Bal Ram Sorot
Bal Ram Jat (Sorot) was powerful and trusted Chief who headed the cavalry of Army of Maharaja Suraj Mal in Bharatpur state. He was brother of Rani Kishori, the wife of Maharaja Suraj Mal (1707 - 1763). Rani Kishori daughter of Chaudhary Kashi Ram Sorot of Hodal in Palwal district of Haryana. Balram Jat was brother-in-law of Maharaja Surajmal, who held the post of Chief Minister.
Dr Girish Chandra Dwivedi writes....On the other side of the Yamuna, the Jat rebels had flocked to and fortified various garhis. ...Balram Jat having fled (c. November, 1690) from the Raja's camp made a fort in Mauza Samuna (in parganah Ibrahimabad) his abode and ravaged the nearby mahals. He expelled the local mutsaddis and established his sway over them.
Dr Girish Chandra Dwivedi writes....We know the names of two officers, Balram Jat and Mohan Ram, who headed the cavalry and the artillery respectively. Balram Jat was also the faujdar of the capital.  This leads us to infer that there were other faujdars as well.
Maharaja Suraj Mal saw with alarm the rise of a strong party, headed by his most powerful chiefs, Balram Jat and Mohan Ram Jat and others, who were bent upon opposing with arms, if necessary, the succession of Jawahar Singh.
Administration of Bharatpur state
Dr Girish Chandra Dwivedi writes.... 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. Farah and possibly Mursan, Sahpau and Mant were made parganas about this time. Similar changes were made in several other districts of the kingdom. 20
Unfortunately, the full details of Suraj Mal's administrative set-up have not come down to us. Below the King, wno was the fountain-head, was probably the most powerful grandee, Balram Jat, (his brother-in-law) who held the post of Chief Minister.21 Jiwa Ram held the office of Diwan.22 As already told, Somnath was the Danadhyaksh (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 Jat and Mohan Ram, who headed the cavalry and the artillery respectively. Balram Jat was also the faujdar of the capital. 23 This leads us to infer that there were other faujdars as well. This apart, the posts of Mantri, Bakhshi, Katwal and Qiladar referred to in Sujan Charitra must have continued during the reign of Suraj Mal as well.24
20. Raghubir Singh, Brij., p. 192-193.
21. Sarkar, Fall, II, 469; cf. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.) 45 footnote, 68.
22. Tawankh-i-Hunud (Pers. Ms.), 26a.
23. Nur., 77a Qanungo, Jats, 172; Sarkar, Fall, II, 469.
24. Sujan, 55, 104, 1/2, 194, 219, 220.
Suraj Mal's conquest of the imperial fort of Agra in 1761
Dr Girish Chandra Dwivedi writes.... Finding it opportune, now Suraj Mal despatched a big army (said to be consisting of the incredible figure of 50,000 horses and 1,00,000 foot), under Balram, while he himself stayed on at Mathura. The city and the nearby areas were taken over easily. The first Jat assault on the fort was, however, repulsed by the garrison. The Jats then laid a regular siege, but to capture the impregnable fort by an assault was an uphill task. After plundering the houses under the fort-walls the Jats imprisoned the dependents of the fort garrison, living there. At last, after a siege of less than a month, the fort commandant opened the gates, on being assured Rupees one lakh in cash and five villages for his maintenance. It is estimated that the Jats grabbed
[p.243] 50 lakhs from the place. Large quantities of stores of artillery, gunpowder, balls, furniture and other articles of the royal wardrobe were taken away. The best of the things were carried to Deeg and Bharatpur. Najib, on getting the intelligence of the Jat designs, had earlier planned to move out with Prince Jawan Bakht and to obstruct the Jats. Musavi Khan and Bahadur Khan Billoch had also joined him with a few thousand troops. However, considering his inferiority in men and ammunition, he wisely refrained from confronting the far out-numbering army of the enemy. Thus, a Jat became the master of Agra, the first Capital of the Great Mughals.
