Ancestry of the house of mewar
Gahuditya - Salivahan
r. 566-586 CE
There was this prosperous Rajput State of Vadnagar/Vallabhi in Gujarat which was established during the early decades of 4th Century. Rawal Guhil, the founder of Mewar Dynasty was the descendant of Siladitya VI (the King of Vallabhi, Gujarat). When Guhil’s mother was on pilgrimage, Vallabhi was invaded and destroyed. According to Aghatpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1034, Guhil travelled from Anandpur (Vallabhi) to Mewar in present day Rajasthan.Guhil survived due to his mother Rani Pushpavati and established the Guhilot dynasty, the precursor of the Mewar dynasty which is also recorded in Chittor inscription of Vikram Samvat 1331 CE, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 , Ranpur (Ranakpur) dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Prashasti of Vikram Samvat 1517.
According to the Archaeological Survey of India; report by Carlie, 2000 silver coins on which ‘Shri Guhil’ is inscribed were found hoarded near Agra. Guhil was a powerful ruler, as he actually started an era of his own. The whole of South - Western Mewar lay within his dominions which probably included some more areas even outside proper Rajasthan.
r. 586-606 CE
Rawal Bhoj succeeded Rawal Guhil. In the stone inscriptions and in other ancient documents (Khayats), after Guhil they have named Bhoj as his successor or they have called him Bhojaditya which is mentioned in the stone inscriptions found at Aghatpur dated Vikram Samvat 1034, Chittor inscription of Vikram Samvat 1331 CE, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 , Ranpur (Ranakpur) dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Prashasti of Vikram Samvat 1517.
In the Abu inscription, Bhoj has been described as a worshipper of Shripati (Vishnu), two of his copper coins have also been discovered. According to Kadmal Copper plates Vikram Samvat 1140, Bhoja constructed a tank at present day Shree Eklingnath ji Temple premises.
RAWAL MAHENDRA I
Rawal Bhoj was succeeded by Mahendra I. It is recorded in inscriptions found at Aghatpur dated Vikram Samvat 1034 and Kumbhalgarh Prashasti of Vikram Samvat 1517.
RAWAL Naga (Nagaditya)
r. 626 - 646 CE
Naga (Nagaditya ) became the ruler of Mewar succeeding Rawal Mahendra I as mentioned in inscriptions found at Aghatpur dated Vikram Samvat 1034 and Kumbhalgarh Prashasti of Vikram Samvat 1517. According to folklores, the town of Nagda, earlier known as Nagdriha was established by Nagaditya, and later he died fighting the Bhils. Nagda was the capital city of Mewar and also a trade centre.
r. 646 - 661 CE
The successor to Naga (Nagaditya) was Shiladitya. In stone inscription found at Samoli village dated Vikram Samvat 703, the ruling period of Shiladitya is mentioned. It is mentioned in the stone inscription that he was the conqueror of enemies, brings bliss to Gods, Brahmins and Teachers and is most victorious on the earth. This inscription describes the building of the temple of Aranyavasini (Goddess of forests) by Jejaka, the leader of a merchant’s guild. This is the first evidence of mining in Mewar.
It is believed that the zinc and copper mines at Zawar were excavated during Shiladitya’s reign, thereby causing tremendous increase in employment. Thus, Mewar witnessed immense prosperity which tempted the outside merchants to settle there, as mentioned in the inscription. A copper coin of the period of Shiladitya has been found which has his name on one side but on the other side the words have been obliterated. In stone inscriptions found at Aghatpur dated Vikram Samvat 1034, Chittor inscription of Vikram Samvat 1331 CE, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 , Ranpur (Ranakpur) dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Prashasti of Vikram Samvat 1517; the name of Shiladitya is mentioned as Sheel. Shiladitya patronised the artist Shrirangdhar as quoted in Tara Nath - History of Buddhism in India. Lama Tara Nath describes that the old western school of art was developed by the artist Shrirangdhar under the patronage of King Shiladitya of Maru country. In evidence, a good number of sculptures dated 6th to 8th centuries are also found in the nearby area.
r. 661 - 688 CE
After Rawal Shiladitya, Aprajeet succeeded the throne of Mewar and became the next Rawal. He is mentioned in the stone inscription dated Margshirsh Shukla Panchmi, Vikram Samvat 718 (661 CE), found in village Nagda near Kundeshwar temple. The inscription states - “A famous Raja of Guhil dynasty, Aprajeet defeated all the enemies and all other rulers would bow down before him”. Aprajeet defeated Maharaja Varahsimha and made him his army commander, whose fame was wide spread. The inscription records building of a Vishnu temple by Yasomati, Varahsimha’s wife. He is mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1034 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 688 - 716 CE
Rawal Mahendra II descended the throne of Mewar from Rawal Aprajeet in 688 CE. Due to lack of written evidences mostly destroyed in invasions and battles, not much is known about him except the Rawal dying bravely in a battle against the Bhils of Idar and his wife and infant Kalbhoj (Bappa Rawal) taking shelter in a Brahmin's hut. He is mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1034 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 734 - 753 CE
In 716 CE, Rawal Mahendra II died during a battle against the Bhils of Idar. Bappa was raised at the house of a Brahmin priest along with his mother who had taken shelter there. He spent his childhood in religious retreat in Nagda hills where Parmeshwaraji Maharaj Shree Eklingnath ji was worshiped. His Guru Maharishi Harit Rashi instructed him to recognize Eklingnath ji as the supreme Ruler of Mewar; he also gave Bappa (Kalbhoj) special blessings. Harit Rashi predicted that he will rule Mewar as Shree Eklingnath ji’s Diwan; which was a very specific code of conduct for him and his successors to follow. In 734 CE, Bappa learns his true identity, mounts an attack on Chittor and conquers it from Maan Mori; (at that time Maan Mori was ruler of Chittor: this information is given in Maan Mori's stone inscription dated 713 CE found at Chittor). Bappa establishes Mewar Dynasty and he was given the title of 'Bappa Rawal'. He built the temple of Shree Eklingnath ji according to the Kumbhalgarh Prashti dated Vikram samvat 1517. He had successful campaigns against Arab invaders including General Junaid and drove them back beyond western borders of Rajputana. Bappa Rawal issued a gold coin which was discovered in Ajmer. On the observe side of the coin Shivling is inscribed on the coin and a Sun covered by Chatra is inscribed on the reverse side. According to Ekling Mahatmaya, Bappa became an aesthetic in 753 CE. Bappa Rawal is mentioned in Atpur inscription of Vikram samvat 1034, Chittorgarh Inscription of Vikram Samvat 1331 CE, Unawas epigraphs of Vikram Samvat 1016, Eklingji inscription of Vikram Samvat 1028, The Dhuleva plates of Maharaja Bhetti, Kadmal plates of Vikram Samvat 1140 and Dungarpur inscription of Vikram samvat 1461.
Rawal Khuman I
r. 753-773 CE
Bappa Rawal (Kalbhoj) was succeeded by his son, Khuman I. He defeated King Kukuteshwar in 755 CE at Chittor and measured swords with a ruler of Malwa as mentioned in Ekling Mahatamaya. Later Rawal Khuman was defeated by Rashtrakuta King Govind III and lost Chittor and Dhanopa to Rashtrakutas. He is mentioned in inscriptions found at Chittorgarh Inscription of Vikram Samvat 1331 CE, Unawas epigraphs of Vikram Samvat 1016, Eklingji inscription of Vikram Samvat 1028, Atpur inscription of Vikram samvat 1034, Kadmal plates of Vikram Samvat 1140, Dungarpur inscription of Vikram samvat 1461 and Kumbhalgarh stone inscription of Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 773 - 793 CE
Rawal Mattata succeeded Rawal Khuman in 773 CE. The fame of his victories runs through the old historical accounts and inscriptions. He was contemporary to the famous Pratihar ruler Vatsaraja and in alliance with him he fought many battles including the battle of Malwa. His fame is also described in Chittorgarh inscription dated Vikram samvat 1331, “the Praise of his victory was written with the tear drops in their eyes, on the slab of the bosoms of the wives of his proud adversaries of Malwa”. He is mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram samvat 1034 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517. When Chittor emerges as the guardian of Hindu faith, Khuman emerges as its most remarkable guardian-King.
In Khuman Rasa, one of the oldest poetic chronicles of Mewar, Khuman's defence of Chittor is celebrated by the bards. In the face of formidable aggression by Muslim invaders, Khuman brings together the Rajput Kings and other Chieftens to put up a united defence.
He successfully defends the 'crimson standard of Mewar' , treats with contempt the demand for tribute, and after a violent assault in which the barbarian is driven back, follows and discomfit
Rawal Bhartri Bhatt I
r. 793 - 813 CE
After Rawal Mattat, Bhartri Bhatt became the ruler of Mewar. According to stone inscriptions found in Mewar, historians have spelt his name differently from Bhratpat, Bharatbhat to Bhratbhatt. Round about 793 CE is accepted as his ruling period. After him, his son Sinh became the ruler of Mewar and his second son Ishan Bhatt found a kingdom near Chatsu (now Jaipur). The names of Bhartri Bhatt, his son Ishan Bhatt, belonging to the Guhil family are mentioned in inscriptions found in Chatsu (according to palaeography, the inscription dates 11th century). Rawal Bhatri Bhatt is mentioned Aatpur inscription dated Vikram samvat 1034, Chittor inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 , Ranpur (Ranakpur) dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 813 CE - 828 CE
During Rawal Sinh’s reign, the Pratihars rulers were very powerful. According to the historical accounts; during the reign of Rawal Sinh, Pratihar ruler Bhoja I captured Chittor and passed it on for governance to Sinh, under the condition that he acknowledge Pratihar kinship, which he accepted gracefully. Rawal Sinh is mentioned Aatpur inscription dated Vikram samvat 1034, Chittor inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 , Ranpur (Ranakpur) dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517. He also issued a coin.
Rawal Khuman II
r. 828 - 853 CE
The heir of Rawal Sinh is mentioned in the South Gate Stone inscription at Shree Eklingnath ji Temple, Kailashpuri dated VS 1545 (1489 CE). He is said to be a very able ruler. He took the initiative to strongly hold the Guhil territories rather than enhancing them due to the overpowering Pratihars. But most importantly he was able to resist Mahmud Kurasenpati as mentioned in Khumanraso by Dalpat Vijay by displaying gallantry and prowess. The islamic historians identify Mahmud as Al-mamoon, who became Caliph in 813 CE after returning from his exploits from Sindh and western India. Rawal Khuman is also mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram samvat 1034.
r. 853 - 878 CE
Rawal Mahayak succeeded Rawal Khuman II. During his reign, the Mewar territory was shrunk a lot. The Pratihars and Rashtrakutas were becoming highly powerful outside the boundaries of the Guhilot ruled area. Later many of his descendants had to live in the same troubled political background. His name is mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram samvat 1034, Chittorgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496.
Rawal Khuman III
r. 878 CE - 926 CE
Rawal Khuman III was well known for re strengthening the boundaries of Mewar. His valour is mentioned in Chittorgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331. As mentioned later in Ranpur stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496, he conducted a 'Tula Daan' of Gold, which is also mentioned in "Veer Vinod", the official historical book of the Maharanas of Mewar. His name is also mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram samvat 1034, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342.
Rawal Bhartri Bhatt II
r. 926 - 951 CE
In the Aatpur inscription of Vikaram Samvat 1034 he is described as a unique ornament of the three worlds. The Pratapgarh inscription of Vikram Samvat 999 describes Bharatri Bhatt as Maharaj Dhiraj, an exalted title and records his donation to the temple of Indraditya Deva. Another of his fragmentary inscriptions found at Ahar is dated Vikaram Samvat 1000 and describes the construction of a temple of Adivarha at Gangod Bheda. The Rashtrakutas were very powerful at that time. In the above mentioned Aatpur inscription, it is found that Bharatri Bhatt’s chief queen was Rashtrakuta Princess Mahalakshmi. This might have assisted Bharatrapatta II in increasing his power and mastering Chittor as mentioned in Karhad and Deoli plates.
r. 951 CE - 971CE
Rawal Bhartapatta was succeeded by his son Allat, who proved to be one of the strongest and most successful rules of Mewar. Allat married a Huna Princess named Hariyadevi. He was also known as Allu Rawal. In an inscription found at a Jain temple near Ahar; dated Vikram Samvat 1034, Rawal Allat killed a strong enemy Devpala, the Prtihar ruler of Kannauj.The Pipli inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1005, can be attributed to his reign. The Saraneshwar temple inscription of Vikaram Samvat 1010 records the construction of a temple of Vishnu in his Varaha form during Allat's reign which is also found that this inscription provides vital information about his rule, his administrative abilities and the description of his capital Ahar (Aatpur) The hill-girt Ahar was no longer a secluded town. It hummed with activity, administrative, religious as well as commercial. Another inscription dated Vikram samvat 1016 found at Unawas, of Rawal Allat, determined as the son of Mahalakshmi. According to this inscription, Jain saint Pradyuman Suri defeated many Digamber saints in the debate held in the court of Rawal Allat. This proves that all the religions were accepted in the Court of Mewar. Legend says, Allat was the founder of the town of Ahar. This indeed is not true, for the foundation of Ahar goes back to a period earlier than even 2000 BCE. Legend however may be taken to mean that Allat made Ahar his second capital and a huge trade centre, the chief one still then being Nagda and added so far to his prosperity that he could be considered its second founder. His name is mentioned in Chittorgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 971 - 973 CE
Rawal Narvahan succeeded Rawal Allat, according to the stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1028, which can be confirmed from his inscription at Lakulish temple at Kailashpuri composed by Amra; son of the artist Adityanag.. This inscription shows an interesting fact on the existence of the Pashupat Sect and manifold activities of the Pashupat Yogies and records a great debate in the court of Narvahan, among the Shaivas, the Jains and the Buddhas. The Jain monks probably lived at Aloka-Parshwanath temple at Nagda dated 10th Century. It also describes Nagda as Guhil’s capital since the rule of Bappa Rawal. In the Aatpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1034, Narvahan is eulogized not only as a destroyer of enemies and forebear of Ksatriyas but also known as the supporter of all arts and abode of knowledge as the great poets Amra and Yograj were highly patronised by him. He married the daughter of a Chahmana prince named Jejaya. His name is mentioned in Chittorgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 973 - 977 CE
Rawal Shalivahan succeeded Rawal Narvahan. The Guhil power started to decline during his rule. The Guhilas of Bhavnagar, Palitana, Revakantha, Rajpipla and Vala are Shalivahana’s decendents, as mentioned in Bhavnagar inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1202, Vikram Samvat 1232 at Sodhli Bawdi, Mangrol (Gujrat). His name is mentioned in Aatpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1034 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517
Shakti Kumar - Padam Singh
Rawal Shakti Kumar
r. 977 - 993 CE
He succeeded Rawal Shalivahan as mentioned in Aatpur inscription of Vikram Samvat 1034 which shows that Ahar prospered under him and was full of commerce and trade, which created wealth. It records the building of a temple of Nanigswami and the genealogy of Mewar rulers. Shaktikumar forces joined Jaipal of Hindu Shashi dynasty of Kabul valley, Ghandhar and western Punjab against Subuktgin (from the Gazanavid Dynasty of Gazani). From the Hastikundi Inscription of Balaprasad Rashtrakuta dated Vikram Samvat 1053, it is found that Munja Parmara of Malwa (973-995CE) stormed Aatpur with his elephant force thus capital was again shifted to Nagda. Later, with help from Dhavala Rashtrakuta of Hastikundi, Shaktikumar recovered his dominion but Chittor remained with the Parmars for centuries. Two more inscriptions of Shaktikumar were discovered; one refers to the donation of 14 Drammas (coins) to the Sun-God and the other fragmentary inscription is lying in a Jain temple of Ahar which contains an account of genealogy of Mewar rulers. His name is mentioned in Chittorgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331, Abu inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Rawal Amba Prasad
r. 993 - 1007 CE
Rawal Shaktikumar was succeeded by Amba Prasad who is also known as Amraprasad. During his reign the Guhils were attacked by the Chahmana ruler, Vakpatiraj II of Shakambari. The Guhils resisted but Amba Prasad, fell in the hands of Vakpati II and died. Mewar was completely destroyed in the battle and much population migrated to western Rajasthan and Malwa. He is mentioned in stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1331 at Chittor and Vikram Samvat 1517 at Kumbhalgarh.
r. 1007 - 1021 CE
Rawal Shuchivarma, according to the Sadri inscription of Maharana Kumbha dated Vikram Samvat 1496; another son of Rawal Shakti kumar succeeded his elder brother Rawal Amba Prasad. He is mentioned in stone inscriptions at Chittor dated Vikram Samvat 1331, at Abu Vikram Samvat 1342 and at Ranakpur Vikram Samvat 1496. As described at the fragmentary Hastimata temple inscription at Ahar, Rawal Shuchivarma constructed the Rohilleshwar Swami temple, in which he is known to be a great king and warrior. He was married to a Chalukya Princess. After the attack of Munj Parmar during the reign of Rawal Shaktikumar, the Parmars of Malwa never sought peace with Mewar and continuously meddled in the internal affairs of Mewar.
r. 1021 - 1035 CE
Rawal Shuchivarma was succeeded by Narvarma. He is mentioned in stone inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1331 at Chittor, Vikram Samvat 1342 at Abu and Vikram Samvat 1517 at Kumbhalgarh. The Parmars were very powerful during the reign of Rawal Narvarma. They held power over the Guhil Rulers of Mewar since the attack of Chittor by Munj Parmar. His successor Parmar Bhoj who captured Chittor, Banswara and Dugarpur then constructed the Tribhuvanarayan temple at Chittorgarh in 1030 CE as detailed in the Chirwa inscription of Rawal Samar Singh dated Vikram Samvat 1330.
Rawal Keertivarma1035 -
r. 1051 CE
Rawal Narvarma was succeeded by Keertivarma and ruled under the influence of Parmar ruler Bhoj. His rule is mentioned in stone inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1342 at Abu and Vikram Samvat 1496 at Ranpur. Keertivarma is also referred as Yashovarma who is the younger brother of Rawal Narvarma; this information is found in the Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
r. 1051 - 1068 CE
Yograj succeeded Rawal Keertivarma. According to Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517 (1460 CE), Yograj was the last of his heir line and died without a male issue. After the death of Parmar ruler Bhoj, the Parmar influence declined due to the combined attacks of Chalukya king Bhim I and Kalchuri king Karna. Mewar is secluded from this struggle in this situation and strongholds its position.He is also mentioned in the stone inscription found at Ranpur dated Vikram Samvat 1496 (1439 CE).
r. 1068 - 1088 CE
Vairath succeeded Rawal Yograj, belonged to Rawal Allat’s line, and descended from his second son. This information was found in Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517 (1460 CE). The fragmentary inscription of a gold charity dated Vikram Samvat 1083 found at Nagda also asserts the same succession theory as Rawal Vairath being the son of Prince Mahipal. The political situation becomes fruitful for Mewar as in 1079 CE, Parmar Udyaditya with the Chauhans of Nadol and Sakambari defeats the Chalukya ruler Karna of Gujrat. Mewar now comes in the role as an ally to the Parmars. He is also mentioned in stone inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1342 at Abu and Vikram Samvat 1496 at Ranpur.
r. 1088 - 1103 CE
Rawal Vairath was succeeded by Hanspal, who is also known as Vanshpal; as mentioned in Ranpur stone inscription Vikram Samvat 1496. Rawal Hanspal has been described as a valiant warrior in Bheraghat stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1212 and Kumbhalgarh stone Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517. Another important reference is found in Karanbel inscription (undated) at Chedi where Allandevi, Rawal Hanspal’s grand-daughter has mentioned his name in genealogy of Guhils.
Rawal Vair Singh
r. 1103 - 1107 CE
Rawal Hasnpal was succeeded by Rawal Vair Singh. According to Bheraghat inscription (Tripuri, Jabalpur) of Jaysimha Kalchuri dated Vikram Samvat 1212, Rawal Vair Singh was a strong ruler at that time in Mewar. He had strong nobility with him in Mewar at that time. According to Kumbhalgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517 (1460 CE), he restored the town of Aghatpur (Ahar) and started the construction of city wall, bastions and gates in every direction. He is also mentioned in Abu inscription Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496.
Rawal Vijai Singh
r. 1107 - 1116 CE
Rawal Vijai Singh succeeded Rawal Vair Singh. According to Bheraghat inscription (Jabalpur) dated Chedi year 907 of Allahandevi, Rawal Vijai Singh was married to Shyamaldevi (Daughter of Parmar ruler Udyaditya of Malwa). Allahandevi was his daughter who married Gayakarndev to Chedi dynasty. This information can also be found in the stone inscription of Chedi ruler Jayasimhadev at Karanbel, unfortunately it is undated. He is also mentioned in Paldi inscription of Rawal Ari Singh dated 1116 CE. Evidence of Rawal Vijai Singh’s rule can be traced from Kadmal Copper Plate. There is a genealogical account of the Guhil rulers in the plate from Guhaditya to Vijai Singh. It records the gifting of a village to Unalacharya, a Shaiva Saint.
Rawal Ari Singh I
r. 1116 - 1138 CE
Rawal Vijai Singh was succeeded by Ari Singh I.According to Paldi stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1173 (1116 CE) which belongs to the reign of Rawal Ari Singh I, he gave patronage to the Lakulish sect. The learned astrologer Yasodeo conducted the temple installation and the sanctifying ceremony at Paldi village near Udaipur on Sunday Jyestha shukla navmi. Rajaputra Salakhanara of Solanki clan was in charge of the arrangement at this ceremony. RawaL Ari Singh I is also mentioned in stone inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1342 (1285 CE) found at Abu, Vikram Samvat 1496 (1439 CE) at Ranpur and Vikram Samvat 1517 (1460 CE) at Kumbhalgarh and his own inscription found at Ghasa (Delwara).
