BALRAMPUR (Taluqdari)


AREA: 3,945 km˛ REVENUE: 4,000,000Rs ACCESSION: 1956
STATE: Oudh (Gonda Dist.)
DYNASTY: Janwar RELIGION: Hindu
VILLAGES: 1,093 hadbast villages
POPULATION: 500,000



PRESENT RULER: Maharaja Bahadur DHARMENDRA PRASAD SINGH Sahib, Maharaja of Balrampur since 1964.
born 1958, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer; married 6th March 1980, Maharani Vandana Rajya Lakshmi, born 1959, daughter of Lt. Col. Shri Ina Shumshere Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal, and has issue.
  • Maharaj Kumar Jayendra Pratap Singh, born 29th December 1980, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer; married February 2008, Rajkumari Mahalaxmi Sodha, daughter of Rana Shri Hamir Singhji of Amarkot.
  • Maharaj Kumari Vijayshree Singh, born 21st April 1984.
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: The largest Taluqdari in Oudh, the Maharaja represents the younger branch of the great Janwar house of Ikauna in Bahraich, founded by Bariar Shah, the younger son of Raja Mansukh Deo of Pawargarh in Gujarati, who came to Awadh with Firuz Shah Tughlaq in 1374. Raja Ganga Singh, sixth in descent from Bariar Shah, had two sons, of whom the younger, Madho Singh, went eastwards and founded a new estate in the lands lying between the Rapti and Kuwana rivers. His sons, Kalyan Singh and Balram Das in about 1500, reduced the Chieftains of Mathura and Itror to the north of the Rapti, and their successors established their supremacy over the Kurmis of Tulshipur. The hereditary title of Raja was held from the 16th century, and was always recognized by the local Government. The family motto is Fide et Justitia. Estate holders were..
  • Raja BALRAM DAS, Raja of Balrampur, married and had issue.
    • Raja Puran Chand (qv)
  • Raja PURAN CHAND, Raja of Balrampur -/1546, married and had issue.
    • Raja Tej Shah (qv)
  • Raja TEJ SHAH, Raja of Balrampur 1546/1600, married and had issue.
    • Raja Harbans Singh (qv)
  • Raja HARBANS SINGH, Raja of Balrampur 1600/1645, married and had issue.
    • Raja Chhatar Singh (qv
    • Kunwar Basant Singh
  • Raja CHHATAR Singh, Raja of Balrampur 1645/1695, he held an estate that was practically independent; married and had issue. He died 1695.
    • Raja Narayan Singh (qv)
    • Kunwar Fateh Singh, youngest son, married and had issue.
      • Kunwar Anup Singh, married and had issue.
        • Kunwar Kakulat Singh, married and had issue.
          • Raja Nawal Singh (qv)
      • Kunwar Pahar Singh, married and had issue.
        • Kunwar Duman Singh, married and had issue.
          • Kunwar Gajendra Singh, married and had issue.
            • Kunwar Chatku Singh, married and had issue.
              • Kunwar Suraj Prasad, married and had issue.
                • Kunwar Prakash Singh, married and had issue.
                  • Kunwar Guman Singh, married and had issue.
                    • Kunwar Ram Singh
                    • Kunwar Udit Narayan Singh, he was adopted in 1883, by HH Maharani Indra Kunwar, and suceeded to the gadi as Maharaja Bahadur Sir Bhagwati Prasad Singh, Raja of Balrampur (see below)
  • Raja NARAYAN SINGH, Raja of Balrampur 1695/1735, he was forced to submit to Nawab Sa'adat Khan, the first Nawab Wazir of Awadh; married and had issue. He died 1735.
    • Raja Prithipal Singh (qv)
  • Raja PRITHIPAL SINGH, Raja of Balrampur 1735/1781, he died sp in 1781.
  • Raja NAWAL SINGH, Raja of Balrampur 1781/1817, one of the greatest warriors of the Janwars, he is said to have fought the Awadh officials on 22 occasions, and though often defeated, he was never completely subdued, with the revenue being paid by his estates to the Awadh Government, being little more than a tribute; married and had issue. He died 1817.