Jawahar Singh crushes the refractory chiefs
K.R. Qanungo mentions....After his return from the expedition against Delhi (March, 1765), Raja Jawahar Singh thought it high time to make himself master of his own household first, and to crush the enemies within, before he should indulge in the vision of foreign conquest. He suspected, not without reason, a secret connection between Malhar Rao and his discontented chiefs who had reluctantly accompanied him to Delhi, out of fear and shame. Two old chiefs, Balaram, commander of the cavalry, and Mohan Ram, general of the artillery had almost monopolised all power in the State: the treasure and army of Suraj Mal were in their hands and their relatives occupied all the important public offices. Besides the memory of old
[p.104]: grievances, and their intrigue to set him aside from succession, the idea of getting enriched at one stroke by killing these golden geese entered his mind. The notorious German captain Somru, having quitted the banners of Shuja-ud-daula, sought service and safety in the Court of Bharatpur (April, 1765). Here was a man after Jawahar's heart, a capable soldier without a conscience, who would unhesitatingly carry out with skill and thoroughness any dark design of a good paymaster. The reputed wealth of Bharatpur attracted many veteran mercenaries discharged from the service of bankrupt princes. Having recruited a powerful corps of foreigners who could be trusted more than the Jats, Raja Jawahar Singh proceeded to chastise the inimical nobles (circa July, 1765).
"Fortified with these helps, he believed himself strong and secure enough to demand with much firmness, satisfaction from those of his kinsmen whom for a long time past he had desired to seize. It was probably with this design that he came to Agra where having summoned those whom he wished to seize, and commanded his foreign troops to guard well the roads, he caused to be arrested Balaram with the others in different places, and on the same day all persons appertaining [attached?] to them were seized.
Balaram and one other chief with him, full of hate and spite at what had happened to themselves, and probably to prevent a greater ignominy, cut their own throats with their swords shortly after, the one face to face with the other. The others were conveyed under strong guard as prisoners to Bharatpur where afterwards they ransomed themselves with the money which was demanded of them on the account of Suraj Mal whose affair they had had in their hands ... Certain [of the chiefs] let themselves be rather killed than give up money, although they had the reputation of having much wealth and were already convicted of malversation in the administration .... Not to speak of Balaram and his riches, Mohan Ram alone was estimated to possess nearly 80 lakhs in cash, without reckoning the property and other wealth that he was master of .... He let them cut his head off after many tortures and cruelties rather than deliver the least part of that which he in truth, owed, and which he could not fail to have very well guarded" (Fr. MS., 61-62). Thus
[p.105]: Jawahar Singh revenged himself upon the old nobles of his father. This bloody affair proved a great mistake and a sorry failure as a means of recovering Suraj Mal's treasure. "He was very ill-advised, all spoiled by haste and harshness. A slow and pleasant method of extraction would have been more fruitful. All that Jawahar Singh could seize was not more than 15 or 20 lakhs" [ibid]. This was a political blunder too, which ultimately brought about the downfall of the house of Bharatpur. "This conduct of Jawahar Singh at the beginning of his reign sent", says Father Wendel, "consternation among his relatives and dismayed entirely the Jats in general, at the same time that it soured their spirits and removed totally their attachment to his person. And although for many reasons of State he was almost obliged to act in that fashion, it was, however, very hasty and unreasonable" [ibid, 62].
Barah Khamba Chattri, Hodal
Source - Jat Kshatriya Culture
Surajmal's patronage to Balram Jat
Girish Chandra Dwivedi mentions.... During the reign of Muhammad Shah, Suraj Mal extended his patronage to his near relation, Balram Jat of Tewatia gotra of Ballamgarh. We learn that his father Charandas (son of Chowdhary Gopal Singh) withheld revenue and defied the local Mughal officer, Murtaza Khan (at Faridabad). The latter imprisoned him. But Balram, playing a trick on the Khan, secured his father's release. Thereafter both of them made off to Suraj Mal, and gaining his, as well as the local support, killed that officer.80 Within a short time Chowdhary Balram carved out a taluka, where he built a mud fort, named Ballamgarh. Emboldened with his success and the powerful backing of Bharatpur, he seized Palwal and Faridabad (which were in the Jagir of the Nizam). With the passage of time he became prosperous and fairly strong and assuming the title of "Rai", he started ruling over the usurped lands.81
Thus, availing himself of the indolence and imbecility of Muhammad Shah, Badan Singh vastly increased his possessions and authority. By the end of his reign large parts of the suba of Agra and some parts of Delhi upto Faridabad, had passed in his or his tribesmen's control.82 He grew powerful enough "to be ranked among the best in Hindustan" and became convinced of his potentiality to resist an attack.83 In terms of riches that he had amassed he "vied with the biggest of the Rajas." 84 Thus, the long cherished dream of a Jat State had materialised all but in name.85
Notwithstanding, "the start of the fortune of the Jats" was only "half risen" so far. It was in the succeeding and more troubled reign of Ahmad Shah that it rose to the full.86 Early in his reign Balram Jat,
