History of Lunar Race Yadava (Mordern Jadon ) state Karauli —
Area. 1,208 sq. miles. Population,-148, 670.
Revenue. 500,000 rupees.
This State is bounded on the south-west and west by Jaipur, and on the north and north-east by the States of Bharatpur and Dholpur res pectively.
The rulers of Karauli are Rajputs of the Yaday clan, and are said to have descended from Shri Krishna, of divine origin. They also claim to be styled ” Chandravamshi ” or ” Moon-born.” The carly history of the Rajas of Karauli down to the decline and fall of the Mughal Empire is but a blank page in the story of native chiefs, and thus the exploits of its early chieftains remain shrouded in dark oblivion; although it has come to light that the first personage in the pedigree was Bijai Pal, who built the fort of Biana in 995. There flourished one, Arjun Deo, in 1348, in the line of Bijai Pal, who founded Karauli and made it his capital. Several kings succeeded to the Karauli throne after the death of Arjun Deo, but their names are unknown. In the year 1546, Gopal Das, a descendant of Arjun Deo, ascended the throne, who, dying in 1570, was suc ceeded by Mukund, Jagoman, Chhatarman, Dharam Pal, Ratan Pal, Kumar Pal, Gopal Sinh, Tursam Pal, and Maneck Pal, res pectively. The first trustworthy notice of their doings, which History has recorded, reveals the fact that they were feudal retainers at the court of the mighty Peshwas and were bound to pay tribute of twenty five thousand a year. In 1817 when the Peshwa fell and his power was entirely transferred to the British, Karauli and the other dependent principalities, which were in fealty to the court of Poona, readily paid their homage to the English, who were acknowledged by them as the Paramount Power in India. Harbaksha Pal, a successor of Maneck Pal was on the throne of Karauli at the time, who entered into a league with the British Government; by the terms of which, the latter, as the suzerain lords of India, guaranteed to protect the rulers of the State and to secure them and their descendants in the possession of their dominions which they held at the time. Harbaksha Pal had long set his mind upon regaining certain tracts of land to the south of the Chambal, which had once belong ed to the State, but had since been seized by the self-aggrandising Sin dhias of Gwalior. In conformity with the terms of the above compact he pressed the English for help; but his overtures were disregarded by the Supreme Government in consequence of their greater desire to pull on well with Sindhia. Harbakshu Pal resented this cold reception of his suit; and with a view to achieve his cherished object, he resolved upon resorting to the ancient practice of his progenitors, to wage a deadly war and to kill or be killed. From that time the Raja began to eye the English with suspicion, and his relations with the Paramount Power were now cold and frigid. The year 1825 was one, full of trouble and annoyance to the English Government; they were dragged into a fierce war with the King of Burmah; they had also, at the same time, to support their ally the Raja of Bharatpur, whose dominions were distracted by a revolt headed by one Durjan Sal, his relative. Taking undue advantage of this unfavour able state of affairs, Harbaksha Pal declared open hostilities with the English, and collecting a large army under his banner, went over to the side of Durjan Sal, the rebel. When the rebellion, however, was crushed and their troops dispersed over the land, the Raja had to repent of his stupid exhibition of infidelity and to submit himself to the mercy of the English. The latter treated the Raja’s foolish defection only with contempt and scorn and specdily accorded him full pardon. From the gentle admoni tion he received at the time and much more from the generous treatment he experienced at their hands, the Raja learnt a wholesome lesson and he was thenceforth unswervingly loyal to the British Government. Soon after this certain disputes between Karauli and Jaipur as to their respective boundaries and rights were amicably settled. Subsequently Harbaksha Pal, with his amity with the surrounding States thus fully restored, expired in 1838.
