bank of the Gomti. It is said to have been founded by Kusa, son of Rama, and to have been named after him Kusapura or Kusabhavanpur. This ancient city has been identified by General Cunnigham with the Kusapur mentioned by Hiuentsang, the Chinese traveller. He states that there was in his time a dilapidated stupa of Ashoka and that Buddha taught here for six months. There are Buddhist remains still visible at Mahmoodpur, a village, 8 km distant to the north-west of Sultanpur. The town subsequently fell into the hands of Bhars, who retained it until it was taken from them by Musalmans in the 12th century. About seven hundred and fifty years ago, it is said, two brothers, Sayid Muhammad and Sayid Ala-ud-Din, horse dealer by profession, visited eastern Avadh and offered some horses for sale to Bhar Chieftains of Kusabhavanpur, who seized the horses and put the two brothers to death. This came to the ear of Ala-ud-Din Khilji, who would not allow such an outrage to pass unpunished. Gathering a mighty force, therefore, he set out for Kusabhavanpur and took revenge by killing most of the Bhars by strategem adopted after a long drawn siege. Kusabhavanpur was reduced to ashes and the town of Sultanpur, so called from the rank of the victor, rose upon its ruins. This town was finally raised to the ground during the military operations connected with the reoccupation of the province in consequence of the inhabitants having been concerned in the murder of British officers at the outbreak of the freedom struggle of 1857.Before annexation a military station and cantonment were established on the right bank of the river in a village then known as Girghit but more commonly called by officials Sultanpur or Chhaoni Sarkar and by the rustic population Kampu or the Cam. The present town of Sultanpur has been developed at this site. In this city there are two parks, one maintained by Soldiers', Sailers' and Airmen's board and other privately maintained known as Chimanlal Park.Alibrary called Vinayak Mehta Library Trust Association and contains over 10,000 books.

The History of Amethi

Manohar Singh, who had six sons, was the only son of the first of Bandhalgotis. The six sons of Manohar Singh divided the estate between them. Raj Singh, the youngest of the six brothers succeded in adding to his share those of his brothers, Ram Singh and Kunwar Singh who died childless. The fourth descendant Ramraj Singh, Shriram Dev had two brothers Shyam Lal and Dharamir who owned Barna Tikar estate on the extreme west and the Tikri estate on the extreme east. Ram Sahay, the grandson of Shriram Dev was given as his share of the estate Kasranwa on the northern boundary of Amethi, while his great grandson Sultanshah obtained Shahgarh intermediate between Kasranwa and the older estates. Thus, the hold of Bandhalgotis seemed to have separate over the entire Amethi pargana.

The next of Bandhalgotis, whom anything is heard abourd was Gurdatt Singh, who in 1743 defied the local authorities and ultimately flee to the neighbouring jungle of Ramnagar. His fort of Raipur was destroyed in the seige of 18 days and his state was taken over. Drigpal Singh, the son of Gurdatt Singh, recovered the estate and from his time dates the present taluqa of Amethi. The property used to be called Udaiwan. Gurdatt Singh was sometimes styled Raja and sometimes Babu. The title of raja was hereditary but it is not known how long it been adopted by the head of the family. Gurdatt Singh had two sons, Harchand Singh, who obtained the bulk of his father's posessions, and Jaichand Singh who become a separate proprietor of the Kannu Kasranwa. Harchand Singh owned the whole of Amethi pargana, except Raghipur. In 1810 he was defeated by Saadat Ali Khan and the Raja was left with only 48 villages. However, Dalpat Shah, his son in whose favour he abdicated recovered in 1813 all his father's original estates. Dalpat Shah died in 1815 and was succeded by his son, Bisheshar Singh, who died childless in 1842. He was succeded by Madho Singh, nephew of Dalpat Shah. Madho Singh tried to expand his estate and had to face hostilities from the nazim of Sultanpur, Maharaja Man Singh in 1845. As the result of the hostilities was indcisive, Negotiations followed and Madho singh was given the lease of the whole pargana with the exception of a few villages. Madho Singh died in August 1891, shortly after the death of his only son, was succeded by an adopted heir, Raja Bhagwan Baksh Singh, son of Babu Sheodarshan singh, a relative of the late Raja. The estate consisted of 314 village and four pattis, all in Amethi pargana.

The house of Shahgarh was founded by Sultan Shah, the brother of Bikram Shah of Amethi. It derived its name from a fort he built and called after himself. The estate consisted of 121 villages. From 1803 to 1810 Shahgarh was with the rest of the pargana, leased to Harchand Singh, but was taken away in the latter year. It then comprised 40 villages but had increased to 60 in 1846 when it was again given to Amethi.

All the Kanhapurias of Sultanpur are descendants of Rahas, the second son of Kanh, the founder of the Clan. Seventh in descent from Rahas came Prashad Singh who had three sons. Janga Singh who received Ateha and Madan Singh of Simrauta. Fourth descendants of Janga Singh were Udebhan of Tiloi and Gulal Shah of Shahmau. The Raja Tiloi in the begining of the twentieth century was the descendant of Udebhan. His property in the district consisted of Suratgarh and Naudand in pargana Gaura Jamo.

The other Sultanpur Kanhapurias are the descendants of Indrajit Singh, great grandson of Janga Singh. Balbhaddar Singh, son of Indrajit Singh had four sons. Pratap Bahadur Singh, Raja of Katari who owned 13 villages in pargana Gaura Jamo was the grandson of Balbhaddar Singh. Raj Sah who founded the house of Jamo was the second son of Balbhaddar. Mahabir Bakhsha Singh of Jamo owned 17 villages of that pargana was a descendant of Raj Sah in the tenth generation. Babu Raghuraj Singh of Baraulia who owned 13 villages in Gaura Jamo was another descendant. The taluqdar of Bhawanshahpur, Babu Debi Bakhsha Singh, who owned 12 villages and the patti in the north of pargana Amethi was the son of Tribhubhan Sah, the third son of Balbhaddar. The whole of Kanhpuria possessions were included in the old pargana of Jais, but was broken up into four parganas of Jais, Mohanganj, Sumrauta, and Gaura Jamo by 1775.


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