78. Rustam, 579.
79. Sujan, 60 and 91.
80. Delhi Gazeteer., 213; Also TAH., 23a; Chahar Gulzar Shujai in Elliot, VIII, 212.
81. TAH., 22b, 23a and 39a; Chahar Gulzar Shujai in Elliot, VIII, 212.
82. TAH., 22b, 23a and 90a; Memoires des Jats, 34.
83. Memoires des Jats, 33, 27 and 29.
84. TAH., 23a; Memoires des Jats, 33.
85. Hadiqat-ul-Aqalim by Qazi Murtaza Husain (Lith. Lucknow), 171.
86. Memoires des Jats, 31 and 33.
[p.108]: banking upon Suraj's support, renewed lawlessness and thought of occupying more villages around Faridabad. The new Wazir, Safdar, Jang, therefore, pledged himself to punish the insurgents.87 However, his punitive operations virtually ended in his assiduously wooing the friendship of his enemy, Suraj Mal. The latter's alliance with the imperial Wazir, besides heightening his image and status ensured the official recognition of Badan Singh as a Raja (October, 1752). It also expedited the issue of patents for the fiefs earlier ordered to be given to him.88
In 1752, Balram, ejecting the local faudar, Faqir Ali, eclipsed the imperial authority in Sikandarabad and Dankaur,89 In April 1753,his patron, Suraj Mal achieved a greater feat. Having expelled Bahadur Singh Bargujar from his faujdari at Aligarh, he wrested from his patrimony Ghasera and placed it under Amar Singh.90 Shortly after his eldest son, Jawahar Singh annexed some lands across the Yamuna in Doab.91
The Jat control over the newly acquired territories passed through vicissitudes in proportion to the fluctuations in the contemporary political situation. Though never eliminated, more than once it was eclipsed in the distant north and east due to the heavy military pressure both from within and without. But once it decreased, the Jat ruler re- established his authority over the affected areas. Thus, in 1753-1754, Imad-ul-Mulk and his Maratha allies superseded the Jat rule in the region stretching from Mathura to the environs of the Capital on one side and to Shikohabad on the other.92 But following their departure Suraj Mal recovered his outposts and also made new additions.93 On 27th Sept., 1754 (9th-Zil-Hijja) he despatched from Hodal a contingent under the sons (Kishan Singh and Bishan Singh)94 of the deceased Balram Jat to capture Palwal (which lay in Imad's jagir). The Jats occupied it in
88. TAH., 25b, 43b, 45a, 52a, 52b; Sujan, 54, 56-57, 60-62, 92, 98, 146, 147; S.P.D., II, 15 Also XXI 44, 50; Memoires des Jats, 33,34,38; Tawarikh-i-Hunud, 2Ib-22a; cf. TAL., 108.
89. TAH., 39a-40a; Also Shakir, 71.
90. Sujan, 97ff.; TAH., 47a, 52a, 52b, 106b. Also see author's article, 'Ghasera Ke Yudha Ka Aitihasik paryalochan'. Nagari Pracharini Patrika (Commemoration Volume, Samvat 2024), 504 ff.