Rawal Chaudh Singh
r. 1138 - 1148 CE
Rawal Chaudh Singh succeeded Rawal Ari Singh I. When Parmar ruler Bhoj captured Chittor, it remained within Parmar kingdom till 1150 CE. The Guhil rulers remained as vassal to the Parmar rulers beginning from Bhoj Parmar to Parmar Yashovarman. The Guhils only controlled the territories of western Mewar. Rawal Chaudh Singh is mentioned in Abu stone inscription Vikram Samvat 1342, Ranpur stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Rawal Vikram Singh
r. 1148- 1158 CE
Rawal Vikram Singh succeeded Rawal Chaudh Singh. According to Abu stone inscription of Rawal Samar Singh dated Vikram Samvat 1342; he is the son and successor of Rawal Chaudh Singh. During his rule, Chalukya ruler Siddhraj Jaisingh attacked Malwa and captured Chittor from the Parmars. Later, Chittor was captured by Vigrharaja Chauhan IV of Sakambari as mentioned in Bijoliyan inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1226. However, the Chauhans could not retain Chittor and Chalukya Kumarpal recaptured it and appointed Bosari, as the Governor of Chittor. Guhils remained subjugated under Chalukyas. Rawal Vikram Singh is also mentioned in Ranpur stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and is also specified as ‘Vikram Kesari’ in Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517. He is also referred as Shri Punj in Eklingmahamatya.
Rawal Ran Singh
r. 1158 - 1168 CE
Rawal Ran Singh succeeded Rawal Vikram Singh. During his reign, another Guhil bloodline emerged called the Ranas, who were given the village of Sisoda as their Jagir. This lineage emerged from Kanwar Mahap and Rahap. Later on after the demise of Rawal Ratan Singh I in 1303 CE, their descendents became the Maharanas of Mewar. As mentioned in Mohparajay, a contemporary text Kanwar Ran Singh is referred as playing chess with Chalukya ruler Kumarpal. According to Eklingmahatmaya, he is known as Karan Singh, referred as a very brave king who constructed a fort on a hill at Ahore. He is also mentioned in Ranakpur stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496 and Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Rawal Khshem Singh
r. 1168 - 1172 CE
He succeeded his father Rawal Ran Singh. According to Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517, he was the younger brother of Mahan Singh who was the heir to the throne, however Mahan Singh passed away during the reign of his father and then Kshem Singh became the new ruler. The Chalukyas still had sway over the Guhil territory during his time period. He is also mentioned in Abu stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496.
Rawal Samant Singh
r. 1172 - 1179 CE
He succeeded his father Rawal Kshem Singh. According to Surahotsav Kavya, Parth Parakrama Vyavoga and Neminath Jain Temple Stone inscription found at Abu dated Vikram Samvat 1287 of Parmar Dharavarsha;Rawal Samant Singh fought fiercely and defeated Ajaypal Chalukya of Gujarat.. Parmar Dharavarsha was a vassal of Chalukyas of Gujarat and according to the inscription, his brother Prahladan saved the Chalukya Ruler from the attack of Rawal Samant Singh. He extended his sway not only in eastern Mewar but also in the western side but couldn’t gain the confidence of his nobles. According to Jalore Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1236, during his reign Chauhan ruler Kitu Sonagara who was the founder of Sonagara Chauhan Branch at Jalore, was successful in capturing the stronghold of Chittor, this event took place in Vikram Samvat 1234 in the political chaos at Mewar. The Fort was later retaken by Rawal's brother Kumar Singh. According to Boreshwar Stone inscription (Village Solaja, Vagad) dated Vikram Samvat 1236, period which belongs to the reign of Rawal Samant Singh; ‘Nansi ri Khayat’ by Muhnot Nansi also confirms that he succeeded to capture Vagad area and resided there after the defeat from Kitu Sonagara.
Rawal Kumar Singh
r. 1179 - 1191 CE
He succeeded his brother Rawal Samant Singh to the throne of Mewar. When Chauhan ruler Kitu Sonagara was successful in capturing the stronghold of Chittor, Samant Singh in retaliation moved from Mewar and captured a part of Vagada. His younger brother Kumar Singh, with the help of the ruler of Gujarat, succeeded in expelling Chauhan Kitu Sonagara and became the ruler of Mewar and controlled Ahar. This event is mentioned in Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517. He is also mentioned in Abu stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1496.
Rawal Mathan Singh
r. 1191 - 1211 CE
He succeeded his father Rawal Kumar Singh. According to Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517; he is known as Mahan Singh. In a stone inscription found at Chirwa village dated Vikram Samvat 1330; Uddhran was appointed as a Kotwal (Police Officer) of Nagda by Rawal Mathan Singh. Two more inscriptions of Rawal Mathan Singh were found; one of Vikram Samvat 1239 incised in the Shiva temple of the village Atganva and another dated Vikram Samvat 1242 incised in the Vishnu Temple at Iswal. Mathan Singh is also mentioned in stone inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1342 found at Abu and Vikram Samvat 1496 at Ranpur. Chalukya ruler Bhimdev II still had control over the Mewar rulers which is referred in the copper plate of land grant with a well at Ahar.
Rawal Padam Singh
r. 1211 - 1213 CE
He succeeded his father Rawal Mathan Singh. Rawal Padam Singh built the Valkuleshwar temple found at the village Narsinghpur in tehsil Gogunda, as mentioned in the stone inscription found near the temple. According to a stone inscription found at Chirwa village dated Vikram Samvat 1330, Yograj was re-appointed as a Kotwal (Police Officer) of Nagda, the then capital of Mewar by Rawal Padam Singh. Yograj, the eldest son of Uddhran was appointed at the same position by Rawal Mathan Singh. Rawal Padam Singh is also mentioned in stone inscriptions dated Vikram Samvat 1342 found at Abu, Vikram Samvat 1496 at Ranpur and Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Jetra Singh - Jagat Singh I
Rawal Jaitra Singh
r. 1213 - 1252 CE
He succeeded Rawal Padam Singh. He is mentioned as the ruler of Mewar in the Shree Eklingnathji stone inscription of Vikram Samvat 1270 and the Charbhuja temple inscription of Nandesama dated Vikram Samvat 1279. He is known to have raised the prestige of the state by his interstate activities. As mentioned in Ghasa (Chittor) inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1317 and Chirwa inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1330, Jaitra Singh safeguarded Mewar from Malwa, Gujarat, Marwar, Sakambari, and Sultans of Delhi and defeated Chauhan Udai Singh of Jalore and Nadol. According to the Chirwa inscription, Jaitra Singh defeated the Chalukya ruler Tribhuvan of Gujarat at Kotada. Also, according to Chirwa inscription when Sultan Illtutmish attacked Mewar, in the battle of Bhutala, the capital city of Nagda was destroyed by the Sultan and he was later defeated by Rawal Jaitra Singh. After this incident, he shifted the capital of Mewar to Chittor permanently. He fortified the City of Chittor, adding new bastions and administration of the city was improved. It also mentions that the Vagad area was controlled by the descendents of Rawal Samant Singh (r. 1172-1179 CE) under the ruler Sihad and captured Arthuna in present Banswara from the Parmar Jai Singh II of Malwa with the help of Rawal Jaitra Singh. The Mewar-Parmar conflict is also confirmed by the manuscript of Paksikavritti written in Vikram Samvat 1309 by Jain Muni Padmashri Jinavijaya. According to Kumbhalgarh inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517, Rawal Jaitra Singh was the ruler of Chitrakut(Chittor), Medpat, Vagad and Aghatpur (Ahar), which he recaptured from the Chalukyas of Gujarat. The Hamir Mad Mardan of Jaisingh Suri dated Vikram Samvat 1286 mentions the courage of Rawal Jaitra Singh, as he did not wait for the help of Chalukya rulers of Gujarat during the invasion of Iltutmish. A contemporary Jain text of Shresti Ralha accounts a grand Deeksha Mahotsav at Chittor in Vikram Samvat 1288 and the prosperity in Mewar during the time of Rawal Jaitra Singh. Rawal Jaitra Singh is also mentioned in Abu stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Ranpur Stone inscription dated 1496.
Rawal Tej Singh
r. 1252 - 1273 CE
He succeeded his father Rawal Jaitra Singh. As mentioned in Chirwa inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1330 (1273 CE), Rawal Tej Singh came into conflict with the Baghela ruler Visaldev (predecessors of Chalukyas of Gujarat). He also fought with Balban, Sultanate of Delhi. In 1253-54 CE, Balban had been dismissed to his Iqta (Jagir) of Nagore by Delhi Sultanate; he tried to repair his fortunes by attacking the Hindu Kingdom of Chittor, Bundi and Ranthambore but he had no success. Balban again attacked Mewar in 1255-56 CE when Rawal Tej Singh gave shelter to Qutlugh Khan from Delhi Sultanate. A battle was fought outside the Fort of Chittorgah as recorded in the Chirwa inscription of Vikram Samvat 1330. Two Mewar generals were killed in this battle but Rawal Tej Singh remained victorious controlling Chittor. The Jatashankar inscription preserved in Nagpur museum also gives the same reference. According to Ghasa inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1317 and the Gudela Tank inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1317; Rawal Tej Singh refers to the grant for the maintenance of the temple of Tripurushadeva near Chirwa and barley crop grant for the same temple. During his reign Chittor became the center of Jainism, where eminent scholars like Ratnaprbha Suri, Pradyumana Suri practiced their scholastic pursuits. Jayatalladevi, Rawal Tej Singh’s Queen got constructed the temple of Shyam Parshawnath at Chittor. Another queen of Rawal Tej Singh, Chauhan Chachigadeva Sonagara’s daughter Rupadevi of Jalore, after the demise of Rawal Tej Singh in Vikram Samvat 1340 got constructed a step-well at Badhutara in Marwar. According to the Kadmal plates of Vikram Samvat 1316, Rawal Tej Singh gave the grant of Shavilar Bhumi on Solar inscription. Rawal Tej Singh is also mentioned in Abu stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1342 and Tejaswi Singh in Ranpur Stone inscription dated 1496 along with Kumbhalgarh Stone Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Rawal Samar Singh
r. 1273 CE - 1302 CE
He succeeded his father Rawal Tej Singh. According to Abu stone inscription dated VS 1342 (1285 CE), it is stated that Rawal Samar Singh helped the Gujarat ruler Sarangdev Baghela along with the Rawal Patta Parmar of Abu against a Muslim invasion, this fact is also supported by the Patnarayan inscription found at Girwar (Sirohi district) of Vikram Samvat 1344. Rawal Samar Singh captured Chandravati from the Parmars of Abu as mentioned in the Chittor inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1358, which was later captured by Visaldev of Chandravati. At Abu, Rawal constructed a Jain Math with a gold staff as mentioned in the Abu inscription. As mentioned in ‘ Vividh Tirthkalpa’ by Jinprabha Suri, the next attack on Samar Singh was from Allauddin Khilji. Khilji sent his younger brother Ulugh Khan to attack on Mewar and Rawal Samar Singh saved Chittor diplomatically, by giving Khilji’s army passage to Gujarat but in the journey they destroyed temples at Delwara, Eklingji and Nagda. There are 8 important stone inscriptions of Rawal Samar Singh- one found from Chirwa dated Vikram Samvat 1330 mentions the genealogical information from Bappa Rawal to reign of Rawal Samar Singh along with major geneological information about the Talrakshak (Kotwal) family of Chittor and Nagda. The Chittor inscription found at Mahasatiya ji near Kirti (Vijay) Stambh dated Vikram Samvat 1331, displays the genealogical information from Bappa Rawal to Rawal Narvarma. The Chittor inscription dated 1344 of Rawal Samar Singh is dedicated to the grant of Vaidhyanath Shiv temple near the pond constructed by Chitrang Mori. The Dariba temple grant inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1356 of Rawal Samar Singh states the donation of 16 Drammas. Education and religion prevailed during the time of Rawal Samar Singh in Chittor. A Deeksha Mahotsav was organized by Jinaprabodh Suri during his rule. A Devkula was constructed at Shantinath temple during his reign, as mentioned in the Chittor inscription of Vikram Samvat 1356. The Jain Kirti Stambh constructed by Jija Bagherwal was also completed during the reign of Rawal Samar Singh by his son Punya Singh as mentioned in the stone inscription of the consecration ceremony of Kirti Stambh dated Vikram Samvat 1357. Rawal Samar Singh is also mentioned in Ranpur Stone inscription dated 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Rawal Ratan Singh
r. 1302-1303 CE
Ratan Singh was the son of Rawal Samar Singh. When he ascended the throne of Mewar in 1302 CE, Sultan Allauddin Khilji had already decided to subjugate the other states. The main motive for the attack on Mewar must have been political and strategic; though there might have been other reasons, like economic and commercial, as Mewar had abundance of silver and zinc deposits (which were used for making the armoury). Also Banas valley provided a good route to Gujarat. In 1299 CE, the forces of Allauddin while going to Gujarat, passed through Mewar and devastated Delawara, Eklingji and Ahar. For conducting effective incursions in Central India and the Deccan, his possession over Chittor and Malwa would be very helpful. Many historic chronicles like Nainsi ki Khyat, Jayasi’s Padmawat, Tarikh-i-Farishta and Rajaprasasthi, ascribe the attack on Chittor to Allauddin’s infatuation for Queen Padmini. These kinds of brutalities of Allauddin can also be witnessed through the capture of Rani Kamla Devi of Gujarat, who was forced to live in his harem after the defeat of her husband Rai Karan Baghel. According to the records by Amir Khusrav, the Sultan started from Delhi on January 28, 1303 and pitched his imperial pavilion between Bedach and Gambhiri rivers. After failing to carry the fort by assault, he decided to wait. After seven months of patience, the Mewar army came out and fought with valour and the brave women of Mewar including Rani Padmini sacrificed themselves, by carrying herself and jumping into holy flames of Jauhar to protect their dignity. Chittor got into the hands of the Sultan, which was governed by his son Khizra Khan and was named Khizrabad. Allauddin’s name mentioned as the ruler of Chittor found in a fragmentary stone inscription of Jama Masjid at Chittor. According to Nenasi, Allauddin appointed Maldev Sonagara (ruler of Merta) as the governor of Chittor. After the death of Maldev, the governorship of Chittor transferred to his son and successor, but he could not retain it for a long time. Rawal Ratan Singh is mentioned in Kumbhalgarh Stone Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Maharana Hameer Singh I
r. 1326 - 1364 CE
With the fall of Chittor after the battle with Allaudin Khilji in 1303 CE, the elder branch of the Guhil family, i.e. the Rawal branch had no successor left; the junior branch of Guhil family, Ranas of Sisoda village then took over the inheritance. Only, one son of Sisodia line, named Ajay Singh survived with the son of his elder brother Ari Singh and had to taken shelter in the hilly tract of Kelwara. When he died, his nephew Hameer Singh succeeded to his title of Rana, with an intense determination to restore the independence of Mewar.
He conducted continuous raids on imperial army posted in Mewar and succeeded in desolating its central plains. According to Shree Eklingnath ji temple inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1545, mentioned Hameer Singh captured Jilawara from Raghavadeva and defeated some Bhil chiefs, when he was living at Kelwara. He also defeated Raja Jaitkaran of Idar and secure the Mewar territory from Gujarat. After the consolidated his position Hameer recaptured the Chittor. According to Kareda Jain temple inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1392 and Kot-Solankiyan Godawar stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1393 mentions Sonagara Banvir, the son of Maldeva, as the ruler of Chittor, probably the date of Hameer’s occupation of Chittor fort is 1337 CE from the decedents of Maldev Chauhan. Though the major part of Hameer’s history is shrouded in bardic lores, he was the real founder of the glory of Mewar. In order to make his position formidable he made alliances and waged wars to extend the frontiers of his kingdom. His amazing success against the Minas of Bundi and Chauhans made the rulers of Marwar, Amber, Bundi, Gwalior, Raisen, Chanderi and Kalpi recognize his leadership and political influence. During his reign, the temple of Rupanarayan and Eklingji were renovated. Maharana got constructed the temple, probably Shree Annapurna Mata, and pond in the fort of Chittor. Maharana Hameer’s one copper plate was found at Akola Village, dating Vikram Samvat 1420. He is also majorly mentioned in Shree Eklingnath Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1545, Ranpur Stone inscription dated 1496 and Kumbhalgarh Stone Inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517.
Maharana Kheta Singh
r. 1364 - 1382 CE
After the demise of Maharana Hameer Singh I, his elder son Kheta Singh set on the throne of Mewar in 1364 CE. Maharana Kheta Singh continued the traditions and fought many battles. According to Kumbhalgarh stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517 (1460 CE) and Eklingnath Prashsti dated Vikram Samvat 1545 (1489 CE), he annexed Mandalgarh. From there, he went towards the east and defeated and brought into submission the Hadas of Bundi. According to Menal Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1446, Hada’s were maintaining good relations with the Mewar. Hada Mahadev fought with Mewar army against Amin Shah of Malwa. Maharana also undertook an expedition against Ranmal, ruler of Idar and imprisoned him and appointed Punja, son of Ranmal, as the ruler of Idar. According to Shringi-Rishi inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1485, he vanquished Dilawar Khan Ghori, also known by the name of Amin Shah of Malwa. He was the governor of Malwa later on he became an independent ruler. He launched an expedition over Chittor, Maharana’s army defeated and captured Amin Shah at Bakrol (Hamirgarh), nearly 20 miles away from Chittor. The earliest reference to this incident is available in Menal Stone inscription and Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517. In 1382 CE, Maharana Kheta took last breath. Maharana Kheta was presented the Panwad village to Shree Eklingnathji temple. Maharana’s one stone inscription was found at Shree Sitala Mata temple, Gogunda Village. Another Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1431, found at Jain temple of Dhuleva, mentions that Jain merchant Vija’s son Haradan got that temple repaired in his reign.
r. 1382 - 1421 CE
He was the eldest son of Maharana Kheta who succeeded to the throne of Mewar in 1382 CE. Maharana Lakha had to face an invasion of Zafar Khan, the subedar of Gujarat. According to Nizamuddin Ahmad and Farishta (Islamic Historian), Zafar Khan’s army marched near to western border of Mewar, instead of Mandalgarh and Mandu. Probably, this invasion was for Matsyendra Durg (the present fort of Kumbhalgarh). However, there was no permanent impact of this invasion and Mewar army soon recaptured the place. Later on Maharana gave more attention to the defence of the territory. According to Nadlai Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1443, Maharana Lakha managed to capture the territory of Godwar. Another, two inscription of his reign has been found in this area. One dated Vikram Samvat 1468 mentions the installation of iron stuff in the temple of Achleshwar at Mount Abu. This staff was prepared at Ghanerao, which formed part of his state. Other inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1475 is incised in a Jain temple at Kot-Solankiyan. According to Kumbhalgarh Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1517, he also paid attention to suppress the rebellion of Medas, living in the hilly region of Badnor. Maharana Lakaha’s Mother, Rajamata went to Dwarika, she had to face a sudden attack of robbers. The Dodia chiefs extended necessary help and escorted the party. On hearing whole incident, Maharana invited the Dodia Dhaval to settle in Mewar and granted him a Jagir of Masuda. During the reign of Maharana Lakha, excavation of silver mines at Zawar added to the prosperity of Mewar. Delwara, situated on the north-west trade route, came into prominence and developed as trade and commerce centre of Mewar. Maharana Lakha took personal interest in inviting merchants to settle Mewar. According to Jain literary sources, Ramdeva, Nimba, Visal, Megh, Kelha, Bhim, Katuk were conducting their business successfully at that place. According to Shringi-Rishi stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1485; Maharana Lakha got the religious Hindu centers Benaras, Prayag and Gaya emancipated from the levy of pilgrim-taxes by paying off a lump sum amount in gold. Maharana also gave a patronage of cultural activity. Joting Bhatt and his brother Dhaneshwar were his court poets, who were given villages in jagir. Maharana also got constructed tanks at Chittor, Kelawara and Lakhawali. During his reign, Banjara Chhitar constructed the lake pichola at Girwa valley. Maharana Lakha was worthily upholded the tradition by waging wars against Mers, Bhils and the Turks. Thus, he made the mountainous regions and the frontiers of Mewar free from the rival chiefs. He also took a great interest in economical activity, thus Mewar became financially strong.
r. 1421 - 1433 CE
Mokal succeeded his father Maharana Lakha. By a strange incident Lakha’s eldest son Chunda had to forego his right of succession. The Rathore Chief Rao Ranmal of Mandore sent an offer of marriage of his sister Hansabai for Chunda, the heir of Mewar, however there was some miscommunication and Hansabai got married to Maharana Lakha. Chunda selflessly abdicated his birth right for the male issue through the new marriage. After the death of Maharana Lakha, Mokal succeeded in 1421 CE, however as he was a minor Chunda looked after affairs of the state. There were differences between Chunda and Rajmata so she asked Rao Ranmal to interfere in Mewar. In this way, the arrival of Rao Ranmal greatly influenced the royal family of Mewar. Eventually, the influence of Rathores predominated during his reign and circumstances compelled Kanwar Chunda left Mewar for Mandu. The nobles of Mewar were not happy with it.
Maharana Mokal successfully campaigned against Firoz Khan of Nagaur. According to Gorishankar tank inscription dated 1437 CE, found at Narena, Maharana Mokal had invaded the towns namely, Narena, Sambhar, Didwana and captured them. According to Shringi Rishi stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1485, mentioned Ahmad Shah of Gujarat invaded Idar, Kelawara and Matsyendra Durg (the present fort of Kumbhalgarh). However, he had remained unsuccessful in dislodging the fort. Maharana Mokal’s daughter Lala Mewari was married to Achaldas Khinchi of Gagron. When Hoshang Shah Gori of Malwa invaded Gagron, he sent his son Dhir for getting reinforcement from Mewar. But unfortunately, before arrival of this help, the fort fell into the hand of the invader. Lala Mewari performed Jouhar with other ladies present in the fort. According to Shree Eklingji Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1545, Maharana Mokal emerged victorious battle fought at Jahazpur against Hada’s of Bundi. In 1432 CE, Ahmad Shah of Gujarat attacked Nagaur and Mewat. His force devastated the important towns Ahar, Eklingji, Delwara and the temples were also destroyed in Mewar. Maharana Mokal encamped at Talahati of Chittor to make preparation for battle against the Gujarat invading forces. At that time Chacha and Mera accompanied with Mahpa Panwar made sudden attack on his camp and assassinated him in 1433 CE. Yogeshwar and Bhatt Vishnu were the scholars who were in the court of Maharana Mokal along with famous sculptors - Manna, Fanna and Visal. He also erected massive forts and ramparts and repaired Samdhishwar temple at Chittor and constructed ramparts at Shree Eklingnath ji temple. Maharana also constructed the Dwarikanath Vishnu temple and tank at Chittor. Maharana Mokal also celebrated Tuladan and constructed several lakes to facilitate irrigation. Maharana’s one stone inscription found at Bijasanmata temple, Singholi dated Vikram Samvat 1477. Another inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1478 is incised in the Shantinath temple of Zawar. According to Shringi-Rishi stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1485; Maharana Mokal had weighed himself against the gold and silver more than 25 times. Samiddheshwar temple inscription of the same year mentions the renovation of the temple.
r. 1433 - 1468 CE
Maharana Kumbhkaran (Kumbha) was an able ruler, erudite scholar, religious person, a great warrior and an architectural expert. He was born to Maharana Mokal and Maharani Sobhagaya Devi in 1417 CE at Deogarh, Madaria. Because of the continuous rivalry between the two groups supporting Kanwar Chunda and Rao Ranmal of Mandore, Maharana Mokal was brutally assassinated. After his death, his son Kumbha sat on the throne in 1433 CE at Chittor.
