Raja Man Singh of Amber


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Raja Man Singh of Amber

The Mughal aristocracy played a vital role in the establishment of the Mughal Empire on a firm footing. It not only contributed to the strengthening of the empire but it also helped in setting up a sound Mughal administration. Raja Man Singh of Amber was an important member of Mughal aristocracy. The history of Akbar’s reign will rather be incomplete without a detailed knowledge of the contributions of Raja Man Singh not only to expansion of the Mughal Empire but also to the enrichment of the art and architecture of the period.

 

Parentage of Raja Man Singh

There was a wide difference of opinion amongst historians about the parentage of Raja Man Singh. Some of the contemporary Muslim historians were of the opinion that Man Singh was the son of Raja Bhagwan Das while others believed that Raja Bhagwant Das was the father of Raja Man Singh. The European historians like V.A. Smith and H. Blochman affirm that Man Singh was the adopted son of Raja Bhagwan Das. It has now been conclusively proved on the basis of all the relevant sources – Persian, Sanskrit, Hindi, numismatic and epigraphic – that Man Singh was the eldest son of Raja Bhagwant Das and grandson of Raja Bharamal of Amber.

 

Early life of Raja Man Singh

Raja Man Singh was born on Sunday, Paus Budi 13 V.S. 1607 i.e. 21st December, 1550 A.D. His mother’s name was Rani Bhagwati Pawar, the chief wife of Raja Bhagwant Das. On the birth of Kunwar Man, the astrologers sounded an ominous note that the newly born baby was likely to fall in trouble on account of the influence of some evil stars. They further advised the Raja that in order to ward off the danger, special arrangements for the Kunwar’s stay should be made at a place away from Amber for a period of twelve years. Thereupon Raja Bharamal got a palace built for Man Singh at Muzzamabad which lay forty miles south of Amber. Kunwar Man lived in the new palace at Muazzamabad for a period of twelve years under the guardianship of his mother. In 1562 Kunwar Man returned to Amber and his arrival coincided with the marriage of the daughter of Raja Bharamal with Akbar.

 

Kunwar Man Singh in Mughal Imperial Service

Kunwar Man Singh entered the Mughal Imperial Service in 1562 at an early age of twelve. He received military training under the guidance of Emperor Akbar and became well – versed in Mughal technique of warfare. Kunwar Man Singh along with his father Bhagwant Das took prominent part in the siege and conquest of Ranthambore by Akbar early in 1569 A.D. Both Man Singh and Raja Bhagwant Das rendered commendable help to Akbar in the battle of Samal (December, 1572) which was fought against Mirza Muhammad Hakim of Kabul and also in the conquest of Surat (26th February 1573 A.D.). Kunwar Man Singh along with other Mughal generals like Shah Quit Khan, Mahram Murat Khan conquered and looted the territories of Dungarpur (74 miles from Ahmedabad) in April, 1573. When Akbar started for the Eastern Provinces in order to suppress the rebellion of Daud Khan in the closing months of 1574 the took with him a galaxy of trusted generals of whom Abul Fazi has named nineteen and amongst them the names of Raja Bhagwant Das and Kunwar Man Singh occupy the first and the second place. Thus, the father and the son played an important part in suppressing the turbulent Afghans as a result of which Daud Khan had to flee towards Bengal.

 

Kunwar Man Singh versus Maharana Pratap

Up till now Kunwar Man Singh played a subordinate role in the cross of imperial politics and therefore, he did not attract the special attention of contemporary Muslim historians. It was in the battle of Haldighati that Kunwar Man Singh was entrusted with an important assignment which at once brought him into prominence. It was in the battle that Man Singh got an opportunity to show his wonderful organizing capacity and military genius. Thus, the battle of Haldighati may be considered as a turning point in the career of Kunwar Man Singh – The battle of Haldighati was fought between the Mughal army under the command of Kunwar Man Singh one on side and the Rajputs of Mewar headed by Maharana Pratap on the other.

