Maharaja Suraj Mal
|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
- For information in Hindi see महाराजा सूरजमल
Maharaja Suraj Mal (13 February 1707 - 25 December 1763) (महाराजा सूरज मल, भरतपुर) was ruler of Bharatpur in Rajasthan in India. He has been described by a contemporary historian as "the Plato of Jats" and by a modern writer as the "Jat Ulysses", because of his political sagacity, steady intellect and clear vision. He was one of the greatest warriors and ablest statesmen ever born in India. 
- 1 Birth of Suraj Mal
- 2 Raja Suraj Mal
- 3 His family
- 4 Rise of Jat power
- 5 Chandaus War 1746
- 6 Battle of Bagru 20 August 1748
- 7 Treaty with Mir Bakshi (1st January 1750)
- 8 Ghaserā War 1753
- 9 Capture of Delhi (10 May 1753)
- 10 Jat-Maratha Treaty (18 May 1754)
- 11 Abdali's Campaign Against Jats
- 12 The prelude to Panipat
- 13 Jats Join Bhau
- 14 Suraj Mal’s withdrawal from Bhau’s camp
- 15 Panipat and its Sequel
- 16 Capture of Agra Fort (12 June 1761)
- 17 Suraj Mal’s Conquest of Haryana
- 18 The Jat Attack on Farrukhnagar
- 19 Fight between Suraj Mal and Najib
- 20 Support to Other Jat Rajas
- 21 Death of Suraj Mal
- 22 Love for art and literature
- 23 Character and achievements of Suraj Mal
- 24 Honour
- 25 In Hindi
- 26 Gallery
- 27 See also
- 28 References
- 29 Further reading
- 30 External links
Birth of Suraj Mal
He was born on 13 February 1707. Thakur Ganga Singh has mentioned in his book 'Gyat vansha Bharatpur ka itihas' about the birth of Maharaja Suraj Mal. He has referred to a folk-song badhaya sung by ladies on special Royal functions, which is produced below in Hindi as under:
- 'आखा' गढ गोमुखी बाजी । माँ भई देख मुख राजी ।।
- धन्य धन्य गंगिया माजी । जिन जायो सूरज मल गाजी ।।
- भइयन को राख्यो राजी । चाकी चहुं दिस नौबत बाजी ।।
According to the above-folk-song the date of birth of Maharaja Suraj Mal is 'आखा' meaning ākhātīj or akshyatratiya.
Ram Sarup Joon writes that ...After the death of Raja Jai Singh, Suraj Mal got the title of Raja through the ceremony of 'Rajsu Yagya'. He had a dominating personality and proved to be an excellent leader. The songs of his glory still resound in the remotest corners of Jat villages
History of the Jats, End of Page-159
People hear with deep interest the deep of their esteemed Raja through local bards (jogis). With great enthusiasm he began to extend his kingdom. He was a powerful Raja, yet he was a paragon of simplicity. He discarded his royal regalia and always remained attired in the ordinary Brij dress and spoke the language of the people. During his reign, he achieved all round fame and in the Moghul Durbar, he was compared with Asafjah Bahadur of Hyderabad. He had an inherent desire to capture the throne of Delhi, but could not achieve it because of the Rajput support enjoyed by the Moghuls.
He, however, attacked Jaipur and amply demonstrated his strength. The death of Raja Jai Singh led to a struggle of succession to the throne of Jaipur. The eldest son, and heir was Kanwar Ishwari Singh. The second son was Kanwar Madhi Singh, he was proud of his strength and the strength of his maternal uncle belonging to Sisodia dynasty. He wanted to seize the throne forcibly. He collected a large number of troops and sought the help of Madav Rao Holkar, Ganga Dhar Tantia, Rana of Mewar, Rathores of Jodhpur and Hadas of Kotah.
Ishwari Singh had only one supporter, Raja Surajmal. On 20 Aug 1749, a clash took place at Bagru. On the first day it was an Artillery battle. On the second day due to the death of Shiv Singh Bahadur, Ishwari Singh's forces were greatly demoralized. On the third day Ishwari Singh lost heart, handed over the command of his troops to Raja Suraj Mal and retired from the battle field. Ganga Dhar Tantia raided the artillery, butchered all gunners and spiked the guns. Raja Surajmal counter attacked the Marathas so furiously, that within two hours Ganga Dhar Tantia's forces started running like rabbits and finally deserted the battle field. Raja Suraj Mal chased them for a long distance and with his own sword killed 50 persons and wounded 198. Darkness alone saved the situation for Ganga Dhar Tantia. On the fourth decisive day of battle, Madho Singh accepted defeat and retired to his maternal grand father's state of Chittor.
History of the Jats, End of Page-160
Raja Suraj Mal proved a fierce foe to the Moghuls as well, Moghuls tried to capture Bharatpur. The Moghul Chief Sadat Khan marched from Delhi, on the pretext of advancing against Ram Singh Marwari, but cunningly captured one of the out posts of Bharatpur. He started a rumour that Suraj Mal was defeated. When Suraj Mal got news of the Moghul troops in his territory he attacked them and dispersed them pell-mell. The next day he besieged the Moghul Camp. After a siege of three days, Sadat Khan escaped from the Camp at night. He apologized, made peace and left Bharatpur. In 1729 Raja Suraj Mal gave shelter to Chaudhari Charandas of Ballabhgarh, who had sent to his well deserved death ,Murtaza Khan, the Governor of Faridabad. A royal Firman was issued from the Moghul Court that Charan Dass, should be handed over for trial. Raja Suraj Mal ignored the royal orders regardless of the consequences. The Rohilla Nawab who was a friend of Raja Suraj Mal, warned the Grand Wazier Safdar Jang, that the Moghuls would not be successful against the Jats. This advice was accepted by the Moghuls, who took no further action. Gradually the relations between Moghuls and Suraj Mal improved and Suraj Mal succeeded in getting Faridabad as a Jagir for Charan Dass. After some time, there arose some differences between the Emperor and Grand Wazir Safdar Jang. Safdar Jang was relieved of the appointment of Grand Wazir and he took shelter with Suraj Mal. On his instigation, Raja Suraj Mal attacked Delhi. The Royal treasuries were plundered under the noses of the Moguls. The Emperor of Delhi reconciled with Raja Suraj Mal with the mediation of Raja Madho Singh, and restored Safdar Jang as Grand Wazir. This annoyed Ghazi Uddin, the nephew of the Emperor, who he became an enemy of Raja Suraj Mal.
With continuous propaganda and winning over
History of the Jats, End of Page-161
some nobles, Ghazi Uddin again succeeded in overthrowing Safdar Jang and became Grand Wazir in his place. He then planned to take revenge from Raja Suraj Mal.
In 1754, with the support of Raguhunath Rao Maratha, he marched towards Bharatpur and besieged the fort. After a seige of three months, the Jats made up their mind to perform 'Johar' came out and fought to the last man.
The wise Rani Kishori, however, counseled diplomacy in preference to this desperate act. She sent a turban and three leaves of Bel to Jiyaji Rao Maratha. The symbolic implication of this gift was well understood by the Maratha Chief and this created a sensation in the Maratha Gamp.
They prepared to fulfill their obligations towards Rani Kishori. This led to a suspicion amongst Mughals that Raja Suraj Mal had conspired with Marathas and that is why they could not capture the fort. Ghazi Uddin requested the Emperor to send heavy artillery. Suraj Mal had anticipated this reaction, and had got a message through to the Emperor that Ghazi Uddin had evil motives against him, and he should not part with the artillery in his own interest.
The emperor got suspicious, gave orders at once against the movement of artillery out of Delhi, and hurriedly proceeded to Aligarh to get additional recruitment for his army to guard against Ghazi Uddin. Ghazi Uddin had perforce to retire from Bharatpur.
