Sunday, April 9, 2017

Raja Balwant Singh - Benares

Jayachandra, a Gahadavala Rajput, ruled the kingdom of Kashi. He had opposed the combined forces of Muizzuddin and Qutbuddin at Chandwar on the Yamuna in the district of Etawah. He could not stop the muslim attack.  Qutbuddin advanced up to Benares and plundered the city. He destroyed many temples and erected mosques on their foundations. The country was placed under Malik Husamuddin Ughulbak, to whom the local rajas and nobles, professed their allegiance.

Since this conquest, the kingdom of Benares had remained a part of the Turko-Afghan Empire, save the short period of the Sharqis of Jaunpore (1399-1479). Babar brought Benares within the Mughal sphere of influence. Akbar reconquered the territory and  and included the district of Benares within the vice royalty of Allahabad suba. It remained with Allahabad up to the reign of Aurangzeb who transferred it to the suba of Awadh.

Benares was considered very important in the Mughal period. Some of the princes of royal blood resided there as governors. Dara Shukoh, the eldest and the most favourite son of Shahjehan, lived
here for several years.

Rustam Ali Khan entrusted a Bhumihar Brahmin, called Mansa Ram, with the responsibility of
collecting revenue from these sarkars. As a mark of appreciation for Mansa Ram’s efficient performance as a revenue collector, Rustam Ali Khan solicited Emperor Muhammad Shah through
Murtaza Khan to confer upon him the title of Raja Bahadur. Mansa Ram prayed that his son is grated the honour. So, his eldest son, Balwant Singh, got the title. Thus Balwant  Singh became the Zamindar of  Jaunpore, Benares and Mirzapore on June 9, 1738.

The treaty of Allahabad was finally signed on the 16th August, 1765. The English restored to Shuja-ud-daula all his dominions with the exception of Chunar (which was retained by the English)
and the districts of Kora and Allahabad (which were given to Emperor Shah Alam II). Also, Benares was freed from the Nawab and came under the protection of East India Company.

Benares and the English East India Company, 1764 — 1795
Suprakash Sanyal, m.a. (Pato, ph.d. (Cai.)
Reader in History, Calcutta University, Calcutta



Kashi the city of lights Part Two

Kashi the city of lights Part Two

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