KOTAH (Princely State)

(17 gun salute)

                State Monogram
AREA: 14,721.56 km² PRIVY PURSE: Rs 7,00,000 ACCESSION: 7th April 1949
STATE: Rajasthan DYNASTY: Hada Chauhan RELIGION: Hindu
AGENCY: Hindu POPULATION: 777,398 (1941) REVENUE: Rs 53.68 lakhs

PRESENT RULER: HH Maharao Shri BRIJRAJ SINGH Bahadur, 20th and present Maharao of Kotah since 20th July 1991. (Brijraj Bhawan Palace, Kota, Rajasthan, India)
born 21st February 1934 or (21st February 1935 (#2 p.280)), Chairman Board of Directors, Central Co-operative Bank, Kotah, 1959/61; Member, State Board for Preservation of Wildlife, rajasthan, 1959/74; Member of Lok Sabha 1962/67 and 1967/70; Member, Consultative Committee on Defence in Parliament from 1962/77; Member, Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation In Parliament 1962/71; Member, Consultative Committee on Atomic Energy in Parliament 1968/71; Member, State Planning Board, Rajasthan, 1962/66; Member (Associate), Delimitation Commission for Rajasthan, 1964/66; Member, Estimate Committee of Parliament, 1964/65 and 1969/79; Member, Zila Parishads of Kota and Jhalawar, 1962/77; Member, Programme Advisory Committee, A.I.R., Jaipur 1964/67; Member, Soil Conservation Centre, Kota, 1965/70; Member, Nehru Memorial Fund's Sub-Committee, Rajasthan, 1965/70; Member, Mayo College General Council, Ajmer 1955/60 and 1962/-; Member, Board of Governors, Mayo College, Ajmer 1974/-; President, Kshatriya Shiksha Pracharak Samiti Hadoti, Kota 1962/-; Member, Indian Goodwill Delegation to Malaysia, 1965; Member, Council for Development of Automobiles Tractors, etc. 1958/70; Director, The Bank of Rajasthan Ltd, 1963/69; President, Bal Hitakari Samiti, Kota, 1966/-; President, Small Industries Chamber, Kota, 1970/-; Member, Indian Board for Wildlife, 1974/77. Recreation and Hobbies: Photography, painting, hunting, reading, motoring and gliding. Has been a top trap shooter In All-India National Championships. Stood first in team event for Trap in 1955 and won bronze medal in 1963 for Individual Championships in Skeet. Clubs and Associations: President, Old Boy's Association, Mayo College, Ajmer, 1953 (1976/1981); President, Working Committee of Old Boy's Association, Mayo College, Ajmer 1974/77 and 1981; married 1stly, 5th December 1956 (annulled 11th September 1963 in Bombay), HH Maharani Maheshwari Devi, daughter of HH Maharawat Sir Ram Singhji II Bahadur of Pratapgarh, married 2ndly, 1963, HH Maharani Uttara Devi, daughter of Maharaj Kumar Indrajitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar, and his wife, Rani Kamala Dev, and has issue.
  • Yuvaraj Ijyaraj Singh, born 1965, married 4th January 1996 in Delhi, Yuvrani Kalpana Devi, born 9th August 1969, daughter of Rajkumar Rameshwar Singh of Suket, and his wife, Rajkumar-Rani Sheela Kumari, and has issue, one son.
    • Bhanwar Jaidev Singh, born 1997.
  • Maharajkumari Bhawani Kumari, born 19th October 1967, married 1991, Maharajkumar Jai Chand Mahtab of Burdwan, and has issue, two daughters.
PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: Kotah and Bundi together constitute the tract called Haraoti, the country of the Haras, to which race the Rulers of the two States belong. Kotah is an off-shoot from Bundi. Its growth from the parent stem dates back to 1629, when Madho Singh, second son of Rao Rattan Singh of Bundi, acquired Kotah by a direct and independent grant from the Emperor Jehangir, as a reward for good servces rendered in the campaign which forced the Imperial Prince to flee from Burhanpur. The limits of the State were subsequently gradually extended to the east and south. The Haras form the most important of the twenty-four branches of the Chauhan clan of Rajputs, one of the thirty-six royal races of India, and their Ruling Princes who trace descent from Manika Rai, King of Ajmer (A. D. 685); rank among the first in Rajputana. There are thirty-six principal estates subordinate to Kotah. Of these, eight are Kotris or fiefs and form an integral portion of the Kotah State, they are:- Indargarh, Balwan, Khatoli, Gainta, Karwar, Pipalda, Phusod and Antarda. After being successively subject to Bundi and Jaipur, the allegiance of these Kotris was in 1823 transferred to Kotah, through whom their tribute was paid to Jaipur. The history of Kotah is inseparably bound up with the name of its great Minister and Regent, Zalim Singh. Having twice rendered signal services to the Ruler of Kotah, he became so much in favour that Maharao Guman Singh on his death-bed entrusted his young son, Umed Singh, to his care. Zalim Singh assumed the title of Regent, and for more than fifty years, in a period of great warfare and dissension, guided the destinies of the country. His foreign policy, except with Mewar, was most successful, and he was able to bring Kotah to a position of great prosperity. It was in 1804 that Zalim Singh first had dealings with the British, and the Kotah troops afterwards rendered memorable services to Colonel Monson in his disastrous retreat through Kotah territory, when hard pressed by Jaswant Rao Holkar. The Minister also co-operated with General Malcolm in his operations against the Pindaris. The State came under the protection of the British Government in 1817, when a treaty was concluded with the Kotah Ruling Prince through Zalim Singh. The State was under administration from 1874 to 1876 through an Indian Minister nominated by Government and from 1876 to 1896 through a British Political Agent assisted by a Council. During this period all State debts were completely liquidated. His Highness the Maharao maintains a military force of 949 cavalry, 5756 infantry, and 148 guns, and is entitled to a salute of 17 guns (as of 1892). Rulers were...
  1. Rao MADHO SINGH, 1st Rao of Kotah 1629/1648, second son of Rao Ratan Singh of Bundi, he was granted the estates of Kotah and Palaitha in 1629 and was made the ruler of Kotah by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in recognition of his military service to the emperor; married and had issue. He died 1648 aged 66.
    • Rao Mukund Singh (see below)
    • Maharaj Mohan Singh, he was granted the Jagir of Palaitha, married and had issue, the Rajgarh and Dabri families. He died in the Battle of Dharmath near Ujjain on 15th April 1658.
    • Maharaj Kuniram Singh [Kanhi Ram], he was granted the Jagir of Koela, married and had issue. He died in the Battle of Dharmath near Ujjain on 15th April 1658.
      • Rao Pem Singh [Paim Singh] (qv)
    • Maharaj Jhujhar Singh, he was granted the Jagir of Kotra, married and had issue. He died in the Battle of Dharmath near Ujjain on 15th April 1658.
    • Maharaj Kishore Singh, he was granted the jagir of Sangod, and later succeeded as Rao Kishore Singh I (see below)