    • Kunwar Bahadur Singh, he was killed in fighting the Nazim, Ahmad Ali Khan.
    • Raja Arjun Singh (qv)
  • Raja ARJUN SINGH, Raja of Balrampur 187/1830, he was constantly at war with the revenue authorities, and on two occasions fought with the Raja of Bhinga, married and had issue. He died 1830.
    • Raja Jai Narain Singh (qv)
    • HH Hon. Maharaja Bahadur Sir Digvijay Singh (qv)
  • Raja JAI NARAIN SINGH, Raja of Balrampur 1830/1836 , he died sp in 1836.
  • Hon. HH Maharaja Bahadur Sir DIGVIJAY SINGH Sahib K.C.S.I., Raja of Balrampur 1836/1882, born 1818, soon after assuming power, he attacked the Pathan Raja of Utraula, defeated him and burnt down the town of Utraula, he then turned against the Raja of Tulsipur, but after a time he found it necessary to take refuge with the Raja of Bansi in Basti; afterwards he returned to Balrampur and kept the peace till 1842, when the Nazim, Raja Darshan Singh, obtained possession of Gonda and Bahraich and at once attacked Balrampur, which he plundered and burned, forcing the Raja to again flee to Bansi, and from there to Maharajganji in Nepal; he was pursued by Darshan Singh, but managed to escape with difficulty, however the violation of Nepali territory brought about the removal of the Nazim, and he was able to return to Balrampur; from that time till the annexation of Oudh, he was employed in fighting with his neighbours of Utraula and Tulsipur; conspicuous for his loyalty to the British authorities during the Indian Mutiny in 1857, as a reward for this loyalty, large estates in Gonda and Bahraich were made over to him, and he was granted the title of Maharaja Bahadur as a Personal distinction in October 1859 at the Lucknow Darbar; he was appointed an assistant collector for the whole of his taluqa in 1860, and at the Agra Darbar, he was awarded the K.C.S.I., he was accorded the exceptional distinction of a personal salute of 9 guns on 1st January 1877; he was an additional Member of the Viceroy's Council for some years; he establised a High School and a Hospital at Balrampur, and another Hospital at Lucknow called the Balrampur Hospital; Member of the Governor General's Legislative Council; President of the British Indian Association 1861/1882, married HH Maharani Indra Kunwar (see below), and had issue by Imam Bandi, a muslim lady in a secondary union, born shortly before 1831. He died spl on 27th May 1882.
    • Maharajkumar Bhaiya Jung Bahadur Singh (by Imam Bandi), born 1846, he established a Hospital in Lucknow for the treatment of Europeans, married 1stly, 1861, Kunwarani Hansraj Kunwar, died 1871, married 2ndly, 1872, Kunwarani Rajkali Kunwar, and had issue, as well as a further four sons by Najm-un-nissa, a muslim lady. He died 1st October 1899.
      • Rai Bahadur Bhaiya Ganga Bakhsh Singh (by Kunwarani Hansraj Kunwar) (Photo), born 18th September 1871, educated at the Lyall (Lyon?) Collegiate School, Balrampur; his name was entered in the Darbar list under orders of the Government in 1902 and he was appointed a Bench Honourary Magistrate in 1904, and an Honourary Magistrate for life in 1910 and a Munsiff in the same year; he was granted the title of Rai Bahadur in 1913.
      • Bhaiya Sher Bahadur Singh (by Najm-un-nissa)
  • HH Maharani Indra Kunwar, Rani of Balrampur [27.5.1882] - [xx.6.1893], she adopted Kunwar Udit Narayan Singh, son of Bhaiya Guman Singh in 1883, who succeeded as Maharaja Bahadur Sir Bhagwati Prasad Singh. She died sp in June 1893.
    • (A) Maharaja Bahadur Sir Bhagwati Prasad Singh (qv)