After his coronation, Maharana Kumbha decided to avenge the assassination of his father. With the help of his allies, notable among was Rao Ranmal Rathore who played a vital role in this. With his support, Maharana Kumbha exterminated or banished all the conspirators involved in the brutal act. When Maharana Kumbha was coronated, his rule was limited to Chittorgarh and surrounding villages. Soon due to his military skills, territories of Mewar were extended upto Abu, Gagron, Mandsaur, till Kanthal in the South, Ranthambore, Amber and Chatsu in the East, Sapadlaksh territories, Pokran and Falaudi in the North along with Basantgarh and Pindwara in the West. Nagaur in the North - East, Gujarat in the South-West, and Malwa in the South were continuously engaged in wars for territorial expansions with Mewar, however Maharana Kumbha strongly strengthened Mewar in this adversity and Mewar state was expanded and established as a vast kingdom during his reign.
Rao Ranmal was very powerful during the reign of Maharana Mokal. When Kumbha sat on the thrown, Nagaur was ruled by Feroz Khan, Jalore by Pathan Hasan Khan, the area of Hadoti was under the Hada Chauhan Rao Berisal (influenced by Malwa) and Sirohi was under Rao Sahasmal (influenced by Gujarat). All these kingdoms aimed for territorial expansions and continued their campaign against Mewar. Maharana Kumbha's first battle was with Sirohi. He was helped by Rao Ranmal Rathore and the Mewar army was headed by Dodia Nar Singh in 1437 CE. In this campaign, Mewar territory was extended to Pindwara, Basantgarh, Nandiya, all bordering with the boundary of Mewar. (Reference: Copper Plate found at village Nandiya dated year 1437 CE). He defeated Maharawal Gopal of Dungarpur. He also strengthened boundaries of Mewar which were shared with Gujarat by conquering areas around South - Western parts of Mewar. In year 1439 CE, Maharana Kumbha captured Mandalgarh and Amargarh in Bundi (Hadoti). In his next campaign, Kumbha gained suzerainty over Nagaur's ruler and seized Sambhar and Didwana. According to Kirti Stambh and Kumbhalgarh inscriptions, Amber and Ranthambore were attacked by the Sultan of Delhi and Kumbha helped them to regain their kingdoms.He also annexed Narena, Khatu, Chatsu and Toda.
Mewar shared its North-Western boundaries with Nagaur, South-Western boundaries with Gujarat and Southern boundaries with Malwa. All three of them tried to attack Mewar because of their territorial ambitions. In addition to that, all these kingdoms kept giving refuge to revolting nobles who made the situations more complicated and bitter. The result was the battle of Sarangpur in 1437 CE between Mewar and Malwa. Mewar won and Maharana Kumbha occupied the territories of Gagron, Mandsaur and Kanthal. When Kumbha was traveling in 1442 CE, Sultan Mahmud Khilji of Malwa attacked Mewar and in his outrage, destroyed temples in and around Kumbhalgarh and tried to capture Chittor but failed. In 1443 CE, he tried to capture Gagron and again in 1446 CE but failed miserably. In 1454 CE, when Maharana Kumbha was busy in his campaigns against Nagaur, Mahmud Khilji again attacked Ajmer and Mandalgarh but could not succeed. Sultan Qutubuddin of Gujarat supported Shams Khan of Nagaur against Maharana Kumbha. In 1456 CE, they attacked Mewar, captured Abu and tried to capture Kumbhalgarh; however Kumbha defeated the Gujarat's armies at Achalgarh. After this defeat, the Sultans of Malwa and Gujarat singed the treaty of Champaner against Maharana Kumbha in 1456 CE. However, all these treaties and alliances did not affect Maharana Kumbha and his vast kingdom of Mewar. At the time of Kumbha's reign in Mewar, the kingdom was continuously in threat of attacks from the neighboring Sultanates but in these struggles Kumbha proved his military strength and leadership qualities.
Maharana Kumbha is well known for his architectural wonders, fortresses and was a patron of arts and crafts. There are almost 82 forts in Mewar out of which 32 were constructed by Maharana Kumbha. The main architects behind these architectural wonders were 'Shilpacharya' Mandan and Jaita. Mandan's brother Natha and his son are also known for their skills. To keep a strong hold on Mewar's boundaries Kumbha built the Achalgarh and Vasantgarh forts at Abu in 1452 CE. For the boundaries near Godwar, the mighty fort of Kumbhalgarh and a 36 k.m. long fort wall was constructed circling the fort in 1458 CE. Kumbhalgarh is an example of Kumbha's military strategy. He also renovated Chittorgarh fort, changed the entrance from the East and constructed 7 gates for the entrance in the fort on the West side. The Architecture in Mewar reached millstones in Kumbha's reign with Kumbh Swami temple and Shringar Chavri in Chittorgarh fort (1448 CE), Kumbh Shyam temple in Achalgarh, renovation at Shree Eklingnathji Temple, Shwetamber Jain Temple and Vishnu Temple in Nagda, Mamadev Temple and Yagyavedi in Kumbhalgarh in 1458 CE and Mahaveer Jain Temple, Shantinath Temple, Khtargach Temple Abu, Choumukha Temple Ranakpur, Vishnu Temple Shree Ekling Ji, Shantinath Temple Bansantpur, Mahaveer Jain Temple Godwar, Rupahedi Jain Temple, Parshwanath Temple and Bawan Jain Temple, Kumbhalgarh, Pitalsha's Jain Temple, Jain Temple and Surya Narayana Temple in Ranakpur. (Ranpur Prashsti). Along with the temple and forts, many ponds and step wells were constructed. Also to commemorate his epic victory over Malwa, Kumbha ordered construction of the unparalleled nine stories Kirti Stambh popularly known as Vijay Stambh, which has some of the finest sculptures of the period.
According to Ekling Mahatmya composed by Kanh Vyasa; Maharana Kumbha was well-read in Vedas, Smritis, Upanishads and was a scholar in grammar, meticulous reader, master of music, skilled in drama. He himself wrote many books.
Music and Dance - Compositions composed by Maharana Kumbha are Sangeetraj, Sood Prabandha, Sangeet Ratnakar, Rasik Priya (Mewar diallect commentary of Geet Govind, originally written in Sanskrit), Vadhya Prabandhak which shows his extraordinary knowledge of music. Maharana Kumbha is also credited for popularizing the new genre of music called "Kumbh Malhar". Maharana Kumbha’s book 'Nritya Ratna Kosh' provides a description of the various postures in acting, which validicts his knowledge of dance. During this period, Kathak and various dance styles like Tandava, Lasya etc. were also encouraged in Mewar.
Painting and Sculptures - Under the patronage of Maharana Kumbha, illustrated texts 'Rasikashtak' by Pandit Bhishmchand and 'Gita Govind Akhyika' by Pandit Ramish in Gogunda were written. In this period, the text 'Supaas Nah Chariyan' was illustrated. Detailed information related to painting is also received from 'Rajavallabh Mandan' in which instructions were given to paint beautiful paintings in palaces and temples.In the era of Maharana Kumbha, Delwara was the center of painting. This period was also important for the development of sculptures. Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Achalgarh, Shree Eklingnathji Temple and Ranakpur were major centers of sculpture in Mewar. Many statues of Vishnu and various forms of Shakti are found at these places. An unequaled example from the constructions of Maharana Kumbha is the 'Kirti (Vijay) pillar' located in Chittorgarh also known as 'Devta Murti Kosh'.
One can easily determine the economic condition of Mewar by the constructions in Kumbha's period. Delwara, Ahar, Nagda, Jawar, Chittorgarh and Mandalgarh were important trade centers during Kumbha's rule. Maharana Kumbha's coins have been proved original by various numismatic experts and majorly all are copper coins. Shree Eklingnathji has been engraved on these coins along with a motif of 'Kumbhalmeru' (Kumbhalgarh). There are eight types of coins of Maharana Kumbha which are found of different weights. On the obverse 'Shri Kumbhalmeru Maharana Shri Kumbhakaranasya' and on the reverse 'Shri Eklingasya Prasadat 1517' is engraved, on another coin 'Rana Shri Kumbhkaran' on obverse and 'Shri Kumbhalmeru' on reverse is engraved. The state of Mewar had a significant contribution in the development of trade and commerce, many routes and byways connecting Sindh, Gujarat and the western coastline passed through Mewar.
Kumbhalgarh Prashasti - dated Magh Krishna Panchami, Vikram Samvat 1517, this Prashasti is engraved on five large stones at Mamadev temple, Kumbhalgarh. On the first stone, there is a description of all the temples, religious centers, water-bodies and on the others, the rule of Bappa Rawal and his descendant's up to Maharana Kumbha has been explained.
Kirti Stambh Prashasti - dated Magh Krishna Panchami, Vikram Samvat 1517, situated at Chittor. On most of the slabs of the inscription, the genealogy of Mewar from Bappa Rawal to Maharana Mokal is mentioned. After that, there is description of Maharana Kumbha in 187 shloks. The description of the artist, Mahesh and his ancestors is also mentioned.
Ranpur Prashasti - dated Vikram Samvat 1496 is engraved at the Ranakpur Jain temple. In this inscription, along with the description of Mewar genealogy, the description of Maharana Kumbha's military achievements is also mentioned with the construction of Ranakpur Jain Temple and Surya Narayana Temple.
Maharana Kumbha ruled from 1433 CE to 1468 CE for 35 years. For the early 6 years of his rule, he was majorly advised by Rao Ranmal Rathore. After that, he was busy in the wars with Malwa and Gujarat. From 1457 CE to 1468 CE, Maharana Kumbha lived a peaceful life at Kumbhalgarh.
Maharana Ooda (Udai Singh I)
r. 1468 - 1473 CE
In 1468 CE, Maharana Kumbha was assassinated by his eldest son Ooda. He was also known as Udai Singh I. He occupied the throne of Mewar and ruled for a short period of five years. Khema (Khemkarna), the younger brother of Maharana Kumbha, supported Ooda’s wild ambition. He was also supported by the Deora (Chauhans) chiefs of Sirohi and Marwar. Maharana Kumbha had conquered the territory of Abu and Eastern Sirohi, which was handed over to Deoras in 1468 CE and concluded the settlement with them. However, other notable nobles of Mewar supported the teenager son of Maharana Kumbha, Kanwar Raimal, who was living at Idar that time. The Nobles of Mewar informed their intention to Kanwar Raimal. Kanwar Raimal reached Mewar along with Maharawal of Dungarpur and his army. Ooda was defeated by Raimal at Zawar. According to Shree Eklingnath ji temple inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1545; battle was fought at village Dadimpur in which the main supporter was slain. Ooda could not resist and defeated in the battle of Jawi and Panagarh. After that, he fled off and took refuge at Malwa. The Sultan Gayasuddin of Malwa joined Ooda’s cause and attacked Mewar in 1473 CE. He was defeated and the one who committed patricide was also killed by the fall of sudden lightening.
r. 1473 - 1509 CE
Maharana Kumbha’s younger son Kanwar Raimal after removing Ooda from the throne of Mewar got rid of all other conspirators. He acted wisely in strengthening his authority by entering into matrimonial alliance with the Yadu chief of Girnar and Devra chief of Sirohi. According to the southern gate inscription of Shree Eklingnath ji temple dated Vikram Samvat 1545, Sultan Gayasuddin of Malwa who was seeking advantage of political chaos of Mewar, laid siege on fort of Chittor but he was defeated. According to Dungarpur Rampol gate stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1530, He also invaded Dungarpur and destroyed the town. Sultan’s army passed through Ahar, Eklingji, Delwara and besieged Chittor. Maharana’s commander displayed conspicuous gallantry and badly defeated the Malwa force. Maharana also had to face the adverse internal situation. The Meenas disturbed the peace in Godwar territory and the Mers also created the troubles in Badnore. Khema’s son Surajmal aggravated the difficulties. Therefore, he could not pay sufficient attention to Mewar territories. However, he was struggling in this situation to stronghold his position. After the death of Sultan Gayasuddin of Malwa, his son Nasiruddin succeeded at Malwa and marched against Chittor in 1503 CE. Surajmal and his supporter assisted him. Sultan was badly defeated, who was compelled to retreat without any success. According to Ramanath Kund / Mandir Inscription found at Zawar dated 1497, Maharana Kumbha’s daughter Rama Bai married to Mandalik from Saurashtra. When Mahmood Begda defeated Mandalik, Rama Bai came to Mewar. Maharana Raimal gave her the Jagir of Zawar. She constructed the Ramaswami temple and Ramkunda at Zawar during her time. In 1506, Jhala Ajja and Sajja from Kathiawad also came to Mewar and Maharana appointed them as a noble in court of Mewar. Maharana Raimal renovated the Shree Eklingnath ji temple. Maheshwar was court poet in the court of Maharana; he was given village of Ratan Kheda. Narlai (Godwar) inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1557, mentioned about the renovated the Narlai temple by the descendants of Oswal Samada and Siha. According to Ghosundi (Chittor) step-well inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1561, Maharani Shringar Devi, the daughter of Jodha of Marwar got constructed the stepwell for public use.
Maharana Sangram Singh I
r. 1509 - 1528 CE
Kanwar Sangram Singh was born to Maharana Raimal and Ratan Kanwar, daughter of Jhala Rajdhar. To gain the throne after Maharana Raimal, his sons namely Kanwar Prithviraj, Kanwar Jaimal, Kanwar Sangram Singh started to fight against each other and their relations became bitter. When the Royal Priest indicated that Kanwar Sangram Singh would be the next Maharana of Mewar, all hell broke loose. Kanwar Prithviraj heard the prophecy and got furious for he was the eldest son of Maharana Raimal. He physically attacked Kanwar Sangram Singh, injuring him in his eye, which eventually lost its vision in one eye. To stem the conflict between the Princes, Maharana Raimal's uncle Sarangdev advised the Princes to seek advice from the Priestess at Charni Devi Temple. The Priestess also indicated and affirmed the same prophecy indicating Kanwar Sangram Singh as the Maharana. Kanwar Prithviraj anger knew no bounds and, with the support of another brother Kanwar Jaimal, he tried to kill Kanwar Sangram Singh. In the family-fights that followed, Kanwar Sangram Singh was forced into exile, reaching Ajmer through Gondwana. In Ajmer, the Prince of Mewar was helped by Karmachand Panwar who helped him recover from the wounds and humiliation he had faced. During the Maharana Raimal reign, Kanwar Jaimal was stabbed to death by Solankies near Badnore, as he compelled Rao Surtan to marry Tara Bai to him. Kanwar Prithviraj succeeded to recapture Toda and handed it over to Surtan. However, he lost his life by a treacherous plot of Rao Jagmal of Sirohi. When Maharana Raimal died, Kanwar Sangram Singh became the Maharana in 1509 CE.
When he was crowned as the Maharana of Mewar, Delhi was being ruled by Sultan Sikander Lodhi, Gujarat by Mahmud Shah Begada and Malwa by Nassurudin Khilji. Their alliance had affected the north-eastern, southern and western boundaries of Mewar. Demonstrating his leadership at this early juncture, Maharana Sangram Singh appointed powerful nobles along these borders of Mewar. In the north-east, Karmachand Panwar was appointed 'Rawat' and given the responsibility of Ajmer, Parbatsar, Mandal, Phulia, Banera as Jagirs with revenue of Rs. 15 lakhs. The Maharana then allied with the rulers of Sirohi in the south and Vagad in the west. Mewar and the Rulers of Gujarat were always neighbours at war. When Maharana Sangram Singh attempted to strengthen the boundaries of Mewar by allying with other Rulers, it invariably resulted in conflict with Gujarat. The Maharana was instrumental in influencing the coronation in Idar. The Gujarat-Mewar feud, which had been dormant since the times of Maharana Kumbha, resumed and put enormous economic and political pressure on Mewar. In 1514 CE, Maharana Sangram Singh fought a pitched battle with Sultan Muzaffar Shah at Idar. In 1520 CE, the Maharana defeated him again and captured Ahmednagar. Maharana Sangram Singh soon became involved with the politics of the Malwa region.
Medani Rai, a Rajput General, made strong military and political manoeuvres and forced the Sultan of Malwa to leave Mandu. He then sought the support of Maharana Sangram Singh with a plan to attack Malwa. The plan was later shelved and Medani Rai was bestowed with the jagirs of Gagron and Chanderi. In 1515 CE, the Maharana seized the strategic fort and forest areas of Ranthambhore from the Sultan of Malwa. In 1519 CE, Maharana defeated Sultan Mahmud near Gagron and imprisoned him. Later the Sultan was set free and was given back half of his lands. In 1521 CE, Sultan Mahmud tried to recapture Mandsaur but he was left empty-handed when the armies of Maharana Sangram Singh marched towards him.
In the reign of Maharana Sangram Singh, the boundaries of Mewar were further strengthened and extended because of the military strategies and his farsightedness. Sultan Sikander Lodhi could not tolerate this expansion strategy of the Maharana as Delhi and Mewar shared long borders. In 1517 CE, Sultan's son Ibrahim Lodhi became the new Sultan and new tensions erupted between the two Kingdoms. In 1517 CE, the Maharana's forces defeated Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi at Khatoli, Bundi. In 1518 CE, the Sultan sent Miya Hussian and Miya Khan to attack Chittorgarh; however they too were defeated and repulsed by the forces of Mewar.
Babur now emerged on the stage of history as he crossed the Khyber Pass into India. When the young Mughal defeated Sultan Ibrahim Lodhi, he annexed Delhi. It marked the beginning of the end of the Lodhi era. There was only one Ruler in the entire north who could challenge Babur and that was Maharana Sangram Singh. The growing military might and influence of the Mughals brought together all the Hindu Rulers under the banner of Mewar. Maharana Sangram Singh became their undisputed leader who had won their respect over the years. When the Maharana analysed the situation, he began enhancing military strategies. He captured the fort at Kandar (near Ranthambore) from Hasan who allied with him. Bayana (or the Bharatpur state) was under the Maharana's rule. Militarily and politically, this was a very strategic location. It was a Jagir given to Niyam Khan. Babur now set about capturing this Jagir of Bayana. He sent Taradi Beg and Quch Beg, two of his nobles, to occupy it. With the help of Niyam Khan's brother Alam Khan, Babur was able to annex Bayana. In retaliation, Maharana Sangram Singh again attacked and captured Kandar. Then the forces of Mewar captured Bayana. When Babur came to know that the Maharana had reached Basavar (10 miles away from Bayana), he sent his commander Abdul Aziz to Khanwa. The Maharana's forces attacked him as well. Babur sent more of his military troops under the charge of Muhib Ali Khalifa and Mulla Hussian to help Abdul Aziz. But they were no match for the brave army of Mewar. The Rajput soldiers and commanders fought bravely and captured Babur's flag, Ran Kankan, musical instruments (like vankiya, a long brass wind instrument, kettle drum, cymbals and 'dhapli' a small drum like instruments), and even his 'red command' tent.
After the humiliating defeat of the Mughal army in the Battle of Bayana, Babur had to work very hard to keep up the spirit of his soldiers. He led by example; swearing not to consume liquor and adopting an austere lifestyle. He donated to the poor, the entire gold and silver cutlery in his palatial abode. He cut short his beard and evoked his soldiers through religious sentiments and preaching's. On 13 March 1527 CE, Babur himself led the Mughal army to Khanwa. He supervised the battlefield and began planning for the battle. Maharana Sangram Singh's confederacies of armies were also prepared for battle. They moved ahead under the flag and insignia of Mewar. On 17 March 1527 CE, the battle commenced at Khanwa. In the heat of the battle, the Maharana was struck by an arrow and he fell unconscious. The Mewar commanders and Sardars lowered the injured Maharana into a palanquin and were forced to leave the battlefield. It was the valiant commander Jhala Ajja who assumed charge of the Maharana's elephant with the emblems and insignia of Mewar and continued the battle. His bravery and valour urged the soldiers to keep on fighting the enemy. It was Babur's cannons and artillery which made the difference. The Rajput armies found themselves circled and defeated.
From the battlefield of Khanwa, the Rajput commanders and Sardars carried the injured Maharana Sangram Singh to safety in nearby town Baswa. When he regained consciousness, the Maharana was informed about his serious injury and the victory of the Mughal Army led by Babur. Even in the state of pain and semi-consciousness, the Maharana was angry and exhorted his commanders to once again prepare for war. Maharana Sangram Singh was not ready to give up the battle even though everything seemed to have been lost and he was badly injured. Maharana Sangram Singh, as it is recounted in innumerable stories and fables, vowed that he would never return to Chittorgarh till he had avenged this defeat at the hands of Babur and his army. He then left Baswa and moved camp towards Chanderi, finally camping at Kalpi at a village called Irchi. The Maharana succumbed here to his wounds.
His demise was due to poisoning; whether it was from his innumerable wounds he had suffered or those commanders who were against him, it can never be truly known. On 30th January 1528, 'The Light of Hindus' as the great Maharana Sangram Singh was known, passed into history. He had 80 wounds on his body during the battles. The name of Maharana Sangram Singh I will always be written in letters of gold as long as history books are written and these facts of history are recalled in Mewar, Rajasthan and across India.
The economic stability of Maharana Sangram Singh can be traced from land grants given during his reign. Inscription at Nilkanth (Mamadev) temple at Kumbhalgarh and Dovani copper plate, describe Maharana’s munificence. Maharana Sangram Singh issued copper coins which are popularly known as Sangram Sahi coins. Six types of these coins have been discovered. On the observe side “Shri Rana Sangram Sha” is engraved in Nagari script with date and on the reverse side “Sultan Bin Sultan” is engraved in Persian.
