BISSAU (Thikana)

AREA: 2,322 km˛ DYNASTY: Shekhawat (Sadhani clan) RELIGION: Hindu
STATE: Jaipur (Rajasthan) POPULATION: 23,245 (1901)

Rawal SANJAI SINGH, 11th Rawal of BissauPRESENT RULER: Rawal SANJAI SINGHJI, Mamlaguzar Sardar of Jaipur State and Hereditary Tazimi Sardar of Jaipur, and 10th and present Rawal Saheb of Bissau, since the 19th July 1978.
born 15th December 1957, educated at Bishop Cotton School at Simla and the University of Rajasthan, earning a B.A. (Hons.), Proprietor and Manager of the Bissau Palace Hotel in Jaipur, married Rani Vasundhara Kumari, daughter of Raja Vishwaraj Pratap Singh of Kawardha, and his wife, Rani Shashi Prabha Devi, and has issue.
  • Yuvaraj Eklavya Singh, born 4th September 1983, educated at Lawrence School, Sanawar, at Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty and at Mayo College in Ajmer, he played Cricket and Football (Soccer) in Inter-State competitions and is a keen artist having represented India in the National Art Competition by Camel Colours at junior level, presently he is the proprietor of Kijjala Boutique; married Yuvrani Natasha Kumari, proprietor of Tangerine Boutique Salon, daughter of Kunwar Arvind Singh of Kutani in Haryana, and his wife, Kunwarani Nanda Kumari.
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: The estate of Bissau was founded in 1746 and the estate of Surajgarh was founded in 1778, and after their amalgamation in 1919, together the Mamlaguzar Estate became the third largest Thikana in Jaipur after Sikar and Khetri. Mamlaguzar was a Special Category created by Jaipur state for the most prominent families of Jaipur state. They paid upwards of Rs.30000 nazrana in state times to Jaipur state. Most were closest to the Maharaja and his family, others were the most prominent and possessed their own army and served directly under Mughals in Middle Ages. At present only 9 Mamlaguzar thikanas hold the gaddi in Jaipur Durbar (as compared to the earliar 16). The Mamlaguzar thikana had special priveledges in the Jaipur Durbar, including the Maharaja having to rise for the Mamlaguzar Sardars, they were allowed to wear all their ornaments and to carry their swords in the Jaipur Durbar. These privileges were not given to Tazimi thikanas who paid Nazrana of Rs.25000. Bissau was encircled by high walls (Parkota) comprising of four gates (Pols), facing different directions, each having an iron door. Bissau has many smaller forts as well, which served the purpose of Outpost (Guard Posts). Bissau was noted for its well bred horses, camels and elephants as it was the strongest Hathiband Thikana in the Shekhwati Region. Traditionally a coronation of a new ruler or the birth of a son to the Rawal Sahib or the marriage of a daughter was announced with a cannon salute. Bissau had the best artillery and cannons in Shekhawati and hence conquered and captured other Forts and Thikanas as well as their lands. Each ruler printed his own stamps, whilst Bissau had its own Currency Notes and Coins. Bissau and Surajgarh both had their own Courts and Jails and had the right to imprison anyone found guilty in their region. Bissau had their right excise their own taxes.The Bissau Royals wisely encouraged the settlement of traders from Jaipur within the new estate, and to set up shops for the trading families who settled here. Land and houses were allotted free of cost for residential and business purposes by the Rawal Sahib. Today, Bissau and Surajgarh are both considered to be one of the most attractive of Shekhawat Thikanas. The Estate holders were...
  1. Thakur KESHRI SINGH, 1st Thakur Saheb of Bissau and Dundlod 1742/1768, born 1729, fourth son of Thakur Shardul Singh of Jhunjhunu (Panchpana), he constructed the fort of Bissau in 1746, married 1stly, Thakurani Kanlotiji, married 2ndly, Thakurani Madhodasotiji, married 3rdly, Thakurani Bikawatiji, married 4thly, Thakurani Birad Kanwar, daughter of Thakur Devi Singh of Pokhran, she committed sati in 1768, and had issue, the families of Bissau, Surajgarh and Dundlod. He died 1768 at Jhunjhunu.
    • Kunwar Fateh Singh, died vpsp.
    • Thakur Hanumant Singh, he succeeded to the estate of Dundlod.
    • Thakur Suraj Mal, he succeeded in Bissau (qv)

