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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

House of Tulsipur

The Royal House of Tulsipur or Tulsipur-Dang was one of 22 principalities in the Baise Rajya confederation of the western Rapti region before the unification of Nepal, c. 1760. The Rajas of Tulsipur-Dang belonged to the Chauhan clan. From Chaughera (near Ghorahi, Dang) they ruled the Dang and Deukhuri Valleys as well as territories around Tulsipur State south of the Siwaliks, now in India.
Tulsipur kingdom was about 150 by 150 miles. It bordered Salyan Rajya (Nepal) and Pyuthan (Nepal) in the north, Balarampur Principality (India) in the south, Madi Khola (Nepal) and Arnala River (Basti, India) in the east and Bahraich (India) in the west.
During the unification of Nepal, the part in the Siwaliks and the valleys to the north were ceded to Nepal. Remaining lands became known as Tulsipur State, one of the largest Taluqs of Awadh in India. After the Indian War of Independence of 1857 the Tulsipur State was absorbed by the British East India Company.

Key Information

Dynasty

Suryabanshi

Surname

Singh

Gotra

Kashyap

Kul Devata - Dynasty God

Sun God

Shakti-Mata of the Kingdom

Mata Patan Devi or Pataneshwori Mata. Her Temple is in Tulsipur, near Balarampur (present day India). The temple is less than One kilometre from Tulsipur Railway Station and Two kilometer from Tulsipur Bus Station. It is 29 kilometer from Balrampur, 65 kilometer from the Gonda and 150 kilometer from Gorakhpur. A major celebration and puja takes place during "Chaite Dashain" and "Navaratri" at the Goddess Patan Devi's Temple.

Jagat-Guru of the Kingdom

Baba Ratan Nath (Grandson of Gorakhnath). His monastery is in Chaughera Dang, Nepal. This site is situated in Ghorahi Municipality ward No. 4 Chaughera, one and half km east by Ghorahi Lamahi highway. A major celebration and puja takes place 7 days before "Chaite Dashain" at the Baba Ratan Nath's Monastery.

Kingdom, Palaces and Notes

Tulsipur State Principality in India currently lies near a town in district of Gonda, Oudh / Avadh. Connected to Utraula by road, the remains of old mud fort of the large palace still resides in the southern part of Tulsipur near Balarampur India. This was the Southern Palace.
Before 1760-1786 AD Unification War, this principality was known as Tulsipur Dang rajya which was part of 22 principalities of Nepal. Remaining walls of an old palace fort is in Tulsipur-Chaughera region (Chaughera Dang Tulsipur, Nepal). This was the Northern Palace.
House of Tulsipur Rajahs used Northern Palace during summer months and Southern Palace during winter months. Tulsipur rulers were Hill Chauhans from (Chauhan SINHRAJ Clan) and claimed King Rama and his descendants of Ayodhya as their ancestors.



Ancient History

The land, Its Rulers and Their Origin

History vs. Mythology: There have been various writers from the West and the East including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus who have used the word "Ancient History" and "Mythology" interchangeably perhaps not to the fullest satisfaction of purists and modern historians. For the sake of brevity and for the purpose of this section "Ancient History", it is used here interchangeably.

King Vivaswata

He was the founder of Ayodhya. He is considered father of Manu and descendant of Narayana, Brahma, Marichi, Kashyap Rishi and Sun God.
Other notable Suryabanshi Kings following King Vivasata in ancient times have been:

Ikshvaku

He played a pivotal role in the transformation of the ancient Vedic religion into modern Hinduism.

Prithu

He chased Prithvi, who fled in the form of a cow and eventually agreed to yield her milk as the world's grain and vegetation.

Mandhata

He became a famous and Chakravarti (ideal universal ruler) king. He defeated most of the other kings of his time.

Harishchandra

He was renowned for his piety, justice and often told as a benchmark for an ideal life.

Sagar

King Sagara performed "Ashwamedha Yagya" to prove his supremacy.

Dilip

King Dilipa was a very pious king and performed as many as 100 Yagnas.

Bhagiratha

He is credited for bringing River Ganga to Earth.