Maharana Ratan Singh II
r. 1528 - 1531 CE
Maharana Sangram Singh I's elder son, Ratan Singh ascended the throne of Mewar in 1528 CE. Before the death of Maharana Sangram Singh I, he had fragmented his vast kingdom by allotting Ranthambor, along with fifty to sixty lakhs of Jagirdari to his younger sons, Vikramaditya and Udai Singh II. His wife Maharani Karnawati and her brother Surajmal Hada of Bundi were made their guardians. When Maharana Sangram Singh died, Rani Karnawati left Chittor and took possession of Ranthambhor. She also took with her the golden crown and belt studded with precious stones, which the late Maharana had taken from the Sultan of Malwa. After his succession, Maharana Ratan Singh II demanded the golden crown and requested his step - mother to return to Chittor with her other sons. She rejected the Maharana’s proposal and negotiated with Mughal emperor Humanyun. Maharana Ratan Singh began to bear ill-will against Surajmal Hada. Mahmud Khilji II of Malwa was badly defeated by late Maharana Sangram Singh. He was waiting for an opportunity to fight with Mewar since, Silahady Tanwar and Sikandar Khan in concert with Maharana had recently seized some territory belonging to the kingdom of Malwa. The Mewar army succeeded in defeating the Malwa-troops near Ujjain. Maharana Ratan Singh failed in bringing his step mother to Chittor, in order to have his full control over Ranthambhor. He made Surajmal Hada responsible for this. Maharana suddenly visited Bundi; a pig hunt was contrived, where Surajmal was also invited to participate. In the course of pig-sticking in 1531 CE, Ratan Singh attacked Surajmal and in a close scuffle both of them lost their lives. One stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1587 found at Shatrunjaya Tirth, Palitana Gujarat belonging in his reign. According to this inscription, Karmashah (Minister) of Chittor renovated the Jain temple at Shatrunjaya with the special permission of Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. In the beginning of this inscription, it contains a brief detail of the Maharana Ratan Singh. Maharana issued one copper coin. On the observe side “Rana Shri Ratansih” is engraved in Nagari script and the reverse side unreadable.
r. 1531 - 1536 CE
Maharana Vikramaditya succeeded his step brother Maharana Ratna Singh II in 1531 CE. The circumstances under which he came to the throne of Mewar were not very favourable to him. He did not attempt to develop his faith on his chiefs and admonished them. In 1532 CE when the state was facing the situation of disorder, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat sent an army to invade Chittor. Maharani Karnawati sent away Maharana Vikramaditya to Bundi and offered presents to Sultan of Gujarat and Sultan ordered to raise the siege in 1533 CE and returned to Gujarat. In 1535 CE Bahadur Shah Sultan of Gujarat again commenced his operation of the siege of Chittor. Maharani also attempted to get help by sending a Rakhi to Mughal emperor Humayun. On finding that no help is expected from Humayun, whom she had requested, Maharani Karnawati issued stirring appeal to the nobles to save the crimson standard of the Sisodiyas by defending the fort. Her appeal had a desired effect. However, the Rajput resistance proved futile before the artillery barrage of Rumi Khan. Before the gates of the fort were opened Maharani Karnawati performed Johar and the defenders rushed out of the fort and died fighting to the last man. Chittor thus fell to Bahadur Shah. Fortunately, on hearing the arrival of the Mughal Forces, Bahadur Shah left the fort and the Rajputs reoccupied it. Maharana Vikramaditya had an opportunity to reoccupy the fort but he could not make proper use of his restored position. Maharana invited Banveer from exile, the illegitimate son of Maharna Sangaram Singh I's eldest brother late Prithviraj. In 1535 CE, Banveer became too ambitious and murdered Maharana Vikramaditya. The Jhaliya Copper plate dated Vikram Samvat 1589 issued by Maharana Vikramaditya, when he went to Mandalgarh for getting married.
Maharana Udai Singh II
r. 1537 - 1572 CE
Maharana Sangram Singh's youngest son Kanwar Udai Singh was born on Bhadwa Shukla Ekadashi, Vikram Samvat 1578. His mother was Karmawati (Karnawati), who was the daughter of Rao Narbadji Hada of Bundi. Maharana Udai Singh saw division in Mewar since his childhood and was even brought up in Ranthambore. Political upheaval like the death of his father Maharana Sangram Singh I, the rule and murder of Maharana Ratan Singh II and the plight of Mewar during the reign of Maharana Vikramaditya were all witnessed by him. He also observed the atrocities on Bhaktimati Meera Bai and her renunciation of Mewar along with the Jauhar of Rajmata Karnawati. The assassination of Maharana Vikramaditya and the capture of Mewar by Banveer was part of the same political turmoil.
Pannadhai, the epitome of valour and devotion, was taking care of Kanwar Udai Singh since he was staying at Ranthambore. She was a very trusted helper of Rajmata Karnavati, thus at the time of Jauhar, the responsibility of protecting Kanwar Udai Singh was also entrusted to Pannadhai. After the assassination of Maharana Vikramaditya, if Banveer wanted to establish his rule on Mewar; he had to kill Kanwar Udai Singh too. Pannadhai was well aware of the activities and possible changes in the court of Mewar, so when Banveer came to the palace to kill Kanwar Udai Singh, Pannadhai put her sleeping son Chandan in the place of Kanwar Udai Singh. Banveer killed her son Chandan in front of Pannadhai. Pannadhai, along with her trusted companions, took Kanwar Udai Singh to a safe palace. This sacrifice of Pannadhai, to protect the descendants of Mewar kingdom became immortal in the history of Mewar. After leaving Chittorgarh with Pannadhai, Kanwar Udai Singh, reached Kumbhalgarh via Devlia and Dungarpur. Maharana Udai Singh established contact with the chieftains of Mewar with the support of Asha Devpura, the in charge of Kumbhalgarh fort and the chieftains dissatisfied with Banveer came to Kumbhalgarh and handed over the reins of Mewar kingdom to Maharana Udai Singh II.
With the support of the chieftains of Mewar, Maharana married Jawanta Bai, the daughter of Akhairaj Sonegara of Pali. This marriage advanced the relations of Maharana with the nobles. Along with Pali, friendly relations were also established with Maldev, the ruler of Jodhpur. Maharana strengthened his military and planned an attack on Chittorgarh. The army of Maharana and Banveer met at Mavli, in which the Maharana's army was victorious and then reached Chittorgarh via Tana (a Thikana in Mewar). Maharana's army attacked by entering the fort with the cooperation and diplomacy of Asha Devpura and Cheel Mehta; frightened by this unexpected attack, Banveer escaped from Lakhota gate along with his family and trusted soldiers. In 1540 CE, Maharana Udai Singh recovered Chittor. The effect of the political upheaval of North India was also visible in Rajputana. The Afghan ruler, Sher Shah captured Delhi in 1540 CE and defeated Rao Maldev, the ruler of Jodhpur in 1544 CE. At that, time the pargana of Ajmer was under the control of Jodhpur, so that too came under the authority of Sher Shah. Clouds of trouble started looming over Mewar as the next attack was probably on Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh was still facing other problems like economic losses and lack of military training, so any war was not in the interest of Mewar. Sher Shah understanding the competence of the fighters in Mewar just wanted to establish his influence on Mewar. In these circumstances, Maharana Udai Singh due to this farsightedness deftly averted the war by sending the keys of Chittorgarh fort to Shar Shah, who went away from Mewar without attacking Chittor thus Mewar was successfully saved.
The earlier tradition in Mewar and the concept of the kingdom was that as soon as the capital collapsed, it was believed that the kingdom collapsed with it. In Mewar too, two Jauhars had already taken place to protect the capital - Chittorgarh. The security of Chittorgarh could pose a threat due to its geographical location, as it had always been the centre of ambitions of political powers, being the main trading centre connecting North India with the western coast and Malwa. Situated on a hill, it was easy to besieged from all sides and when logistic and supplies were low, opening the gates of the fort was inevitable and it was a question of Do or Die. It was difficult to defend the fort of Chittor. Apart from this, it was also not possible to form a large army due to the weak economic conditions in Mewar at that time. The war in the open plains was not a good possibility for Mewar but the survival of the ruler was necessary for the future of the kingdom. Due to these circumstances, Maharana Udai Singh propounded the idea of building a new and safer capital. For the new capital, the Maharana chose a mountainous region covered by ranges of hills in the west and south-west of Mewar, which was well protected by nature. According to Chittor Patnama Part II in 1553 CE, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya, Udaipur was established in the midst of the hills of Girwa. Maharana Udai Singh tried to secure the mountainous region and encouraged the people of Mewar to settle in this area. Due to the direct contact of Mewar's ruler, this mountainous region was developed.
According to Veer Vinod Volume II part I in 1559 CE, Maharana visited Shree Eklingnath ji Temple to commemorate the birth of his grandson Kanwar Amar Singh I, and on return went for a hunt during which the Maharana met Shri Premgiri ji Maharaj on the banks of Pichola pond. According to the directions given by the hermit, in 1559 CE, Maharana started the construction of the palace in the capital under the direction of a Sutradhar named Raja Bhardwaj, grandson of Mandan Bhardawaj, of Kumbhalgarh fort. At the time of the construction of Udaipur, Maharana established Gogunda, a safe place located inside the mountains, as his temporary capital. Thus, Maharana Udai Singh has the credit of establishing two capitals both Udaipur and Gogunda.
Maharana Udai Singh established relations with neighboring states to protect the borders of Mewar. He ensured the security of Mewar by making decisive interventions during the internal conflicts of the other kingdoms. In 1554 CE, Maharana established the authority of Mewar over Bundi and then Ranthambore by sending an army under the leadership of Surjan Hada, son of his maternal uncle Arjun Hada, in the civil war against Rao Surtan, the ruler of Bundi. The friendly relations between Maharana Udai Singh and the ruler of Jodhpur, Maldev ended when Maharana agreed to marry the younger daughter of Jaitra Singh Jhala, the son of Jhala Ajja, whom Rao Maldev wanted to marry. When the Afghan, Haji Khan had lordship over Ajmer Pargana, Rao Maldev planned to attack Ajmer; with no other option, Haji Khan sought help from the Maharana. To establish friendly relations with Haji Khan, Maharana sent a combined army of Bundi, Dungarpur, Banswara and Idar to defend Ajmer. On hearing the news of Maharana's army, Jodhpur's army returned without fighting and Ajmer remained safe. Rao Rai Singh, the ruler of Sirohi, had cordial relations with Mewar. At the time of Rai Singh's death, Udai Singh, the successor of the kingdom, was of a young age, so the kingdom was handed over to his brother Rao Duda. After the death of Rao Duda, Udai Singh was crowned and Duda's son Man Singh got the jagir of Lohiana. Angered by the behavior of Rao Udai Singh, Man Singh took refuge in Mewar. After the death of Rao Udai Singh from smallpox, the Sirohi chieftains summoned Man Singh to the throne of Sirohi, and surviving under the influence of Maharana, Man Singh accepted the authority of Mewar over Sirohi after his coronation. In this way, Maharana Udai Singh re-established the influence of Mewar in Rajputana through which he improved the military power and economic condition of Mewar.
The kingdom of the Mughal ruler Akbar was established in North India and the Rajput kingdoms were accepting the Mughal suzerainty and at that time, only Mewar was standing as an independent state with its self-respecting tradition. Irrigated fertile plains and ranges always protected Mewar. The only route to connect North India with Gujarat and the southern territories passed through Mewar, so the independent state of Mewar remained a major obstacle for the Mughal rule. In September 1567 CE, the Mughal ruler Akbar moved to attack Chittorgarh. Maharana had already foreseen this crisis, which is why he had already secured the establishment of Udaipur in the mountainous region and the temporary capital at Gogunda and the protection of southern along with south-west border of Mewar. Maharana's foresight had prepared Mewar for a longer struggle. On receiving the news of the attack on Chittorgarh, Maharana started discussions with his chieftains, and the nobles advised Maharana to hand over the Chittor fort to some notable chieftains and retreat to the hills in the west along with the Mewar family and other chieftains. Everyone was aware of the loss in Mewar at the time of the Gujarat invasion, so wanted the Maharana and the successors of the kingdom to be safe; so that they could regain the lost territory in due course of time. Maharana accepted the advice of the chieftains, handed over the fort of Chittor to Jaimal and Fatta and went to the mountainous region. In October 1567 CE, the Mughal forces reached near the fort and camped. By December 1567, the Mughal army was trying to enter the fort. Due to a long struggle and end of logistics; the third Jauhar took place in Chittor with the opening of gates of the fort. The Mewar army under the leadership of Sardar Jaimal and Fatta sacrificed their lives by wearing saffron. In February 1568 CE, the Mughal army captured the fort.
The architecture of Maharana Udai Singh's reign reveals a defensive approach rather than an artistic side. The construction was done keeping the future wars in sight. The establishment and development of Udaipur city was an important initiative of Maharana. The construction also comprises of Udai Sagar, Badi Pal, Moti Magri's palace and stepwells are a strong evidence of his architectural approach. In the palace of Udaipur, Navchoki, Panera, Rai Angan, Nika ki Chopad, Pandeyji ki Ori, Sej ki Ori, Zenana Rawala (currently Kothar) were built by Maharana Udai Singh. Apart from this, the construction of Udai Shyam temple on the bank of Udaisagar also took place during the reign of the Maharana. A palace was also built by Maharana in Gogunda, the temporary capital of Mewar. Apart from Maharana, his family was also involved in the development of this area. In 1554 CE, Maharani Sonagari built Badla Wali Sarai and Panghat Baori. Maharani Sahajkunwar Solankini got the Sarai, the stepwell and the Shiva temple built. Maharani Dheer Kunwar built a stepwell, a temple and an Inn outside the village of Debari. The efficient planning and vision of Maharana populated the Girwa region.
In his childhood, Maharana Udai Singh was religiously inspired by Bhaktimati Meera Bai, from which he got the knowledge and respect for religion. The inspiration for the construction of the Udaiashyam temple on the bank of Udaisagar is the result of this association. According to Shreenathji's Prakya Varta, when Goswami Shri Vitthalnathji reached Mewar during his yatra to Dwarka, he graciously predicted that, after a few years Shreenathji Prabhu would arrive in Mewar, and a temple will be established. Maharana Udai Singh went with the royal family for the darshan of Shri Goswami ji and he presented village Sinhad (present Nathdwara) and a gold Mohar. He received gracious blessings from Goswami ji, that the fame of Maharana’s lineage will always be maintained. In Vikram Samvat 1602 (1545 CE), Maharana had consecrated the Shikhar Kalash of Shree Parameshwaraji Maharaj Shree Eklingnathji Temple.
Maharana spent his maximum time in Kumbhalgarh after leaving Chittorgarh. Maharana went to Gogunda on the occasion of Vijayadashami in Vikram Samvat 1628, and he left the world on Falgun Shukla Poornima because of ill health. The capital Udaipur was not fully developed yet and Gogunda was the temporary capital of Mewar, so he was cremated in Gogunda. A chhatri was constructed at the cremation site.
Maharana Udai Singh II as the ruler of Kumbhalgarh issued the copper plate dated 1593 for granted the land to priest of Bansi. Another copper plate dated Vikram Samvat 1596, Maharana granted the land to Derashri Shiv of village Bijagot. As the ruler of Mewar, Maharana Udai Singh II issued the copper plate in favour of Thakur Ganga and Bagha of Nadol.
Maharana Pratap Singh I
r. 1572 - 1597 CE
Maharana Pratap's personality emerges as a unique warrior and a freedom fighter; he has become a national symbol of struggle, renunciation, sacrifice, generosity and perseverance. Kanwar Pratap was born on Jyeshtha Shukla 3, Vikram Samvat 1597 at Kumbhalgarh. The eldest son of Maharana Udai Singh II (founder of Udaipur) was a brave and capable successor. His mother's name was Jevantabai, who was the daughter of Akharaj Sonagara of Pali. Kanwar Pratap was also addressed in the childhood by the name of ‘Kika’. According to the tradition of Mewar, Kanwar Pratap was taught statecraft, religious issues, horse riding, skillful use of weapons, military operation, war strategy etc. Kanwar Pratap defeated the Chauhans of Wagad and merged the area in Mewar. Then, in 1562 CE, Kanwar Pratap acquired the latter part of 'Chappan' and some parts of Godwad were also re-merged into Mewar. Maharana Udai Singh under the influence of Bhatiyani Rani Dheer Kanwar, declared Kanwar Jagamal as the successor, thus Kanwar Pratap left the fort Chittor and was ordered to live in the foothills. It turned fruitful because Kanwar Pratap's association with the general public and Bhils proved to be a big helpful in future.
In 1567- 68 CE, due to Mughal invasion of Chittor, Maharana Udai Singh started living with his family in temporary capital at Gogunda. Even today, some ancient remains of Maharana Udai Singh's residence can be seen in the foothills of Golgonda's Dholia mountain range. On 28th February 1572, Maharana Udai Singh died on Holi. Kanwar Pratap's younger brother Kanwar Jagamal sat on the throne and did not join Maharana's cremation. Ram Singh Tanwar of Gwalior and Man Singh Sonargara got to know about Kanwar Jagamal, the objections were raised by them; the Nobles deliberately took Kanwar Jagmal off the throne and accepted the eldest son Kanwar Pratap as worthy successor. Salumbar Rawat Krishnadas and Devgad Rawat Sanga, after returning from the cremation, with consent of all the Nobles, they crowned Pratap on Mahadev Bawdi at Gogunda. On 28th February 1572 CE, Maharana Pratap became the ruler of Mewar. Later, at Kumbhalgarh, the coronation celebration took place. Maharana Pratap made Kumbhalgarh and Gogunda the main centers of the state of Mewar.
Maharana Udai Singh, in terms of security, embarked a plan to make the second capital of Mewar in the Girwa valley. This plan was a proof of his farsightedness, that when the Mughals attacked in 1568 CE and the entire fertile land of Mewar including the historic fort of Chittor was taken over by the Mughals, then the center of the state of Mewar was transferred from Chittor to Girwa (Udaipur). Maharana Pratap had the question before himself when he became the ruler of Mewar, to either "accept the mandate of the Mughal Empire in the future or adopt a path of struggle." Having faith in oneself, Pratap despite the limited land of the mountainous area of Aravali, low means and limited human resources, Pratap adopted the path of resistance.
The strategy of Maharana was tested when the Mughal dominion was established in all the areas near Mewar through the treaties and proposals and he also had to defend Mewar in family crisis. The Mughals used other Rajput states against Mewar through royal favour and matrimonial alliances. In retaliation front, Maharana Pratap tried to establish friendship in different parts of Rajputana, wherever they opposed Mughals. Among them were Sirohi, Idar, Jodhpur, Dungarpur. Favourable nobles were provided with the jagirs on the border of Mewar. The capitals of Mewar, continued to change in this conflict route of independence, but no irregularities were witnessed because of Pratap's administration and efficient military operations.
By rejecting the Mughal authority, Akbar sent ambassadors with the proposals of treaty, but Maharana Pratap remained firm on his pre-fulfillment. Therefore, on 18th June, 1576 in Haldighati (Khamanor), the battle with the Mughal army was fought. The Mewar army was divided into three parts; the war was initiated by the army of the Maharana. The front line of Haraval under the leadership of Hakim Khan Sur attacked heavily on the avant-garde of the Mughal army. Badayuni himself, who was present on the battleground, writes that "This invasion of the army of Maharana was so ferocious that the Mughal army was defeated, which was already frustrated with the rugged rocks and thorny lands there, crossed the river Banas and fled up to 5 miles". Maharana Pratap got out of the valley and attacked the army of the Gazi Khan and reached the middle of Gazi’s army. This attack led to the escape of Sheikh Mansour, Prince of Sikri and Gazi Khan. At this devastating state, Mehtar Khan jumped out of Chandrawal and propagated that Akbar himself was coming with a new army. The army thus retaliated and the battle was restarted. This battle resulted in high casualties at both ends. Akbar's intention for the battle of 1576 was to completely destroy Pratap and his pride. Akbar's major resentment was Pratap's resolution to stay outside the Mughal Empire. While Akbar wanted Mewar's subjugation under the Mughal Empire, Pratap was ready to perish for independence, liberty and self-respect. Pratap reached the Kolyari village via Gogunda with all his wounded soldiers where they received medical help. On the other end Akbar reached Ajmer to find a dejected army and missing Mughal supremacy. This made him furious and he closed his doors on Man Singh and Asaf Khan. This was the moral and strategic victory of Maharana Pratap.
Maharana Pratap, after the battle of Haldighati, took his place of residence at Kumbhalgarh. With the help of neighbours like Sirohi, Jalore, Idar, they adopted the policy of attacking the Mughal army. From 1576 to 1579 CE, Akbar attacked many times on Mewar in search of Maharana Pratap, but traveling to the mountainous region was a tough challenge for the Mughal army.
In 1578 to 1580 CE, Mughal Chief Shahbaaz Khan acquired Kumbhalgarh, Zawar, Chappan and Vagad. Maharana Pratap stopped the Mughal proceedings for some time in these woeful circumstances by strong military tactics which resulted in the form of the success turned at Dewair. In 1580 CE, Abdur Rahim Khan-e Khana took the charge of Mewar affairs. Khan-i-Khana proceeded towards Mewar and halted at Sherpura. His wife Maha Bano Begum and other members of the family were also with him. The eldest son of Maharana Pratap, Kanwar Amar Singh attacked Sherpura and captured Khana-i-Khana‟s Begum, and other women of the Harem. When he presented them in front of Maharana Pratap, he was furious and told Kanwar Amar Singh that our fight is with the Mughal soldiers and not with their women. He at once ordered Kanwar Amar Singh to escort the ladies of the harem safely back to the camp of Khan-i-Khana. After this incident, Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana was very impressed with Pratap‟s conduct.
In 1582 CE, Pratap attacked a Mughal out-post in village Dewair situated about 40 Kms northeast of Kumbhalgarh. Sultan Khan, the chief of all Chowkies fought a bloody battle with Pratap. Sultan Khan, riding on an elephant, operated the Mughal army. The soldiers of Amet and the nearby Mughal Chowki also came to the aid of Sultan Khan. When Pratap's men cut the legs of the Elephant on whom Sultan Khan was mounted, he swiftly moved onto a Horse. At that point Pratap's eldest son Kanwar Amar Singh killed both Sultan Khan and his Horse with one skillful blow of his spear. The remaining Mughal soldiers ran away rendering, Pratap victorious. After the success of Dewair battle, Maharana Pratap took control of Kumbhalgarh and Zawar.
Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana had failed to subdue Maharana Pratap, Jagannath Khachawaha was appointed to chastise him. Maharana while residing in mountainous areas, with the guerilla warfare system defeated the Mughal power. In the hill area of Chappan, in 1584 CE he defeated Luna Rathore and made Chavand its capital. After strengthening the situation of Mewar, under the leadership of Rawat Bhan Sarangdevot, the army was sent against Maharawal Asakaran of Dungarpur and Maharawal Pratap Singh of Banswar. In this campaign, Mewar was victorious and both the rulers accepted the suzerainty of Maharana Pratap.
With the generalship of Maharana Pratap, Mewar was strategically prepared for the anti-Mughal conflict, in which the establishment of the administrative system in the mountainous part of the hill and the economy was deployed on the basis of war. An attempt was made to merge all the Mughal opponents with Maharana as well as those who did not accept the Mughal order were welcomed in Mewar. According to his war strategy, Maharana Pratap fortified the entire mountainous region of Mewar and changed the area into a strong, safe fortress with the view of military system. With the appointment of military troops on all the small routes of the entry into the mountainous part of the Mewar, the administrative and military system of Mewar was decentralized, which did not spread chaos simultaneously upon the invasion at one area. Arrangement of intensive surveillance system, intelligence system and safe places for treasury, arsenal, food storage etc. were installed at safer places. He well established the state's treasury, production, trade, industry in the mountainous part through which the general requirements of public life could be met. Maharana Pratap used the guerrilla warfare system to interrupt the Mughal army; the Mughal police stations were never safe in Mewar and feared attacks at the Mughal localities too. By making Chavand the capital, Maharana Pratap maintained close contact with Sirohi, Idar, Dungarpur, Banswara, Gujarat, making it easier to get support for the Mughal resistance. As a result of the diplomatic efforts and successful strategy of Maharana Pratap, the Mughal army could not enact Mewar after 25 years of continuous efforts.
Literature and the arts have been largely embedded in the tradition of Mewar. After the establishment of the capital at Chavand, during the peaceful period, writers, poets and artists began to gather again in the conjunction of Maharana Pratap. Chavand started developing as a cultural center. Evidence of state promotion by Maharana Pratap is prominent in manuscripts and paintings. Chakrapani Mishra wrote 'Vishavavallabh’, ‘Muhurtmala’ and compiled and edited 'Rajyabhishek Paddhati'. The 'Gora-Badal Charitra' composed by Jain scholar Hemantan Suri was done in the patronization of Maharana Pratap. The ruins of the fort built by Maharana Pratap along with the temple of Chamunda Mata at Chavand can be seen today as well. Here Maharana Pratap spent the last 12 years of his life.
Kanwar Amar Singh and all the nobles of Mewar pledged before Maharana Pratap that they will never surrender to the Mughal forces. In 1597, with this satisfaction in his heart, Pratap took his last breath. His cremation took place on the bank of a river near village Badoli situated about 2 kms from Chawand. His wives Rathore Madho Kanwar and Ran Kanwar committed 'sati’. A cenotaph was constructed at the cremation site, by Amar Singh which remains a sacred place of homage for people, in and around that area, till date.Timeline
Maharana Amar Singh I
r. 1597- 1620 CE
The eldest son of Maharana Pratap Kanwar Amar Singh was born on Chetra Sudi 7 Vikram Samvat 1616 at Chittorgarh. His mother's name was Maharani Ajabde Panwar, who was the daughter of Rao Mamrakh of Bijoliya. He was also the commander of Mewar army in battle of Dewair in 1582 CE. After the demise of Maharana Pratap I his eldest son Kanwar Amar Singh succeeded the throne of Mewar in 1597 CE. He was equally valiant and imaginative like his father.
After the demise of Maharana Pratap, Akbar got another chance to fulfil his ambition. In 1600 CE, he sent Mughal army under the command of Prince Salim (later Jahangir). Salim spent much time at Ajmer and sent his commanders to Mewar. Maharana Amar Singh following the policy of his father, he took shelter in the hilly tracts of western Mewar and made a counter attack on Mughal army. Prince Salim arrived at Udaipur and directed his commandants to chase the Mewar contingents more actively. However, Maharana recaptured all the outposts which were seized by the Mughal army. The Mughal army failed to achieve any notable success.
In 1605, Prince Salim sat on the throne and strictly followed the policy of his father. He sent a large force under the command of his son Prince Parvez. Maharana Amar Singh made necessary preparations to meet Mughal army and closed all important passes of the hills. Mughal army was badly defeated by the Mewar army near Dewair pass. Again in 1608 CE, Jahangir appointed Mahabat Khan for Mewar affairs. Mahabat Khan left for Mewar along with his important chiefs. Mughal army came in Mewar via Mandal, Chittor and made Unthala as the base. This army succeeded in establishing their outposts at various place. Maharana’s army made sudden attack on the Mughal army and defeated it completely. In 1609 CE, Abdullah Khan was made in charge of the Mewar campaign. He succeeded in stabling his outposts at Unthala and Gogunda. Abdullah Khan centralized his forces, in order to save himself from sudden Rajput raids and reached Chawand. The Rajput soldiers staying there displayed memorable resistance in the battle. At last, Abdullah Khan seized the place and destroyed temples. Maharana Amar Singh had to leave Chawand but did not lose his heart and determined to fight again. In 1611 CE, Maharana and Mughal army had fierce fighting at Ranakpur. Several Important chiefs of Mewar, Duda Sangawat, Narayandas Sonagara, Surajmal, Ashakaran, Jhala Deda, Keshavdas Chauhan, and Mukanddas Rathore laid down their lives and the Mewar army emerged victorious.
In 1613 CE, Prince Khurram (later Shahjahan) was sent to attack Mewar. He reached Udaipur via Chittor and Debari. Maharana left the central tract of Mewar and took shelter to hilly tract. According to Rana Raso, Prince Khurram wrote a letter to the Maharana to settle the matter peacefully. Khurram divided his army into four flanks. The entire hilly tract of Mewar was closely seized by the Mughal army. All Important centers of Mewar were ruined. Mewar was continously struggling against the Mughals from the reign of Maharana Udai Singh II. Maharana Amar Singh was not ready to owe his allegiance to the Mughals. Prince Khurram and Mughal officers had sent some important officers, Pradhans and Purohits to make the Maharana to agree to some permanent settlement. Raja Sursingh and Raja Narasingh Deva also went to Maharana to assure him of honourable settlement.
Thus, he renewed the struggles with the Mughals and faced them up to 1615 CE but as advised by his nobles he concluded a treaty with them in a very honorable manner. Kanwar Karan Singh was advised to go to Ajmer to ratify the treaty. In June 1615 CE, after six month Kanwar Karan Singh returned to Mewar, Jahangir conveyed a verbal message to the Maharana for maintaining cordial relation. The entire territory of Mewar was handed over back to Maharana.
After the settlement, he did much to improve the administration and paid his attention towards the rehabilitation programme. Due to struggle, those people, who left Mewar, Maharana invited them back to come to Mewar. Maharana Amar Singh also gave patronage to art and architecture in Mewar. He built the Amar Mahal in the Palace of Udaipur. During his reign, Nisaradi was the great painter, who illustrated the famous Ragamala miniature painting series.
He was the first Maharana who died in Udaipur in 1620 CE. His cenotaph was beautifully built by his son Maharana Karan Singh, is the first such structure at Mahasatyaji, Udaipur.
Maharana Karan Singh
r. 1620 - 1628 CE
Kanwar Karan Singh was born on Swan Shikla 12 Vikram Samvat 1640. He was the eldest son of Maharana Amar Singh I and his mother name’s was Saheb Kunwar daughter of Raja Salbhanji Tanwar. In 1620 CE, Kanwar Karan Singh succeeded Maharana Amar Singh. However, he had already started exercising administrative powers during his father’s reign due to Maharana Amar Singh being displeased with the treaty of 1615 CE with the Mughals and also to Ahar to live there. He fought many battles with his father Maharana Amar Singh I. However, he was very concerned about the plight of Mewar. He maintained diplomatic relation with Mughal’s during his reign. Jahangir sent a robe of honour, a horse and an elephant with Raja Kishandas on his coronation. After the treaty with Mughals the situation in Mewar became peaceful. Maharana Karan Singh also utilised his time in attempting administrative, judicial and economic reforms. Due to his efforts, trade centers of Mewar were flourishing again.
After the death of Rao Surtan of Sirohi, his son Raj Singh sat on the throne. He was not able to manage the state affairs. In this situation, his brother Sur Singh and his minister Prithviraj Sujawat made him captive. Maharana Karan Singh invited them to Udaipur but Prithviraj assassinated Rao Raj Singh. Maharana sent Mewar army for punishing Prithviraj and in the favour of Akheraj (Son of Rao Raj Singh).
He gave refuge to Prince Khurram (later Shahjahan) at Udaipur when he revolted against his father Jahangir in 1622 CE. Maharana Karan Singh received him displaying utmost hospitality. To maintain the good relations Maharana and Khurram exchanged their turbans. He lived in Mewar for about four months after, he went to Deccan.
The Mughal commander of Nadol Gazani Khan destroyed several temples of Godwar including Ranakpur Jain temples. In 1621 CE, Maharana renovated this Jain temple as per instruction of Vijaydev Suri.
According to Rajprashasti Mahakavya, Kanwar Karan Singh did Tula-daan against silver on the banks of River Ganga in his Maharaj Kumar period. Most of the construction in the Rajmahal of Udaipur was done by Maharana Karan Singh which are - Manek Chowk, Paiga Pol, Suraj Pol, Toran Pol, Moti Chowk, Sata Navari Paiga, Ganesh Chowk, Ganesh Deodhi, Chandra Mahal, Lakhu Gokhada, Karan Mahal, Dilkhushal Mahal, Moti Mahal and Bheem Vilas, (Part I), Manek Mahal, Mor Chowk, Surya Chopad, Surya Gokhada, Nav Ghat, Zenana Mahal, Lakshmi Chowk and Zenana Deodhi. He died an untimely death in March 1628 CE.
According to Rampol inscription found at Chittorgarh dated Vikram Samvat 1678, Maharana Karan Singh granted the Jagir of three villages to Rohadiya Barhat Lakha.
Maharana Jagat Singh I
r. 1628 - 1652 CE
After the demise of Maharana Karan Singh his eldest son Kanwar Jagat Singh I succeeded the throne of Mewar 1628 CE. He was born on Bhadwa Shukla 3 Vikram Samvat 1664. On his coronation, Mughal emperor Shahjahan sent a robe of honour for him. Maharana Jagat Singh was an ambitious Prince who seemed to have believed in turning favourable opportunities to his advantage. When Shahjahan engaged in the internal affairs of his kingdom, Maharana resolved to assert his authority over the neighbouring states, which were under the suzerainty of Mewar house.
In 1628 CE, Maharana dispatched the army against the Rawal Punja of Dungarpur, under the command of Akshayraj Kavdia. In the same year, there was a dispute between Mewar and Devaliya. Maharana sent his army against Develiya. Jasawant Singh ruler of Devaliya was killed and Devaliya could remain in possession of the Maharana for a few months. After that Hari Singh, the successor of Jaswant Singh recaptured it. Maharana also sent his army against Akheraj of Sirohi and Rawal Samarsi of Banswara. Shahjahan was displeased with Maharana due to his aggressive policy but Maharana sent Jhala Kalyan of Delwara to Agra with presents to Mughal court. He also sent Mewar army under the command of Bhopat Ram for Deccan campaign. According to the treaty with Mughals the Maharana of Mewar never went to Mughal court, hence Kanwar Raj Singh was sent to meet Shahjahan at Ajmer in 1643 CE. However, he shrewdly breached the treaty and started the renovation of Fort Chittorgarh.
Maharana maintained a kind of balance between the Mewar pride and the suzerainty of Mughal treaty. Raghunath the court poet has summarized his policy, 'Maharana Jagat Singh always entered into friendly alliance with a powerful enemy and subdued his weak foes.'
Rajmata Jambuvati, Maharana’s mother went for pilgrimage to Mathura, Gokul, Prayag and Kashi along with his grandson Kanwar Raj Singh and maternal grand-daughter Nand Kunwar Bai. At that time, Maharana got constructed the Rana Mahal and Rana Ghat at Kashi. Rajmata along with Nand Kunwar Bai did Tuladan against silver and Kanwar Raj Singh also did Tuladan against the gold. Maharana himself went for pilgrimage to Mahakal, Ujjain and Onkareshwar. He also did Tuladan against gold and erected an inscription on Tulastambh at Onkareshwar dated Vikram Samvat 1704 CE.
Munificence of the Maharana is well known. He did several Tuladans against silver and gold. He also got made a gold flagstaff and pinnacle at Shree Eklingnath ji temple. He constructed the Shree Jagnnathrai ji temple in Udaipur. There were lot of constructions during his ruling period including Jagmandir (In lake Pichola) which was started by Maharana Karan Singh and completed by Maharana Jagat Singh I. Mohan Mandir (In Lake Pichola), Jaleb Chowk, 8 Torans at Tripoliya, after each ‘Tula Dan’: the Torans are above Paiga Pol, on the eastern side of Hathion ka Halka and Kanwarpada Mahal in the Rajmahal of Udaipur.
Shree Jagannatharai temple inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1709 mentioned the genealogy of the Mewar rulers. It gives valuable information of Maharana Sangram Singh and Maharana Pratap. Maharana Jagat Singh’s Dungarpur campaign is also mentioned in it. The Shantinath Jain temple inscription found at Zawar dated 1694, Ranakpur Stone inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1705, Narlai Sculpture Inscription Dated Vikram Samvat 1686, Nadol Sculpture Inscription Dated Vikram Samvat 1686, mention about the various activities of the Jain religion.
Raj Singh I - Shirji Arvind Singh Mewar
Maharana Raj Singh I
r. 1652 - 1680 CE
Kanwar Raj Singh was born to Maharana Jagat Singh I and Jana Devi (daughter of Raj Singh Mertia Rathore), on Kartik Krishna 2 Vikram Samvat 1686. After the demise of Maharana Jagat Singh I, Raj Singh ascended the throne of Mewar in 1652 and went to Shree Eklingnath ji Temple and did 'Tula Dan' of precious gems and stones.
During the accession crisis in the Mughal Empire, Prince Aurangzeb had scored decisive victories against Prince Dara Shikoh. Maharana Raj Singh shrewdly refrained from responding to Dara's call for assistance, and wisely kept on strengthening his own kingdom. Maharana Raj Singh's neutrality in the war succession resulted in vast territorial gains for Mewar. During the reign of Maharana Jagat Singh I Some parganas of Mewar including Purmandal, Kherabad, Mandalgarh, Jahajpur, Sawer, Banera, Phuliya, Badnore, Hurda etc. were under Mughal control. He reoccupied them in the turbulent times of Shah Jahan's illness. He empowered Malpura, Toda, Tonk , Sawer, Lalsot and Chatsu. Maharana also established his hegemony over Dungarpur, Banswara Pratapgarh, Gyaspur and Dewalia. Maharana also set peace with local Bhils. He recruited them in his army, solidifying his army and defence thus settling peace in Mewar.
When Aurangzeb became the emperor, his anti - Hindu policies grew so harsh that Maharana could not resist opposing him. He also continued to breech the treaty with Mughals by repairing the fort Chittorgarh like his father. However, Maharana kept his relations with the Mughals by sending gifts and his Prince to the Mughal court. In year 1658 CE, Kanwar Sultan Singh went to congratulate Aurangzeb for his success in the war of Mughal succession. Delighted with this meeting, Aurangzeb returned all the provinces captured by the Mughals during the time of Maharana Jagat Singh I. In 1660 CE, Kishangarh's princess Charumati sent marriage proposal to Maharana Raj Singh, as she was being forced to marry Aurangzeb. He abducted her and married her, which outraged Aurangzeb. In 1669 CE, orthodox Aurangzeb gave the order to destroy Hindu temples and educational institutions and re-imposed Jaziya, Maharana opposed it openly. However, when Maharana gave refuge to Maharaja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur, Aurangzeb finally attacked Mewar. He attacked in 1679 CE, the Maharana resisted the attack by using guerrilla tactics. Aurangzeb was camping at Debari, after which he sent some forces to Udaipur. He ordered the destruction of Jagdish temple. It was resisted by 20 warriors of Mewar under the leadership of Naruji and all were killed fighting. Mughal forces destroyed many idols in the temple complex. Aurangzeb ordered his men to find the Maharana in the mountains, however no one succeeded. Disappointed Aurangzeb went to Delwara, destroyed temples and left for Ajmer.
Aurangzeb, the Mughal emperor by his policies had abandoned his predecessors' legacy of pluralism and religious tolerance, citing his reintroduction of the Jaziya tax. He ordered the demolition of all-important temples within his empire and schools just to celebrate his 53rd birthday. It resulted in relocation of many idols to safer places because of this order. In this chaos, there was some family dispute in the Goswami brothers of Pushtimarg Haveli's third house belonging to Shree Dwarkadheeshji of Gokul. Thus, Goswami Vrajbhushanlal ji first went to Ahmedabad with the idol of Shree Dwarkadheeshji, but he was not sure about the protection there. Therefore, he sent a letter to Maharana Raj Singh who assured him for complete protection and invited him to Mewar. In 1670 CE the idol of Shree Dwarkadheeshji came from Ahmedabad to village Sadri in Mewar. The consecration of Shree Dwaradheeshji was ritualized in village Asautiya. Later, in the year 1719 CE Maharana Sangram Singh II consecrated the temple at Girdhargarh, Kankroli, on the bank of Lake Rajsamand. Due to the intolerance of Aurangzeb, Goswami Hariray Mahaprabhuji supervised the journey of Shree Vitthalnathji to Kheda Village (Nathdwara) through Khamnor. In the same manner, on 26th October 1669, Goswami Damodarlalji left from Giriraj Goverdhandham near Mathura with the idol of Shreenathji and reached Mewar via Agra, Kota, Bundi, Pushkar, Kishangarh, Chopasani (Jodhpur). From Jodhpur, he sent his uncle Govind ji (Gopinathji) to meet the Maharana. Maharana discussed this issue with his mother and graciously welcomed Shreenathji to Mewar and promised full protection by any means. After that Goswami Damodarlalji along with Shreenathji reached Mewar. In 1672 CE, Maharana went to Ghanerao to welcome Shreenathji in Mewar and granted the Village of Sihad (Nathdwara) for the establishment of Shreenathji's Temple which is about 50 kms from Udaipur. On 2nd April 1679 CE, Jaziya tax was re-imposed on non-Muslims by Aurangzeb and the order to demolish the Hindu temples was an act of absolutism. Maharana Raj Singh opposed the Mughal emperor. He wrote a disapproving letter to the emperor.
Maharana Raj Singh was a farsighted and able ruler. When he decided to oppose the Mughal rule, he maintained good relations with his neighbouring kingdoms. During the peace period in Mewar, the defence forces were highly strategized through which many of the discreet neighbouring kingdoms like Dungarpur, Banswara and Pratapgarh were forced to accept Mewar's suzerainty but through respectful means. He also had matrimonial alliances to strengthen the political situation in Mewar. Maharana Raj Singh married Kunwar Bai of Bundi, daughter of Rao Shatrushal in his princely period. He also had matrimonial alliances with Jaisalmer, Idar, Kishangarh too. Maharana's sister was married to Bikaner Prince Anup Singh and daughter Ajab Kunwar to Prince Bhav Singh of Bandhav. When Aurangzeb tried to conquer Marwar, he also gave refuge to the infant king of Marwar Ajit Singh, son of Maharaja Jaswant Singh in his captivity. In this era of continues struggle, Maharana Raj Singh gave refuge and aid to the brave warrior Durgadas Rathore, who was known for his Mughal resistance. When Sirohi's Prince Udaybhan captivated his own father and sat on the throne, the Maharana heard of this unjust act and he ordered Ram Singh Ranawat to attack Sirohi. Udaybhan lost the battle and fled. King Akheraj was reinstated on the throne. Maharana used all means including marriages and peace treaties to maintain friendly relations with other kingdoms. Maharana shrewdly increased the number of his supporting kingdoms and that is why he was able to oppose Mughal supremacy.
Maharana Raj Singh's political strategies were so strong that in despite of such tough situations, he was able to devote time and money for construction in Mewar. During his heir apparent period Kanwar Raj Singh built a Palace called Sarvaritu Vilas (Sarbat Vilas) and got a step-well made nearby. In 1659 CE, he completed the fort wall and the gate at Debari. He completed half built temples of Lord Shiva, Surya, Ganapati and Shani in Shree Jagdish temple, Udaipur which were half built in his father's time. Raj Singh constructed the largest lake of the time known as Rajsamundra (1662-1676 CE), with Nau Chowki Pal and a palace was constructed on the nearby hill and along with Shree Dwarakdheeshji temple. Near the lake, a town with his name Rajnagar also prospered. In 1664 CE, he built Shree Amba Mata temple in Udaipur. He built Lake Janasagar (Badi), west of Udaipur named after his mother Jana Devi near village Badi. Maharana also got constructed a new bridge near Indrasar (Indrasarover) at Eklingji. His queen Jhali Maharani got constructed a step-well called Ekmukhi Bawdi. In 1675 CE, queen Charumati got a step well built at Rajnagar and Panwar Rani got the Step well named 'Jaya Bawdi' made at Debari, now known as Trimukhi Bawdi. In 1668 CE, his son Kanwar Jai Singh built the Lake Rang Sagar. His minister, Fatehchand also got a step-well built at village Bedwas.