 

Causes of the battle of Haldighati

As regards the causes of the battle of Haldighati, different writers have advanced different reasons. Abul Fazi observers; “As the disobedience and the presumption of the Rana, as well as his deceit and dissimulation had exceeded all bounds. His majesty addressed himself to his overthrow”. Colonel Tod in his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan narrates an incident which according to a few may be used to be immediate cause of the war. This incident is based on Rajput tradition. According to in Kunwar Man Singh visited Udiapur on his way back from Gujarat in the middle of 1573 because courtesy demanded that he should pay his respects to Maharana Pratap who was the doyen of the Rajput rulers of Rajasthan while passing through his territories. Though he was warmly received but curtly treated on the bank of Udaisagar lake. This very much offended the vanity of Kunwar Man Singh and he took a vow to revenge this insult. The Udaisagar, incident might have been a contributory cause of the battle but the real causes were something else. Emperor Akbar was successful in winning over a large number of Rajput states by his policy of matrimony and friendship and this unavailing, even by extending (hearts and coercion – But neither of these policies could bring Rana Pratap to the fold of the Mughal Emperor. Akbar was a shrewd politician and he knew very well that unless Maharana Pratap was persuaded or coerced to submit, his policy of fraternizing with the Rajputs and making them a bulwark of the growing Mughal Empire was doomed to failure. But Maharana was made of a different stuff. He was prepared to sacrifice his life at the alter of Rajput freedom but was not ready to accept the over lordship of the Mughals. The loss of Chittor was still fresh in his memory and he was not in the least inclined to come to terms with the imperialists who had deprived him of his dear motherland. Besides, the Maharana was a proud orthodox Rajput chief who hated the Mughal Emperor very bitterly because the latter had polluted the Rajput blood by contacting matrimonial alliance with them. Thus, the Maharana stood like a stumbling block to the Emperor’s scheme of annexing the whole of Rajasthan to his Empire. Thus, a clash between the two was inevitable because they were poles asunder in championing their respective causes. The fight between the two lay in “the logic of history”.

 

Man Singh as the Chief Commander of the Mughal Army

One of the main reasons for the appointment of Kunwar Man Singh as the Chief Commander of the Mughal army sent against Maharana Pratap was his personal qualities – wisdom, courage, resourcefulness, able generalship and wonderful organizing capacity. Besides, Akbar, who was a shrewd observer of human nature, knew it very well that the Kachhwaha army, famous for its gallantry and bravery, would strive its utmost to se their Kunwar victorious even against Maharana Pratap who was the most respected ruler of Rajputana – Besides, Akbar knew it very well that the Mughal army was going to face a Rajput ruler who was far different from all others whom it had met so far since the Maharana was regarded at the hero and pride of the Rajput community of Rajasthan. The Mughal Emperor rightly thought that if a Muslim was put in charge of the invading army, the Kachhwahas might not cooperate in defeating the essence of the human nature, Akbar new that as cordial relation develop sooner and more readily between men of the same race and faith, so also brother is most bitter against brother on the field of battle. Hence Kunwar Man Singh was appointed as the chief commander of the Mughal army “to wield the sword of Islam.” Further, by appointing Man Singh as the leader of the Imperialist army, Akbar wanted to tease the Sisodia Chief who was esteemed as the flower of Rajput chivalry.

 

Battle of Haldighati (18 June, 1576 A.D.)

The Imperial army led by Kunwar Man Singh marched from Ajmer towards Gogunda on April 3,1576. On his way the Kunwar encamped at Mandalgarh (75 miles south of Ajmer and 25 miles north of Chittor) for about two months in order that all the Mughal generals might join him there. Kunwar Man Singh marched from Mandalgarh to Gogunda in early June, 1576. Gogunda was very close to Haldighati and was about 16 miles north – west of Udaipur. The Haldighati was so called because of the yellow colour of its soil – Haldighati was at the base of the neck of a mountain - which shut up the valley and rendered it almost inaccessible. By April, 1576, Maharana Pratap along with his army moved to Khamnaur, a village situated at the entrance to the pass of Haldighati. Kunwar Man Singh had with his 5000 troops whereas Maharana Pratap had not more than 3000. On the. 18th June, 1576 the two armies met in the village of Khamnaur which was at the mouth of Haldighati. The battle of Haldighati was indeed a very fierce battle in which hundreds of men on both sides were killed; However, the battle ended in victory of the Imperialists. The Maharana left the battle – field in sheer disgust. The Imperialists did not pursue their enemies under the orders of Kunwar Man Singh. The reason for this was that the main object of this war had been realized. The Kunwar’s chief aim was to humble the Rana by infecting a crushing defeat on him but he never wished to harass or torture him since the Rana still occupied a position of respect not only in his own eyes but also in the eyes of the Kachhwaha Rajputs. This accounts for the fact that immediately after the cessation of the war the Kunwar forbade the Mughal army to pursue the Maharana’s soldiers which might embarrass them. The Kunwar had to incur the displeasure of the Emperor for sometime on account of adopting this non – harassing policy but Man Singh bore the displeasure of the Emperor patiently and never repented what he had done. However, the displeasure of the Emperor was short – lived and the Kunwar was soon admitted into his favour.