Raja Harbaksha Pal left no issue behind him to inherit his dignities and power, and Pratap Pal, one of his relative princes, was, in consequence, raised to the gadi of Karauli. At this juncture the Queen-downger declared that she was enceinte: and a few days after, reports were circulated to the effect that she had given birth to a prince and heir to the throne. Pratap Pal suspected that the child was spurious and protested against his being thus passed over in favour of a bastard. A comunission was ap pointed by the British Government to inquire into the legitimacy of the child, which reported that the rumours spread abroad by the widow about her being in the family way were absolutely false and that the child was unmistakably a got-up one. The final resolution of the Governor-General, in this connection, was published at the close of the year, 1839, and at the out-set of the following. Pratap Pal was confirmed on the gudi of Karauli. The widowed Rani was much humiliated at this rebuff: but she saw that she had really comeneted a false story and as the true blood of an honest Rajputani ran in her veins, she was much ashamed of the in trigue: and precipitately leaving Karauli, she settled herself at Bharatpur.
Raja Pratap Pal had risen to the throne from an humble birth and a low status in life. Schooled as he was in adversity, he had not, however, benefited by the experience derived therefrom: he abused his power and tyrannisel over his subjects with a view to extort money out of their coffers. It is also said that the Minister, in his time, instigated the Raja to resort to this means of raising money by a system of oppression, which ground down the poor ryots. The Raja expired after an inglorious rule of eight years, during which the tyrant’s evil temperament, constantly scheming to eke out money from the unfortunate people, scarcely allowed him any peace of mind or body. General complaints of his oppression were often so loud that on four different occasions during the short space of his reign the English had to interfere and depute special officers to inquire into the causes of the wide-spread disorder at Karauli.
Raja Pratap Pal departed this life in 1848. He, too, left no progeny after him, and the relations of the Chief were again put into re quisition to supply an heir to the throne. The choice of the English Government at last descended upon a stripling, of the name of Narsinh Pal, who was, for the time, raised to the throne. The State had, however, run into an enormous debt, exceeding somewhat the perplexing amount of one hundred and fifty thousand rupees. The British Government exacted an undertaking from Narsinh Pal that he would soon discharge this heavy burden, and at the time of his installation, his punctual repayment of the first instalment of the debt was made a sine qua non of his being confirmed on the gudi. The guardian of the minor Narsinh Pal came forth with the promised repayment only after the expiration of the period, fixed for the first instalment, while at the same tine another kinsman of the deceased (‘hief was forth-coming, who avowed to the English his capability to remit even larger suns, and that too at shorter intervals than what Narsinh Pal had stipulated Besides this, the accession of the young Raja to the throne of Karauli had given nse to hostile factions at the capital, which disputed with each other the right of guardianship of the minor prince; and their mutual quarrels, which raged high at the time, threatened to plunge the State into turmoil and trouble There were some dissentients, who even went to the length of not admitting Narsinh Pal’s right to the gadi, and fears were constantly entertained that they would one day substantiate their agrements with the jnowess of their swords. All these considerations, at last urged the English Government to revoke the agreement, entered into at the time Narsinh Pal was installed, and they now thought of de posing this minor Chief. His guardian vchemently protested against the contemplated iniquity and dwelt upon the injustice of the compact being annulled, when he was on his part ready and willing to pay the instal ments at the proper tune The intended dethronement had also occasion .ed extreme trouble in the State, and numerous intrigues were carried on for the right of succession to the throne, The remedy which had been suggested by the English, was thus worse than the malady, and with a view to avert greater inischief, Narsinh Pal was at last permanently confirmed on the gadi, but a British Political Agent was also forced upon the State in order to secure to the people the blessings of good government even under that weak monarch.