In Mewar, there is a local custom of worshipping 'Sagas ji' considered as 'Lok Devtas', lesser Gods and both the sons of Maharana Raj Singh, Sultan Singh and Sardar Singh are worshipped as such. The local folklore is that, the mother of Kanwar Sardar Singh wanted her son to be the next Maharana and she brainwashed Raj Singh with the help of a priest against Kanwar Sultan Singh. Thus, Kanwar Sultan Singh was assassinated. Then, the Rani wrote a note to her confident priest saying that she has got rid of Kanwar Sultan Singh, now they should poison the Maharana so that her son Kanwar Sardar Singh could ascend the throne of Mewar. After some time, this treachery planned by the Rani and the Purohit came out in the open and Maharana was very angry, so much so that the Rani and the Purohit were executed immediately. When Kanwar Sardar Singh came to know of this intrigue, he took poison and he died, as he felt deeply grieved because of his elder brother being put in the wrong of whom he was very fond of. Elder brother Kanwar Sultan Singh's cenotaph is at Sarvaritu Vilas and younger Kanwar Sardar Singh's cenotaph is at Kanwarpada Mahal, where they both are worshiped as Sagas ji.
Due to Maharana Raj Singh's love for art, architecture and literature, his period was a time of literary development even in the times of struggle. Where on one hand Maharana was struggling with the Mughals, on the other hand, he himself wrote poems. He gave royalty too many Sanskrit scholars, poets, artists and architects thus continued to contribute in enriching art and literature. During the time of Maharana Raj Singh, important texts such as Ranchod Bhatt's Rajprashasti Mahakavyam, Sadashiv’s Rajratnakar, Mankavi's Rajavilas, Rajprakash by Kishordas were composed and manuscripts of historical texts were also copied under Maharana's guidance. The principal engravers of Rajasamudra were Mukund, Dalapati, Maha Singh, Mokam Singh, Vyagrah who materialised Maharana Raj Singh's speculative imagination. The idols built at Ekmukhi, Sundar and Trimukhi step wells indicate the developed sculpture art.
Chawand painting school, which began during the period of Maharana Pratap, was also glorified during his reign. With the arrival of Shreenathji in Mewar, the emergence of a new painting school - Nathdwara style of painting was developed during this period, which is also known as Pichhwai. Maharana Raj Singh gave patronage of manuscript illustration. After his accession, he got completed the Ramayana Series, which was started by his father Maharana Jagat Singh I. Initially, three independent painting workshops continued at Udaipur commissioned to Sahibdin, Manohar and Deccani Painters. Sukarakshetramahatmya series (1655 CE), Sur Sagar (1655 CE), Raga Malkaus - Ragamala (1660 CE), Gitagovinda series (1665 CE), Bhagavata Purana Series (1665-70 CE), Gajendramoksha series (1680 CE), Eklingamahatmya series (1680 CE) were illustrated during his reign.
Maharana Raj Singh has been known as very courageous and he wanted to fight Aurangzeb till his last breath. However, when he was travelling to Kumbhalgarh the royal camp was set up at a village called Oda. He was poisoned. He died in 1680 CE. He was cremated in Oda village only, where now stands a cenotaph in his remembrance.
Maharana Jai Singh
r. 1680 - 1698 CE
Kanwar Jai Singh ascended the throne of Mewar in 1680 CE. He was born on Paush Krishna Ekadashi Vikram Samvat 1710. His mother’s name was Sada Kunwar daughter of Indarbhan Panwar from Bijolian. After the demise of Maharana Raj Singh I, the power of the Sisodias declined as his successor lacked military skill and the administrative skills of the great Maharana. However, Maharana Jai Singh put up a stiff resistance against the Mughal army under the command of Prince Akbar near Desuri pass. Kanwar Bheem Singh and Bika Solanki successfully encountered Mughal army at Jilwara. Maharana’s Minister Dayal Shah Singhvi made the sudden attack on the Mughal army posted at Chittor under the command of Prince Azam. Azam Khan appointed Diler Khan to chase the Maharana and his chiefs. He was badly defeated by Rawat Ratan Singh Chundawat. Prince Akbar II rebelled against his father Aurangzeb, he declared himself as the emperor at Nadol. Maharana also realized that it was quite difficult for them to continue struggle with the Mughals due to lack of sufficient food supplies and arms. Aurangzeb tried to make settlement with the Maharana on agreeable terms. Maharana also put important points such as discontinue the conversion Hindu temples into mosques, no extra commands to be imposed on Mewar army etc. Aurangzeb issued the Farman in 1681 CE to Maharana and he agreed to maintain his status as per settlement of 1615 CE. After that, Maharana Jai Singh entered into alliance with Aurangzeb and surrendered three district of Mewar in lieu of Jazya. Mewar became a battle-ground between the crown prince, the nobility and other factions. Kanwar Amar Singh II eldest son of Maharana Jai Singh rebelled against his father. Thakur Gopinath of Ghanerao, Purohit Jagannath and other nobles tried for settlement. In 1691, Maharana gave the Jagir at Rajnagar to Kanwar Amar Singh and after that he did not interfere in the State affairs. Maharana dispatched the Mewar army against the Maharawal Ajab Singh of Banswara. He did not send help to Mewar during the struggle with Mughals. Mewar army attacked his State and defeated it badly. In 1698 CE, Maharawal attempted to capture the Dangal territory. Again Mewar army defeated him and he had to surrender the territory to Maharana. Maharana Jai Singh took a great interest in manuscript illustration. During his reign Mewar Painting School continued to follow the model of Sahibdin and Manohar School. Gajendramoksha series were completed during his reign, which initially was started by Maharana Raj Singh I. Mahabharata series (1690), Bhagavad Gita series (1690-1700), Raghuvansa series (1690-1695), Kadambari series (1690-1695), Panchtantra series (1690-1700) and Prithviraj Raso Series (1690) were illustrated during his reign. The world famous man made, sweet water lake Jai Samudra (Jaisamand), located 32 miles to the southeast of Udaipur was constructed between 1686-1691 and owes its existence to Maharana Jai Singh. Six beautiful cenotaphs flank the lake bank. Beneath the cenotaphs, are six graceful Elephants carved from a single marble block. On May 22, 1691, Maharana Jai Singh inaugurated Jai Samundra by donating gold after a tula-daan. The dam also houses Narmdeshwar Shiva temple, the construction of which was started by Maharana Jai Singh but he could not complete it during his lifetime. Maharana Jai Singh also built a pond near village Devali and second near village Thur in 1687. He constructed Krishna Vihar Garden (at present Udaipur central jail). During his reign Rajprashasti Mahakavya was engraved on marble slab and installed Nau Chowki Pal at Rajsamudra Lake.
Maharana Amar Singh II
r. 1698 - 1710 CE
Kanwar Amar Singh II, was born on Maghshirsh Krishna 5, Vikram Samvat 1729. The eldest son of Maharana Jai Singh and Maharani Ranga Kunwar Hada ascended the throne of Mewar on 28th September 1698 CE. When Maharana Jai Singh took his last breath Kanwar Amar Singh was residing at Raj Nagar. After the demise of Maharana, he proceeded towards Udaipur. After the accession Maharana attacked Dungarpur under the command of Damodardas Pancholi and Surat Singh in 1699 CE. According to Dev Somnath temple pillar inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1755; Mewar army defeated Maharawal force on the bank of the river Som. Maharawal requested for peace treaty and agreed to pay a sum of 1, 75,000/- as booty. Mewar army was already engaged in fighting in Banswara during the reign of Maharana Jai Singh. Maharana Amar Singh continued the campaign. Maharawal Azab Singh could not make a stand against the Mewar army and lodged a complaint to Mughal emperor. Maharana successfully pleaded his case in Mughal court and Mughal authority was satisfied. The Maharana’s relations with the Devliya (Pratapgarh) were also strained. Mandalgarh, Pur and Badnore parganas were under the Mughal control due to in lieu of the jaziya tax. In 1689 CE, Maharana agreed to pay a sum 1,00000 cash and redeem this territory. However, this amount could not be paid and Parganas were taken back by the Mughal authority. Later on, these parganas granted to Rathore chiefs and Maharana opposed it. According to Mughal-Mewar treaty Maharana sent his army for southern India Mughal campaign. Maharana’s relations with the Mughal emperor were not satisfactory. However, no military action was taken from any side. During the accession crisis in the Mughal Empire, Prince Muazzam had scored decisive victories against Prince Azam. Maharana Amar Singh II supported Muazzam, and after the accession kept his relations with the Mughal court by sending gifts and his brother Bakht Singh to the Mughal court. Maharana gave help to Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur and Maharaja Ajit Singh of Jodhpur. Mughal emperor wanted to keep them away from their states, so that they could not create any trouble for him. Both the rulers decided to regain their states and came to Mewar. Maharana assured them of help. Maharana also made a marital alliance with Maharaja of Jaipur. Chandra Kunwari Bai daughter of Maharana Amar Singh was married to Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1708. Maharaja Jai Singh accepted all the terms such as, the offspring of this Maharani was to succeed him to the throne irrespective of age and seniority among his sons and he agreed to give her other privileges as to a chief queen. Maharana dispatched the Mewar army under the command of Sanwaldas for helping Jaipur and Jodhpur. In 1708 CE, Maharana recaptured Pur, Mandal parganas. Maharana Amar Singh was known for his administrative reforms like rules and regulations for nobles, management of State, the court tradition, sitting arrangement of nobles and tradition of Nazarana etc. in Mewar. Maharana also rearranged administrative documentation. He also introduced Amar Shahi Paag. Maharana built Shiv Prasanna Amarvilas (Baadi Mahal), Ghadiyal and Nakkar khana ki Chhatri at the Rajmahal. Maharana also started the construction of Shree Dwarkadhishji temple. He granted tha Jagir of Dadhalya to the Shree Eklingnathji temple in 1708 CE.
Maharana Sangram Singh II
r. 1710 - 1734 CE
Kanwar Sangram Singh was born on Vaishak Krishna 6 Vikram Samvat 1747. His mother’s name was Har Kunwar Chouhan daughter of Rao Sabal Singh Chouhan. After the death of Maharana Amar Singh II, Kanwar Sangram Singh ascended the throne of Mewar on 10th December 1710 CE. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur II attended his coronation.
After the accession to the throne, Maharana recaptured the Pargans of Pur and Mandal from Ranbaj Khan, a Mughal officer. After the death of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah, Maharana maintained cordial relations with Farrukhsiyar. Maharana sent presents with Kushal Singh of Vijaypur. However, Farrukhsiyar imposed the Jaziya tax, Maharana opposed it. He defeated Pathans in Malwa and captured the Pargana of Rampura. In 1717 CE, Biharidas Pancholi got the Farman of Rampura Pargana in the favour of Maharana Sangram Singh from the Farrukhsiyar.
According to Mughal Farman, the States of Dungarpur, Banswara and Devaliya were assigned to the Maharana. Maharana dispatched the Mewar army against the Dungarpur under the command of Rathore Durgadas, Biharidas and Bharat Singh of Shahpura. Maharawal Ram Singh could not resist and agreed to pay a sum 1,26,000. Maharawal Bishan Singh of Banswara also agreed to pay sum but Maharana started the campaign against Idar in 1728 CE, Maharawal did not join it. After that, Maharana sent the Mewar army under the command of Dhabai Nagraj and Kanha Pancholi. Rathore Durgadas, Biharidas visited the Devaliya, Maharawat Prithvi Singh agreed to surrender.
Maharana’s sister Chandra Kunwari was married to Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur, for whom the Sisodiya Rani ka Bagh was constructed at Jaipur by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. Sawai Jai Singh had accepted the terms to allow her male child to succeed him, irrespective of his age and seniority. In 1728 CE, Kanwar Madho Singh was born, Maharaja wanted to avoid the accession crisis in Jaipur. He requested to Maharana to give the Jagir of Rampura for Kanwar Madho Singh. Maharana gave the jagir of Rampura to his nephew Madho Singh I of Jaipur, who later sat on the throne of Jaipur.
During his reign, the Marathas crossed Narmada valley and came to northern India. In 1716 CE, Maharana dispatched the Mewar army to save the imperial territory of Malwa. Again 1724 and 1726 CE Marathas again created disturbance in Mewar. However, Gopal Pant and Appaji Pant came to Udaipur and requested Maharana to use his influence in Mughal court to agree to their claim for collecting Chouth tax in Malwa and Gujarat. Mughal emperor accepted this proposal. In order to maintain good relations with Sahu, Maharana sent Deep Singh, Mansaram and Bagh Singh to his court.
Maharana Sangram Singh got constructed the triple arched gate of the City Palace Udaipur - the Tripoliya. This kind of construction was not allowed for any Hindu ruler during Mughal rule. He also built the Sahelion ki baadi, Mahal at Nahar Magra in Udaipur. Also, Chini Chitrashali in the City Palace, Canal and Darikhanas in Jagmandir and the cenotaph of Maharana Amar Singh II at Mahasatyaji (Ahar), Sitla Mata temple (Udaipur) and Vaidhyanath temple at Sisarma were constructed during his reign. Jagannath miniature painter from Mewar School flourished in his reign. The Satasayee (1720 CE), Gita Govind (1724 CE) and Sunder Shringar (1726) painting were illustrated during his reign.
The Vaidhyanath temple inscription found at Sisarma dated Vikram Samvat 1777, mentioned traditional account of the rulers of Mewar along with Maharana Sangram Singh II. It is also mentioned; Maharana constructed this temple for his Mother Devakumari daughter of Rao Sabal Singh of Bedla. Another Stone inscription found at Dakshanamurti temple, Udaipur dated Vikram Samvat 1710, mentioned the details account of Maharana Sangram Singh II. According to the Shree Eklingji step well inscription dated Vikram Samvat 1774; Rao Surtan son of Sabal Singh Chouhan of Bedla constructed the step well in his reign. The Surah inscription found at Brahmapuri, Udaipur dated Vikram Samvat 1781, refers to the order of Maharana that no Brahmins should sell his land situated in Brahmapuri to non Brahmins.
Maharana Jagat Singh II
r. 1734 - 1751 CE
Kanwar Jagat Singh II was born on Ashwin Krishna Dashmi Vikram Samvat 1766. The eldest son of Maharana Sangram Singh II ascended the throne of Mewar on 11th January, 1734 CE. His mother’s name was Ummed Kunwar daughter of Raja Mukan Singh Panwar.
In 1733, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was defeated in battle of Mandsour by Maratha army under the command of Holkars. Later on, the Marathas were pressing their demand for regular payment of the Chauth (tax) from the Rajput States. Maharana Jagat Singh II played a crucial role to adjoin all the Rajputana kingdoms against Marathas. A conference of the rulers of important Rajput kingdoms was convened at village Hurda (Bhilwara) to devise measures to keep the Marathas away and also to decide the course of possible action to be adopted against them. On 17th July 1734 CE, the conference was held under the chairmanship of the Maharana of Udaipur in which the rulers of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Kishangarh and Nagore participated.
At this conference, the following points were unanimously agreed to-
The rulers would be companions of each other during the struggle against the Marathas.
No one shall give refuge to the enemies of another kingdom.
After the monsoon the affairs shall commence, all the chiefs will assemble at Rampura; and due to Any cause if the chief could not come, they will send their heir apparent or other dignitaries.
The ruler of that respective kingdom will sort out any dispute created within his own kingdom and no other ruler shall interfere.
If, any other new matter emerges, then all the rulers involved in the treaty shall get together to sort it out.
In 1734 CE, Marathas taking active interest in Bundi royal family affairs alarmed the Rajput rulers. The Rajput rulers decided to curb this increasing menace. A conference of the rulers of important Rajput states was convened at village Hurda, but it could not bear any fruitful result. In 1735 – 1736 CE, Maharana Jagat Singh II tried to maintain a good relation with the Marathas. When Peshwa Baji Rao I and his mother visited Udaipur – Nathdwara, Maharana received them graciously for the peace of Mewar.
After the demise of Maharana Sangram Singh II, Umed Singh of Shahpura adopted a hostile attitude towards the Maharana of Mewar. In 1735 CE, Maharana invaded Shahpura and Umed Singh surrendered himself before the Mewar army and also agreed to pay a sum of Rs. 3 lakhs as an indemnity. He also recovered Develi from Indra Singh of Sanwar. He took the initiative to strongly hold together the Mewar State territories rather than enhancing them. He maintained good relations with his neighboring States. He made matrimonial alliances to strengthen the political situation in Mewar. Maharana’s daughter was married to Kanwar Vijay Singh of Marwar. Maharana also attempted to reconcile the conflict between Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur at the time of his marriage with Chadra Kunwari agreed to allow her male child to succeed him, irrespective of his age and seniority. After the demise of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1743 CE, his eldest son, Ishwar Singh succeeded him. Maharana left no stone unturned to wrest the throne of Jaipur for his nephew Madho Singh. Mewar forces fought at Toda in 1744 CE and at Rajmahal in 1747 CE, thus spending its resources lavishly in this succession case for seeking the Maratha support and finally his nephew Madho Singh I became the ruler of Jaipur in 1751 CE.
Maharana Jagat Singh II and his eldest son Kanwar Pratap Singh II’s relation was very complicated. Kanwar adopted an inappropriate behavior in state affairs. Maharana ordered to Nath Singhji of Bagore, Jaswant Singh of Devagarh, Raghavdev of Delwara to trap and made Kanwar Pratap Singh captive. He was not released from imprisonment through out the life of the Maharana.
In, Vikram Samvat 1798, the Vaishnva conference was held at Nathdwara under the guidance of Tilkayat Maharajshree Goverdhaneshji. It was attended by the rulers of Kota, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bundi, Rampura, Dungarpur, Banswara, Sirohi and Pratapgarh along with other 160 nobles of Mewar. During the reign of Maharana Jagat Singh II, Manuscript illustration was gradually declined, except for the continuation of Krishnacharitra and Raslila. The painting subjects were changed and they concentrated on the court scenes, including processions, elephant fights and dramas. First time in his reign, artist names, date and their subjects were also mentioned on the paintings. Jai Ram, Jiva, Pharasa, Jugarsi, Bhakhta were the most prominent painters of the Mewar royal court. Maharana Jagat Singh II gave shelter to the artists and had an important contribution in promoting and publicizing dance Kathak and music. Poet Nandram composed the ‘JagVilas’ on the inauguration of Jagniwas Palace.
Jagniwas (now Lake Palace Hotel) built of white marble is a Palace on an island in Lake Pichola. Maharana Jagat Singh II started construction on 4th May 1743 CE and the palace was completed in on 1st February 1746 CE. Initially, Maharana Jagat Singh II constructed Khush Mahal, Bada Mahal, Phool Mahal and Dhola Mahal in Jagniwas. He also constructed Pitam Niwas and Ras Niwas in the City Palace, Udaipur.
Maharana Pratap Singh II
r. 1751 - 1754 CE
Kanwar Pratap Singh II was born on Bhadwa Krishna 3 Vikram Samvat 1781. He was very strongly built person, revolted against his father Maharana Jagat Singh II and was put in the Hamam, (under house arrest), as it was difficult to control him. After the death of Maharana Jagat Singh II, he ascended the throne of Mewar on 5th June 1751 CE with the support of Rawat Jait Singh of Salumber. His mother's name was Maan Kunwar Solanki daughter of Nahar Singh Solanki of Veerpura, Lunawara. The rule of Maharana Pratap Singh II was very weak and unstable; his nobles revolted against him and created chaos in the kingdom. Maharana gave the title of ‘Thakur’ to Amarchand Badwa and appointed him at the court. Rawat Jaswant Singh of Deogarh, Raja Ummed Singh of Shahpura, Maharaj Nath Singh ji of Bagore and Baba Bharat Singh of Sanwar were creating adverse situation in Mewar for the Maharana. These internal chaos were a perennial cause for ambitious chiefs to invite Maratha leaders to attack their rivals. During his reign Marathas raided several times. He wanted to improve the condition of general public however his rule was for a very short period and he died on 10th January 1754 CE.
Maharana Raj Singh II r.
r. 1754-1761 CE
Kanwar Raj Singh II was born on Vaishakh Shukla 13 Vikram Samvat 1800. His mother’s name was Bakht Kunwar daughter of Jhala Karan Singh. He ascended the throne of Mewar on 10th January 1754 CE. On his coronation, he did Tuladaan against gold. He was only 10 years old when he sat on the throne of Mewar; the Marathas took full advantage and attacked Mewar several times because he was minor. Rawat Jait Singh was appointed as the guardian of the state.
In 1759 CE, Maharana dispatched the Mewar army under the command of Pancholi Kashinath against the Maratha forces. He was successful in defeating the Marathas at Malhargarh with the help of Rawat Jagat Singh of Kanod. Marathas continued the raids in Mewar territory and Maharana was not capable to stop them. Due to Maratha attacks, the economic situation of Mewar was deteriorating fast. For peace of Mewar, Maharana agreed to give the income of some Parganas to Marathas, which were situated near the Chambhal.
Maharana Raj Singh II played a vital role in the accession crisis of Jodhpur. He supported Maharaja Vijay Singh of Jodhpur against his first cousin Ram Singh who was the son of Maharaja Abhay Singh of Jodhpur. The Marathas supported Ram Singh, thus this Jodhpur family feud became one more reason for Marathas to attack on Mewar. After that Raja Ummed Singh of Shahpura attacked Banera in Mewar and captured it, however after some time Maharana recaptured Banera from Shahpura.
His mother Bakht Kunwar constructed a temple, lodge, and Rajrajeshwar Bawdi (step well) at Debari near Udaipur. Maharana died on 3rd April 1761 CE at the young age of 18 years.
Maharana Ari Singh II r.
r. 1761-1773 CE
Maharana Raj Singh II died without an issue, therefore his uncle Ari Singh II (Son of Maharana Jagat Singh II) was chosen as the new Maharana and he sat on throne on 3rd April 1761 CE. He was born on Bhadwa Krishna 14 Vikram Samvat 1797. His mother’s name was Amrat Kunwar daughter of Aab Singh Jhala.
Maharana Ari Singh II was a very hot tempered ruler, thus most of the Mewar nobles became unhappy with him. Maharana Raj Singh’s wife (Jhali Rani) gave birth to a boy, after Raj Singh's demise, who was named Ratan Singh, thus there started an accession feud in Mewar. Maharana lost against the Marathas which also dissatisfied his nobility. Maharana appointed the Sindhi soldiers in Mewar army. As all nobles lost faith in the Maharana they wanted Ratan Singh to sit on the throne of Mewar.