Kunwar Man Singh was next ordered by the Emperor to suppress the rebellion of Khhichiwara (It is situated to the south of the state of Kota). The Kunwar proceeded from Amber in that direction with a strong contingent. On the way he suppressed and subdued the recalcitrant chiefs who dared to oppose him. Having established order in that region he set up military outposts there in order to safeguard the interests of the Mughal Empire. Next Man Singh marched towards Malwa and conquered the principality of Oond on the way. The Kunwar established an efficient administration in Malwa and stamped out all disaffection in that region. Emperor Akbar was much pleased at this achievement of Man Singh. He was pleased to confer the mansab of 3500 on the Kunwar and he was transferred to Kabul region. Thereafter the field of activities of man Singh and his Father shifted from Mewar to extreme north and north – west of India i.e. Punjab, Peshawar and Kabul.

 

The Role of Man Singh in the Punjab and North – West Frontier

The deputation of Man Singh to the Punjab and north – west frontier regions of India was another milestone on the road to his success. The Mughal suzerainty in that region was very shaky and the situation demanded the presence of a man of sterling qualities and great abilities. These considerations weighed with the Emperor in transferring Kunwar Man Singh to the Punjab. Man Singh came to the Punjab along with his father Raja Bhagwant Singh in April, 1578. For nearly two years (i.e. up to 1580 A.D.) Kunwar Man Singh remained engaged in bringing Kashmir under Mughal suzerainty and in chastising Sulaiman Mirza who was a friend of Muhammad Hakim, ruler of Kabul and a great enemy of Akbar. During these two years Man Singh remained in the Punjab with his headquarters at Sialkot, the then capital of the Punjab. In Janurary, 1580 Man Singh was entrusted with the administration of the North – Western Frontier Provinces. He was also given charge of the administration of the neighboring regions of the river Indus. Kunwar Man Singh discharged his responsibilities quite satisfactorily. In December, 1580 her inflicted a crushing defeat on Shadman, an Afghan leader and a great friend of Mirza Muhammad Hakim, ruler of Kabul. Shadman was killed in the encounter. The defeat and death of Shadman provoked the attack of Mirza Muhammad Hakim on the Punjab. When this news reached Emperor Akbar, the latter ordered Man Singh not to oppose the Mirza openly and to put off a direct engagement with his since Emperor himself wanted to measure his strength with his half brother. Consequently Kunwar Man Singh avoided a direct engagement with the Kabul forces. However, Mirza Muhammad Hakim was defeated in the middle of 1581 and he fled towards northern Kabul, Kabul now lay at the feet of Akbar. Kunwar Man Singh remained in charge of the Indus region till July, 1585. In the meantime Mirza Muhammad Hakim, ruler of Kabul died on 30th July, 1585. Kunwar Man Singh was ordered by the Emperor to proceed at once to Kabul and to bring the people of that country to the allegiance of the Mughal Emperor. As per direction Kumwar Man Singh crossed the Indus and reached Peshawar. The Afghans of that region submitted without any trouble. He also brought Kabul under his control Thus, Kunwar Man Singh succeeded in extending Mughal suzerainty over Kabul also. Emperor Akbar was highly pleased with the glorious deeds of Man Singh in Kabul and he suitably rewarded him for this. He was appointed the governor of Kabul and was also entrusted with the task of suppressing and punishing the Raushanias, an afghan tribe of the frontier regions. These Raushanias were the formidable Afghans who often committed highway robberies on the Khyber Pass and thus made the life of the travelers unsafe. This assignment, of Man Singh was indeed difficult but he acquitted himself well in carrying out the trying task entrusted to him.

 

Death of Raja Bhagwant Das and the Accession of Man Singh as the Ruler of Amber

But before Kuar Man Singh could settle himself in Bihar, a great calamity befell him. His father Raja Bhagwant Das breathed his last in Lahore on the 13th November, 1589 A.D. The Kunwar became ‘Raja’ Man Singh after his succession on 14th February, 1590. The coronation ceremony was held at Amber with great pomp and splendour. Abdul – Fazi writes that the “Kunwar received the title of Raja” and the mansab of 5000 from Akbar.