Suraj Mal was son of Badan Singh. All the authorities other than Wendel, do not express any doubt about the parentage of Suraj Mal. They clearly mention him as the son of Badan Singh. Sudan  and Somnath , , who had personal acquaintance with the Jat affairs, mention him as the eldest son of Badan Singh. The author of Tarikh-i-Ahmad Shahi, also a contemporary of Suraj Mal , mentions Badan Singh as the father of Suraj Mal. Giving full details, Fransoo, an authority weightier than Wendel, tells us that Suraj Mal was Badan singh’s eldest son, born of Rani Devki of Jat family from Kama. . Several other sources also confirm this view. , , , 
Maharaja Suraj Mal was about 55 years old at the time of his death. ,  He had virtually exercised the sole management of the affairs of the state of Bharatpur for over twenty years before and after the death of Badan Singh. Of the said 14 Queens of Suraj Mal , the names of 6 have been authentically told to us by Fransoo . He enumerates them as below:
- Rani Kishori, the daughter of Chowdhary Kashi Ram Jat of Hodal.
- Rani Hansia, the daughter of Chowdhary Rati Ram Jat of Salempur Kalan. She died childless.
- Ganga Rani, who hailed from a village Bichawindi, and was the mother of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- Kalyani Rani, who came from the village Nahani Jhansi and was the mother of Maharaja Nahar Singh.
- Rani Gauri, who originated from Gori Rajput clan of Amahand and was mother of Jawahar Singh and Ratan Singh.
- Rani Khattu, who was the khas wife of Suraj Mal.
According to Qanungo, from his four wives, he left five sons: Jawahar Singh, Ratan Singh, Nawal Singh, Ranjit Singh and Nahar Singh. The first two were born of a lady, popularly reputed to have been a Rajputni, possibly of Gaurua caste, the third was son of a Malin (gardener class) mother, the last two were born of his own tribe. But the mother of none of these enjoyed the particular affection of the old Raja, who loved most dearly his masculine and barren wife the famous queen Maharani Kishori. Jawahar Singh was fortunate enough to be adopted by this lady, whose influence and affection shielded the rebellious youth from the worst effects on the wrath of his father. 
Rise of Jat power
In the early 17th century, the farmers of Bharatpur were being terrorized and ill treated by the Mughals. At this point of time Churaman, a powerful Jat village headman rose against this tyranny but was defeated harshly by the Mughals. This did not remain for long, since the Jats once again came together under the leadership of Badan Singh, and controlled a vast expanse of territory. The Mughal emperor recognized him and the title of "Raja" (king) was conferred upon him in 1724.
Deeg was the first capital of the Bharatpur state with Badan Singh being proclaimed its ruler in 1722. He was responsible for conceiving and constructing the royal palace on the southern side of the garden, now called Purana Mahal or old palace. Because of its strategic location and proximity to Mathura and Agra, Deeg was vulnerable to repeated attacks by invaders. In 1730, crown prince Suraj Mal is reported to have erected the strong fortress with towering walls and a deepwater moat with high ramparts about 20 feet wide in the southern portion of the town. In the same year he built the fortress at Kumher.
Raja Badan Singh's heir, Raja Suraj Mal, was the most famous of the Bharatpur rulers, ruling at a time of constant upheaval around him. Raja Surajmal used all his power and wealth to a good cause, and built numerous forts and palaces across his kingdom, one of them being the Lohagarh (iron) Fort, which was one of the strongest ever built in Indian history. The inaccessible Lohagarh Fort could withstand repeated attacks of British forces led by Lord Lake in 1805 when they laid siege for over six weeks. Having lost over 3000 soldiers, the British forces had to retreat and strike a compromise with the Bharatpur ruler. Of the two gates in the fort, one in the north is known as Ashtdhaatu (eight metalled) gate while the one facing the south is called Chowburja (four-pillared) gate.
Maharaja Suraj Mal had to deal with both Maratha power and the Mughal power. He could increase his power by defeating both with his tactfull plans. First of all he conquered the site of Bharatpur from Khemkaran Sogaria, the son of Rustam, in the year 1732 and established the Bharatpur town in the year 1743. Bharatpur state continued its growth.
Chandaus War 1746
The Chandaus War was in important event in the career of Maharaja Suraj Mal. Chandaus town is in Aligarh district. In 1745, the Delhi Mughal Badsah Muhammad Shah became angry with Nawab Fateh Ali Khan of koīl (Aligarh), so to punish him Badsah sent an Afghan Chieftain Asad Khan. Fateh Ali Khan expected loss and insult in war with Asad Khan, so he sought help of Maharaja Suraj Mal. In the month of november 1745, hardly a month had passed for Suraj Mal and it was his first opportunity to take independent decisions in matters of external political and army affairs. Suraj Mal assured Fateh Ali Kha to help and sent an army under command of his son and later he himself moved to koīl (Aligarh). When Asad Khan attacked koīl (Aligarh) in early 1746, war took place at Chandaus in which Asad Khan was killed and the royal army was defeated. Thus with the active help and strength of Suraj Mal, Fateh Khan could save his jagir. This war helped in increasing the power of Bharatpur state.  
Battle of Bagru 20 August 1748
Maharaja Suraj Mal developed friendly relations with Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur, who loved him like son. Raja Jai Singh died on 21 September 1748. After Sawai Jai Singh, there was a family dispute between his two sons Ishwari Singh and Madho Singh. Suraj Mal supported claim of the elder son Ishwari Singh on the throne. Younger son Madho Singh also put forward his claim for the throne and he was supported by Maharana Udaipur Jagat Singh. A war started between two brothers at place called Jahajpur in the end of 1748, which ended up in the victory of Ishwari Singh in March 1748. 
After a peace of one year the Jaipur state's family dispute reached the peak. The Niwai expedition of Peshwa in May 1748 resulted into Ishwari Singh's agreeing to provide four parganas to Madho Singh. Meanwhile on receiving a message from Ishwari Singh Suraj Mal reached Jaipur with an army of 10000 and advised Ishwari Singh to ignore Peshwa's agreement. Holker then moved to attack Jaipur. Madho Singh was supported by Marathas, Rathors, Sisodia, Hada, Khichi and Panwar rulers. 
There was a front of seven rulers against Ishwari Singh, but Jat army under the leadership of Maharaja Suraj Mal faced the supporters of Madho Singh, the combined forces of Marathas, Mughals and Rajputs in Bagru War that started on 20 August 1748. The war continued for thee days in heavy rains. Jaipur army's harawal was led by Sikar thakur Shiv Singh Shekhawat, who was killed by Gangadhar Tantya on second day. Maharaja Suraj Mal himself took the leadership of Jaipur harawal on third day. Suraj Mal fought the war with great courage and hacked himself 50 and wounded 160 enemies. He converted almost sure defeat of Ishwari Singh to a victory.  Thus in 1749 he established Ishwari Singh on the throne of Amber. This war enhanced the reputation of Maharaja Suraj Mal in the entire country, because he defeated Shishodias, Rathors, Chauhans and Marathas all together. 
- "नहीं जाटनी ने सही व्यर्थ प्रसव की पीर
- जन्मा उसके गर्भ से सूरजमल सा वीर"
Translation - The Jatni did not bear the labour pain in vain, she gave birth to a brave warrior like Suraj Mal.
Treaty with Mir Bakshi (1st January 1750)
Delhi Badsah was worried by the rising power of Jats of Bharatpur, as Jats had occupied Faridabad. Ahmadshah gave the Jagir of Faridabad to wajir Safdar Jang. The new wajir advised Balram Singh, who had occupied Palwal and Faridabad paraganas and Suraj Mal to leave the shahi parganas but they ignored it. At the same time Mir Bakshi Salabat Khan also left for the Marwar expedition. In November 1749, Safdar Jang and Mir Bakshi planned to attack Maharaja Suraj Mal from different directions and sent a message to Suraj Mal to leave Faridabad for them. Suraj Mal was not moved by this proposal. Wajir Safdar Jang thought it wastage of time and money to do war with Suraj Mal, so he decided to be friendly with Suraj Mal. They wanted help of Suraj Mal to defeat Farrukhabad’s Vangash Pathan. Suraj Mal assured them to help and got faujdari of Mathura in exchange. 
Mir Bakshi attacked Mewat to destroy Nimrana fort of Suraj Mal and occupied it on 30 December 1749. After this Mir Bakshi moved to Agra rather than Narnaul and stayed near Saray Shobh Chand. On 1 January 1750 Suraj Mal could know the objective of Mir Bakshi Salabat Khan, so he moved towards his camp. The army of Suraj Mal with 5000 Jat soldiers seized the army of Mir Bakshi. The Gohad ruler, Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana, with 200 sawars also joined him. Hakim Khan and Rustam Khan along with many mughal soldiers were badly killed. The supply of water, food and other communications were blocked and Mir Bakshi was forced to do the treaty with Maharaja Suraj Mal. 
