Maharaja Nawal Singh
Maharaja Nawal Singh (महाराजा नवल सिंह, भरतपुर) was son of Maharaja Suraj Mal. He became the ruler of Princely State of Bharatpur after the untimely demise of the ruling Prince, Maharaja Kehri Singh, in 1771. He ruled from 1771 to 1776. After his death in 1776 he was succeeded by his brother Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who ruled over Bharatpur from 1776 to 1805.
Nawal Singh, third son of Surajmal, succeeded his brother by right as regent. But his younger brother, Ranjit Singh, ambitious to rule, threw himself into the arms of Mirza Najaf Khan, then wielding the supreme power of the Mogul, and invited him to espouse his cause. The Mirza did so, and took possession of Agra. But called away immediately afterwards into Rohilkhand, Namal Singh, taking heart, determined to carry the war into the enemy's country. He therefore marched on Delhi and occupied Sikunderabad. Attacked, and repulsed thence, he retired, only however to make a second onward movement, reinforced by the trained mercenaries of Samru. They had reached Hodal, a town sixty miles south of Delhi, when they were attacked and dislodged by Mirza Najaf Khan, who had returned for the purpose, accompanied by Ranjit Singh. Nawal Singh and Samru then retired, first on Kotban and ultimately on the fortress of Dig, followed by the Mirza. The latter, finding Dig extremely strong, enticed the Jats to Barsana, where he attacked and completely defeated them. Dig resisted for a twelvemonth before it was captured.
Jwala Sahai writes....In 1773 Najaf Khan reduced the Agra fort and in 1774, while meditating a campaign against Bharatpur was urgently summoned to Ruhelkhand. Encouraged by his absence Nawal Singh advanced upon Delhi and occupied Sikandrabad with 10,000 horse. The force at Delhi was insufficient to resist
[p.30]: but detecting conspiracy among his own followers Nawal Singh was obliged to make a retreat.
Reinforced by regulars and guns under Sumru, Nawal Singh again marched upon Delhi shortly after, but by this time Najaf Khan had returned from Ruhelkhand. Accompanied by Ranjit Singh, Hira Singh, Raja of Ballabhgarh and Najaf Kuli Khan, Najaf Khan advanced to oppose him after the reigns of 1774. Dislodged from Hodal Nawal Singh took up a position in the fortified village of Kotban where the Mirza endeavoured to blockade him. After amusing him with skirmishes for a fortnight Nawal Singh again fell back on Dig which was besieged by the Mirza. In the meantime a pitched battle was fought at Barsana where the Jats charged desperately and a momentary confusion was caused by the Mirza himself being wounded; but at last the imperialists overcame and the resistance of Sumru's disciplined troops served only to cover Nawal Singh's retreat with a show of order. Such was, however,the strength and resolution of the Jats that strictest blockade proved fruitless for 14 months to March 1776 at the end of which the fort Was reduced and the garrison escaped to the neighboring castle of Kumher. The Mirza took possession of the fort with vast quantity of ammunition and stores, a train of artillery, silver plates, stately equipage and ornaments and chests containing Rs. 6,00,000 cash. He built a Masjid adjoining Lachmanji's temple in Jawaharganj and his troops committed all sorts of violence on the helpless inhabitants including, the demolition of their temples and idols therein.
- Ram Swarup Joon : History of the Jats, Rohtak, India (1938, 1967)
- Dr Natthan Singh: Jat - Itihas (Hindi), Jat Samaj Kalyan Parishad Gwalior, 2004
- An historical sketch of the native states of India/Bharatpur (Pages 99-100) by Col. G. B. Malleson
- History of Bharatpur/Chapter II, p.29-30
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