After the coronation was over Raja Man Singh came to Bihar and engaged himself in establishing a firm and stable administration in the Subah. First of all he led and expedition against Raja Puranmal of Gidhaur. The latter dared not fight with the Kachhwaha chief and surrendered without any fight. He also presented several elephants and other precious articles. He also gave his daughter in marriage to Chandrabhan, a brother of Man Singh. Next he proceeded against Anant Chero of the Gaya District in the province of Bihar and brought him under control. Man Singh also subdued the Sayyids of Sambhurpuri of Gaya district in Bihar. The Raja also founded a new city on the other side of Phalguni in Gaya town and named it ‘Man Pur’ “the abode of Raja Man”. Raja Man Singh next crushed the opposition of Raja Gajapat of Hajipur and forced him to relinquish the chieftainship. While Raja Man Singh was away suppressing the recalcitrant zamindars of South Bihar, Kumwar Jagat Singh, the eldest son of the Raja, successfully defended the northern Bihar from the onslaughts of two powerful Bengal rebels – Sultan Quli Qalmaq and Kachewa. The rebels lost their heart and fled away leaving behind much booty.

 

Raja Man Singh as the Governor of Bengal

On the 4th day of May, 1594 Raja Man Singh left for Bengal to join his post as the governor of the province. The political condition of Bengal on the eve of his joining the post as the governor of the province was hopelessly deplorable. The Mughal suzerainty was seriously threatened on account of the conspiracies and depredation of the Afghans who had spread themselves throughout the nook and corner of Bengal. The Afghans were greatly discontented on account of their territories being expropriated by the Imperialists in the wake of Mughal expansion.

The recalcitrant zamindars of Bengal were a further source of trouble to the Mughal – governor. Those who did not submit to the Mughal rule in other provinces also came to Bengal and swelled the ranks of the malcontents and the recalcitrant. Raja Man Singh was not in the least perturbed by the hopeless state of affairs in Bengal. On the contrary he proceeded boldly to set the province in order. He was quite convinced that his greatest enemies were the Afghans and their suppression was essential for the establishment of a stable government in Bengal.

Tandah, the then capital of Bengal did not afford a convenient base for military operations against Afghan rebels. Besides, it has become unhealthy because of the fact that the river Ganges had moved away from the city. Moreover, the city had lost its former glamour on account of an epidemic-which visited Tandah in 1575 and decimated its population. Raja Man Singh instead chose Rajmahal, which was situated on the bank of the river Gangaes and provided suitable base for military operations against the Afghans. Hence the seat of government was removed from Tandah to Rajmahal in November, 1595 and its name was changed to Akbarnagar. He built a palace for himself and also erected a strong rampart, strengthened with bastions, which encircled the city. He opened a mint and silver, copper and gold coins were issued from this place.

In December, 1595 he led and expedition against Isa Khan, the most prominent landlord of Dacca. The Afghans were overawed by the superior strength of the Mughal army. He built a fort there, named Salimnagar. In 1596 Raja Man Singh brought the state of Cooch Bihar under the sphere of Mughal influence. The throne of Cooch Bihar was hotly contested by a rival claimant named Pat Kunwar who entered into an alliance with Isa for wresting the throne from Lakshmi Narayan, the dejure ruler of the state. The Raja decided to acknowledge the formal supremacy of Emperor Akbar in order to enlist his armed support against the formidable Pat Kunwar – Afghan combination. Raja Lakshmi Narayan offered formal submission to the Mughal Emperor and this was accepted by Bengal Governor with grace. The alliance was further cemented by a matrimonial alliance. Raja Man Married Barbhavati, sister of Raja Lakshmi Narayan. In May 1597, Pat Kunwar was defeated with great loss of men and material. The extension of Mughal influence over cooch Bihar offered a convenient base for strengthening the imperial authority over eastern Bengal.

In the meantime, Isa Khan, the powerful Afghan leader of eastern Bengal, joined his forces with Pat Kunwar and inflicted crushing defeat on the imperialists in September, 1597 in the vicinity of Katrabu (Dacca) in which one of the sons of Man Singh, Durjan Singh, lost his life. But soon Isa Khan surrendered to Raja Man Singh and thus Cooch Raja was saved from the peril of the attack of Cooch – Afghan allies. Isa Khan died in September, 1599. The death of Isa Khan very much weakened the Afghan cause in Bengal and Man Singh heaved a sigh of relief at the disappearance of this Afghan menace.

 

Death of Jagat Singh in October 1599

Soon Raja Man Singh had to face a great calamity in his life. His eldest son, Jagat Singh, died of excessive drinking in October, 1599. It was a severe blow to the Kachhawaha Raja. Jagat was the eldest and the most obedient of all the sons of Raja Man Singh. Rani Kanakawati constructed a beautiful marble temple in memory other son in the western comer of Amber. It is one of the most imposing buildings of Amber.

 

Afghan rebellion (1600 A.D.)