Raghu

He was a king of Aryan History. The famous saying started after King Raghu is that " Raghukul reet sada chali aayi, praan jaaye par vachan na jayee" (means that whatever happens, even the life goes but the words given to someone must be kept at any cost).

King Rama of Ayodhya

According to Hindu Mythology and Legend Lord Rama's kingdom spanned from present day Iran including Afghanistan to end of New Zealand including Indonasia (Source: Various Hindu Legend, Mythology and History of Ancient India). This is based on how the story unfolds in Ramayana during "Ashwamedh Yagya" conducted by King Rama. Present day Iran is written here because land description such as vast western land beyond Kyber pass and Samarkand is mentioned in many stories of Ramayana. King Bali is mentioned in Ramayana and based on land description it would be currently eastern land of Indonasia, Australia and New Zealand. Until archeological evidence is found, this is all based on Mythology. Note: As early as 323 BC, Hindu King Chandragupta's kingdom spanned from the west bordering Persia - currently known as Iran to Vidhyas in the east.
The Hindu Holy Scriptures "Vayu Purana" and "Uttra khand" of the epic story Ramayana speak of the two Kosalas. It mentions Shravasti as capital of the North Kosala and Kusavati as that of the South Kosala. The two Kosalas are said to have been once under the suzerainty of one and the same king, known as Lord King Rama. The epic hero Lord King Rama had installed his son Prince Lava in North Kosala with Shravasti as its capital which lies on the foot of the Himalayas and his son Kusa in South Kosala as Kusavati as its capital which lies on the foot of the mountain Vindhyas.
On the border district of Gonda and Shravasti lies a vast area of ruins presently known as Sahet Mahet or Set Mahet. The ruins of Sahet, known as ancient Sravasti, are spread over an area of 400 acres. Towards the Rapti River, a little north of Sahet, lies the ancient city of Mahet. The fortified entrance to Mahet is made of mud, constructed in a beautiful crescent shape. The area represents ancient site of Shravasti known as the capital of Uttar Kosala.

King Brhadbala

Suryabanshi Rajah Brhadbala participated in the war of Mahabharata.

King Sumitra

He is presumed to be the last King of Ayodhya and of the entire land belonging to Lord King Rama. Legend has it that after Suryabanshi King Sumitra, his Kingdom that spanned from modern Iran to New Zealand, was divided into hundreds of different kingdoms to be ruled by various Suryabanshi Kings in broader Asia.

King Sravast

According to Mahabharata, he was King of Sravasti, Capital of Uttar Koshala. The ancient history of these districts is the history of Shravasti and regions around it. This region is about 16 km from Balrampur, 83 km north of Ayodhya and 1,152 km from Rajgir. The town was founded by Sravast - a king of Chauhan Solar race and descendant of King Rama. The first member of the twin name, Sahet Mahet, is applied to the site of the walled city of Shravasti.

Amhul Dev (600 BC)

Founder of Chauhan Kingdom in Northern and Western South-Asia.

Suryabanshi Kings and Notes

According to Holy Puranas, Holy Upanishads, Shruti Scriptures, Religious Epic Stories and Ancient History of India, there have been 350 known generations of Suryabanshi Kings (and thousands of unknown/unwritten generation of Suryabanshi rulers) from ancient period of Vivaswata to early medieval time of Chauhan SINHraj.

1st Millennium History (1 AD to 1000 AD)

King Vikramaditya

Raja Vikramaditya was King of Sravasti or Sahet-Mahet around 1st Century AD. It is said that he was the King of Ujjain as well. Legend says he re-built the temple of Devi Pataneshwori in Tulsipur, India. There is an interesting story about Raja Vikramaditya and the location of Ram Janmabhumi in Ayodhya. In the Hindu tradition in India and Nepal, the widely used ancient calendar is Vikrama Samvat or Vikrama's era. This is said to have been started by the legendary King. Raja Vikramaditya's son was AdityaVardhan and grandson was ShaliVardhan.
Other notable Chauhan Kings in 1,000 years from 1st Millenium to Medieval times have been:

Ajaypal Dev

250 AD

Dholrae Pal

600 AD

Chauhan Manikrae

650 AD

Sinhraj Chauhan

725 AD. Considered 350th Suryabanshi King and ancestor of the Hill Chauhans who ruled the foothills of the Himalayas in the north-west frontier of South-Asia.

