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History of Sikar

Sikar, formerly known as Nehrawati, was the capital town of the Thikana Sikar. Sikar Thikana or Sikar Estate was the biggest estate of Jaipur. 

Sikar was primitively called as ‘Veerbhan-Ka-Bas’. Veerbhan Jat of Khichar gotra was the founder of  ‘Veerbhan-ka-Bas’. Its original habitation was Veerbhan Dhaka Ki Dhani, as said by Ranmal Singh. There is a belief that Sikar was named by Rao Shiv Singh Shekhawat, who was then the Jagirdar of  Sikar. But ancient Sanskrit literature also mentions its name.

History of Sikar

According to Mahabharat Sabha Parva there was a province named Seka, located in the southern province.  It mentions Seka to be located between Narmada and Chambal Rivers. But, according to some historians, Seka was located located in Ajmer-Merwara region. It was conquered by Sahadeva. It is also believed that the names Sikar and Shekhawati  was given by the people of Seka.

Origin of Sikar

Amber Raja Udaykaran(1367-1389 AD) who was the ruler of Kachwaha, handed over the Jagir of Barwara along with 12 villages to his son Bala. It is believed that the Shekhawats have descended from Bala. Bala died in 1430. Mokal was his successor. He left the Jagir of Barwara and settled in ‘Amara-ki-dhani’ village. Amara-ki-dhani was founded by Amara Jat. Mokal was blessed with a son while in Amara-ki-dhani. It is believed that Mokal’s son was born from the blessings of Sekh Burhan. Hence, he named his son as Shekha. Shekha ruled 360 and its center was Amarsar (Amara-ki-dhani was later named as Amarsar).

Rulers in Sikar

Rao Shekha Singh: It can be noted here that, Shekha  is a Muslim Jat clan. It is found in Pakistan. From the census of 1911, it is seen that the Shekha were the principal Muslim Jat clan in Multan District. There population was around 674. The Jats of Sikar have played a crucial role in Indian freedom movement and in abolition of the ‘Jagirdari system’ through ‘Sikar Jat-Kisan-Panchayat’.
Raimal, was the son of Shekha and Raisal was the son of Raimal. Both Raimal and Raisal supported Akbar in his campaign of attack on Gujarat. During the second attack by Akbar’s on Gujarat, Akbar was impressed by the bravery of Raisal’s son Tirmal. Akbar awarded the title ‘Rao’ to Tirmal.

Rao Gangaram, son of Rao Tirmal, made Kasali as his capital. Later, Rao Syamaram, son of Rao Gangaram made Dujod as his capital. Rao Jaswant Singh was the son of Rao Gangaram and continued to keep Dujod as his capital.  There was enmity between Rao Jaswant Singh  and Bahadur Singh, ruler of Khandela . This enmity lead to the murder of Rao Jaswant Singh by Bahadur Singh. But later, to facilitate friendly relationship between the two rulers,  the Jagir of  Veerbhan-ka-bas was given to Rao Jaswant Singh’s son Daulat Singh. Daulat Singh was king  from 1687-1721. Veerbhan-ka-bas was renamed as Sikar by Rao Daulat Singh as a memory of Rao Shekha. He constructed a fort in 1687 for the memory of Rao Shekha.