Raja Man Singh was thoroughly disgusted with his life in Bengal. He went to Ajmer for rest and relaxation. He left the administration of Bengal in charge of his grad son, Maha Singh (son of Jagat Singh). Soon after Raja Man Singh left Bengal, the Afghans under Usman Khan rose in rebellion in April, 1600 A.D. Maha Singh tried to suppress the rebellion but he failed. Raja Man Singh was forced to come to Bengal in order to retrieve the lost prestige of the Imperialists. He indicated a crushing defeat upon the Afghans in February, 1601 in Sherpur Atai (Murshidabad district). In the same year (1601), Kedar Rai, the zamidar of Shripur (South Dacca) rose in rebellion but his rebellion was ruthlessly crushed by Raja Man Singh. The Kachhwaha Raja also curbed the powers of JaIal Khan, another Afghan rebel. Traditions in Bengal affirm that Pratapaditya, the powerful ruler of Jessore, was also defeated by Raja Man Singh. Usman Khan, Daud Khan and other Afghan rebels rose in rebellion but they were suppressed. The zamindar of Magh (Arakanese of Burmese) country also raised his head in rebellion but his rebellion was crushed. By 1604 Man Singh was able to crush the Afghan trouble in Bengal and their dream of establishing an Afghan suzerainty in Bengal was completely foiled.

 

Raja Man Singh was Rewarded

In August, 1605 Raja Man Singh was called to the Imperial Court at Agra. The Emperor was highly pleased with his glorious deeds in Bengal. The work and worth and worth of the Kachhwaha chief was recognized and many favors were showered upon him. He was awarded a mansab of 7000 zat and 6000 Sawar, an honour which was till now reserved for the princes of royal blood.

The advent of Raja Man Singh to the Imperial Court at Agra in August, 1605 marks the culminating point in his long and successful career. He was at the height of his power and glory. After being raised to the Sapthazari mansab he became at one the most dominant and powerful grandee of the Imperial Court and was an outstanding commander of the Mughal Empire.

By 1605, Raja Man Singh had become one of the most powerful grandees of the Mughal Empire. It was natural that he would like to perpetuate his power even after the death of Akbar. This was possible only when he was successful in placing his nephew Khusrau on the imperial throne be excluding Jahangir. He was also well aware of Akbar’s feelings of deep disgust and antipathy towards his eldest son, Salim. With a view to keeping Slaim away from Agra so that he might get a free field to weave a conspiracy to get Kusrau declared as the successor of emperor Akbar, he had successfully persuaded the Emperor to appoint the rebel prince as the Governor of Bengal but his whole plan met with a sad failure when Salim refused to stir out of Allahabad towards Bengal. Raja Man Singh was not alone in his designs against Salim. He was actively helped by Khan – I – Azam, the father – in – law of Khusrau and a powerful grandee of the Mughal Court, in his maneuvering to secure the Mughal throne for Khusrau. On the 22nd of September, 1605 Akbar was attacked with diarrhea which ultimately resulted in his death. The two conspirators now, which ultimately resulted in his death, now began to weave the plot round the death, Raja Man Singh and Khan – I – Azam tried to bring the Emperor under their complete control and with this end in view wanted to remove him from the Imperial palace at Agra to the other side of river Jamuna. When they failed in this attempt, they next attempted to get Khusrau adopted and declared as Emperor by the ailing monarch but here also they failed to convince the Emperor and this scheme failed. The Kachhwaha Raja refused to be daunted by this failure and he, in collusion with Khan – I – Azam, took the next logical step of capturing are arresting Salim. Their main object in doing so was to remove the chief hurdle in the way of Khusrau’s accession to the throne. However, Salim successfully eluded the snare of Raja Man Singh and thereby foiled his plan of seizing him (Salim). It must have partly shattered the Raja’s dream of capturing the Imperial throne for his nephew Khusrau, However, Raja Man Singh knew no defeat. He was still hopeful of realizing his aim. He adopted the only course left open to him viz, to enlist the support of the powerful nobles of the Mughal Court. With this end in view. Raja Man Singh convened a meeting of the important nobles of the court in one of the halls of Agra fort. He appealed to the powerful nobles to recognize Khusrau as the future emperor of country. He also pointed out to them that Emperor Akbar desired that Sultan Khusrau should succeed him. But the nobler did not approve of it. They argued that the very idea of placing prince Khusrau on the Mughal throne during the lifetime of his father was not only preposterous but it was against all the canons and customs of the Chagtais. After expressing their reactions the nobles led by Sayyid Khan Barha left the hall and thus here also the Kachhwaha Raja failed miserably in carrying out his schemes. Still the Raja did not loss heart completely. He made the last desperate move of seizing the Mughal treasure lying in one of the corners of fort. If he succeeded in capturing the large quantity of gold and jewellery lying in the treasury vaults, he could bribe and purchase the Mughal nobles and raise a powerful army to install Khusrau on the throne of the Mughals. But here also he was outwitted by Barha Sayyids, supporters of prince Salim, who had taken earlier steps to secure control over the Imperial treasury. Thus, here also the Raja’s diplomacy failed. The only course left now to the Kachhwaha chief was resorting to sword for deciding the issue. Raja Man Singh had a faithful army at his command which he could have utilized for installing Khusrau on the Imperial throne. But Raja Man Singh had become so broken hearted on account of the failure of all his plans that he did not wish to seek a solution in the whirlpool of blood. Hence, being thoroughly disgusted Raja Man Singh decided to proceed to Bengal along with prince Khusrau. Consequently Salim was declared as the Emperor of the Mughal Empire and it was approved by the dying monarch Akbar also.