Mir Bakshi Salabat Khan signed the following treaty with Suraj Mal through Fateh Ali Khan:
- No person of Mir Bakshi will cut people tree in their country.
- No temple in this area will be insulted and no objection will be raised regarding worship oh Hindus.
- Shuraj Mal took the responsibility that he would get Rs 15 lakh peshkash from Rajputs of Ajmer Subah. Provided Mir Bakshi takes oath that he would not cross Narnaul.
Ghaserā War 1753
The friendship of Suraj Mal with wajir Safdarjand paid him the dividends. On 20 October 1752 Suraj Mal appeared before the samrat with wajir and he was awarded with the title of 'Kunwar Bahadur Rajendra' and his father Badan Singh as 'Raja Mahendra'. In December wajir gave Suraj Mal the Faujdari of Mathura and shahi jagir on Khalsa land. Thus Suraj Mal could legalize his possession over the shahi areas with the support of wajir.
In the early 1753, wajir cunsulted Suraj Mal to punish faujdar Bahadur Singh Bargujar of Koil, as both were suspecious of his friendship. They decided to attack Koil. Wajir obtained shahi orders and handed over the leadership of this expedition to Suraj Mal.  Suraj Mal moved from Delhi for the war in first week of February 1753. Jawahar Singh joined him after crossing Yamuna. Suraj Mal attacked Aligarh on 10 February and brought under his reign. Faujdar Bahadur Singh had to take shelter in his ancestral fort at Ghasera. , 
Suraj Mal consulted his four Generals - Surati Ram Gaur, Bharath Singh, Daulat Ram and Kripa Ram Gujar about strategy to deploy the army to seize the Ghasera fort. The north front was led by Jawahar Singh, south front by Bakshi Mohan Ram, Sultan Singh and Vir Narain. Balu Ram was asked to be ready for any front. Suraj Mal himself with a gun-army of 5000 and artillery led the eastern front with his mama Sukh Ram, Maidu ruler Ratan Singh, Mir Muhammad Panah, Gokul Ram Gaur, Ram Chandra Tomar, Hari Nagar and other chiefs.  
On the other-side Rao Bahadur Singh was ready with 8000 soldiers, sufficient food and weapons. On the first day of war, Rao had to retreat back on the eastern front. His brother Jalim Singh and son Ajit Singh were wounded. Rao returned to fort and started intensive artillery attack from inside the fort. Suraj Mal instructed his beldars to dig out the trenches and shift the army fronts to the outer boundary. The war continued for many days.  
Due to the severity of war and its probability of continuing for longer period, Rao Bahadur Singh, under pressure of his people sent his wounded brother for negotiation with Suraj Mal. Suraj Mal put a proposal to leave the front on the condition of paying Rs 10 lakhs along with entire artillery to be handed over to him. The stubborn Rao did not agree to hand over cannons. Meanwhile Jalim Singh died. After few days Suraj Mal again tried for negotiations but could not succeed. Suraj Mal then ordered severe attack from all sides. A severe war took place on the night of 22 April 1753. Next day Mir Muhammad Panah along with 1500 jat soldiers were killed but Jat army could enter the fort. Bahadur Singh decided for the jauhar, he massacred all the women in the fort. Rao Bahadur Singh along with his son Ajit Singh and the soldiers fought the decisive war. The court poet Sudan of Suraj Mal, who was eye witness of the war, has described about their bravery impartially.  Rao Bahadur Singh along with his son Ajit Singh fought till last moment and were killed on 23 April 1753 and the fort of Ghasera was captured by Suraj Mal.  
Capture of Delhi (10 May 1753)
Maharaja Suraj Mal fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. He started living in Bharatpur in year 1753. Maharaja Suraj Mal attacked Delhi on May 9, 1753. He defeated Nawab of Delhi Ghazi-ud-din (second) on May 10, 1753 and captured Delhi. The attack of Jats in Old Delhi and nearby areas frightened the people and started running to New Delhi for the protection of life and property. The army of Badsah could not protect them. On 13 May samrat removed Safdarjang from the post of wajir and appointed Intijam as new wajir along with Imad as Mirbakshi. On the advise of Suraj Mal Safdarjang, in counter action, appointed Akbar Ādilshāh, said to be grandson of Kāmbaksh, as samrat of Delhi. On 14 May Jats sacked Chārbāg, Bāg-e-kultāt and Hakīm Munīm Bridge. They sacked Jaisinghpura on 15 May and burnt many areas. On 16 May Jats attacked Delhi ferociously and defeated Sādil Khan and Raja Devidatta in a severe war. On 17 May their army could capture Firojshah Kotla. In a severe war with Ruhelas Najib was wounded and 400 Ruhela soldiers were killed.
The Nawab of Delhi, in revenge of the defeat, instigated Marathas to attack Suraj Mal. The Marathas laid siege over the Kumher fort on January 1, 1754. Suraj Mal fought with bravery and gave strong resistance. The Marathas could not conquer the Kumher fort.
Jat-Maratha Treaty (18 May 1754)
The Marathas had attacked Kumher Fort on 20 January 1754 AD. They besieged the Kumher Fort till 18 May 1754. The war continued for about four months. During the war Khande Rao Holkar, son of Malhar Rao, was one day inspecting his army in an open palanquin, when he was fired from in side the fort and a cannonball hit him and he was killed on 17 March 1754. Malhar Rao got very angry on the death of his only son and wanted to take revenge and vowed that he would cut off the head of Maharaja Suraj Mal and throw the soil of fort into Yamuna after destroying it. Marathas increased the pressure and Suraj Mal defended peacefully. Suraj Mal was alone and no other ruler was ready to help him. At this moment Maharaja Suraj Mal counseled Maharani Kishori, who assured him not to worry and started the diplomatic efforts. She contacted Diwan Roop Ram Katara. She knew that there is a strong enmity between Malhar Rao Holkar and Jayappa Sindhia and that Jayappa Sindhia was very firm in determinations. She advised Maharaja Suraj Mal to take advantage of mutual differences within Marathas. Diwan Roop Ram Katara was a friend of Jayappa Sindhia. She requested Diwan Roop Ram Katara to take letter of Maharaja Suraj Mal with a proposal of a treaty. Jayappa Sindhia assured to assist and contacted Raghunath Rao. Raghunath Rao in turn advised Holkar for treaty with Suraj Mal. Malhar Rao Holkar assessed the situation and consented for treaty due to fear of isolation and severe war. This led to a treaty between both rulers on 18 May 1754. This treaty proved very beneficial for Maharaja Suraj Mal. 
Abdali's Campaign Against Jats
The Marathas were defeated by Afghan armies at the Third Battle of Panipat and a hundred thousand Maratha survivors reached Suraj Mal's territory while returning south, sans arms, sans clothes and sans food. Maharaja Suraj Mal and Maharani Kishori received them with tender warmth and hospitality, giving free rations to every Maratha solder or camp follower. The wounded were taken care of till they were fit to travel. Thus, Maharaja Suraj Mal spent no less than three million rupees on their sick and wounded guests.
After the defeat of Marathas in war with Ahmadshah Abdali, the treatment given to the Marathas by Bharatpur state angered Abdali. Abdali demanded Rs. One crore from Suraj Mal as a penalty for helping his enemies. Suraj Mal was not ready to give this huge amount to Abdali and make him more powerful, so he decided to have war with Abdali.
On 2 February 1760, Abdali moved to Bharatpur against Suraj Mal and seized Deeg fort on 2 February 1760. Suraj Mal played a trick. One group of Maratha forces was sent to Rewadi, another towards Bahadurgarh and third group of Jat force was sent towards Aligarh. Jat Army looted Aligarh on 17 March 1760 and destroyed its fort. Abdali was forced to remove the capture of Deeg fort. He followed Marathas through Mewat. Holkar had also become friendly to Suraj Mal. Holkar was defeated at Sikandra and came to Bharatpur for refuge. 