91. Sujan, 193.
92. TAH., 89-92b, 94a, 94b, 104b-106a, 107a, 109b, I I la; Sujan, 203 ff.
93. TAH., 9; S.PD, XXVII., 90, Shah, 2.
94. The Court history does not here (TAL., 39) mention the names of Balram's sons. But from the fact that Kishan Singh and Bishan Singh were appointed fort commandant and Nazim of Ballamgarh by Suraj Mal (Delhi Gazetteer, 213), it may be concluded that it were probably those who led the said force.
[p.109]: a surprise attack, killing the local qanungo, Santosh Rai, in retaliation for his earlier instigating Aqibat Mahmud Khan to kill Balram. They also seized the local Qazi. Imad tried in vain to get his mahals vacated with the help of Raghunath Rao, then in Delhi. The Jats also recovered Ballamgarh and their mahals in Mewat.95 In the second week of November, 1755, Jawahar Singh attacked Fateh Singh (son of the deceased Bahadur Singh Bargujar) who had earlier regained Ghasira from the Jats with the help of Imad. Giving out that he was going to meet Madho Singh of Jaipur, he issued from his taluka (stretching up to Mewat) and took Fateh Singh by surprise. The latter despairing of his life fled and sought refuge with Kamghar Khan Billoch, the chief of Farrukhnagar and Jawahar re-annexed the areas of Ghasera and Garhi Harsaru. Emboldened with their successes, the Jats organised raids upto Sarai Ali Wardi Khan (24 miles from Delhi). The Wazir (Imad) and Prince Ali Gauhar at that time were encamping at Palam. Despite a rumour of their impending attack, they did nothing to expel the usurpers from that region.96 It is noteworthy that for another eight years Jawahar Singh remained busy subjugating Mewat, which Suraj Mal planned to develop as a separate state to be assigned to his restless and over-ambitious son.97
होडल के बलराम के बारे में इतिहासकार दिलीप सिंह, ठाकुर देशराज, उपेंद्र नाथ शर्मा लिखते हैं कि दिल्ली विजय के बाद देहली की चढ़ाई से लौट आने के पीछे उन्होंने अपरे आन्तरिक शत्रुओं के दमन करने की अत्यन्त आवश्यकता समझी। कुछ समय के पश्चात् वह आगरे गए और होडल के बलराम तथा दूसरे लोगों को गिरफ्तार करा लिया। बलराम और एक दूसरे सरदार ने अपने अपमान के डर से आत्महत्या कर ली।
...सूरजमल ने घसेरा के उत्तर दिशा के मोर्चे का नेतृत्व जवाहरसिंह को सौंपा। दक्षिण दिशा में बख्शी मोहनराम तथा सुल्तानसिंह एवं वीरनारायण सहित उसके भाई नियुक्त किए। बालू जाट को आवश्यकतानुसार किसी भी मोर्चे पर मदद पहुंचाने के लिए तैयार रखा गया। स्वयं सूरजमल 5,000 बन्दूकचियों एवं तोपखाने के साथ पूर्वी द्वार की ओर चला।
- Sarkar, Fall, II, 469; cf. Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.) 45 footnote, 68.
- Dr Girish Chandra Dwivedi: The Jats - Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Appendix E,p.282
- The Jats - Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Chapter II,p.45
- J Records, Sarkars's call. (Pers. Ms.), 1,9, Sarkar's Call. IX, 42-44.
- The Jats - Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Appendix E,p.282
- Nur., 77a Qanungo, Jats, 172; Sarkar, Fall, II, 469.
- History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Legacy of Suraj Mal,p.94
- The Jats - Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Appendix E,p.282
- The Jats - Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Chapter XIII,p.242-243
- Rajwade, I, 288.
- Wendel simply mentions 50 lakhs. It is not clear whether it was cash or included valuables as well.
- Memoires des Jats (Fr. Ms.) 57-60; SPD., II, 144, XXIX, 5 and 10; Rajwade, I, 288 and 297; Mirat, 921; Siyar, III, 402; Gut. 116; Gulistan, 83; Sarkar, Fall, II, 382, 443-444.
- History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Maharaja Sawai Jawahar Singh Bharatendra (1764-1768) ,pp.103-105
- The Jats - Their Role in the Mughal Empire/Chapter V,p.107-109
- Jat History Dalip Singh Ahlawat/Chapter VIII (Page 669)
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