 

Death of Akbar

Akbar died on the 15th of October, 1605 and in his death Raja Man Singh lost one of his greatest admirers and supporters. Akbar loved the Raja dearly and had conferred on him the title of ‘Farzand’ (son). The Emperor entrusted the most responsible and difficult work to the Raja which the latter carried out unhesitatingly. Raja Man Singh also served the master well, as a result of which he was elevated to the highest rank in the state. Thus, Raja Man enjoyed a very distinguished position in the court of Akbar. The death of Akbar marked the close of one period in the career of Raja Man Singh and the beginning of another. Uptill now the Kachhawaha Raja was the foremost noble in the Mughal Court, enjoyed the utmost confidence of the Emperor, but after the death of Akbar he was gradually but steadily pushed to the background. Jahangir, the new Emperor, had no faith in him, he closely watched his movements and looked into his activated with suspicion. The new regime therefore did not augur well for Raja Man Singh.

 

Raja Man Singh and Emperor Jahangir

After his accession to the throne. Emperor Jahangir declared a general amnesty. Thousands of prisoners were set at liberty. This generous treatment was also extended to Raja Man Singh. His governorship of the Subah of Bengal was renewed and he was directed to resume his charge at the earliest. It looks rather strange that Jahangir did not take drastic steps against Raja Man Singh who had left no stone unturned to oust him from the Mughal throne. But the reasons are quit obvious. Raja Man was the most outstanding personality of the Mughal Court. He was at the head of strong Kachhwaha cavalry which was famous for its gallantry and chivalry. Besides Jahangir had not as yet established himself firmly on the Mughal throne and it would have been inexpedient and unwise to remove and humiliated a powerful noble like Raja Man Singh. Moreover, the Raja had rendered immense services to the Mughal Empire and he was popular amongst the rank and file of the Mughal army. Had Jahangir come anything to harm the Raja, the latter would have openly backed up the cause of Khusrau and drawn the country into vortex of civil war. There was another reason for adopting a liberal attitude towards Raja Man Singh. But Raja Man Singh was not allowed to remain in Bengal for a long time. He was recalled from Bengal in June, 1606 and was allowed to proceed to Rohtas where he remained till the end of the year. In 1607 Raja Man was asked to vacate Rohtas Fort and was ordered to proceed to the South. Before going to the South Raja Man Singh visited his home state – Amber in 1607. The Raja utilized his stay at Amber in putting his house in order. He made fresh allotment to jagirs to his followers who had lost their own at Rohtas. He tightened the administration and consolidated the affairs of the State. This visit of the Kachhwaha Raja is significant because this was his last homecoming before he died a few years later in the south. Raja Man Singh remained in Amber for nearly three years and he went to the Deccan in July, 1609. The Kachhwaha Raja did not achieve any glorious success in the southern campaigns. He met the same fate as other Mughal generals were destined to. The reasons are not far to seek. The Raja was not longer a distinguished commander of the Mughal Emperor as he had been during the reign of Akbar. He was not given independent command in the south and hence he had no opportunity to show his initiative and drive in this comaign. Moreover, there was no unity of command amongst the Mughal generals in the south and as such they often quarreled with one another. Thus, Raja Man Singh played a secondary role in the Mughal expedition to the South though he remained in the Deccan for over five years until his death. He died a natural death on 6th July, 1614 at Elichpur in the south after short illness. After his death Raja Bhao Singh ascended the throne of Amber.