Successors of Daulat Singh
Rao Daulat Singh
had three sons, namely Rao Shiv Singh , Kunwar Swarup Singh of Seewod, Shekhsar, and Gododa Bagdoda and Kunwar Vishnu Singh of Paiwa, Seewod, and Roru. After the death of Rao Daulat Singh, in 1721, Rao Shiv Singh became the ruler of Sikar. He ruled Sikar from 1721 to 1748. He was the one to complete the fort and palaces of Sikar by 1724. In 1731, he conquered  Fatehpur. Rao Samrath Singh, the son of Rao Shiv Singh and Rani Mertaniji of Maroth ruled Sikar from 1748 to1754. Rao Nahar Singh, son of Rao Samrath Singh ruled Sikar from 17 48 to 1754.  He was deposed and given Balaran for his maintenance, by his uncle Rao Chand Singh. Rao Chand Singh ruled Sikar from 1756 to 1763.Rao Shiv Singh, had four wifes. They were Rani Mertaniji of Maroth, Rani Champawatiji of Pali, Rani Mertaniji of Loonwa, Rani Bidawatiji, a daughter of Thakur Bhao Singh Bidawat of Dantru. He had six children. They are:
  • Rao Samrath Singh  was born by Rani Mertaniji of Maroth.
  • Kunwar Kirat Singh by Rani Champawatiji. He had a son named Kunwar Padam Singh, who ruled Patoda and Bethoth.
  • Kunwar Medh Singh by Rani Champawatiji. He has son named Kunwar Bhao Singh, who ruled Deepura Sarwari. Thakur Saheb of Sarwari was the son of Bhao Singh. He had two children, namely Thakur Phool Singh,  and Kunwar Bikram Singh. Thakur Phool Singh married Thakurani Pushpa Kunwar of Daulatgarh and Dhanoli in Idar. Kunwar Bikram Singh, was adopted by Kunwar Hardyal Singh, he succeeded as Rao Raja Bikram Singh of Sikar.
  • Raja Chand Singh by Rani Mertaniji of Loonwa.
  • Kunwar Budh Singh by Rani Mertaniji of Loonwa. Budh Singh was regent of Sikar from 1763 to 1767.
  • The name of the sixth child is not known. He married Rajadhiraj Umaid Singhji of Shahpura.He died in the battle of Maonda in 1767.
Rao Samarth Singh, was the next ruler of Sikar. He had three children, namely, Rao Nahar Singh, Kunwar Guman Singh of Mugloona. and Kunwar Bagh Singh of Koodan. Rao Nahar Singh took over the throne of Sikar, after Rao Samarth Singh.

Rao Chand Singh, was the next ruler of Sikar. After him, his son Devi Singh took over the throne of Sikar.
He was born on 6th May 1753 and ruled from 1763 to 1795. He constructed the fort of Devgarh in 1787 and also founded the town of Ramgarh in 1791.Also, he built Raghunathgarh fort in 1791. He was married to three wives namely Rani Mertaniji, Rani Kanlotiji, Rani Chandrawatiji. Rao Raja Lakshman Singh  was his son by Rani Kanlotji. Roa Chand Singh died on 25th December 1795.

Rao Raja Lakshman Singh, was born on 21st June 1787. He married seven wives, one of them being a daughter of Maharaj Jai Singh of Bikaner. He was blessed with seven sons. Kunwar Hamir Singh, Rao Raja Ram Pratap Singh, Kunwar Chiman Singh, Kunwar Rambux Singh, Rao Raja Bhairon Singh born by Rani Mertaniji of Ghanerao, Kunwar Hukam Singh, natural son by paswanji Kisturi, and Kunwar Mukund Singh, natural son by Paswanji Kisturi. Mukund Singh was Chief Minister of Sikar in 1851. He had a son named Kunwar Paneh Singh, who was one of the Chief Ministers of Sikar. Rao Raja Lakshman Singh usurped the gaddi at Khandela in 1812. He was very soon convinced to return it. The title of Rao Raja was awarded to Rao Lakshman Singh by Maharaja Jagat Singh. He died on 24th January 1834.

Rao Raja Ram Pratap Singh, the next Rao Raja of Sikar  ruled from 1834 to 1850. He was born in 1829 He constructed the marble palace which is noted for its attractive golden paintings. He married two wives namely Rani Ranawatiji of Shahpura,and Rani Bhatianiji. He died on 17th September 1850.

Rao Raja Bhairon Singh, the next Rao Raja of Sikar, ruled from 1851 to 1865. He was born posthumously in 1834. Originally he was granted the jagir of Seemalala. He was adopted by his predecessor’s widow. This was confirmed only after a year of succession , in 1851. He was one of the former Vice Presidents of India. He died on 5th April 1865.