    BOARD OF REVENUE 1886/1893

    COURT OF WARDS [xx.6.1893] - [19.7.1900]

  • Maharaja Bahadur Sir Bhagwati Prasad Singh
                    K.C.I.E.Maharaja Bahadur Sir BHAGWATI PRASAD SINGH Sahib K.C.I.E., K.B.E., Raja of Balrampur 1893/1921, born 19th July 1879, premier Taluqdar of Oudh after the Maharaja of Kapurthala, he made further additions to his estate, which was in a flourishing condition; he was appointed an Honorary Magistrate, 2nd Class, for the thanas of Balrampur, Utraula, Tulsipur and others; he gave many monetary grants for charitable institutions, including, the Balrampur Hospital, Canning College and the Medical College at Lucknow; President of the British Indian Association 1906/1917 and 1920/1921; Member of the Legislative Council of the United Provinces; he was granted the personal title of Maharaja on 30th November 1900 and it was made hereditary in January 1909; he was created a K.C.I.E. 29th June 1906 and a K.B.E. in June 1918; married and had issue, one son and six daughters. He died 24th May 1921 (#1).
    • Maharaja Bahadur Sir Pateshwari Prasad Singh Sahib (qv)
    • Maharajkumari Lakshmi Patta Devi [Shri Lakshmi Patta Maharani of Jeypore], eldest daughter, married 1913, Lt. Sri Sri Sri Maharaja Ramchandra Deo IV, Raja of Jeypore, born 1893, died sp in 1931. She died sp.
    • Maharajkumari (name unknown), married HH Maharaja Lokendra Balbhadra Singh Ju Dev Bahadur, Maharaja of Datia, and had issue.
    • Maharajkumari (name unknown), sixth daughter, married 16th January 1929, Capt. HH Bisam-Samar-Bijayi Mahamahodya Pancha-Srijukta Maharaja Manikya Sir Bir Bikram Kishore Deb Burman Bahadur of Tripura.
    COURT OF WARDS 1921/1936
  • Maharaja Bahadur Sir PATESHWARI PRASAD SINGH Sahib K.C.I.E., Raja of Balrampur 1921/1964, born 2nd January 1914 (#2), educated at Mayo College, Ajmer; he succeeded to the gadi on 24th May 1921; he was invested with full administrative powers on 22nd March 1937; he took a particular interest in agricultural reforms and industrialisation of his estate; he started a large irrigation scheme for the benefit the public at a cost of Rs 23 lakhs; he built a generating station providing electricity to Balrampur, Gonda and Bahraich; he organized Consolidation, Agriculture and Rural Development Departments; he also provided for nine dispensaries, including a women's Hospital, spacious dharamsalas, and several schools; Kt. [cr.1941], K.C.I.E. [cr.1946], married in November 1932, Maharani Rajya Laxmi Kumari Devi, born 1918, died sp in 1999, daughter of HH Maharaja Chandra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal, and had adoptive issue. He died sp in 1964 and was succeeded by his adoptive son from Gangwal.
    • (A) Kunwar Dharmendra Prasad Singh, son of Kunwar Bharat Singh of Gangwal, adopted by Maharaja Bahadur Sir Pateshwari Prasad Singh, and succeeded as Maharaja Bahadur Dharmendra Prasad Singh of Balrampur (qv)
  • Maharaja Bahadur DHARMENDRA PRASAD SINGH Sahib, Raja of Balrampur (see above)
The assistance of Maharaj Kumar Jayendra Pratap Singh is gratefully acknowledged, November 2002.
1. "Who Was Who 1916–1928" ; Volume II, London 1930 ; Adam and Charles Black; p.48
2. "The Times of India Directory and Year Book including Who's Who 1952/1953", Published by Bennett, Coleman & Co., Bombay. Compiled by The Times of India; 1952-1970.