 

Religious Temperament

Raja Man Singh belonged to an age which was marked by new experiment in the domain of religion. Akbar had evolved Din – I - Ilahi known as “Diving Faith” which was a bold attempt since he wanted thereby to establish throughout his empire one universal religion. Akbar naturally wanted that a trusted officer like Man Singh should adopt the religion of his master. But the Raja was made of a different stuff. He was the most obedient servant of his master in matters political but he was not prepared to budge an inch from his conviction in religious matters. Therefore, there attempts of the Emperor to bring Raja Man Singh to the fold Din – I – Ilahi did not succeed. Raja Man Singh was intently religious and liberal in his outlook. He was extremely devoted to Hindu gods and goddesses. This is amply proved by the fact that he built a large number of temples in Rajasthan, Bihar, Bengal and other parts of India. Though he was a believer in orthodox Hinduism and in the later part of his life he was partly influenced by Bengal school of Vaishnavism, his sepulcher in the royal cemetery at Amber is indicative of his cosmopolitan outlook on religion. Within the cenotaph all gods and goddesses of Hindu mythology besides Lord Budhha and Lord Mahavira are painted.

 

Estimate of Raja Man Singh

Raja Man Singh was a distinguished noble in the court of Akbar and rendered highly valuable service for the consolidation of the Mughal imperial authority. He was one of the main pillars on which rested the edifice of the Mughal State. The contributions of the Kachhwaha Raja were fully appreciated by Akbar and the latter conferred on him the titles of Tarzand (son) and ‘Mirza Raja’. The Emperor was not satisfied with conferring such titles alone but he rightly thought that the services of Raja Man Singh were of supreme importance. Therefore, as it has already been pointed out. Emperor Akbar boldly took a step which no other Muslim king had done so far. Raja Man Singh was raised to 7000 mansab which was an honor reserved for the princes of the blood – royal. The Raja on his part fully justified the confidence reposed in him. He served the Emperor loyally, sincerely and honestly.

Raja Man Singh was a brave warrior and a successful general. He was at his best in the field of battle. He was the hero of the battle of Haldighati which at once gave him recognition as one of the foremost commanders of the Mughal Empire. Raja Man Singh proved a dauntless warrior and an able administrator while he was in the north – west frontier region of India from 1578 to 1585. He was successful in keeping the turbulent Raushanias and the Tarikis of that region under check for the time being and made them feel the weight of Mughal authority. The Raja may be rightly credited for bringing Kabul under (he hegemony of the Mughals and thus extending the frontier of the Empire upto Afghanistan. He established peace and order in that far off land and successfully administered the country for over two years (August, 1585 to December, 1587). Raja Man Singh’s work in Bihar has been rightly summed up by Abul Fazi who observes, “when the Raja was sent from the Court to the province of Bihar, he united ability with courage and genius with strenuous action. By His Majesty’s” fortune he administered the province excellently”. The Kachhawaha Raja brought the Afghans of the eastern provinces under the Mughal subjection and this he accomplished with great credit. Further, the Raja added the province of Orissa to the Mughal Empire. Raja Man Singh successfully administered the province of Bengal for more than a decade. When he came to Bengal in 1594 as its governor, he found the province seriously threatened by the Afghan menace. He ruthlessly stamped out the rebellion and dashed to pieces the Afghan dream of establishing their own supremacy over Bengal. He also founded a new capital for Bengal named Akbarnagar which later on came to be called Rajmahal.

Raja Man Singh was a great patron of learning. He distributed large sums of money by way of rewards and gifts to the renowned poets of his time. He was intimately connected with the noted poets of Akbar’s darbar e.g. Dursajee, Holrai, Brahmabhatt, Gang and other. He was also a great friend of Sant Tuisi Das. He gave huge amount of money to poet Harnath who composed poem in his honour. His chief bard, Hata Barahut, had in his possession one hundred elephant and a large number of retinue. Raja Man Singh was himself a man of letters. He was well versed in Persian, Sanskrit, Rajasthani and Hindi. He was held in high esteem for his learning by both Hindus and Muslims. Raja man had a great regard for Sanskrit and even in that period when Persian was a court language Raja Man got his inscription inscribed both in Persian and Sanskrit and The Stone Pillar Inscription of Amber, the Sanskrit Inscriptions of Rohtas Fort and Govind Deva temple at Brindaban are indicative of his love for Sanskrit language. Raja Man Singh also contributed to the evolution of Hindustani prose for issuing several orders which were in Persian and Hindustani. For example, his Madadmash grant to Mamu bhanza mausoleum (Hazipur in Bihar in illustrative of this fact. He possessed an extremely generous temperament and witty nature. There were many instances of Raja’s generosity. Raja Man Singh was thus endowed with all the qualities of Raja’s generosity. Raja Man Singh was thus endowed with all the qualities grandee and a super general of the Mughal court.

