RATLAM (Princely State) (13 gun salute)

LOCATION: Madhya Pradesh AREA: 1,794.87 kmē VILLAGES: 206 POPULATION: 107,321 (1931) RELIGION: Hindu
REVENUE: Rs 10,00,000 DYNASTY/LINEAGE: Rathore - Ratansinghot SEAT: xx ACCESSION: 15th June 1948
AGENCY: Malwa Agency PRIVY PURSE: Rs 1,50,000

PRESENT RULER: HH Maharaja (name unknown) SINGH Bahadur, present Maharaja of Ratlam and recognized Head of the Rathore Rajputs in Central India. (The Palace, Ratlam - 457001, Madhya Pradesh, India)

PREDECESSORS AND SHORT HISTORY: Maharaja Udai Singh of Jodhpur granted his fourth son (or seventh of seventeen), Kunwar Dalpat Singh, the Pargana of Pisangan in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. His great grandson, Raja Ratan Singh, founded Ratlam in 1652. Rulers were....
  1. Maharaja RATAN SINGH, 1st Maharaja of Ratlam 1652/1658, born 1618 or 1629, courageous in youth, he gained Padshah Shah Jahans notice by calming the Emperors favourite elephant which had run amok in the Agra Palace Garden, he fought for the Emperor against the Persians in Kabul and Qandahar, later in 1652, the Emperor substituted Jalore for the pargana of Ratlam and many other areas, and he became the first Raja of Ratlam, in 1658 a false rumour of the death of the Emperor resulted in a frenzied scramble for succession to the throne amongst his sons. Dara Shikoh who was officiating for his father, sent a combined army of Rajputs and Muslims under the command of Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur, against his brother Aurangzeb. The Maharaja, as head of the Rathore clan, was persuaded to hand over command of the Imperial army to Maharaja Ratan Singh. Non-cooperation by the Muslim commanders resulted in the army sustaining heavy losses in the fierce battle at Dharmat, as well as the death of Ratan Singh (said to have sustained 80 sword wounds on his body), he married (amongst others), Maharani Sukhroopde Kanwar Shekhawat Ji Sahiba, daughter of Kunwar Purshottam Das of Jhajhar [Shekhawati], and had issue. He died 20th April 1658 in battle at Dharmat near Ujjain.

  2. Maharaja RAM SINGH, 2nd Maharaja of Ratlam 1658/1682, married and had issue. He was killed in battle in the Deccan in 1682.

  3. Maharaja SHIV SINGH, 3rd Maharaja of Ratlam 1682/1684, he died sp.

  4. Maharaja KESHAV DAS, 4th Maharaja of Ratlam in 1684, at the start of his reign an important Mughal officer was killed in Ratlam by the state employees, as a result, the Mughal Emperor confiscated Ratlam and Maharaja Keshav Das went to Sitamau, which was given in jagir to him when he was later forgiven by Padshah Aurangzeb, and he thus became the 1st Raja of Sitamau in 1701.

  5. Raja CHHATRASAL, 5th Raja of Ratlam 1684/1709, he was regranted the state of Ratlam for his services to the Mughal Emperor and granted the titles of Mahārājadhirāj and Shri Huzūr at the same time; a greater part of his life was spent in service to the Emperor of Delhi in his campaigns in the Deccan, and did did service in the wars with Bijapur (1684) and Golconda (1687), as well as at the siege of Raigarh and Jinji (1693); he accompanied Bahadur Shah in 1706 and 1708, he returned to the Deccan and fought bravely at Panhela where his eldest son was killed; because of his grief at the death of his eldest son and heir, the Raja divided his territory amongst his brothers (received Dharad and Raoti), and his grandson (received Dhamnod), against Rajput tradition, and retired; married 1stly, Rani Gulab Kanwar, daughter of the Thakur of Korana, married 2ndly, Rani Gyan Kanwar, daughter of Raja Bahadur Singhji of Khandela, married 3rdly, Rani Jaideo Kanwar, daughter of Thakur Jujhar Singhji of Anandpur (Rampura), married 4thly, Hadi Rani Phool Kanwar, daughter of Maharao Pratap Singhji of Bundi, committed sati in 1708, and had issue. He died 1709 at Ujjain.

  6. Raja KESHRI SINGH, 6th Raja of Ratlam 1709/1716, initially he was granted the estate of Dharad by his brother, but was dispossessed of his estate by his younger brother, married and had issue. He was killed by his brother in 1716.

  7. Raja MAN SINGH, 7th Raja of Ratlam 1717/1743, received Dharad and Dhamnod as share and later shifted his capital to Ratlam, during his reign the Marathas first appeared but only a few skirmishs occurred; he married and had issue, three sons. He died 1743.

  8. Raja PRITHVI SINGH, 8th Raja of Ratlam 1743/1773, Maratha incursions occured with regularity and their leader could only be bought off with large sums of money; married and had issue. He died 1773.

  9. Raja PADAM SINGH, 9th Raja of Ratlam 1773/1800, he signed a treaty with Scindia of Gwalior who agreed to stop his depradations in exchange for an annual tribute; married (amongst others), Rani Swarup Kunwar of Namli, and had issue. He died 1800.