Raja Mordhwaj Dev

Born 970 AD – Died 1020 AD.
He was King of Sravasti. His eldest son was Suhel Dev.

Raja Suhel Dev

Born 995 AD - Died 1050 AD
Suhil or Suhel Dev of Sahet Mahet was known widely for his valour. He is said to have forewarned Muslim invader Sayyed Salar Masood or Masud that if he wished to save his and his men's lives, he had better leave the land and go elsewhere. Suhel Dev asserted that the land belonged to his ancestors and they were determined to drive the outsiders from their land. Masud, thereupon sent a brief and simple reply that the country is God's and that the property of him belongs to on whom He bestows it. Whoever gave it to your father's and your ancestors, he questioned.
The council of war decided and told Masud to remain on the defensive, but the Hindus drove off his cattle and forced an attack. The loss was great on both sides and one third of Muslim army perished. During month of June 1033 continuous fighting went on. Two-thirds of what remained of the Muslim army was slain and among them was Saiyad Saif-ud-din who was the Kotwal of the Muslim army. In spite of many vicissitudes, Masud did not lose courage and while making a bid to mount his horse to repel the attack; his body-guards were attacked by Shuhel Dev and his men. An arrow pierced the main artery in Masud's arm resulting in his death and the remnants of his body-guards were cut to pieces by Suhel Deo on June 14, 1033.
Thus ended the singular invasion by the Muslims and Islam was in abeyance in Avadh for the next 160 years until the conquest of Shihab-ud-din Ghuri in 1193 AD.
It seems probable that Sultan Iltutmish effected the subjugation of lands as far as Avadh, Bahraich & the districts north of Ghaghra including Gonda. From this time onwards Gonda & Bahraich seem to have always been held singly by the Muslims owing to its isolated position due to river Ghaghra. Sultan Iltutmish appointed his eldest son Malik Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, as governor of Avadh in 1226 AD.
Muslim author Minhaj-uj-Siraj historically recorded in the document known as "Taqat-i-Nasiri", the Muslim prince Malik Nasir-ud-din overthrew and reduced to submission the Bhars under whose sword more than one hundred and twenty thousand Muslims had perished. These Bhars resisted the Muslim prince together with their local rulers of Tulsipur, Gonda, and Bahraich. Tulsipur rulers were descendants of Suhel Dev who claimed King Rama of Ayodhya as his ancestor. There are writing that indicate he re-built Mata Patan Devi's Temple in Tulsipur, India.
The location of this battle to be precise was near Chittaura Jheel, a lake about 8 KM away from modern Bahraich on Bahraich-Gond Road. Ashtwarka Muni, the Guru of Maharaja Janak used to live here in his ashram. Every year a fair is organized here on Basant Panchami.

2nd Millennium - Medieval History (1001 AD to 2000 AD)

Founding of Tulsipur Principality

Hill Chauhans ruled north-western lower Himalayan valleys as early as 700 AD. There are some oral legends that have been passed on i.e. Chauhan SINHRaj (700 AD), Suhel Dev (1000 AD). Writings available in Baba Ratan Nath's monastery indicate Megraj Singh Chauhan as Rajah of Tulsipur during early 13th Century. It is difficult to ascertain if Rajah Megraj was the founder of Tulsipur dynasty. Nevertheless, unless further evidence is uncovered, history of Tulsipur and of its rulers point to Rajah Megraj Singh Chauhan.