The prelude to Panipat
India held her breath in painful suspense for the last six months of the year 1760. A struggle between the foreign Afghan invader and the Maratha for ascendancy in Northern India was given the appearance of a great communal and religious war by the Durrani and the Peshwa. Agents of Peshwa visited the court of every Hindu prince of Rajputana, but received a cold reception and evasive replies.  Right from the start the Maratha commander attempted to win over allies. He wrote, though in vain, to the various Hindu and Muslim chiefs, seeking their help in banishing the invader. ,  The Sarva Khap Panchayat of the upper Doab, however, responded to this call. 
Jats Join Bhau
After his arrival on the bank of the Chambal, the Bhau sent a high-flown letter to Raja Suraj Mal, requesting him to come without delay to the Maratha camp and unite . Raja Suraj Mal, however, suspected treachery and hence hesitated to visit the Maratha camp till the Malhar Rao Holkar and Sindhia furnished personal oaths and solemn assurances concerning his safety.  They persuaded him to meet the Bhau at Agra. Suraj Mal went to the Maratha camp and was honourably received by the Bhau and other Maratha generals. Bhau, in person, advanced two miles to welcome his only as well as an important ally (Suraj Mal). The renewed pledge followed, Bhau taking the Yamuna’s water in his hands as a solemn proof of his alliance with Jat Raja. The wazir held a conference with Bhau through the mediation of Suraj Mal. , , , , , , , , ], , 
From Agra they marched together to Mathura where the sight of Abdun Nabi’s mosque inflamed the anger of the Bhau. He turned upon Suraj Mal and said to him
- “You profess to be a Hindu; but how is that you have kept this mosque standing so long?”
Suraj Mal mildly replied:
- “Maharaj! Of late, the Royal fortune of Hindustan has become fickle in her favour like a courtesan; to-night she is in the arms of one man and next in the embrace of another. If I could be sure that I should remain master of these territories all through my life, I would have leveled this mosque down to the earth. But of what use will it be, if I to-day destroy this mosque, and tomorrow the Musalmans come, and demolish the great temples and build four mosques in place of one? As your Excellency has come to these parts the affair is now in your hands.” 
Everything went well for a few days and it was all love and cordiality between the Jats and the Marathas. But coolness soon sprang up owing to difference of opinion as to the plan of campaign against Abdali. The Maratha commander-in-chief called a council of war at Agra, and there, Suraj Mal was asked to give his opinion as to the proper method to be followed in impending campaign. The Jat chief emphasized caution and reflection in conducting the war against a mighty and clever enemy like the Abdali. He proposed that the ladies, the heavy equipage, big guns, and such other things, which were of little use in the present struggle, should be dispatched to Jhansi, Gwalior or any of his ‘four iron like forts’. The line of supplies should be kept safe and open. The provisions, he ensured, could be produced from Jat country. He advised to carry on an irregular warfare with light cavalry (jang-i-kazzaqana) against the Shah, and not encounter him in pitched battles after the manner of kings and emperors (jung-i-Sultani). He further advised the Bhau that one of the army should be sent towards the east, another towards Lahor, so that by devastating those countries, the supply of grain to the army of Durrani may be cut off and also create a diversion and thus force his Indian allies to desert Abdali. When the rainy season will arrive both sides will be unable to move from their places and at last the Shah, who will be in a disadvantageous position (in comparison with us), will of himself become distressed and return to his own country. The Afghans thus disheartened, would submit to your power. , 
All the chiefs of the Maratha army having praised his plan declared with one voice that this was their opinion too. But the arrogant Bhau looked upon this mode of fighting as unworthy of a prince like himself – the cousin of the Peshwa. He regarded this advice as an outcome of senility of Holkar and other aged chiefs and stupidity of the Jat upstart. Suraj Mal’s enthusiasm for his Maratha allies somewhat cooled down and an injurious misunderstanding was avoided only by the tact of other Maratha chiefs. 
Raja Suraj Mal, accompanied by Ghazi-ud-din, joined the Bhau with 8000 Jats. The allied army reached Delhi on 23 July 1760 and laid siege to it.  Ghazi-ud-din threw himself into the task of capturing the city with his characteristic energy and resourcefulness. When the imperial capital fell, he had his revenge upon the Mughals (i.e.Abdalis) and the Marathas their plunder. So much booty fell into their hands, that none remained poor among them.  Ghazi-ud-din brought out of the imperial seraglio a prince of the royal line, seated him on the throne, restored order in the city, and for the first few days discharged the duties of the wazir, which office was believed by all to have naturally reverted to him. But the Bhau suddenly signified his unwillingness to recognize Ghazi-ud-din as wazir. He conferred the title of Raje Bahadur upon Naro Shankar, appointed him with the office of wazir. Raja Suraj Mal’s word was violated and he strongly represented against it. 
The folly and perversity of Bhau did not stop here. The gilded silver ceiling of the Diwan-i-khas, beautifully inlaid with jewels, attracted the greedy eye of the rude southerner. He decided to strip it off and melt to pay the daily wages of his troops and in its place make a roof of wood. Having first decided he called Sindhia, Holkar and Suraj Mal to hear their advice about it. Suraj Mal advised:
- “Bhau Sahib! This room of the emperor’s throne is a place of dignity and veneration. Even Nadir Shah and Ahmad shah Durrani, who had laid their grasp upon many a precious thing of the imperial palace, spared this ceiling. The emperor and the amirs are now in your hands. We shall not see this (disfiguring of the place) with our own eyes. It can bring us no credit but only the odium of disloyalty. To this humble prayer of mine about it today, you should kindly pay due consideration. If you are short of funds, you have only to order me. I am ready to pay you five lakhs of Rupees for sparing the ceiling.” 
The Bhau paid no heed to these words, thinking that he would get more by melting the ceiling. This heartless act of vandalism was committed under the orders of the Bhau the ceiling was taken down and weighed; but to his great disappointment the bullion was found only worth three lakhs of Rupees. Suraj Mal could restrain himself no longer; he went to the Bhau and bursting with honest indignation said:
- “Bhau Sahib? You have destroyed (the sanctity of) the throne while I am present here, and thereby brought odium upon me (as well). Whenever I make any request on any affair, you disregard and reject it. We at heart profess to be Hindus. Do you attach this much importance to Jamuna’s water which you touched (as solemn proof of your alliance with me)?” , 
In October 1760, the Bhau having decided to march against the Nawab of Kunjupura, summoned his chiefs, Holkar, Sindhia, Suraj Mal and others to consult them. Suraj Mal took this opportunity to vent his embittered feelings and with great bluntness said to the Bhau:
- “You have taken off the silver ceiling against our wishes. Replace to its former position… Give back to Ghazi-ud-din the office of wazir, which of right belongs to him. Sindhia, Holkar and I are all embarrassed on this account, and our honour and good name have been affected by it. From this time, be kind enough to give greater consideration to our little requests. In that case you can consider me and my resources at your disposal. I shall continue to help and supply you with provisions as before. You should not leave Delhi. Mature your plans from this place…It is not advisable to be now entangled in affair of Kunjpura.” , 
- “What, have I come from the south relying on your strength? I will do what I like. You may stay here or go back to your own place. After overthrowing the Abdali, I shall come to reckoning with you.” 
Bhau, however, differed sharply. He struck to the entrenched mode of warfare through heavy artillery and feet musketeers of his favourite gardi without appreciating that this system had yet to be synthesized with the traditional Maratha mode to yield the intended results., 
G.C.Dwivedi writes that equally sagacious was Suraj Mal’s insistence on keeping a firm base at Delhi. Impliedly it meant that the line of communication should not be lengthened and that continuous supplies be vigilantly ensured. The real implications of ignoring it were seen later on.  Keene observes that had the advice of Suraj Mal been followed the resistance to the Abdali would have been more successful and the whole history of Hindustan far otherwise, than what it has since been. , , , , , , 
Suraj Mal’s withdrawal from Bhau’s camp
Suraj Mal, greatly disgusted and mortified, left the assembly and returned to his place, cursing his own folly in coming to the Maratha camp. Sindhia and Holkar had pledged their word of honour for the safety of Suraj Mal. These two chiefs, now greatly concerned, met secretly and thus deliberated:
- “We have brought the Jat chief Suraj Mal here by pledging our word of honour to him; the design of the Bhau is very bad. Balwant Rao and the Bhau have secretly planned to arrest Suraj Mal Jat, imprison and plunder his camp. Suraj Mal must be any how sent away in safety, so that the blame of faithlessness may not be laid on us. Let the master (the Bhau) do what he can (to punish us) on this account.”