Raja Narsinh Pal, after his nominal rule of four years, expired in 1852. He died without having ever in reality wielded the sceptre he nominally hold. The young prince had no issue: consequenty Bharat Pal, a distant kinsman, was adopted by him on the day preceding his demise. The Government of India did not recognise this adoption, and were of opinion that if the princes of Karauli were allowed such a right to adopt, the heroic and chivalrous blood of its ancient chiefs would cease to be preserved in the veins of their descendants, and the purity of the race would suffer by an admixture with low and alien births. They therefore
recommended that the adoption in question should be declared null and void. The Home Government, however, held a different view, and reversing their judgment, they sanctioned the adoption of Bharat Pal. This new occupant of the throne had also not attained years of discretion, and taking advantage of his minority, the English made some very suitable and salutary arrangements for the proper administration of the State. A Poli tical Agent was also again stationed at Karauli to watch the progress of good government in the State and guard the interests of the people. “When these reforms were being meditated and the scheme of securing good government was being adjusted, several disaffected and turbulent spirits, who were all the while conspiring in the dark against their ruler, emerged from their retreats, and lodged a vehement protest against the adoption of Bharat Pal. His adoption was contested on the ground that he had been only a very remote kinsman and that the religious ceremonies prescribed by the texts of the Hindu scriptures were not rigidly observed in his case: that Madan Pal was a nearer relative, and consequently better entitled to succeed to the throne. Bharat Pal’s adoption was also sought to be set aside by the chiefs of Jaipur, Alwar, Bharatpur, and Dholpur, who also jointly supported the claims of Madan Pal, which they advocated with great interest. An enquiry was instituted, which also brought to light Madan Pal’s stronger title to the heirship; and the widowed Ranis of the deceased Chiefs in the realm, as well as the prominent courtiers and Sardars of the State with one voice demanded the installation of Madan Pal on the gadi of Karuali. Submitting to this popular feeling, the English cancelled the adoption of Bharat Pal, and the popular Madan Pal was seated on the throne in 1854.
At the time of Madan Pal’s ascension on the gadi, the Political Agent of Karuali was strongly advised by the Government not to interfere with the internal affairs of the realin, and the following year, the very agency was abolished and the officer posted to another court. At the time, however, when the English Government, thus expressed their feeling of confidence in Madan Pal’s firmness and ability, they also distinctly gave him to understand that they would brooke with no remissness on his part in the liquidation of the State-debts. The once heavy and formidable liabilities of the State had now dwindled down to the comparatively small sum of ninety-five thousand rupees; and the Chief had to give an undertaking to the effect, that he would be scrupulously punctual in the payment of his yearly instalments, on pain of losing one district or more, which the English. threatened to sequestrate and retain under their own management, till all the debts of the State were absolutely discharged.
In 1857, at the time of the great Mutiny Madan Pal lent a hearty support to the English, and gave shelter and protection to many of their distressed fugitives, who were all securely harboured in the State, or placed in safe retreats beyond the vengeance of their blood thirsty pursuers. The Raja had to incur heavy expenses on this score, and the State-debts had, consequently, been swollen to the large sum of one hundred and seventeen thousand rupees: but bearing in mind the many personal sacrifices of the Chief, during the season of the Mutiny, a major portion of the debt was relinquished by the Supreme Government. The salute of honour, to which the Chief of Karauli were entitled, was also enhanced froin 15 to 17 in appreciation of the loyal services of Raja Madan Pal, who was also decorated with a rich dress of honour.
In 1859, the State again suffered from impoverished and hausted resources: its pecuniary condition was disheartening and fresh debts were being largely meurred. To settle these monetary affairs, the British Government again posted a Political Agent at the court of Karauli; but the officer was expressly instructed to maintain amicable relations with the Chief, who had so gallantly assisted the English in their trouble during the Mutiny. Two years later, when the desired purpose was achieved and the continued residence of the Political Agent was no longer required, he was instantly recalled by his Government, which never wished unnecessari ly to hamper the Chief’s liberty of action. Maharaja Madan Pal was also created a Knight Grand Caminander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. in due recognition of the yeoman service which he rendered to the Paramount Power in the troublous times of the great Rebellion
Maharaja Madan Pal breathed his last in 1869, after a cap able rule for fifteen years. As he left no son to mourn his loss, his nephew, Lakshman Pal-the chief of Haraouti, was chosen to succeed to the throne; but the prince elect died all of a sudden before his instal lation could take place. Thereupon Jayasinh Pal-born in the line of Kirat Pala younger son of Maharaja Dharam Pal-one of the royal ancestors, was selected by all the influential Thakors and Sardars to occupy the vacant gali. His elevation to the throne was approved of by the Supreme Government. In 1874, Maharaja Jayasinh Pal, with a view to attain fresh and enlarged experience, set out on a visit to foreign lands and travelled down to Agra. In the month of March, that year he was present at Delhi, where the other Rajput princes had repaired to exchange friendly visits with the Viceroy; and thence he again returned to his capital, gratified with his stately reception, and struck with the new world of novel experiences and amusing sights that he had just left behind. Jaya sinh Pal expired in the month of December 1875, leaving no issue behind. Arjun Pal, the Rao of Haraouti, was, in consequence, next called to inherit the throne. On the 1st January 1877 when the Viceroy, Lord Lytton, presided over the Grand Assemblage of crowned heads at Delhi to celebrate the assumption of the title of ‘Kaisar-i-Hind” or “Empress of India,” by her Majesty Queen Victoria, Arjun Pal had also graced the occasion by his presence there. Arjun Pal, after a short career, breathed his last in 1886. He was succeeded by Bhonvar Pal Deo, who is the present Maharaja, reigning at Karauli. His Highness has judicial powers of life and death and enjoys a salute of 17 guns.