  2. Thakur SURAJ MAL, 2nd Thakur of Bissau 1768/1787, born 1755, one of the most outstanding warriors of his time, he was victorious in the Battle of Mandan in 1775 against the attack of Rao Raja Mitra Sen Ahir of Rewari and Piroo Khan Balochi, who, encouraged by the scattered Kaimkhanis of Jhunjhunu, invaded Shekhawati, where a fierce battle was fought resulting in the defeat of Rao Raja Mitra Sen Ahir and the death of Piroo Khan, he also led the victorious Rajputs and died valiantly fighting in the most famous battle of Jaipur State history in the Battle of Tunga against the Marathas led by Mahji Scindhia who were defeated; he founded Surajgarh in 1778, and constructed the Fort of Surajgarh; married the daughter of Kunwar Dip Singh of Dhariawad, and had issue. He died 28th July 1787 in the battle of Tunga, where the cenotaph later built by his son still stands on 25 Bighas of land gifted by the Maharaja of Jaipur in memory of his valiant sacrifice. 
    • Thakur Shyam Singh (qv)

  3. Thakur SHYAM SINGH, 3rd Thakur of Bissau 1787/1831, born 1771, the most famous of all the rulers of Bissau, he brought fame and fortune to the state of Bissau, he was considered amongst the best warriors of his time and aligned with the French in his constant battles with the British, he defeated the Jaipur Forces several times and hence making sure that Bissau Fort was never captured in several attemps by the British and Jaipur Forces, he had also maintained very close ties with the Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Punjab; he captured the Dundlod fort and took over most of their lands because they helped Jaipur Forces who wanted to capture Bissau but could not, he also captured Bahal fort in Haryana and Tain fort in Shekhawati of which the gates were taken back to Bissau, he built the fort of Shyamgarh in Jhunjhunu in 1805, and even to this day there are many famous Hymns regarding him and his exploits; married 1stly, Thakurani Mertaniji, married 2ndly, Thakurani Bikawatiji, and had issue. He died 20th July 1833 (Shrawan Sudi 4, 1890VS).
    • Thakur Hamir Singh (qv)
    • Thakur Chain Singh, Thakur Sahib of Surajgarh 1833/-, married and had issue.
      • Thakur Chiman Singh, Thakur Sahib of Surajgarh -/1906, died 1906.
      • Thakur Govind Singh, Thakur Sahib of Surajgarh 1906/-, he served with the Jaipur forces during the Revolt of 1857, married and had issue, four sons.
        • Thakur Chandra Singh (qv)
        • Kunwar Hari Singh, died sp.
        • Thakur Vijay Singh, Thakur Sahib of Surajgarh, married and had adoptive issue. He died sp.
          • (A) Maj. Rawal Raghubir Singhji (see below)
        • Thakur Jiwan Singh, Thakur Sahib of Surajgarh, born 23rd September 1862, died 1916.
    • HH Maharani Gulab Kanwar, married HH Maharao Ram Singhji of Bundi.

  4. Thakur HAMIR SINGH, 4th Thakur of Bissau 1831/1865, born 1806, married and had issue, as well as adoptive issue. He died 1865
    • Kunwar Jawahar Singh, born 1828, died sp in 1862.
    • (A) Kunwar Chandra Singh, son of Thakur Govind Singh of Surajgarh (see above), he succeeded as Thakur Chandra Singh, 5th Thakur of Bissau (qv).

  5. Thakur CHANDRA SINGH, 5th Thakur of Bissau 1865/1878, born 1847, son of Thakur Govind Singh of Surajgarh (see above), he was adopted by Thakur Hamir Singh and succeeded by adoption, married and had issue. He died 1878.
    • Thakur Jagat Singh (qv)

  6. Thakur JAGAT SINGH, 6th Thakur of Bissau 1878/1893, born 1875, married Kumari (name unknown) [Thakurani Sahiba of Bissau], daughter of Thakur Devi Singh of Auwa, and had issue. He died 1893.
    • Rawal Bishan Singh (qv)