Having deliberated thus, they sent for Rupram Katara, the vakil of Suraj mal and advised him “Do flee from this place tonight by any means. The encampment of Bhau Sahib lies at a distance: without letting him know it, slip out in silence. The pledge of honour between you and us is thus redeemed; say not a single word to us after this.” 
Rupram Katara came back to the Jat camp and explained the whole situation to his master Raja Suraj Mal. When three hours of night remained, the Jats silently struck their tents, packed their baggage, and marched off, with the connivance of Sindhia and Holkar, in the direction of Ballabgarh, the nearest Jat stronghold, 22 miles to the south of Delhi. Suraj Mal safely reached Ballabgarh; the Maratha troops who went in pursuit came back after plundering some bazaars and the Bhau bit his lip in anger.  Suraj Mal left the Maratha camp on 2nd August according to H.R.Gupta  but according to J.N.Sarkar on 3rd August. 
Panipat and its Sequel
The defeat of Marathas at Panipat was not an accident but a foregone conclusion. The Bhau had made an enemy of the only powerful Hindu Raja who had come to serve him loyally and placed all his resources at the disposal of the Marathas. The value of Suraj Mal’s adherence had hitherto been hardly appreciated by Bhau; but one day’s hostility of the Jat brought him to senses. Raja Suraj Mal, accompanied by Ghazi-ud-din Imad-ul-mulk, marched away to Tughlaqabad; grain became very dear (at Delhi), and next day the Marathas went to make a compromise with and pacify Imad-ul-mulk and Suraj Mal. [Waqa, p.178] A large tract of the country about Delhi had been so completely ruined by constant ravages, that the Durrani became dependent on the country of Ruhelas for his supplies and the Maratha army drew theirs from Suraj Mal’s kingdom. The foolishness and treachery of the Bhau now dried up this inexhaustible source. So it is no wonder that the Marathas had to fight on an empty stomach at Panipat. 
Raja Suraj Mal’s position was so conspicuous and his attitude so important that even his neutrality was considered by both parties as worth securing. He could not be persuaded to join the Maratha again. He thanked his priest Rupram for his recent escape. The vigilant Abdali at once seized this opportunity to make an attempt to win over Suraj Mal. He knew that it was more easy for him to beat the Maratha army than to capture the Jat strongholds, and that his enemies could not be decisively crushed till they had been deprived of such an impregnable base of operations as country of Suraj Mal. He had several times tried without success to detach the Jat Raja from the Marathas. He now opened the fresh negotiations with the Jat Raja, through Nawab Shuja-ud-daula. Raja Devi Dutt, Ali Beg (of Georgia), and others came, on behalf of Shuja-ud-daula to the Jat for negotiating the terms of a compromise. The Jat agreed to it, wore the khilat sent by Shuja-ud-daula and the Shah, and exchanged oaths. The practical result of this treaty was to ensure only the neutrality of Raja Suraj Mal, but not his active assistance on the Afghan side. Inspite of the harsh treatment of the Bhau, the sympathy of Suraj Mal continued to be with the Marathas. He entered into this alliance with the Abdali only to provide against an emergency, and because complete isolation was too dangerous for any state in then prevailing political condition of India. 
After the fearful wreck of the magnificent Maratha army at Panipat (14 January 1761), the survivors fled southwards. In their hour of misfortune, the very peasants stripped them of their arms, property and clothes. Naked and destitute the Maratha soldiers entered the country of the Jats, who welcomed them to their hospitable doors and provided medicine, clothes and food for their relief. If Suraj Mal had not forgotten the wrongs done to him by the Marathas, and befriended them in their hour of adversity, very few of them would have crossed the Narmada to tell the woeful tale of Panipat to the Peshwa. And this he did at the imminent risk of incurring the enmity of the Abdali staking his life and fortune at the impulse of a pious and noble sentiment which would have done honour to the stoutest heart of Rajputana in her heroic days.  All Muslim writers ,  extol the generosity of Suraj Mal: The Maratha writers also acknowledge this. At Mathura they entered the territory of the Jats. Suraj Mal, impelled by the Hindu religious sentiment sent out his troops to protect them, and relieved their distress in every way by distributing food and clothes to them.  At Bharatpur was the Jat queen Maharani Kishori, who showed much charity to the fugitives. Thirty to forty thousand men were fed here for eight days; the Brahmans being given milk, peda, and other sweetmeats. For eight days all were entertained in great comfort. A proclamation was made to the citizens that quarters and food were to be given to the fugitives in the manner most convenient to each. None was to be put to trouble. In this way the Jat spent altogether ten Lakhs of Rupees. Many men were thus saved.  Shamsher Bahadur came wounded to the fort of Kumher; Suraj Mal tended him with the utmost care; but he died in grief for the Bhao. . After relieving their distress, and pacifying their hearts, Suraj Mal gave one Rupee in cash, a piece of cloth and one seer of grain to every ordinary man (common soldier and camp followers), and sent them to Gwalior  , 
Capture of Agra Fort (12 June 1761)
Agra was the richest town during those. Maharaja Suraj Mal decided to capture Agra fort to re-establish his influence in doab region. On 3 may 1761 the Jat army of Suraj Mal with 4000 Jat soldiers reached Agra under the command of Balram Singh and gave the massage of Maharaja Suraj Mal to the kiledar (incharge) of Agra fort that the army wants to cross Jamuna and needs camping place. The kiledar gave the sanction for camping. Meanwhile the Jat army started entering the fort, which was resisted by the guards in which 200 people died. Jat army started war from Jamamasjid. During this period Maharaja Suraj Mal stayed at Mathura to observe the situations. On 24 May 1761 Maharaja Suraj Mal along with Imād and Gangadhar Tantya moved from Mathura, crossed Jamuna and reached Aligarh. From Aligarh his army moved and captured the areas of Jat ruler koīl and Jalesar. They reached Agra to help his army at Agra in the first week of June. Maharaja Suraj Mal arrested the family members of the guards staying in Agra town and pressurized the guards of fort for surrender. At last the kiledar agreed to surrender by receiving a bribe of Rs 1 lakh and jagir of five villages. Thus after a seize of one month Maharaja Suraj Mal captured Agra Fort on 12 June 1761 and it remained in the possession of Bharatpur rulers till 1774. 
After Maharaja Suraj Mal, Maharaja Jawahar Singh, Maharaja Ratan Singh and Maharaja Kehri Singh (minor) under residentship of Maharaja Nawal Singh ruled over Agra Fort. There is a haveli in the name Maharaja Nawal Singh in Agra Fort and also a Chhatri of Maharaja Jawahar Singh built in right-side of Khasmahal near the Chhatri of Rosanara-Jahanara.,
Maharaja Suraj Mal died on 25 December 1763 in war with Najib-ud-dola. At the time of his death Maraja Suraj Mal's Empire included Agra, Dholpur, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Etah, Meerut, Rohtak, Faruqnagar, Mewat, Rewari, Gurgaon and Mathura. He was succeeded to the throne by his son, Maharaja Jawahar Singh.
Suraj Mal’s Conquest of Haryana
The battle of Panipat was followed by a comparative calm – a quiet of exhaustion; Northern India at least ceased for some time to be the battle-field of the Afghan and the Maratha. Panipat had only shattered the extravagant dream of the Marathas but brought no permanent peace to Islam. The moment the Maratha was overthrown, the Jat came in and challenged her victorious champion who, weary and exhausted, shrank from the contest and retired beyond the Indus. The stubborn Jat courage revived confidence in the prostrated Hindu mind, and Islam was again thrown on the defensive. 