  2. Rao MUKUND SINGH, 2nd Rao of Kotah 1648/1658, his initially prosperous reign was cut short by the war of succession for the Mughal throne amongst the sons of Emperor Shahjahan, he sided with Shahjahan’s eldest son Dara Shikoh who was pitted against the army of his younger brothers, Aurangzeb and Murad, Dara Shikoh’s army was commanded by Raja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur, who was assisted by Rao Mukund Singh, the two armies met on the battlefield at Dharmath near Ujjain on 15th April 1658, the Rao and his three younger brothers, were killed on the battlefield and the youngest brother, Kishore Singh, was found grievously injured with 42 wounds lying under a heap of corpses but with some signs of life, he was taken to Kotah to recuperate; married and had issue, one son. He died in the Battle of Dharmath near Ujjain on 15th April 1658.
    • Rao Jagat Singh (qv)
    • Rajkumari (name unknown) Kumari, married (as his 7th wife), Rao Rai Singh, Rao of Nagaur (see Jodhpur).

  3. Rao JAGAT SINGH, 3rd Rao of Kotah 1658/1683, born 1644, within a year of succeeding to the gadi, he was called on to serve the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, and he asked his uncle, Kishore Singh, to assist him and on 2nd January 1659, the Kotah forces joined the Imperial Army in attacking Shuja, another of Aurangzeb’s brothers. He was killed sp in October 1683 (Kartik Shukla Panchmi V.S.3 1740) whilst fighting against Sheikh Minaz at Hyderabad.

  4. Rao PEM SINGH, 4th Rao of Kotah 1683/1684 (deposed), within a year of his installation, the nobles of Kotah deposed him and sent him back to Koela (said to have been "invincibly stupid").

  5. Rao KISHORE SINGH I, 5th Rao of Kotah 1684/1696, he initially was granted the Jagir of Sangode, married and had issue, three sons. He died in April 1696 in the battle of Arni in Karnataka.
    • Rao Bishen Singh (qv)
    • Rao Ram Singh I (qv)
    • Maharaj Harnath Singh, he was killed fighting for Rao Ram Singh against Bishen Singh, the eldest brother; married and had issue. He was killed in 1696 at the battle of Anwa.
      • Maharaj (name unknown) Singh, he was granted the jagir of Sangod.

  6. Rao BISHEN SINGH, 6th Rao of Kotah 1696/1697, he succeeded to the throne when the news of his father’s death reached Kotah, his brother, Ram Singh, requested leave from the Emperor Aurangzeb in order to travel to Kotah to pay obeisance to his elder brother, Aurangzeb agreed and made Ram Singh a Mughal mansabdar of 3,000 and commander of 3,000 horses, Aurganzeb also conferred Kotah upon Ram Singh and gave him an Imperial sanad for the kingdom as well as providing a contingent of the Imperial Army to accompany Ram Singh to Kotah; Ram Singh arrived at Kotah with his army in 1696, and a battle was fought between the brothers at Anwa, with the youngest brother, Harnath Singh, siding with Ram Singh, Bishen Singh was grievously wounded on the battlefield and Harnath Singh was killed, Bishen Singh was carried away to his in-law’s jagir at Pander near Jahajpur in Mewar; married Rani Ranawatji, and had issue, she committed sati upon his funeral pyre and a cenotaph still marks the site where Bishen Singh was cremated. He died 1699 from his wounds at Pander.
    • Maharaj Prithvi Singh, Thakur Sahib of Antah, he was invited to return to Kotah from Pander by Rao Ram Singh, a few years after the Rao had seized the throne; he was granted the jagir of Antah, which included Antah town and twelve villages with a revenue of Rs. 40,000; married and had issue, five sons.
      • Kunwar Bhopal Singh, he was poisoned in court intrigues. He died vpsp.
      • Rao Ajit Singh (qv)
      • Maharaj Soorajmal, he was granted the jagir of Aton/Bambolia (12 villages and 40,000Rs), married and had issue.
        • Several generations
          • Maharaj Dhirat Singh of Amli.
          • Maharaj Chaggan Singh of Kotra, married and had issue.
            • Kunwar Jai Singh, he was adopted by Maharaj Narsingh Singh, Thakur Sahib of Bambolia, and succeeded there as Maharaj Jai Singh, Thakur Sahib of Bambolia.
            • Kunwar Udai Singh, he was adopted by Maharao Shatrusal II of Kotah in 1889, and succeeded there as Lt.-Col.(Hon). HH Maharao Mahendra Shri Sir Umaid Singh II Bahadur (see below)
      • Maharaj Bakhat Singh, he was granted the jagir of Itawa (30,000Rs)
      • Maharaj Chain Singh, he was granted the jagir of Sorkhand (20,000Rs)