24th Ruler - Raja Meghraj Singh Chauhan

Born 1325 AD. Died 1385 AD.
Raja Megraj Singh Chauhan ruled vast land in the lower Himalayas including three lower valleys of Dang, Deokhuri and Rapti. He was 374th Generation of Suryavanshi King.
A deer hunting episode has been recorded in Yogi Baba Ratan Nath's Chaughera monastery which lies currently near Dang / Deokhuri in Nepal. The story narrates that King Meghraj arrow-shot a deer while hunting in his forest land (present day jungles of Nepal / India border). As the deer was struck by the arrow, it ran bleeding heavily. The King followed the trace of blood for couple of miles. At the end of the blood trail, he saw a Yogi-Baba meditating under a large tree. The blood stained arrow was in front of him and Yogi-Baba had blood mark on his ribs.
The king, realizing his mistake, immediately begged for forgiveness. The King asked the Yogi for his permission to speak. Then he humbly requested the Yogi to come to his palace so he could personally nurse the Yogi's wound and offered him 84 kind of dishes known as "Chaurasi Byanjan".
Yogi forgave the King and mentioned to him that he was Baba Ratan Nath (Grandson and/or third line from GorakhNath). He said he was given a mission by Gorakh Nath Baba to establish a Hindu peeth in the western frontier land of Lord Rama's Kingdom (present day Iran / Afghanistan).
In Hindu scriptures, Gorakhnath is considered to be incarnation of Lord Shiva. King Rama himself had worshiped Lord Shiva in many occasions during his reign and prayed to Lord Shiva as his JagatGuru. Stories of King Rama's dedication to Lord Shiva are found in holy book epic Ramayana. It is also found in the book of "Swastani" which is collection of stories and hymns to Lord Shiva.
Baba Ratan Nath blessed 84 Kosh (about 150 miles) in each dual direction (east / west and north / south) as the Kingdom to be ruled by King Meghraj and his descendants. The King built a temple for Baba Ratan Nath in the northern part of his state (currently in Chaughera/Tulsipur/Dang, Nepal).
Baba Ratan Nath re-established Patan Devi Temple in Rajah Meghraj's southern part of the state (currently in Tulsipur village near Balarampur India) per Gorakhnath's wishes. Devi Patan temple is one of the most important 51 Shakti Peeths revered by Hindus in Nepal and India border. Located 70 km from Gonda and 2 km from Tulsipur village in India, this famous shrine is surrounded amidst the beauty of Himalayan tarai. It is believed that while Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, the right shoulder of Sati had fallen here. In addition, it is believed that goddess Sita entered the earth at this place.
After blessing King Meghraj Singh Chauhan, Baba Ratan Nath is said to have moved on to his mission to the western frontier land (present day eastern Iran and Afghanistan) of Lord Ram.
Even to this day, a large fair takes place every year during Chaitra Dashain/Panchami at Baba Ratan Nath's monastery (present day Nepal) and Patenashwori Temple (present day India). For seven (7) days Baba Ratan Nath is worshiped in his monastery. The day before Chaita Dashain, deity of Baba Ratan Nath is taken from Tulsipur/Dang Nepal to Patan Devi temple in Tulsipur India. On Chaita Dashain/Panchami, both deities are worshiped side by side.

29th Ruler - Raja Udat Singh Chauhan

He ruled in the period of 1485 AD.

33rd Ruler - Raja Dev Narayan Singh Chauhan

1575 AD.

38th Ruler - Raja Ramkrishna Singh Chauhan

Oral legend says he ruled in the period of 1675 AD.

18th Century History

40th Ruler - Raja Nawal Singh Chauhan

Born 1730 AD. Died 1795 AD.
King Nawal Singh Chauhan was considered the 40th chief King and Raja of the Chauhan SINHraj clan (Source: Hamilton - British author).
King Nawal was also known as Nawab Singh by his Muslim subjects. He ruled from Caughera (present day Nepal). He has been identified by various names such as Newal / Nehal / Nawab / Nawal Sen / Singh. King Nawal's vast state borders at this time were Salyan Kingdom (Nepal) in the North, Balarampur Kingdom (India) in the South, Madi River (Maaddi Khola, Nepal) and Arnala River (Basti District, India) in the East and Bahraich (India) in the West.
In 1760-1763 AD, while King Nawal Singh Chauhan was away at the southern palace during winter months time, his northern land Tulsipur-Dang-Chilli-Phalabang was annexed by Gorkhali King Prithvi Narayan Shah. The land including Dang, Chhilli and Phalabang were given as a dowry in the marriage of King Prithvi's daughter to Ranabhim Shah in 1767 AD (Source: Tamrapatra 1804 Vikram Sambat, Nepali Itihas). King Prithvi did this as a reward to King of Salyan for helping or staying neutral during the war against Rajah of Tulsipur.
Unhappy that King Prithvi had attacked his land while he was away in the southern part of his country; he went to sporadic wars lasting over two decades against the Gorkhali King and Salyani Raja. During these years King Prithvi Narayan died in 1775 AD in Kathmandu and his son Singha Pratap died in 1777 AD in Kathmandu as well. Rajah Nawal Singh continued to wage sporadic wars which lasted for many years (about 25 years to be precise) but he was eventually defeated.
Finally in 1786 AD during Regent Bahadur Shah and King Rana Bahadur Shah's time, all of his land in the Nepali Territories were ceded to Kingdom of Nepal. Consequently, Raja Nawal Singh Chauhan was forced to move to southern part of his land near Balarampur (currently in India). He ruled from his southern palace as Rajah of Tulsipur (one of the largest Taluqs of Oudh) hence forth.
Historians have noted that Tulsipur Rajya in the Nepali Territories were known by various names such as Tulsipur-Dang Rajya or Dang-Tulsipur Rajya or simply Dang Rajya. The correct history is that the kingdom was known as Tulsipur Rajya - one of 22 Principality until the war of 1760-1763 AD. After the defeat of Rajah Nawal Singh Chauhan by Gorkhali Rajah, the land of Dang-Chilli-Phalabang were divided and ruled by various Rajahs paying tribute to Rajah of Salyan. Rajah of Tulsipur continued his claim to these lands. This all ended after the final unification to Nepal in 1786 AD.