Rao Raja Sir Madho Singh Bahadur, adoptive son of Rao Raja Bhairon Singh, ruled sikar from 1866 to 1922. He was born in 1860. He was the second son of Thakur Birad Singh of Deeppura. The title of ‘Bahadur’ was granted to him in 1886, on account of his courage and strength. He married four wives, a princess of Gajsinghpura, a daughter of Kumpawat Thakur Mool Singh of Gajsinghpura in Jodhpur,  daughter of Nathawat Thakur Ganga Singh of Asota in Jaipur,and Rani Bhatianiji. He had three children, namely,
  • Maharani Raj Kunwar - married 14th May 1924, had one daughter, died in 1929,
  • Rajkumari (name unknown) Kanwar - married the Rajkumar of Surguja and
  • Rajkumari (name unknown) Kanwar, married Raja Kalyan Singhji of Bhinai.
All the three were born by Rani Bhatianiji. He constructed the ‘Madhav Niwas Kothi’. He is also credited for making huge ‘Victoria Diamond Jublee Hall’. He had a love for architecture and paintings and was also anxious for the welfare of the public. He started many famine relief works, during the terrible famine in 1899 (Samvat 1956), for the poor and hungry. The ‘Madhav Sagar Pond’, built in 1899, is an evidence for the same. It cost Rs.56000/- at his period and learly speaks the fame of his ruler clearly. Electricity was first brought to Sikar, and also the roads were constructed for the for the first time during Rao Raja Madho Singh Bahadur’s times. He also repaired the old monuments, palaces, forts, temples and boundary walls. Because of his cordial relationship with the British Government, it was possible to conduct the survey of Railway from Jaipur to Sikar. He died on 28th June 1922 in Sikar.

Rao Raja Kalyan Singh Bahadur, nephew of his Rao Raja Sir Madho Singh Bahadur and son of Thakur Dalip Singh, ruled Sikar 1922 to 1967. He was born on 20th June 1886 at Deeppura. He was the elder brother of Rao Raja Madho Singh Bahadur. He married a daughter of Thakur Madho Singh of Sirana in Ajmer.He had four children, namely
  • Kunwar Narain Singh - he died at a young age,
  • Thakurani Phool Kanwar - she married Thakur Umaid Singhji of Neemaj in 1927,
  • Thakurani (name unknown) Kanwar - married Thakur Chiman Singhji of Chanod and
  • Kunwar Hardayal Singh - born on 9th July 1922, educated at Mayo College, Ajmer, married a daughter of Shri Mussoorie Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepalin 1938 in Lucknow, on February 1948 married princess Triloki Rajya Lakshmi Devi, daughter of King Tribhuvan Bir Bikram Shah Dev of Nepal. Kunwar Bikram Singh was the son of Hardayal Singh.
Rao Raja Kalyan Singh constructed the ‘Clock tower’ and the ‘Kalyan Hospital’ and ‘Kalyan College’ for the welfare of public. He died on 5th November 1967 in Jaipur.

Rao Raja Bikram Singh, the present Rao Raja of Sikar (Kathmandu, Nepal), was adopted by Rao Raja Kalyan Singh from Sarwari Village on 16th September 1959. He married Rani Bipula Kumari (Kumari Bipula Singh of Bajhang in Nepal) in 1972. He had three children. They are:
  • Rajkumari Reshma Singh, she got married to Shri Narsingh Pravin Rana of Kathmandu (Nepal).
  • Rajkumari Himani Singh (Princess Himani Rajya Lakshmi Devi), was born on 1st October 1976 in Kathmandu, Nepal, got married on 26th January 2000 in Kathmandu, Nepal to Crown Prince Paras Shah of Nepal.
  • Rajkumari Dr. Aparna Singh, she got married to Dr. Sushil Jung Shah.
Three most prominent businessmens of the India viz. the Bajajs, the Birlas and the Goenkas belong to Sikar. Most of the Marwari businessmen community who reside in Assam, Surat, West Bengal, Hyderabad and Bengaluru also belongs to Sikar.

The Jat Prajapati Maha Yagya for Jats of Sikar

The Jat Prajapati Maha Yagya was a historic event that took place in Sikar. It was held at Sikar from 20th to 29th of January 1934. The purpose of the yagya was to create awareness of education in Shekhawati and spread the principles of Arya Samaj. It also intended to improve the socio-economic conditions of Jats in Sikar.

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