  7. Rao RAM SINGH I, 7th Rao of Kotah 1697/1707, went with his father to the Mughal court and served him faithfully; he took part with his father at the battle of Arni in Karnataka where Rao Kishore Singh was killed in April 1696; married (amongst others), a sister of Raja Himmat Singh of Umri, and had issue. He died 1707 in the battle of Jajaw whilst fighting for the Mughal prince Azam, the Viceroy of the Deccan, against Prince Moazzam in the battle of succession amongst Aurangzeb’s sons.
    • Maharao Bhim Singh I (qv)

  8. Maharao BHIM SINGH I, 8th Rao of Kotah 1707/1720, he was granted the title of Maharao and punj hazari; married (amongst others) (a), a daughter of Maharana Amar Singh of Mewar, and had issue. He died 19th June 1720.
    • Maharao Arjun Singh (by Maharani Sisodniji) (qv)
    • Maharaj Shyam Singh, he was killed in the battle of Udaipuriya in December 1723.
    • Maharao Durjan Sal (qv)

  9. Maharao ARJUN SINGH, 9th Rao of Kotah 1720/1723, married the sister of Kumar Shri Madhosinhji Jhala (see Jhalawar). He died sp in October 1723.

  10. Maharao DURJAN SAL, 10th Rao of Kotah 1723/1756, married the daughter of the Maharana of Mewar, and had issue, one son who died young. He died sp in 1756.

  11. Maharao AJIT SINGH, 11th Rao of Kotah 1756/1758 and Thakur Sahib of Antah; son of Thakur Shatrusal of Anta, he was adopted on Maharao Durjansal’s death and ascended the Kotah gaddi, but died after ruling for only a year-and-a-half; married and had issue. He died in 1758 aged over 80 years.
    • Maharao Shatrushal Singh I [Chhatar Sal] (qv)
    • Maharao Guman Singh (qv)
    • Maharaj Raj Singh

  12. Maharao SHATRUSHAL SINGH I, 12th Rao of Kotah 1758/1764, died sp in 1764.

  13. Maharao GUMAN SINGH, 13th Maharao of Kotah 1766/1771, he cooperated with Colonel Monson in his struggle with the Holkar ruler by providing supplies and men; he was also the first Rajput ruler to conclude a treaty with the British which occurred in 1817; married and had issue. He died 1771.
    • Maharao Umaid Singh I (qv)
    • Maharaj Goverdhan Singh
    • Maharaj Gopal Singh

  14. Maharao UMAID SINGH I, 14th Maharao of Kotah 1771/1819, born 1761, married and had issue. He died 21st November 1819.
    • Maharao Kishor Singh II (qv)
    • Maharaj Bishen Singh [aka Vishnu Singh], born about 1784, married and had issue.
      • Rajkumari (name unknown) Kumari, married 1815, Yuvaraj Amar Singh of Mewar.
    • Maharaj Prithvi Singh, born about 1792, married and had issue. He died 1st October 1821.
      • Maharao Ram Singh II (qv)
    • Maharjkumari Kishore Kanwar, married 1815 in Kotah, Maharana Bhim Singhji Sahib, the Maharana of Udaipur.

  15. Maharao KISHOR SINGH II, 15th Maharao of Kotah 1819/1828, born about 1781, married and had issue. He died 20th July 1828
    • Yuvaraj (?Kunwar or name unknown) Singh, died in August 1825.