In 1769 CE, Madhav Rao Scindia came to Mewar in the favour of Ratan Singh. Maharana sent the nobles of Mewar named Rawat Pahad Singh, Ummed Singh Mehta, Agarchand, Jhalam Singh Jhala, Rai Singh of Banera, Shubhkaran Singh of Bijolian, Rawat Man Singh of Bhesroadgarh, Fateh Singh of Amet, Viram Dev of Ghanerao, Akshay Singh of Badnore, Rawat Kalyan Singh of Bambora, Raghu Paygia and Daulat Miyan along with Mewar army. They reached river Shipra at Ujjain and tried to make settlement with Scindia but could not negotiate. Initially, Mewar army was successful but due to some unpleasant behaviour of Maharana Ari Singh, Devgarh Rawat Jaswant Singh with the support of Maharaja Prithivi Singh of Jaipur sent the Naga army in support of Scindias. Mewar army was defeated and Maharana made the preparation for resistance at Udaipur.
Maharana got constructed the small fortress near City wall and installed the cannon at Eklinggarh. To improve the economic condition of Mewar, He appointed Amarchand Badwa as a Prime minister of Mewar. Madhav Rao Scindia attacked Mewar and kept the siege for six months however they could not succeed. However as Mewar was exhausted, Maharana agreed to pay reparations.
Ratan Singh and his supportive nobles attacked Mewar along with Nagas. Maharana and his army moved to Jhilola village and won the battle in 1770 CE. Again they attacked on Mewar. Maharana moved Gangrar village along with his army in 1771 CE. Nagas were badly defeated by Mewar army and they took oath that in future, they will never take up arms against Mewar. Maharana Ari Singh II won both the civil wars in Mewar. Devgarh Rawat Jaswant Singh attacked Mewar in August 1771 CE with the help of Samru (a French commander) but he was defeated by Maharana.
Tribal Meenas were attacking Bundi again and again, thus Rao Ajit Singh of Bundi wanted to build a Fort at village Bilhata, which was in territory of Mewar. He wrote for the permission but Maharana refused. However, the construction was completed. Maharana sent an army under the leadership of Amarchand Badwa, but both the sides could not come to any conclusion. Maharana was camping at Amargadh where Rao Ajit Singh went to meet him. They both went for hunting where Maharana was stabbed to death and in return Rao Ajit Singh was killed by Mewar nobles. He was cremated at Amargadh on 7th March 1773 CE.
Maharana constructed Bansi Ghat, Pipli Ghat (Roop Ghat) and Arsi Vilas at Lake Pichola. According to Prabhuvaratan step well inscription dated Vikran Samvat 1819; Prabhu Bai daughter of Mahidoz Tulsa got constructed the Vishnu temple, lodge and step well at Udaipur. Another inscription found at Dhabhai temple dated Vikram Samvat 1820, Roopa Dhabai got constructed the Roopnarayana temple, lodge, step well and Roop ghat on east side of Pichola Lake.
Maharana Hameer Singh II
r. 1773 to 1778 CE
After the demise of Maharana Ari Singh II, His elder son Kanwar Hameer Singh II ascended the throne of Mewar on 11 March 1773 CE, aged 12 years. His mother’s name was Sardar Kunwar daughter of Raja Kanha Singh Jhala of Gogunda.
Maharaj Bagh Singh of Karjali and Maharaj Arjun Singh of Shivrati were responsible for administration in Mewar due to Maharana's minority. His rule in Mewar was a phase of economic and political turmoil. Maharana could not afford to pay his own army so that the Sindhi soldiers rebelled against the Maharana. Kanwar Bheem Singh younger son of Maharana Ari Singh went for battle with Sindhi soldiers against the Marathas. After this battle, Mewar government paid salary and Jagir to soldiers. Again, Marathas attacked Mewar; Jagir of Begun was captured by Scindias and Jagir of Nimbaheda by Ahilyabai Holkar. Rajmata tried getting help from Kishangarh. Maharana married Kishangarh Princess Amar Kunwar to strengthen an alliance in 1777 CE.
Maharana moved to Kumbhalgarh via Naharmagra and Shreenathji for punishing Ratan Singh. Ratan Singh fled and took shelter in fort Kumbhalgarh. Maharana returned back to Udaipur. In 1778 CE, because of hunting accident Maharana Hameer Singh II died without an issue.
Maharana Bheem Singh
r. 1778 - 1828 CE
After the death of Maharana Hameer Singh II, his younger brother Kanwar Bheem Singh sat on the throne of Mewar on 7th January 1778. He was born on Chetra Krishna 7 Vikram Samvat 1824. As he was minor aged 9 year, his mother Rajmata Sardar Kanwar Bai ruled as a regent.
The political situation in Mewar was in crisis as there were clashes between Shaktawats and Chundawats which were the main nobilities in Mewar. As Maharana was a minor, he was easily manipulated. Maharana aligned with Madhavrao Scindia to solve the political chaos in Mewar. Madhav Rao gave the responsibility of Mewar affairs to the Ambaji Ingliya. With the help of Ambaji Maharana dispatched the Mewar army against Ratan Singh, who had taken a shelter at Kumbhalgarh. Under the command of Ambaji Mewar army won the battle at the Samicha village in 1792 CE and recaptured the Kumbhalgarh. Ambaji also gave the support to Maharana against the rebellious nobility of Mewar. Maharana went to Idar for his marriage in 1794 CE, but Dungarpur Rawal Fateh Singh did not accept the Mewar suzerainty and did not join the wedding party. When Maharana returned back to Udaipur, Mewar army seized his capital. Rawal accepted the suzerainty of Mewar and paid the expenditure of this campaign. After the death of Madhav Rao Scindia, Daulat Rao Scindia ascended to the throne the treaty went out of effect.
Holkars and Scindias were also fighting against each other. In 1802 CE, Jaswant Rao Holkar reached Mewar and managed to throw out Scindias and asked for revenue and protection. In the first phase, his demands were accepted, but when he tried to loot Shreenathji temple in Nathdwara, the temple with all its belongings was secretly shifted to Udaipur and later to Ghasiyar. In 1803 CE, Jasawant Rao Holkar again came to Mewar and asked for 40 lakhs as protection money. Maharana arranged some money for peaceful settlement. However, the economic situation of Mewar was much deteriorated.
Baiji Lal Krishna Kunwar was the daughter of Maharana Bheem Singh and Maharani Gulab Kunwar Chawda. He was engaged to Maharaja Bheem Singh of Jodhpur but before the marriage he died and his younger brother Man Singh succeeded the throne of Jodhpur. Later on, Maharana confirmed her engagement to Maharaja Jagat Singh of Jaipur. Maharaja Man Singh sent marriage proposal for Baiji Lal. In this case, both the parties fought the battle near Jodhpur in 1807. Amir Khan Pindari involved in this episode and attacked on Mewar on behalf of the Maharaja Man Singh of Jodhpur. Amir Khan came to Udaipur and sent a message to Maharana demanding that Krishna Kunwar be either married to Man Singh or killed, because as long as she lived, there would be no peace. Then, Krishna Kunwar took poison, to put an end to the feud.
In 1809 CE, Amir Khan came to Mewar and asked for money and threatened to demolish Eklingji's temple. Maharana along with his army moved to Chirwa valley, but they were defeated and Amir Khan came to Udaipur. The representatives of the both parties met at Dhola Magra and Maharana agreed to pay 3 lakhs per annum from his annual income. In all this chaos, the attacks of Marathas and civil wars, Maharana signed a treaty with the British East India Company on 13th January 1818 in mutual interest. The British Company agreed to protect the principality of Mewar. After the treaty, Captain James Tod was appointed as the political agent in Mewar. With the help of Maharana Captain Tod was directed to take control of affairs into his own hands. He proposed an agreement, which was signed between Maharana and his nobles. In 1823 CE, British army sent to Bhomat against the Bheel tribe. They disturbed the peace in Bhomat and Nimach territory.
Maharana constructed Bheem Vilas, Bheem Niwas, Parvati Vilas, Himmat Vilas and Madan Vilas in the Rajmahal of Udaipur. Also the Goverdhanathji temples at Udaipur and Ghasiyar along with Bheem Padmeshwra Temple and Shree Ram Narayana Temple were constructed during his reign. Maharana issued a silver coin ‘Chandori’ in his sister’s name Chandra Kunwar Bai. He died on 30th March 1828, after ruling for 50 years.
Maharana Jawan Singh
r. 1828 - 1838 CE
Kanwar Jawan Singh the younger son of Maharana Bheem Singh sat on the throne of Mewar on 31st March 1828 CE. His elder brother Kanwar Amar Singh died in his Maharaj Kumar period. He was born on Margashirsha Shukla 2 Vikram Samvat 1857. His mother’s name was Gulab Kunwar daughter of Jaswant Singh Chawda.
The treaty signed with British East India Company gave protection in lieu of revenue, but the economical condition kept on deteriorating and the Maharana was not able to pay off the dues. Maharana could not control the corruption due to lack of administrative knowledge. He replaced his Prime Minister again and again so that they were not able to stabilise the situation. To solve this situation Maharana went to Ajmer, to meet Governor General Lord William Bentick in 1832 CE.
In 1833 CE, Maharana Jawan Singh gave the title of the Baiji Raj to his Sister in law Champawat (Wife of Kanwar Amar Singh). In the same year Maharana went for pilgrimage to Gaya, Vrindavan, Mathura, Prayag and Ayodhya and performed the Shrad rituals of his father. In November 1833 CE, Maharana Jawan Singh took a bath in the Ganges in Kashi, performed a prestige-festival of the temple built by Rani Bagheli ji in Khalsapura of Kashi, and by establishing a Shivling in the temple according to the Muhurta, organized a Brahman Bhojan. After visiting Panchkoshi, Maharana discussed religious matters with the pundits there and did charity.
Maharana Jawan Singh was well versed in poetry and religion. Due to his interest in art and literature, his period was a time of literary development even in the times of economic struggle. In 1833-34 CE, Maharana undertook a pilgrimage tour of several holy and several Gurukuls. When he returned to Mewar, he took to great interest to improve the indigenous educational system. He wrote poetry using the pen name ‘Brajraj’. His poems were based in praise of Shree Krishna and usually written in Braj language. Maharana composed several poems. Later on, Rajasthan Vidhyapeeth, Udaipur compiled those poems in a book form ‘Brajraj-Kavya-Madhuri’ and published it in 1966 CE. Maharana gave royalty to many scholars, poets like Bakhtaram Asiya, Kavi Kisna Aadha and other artists, thus continued to contribute in enriching art and literature.
In 1834 CE, Maharana Jawan Singh constructed the Jal Niwas Mahal on the bank of Lake Pichola. He also constructed the Ghoomat Mandir (Near Kacheri Mahal), Mukut Mandir (above Baadi Mahal on Northern side facing Tripoliya) at Rajmahal. Maharana also constructed the three temples in Udaipur. These are Shree Jawan-Swarupeshwar Mahadev temple near Badi Pol, Shree Jawan-Surajbihari temple near Jagdish Chowk and Shree Mahakali temple. A marble sculpture of Maharana Jawan Singh and his queen Bagheli is located in Shree Jawan-Swarupeshwar Mahadev temple.
During his reign, the king of Nepal, Maharaja Rajendra Vikram Shah sent an envoy to Udaipur to document the traditions followed by the ruler of Mewar because the Ranas of Nepal are the descendents of Sisodia clan of Mewar. He died on 30th August 1838 CE.
Maharana Sardar Singh
r. 1838 - 1842 CE
Maharana Jawan Singh died without an issue. The nobles of Mewar were divided into two parts regarding the question of Maharans successor. Some nobles wanting to place Sardar Singh, eldest son of Maharaj Shivdan Singh of Bagore, while some wanted to place Kanwar Shardul Singh, who was the son of Sardar Singh's younger brother Sher Singh and nephew of Sardar Singh. After that, Kanwar Sardar Singh was adopted and set on the throne of Mewar on 4th September 1838 CE. He was born on Bhadwa Krishna 3, Vikram Samvat 1855.
An agreement was signed between the Maharana and his nobles under the guidance of British Agent Major Robinson. In 1839, the Bhils and other tribal groups revolted against the Maharana, to control this revolt, Mewar Bhil Corps was established in 1841 CE and Kherwada was established as headquarter for this Force. In 1839- 40 CE, Maharana went to Gaya (Bihar) via Pushakar, Bharatpur, Mathura, Prayag and Kashi for a religious visit. He did the Shrad Karma of Maharana Jawan Singh at Gaya. As Maharana became very sick, he adopted his younger brother Swarup Singh on 23rd October 1841.
He constructed Sardar Swarup Shyam temple on the bank of Lake Pichola. He died on 14th July 1842 CE.
Maharana Swarup Singh
r. 1842 - 1861 CE
Maharana Sardar Singh adopted his younger brother Kanwar Swarup Singh from Bagore, as he had no male issue. After the demise of Maharana Sardar Singh, Kanwar Swarup Singh sat on the throne of Mewar on 15th July 1842 CE. He was born on Posh Krishna 13, Vikram Samvat 1871.
Maharana Swarup Singh’s reign is known for administrative and political reforms. To eliminate corruption, Maharana fixed the salary of the Prime Minister and other officers. He also fixed Rupees 8000 as the expenses of the government offices. Maharana took the administration in his hands and authorized Mehta Sher Singh to present all the expenditures in every three months. Kothari Chhaganlal was appointed as a Cashier (Khajanchi).
Maharana sent the army under the command of Mehta Sher Singh in 1847 CE. Mewar army defeated Chatar Singh and captured Lava Sardargarh. Maharana gave the Lava Sardargarh to Jorawar Singh Dodia, who was a descendent of Dodia Rajput. They came to Mewar at the time of Maharana Lakha (r. 1382 -1421 CE). Maharana issued the silver coin, which is popularly known as Swarup Shahi of Dosti-London. On the observe side “Chitrakut Udaipur” and on the reverse side “Dosti London” is engraved in Nagari script.
A Koulnama (Agreement) was signed by Maharana and between his nobles in 1845 CE to end the civil war in Mewar. Maharana Swarup Singh diligently used the treaty signed in 1818 with the British East India Company. In the great revolt of 1857 Maharana mercifully gave refuge to British Officers and their families posted at Neemuch and showed unique humanity and chivalry to those who had surrendered. Maharana helped to restore those nobles back to their Jagirs which had been snatched from them during the struggle. He also abolished Sati System in Mewar on 15th August 1861. He also abolished ‘Dakini’ system. In this practice, women were declared as a witch and killed by people.
He constructed Goverdhan Sagar, Goverdhan Vilas, Pashupatheshwar Mahadev temple, Swarup Bihari temple, Jagat Shiromani temple, Jawan Swarup Bihari temple, Ubeshwar Mahadev Temple. Chota Darikhana, Sharbati Vilas, Brij Vilas, Hawa Mahal above Tripoliya, Khush Mahal, Swarup Vilas, Moti Mahal in the Rajmahal, Udaipur. Swarup Sagar (lake) was constructed by him and he also repaired Kirti Stambh at Chittorgarh. On 13th October 1861 CE, he adopted Kanwar Shambhu Singh from Bagore. He died on 16th November 1861 CE.
Maharana Shambhu Singh
r. 1861 - 1874 CE
Maharana Swarup Singh adopted Kanwar Shambhu Singh from Bagore. He was the son of Kanwar Shardul Singh. After the demise of Maharana Swarup Singh, Shambhu Singh sat on the throne of Mewar on 17th November 1861 CE. He was born on Paush Krishna 1 Vikram Samvat 1904.
Maharana Shambhu Singh ascended the throne as a minor thus the administration was carried on by a council and British Political agent Mr. R.L. Taylor was appointed to guide the young Maharana. In 1863 CE on behalf of the Maharana British Political agent established ‘Ahliyan Shree Durbar Rajya Mewar’, for better administration and abolished the regency council. During his reign the Maharana set up various new rules and offices. In 1865, after attaining complete control of the state, Maharana improved the administration, augmented the state resources and established a Mahekma Khas on 23rd December 1869. During his reign the civil and criminal courts were also established and the life, property of the common man was better secured by the Police.
Maharana had taken great interest the modern education in Mewar. In 1862, the political agent Major W.F. Eden appointed Pandit Ratneshwar Prasad as the Maharana’s tutor. The Pandit was well qualified to promote the education, both morally and intellectually, to the young Maharana. The first State school ‘Shambhuratana Pathshala’ was opened in Udaipur in 1863. In 1866, a girl’s school was also established at Udaipur under the superintendence of two lady teachers. In 1872, two State schools opened at Bhilwara and Chittorgarh. The first State dispensary appears to have been opened at Udaipur in 1862 by Maharana Shambhu Singh and he provided accommodation for the patients in 1864. In 1869-70 a small hospital was opened at Kherwara for the public. This hospital was maintained from a monthly grant from the Maharana. In 1870 CE, Maharana went to Ajmer and Pushkar and did tuladan against silver. In 1871 Maharana was decorated with the title of G.C.S.I. General Commander the Star of India by the British Government for his administration during the famine of 1868-69.
Maharana constructed the Shambhu Niwas Palace, Shambhu Prakash Mahal in Jagniwas, Shambhuratan Pathshala, Udaipur House at Ajmer and bungalow at Abu and Neemach. He also constructed the following road lines Udaipur to Desuri, Neemach-Nasirabad, Udaipur-Kherwara and Udaipur to Chittorgarh. He died on 7th October 1874 CE.
Maharana Sajjan Singh
r. 1874 - 1884 CE
Kanwar Sajjan Singh son of the Maharaj Shakti Singh of Bagore sat on the throne as a minor on 8th October 1874 CE. He was adopted by Maharana Shambhu Singh. He was born on Ashad Shikla 9 Vikram Samvat 1916.
Initially, he worked with the Regency Council and later on when he took over, he started the administrative reforms. He established the judicial court on 10th March 1877 and named it as ‘Ijlas Khas’. He made laws to curb the prevailing corruption in local government and the offices of British regency. For this he established a new department called ‘Shailkantar Sambandhini Sabha’ which he headed himself. He started the budget system in this department for all the Pargans. He established Mewar Police to curb local crimes. He initiated land revenue settlement system for land reforms by measuring it and its proper allocation for which he appointed Mr. Winget. ‘Mehdraj Sabha’ then replaced ‘Ijlas Khas’ on 20th August 1880.
He decentralized administration in two departments. Mehdraj Sabha looked after the judicial and revenue departments of the states. Its first secretary was Pandya Mohanlal who took the oath in presence of Maharana Sajjan Singh. On 1st November, 1880 CE Mahkema Khas was established and regulated by Maharana Sajjan Singh by passing a law. This department looked after the production, import-export, military, police, treasury, taxation, toll extraction, mints, press, forest, engineering, Dharamsabha, Rawali Dukan (State regulated shops), foreign department. The Prime Minister was the visible executive head and held the seal of Mahkema Khas. However, the main executive power lied with the Maharana who would finally authorize the laws. Some subjects required the previous sanction of the Maharana.
Maharana Sajjan Singh skillfully developed the state for public welfare. He improved the infrastructure through repairing of roads, road lights, tree planting and opened a sanitary department for cleanliness in the state. City Planning was initiated by him where encroachment was brought under the law. He built the Sajjan Niwas Bagh (Gulab Bagh) for public. Waterworks department was established, in which the lakes and ponds were repaired and taps were installed for public. To improve agriculture, canals were built from Udaisagar and Rajsamand lakes. Roads were built from Udaipur to Kherwada, Nimbaheda and Nathdwara. He also planned the Chittor-Udaipur railway line project which was later completed by Maharana Fateh Singh. He also established first Zoo in Sajjan Niwas Bagh, Udaipur. Gaushala, orphanage and Mental Asylum were also built in Udaipur.
Maharana Sajjan Singh promoted school education and inspired from his predecessor Maharana Shambhu Singh he opened nine state schools in Mewar. 4 of them were opened in Udaipur, after which schools were opened in Rishabdev, Jawar, Jajajpur, Sadri and Kotda. In 1876, Mrs. Lonargan was appointed as a headmistress of the girl’s school with two other teachers. He gave grants to all the schools and kept increasing them every year. In 1877, an Influential committee (Education Committee) was formed for the management of the schools with the Maharana and the Political agent as Presidents. He also levied a sum of land revenue, which was kept aside for school education. On the day of Maharana’s demise (23rd December 1884), a sum of 2 lakh Rupees was donated to establish Sajjan School and Sajjan Hospital.
Maharana Sajjan Singh meticulously worked for public welfare and opened/supported medical care. The United Free Church of Scotland Mission established a dispensary at Udaipur City in 1877 and thus in 1881 there were seven medical institutions in the state, including the hospital attached to the jail. In 1881, the Walter Hospital for females was opened at Devrajeshwar ji ki Badi, Bhatyani Chohatta, Udaipur and Miss Will was appointed as supervisor. Maharana Sajjan Singh and Political Agent Charles Bean Euan Smith inaugurated Sajjan Hospital near Kunwarpada Mahal, Udaipur on 7th December 1882 after which it was opened for public. Then, Shepherd Mission Hospital was also opened at Dhanmandi, Udaipur which was extended by Maharana Fateh Singh. Birth and Death registrations at hospitals were started in 1882. Free medication and vaccination were provided at the hospitals on state expense. The British Government of India gave him the title of G.C.S.I. General Commander the Star of India and the Viceroy of India Lord Rippon reached Chittor to personally handover the decoration in 1881 CE.
Inspired by his teacher Jani Bihari lal, Maharana Sajjan Singh established the first History department in Mewar. The department was headed by Kaviraj Shyamaldas, under whom the scholars of Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Arabic, Persian and English scholars were appointed for the documentation. Archaeological and historical documents of different languages were documented. Blue prints of inscriptions and copper plates were inscribed which were later on published in various books. Copies were created of different Genealogical trees of Rajput dynasties and Bahidas.
The first Museum was originally established in a small building at Sajjan Niwas bagh, Udaipur by Maharana Sajjan Singh which was later known as Victoria Hall. It has a large regional collection of archaeology/ history/ costumes and handicrafts. Initially paintings, coins, sculptures, inscriptions, ornaments, costumes, arms and armory, musical instruments, copper plates and other objects were collected in the Museum.
Institutional Library was established by Maharana Sajjan Singh on 11th February 1875 CE. Hundreds of books were collected/ purchased for the Library by the Maharana. Veer Vinod - the official history of Mewar was written and compiled during his reign by Kaviraj Shyamaldas. The work was done at Chini Chitrashali, The Palace, Udaipur. Satyarth Prakash book was also compiled at Navlakha Mahal, Sajjan Niwas Bagh in Udaipur by Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj.
