Kishangarh

Important Dates

1611 AD                        Kishangarh state founded.

26 Mar 1818 AD             British protectorate.

 

Maharajas

1644 – 1658                              Rup Singh                    
Jun 1658 - Oct 1706                   Man Singh                     (d. 1706)

Oct 1706 - Apr 1748                   Raj Singh                      (b. 1674 - d. 1748)

1748 – 1781                              Bahadur Singh               (d. 1781)

1748 - 21 Aug 1765                    Samant Singh                (b. 1700 - d. 1765)

                        (in opposition to 1756; from 1756 raja of Roopnagar)

21 Aug 1765 - 16 May 1768        Sardar Singh                 (b. 1730 - d. 1768)

                        (raja of Roopnagar; regent for Sawant 1756-65)

1781 - 22 Nov 1788                    Birad Singh                   (b. 1737 - d. 1788)

22 Nov 1788 - 5 Mar 1798           Pratap Singh                 (b. 1763 - d. 1798)

 5 Mar 1798 - 22 May 1839         Kalyan Singh                 (b. 1794 - d. 1839)

22 May 1839 - 5 Jul 1842            Mohkam Singh              (b. 1817 - d. 1842)

5 Jul 1842 - 25 Dec 1879            Prithvi Singh                  (b. 1838 - d. 1879)

25 Dec 1879 - 18 Aug 1900         Sardul Singh                  (b. 1857 - d. 1900)

18 Aug 1900 - 10 Jan 1926         Madan Singh                 (b. 1884 - d. 1926)

Oct 1926 -  3 Feb 1939               Yagya Narayan Singh     (b. 1896 - d. 1939)

24 Apr 1939 - 15 Aug 1947         Sumar Singh                 (b. 1929 - d. 1971)

 

History

Kishangarh (Kishengarh) is a state of over 850 square miles in central Rajasthan, located between 25° 49’ and 26° 59’ N. and 70° 40’ and 75° 11’ E.  Jaipur is to the east, Jodhpur to the north and northwest, and Ajmer district to the west and southeast and Shahpura right at the south.

The chiefs are Rathor Rajputs and are decended from Raja Udai Singh of Jodhpur.  Udai Singh’s first son Sur Singh and his second son, Kishan Singh quarelled and Kishan left Jodhpur territory at the age of 21 in 1596 AD and moved to Ajmer.  He obtained an introduction to the emperor Akbar, who awarded him the district of Hindaun (now in Jaipur), and later earned also Sethalao and other land. He founded Kishangarh town near Sethalao in 1611 AD.  Thence forward the state took its name from that town.  Akbar gave him the title Raja, and Jahangir promoted him to Maharaja.  He died in 1615 AD.  The fourth after him was Rup Singh who did good service under Shah Jahan and was rewarded with some territory in Udaipur.

Raj Singh (1706-1748 AD) fought with Shah Alam Bahadur at Jajjau during the war of succession following Aurangzeb’s death. He was wounded but survived, and was awarded more land, some of which was later lost to Jaipur.  His son, Sawant Singh, gave half the kingdom to his younger brother, but soon retired to live a religious life at Bindraban, where he died in 1764 AD.  His son, Sardar Singh ruled for two years, and his successor ruled the re-united territory until 1781, when he died.

Then came Kalyan Singh (1797 – 1832 AD, who brought the state under British protection in 1818 AD.  He seems to have been an unstable character, and, after getting into disputes with his nobles, he fled to Delhi and served the emperor in person.  The British had difficulty controlling the disputants at Kishangarh and warned Kalyan to return and take up his duties and pacify his state.  He returned to Kishangarh, but being unable to restore proper order, he tried unsuccessfully to lease the state to the government, fled again - this time to Ajmer, leaving the nobles to proclaim the heir apparent.  They wre about to put this into practise when Kalyan repented of his dessertion, and with the mediation of the Political Agent, was able to regain his throne.  However, he was not up to the task of ruling, and in 1832 AD he abdicated in favoiur of his son, Mokham Singh, who was succeeded by his adopted son, Prithvi Singh in 1839 AD.  Prithvi proved to be a very competent ruler.  He died in 1879 AD, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Sardul Singh, who continued his father’s enlightened style of rule.  He died in 1900 AD and was followed by his son, Madan Singh.  Yaghya Narayan Singh succeeded in 1926 AD and Sumar Singh in 1939 AD.

 

A Mule of Kishangarh [1]

Kishangarh (or Kishengarh) was a small State on the south-western border of its much larger neighbour, Jaipur, and not far from Ajmer. The rulers since the early 17th century were Rajputs of the Rathor clan, who styled themselves Maharaja. The first ruler was Kishen Singh, who is said to have founded the town of Kishangarh in or about 1611AD. Astonishingly, the tiny state retained its semi-independence and continued to be (at least partially) self-administered throughout the next 330- odd years of Mughal and, later, British rule, before becoming a part of the State of Rajasthan in an independent India, in 1949.