Suraj Mal wanted to seize these few moments of his enemies respite for carrying out his two-fold object which he had long in view; first to interpose a solid block of a Jat confederacy between the Abdali and the Ruhelas, extending from Ravi to the Jamuna; secondly to expel Najib-ud-daula from Delhi, restore his protégé the ex-wazir Ghazi-ud-din to his former position and power, and control the policy of empire through him. But he decided not to attack Delhi first but simply cover it during his contemplated campaign. He sought the expansion of his dominion in the tract of Haryana dominated by powerful Muslim jagirdars and the districts around Delhi, mainly inhabited by the Jats. 
Suraj Mal was active in annexations in the following two years 1762 and 1763. Suraj Mal sent his eldest son Jawahar Singh to conquer Haryana while another army was sent under his youngest son Nahar Singh ,  to establish his authority in Doab, and watch the movement of the eastern Ruhela chiefs.
The Jat Attack on Farrukhnagar
Towards the end of 1763, arose a quarrel between the Jats and the Baloch. The expansionist ambitions of the former and the latter’s unfriendly policy towards the Jats formed the general background of this event. 
Jawahar Singh directed his attack upon Farrukhnagar, held by a powerful Baloch chief, Musavi Khan. But he having failed to capture it, Suraj Mal himself came and laid siege to strong fort of Farrukhnagar in October, 1763, with all his forces and big artillery. Two months passed away and Musavi Khan being hard pressed, consented to surrender it if Suraj Mal would take an oath on the Ganges water not to hinder his departure. ,  But the Jat on this occasion made the same unscrupulous use of the sanctity of the Ganges as that of the Quran by some Muslim rulers. The Baloch chief was made a prisoner and sent to Bharatpur. Thus, after a siege of two months, the fort of Farrukhnagar, along with all its effects came in the Jat possession on about 12 December 1763. 
Garhi Harsaru, Rewari and Rohtak had already fallen into the hands of Suraj Mal. He now turned his arms against Bahadurgarh, about 12 kos to the west of Delhi, the strong-hold of another powerful Baloch chief Bahadur Khan. In his distress, the Baloch chief appealed for help to Najib-ud-daula, who however judged it inexpedient to provoke a war with Suraj Mal, before the arrival of the Abdali. 
By the year 1763, the Jat power under Suraj Mal had reached such a glorious height, as had never been attained before. ,  Owner of a spacious kingdom, of the richest and overflowing treasury,  and of the most formidable and gallant troops unrivalled in contemporary India, , ,  as Suraj Mal was, little wonder that needy persons like Mir Qasim of Bengal, turned their eyes for help to him. 
Fight between Suraj Mal and Najib
The Baloch incident, in turn, precipitated a clash between Suraj Mal and Najib-ud-daula, both of whom looked with an evil eye at each other. The allies of Najib had succumbed to the Jat stratagem only two days before he could reach Delhi (14 December 1763).  Najib, dreading the tremendous strength of his foe, attempted to placate him more than once. But Suraj Mal was so much annoyed with his conduct that all his efforts proved to be of no avail. , 
The mediators sent by Ruhela chief failed to pacify him. The couriers came back disgusted to Najib on 23 December 1763.  Suraj Mal, leaving Jawahar Singh with a strong garrison at Farrukhnagar, crossed the Yamuna south of Delhi and stayed on the west bank and burnt the villages in neighbourhood of Ghaziabad. Thereafter the Jats returned south of Delhi. The Ruhela chief, on getting this news, marched out of Delhi with his forces and stood in garden of Khizrabad within four miles of the Jat troops. But he repaired to the city without engaging them in a battle. Meanwhile, Suraj Mal, detaching his baggage, again crossed Yamuna and encamped on the other side. ,  making a last minute desperate bid, Najib sent his agents with a present of two pieces of beautiful Multan chintz and a message to Suraj Mal expressing his superiority but a request to go back. This appeal failed to calm down the exasperated Jat Raja who sent a challenging reply on 24 December 1763. The die was caste now. Najib-ud-daula, taking Gulab Singh Gujar, Sayyid Muhammad Khan Baloch (Siyyidu), Afzal Khan, Zaibita Khan and all his troops, less than 10000 in number, crossed the Yamuna two hours before dawn and took post on the west bank of the Hindan, 10 miles south-east of Delhi. Suraj Mal with his army of at least 25000 strong and heavy artillery pulled up opposition to them. Several small engagements occurred in which the Jats displayed their superiority. Cannonading was also resorted to between the two sides which lasted till 3 pm. Thereafter, Suraj Mal tried to surround his foes from three sides, deploying 5000 men to Najib’s rear. About sunset (the same day i.e. Sunday, 25 December 1763),  Suraj Mal while watching the movements of the troops with small retinue, was killed by Siyyidu and his men who most probably lay in ambush for him. As usually happens in such cases, the leaderless Jats, overwhelmed with shock decamped the same night (25-26 December 1763), thereby conceding to Najib-ud-daula “a victory which no one had expected,” The Jesuit observer aptly says that Najib and his men “were victorious without knowing it.” , , , , 
Support to Other Jat Rajas
Even when Suraj Mal was so busily engaged in the affairs to his north and east, he did not forget to respond to the frantic call of his tribesmen. Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana of Gohad, had built a fort at Gohad and enlarged his possessions as a result of which Gohad grew into one of three power centres of the Jat rule (The other two being Bharatpur and Patiala). He had occupied the imperial fort of Gwalior when its commandant preferring him to the waiting Marathas capitulated that fort. This ran contrary to the Maratha ambitions and they besieged Gohad (about June 1755).  Now the local Jats knocked at the doors of their big brethren, the the Jats of Bharatpur, for help and Bhim Singh sent his emissary Fateh Singh to Suraj Mal. The later thus obliged and despatched with Fateh Singh a force of 500 horse and 2000 foot to Gohad. Encouraged by this support, the Jats initially worsted force of 15000 Marathas. But with the arrival of reinforcements, the Marathas ultimately overpowered the Jats. Those perished in the fighting include 125 Jat horsemen. ,  It is relevant here to take note of an important reference in Marathi despatch. Speaking about the Gohad Jats, it refers at one place, that they lay banking upon the support of Suraj Mal. This shows that as in the case of Jat Rai of Ballamgarh, Suraj Mal all along displayed a patronizing attitude towards the Jat Ranas of Gohad as well.  This may account for the grateful Rana ,  as also the Rai often marching in person under the Bharatpur banners. Suraj Mal also displayed similar attitude, among others, towards the Jat chieftains of Bajhor, Kajraura and Karauli as well. Significantly Sudan also makes a casual hint in this direction. 
Death of Suraj Mal
Documents and tradition by no means agree as to the manner of Suraj Mal’s death. Father Wendel, writing within five years of this incident, says,
- “One day Suraj Mal getting news that a large body of the enemy was coming to pounce upon Nahar Singh ( his son and destined successor), who was in that expedition, marched in haste with a few thousand horsemen, to succour him. Unfortunately, in passing through a ditch (nullah) which the river Hindan had left there, he was surprised on both sides by a party of Ruhela infantry – who had been placed in ambush there. By a furious discharge of their muskets ... on the Jats still in disorder, they brought down Suraj Mal with all his retinue who lay there on the plain either slain or wounded“ 
Suraj Mal died on Sunday 25 December 1763 and the event was recorded in the Waqa only two days after its occurrence, i.e. Tuesday. Besides those quoted in the text it contains the following details:
- “ Sayyad Muhammad Khan Baloch cut off the head and hand from the body of the Jat, and brought and kept with himself for two days. After that these were taken to the presence of Nawab Najib-ud-daula. Then only could he believe that Suraj Mal was dead.” 
Qanungo has put a question mark on Suraj Mal’s falling into an ambush as father Wendel has said. He has suggested that it is quite likely that the surprise of the reconnoitring party under Suraj Mal by Najib Khan’s retreating troopes was taken as an ambuscade. But the versions of the father and the author of the Siyar do not tally with that of the Bayan and Waqa-i-Shah Alam Sani. The Bayan says that Suraj Mal led six thousand troops to attack; and according to the Waqa 1000 men died on both sides and Suraj Mal met his death in a rash charge upon enemy’s centre.
Love for art and literature
Maharaja Suraj Mal was a great lover of arts and literature. He had patronized a number of poets in his darbar, the famous ones were Sūdan, Somnath, Akhairaj, Shivram, Kalanidhi, Vrindavandas, Sudhakar, Harvansh etc.