The last Maharaja Bhanwar pal died without an heir. Bhaumpal, the eldest son of Suganpal (the younger
brother of Arjunpal and uncle of Bhanwarpal), who was also the Rao of Hadoti then, became
the king of Karauli in Vikram Samvat 1985. This was an occasion of great celebration in the Karauli state.
Ganesh Pal was the last ruler of Karauli .On 17th March 1948 Karauli State was merged with Matsya State.Karauli along with Matsya Union merged in Rajasthan Province on 15th May 1949.
Gopal Das, Dwarka Das,. Mukand, Jagoman, Chhatarman, Dharam Pal, Ratan Pal, Kumar Pal, Gopal Sinh, Tursam Pal, Manek Pal, Harbaksha Pal and,
Pratap Pal (adopted)
Narsinh Pal (adopted )
Madan Pal (adopted )
Jajasinh Pal( adopted)
Arjun Pal (adopted )
Bhanwar Pal (adopted )
1-Trives and Castes of the North;Western Provinces and Qudh by W.Crooke .C.A.Vol.III.,pp.38-39.
2-Imperial Gazetteer of India ,V.15 ,p.26 .
3-Jaisalmer Khyat ;Archaeological Survey of India ,Vol .20 ,38
4-Archacological Survey of India Vol.20 ,p.3.
5-Gazetteer of the Karauli State by Captain Percy Powlett.1874 ,part I ,p.3.
6-ibid .,Vol.V(1957 ),p.120.
7-Cunningham , Report of A tour in eastern Rajputana in 1882-83.pp.6-7.
8-Rajasthan district gazetteers-Sawaimadhopur by (Miss) Savitrigupta Govt of Raj.p.35.
9-Archaeological Survey of India , calcutta ,Govt.Press.(1885) ,Vol.20 .p.9.
10-Sharma ,Dasharath ,Early Chauhan Dynasties ,Delhi (1959 ), p.105 ,fn .22.
11-Elliot&Dowson ,Vol.V, p.98;Jagdish Singh Gahlot ,History of Rajputana ,1937 ,pp.601-2.
12-Karauli Khayat ,p.and Karauli pothi ,
13-Office of the Tahsildar ,Karauli.
14-A gazetteer of eastern Rajputana comprising the native States of Bharatpur ,Dholpur and Karauli bybH.E.Darke-Bockman ,1905.p.298.
15-Rajasthan District Gazetteers-Sawai Madhopur ,places of interest , chapter XIX .pp .532-33.
16-Rao Shivraj Pal ‘s Article , Thikana Inaiti ,Karauli.
17-Sherring ,M.A.,The Tribes and Castes of Rajasthan together with description of the sacred and celebrated places of Historical value in Rajasthan.Chapter I.The Rajput Tribes.p.14-15.
18-Chief and Leading families in Rajputana by C.S Bayley ,Jadon States-Karauli ,p.69.
Author-Dr Dhirendra Singh Jadaun
Village-Larhota near Sasni
Associate Prof in Agricultre ( Soil Sci)
Sahid Captain Ripudaman Singh Govt.College , Sawaimadhopur ,Raj.