Raja of Tulsipur State - One of the largest Taluq of Oudh

In the late 1700s, British author Hamilton noted that among the most powerful Taluqdars of Avadh/Oudh were Rajah of Tulsipur, Raja of Baiswara, Raja of Balarampur, Rajah of Momudahbad, Rajah of Nanparah and Raja of Tiloi.
Each of these Taluqdars had elaborate forts with guns. Tulsipur State had 12 guns in its fort according to author Hamilton.
Technically speaking, Raja Nawal Singh Chauhan would be the Last Rajah of Tulsipur-Dang Principality as his northern territories were ceded to Nepal in 1786 AD. One could state that, ruling from his Southern_Territories, 1786 AD onwards, it would make Rajah Nawal Singh the first Rajah of Tulsipur State, one of Oudh Taluqas in British India. To the contrary, him and his ancestors were already ruling the Southern_Territories for centuries and the Raja simply continued to rule his remaining Kingdom from his Southern-Palace.
Henceforth, he would continue be the 40th Chauhan and the 40th Rajah of then known as Tulsipur State, one of the largest Taluqs of Oudh in India.

19th Century History

41st Ruler - Raja Dalel Singh

Chauhan Raja Dalel Singh was born in 1750 AD. He died in 1820 AD.

42nd Ruler - Raja Dan Bahadur Singh

Born 1775 AD. Died 1845 AD.
Chauhan Raja Dan Bahadur Singh was a powerful King. In 1822 AD, he went to war and killed Kanslir Shah (Rajah of Salidna or Saliana). He was fiercely known for his ability to put together a force of 25,000 fighters in a day's notice. During his life, it is said that he fought over fifty-two battles. (Source: Full text of Gazette).
Lord Amherst "Governor General of India" came to visit the Chauhan King in 1828 AD. They went for hunting trips shooting Tigers, Rhinos and Elephants and bonded well with each other. Pleased, the British Governor with Nawab of Oudh, increased the Rajah's purse and recognized Tulsipur as an independent state.
According to some Nepali historians, around 1827 AD, King of Nepal ordered Raja of Phalawang and Salyan, Tej Bahadur Shah to expand Nepali territories into plains of India by negotiating with Nawab of Oudh. This did not succeed as the Chauhan Raja of Tulsipur was able to push back Raja Tej Bahadur to the original hilly territories of Tulsipur. It is also evident from the fact that the entire Southern Tarai Territories of Tulsipur was receiving purse and paying tax to British East India Company until 1857 Mutiny War.
Raja of Tulsipur fought sporadic wars over territories with Raja of Balarampur Digbijay Singh around 1839 AD which lasted for some time without any decisive results (Source: Gazeneer of the province of Oudh).
British historians have noted that there is suspicion King Dan Bahadur Singh was poisoned by his son Rajah Drigraj Singh who wanted to become King sooner.