Sūdan was the main court poet of Maharaja Suraj Mal. He was Mathur by caste resident of Mathura and a favourite of the Maharaja. He had accompanied the Maharaja during all important wars and has written historical account in the book named 'Sujān Charitra'.
Somnath alias Shashinath, resident of village Chhichhora near Mathura, had created books namely Sujān Vilās, Brajendra Vinod, Mādhav Vinod, Dhruv Vinod, Shashināth Vinod, Prem Pachisi, Nawabon Vilās, Sangrām Darpan, Rash Piyush Nidhi, Shrangār Vilās, Rāmcharit Ratnākar Rāmkalādhar, Krishna Lilāwati etc under the guidance of Maharaja Suraj Mal. He had appointed Somnath as dānādhyaksha of the state. Poets Somnath and Kalanidhi tranlated entire Ramayana in to Hindi. On request of Suraj Mal, Somnath translated 'singhāsan batisi' to 'Sujān Vilās' and later on he wrote all books for Suraj Mal only. 
Poet Shivrām remained with Suraj Mal from youth period at Kumher and Suraj Mal awarded him Rs. 36000 on his poetry Navadhā bhakti rāgras sār written in year 1735, when Suraj Mal was staying at Kumher. Poet Somnath and Kalanidhi had gone to Wair at that time when Suraj Mal's younger brother Pratap Singh was staying there. Somnath went to Suaj Mal at Deeg after death of Pratap Singh and Kalanidhi stayed at Wair. Both these poets translated entire Ramayana to Hindi at Wair. Kalanidhi, in adition to Hindi translation of three volumes of Ramayana (Bālakānd, Yudhakānd and Uttarkānda), also books like Upanishadsār, Durgā Mahātmya, Rāmagitam, Shrangar Mādhuri and Alankār Kalānidhi. 
Poet Akhai Ram wrote three books namely-Singhāsan Batisi, Vikram Vilās and Sujān Vilās for Suraj Mal. First book was published in 1755. 
Uday Ram produced two books namely- Girivar Vilās and Sujān Samvat. He has described in Girivar Vilās about the first dīpdan ceremony of Suraj Mal in Manasi Ganga River, where he seems to be present himself. Sujān Samvat is collection of historical informations of Suraj Mal like Sujān Charitra. 
Poet Datta's book 'Maharaja Suraj Mal ki krapan' is a unique book of Vīrsāhitya. Mahākavi Dev also came to Bharatpur for patronage. He was there when Deeg fort was being constructed and it is likely that he made 'Sujān Vinod' for Suraj Mal. 
Vrandavandas was also the poet who got patronage of Suraj Mal. in 1756 he was there at the time of attack by Abdali and has described about this severe attack. He wrote the book 'Hari Kalā Veli'. 
Character and achievements of Suraj Mal
Personality of Suraj Mal
In appearance Suraj Mal was taller than usual and robust, of a rather dark complexion and quite fat. He had extremely twinkling and awe-inspiring eyes. His whole physiognomy showed more of fire than what was noticeable in his conduct which was amiable, gentle, generous and considerate. , , ,  ,  He was a loving husband, a doting father, affectionate brother and an obedient son. Though he had several Queens, including the famous Rani Kishori and Rani Hansia, he was not given debauchery and dissipation. His noble act of honourable returning the Maratha ladies captured in raid on Holkar (1754), may show that he always preserved the modesty of women folk. 
The way Suraj Mal unflinchingly stood besides Safdar Jang till the end is indicative of his devotion to his friends, while his treatment of Imad, Muhkam and Holkar suggests his heroic magnanimity towards his bitterest foes – Musavi khan being the lone exception in this regard. Like his father, Suraj Mal did not forget the good done to his own family by Jai Singh of Jaipur. Thus, in spite of his fabulous wealth and great strength, he continued to show his respect to Jaipur ruler, Raja Madho Singh,  till the collusion with Najib apparently made him suspect his motives. 
So great and persistent was the popular trust in his benevolence and humane outlook that multitudinous people along with their valuables and families sought protection in his state in the face of recurrent threats. On one occasion (in 1760), the compassionate Jat spent as much as 10 lakhs of rupees from his pocket in looking after Maratha refugees. 
Suraj Mal, in spite of the change of his former condition and the immense wealth he piled up had not at all given up the primitive simplicity of his race in what concerned his own mode of living. 
Shah Waliullah depicts him as a fanatic and blames him for persecuting Islam and prohibiting “azanand salat” throughout the length and breadth of his domain.  Though true to some extent in the case of his successor,  this view seems to be largely overdrawn and unjust in the case of Suraj Mal. By temperament, he was incapable of such a fanatic conduct. A great centre of Hindu worship, Brij, especially Mathura, had suffered repeated persecution, including the one (1757) in the lifetime of Suraj Mal. Yet, in spite of the deep pangs that this incident caused in his heart, Suraj Mal, even when at the height of his power, did not demolish a single mosque in Mathura and had to bear Bhau’s stinging remarks on that score.  Far from being vindictive, Suraj Mal displayed a great catholicity by constructing a mosque in his own capital in the memory of Shamsher Bahadur, who was half brother of Peshwa and reached Jat State after defeat in Panipat in 1761.  We do not know if any other Hindu prince of the time could boast of it. It is noteworthy, in this context, that Muslims also formed a part of his personal attendants, who stood by their master and laid down their lives for him. 
A great builder
Suraj Mal was a great builder and according to Wendel, spent not lakhs but crores on his magnificent edifices, such as, the truly royal and superb palace of Deeg and gorgeous fort of Bharatpur, both incomparable in Hindustan.  He is credited with building several tanks, arbours and temples in Govardhan, Mathura, Vrindavan and other religious places. Besides, he spent lakhs of rupees in charitable deeds. Numerous religious deeds were performed by them at different places in Brij. Giriraj Govardhan’s importance increased under them and several artistic chhatris were built there along with other buildings. , 
On the one hand, he carried choicest pieces of the Mughal grandeur from Agra to adorn his court and on the other his wealth and will galvanized the un-provided for architects of the impoverished Court of Delhi to the new home of art. Besides, on his forts Suraj Mal spent crores of rupees embellishing Deeg, Bharatpur, Wair and Kumher with enchanting buildings, ponds and gardens. , ,  The author of Imad tells us that some of the buildings were so magnificent that the kind of these could not be found anywhere-not even in Delhi and Agra.  Crowning all these was architecturally sumptuous and superb palace of Deeg, which had been planned and constructed by Suraj Mal on such a gorgeous scale that the work on it did not end even by 1768. A widely traveled eye witness testifies:
- “It is difficult to realize the expanse and magnificence of this palace without seeing it… I have seen none in Hindustan that would surpass it in magnificence, or even would come near to it.” , , 
Military talents and administration
Born in a martial community, Suraj Mal was gifted with a variety of military talents, which vigorously supported his character in his many engagements.  No danger wavered his courage and resolutions as no success filled him with presumption or vanity. He was a gallant soldier, an excellent tactician and a great captain, as his great adversary Najib-ud-Daula himself admitted.  With signs of boldness visible at the very dawn of his career (early thirties), his military fame spread gradually far and wide and even the greatest in the land sought his powerful support. Along with bravery and courage he combined shrewdness, tact and calculation. He displayed a remarkable sense of realism, both in war and politics. He never acted on sudden impulse and set his hand to a task only after great deliberation. 
At the time of death, the standing army under him consisted of 15000 cavalry, 25000 infantry and 300 pieces of cannons.  He also possessed 60 elephants and 5000 horses in his stables.  Apart from it, considering the number of his forts, the garrison posted in them must not have been less than 25000 soldiers, equipped with long and short range cannons and munition. 