  10. Raja PARBAT SINGH, 10th Raja of Ratlam 1800/1824, in spite of the earlier signed treaty, incursions by Maratha plunderers increased; the town of Ratlam was twice pillaged by Holkar in 1801 and 1803, the district was overrun by Puar of Dhar, and Scindia marched on the town when the tribute could not be paid on time; he entered into an agreement (mediated by Sir John Malcolm) with the Maharaja of Gwalior on 5th January 1819, whereby the Maharaja ceased any interference in the internal affairs of Ratlam and the Raja agree to pay Rs84,000 (Salim Shahi) as tribute; married (amongst others), 1stly, Rani Jhaliji, married 2ndly, Rani Chundawatiji, sister of the Chief of Salumbar and of the Maharana Bhim Singh of Udaipur, and had issue. He died in 1824.

  11. Raja BALWANT SINGH, 11th Raja of Ratlam 1824/1857, born 1814 at Salumbar, he was a great patron of letters and attracted many bards and Charans to his court, he died good service during the Mutiny for which he was rewarded posthumously, married (amongst others) (a), Rajkumari Saras Kumari, daughter of Maharaj Shri Shivdan Singh, Thikanedar of Bagore, and had adoptive issue. He died 29th August 1857.

  12. Raja BHAIRON SINGHJI, 12th Raja of Ratlam 1857/1864, born 1839, he was disinterested in the administration of the state and left it to his fathers kamdar who abused the trust placed in him; he appointed a Bania as his deputy and between the two of them the states treasury was emptied and heavy debts piled which took ten years to clear; married (amongst others) (a), 1850, Maharani Birad Kanwar of Bhindar, married (b), Baijilal Ajab Kunwari Bai [Maharani Ajab Kunwari Bai], daughter of Raja Sangram Singhji of Banera, and his first wife, Rani Jodhpuriji, and had issue. He died 27th January 1864 leaving a bankrupt state and impoverished subjects.

  13. HH Raja Sir RANJIT SINGHJI, 13th Raja of Ratlam 1864/1893, born 1860, he succeeded to the gadi on 28th January 1864 (#1), educated at Daly College, Indore; he attended the Delhi Durbar in 1877; he was placed in charge of the state in 1880; granted an ibcreased salute of 13 guns and awarded the K.C.I.E. in 1888; married 1stly, 1878, HH Rani Raj Kunwarba Sahiba, daughter of HH Raj Sahib Sir Mansinhji of Dhrangadhra, died 1882, married 2ndly, 28th April 1884 at Dhrangadhra, HH Rani Baijilalba Sahiba, daughter of Maharajkumar Jaswantsinhji of Dhrangadhra, married 3rdly, 1889, a daughter of Bhati Thakur Amar Singh of Bikrampur; and had issue. He died of pneumonia on 20th January 1893.

  14. Maj.-Gen. HH Maharaja Sir SAJJAN SINGH
                    Bahadur (1880-1947)Maj.-Gen. HH Maharaja Sir SAJJAN SINGHJI Bahadur G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I., K.C.V.O., 14th Maharaja of Ratlam 1893/1947, born 13th January 1880 (#3), educated at Daly College, Indore; and received ruling powers on 15th December 1898; he joined the newly raised Imperial Cadet Corps in 1902, remaing with them till 1903; he attended the Delhi Darbars held in 1903 and 1911; he was granted the honorary rank of Colonel in the British Army in 1918; he served in France during WWI on the Staff of Field-Marshall Lord Haig from April 1915 up to 1918; subsequently he proceeded to the Indian frontier when war broke out with Afghanistan; he was awarded the Great War Medal, the Afghan campaign medal and holds the Croix d'Officier of the Legion d'Honneur; Regent of the Rewah Princely State from 1918 to 1922; he was appointed an A.D.C. to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales in 1922, he was granted a permanent local salute of 15 guns, made a  K.C.S.I. in 1909,a K.C.V.O. in 1922, and a G.C.I.E. in June 1931, he was granted the title of Maharaja as a hereditary distinction in 1921; married 1stly, 29th June 1902, a daughter of HH Maharajadhiraj Mirzan Maharao Shri Sir Khengarji III Sawai Bahadur of Kutch, died 14th January 1927, married 2ndly, on 24th October 1902, a daughter of Maharana Shri Pratapsinhji Bhawanisinhji, 27th Raja of Sant, she died of phthisis in July 1906 at Ratlam, married 3rdly, 20th August 1922, HH Maharani Sodhiji, a member of the Sodha family of Jamnagar, and had issue. He died 3rd February 1947.

  15. HH Maharaja LOKENDRA SINGH Bahadur, 15th Maharaja of Ratlam 1947/1991, born 9th November 1927 (#4), educated briefly at Colet Court School, Hammersmith (1937); he was awarded the Silver Jubilee Medal in 1935 and the Coronation Medal in 1937; married 15th January 1947 in Bombay, HH Maharani Prabha Rajya Lakshmi Devi, daughter of H.E. Major-General Shri Sir Shanker Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal. He died sp on 24th June 1991.

  16. HH Maharaja RANBIR SINGH Bahadur, 16th Maharaja of Ratlam 1991/2011, born 2nd October 1932, married (as her 1st husband), in 1958 in London, Elisabeth Juliet, born in August 1935 in Surrey, England, (she married 2ndly, Derek Eaton-Cooper), Company Director [30.1.2002] - [19.7.2002], and had issue, one daughter. He died spm in 2011.
1. "The Golden Book of India"; by Roper Lethbridge, MacMillan & Co., 1893 p. 460.
2. "Western States (Malwa) Gazetteer". Volume 5, Part A. Text. Compiled by Capt. C. E. Luard M.A. 1908.
3. "Burke's Peerage,Baronetage and Knightage"; 1939; p.2889.
4. "Burke's Peerage,Baronetage and Knightage"; 1931; p.2790.