The first known coins of Kishangarh were dump copper takkas (undated), struck during and after the rule, and in the name of the Mughal Emperor, Muhammad Akbar II (1806-1837 AD). These coins are crude copies of the then-current coins of Jaipur (paisas numbered KM.35 in SAC). The Maharajas during this period were Kalyan Singh (1797-1832AD) and Mokham Singh (1832-1841AD), but their names never appeared on the coins.

The first Maharaja to put his own name on coins of this state was Prithvi Singh (1841-1879AD), who struck silver rupees and gold mohurs (very rare) with his name alongside that of Queen Victoria. Sardul Singh (1879-1900) did the same. By the time the next Maharaja, Madan Singh (1900-1926AD) came to the Musnud, the title of Victoria had been changed to Empress of India, and this change was reflected in the legends on his coins (undated half- and one rupees, and mohurs).

In addition to these series, which can obviously be positively attributed to the rulers under whose authority they were issued, there were two series of undated coins, without any clue to the issuer. These anonymous coins are published in the Krause-Mishler catalogues as KM.M7 to M9, and KM.M10 to M13 under the headings “First -” and “Second Anonymous Series”.

I have recently seen and photographed a half-rupee which has the obverse of the “Chandi” (which means Silver), or “First Anonymous Series” in the KM catalogues, KM.M9. This is coupled with the reverse of the Madan Singh half-rupee KM.A3 (i). Hence it is, in effect, a “Chandi” series coin with the name of Madan Singh (partly) readable on the reverse.

There would seem to be three possible explanations for the existence of this coin.

1).   The coin is a mule in the generally accepted meaning of the word, and, as such, could be taken as confirmation that the authors of SAC have got it right when they describe the “Chandi” series as the “First” anonymous series. It also suggests that the mule here described was most likely struck during the first few months of Yagha Narayan  Singh’s reign (1926-1938AD), and before the withdrawal and destruction of the dies prepared for his predecessor, Madan Singh. To the best of my knowledge, it has never been positively determined whether the description “First” and “Second” Anonymous series used by KM are accurate or not. If this scenario is correct, this could be taken as evidence that they are.

2).   Could it be that the “Chandi” dies were introduced towards the end of Madan Singh’s reign, and some coins were struck legitimately using these dies, and that the coin now under discussion is therefore not anonymous at all? Nor would it be a mule, but a new type, if this proposition is the right one.

 

3).   There is, of course, another, and probably a better explanation. It seems that both the anonymous series were struck concurrently, just after the Mint was officially closed in about 1910AD.  The output received only limited circulation (if any), being primarily intended for use as “donatives” , or token pieces struck to order, and used principally in wedding ceremonies where ‘old’ rupees retained a ceremonial worth. Smaller fractional denominations were frequently used for jewellery, coat buttons and so on  (ii). The Hindi word ‘chandodi’, in Rajasthan, referred to such hand-made, ‘dump-style’ rupees as distinct from the machine-struck specie from the new British mints, which had largely ousted hand-made coins from daily use throughout the sub-continent by this time. Mr Shailendra Bhandere is of the opinion that the word ‘chandi’ on the reverse of ‘first-series’ coins alludes to the fact that pieces so marked were dump-style and not machine-struck , as well as indicating their unofficial or bullion status. We might, perhaps, refer to them as NCLT issues. (iii).  The two anonymous series were struck concurrently after the closure of the mint (about 1910AD  vide supra), and under these circumstances, with dies of at least two series being in use at the same time and in the same place, without strict official oversight, mules would be expected to occur, and may not be at all uncommon. “To err is human….”  (iii)

Of the three scenarios suggested above, perhaps the most likely is the third. Unless someone out there has a better suggestion……………

(i)      SAC by Krause Publications, Iola, 1981. (Mr William Spengler was largely responsible, with others, for the excellent and well-researched I.N.S. section, which remains, in its updated form, the standard work for many of the Native States series).

(ii)     Shailendre Bhandare, personal correspondence, 2004, used here with the permission of Mr Bhandere.

(iii)    Anonymous and undated.

Any further information which can throw any light on the introduction (and usage and destruction) dates of the “Anonymous Series” dies involved would be greatly appreciated by the writer who can be contacted by e-mail at:

 

                        barrytabor@aol.com

 

Any material supplied, if unpublished at the time, will, with the supplier’s permission, be included in any future article, and duly acknowledged.

Thanks are due to Stan Goron and Shailendre Bhandare, whose help and guidance in the writing of this note is hereby gratefully acknowledged.



[1] Barry Tabor