Raja Man Singh was not only an outstanding military general of the Mughal Empire but he was also a great lover of art and architecture. He built a large number of imposing buildings in the shape of temples, mosques, palaces and forts etc. The Raja built a beautiful palace within the fort of Amber which is not only the earliest piece of architecture in the capital of the Kachhwaha but it is also an object of architecture beauty amongst the Rajput palaces in Rajasthan. The Jagat Shiromani temple is one of the brilliant specimen of Rajasthani architecture. It is located in a remote corner of village Amber, it was built by Rani Kanakawati, the chief wife of Raja Man Singh, to perpetuate the memory of her late lamented son. Raja Man Singh also built a beautiful temple at Varanasi which is in a dilapidated condition at present and is known as Man Mandir. There is a pucca ghat below, called Man Ghat and this too was laid out by Raja Man Singh. He also founded a village known as ‘Baikunthpur’ (now Baikathpur in Patna district in the state of Bihar). The mother of Man Singh died at this place. The village is also famous on account of shiva temple which was erected by Raja Man Singh in 1600 A.D. to perpetuate the memory of the death of his mother who died at this place. The temple is still extant and is known as Gauri Shankar Mahadeva temple. It is a massive stone and brick structure. The Kachhwaha Raja also erected at Brindaban in the state of Uttar Pradesh a temple known as Gavinda Deva Temple. Growse considered it to be “the most impressive religious edifice that Hindu art has ever produced at least in upper India”. It is an imposing structure and this may be considered as one of the major contributions of Raja Man Singh in the field of architecture. Raja Man also built a small fort at Manihari, which is north of Godda subdivision in the State of Bihar. One important piece of architecture associated with the memory of Raja man Singh in the state of Jaipur is a large and well – built Mughal gateway at Bairat. He also built the fort Ramgarh (Jaipur State) and laid out a garden there. In 1595 he built a fort at Mymensingh (Bangia Desh) and named it Salimnagar. A fine city developed round this fort. In the same year (1595) Raja man founded the city of Akbarnagar (now Rajmahal) and transferred his capital from Tandah to this place. Akbarnagar has many edifice associated with the memory of Raja Man Singh. Raja Man Singh also founded a town named Manpur on the other side of river Phalgu in the city of Gaya in Bihar. Manpur now forms an important part of the Gaya town. Here there are a few edifices is the Mahadeva Temple with a big tank attached to it. The most stupendous work of Raja Man Singh was the extensive repairs and the remodeling that he carried out in the fort of Rohtasgarh which is situated on an outline spur of Kaimur hills, 30 miles from Dehri on scone in the District of Rohtas in the state of Bihar. The Raja put the fortification in complete repairs. He deepened and repaired the reservoirs, got a palace erected for himself and laid out a handsome garden in Persian style. The palace and other structures of Rohtas are really works of great architectural beauty. Rightly observes Mr. L.S.O. Malley, “The palace at Rohtas” is of unique interest as being the only specimen of Mughal civil architecture.

 
 
 

Rajasthan Information: History - Culture - Heritage - Music - Dance - Art - Architecture - Society

Sources of the History and Culture of Rajasthan
(From earliest times up to 1200 A.D.)

Rajput - Muslims Relations
 (1200 – 1526 A.D.)

Architecture in Rajasthan (1200 – 1800 A.D.)

Kalibangan - the largest prehistoric site in Rajasthan

Excavations at Ahar (South Rajasthan)

Origin of the Rajputs

Origin of the Guhilas, their Rise and Bappa Rawal in Rajasthan

Moguls & Chauhans Resistance in Rajasthan

Rawal Ratan Singh of Rajasthan and his Resistance against the Turks

Maharana Kumbha (1433 – 1468) and his Political Achievements

Maharana Kumbha & his Cultural Achievements

Maharana Sanga & his Achievements (1508 – 1528 A.D.)

Rajasthani Paintings Schools

Merger of Rajput states in the Indian Union

Resistance of Mahararana Pratap of Mewar Against Akbar

Maratha - Rajputs Relations

Raja Man Singh of Amber

Rathore – Sisodia Alliance & Achievements of Raj Singh in Mewar

Role of Durga Dass Rathor in the history of Rajasthan

Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur , Mughals and Marathas

Rajasthan’s Cultural Heritage

 
 

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