  7. Rawal BISHAN SINGH, 7th Rawal of Bissau 1893/1945, born 21st February 1892 (#2), educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, in 1939 Surajgarh and Bissau were amalgamated in the person of his son who was adopted into Surajgarh, married 1stly, Rani Abhay Kanwar, younger daughter of Maharaj Fateh Singhji of Raoti, married 2ndly, 1913, Thakurani Anand Kanwar, daughter of Rao Bahadur Thakur Girdhar Singh of Chandawal, and his wife, Rani Indra Kanwar, and had issue. He died 31st December 1945.
    • Maj. Rawal Raghubir Singhji (by Thakurani Anand Kanwar) (qv)
    • Baisa (name unknown) [Thakurani Sahiba of Khatoli] (by Rani Abhay Kanwar), married the Thakur of Khatoli in Kotah.
    • Rani Kamala Raje [Rani Sahiba of Masuda] (by Thakurani Anand Kanwar), married as his first wife, Rao Narayan Singh of Masuda, and had issue.

                    (1913-1971)Maj. Rawal RAGHUBIR SINGHJI, 8th Rawal of Bissau 1945/1971, born 28th December 1913 (#1), adopted by Thakur Vijay Singh of Surajgarh on 19th August 1915, thus uniting Bissau and Surajgarh, educated privately by his tutor, F.A. Jones M.A., C.B.E. and at Mayo College, Ajmer, and with the Sawai Man Singh Guards of the Jaipur State Forces; A.D.C. to the Maharaja of Jaipur; he was the noblest of all the rulers of Bissau, he brought Bissau back to its place of prominence after clearing the debts of the previous rulers. He was active both socially and politically and was immensely popular with all; married 21st February 1932, Rani Komal Kumari, daughter of  HH Sri Raj-i-Rajan Maharawal Sir Prithvi Singhji Bahadur of Banswara, and had issue. He died 21st September 1971.
    • Rawal Chakrapani Singh (qv)
    • Kunwar Ajatshatru Singh, born 4th May 1937, educated at St. Xavier School, Jaipur and at Siddhartha College, Bombay earning a B.Com. degree, married Kunwarani Anand Kumari, daughter of  Capt. Rao Manohar Singh of Bedla, and has issue.
      • Baiji Lal Priyadarshini Kumari, born 28th January 1965, married Rajkumar Ranbir Singh of Karjali.
    • Baisa Durgesh Nandini, married 26th January 1961, Yuvaraj Saheb Harish Chandrasinhji of Jambugodha in Gujarat.

  9. Rawal CHAKRAPANI SINGH, 9th Rawal of Bissau 1971/1978, born 1st December 1933, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer and at the Institute of Science and Technology in Manchester, U.K., converted Bissau House at Jaipur into a successful hotel, married 5th February 1955 at Nagpur, Rani Sharda Kumari, daughter of Maj. Raja Bahadur Birendra Bahadur Singh of Khairagarh, and his wife, Rani Padmavati Devi, and had issue. He died 19th July 1978.
    • Rawal Sanjai Singh (qv)
    • Kunwar Pranai Singh, born 10th July 1961, educated at Bishop Cotton School, Simla, at St. Xavier College, Bombay and at Mayo College, Ajmer (1979); married 27th April 1990 in Simla, Kunwarani Purnima Kumari, daughter of Rajkumar Rajendra Singh of Bashahr, and his wife, Rajkumari Rajendra Kumari, and has issue.
      • Bhanwar Aanjneya Singh Bissau, born 30th November 1992, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, having passed out in 2012 and receiving his International Bacclaureate, presently (2014) pursuing Event, Sports and Entertainment Management at Glion, Institute of Higher Education, Switzerland.
      • Bhanwar Kartikeya Singh Bissau, born 26th August 1998, presently (2014) undertaking the Cambridge Board in Jaipur.

  10. Rawal SANJAI SINGH, 10th Rawal of Bissau (see above)
Information courtesy of Rawal Sanjai Singh Bissau, © April 2003 and Deepak Aggarwal, © November 2003.

1. A different source has date of birth as 28th June 1914, 28th January 1914 as well as 28th December 1915.
2. "Chiefs And Leading Families In Rajputana" 2nd Edn. 1903. p.66.