He also called Bhartendu Harishchandra at his court and granted him Rs 10,000. Maharana Sajjan Singh was passionate for knowledge and interested in learning about various subjects. He invited well known scholars like as Justice Subrahmanya Shastri Dravid, Astrologer and Theologist Vinayak Shastri Vetal, famous astrologer Naraynadev, Scholar of Grammar Ajitdev in Mewar court. To read the ancient inscriptions Pandit Rampratap Jyotish and Pandit Parmanand Bhatt Mewara were appointed by Maharana Sajjan Singh.
The first state press Sajjan Yantralaya was established in 1880 at Khasa Rasoda in the Palace, Udaipur. Inspiration from Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, the first state newspaper Sajjan Kirti Sudhakar was published in Mewar. Books and copies were published by the Maharana for the public.
Maharana Sajjan Singh was a great patron of intellectuals and had a great passion for knowledge. He gave royalty to many Sanskrit and other language scholars, poets thus contribute in enriching literature. Maharana Sajjan Singh’s reign, Kaviraja Shyamal Das, Ujal Fatehkaran, Barhath Kishan Singh, Swami Ganeshpuri poets were in the royal court of Mewar. With the influence of intellectuals Maharana also started to write poetry. The poems written by Maharana are published in the book 'Rasikvinod' by Late Bijoliya Rao Krishna Singh. He organized poetry sessions on every Monday and invited the bards. 'Sahitya Sabha', his traditional concept of gathering of scholars, was first organised on 20th July 1879 at The Palace, Udaipur by Maharana Sajjan Singh. Maharana also invited famous poet Raja Muraridan from Jodhpur, Babu Satya Naresh Chandra of Banaras and honored them for their patriotic writing.
Maharana Sajjan Singh was highly interested in development of infrastructure and repairing of forts. Rs 24,000 per year were granted by the Maharana for the repairing of old buildings and forts especially at Chittorgarh. On 18th February 1875, the construction of Shiv Niwas Palace was initiated. Nij Mandir, Badal Mahal and glass-inlay work in Mor Chowk was completed during the reign of Maharana Sajjan Singh. A new palace called Sajjan Niwas was built inside the island Palace Jagniwas. On 18th August, 1883 the foundation stone was laid for the Sajjangarh Fort at Hill Basdara, of which the proposed plan of 13 stories was approved by him however only one storey was completed in his lifetime. New dam of length 1300 ft was constructed near Lake Jaisamand. New garden at Naharmagra was constructed. He died on 23rd December 1884 CE.
Maharana Fateh Singh
r. 1884- 1930 CE
After the demise of Maharana Sajjan Singh, Kanwar Fateh Singh from Shivrati sat on the throne of Mewar on 23rd December 1884 CE. He was born on Posh Shukla 2, Vikram Samvat 1906. After ascending the throne, he revolutionized the living standards of general people by modernizing administration and educational institutions.
In 1886 CE, five schools were opened in the district. Until 1891 CE, there were five schools in Udaipur supported by the State. In July 1894 CE, the school and dispensary committee, which was formed in 1884 CE, was abolished and its duties were taken over by the department of Mahakma Khas. During the ten years of its existence, the committee took considerable interest in its work and did much to encourage education. In 1901 CE five Schools including 1 Girls school and 36 district schools were supported by the State. In 1911 CE, there were three secondary schools and 41 primary district schools in Udaipur State. During the next decade little progress in education was made by the State except that in 1922 CE, the Maharana High School was made into an Intermediate college. It was located in the Nawlakha Mahal, in Gulab Bagh.
In 1890-1892, due to the spread of cholera, smallpox Maharana of Mewar established Emergency Relief Fund to provide necessary, development assistance and support to public. Even people from the neighbouring states took shelter in Mewar. Vaidhya-Hakims (a person who practices indigenous Medicare) were appointed in all areas of Mewar for medical facilities and basic health arrangements. Due to around 620 deaths recorded in Udaipur from cholera in 1896 and spread of famine, cholera and smallpox epidemics in 1899 the Mewar government adopted the process of ‘Isolation’. Medical arrangements were ensured by keeping infected patients away from the city and the sanitation system was started smoothly in Udaipur city. In July 1894 Sajjan Hospital, inside Hathi Pol was renamed as Lansdowne Hospital in recognition of Viceroy of India Lord Lansdowne. Due to its small building and narrow road renovations were made. Lansdowne Hospital, presently Ayurveda Hospital at Harven Ji Ka Khurra, Hathi Pol, was the main Hospital of the city with provision of 60 beds. The State possessed 20 Hospitals and the Dispensaries until 1901 CE, 13 were maintained solely by the Maharana, 3 by the Government of India, 2 partly by the Government and private subscription, 1 by the Mission and 1 by the Gosainji Maharaj of Nathdwara. On 8th November 1885 Viceroy of India Lord Dufferin visited Udaipur and the new building of Walter Female Hospital (presently Government Prakartik Hospital, Ghas Ghar) was unveiled by Lady Dufferin. A Lunatic Asylum, outside Brahma Pol, was constructed by Maharana Fateh Singh in 1899 – 1900.
In 1889 CE, Walterkrit Rajputhitkarini Sabha was established for social reforms in Rajput community. Maharana encouraged them to abolished bad practices. He continued Mehdraj Sabha and appointed Shyamji Krishna Verma as a member. The work of land revenue settlement initiated by Maharana Sajjan Singh was completed in the reign of Maharana Fateh Singh. Roads and irrigation works became better and telegraph services were started in the State.
Maharana Fateh Singh became the only Maharana who did not attend the Delhi Durbar twice in 1903 and 1911 CE but he also maintained good relations with the British government. In 1887 CE he received a G.C.S.I General Commander the Star of India title. Maharana Fateh Singh established Mewar Risala, later got converted into Mewar Lancers during the 1st World War between 1914 to 1918.
During the reign of Maharana Fateh Singh, Maharaj Chatur Singhji was an enlighten scholar in addition to being a great poet. He was born on Magh Krishna 14 Vikram Samvat 1936 at Karjali Haveli to Rani Krishna Kunwar and Maharaj Surat Singh of Karjali. Bavji Chatur Singhji received his education at home through tutors Pandit Kripa Shankarji and Pandit Hiralalji Dashora. He was educated in Hindi (Devanagri), Sanskrit, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu and English languages which helped him to study the ancient Indian scriptures. His creations are a balanced blend of spiritual knowledge and folk behaviour. Alakh Pacchisee, Tuhi Ashtak, Anubhav Prakash, Chatur Prakash, Hanummet panchak, Ambikashtuk, Shesh Charitra, Chatur Chintamani etc. were composed by Maharaj Chatur Singhji.
Maharana constructed Chawadiji ka Mahal, Ganesh Pol, Ghas Ghar, Fateh Prakash, Jas Prakash, Hisab Dafter, Kheech Mandir, Rokdda ka Bhandar, Bhupal Prakash, Bhupal Vilas, Ram Pol, Khasa Rasoda and completed the Shiv Niwas Palace in the Rajmahal. He also completed the construction of Sajjangarh and renovated the Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh fort. In 1889, Maharana built the "Connaught Dam" on Lake Dewali and enlarged the lake and it was later renamed as Lake Fateh Sagar. He died on 24th May 1930 CE.
Maharana Bhupal Singh
r. 1930 - 1955 CE
Maharaj Kumar Bhupal Singh was born on Falgun Krishna 11 Vikram Samvat 1940. His mother’s name was Bhakhtawar Kunwar daughter of Thakur Kaul Singh Chawda from Kaladwas. After the demise of Maharana Fateh Singh, Maharaj Kumar Bhupal Singh sat on the throne of Mewar on 25th May 1930 CE. From 1921 he started exercising limited administrative powers given to him by the British Government.
He reformed the social and judicial powers in the state. He took great interest in the field of education and established the Rana Pratap Hindi University at Chittorgarh; an Agriculture College, and Maharana Bhupal Noble’s School and College, apart from patronizing the establishment of Vidhya Bhawan at Udaipur.
During his reign, the State had made great progress. Irrigation facilities were extended. Bhupal Sagar Dam was constructed, Sugarcane cultivation was encouraged and sugar mill was opened in Bhupal Sagar near Chittorgarh. A special mining department was setup. As an environmentalist, he organized long term afforestation programs for the Aravalis. In 1931 CE, the British Government of India bestowed upon him the title of General Commander the Star of India.
After independence from the British Empire, Maharana Bhupal Singh merged his state into the Union of Rajasthan on 18th April 1948 in a ceremony held at The Durbar Hall, Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur in the presence of the then Hon'ble Prime Minister of India Pandit Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru. Newly formed Union consisting of nine States and two Chief ships and the Maharana was appointed as the Rajpramukh. When other states also merged according to the policy of government of India the Maharana was appointed as the Maharaj Pramukh of Rajasthan.
Maharana Bhupal Singh got the Singh Dwar constructed (Gate as a back entrance of the Palace near Pachason ki lane), built Bhagwat Prakash (West wing 2nd Floor - Zenana Mahal), Pipli Ghat ki Pol at The Palace, Udaipur. Lifts were installed at both Mardana and Zenana Mahal. He also constructed Chandra Prakash Mahal in Jagniwas. Airport near Rana Pratap railway station was developed during his reign. Railway lines were also constructed from Mavli to Marwar Junction as well as to Sadri. In 1947-1948 during the partition of India when refugees poured in from the newly created state of Pakistan, Maharana Bhupal Singh gave them land at Pratap Nagar to settle down and personally went to meet them to ensure that they were settled and felt comfortable.
Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar
r. 1955 - 1984 CE
Maharana Bhupal Singh adopted Kanwar Bhagwat Singh from Shivrati on 2nd February 1939 CE. He was the son of Maharaj Pratap Singh. After the demise of Maharana Bhupal Singh, Maharaj Kumar Bhagwat Singh sat on the throne of the Mewar on 4th July 1955 CE. He was born on Ashad Krishna 1 Vikram Samvat 1977. He was married to Princess Sushila Kumariji daughter of Maharaja Sadul Singh ji of Bikaner and grand-daughter of Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner.
Maharaj Kumar Bhagwat Singh went for studies at Mayo College Ajmer. At Mayo Collage he was getting influenced by the national movement, so the British government sent him to the army for training. He was the good player of Cricket; he played for Rajputana cricket team and Rajasthan cricket team.
After ascending the throne, the state of Rajasthan was formed. The rulers of Rajasthan enjoyed the privy purses till the Indian government decided to abolish the institution of royalty in 1971. The royal titles and grants were eliminated. But this did not deter him from his duty of serving his people. The remuneration was given to charitable trusts used for community welfare and education of his people. For conserving culture, heritage and traditional values, Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar established Museum under the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation at the City Palace on 20th October 1969 CE. In 1974, he established Maharana Mewar Public School at the City Palace premises.
Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar was a pioneer of tourism development in Udaipur and Rajasthan. He was a visionary who realised the potential of converting palaces into business endeavours. He converted Jagniwas into Lake Palace Hotel, and conserved Jagmandir, Fateh Prakash and other estates on the shores of Lake Pichola to make sure his property was well kept. In April 1971, he signed a long term deal with Tata Group - Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), and Lake Palace came to be known as Taj Lake Palace. He was appointed as a Consultant by Mr. JRD Tata to Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), Mumbai effective from 1st April 1972.
The Maharana was a strong supporter and protector of Hinduism and its values. He was the chairman of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. He also led the World Vishva Hindu Parishad. He established Shiv-Shakti Peeth library for public use. He died on 3rd November 1984 CE.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur
r. 1984 CE
"I believe in the past, but my feet are firmly rooted in the present and I'm constantly thinking about the future."
With these profound words, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, the younger son of Maharana Bhagwat Singh Mewar and Maharani Sushila Kumari ji Mewar, is spearheading the process of modernisation initiated by his illustrious father.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur is born on Posh Krishna 13 Vikram Samvat 2001. He was educated at the prestigious Mayo College, Ajmer from where he completed his school certificate conducted by the Cambridge University. He obtained his Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Udaipur. He studied English literature, economics and political science at the Maharana Bhupal College in Udaipur. To polish his business acumen, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur undertook a hotel management course from The Metropolitan College, St Albans in the UK. Later, he gained invaluable on-job training in hospitality services in the United States.
The guiding principles of Bappa Rawal, self-reliance, self-respect, service to community and respect for mankind, are as relevant for him today as they were to his forefathers. "Change rarely invalidates the past and it does not necessarily imply a rejection of the old. A great deal can - and should be - preserved from the past. In particular we should treasure the ancient and selfless values that have stood the test of time," says Shriji, the present custodian of the House of Mewar and the 76th Diwan of Shree Eklingnath ji.
Shriji has been preserving a vibrant cultural heritage enshrined in The City Palace, Udaipur in Rajasthan. As the Chairman and Managing Trustee of the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF), Udaipur, Shriji is managing a spectrum of philanthropic and charitable activities emanating from the City Palace in Udaipur. Several non profit and commercial organisations are seamlessly networked to exemplify 'Eternal Mewar' for global and Indian audiences. The Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Vidyadan Trust, Maharana Mewar Historical Publications Trust, and Rajmata Gulab Kunwar Charitable Trust have emerged as the public charitable trusts responsible for more than 50 developmental projects in and around Udaipur. The City Palace Museum, Maharana Mewar Special Library, Maharana Mewar Research Institute, the publications division and educational institutes are some of the key projects being managed and developed by the Trusts.
HRH Group of Hotels, Udaipur, is the flagship commercial venture of the House of Mewar. HRH Group of Hotels is India's largest and only chain of heritage palace-hotels and resorts under private ownership. Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur is the Chairman and Managing Director of the HRH Group of Hotels, which offers regal experiences in island-palaces, museums, galleries, car collections, and much more. The Grand Heritage Palaces and Royal Retreats of the HRH Group of Hotels have become the most sought-after venues for ‘regal weddings’, celebrations and corporate events.
In recognition of his contribution, involvement and commitment for the promotion of tourism in the country, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar has been conferred with numerous awards. He was honoured by the prestigious ‘Lifetime achievement Award -2021 from Hotelier India on 16th December 2021; Awarded the Life Time Achievement Award 2015 of the 5th Annual Readers' Travel Awards 2015 by Conde Nast Traveller on 24th November 2015; bestowed with the VIII Annual Gala WT Institution Award 2012 for ‘Contribution to Universal Culture’ at the General Assembly of United Nations Headquarters in New York for his leadership and work through the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur. WT is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, bestowed with the HIFI Hall of Fame on the 12th Jan 2012, “Royal of the Year” by Hello Magazine in its Hello! Hall of Fame Awards ceremony on the 9th Nov 2011, The Hall of Fame Award by the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) for the year 2009, The TATA AIG Lifetime Achievement Award by Galileo Express TravelWorld for 2008, The prestigious ‘Agastya Award’ by the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) for the year 2001 and so on.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar holds membership in eminent and prestigious institutions including The Royal Society of British Artists, London, UK ; Primary member of the Confederation of Indian Industries- Family Business Network India Chapter; An Honorary Membership of The Grenadiers Association and took the Grenadiers oath on 27th March 2011; Member of the prestigious World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). He is in advisory board of Sate Government of Rajasthan that includes The Rajiv Gandhi Tourism Development Mission; Executive Member of The Rajasthan Foundation; National Advisory Board of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation, Jaipur and an Honorary Patron of the Jaipur Heritage International Festival.
Shriji is patron of Udaipur Chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH}; Rajasthan Association of North America (RANA); Taj Association of Art, Culture and Heritage (TAACH) and Trustee of Meher Bhargava Foundation, Lucknow; Chairman of Implementation and Coordination Committee - Dewas Project, Udaipur. He is associated with several organizations as Chief Patron that includes Patron of the K & K Social Foundation (Kashmir to Kerala), Mumbai; Council of Advisory with Leap Foundation’s for SPPEEDD India, Mumbai; Advisory Board for the APAC CXO Forum; Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Udaipur; Sargam Kala Parishad, Nathdwara; Itshean India Blood Bank, Udaipur; Maharana Pratap Museum, Haldighati, and member of the 1001 – A nature trust, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) International - Founded by HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in 1971.
As a promoter and patron of sports in India and worldwide, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar has been the Patron of the Udaipur Equine Institute and Imperial Riding and Polo Club and Patron of The Cambridge and Newmarket Polo Club, Cambridgeshire, UK. He is actively involved as a member with Amateur Riders Club – Mumbai; The Taj Chambers, Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai, Delhi Polo Club and a Steward of the Indian Polo Association and The Royal Western India Turf Club, Mumbai; The Rajasthan Cricket Association; The Cricket Club of India; The Bombay Cricket Association; The Bombay Gymkhana and The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), UK; Vauxhall Owners Club, UK; M.G. Owners Club, UK and Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, UK (for Rolls-Royce & Bentley Enthusiasts); Lions Club, Udaipur; Field Club, Udaipur; Naka Madar Resident’s Welfare Society.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur is a keen sportsman and aviator. An avid cricketer, he has represented his school, university and Rajasthan State in cricket tournaments in India. Till date he remains a patron of the game and a member of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, the Cricket Club of India, Bombay Cricket Association and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), London.
Shikarbadi Hotel in Udaipur now has a private airport where Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur has been developing his passion for aviation and sports. Microlite aircraft and smaller airplanes are available for personal use and special guests; he is working towards converting the Shikarbadi private airport into a commercial one to be developed as a ‘city airport’. Today Shikarbadi Airport is the preferred airfield for flight training of National Cadet Corps (NCC) pilots who are flying microlite aircrafts.
In the year 1985 Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur instituted the Maharana Mewar Research Institute (MMRI) to research and documents the archival records and daily diaries (Bahidas). In the year 1992 the huge Manek Chowk Garden got built over the barren raw muddy land which presently serves as one of the most beautiful and eye catchy spot among the rest of the places of the City Palace Museum, Udaipur. Renovation and Redevelopment of the Sitla Mata and Ghas Ghar was done in the year 1994. In the year 1995, Badi Pal (The Promenade) was made available to access the City Palace Museum from the Southern end of the City. In 1996 the Sitla Mata Information Centre was made available for visitors to solve their queries related to the Palace Access. And In the year 1997 the Staff Residence was made at the Hanuman Pol. The COMPO office and the Rameshwar Mahadev Temple Restoration were done in the year 1998. In 1999 the Promenade Fountain, Millennium Dome at Zenana Mahal were constructed. Year 2000 was the year when the Maharana Mewar Special Library (MMSL) came in existence when the basement of the Manek Chowk which earlier used as a grain storage room was now restored and to be used as the storage of knowledge. Ghas Ghar wall was also restored in the year 2000 and the Trust Office was made.
In the year 2005 the Hawa Mahal restoration was done on the top of the Tripoliya and three main frontier locations of the Badi Pol gate of the City Palace Museum was refurbished to be used as Badi Pol Booking office; Post Office and Bank which is presently known as the Bank of Baroda, City Palace branch, Udaipur. In the same year 2005, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar did brought changes and renovations in many other prominent areas of the City Palace Museum, viz. the Zenana Mahal Kitchen, Palki Khana, Executive Dining Room and Shiv Niwas Palace Rooms. And the most beautiful renovations of the times was of the Mor Chowk.
In the year 2007 Nakkar khana ki chatri, The Promenade gate Information centre, Shiv Niwas Palace Bakery, Banquet Hall and Rooms, MMPS School Hostel and Spa / Public Utility were renovated. In the year 2008 Guest Public Utility was built behind the 33KV at Badi Pal, Hanuman Mandir and DG set space allocation was done. In the same year the East/ West Kitchen got setup, along with the Guest room, bar and main Kitchen. In 2009, the Ghadiyal Ki Chatri was restored along with the MMCF Conference Room was established. The Neelkanth Mahadev Temple’s Garden and Water tank was also built. The Statue of the Maharana Pratap was installed on 30th June 2009 at the Maharana Pratap Domestic Airport of Udaipur City. Year 2010 was the year when three mammoth sized wooden gates at Tripoliya of the City Palace Museum, Udaipur was installed enhancing the heritage feel and beauty of the Museum Compound. In the same year many other important projects took place viz. Hathnal ka Darikhana Public Utility, Boat House, Moti Chowk Information Centre and the Imperial Dairy was also renovated and refurbished in the same year. In the year 2011 the Paiga Pol gate was made, which is also the main entrance for the Maharana Mewar Public School and the Print Media office of the MMCF. Also the main and the biggest Public Utilty area for the Visitors and staff was also built in the year 2011 at the Moti Chowk. In 2012 the Photographic Studio was established. In the year 2013 the Sewerage treatment Plant was installed in the backside of the Ghas Ghar area. Other works took place like Devasthan Lawn, Asawara Mata Temple Public Utility and Kumkeshwar Mahadev, Dhruv Pol and Amar Mahal.
In 2014 when Shriji took step to renovate and refurbish the Toran Pol Gate and the replacement of the old wooden Toran was done with the new torans, along with this the Sitla Mata Parking was built and made available for the vehicle parking of staff and visitors. In the year 2016 The Media Office got started. And in 2017 Shakti Mandir and Carpentry Workshop was built along with the Conservation Lab with all the high tech equipments to preserve and conserve the artefacts of the Museum. Later in the year 2018 Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar emphasised on building towards the public utilities at the Tripoliya. The Digital MEDIA and Marketing office was started in the year 2019. Ganesh Pol Public Utility and the Palace Motor Garage were also built in the same year 2019. Renovation and Restorations of the Parmeshwaron rai ji ki kachari, Devsthan Kacheri, Sinh dwar and Hanuman Ghat took place in the year 2020.
He established these Galleries at The City Palace Museum, Udaipur Amar Mahal Gallery: Splendour of Silver - Reflecting the finest of silver smithy; Bhagwat Prakash Gallery: Mewar Miniature Painting Exhibition; Jas Prakash Gallery: Architecture and Conservation Exhibition; Basant Prakash Gallery: Life in Zenana Exhibition; Saraswati Vilas Gallery: Symphony of Mewar - A Royal Collection of Musical Instruments; Fateh Niwas Gallery: Photography Exhibition; Som Niwas Gallery: Divine Gesture - The magnificence of Mewar spirituality; Gokul Niwas Gallery: The Curtain Raiser - The Mewar Regalia, Textiles and Costumes Exhibition; Raj Niwas Gallery: The Regal mode of Transport- Tam Jaam and Palanquin Exhibition and Salehkhana Gallery: Arms and Armoury Exhibition in progress.