The author of Siyar says, Suraj Mal had in his stable twelve thousand horses, mounted by so many picked man, amongst whom on horseback and then wheeling round in order to load under shelter, and these men had by continual and daily practice become so expeditious and so dangerous marksmen, and withal so expert in their evolutions, that there were no troops in India and could pretend to face them in the field. Nor was it thought possible to wage war against such a prince with any prospect of advantage.  , 
The Jat King had a vision to appreciate the innate susceptibilities of his Jat brethren. He presumably knew that it was difficult, if not impossible, for them to shed abruptly or wholly their deep-rooted democratic instinct and sentiments of individual and tribal independence. Therefore he wisely refrained from an abrupt recourse to a despotic system of the Mughal type. Qanungo rightly points out that the Jat government as it stood at Suraj Mal’s death still corresponded to a feudal confederacy with the Jat King as the supreme head. , 
Several changes were effected in the land administration obtaining under Akbar. The pargana of Sahar was split into four parts – Sahar, Shergarh, Kosi and Shahpur. Mangotala was divided into Sonkh and Sonsa. Frah and possibly Mursan, Sahpau and Mant were made parganas about this time. Similar changes were made in several other districts of the kingdom. , 
Full details of the administrative set-up of Suraj Mal are not available. Below the King, who was the fountain head was probably the most powerful grandee, Balram Singh (his brother-in-law), who held the post of Chief Minister. ,  Jiwa Ram held the office of Diwan.  Somnath was the Danadhyaksha (the head of the charity department). The management of the army seems to have been entrusted to several officers, each heading a sub-department. We know the names of two officers, Balram and Mohan Ram, who headed the cavalry and the artillery respectively. Balram Singh was also the faujdar of the capital. , ,  This leads us to believe that there were other faujdars as well. This apart, the posts of Mantri, Bakshi, Kotwal and Qiladar referred to in Sujan Charitra must have continued during the reign of Suraj Mal as well. 
Apart from the strongest band of troops, a network of fairly strong (three of them being impregnable) forts studded with beautiful buildings, richest treasures and a political system commensurate with the Jat instincts and traditions, the “Jat Plato” Suraj Mal handed down a Kingdom “well cultivated, peaceful and out of danger of being suddenly attacked…” , 
Diplomacy of Suraj Mal
Endowed with a cool calculating vision, a profound sense of foresight and an exemplary shrewdness, Suraj Mal’s genius shone forth in the field of diplomacy. Prof. Hari Ram Gupta calls him “the shrewdest diplomat of the time.”  He displayed great adroitness in handling men and matters. Amidst the moments of greatest trial, he exhibited a commendable presence of mind and endurance. In an atmosphere of intrigue and unscrupulous diplomacy, he equally baffled the dissembling Mughal and cunning Marathas,  as also the crafty Abdali and subtle Rajputs. His was a most precarious position indeed for he stood between the two most formidable and hostile powers, the Abdali on the north and the encroaching Marathas on the south. His fabulous treasure was the perennial object of their greed, while his expansionist course and independent existence in the neighbourhood justly annoyed both the Mughals and the Rajputs. In addition, the influential forces of Islamic renaissance were also deadly opposed to him. More than once had the Abdali and Marathas endeavoured to ruin him. Even normally, a potential threat from their side always stared Suraj Mal in his face. 
In such circumstances, the survival of the Jat kingdom itself was a Herculean task. But Suraj Mal mainly by his marvelous diplomatic suppleness; ‘peculiar’ wisdom and heroic fortitude, not only succeeded in thwarting all his enemies but also in increasing his fortunes in face of successive crises. Wendel says that Suraj Mal had the guts to save himself from the Maratha-Durrani exactions when others were being squeezed, to protect his territory against the redoubled Abdali while a number of powerful grandees could not help draining out their own resources by joining him (the Abdali), to ensure peace amidst the prevailing trouble which had engulfed his neighbours, to strengthen his power while others were losing to disentangle himself from the Marathas whose discomfiture he had clearly foreseen, to turn Abdali without a recourse and in a word to become more powerful amidst the common decay. The Jesuit father aptly concludes,
- “I do not know anyone else in Hindustan who could do the same.” 
That was Suraj Mal, the master diplomat of the period. No doubt, Najib-ud-Daula also possessed great diplomatic tact and political sagacity. [Ibid, 67] But main difference between the two lies in the fact that Najib had the powerful patronage of his deliverer, Ahmad Shah Abdali, whereas Suraj Mal solely on his own outwitted both Abdali and the Marathas at one and the same time. In addition, Suraj Mal guaranteed to his kingdom a progress which Najib could not. 
Suraj Mal was an ambitious and powerful man; but his ambition was tempered with caution and self control. Gifted with an instinctive sagacity and strong sense of realism, Suraj Mal fully gasped the realities of the situation and then set his heart upon what was attainable in the field of war and administration. He could perceive the hazards of undue entanglement in far flung areas; so he scrupulously confined his activities to the nearby ethnic Jat areas only. Keeping an eye on the instincts and traditions of his people and combining persuasion with force, he proceeded cautiously to make them acquiesce in the institution of Kingship. Matrimonial relations with important families, grant of appanages to members of the royal family and lands to the other Jat grandees, and the suppression of recalcitrant chiefs, may be appreciated in this light. These Jagirdars remitted revenue to the State Treasury and helped the Raja in the defence of the realm. The stormy situation in northern India, which engrossed Suraj Mal’s attention and his untimely death interrupted the process initiated by him. 
So long as he was alive Suraj Mal commanded the love, respect and admiration of people. [Ibid, 67] Now even though more than two centuries have elapsed since his death, his memory is still alive and green in the heart of his people, who assemble every year (in a fair) at his Samadhi at Shahdara to pay their homage to the great Jat hero. 
Raja Suraj Mal was endowed with all the qualities of a good ruler …. And succeeded by his government in vastly increasing his tenantry and treasure. [Tawarikh-i-hunud (Pers. Ms.) 20a-20b] This was predominantly the result of the patient toil of that Raja. By the time of his death, the Jat State had grown to 200 miles in length (east-west0 and 140 miles in breadth (nort-south), covering a part of the suba of Delhi and three fourths of that of Agra. The Jat Kingdom consisted of the districts of Agra, Mathura, Dholpur, Aligarh, Bulandshahar, parts of Mainpuri, Meerut and Rohtak, Gurgaon and Rewari, besides the original principality of Bharatpur. 
The revenue of Jat State
In consequence of his prudence, skill and administrative ability and the measure of protection guaranteed by him, “peaceful” conditions returned to region under his control after a long period of chaos and anarchy. He attended “so admirably … to the job of zamindar , in increasing the value of the country he had subdued, that his expenses so well that for several years he used to save at least half the annual yield of his dominions, despite the big amounts spent on forts, palaces and markets. , 
As regards the finance of the state, Father Wendel says, “opinions differ on the subject of the treasure and property which he (Suraj Mal) left to his successor. Some estimate it as nine crores, others less. [K.R. Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed. Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p. 96] This does not include jewels and other valuables worth a handsome amount. However, according to popular belief the cash in hand with him ranged between 15 to 20 crores. 
The trade and commerce also thrived owing to the direct and indirect encouragement offered by the administration, Suraj Mal remitted transit duties through his Kingdom. As a result grain became exceedingly cheap.  Similar must have been the case with other commodities. If Suraj Mal constructed royal edifices, he did not forget to order the building of markets. If Imad is to be believed, in Deeg and other places, he built thousands of shops to facilitate the traders ,  Such steps and the peace guaranteed by his benign rule amidst prevailing anarchy attracted the merchants from the outside to the Jat kingdom. Wendel hardly exaggerates in saying:
- “ I admit willingly that the Jats are rich, that if even today there is any treasure in Hindustan, after all damages caused by Nadir Shah, the Abdali and the Marathas, it is amongst the Jats.” , 
The Indian Postal Department released a stamp on Maharaja Suraj Mal on 29 December 2009.
For information in Hindi see महाराजा सूरजमल
- He Ruled In An Age Of Treachery - Article by Ahmed Ali, Times of India Delhi, 16 August 1981
- Surajmal, Marathas and Third Battle of Panipat
- Maharani Kishori
- The Jat Uprising of 1669
- Lohagarh Fort
- History of Bharatpur
- सूदन कवि का सुजान चरित्र
- History of the Jats: Contribution to the History of Northern India (Upto the Death of Mirza Najaf Khan, 1782)/Kalika Ranjan Qanungo
- Maharaja Suraj Mal: K. Natwar Singh
- Maharaja Suraj Mal And His Era (Hindi): Dr. P.C. Chandawat
- Jat-Itihas (Hindi): Dr. Natthan Singh
Back to The Rulers