  16. Maharao RAM SINGH II, 16th Maharao of Kotah 1828/1866, on 18th April 1838 it was resolved, with the Maharao's consent, to dismember the state, and to create the new principality of Jhalawar as a separate provision for the descendants of Zalim Singh (see Jhalawar), a portion of these tracts was returned to Kotah in 1899; in 1857 the Kotah troops and the Kotah Contingent mutinied murdering Captain Burton and his two sons, as the Maharao did little to provide assistance to the political agent, his gun salute was reduced from 17 guns to 13 guns; married (amongst others), (a), Maharani Bhatianiji, died after 1889, daughter of Maharaj Maha Singh of Jaisalmer, married (b), Maharani Mehtab Kunwar, second daughter of Raja Bhim Singhji II of Banera, and his third wife, Rani Bhatianiji, married (c), Maharani Abe Kanwar, daughter of Thakur Amar Singh, Thakur Saheb of Kelawa Kalan, and had issue. He died 1866.
    • Maharajkumar Bhim Singh, he succeeded as Maharao Shatrushal Singh II aka Chattarsal II (qv)

  17. Maharao SHATRUSHAL SINGH II, 17th Maharao of Kotah 1866/1889, born 1837, he was restored to a 17 gun salute on his accession; the Maharaos incapacity having led to misrule and oppression, the administration of the state was taken over by the British Government in 1874 and handed over to the Political Agent and a Council of Regency; married 1stly, Maharani Jadauniji, daughter of the Maharaja of Karauli, died sp after 1889, married 2ndly, Maharani Tanwarji, died sp after 1889, married 3rdly, Maharani Gaudji, died sp after 1889, and had adoptive issue. He died sp on 11th June 1889.
    • (A) Lieutenant-Colonel HH Maharao Mahendra Shri Sir Umaid Singhji II Bahadur (qv)

  18. Lt.Col.(Hon). HH
                    Maharao Mahendra Shri Sir Umaid Singh II BahadurLieutenant-Colonel HH Maharao Mahendra Shri Sir UMAID SINGHJI II Bahadur G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., G.B.E., 18th Maharao of Kotah 1889/1940, born 15th September 1873 (#2 p.280) as Kunwar Udai Singh, second son of Maharaj Chaggan Singh, Thakur of Kotra, and his wife, Rani Chaman Kunwar, daughter of the Chandrawat Thakur Saheb of Dhabla in Central India; he succeeded to the gadi by adoption on 11th June 1889; educated at Mayo College, Ajmer; he was invested with full ruling powers on 5th December 1896; he was gazetted to be an Honorary Major in the 42nd Deoli Regiment on 1st January 1903 amd was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army on 1st January 1915; he attended the Coronation Durbar in Delhi in December 1911; on the outbreak of WWI he offered his personal services to the British Government as well as all the resources of the state; a personal salute of 19 guns was conferred on the Maharao Saheb on 1st January 1921 (#2 p.280); he was created a K.C.S.I. on the 23rd May 1900, a G.C.I.E. on the 28th June 1907. a G.C.S.I. on the 12th December 1911 and a G.B.E. (civil) on the 1st January 1918, in recognition of services connected with the Great War; during his rule, the administration of the State prospered in his hands up to the time of the late famine of 1900, which led to a temporary depletion of the states finances, though they were returned to good order by careful management in good time; married 1stly, 21st November 1892, the eldest daughter of HH 108 Sri Maharaj Adhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Ravi Kula Bushana-Mahi Mahindra Yavadarya Kula Kamaldhivakara Chattis Rajkul Singar Maharana Shri Sir Fateh Singhji Bahadur Hindua Suraj Hindupati, Maharana of Udaipur, she died 20th August 1895; married 2ndly, 17th April 1897 at Bhuj, Maharajkumari Kesaba Saheb, daughter of HH Maharajadhiraj Mirza Maharao Shri Sir Khengarji Pragmalji III Sawai Bahadur of Kutch, married 3rdly, 22nd June 1908, a sister of Thakur Sawai Singh, the Thakur Saheb of Isarda, and had issue, one son and one daughter. He died on 27th December 1940 (#1).
    • Maharajkumari (name unknown) Kumari (by the 1st wife), died at the age of 10 months.
    • HH Maharao Shri Bhim Singhji II Bahadur (by the 3rd wife) (qv)