43rd Ruler - Raja Drigraj Singh

Born 1795 AD. Died 1855 AD.
Raja Drigraj Singh was weak and old by the time he became King. It is an interesting observation from historical perspective that Chauhan Raja Drigraj himself was banished to Balarampur in 1850 AD by his son Raja Drig Narayan Singh. There is suspicion that Raja Drigraj Singh was poisoned by his son, Raja Drig Narayan in 1855 AD while imprisoned (nazarband) in Balarampur.

44th Ruler - Raja Drig Narayan Singh

394th Generation of Suryabanshi King. Born 1825 AD. Died around 1859 AD.
Raja Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh was a rebel from early on. He resisted paying tax to the British in 1855 AD. In the meantime Sepoy Mutiny - First War of Independence broke out. British East India Company considered King Drig Narayan a barrier to the British expansion plan. British force from Delhi was sent to capture the King. He was imprisoned, "nazarband" and kept in Lukhnow Fort called "The Residence". This palace was built by Nawab Asif-ud-Daula in the year 1775 AD.
At the time of Mutiny in August 1857, the political prisoners in the fort were King Wajid Ali Shah's brother Mustafa Ali Khan, Mughal Princes Mirza Mohammad Shikoh and Mohammad Humayun Khan, Nawab Rukn-ud-Daula and the "Raja of Tulsipur" Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh.
His consort, Rani of Tulsipur Ishwar Kumari Devi was Joint Leader of the War of Independence during 1857-1858 AD. The Rani was considered a heroine during the freedom fight. While Rajah Drig Narayan Singh was a prisoner in Lucknow fort, Rani of Tulsipur was siding actively with the freedom forces in Bahraich to free her husband and her country from the British. Her contributions to the cause of freedom were remarkable. She had collected a large force to assist the freedom forces and strengthen her own position. Raja Riasat Ali Khan of Utraula had also joined the freedom forces at Gorakhpur under Mohammad Hasan who once was the nazim of Gonda-Bahraich.

End of Tulsipur Principality

The Rani of Tulsipur, Ishwar Kumari Devi, the Raja of Gonda, Devi Baksh and Bala Rao never surrendered. Bala-Rao later died in the malaria-infested jungles of Nepal. British crushed the 1857 Mutiny uprising with the help of Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal. The freedom fighters' principalities were confiscated in April 10, 1859 AD when they refused amnesty. State of Tulsipur was bestowed to the Raja of Balrampur who sided with the British throughout the revolt.
Raja of Gonda Devi Baksh Singh, Raja of Peshwa Nana Saheb and Rani of Awadh Begam Hazrat Mahal escaped to Nepal territories.
The last Rajah of Tulsipur, Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh, a political prisoner of the British East India Company, died as a Martyr during the First War of Independence in 1859.
The bloodstained, enraged Rani of Tulsipur, who refused to give up without a fight, escaped capture by the British only to die in 1865 AD of exposure or disease in the wilds of southern Nepal, a fate she may have preferred to slavery.
Thus ended the rule of the Hill Chauhans, the sovereignty of their Tulsipur Kingdom and a dynasty that had lasted for 1100 Years.

45th Chauhan - Tirtharam Singh

Born 1845 AD. Died 1867 AD.
Tirtha Ram Singh was on the run with his mother, Rani of Tulsipur Ishwori Kumari Devi, during and after 1857 Mutiny. He had personally taken his son Har Dayal Singh when he was two years old to Banaras for his son's safety. It is likely that he died around Nepal India border not too long after his mother's death in the Jungles of Nepal and India.
The major difficulty in finding written accounts of Chauhan Tirtha Ram Singh stems from the fact that little is available since most of the people who formed the core elements of the rebels or freedom fighters were either hanged or blown off the mouths of guns or destroyed in the Terai Jungle by disease and hard-life.
Various English and Indian writers on the subject of 1857 Mutiny have stated that all those who were left after were either living in different parts British India or had run off to Nepali territories and thus rendered unable to state anything based on truth because of fear of life or forfeiture of liberty.
Some were so overwhelmed by disgust and grief that they thought it pointless to leave anything for posterity. Some who managed to save their life by escaping were so much pressed by privation and misery that they died premature deaths or forever lived in silence and were unable to leave for the future generations anything which may have been historically useful.

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