  19. HH Maharao Shri BHIM SINGH II Bahadur,
                    19th Maharao of KotahHH Maharao Shri BHIM SINGH II Bahadur, 19th Maharao of Kotah 1940/1991, born 14th September 1909 (#2 p.280), educated at Mayo College, Ajmer (Class-Captain 1928/29) from where he obtained his Diploma. He was Head monitor and captain of the College Cricket Team and held college colours for tennis. He was Patron and President of the Governing Body of Mayo College. He was Honorary Brigadier in the Indian Army and also Honorary Colonal of the 17 Poona Horse. During the Second World War he was a member of the Viceroy's War Council. Up-Rajpramukh of Rajasthan State 1948/1956. He has also served as India's alternate delegate to the United Nations General Assembly in 1956 and has travelled extensively all over the world. He Is keen sportsman and a wildlife photographer of repute. His study of wildlife is well known. He was President of the Rajasthan State Board of Wildlife since its inception and is now a Member of Rajasthan Wildlife Advisory Board. He has also given generous donations for educational and other purposes including a donation of 700,000Rs for the construction of a general hospital in Kota, which is known as 'Maharao Bhim Singh General Hospital.' He was Vice-President of Bikaner Thunderbolt Rifle Club and also a Life member and Vice-President of the National Rifle Association of India. He was patron of Kota Rifle Club and President of Rajasthan State Rifle Association. He was one of India's top shooters in Skeet and had been taking part In the National championships for the over 25 years. During this period he had won National championships a number of times and Kota Team Championship several times. He has also represented India in the following shooting championships: Took part in the Pre-olympics at Tokyo 1963, was Captain of the Indian Shooting Team which participated in the Singapore Shooting Championships in 1969. Member of the Indian Shooting Team for the World Shooting Championships at San Sebastian, Spain in 1969, represented India in the Polar Prize held in Finland 1970, represented India in the 2nd Asian Shooting Championships held at Sepul, missing the third position by only one point 1971, represented India in the VII Asian Games in shooting held in Tehran 1974, represented India in the 3rd Asian Shooting Championships held at Kuala Lumpur 1975, Captain of the Indian Shooting Team which took part in the Montreal Olympics 1976 (in the selection trials he broke the National Record by shooting 195 birds out of 200 which included 100 straight birds), Captain of the Indian Shooting Team for the VIII Asian Games held In Bangkok 1979. Vice-President of the National Rifle Association of India, President of the Rajasthan State Rifle Association, Member of the IX Asian Games General Organizing Committee. Awarded the 'Arjuna Award' in 1971 for the sport of Shooting, married 1930, HH Maharani Shiv Kumari, born 1913, died 12th January 2013, daughter of Maj.-Gen.HH Maharajadhiraj Raj Rajeshwar Narendra Siromani Maharaja Sri Sir Ganga Singhji Bahadur of Bikaner, and his second wife, HH Maharani Sri Bhatiyaniji Sahiba; M.L.A. of Khanpur, District Jhalawar for one term, from 1966 to 1971, and had issue, one son and two daughters. He died 20th July 1991.
    • HH Maharao Shri Brijraj Singh Bahadur (qv)
    • Maharajkumari Indra Kumari [HH Rani Indra Kumari of Rajgarh], married HH Raja Rawat Vikramaditya Singh Bahadur of Rajgarh, M.P., born 18th December 1936.
    • Bai Saheba Bhuvaneshwari Kumari [Thakurani Bhuvaneshwari Kumari of Malasar], married Thakur Devi Singhji of Malasar.

  20. HH Maharao Shri BRIJRAJ SINGH Bahadur, 20th and present Maharao of Kotah (see above)

The help of Deepak Aggarwal is gratefully acknowledged, July 2013.

1. "Who Was Who 1941-1950" ; Volume IV ; London 1952 ; Adam & Charles Black ; p.650
2. "Memoranda on The Indian States 1939", corrected up to 2nd January 1939, Published by the Manager of Publications, Delhi. Government of India Press, New Delhi. 1939.