Contributions of Different Kings in the Faridkot State
Sukhpreet Singh1, Dr. Sukhjeet Kaur Bhullar2
1Research Scholar, Guru Kashi University Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda (Punjab)
2(Supervisor), Assistant Professor, Head of Department, Guru Kashi University Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda (Punjab)
After becoming the complete empire of Faridkot, kings of Brar family ruled over it. In which first one Pahad Singh who ruled from 1827 to 1849 A.D. and then Wajir Singh who ruled from 1849 to 1874 Than from 1874 to 1898 A.D. Than from 1874 to 1898 Bikram Singh got change to rule over Faridkot after that 1898 to 1906 AD Balvir Singh ruled over it. Than for sometimes council of regency (Faridkot) ruled at it in 1916 to 1918 King Barjinder Singh ruled over it. Than till 1934 council of administration ruled it. And from 1934 to 1948 king Harinder ruled it after India got freedom and this empire was demolish. All these had done works in their time.
It took a long time for Faridkot to become a definite dominion. It has to pass through various circumstances from the period of King Jaisal to King Attar Singh to King Pahada Singh as its rulers. During this time, Faridkot had been ruled by different rulers. But later, it became a dominion, it did not come under the control of a single ruler. For some time, various rulers had ruled over the surrounding areas of the Faridkot dominion. During this time, Faridkot was not a capital of any region. First of all, king Mokalsi established the dominion Faridkot. He had built a temporary fortress in Mokalhar in the twelfth century. After this, there had been many rulers in this dynasty who ruled over the surrounding areas of Faridkot. For some time, the rulers of this dynasty had abandoned ruling over the region. At that time, they ruled over the surrounding areas of Faridkot and populated many regions. But after some time, the rulers of this lineage made Faridkot its capital and made the temporary fortress concrete.
For some time, Kotakpura was also made the capital before Faridkot. But Maharaja Hameer Singh changed the capital from Kotakpura to Faridkot. After this, Faridkot was ruled over by the lineage of Maharaja Hameer Singh and later, Faridkot was made the capital. After this, the dominion had six Maharajas who ruled the dominion for quite some time as its permanent dominion. But in 1947, India got independence. Due to this, these permanent princely states could have posed danger to the scrutiny of the country.1 Therefore, five dominions such as that of Faridkot, Jind, Nabha, Patiala and Kapurthala were broken down and were included in PEPSU. When Faridkot became a permanent dominion, the rulers who ruled it begin as from Maharaja Pahada Singh. Before Maharaja Pahada Singh, Faridkot was ruled by Maharaja Gulab Singh. After him, the throne went to his son, Maharaja Attar Singh in 1826 AD. After a year, he too died in 1827 AD. Then the problem arose to whom should the crown be passed. The rightful successors to the throne were Gulab Singh’s brother Pahada Singh and Kanwar Sahib Singh. At last, the throne was passed to Kanwar Pahada Singh. After this, the permanent rule started in the dominion of Faridkot.
Maharaja Pahada Singh (1827-1849):
Maharaja Pahada Singh sat on the throne in 1827 AD. He had paid special attention to the welfare of the people. He also gave his brothers Kanwar Sahib Singh and Kanwar Mehtab Singh some villages to rule over. There were many jungles nearby Faridkot which he got cleared. He had kept good advisors to take advice for himself and for the welfare of the people. Sardar Meenha Singh, Sardar Ghamand Singh and Sardar Koma Singh were his advisors. These people helped Maharaja Pahada Singh at different times and situations, with their intelligence and wisdom. Due to this, he led the development of the dominion for twenty years. Before some time, a linked canal was constructed with the river Satluj. This river provided water to the dominion from some miles away. After some time, this canal dried up. There was not much money in the treasury to set up a new canal. Therefore, he helped the landlords to build a well. The relations between Maharaja Pahada Singh and the court of Lahore were not cordial. The Deewan of Lahore, Mohkam Chand, had tried to take this dominion in his hands. Due to this, Maharaja Pahada Singh came close to the British. In 1845 AD, there was a battle in Muddki in which Maharaja Pahada Singh had helped Britishers against the Sikhs. After the battle, Maharaja Pahada Singh was given the title of a ‘King’ by the British. After this, in the battle of Pheru, the British had accepted their defeat and stepped backwards. On the other side, the leaders of the Sikhs Sardar Lal Singh and Tej Singh had stepped their army back. Cannons and other things were lying on the ground. Seeing this, Maharaja Pahada Singh went to the British Major Brajfort and told him the story of Sikhs stepping back. On the request of Maharaja Pahada Singh, they came into the battleground and took possession of the cannons and other warfare. Maharaja Kanwar Pahada Singh was married to Chand Kaur, the daughter of Sardar Samand Singh of Deena Wale. She gave birth to Tikka Wazir Singh. Maharaja Pahada Singh got married to the daughter of Muddki royal family for the second time. She gave birth to Kanwar Deep Singh and Kanwar Anokh Singh. At the age of fifty, Maharaja Pahada Singh died.2
Maharaja Wazir Singh (1849-1874):
Maharaja Pahada Singh had three sons from which Kanwar Deep Singh and Kanwar Anokh Singh died very young. After Maharaja Pahada Singh, Wazir Singh was the rightful owner of the throne. At a very young age, he himself started interfering into the matters of the dominion. When he sat on the throne, this experience helped him a lot. In 1849 AD, when Maharaja Pahada Singh died, Wazir Singh took over the throne. That was a peaceful time. Due to this, he took interest in the politics of the dominion. He initiated new projects for the dominion. The dominion was divided into Faridkot, Deep Singh Wala, Kotakpura and Bhagta by Wazir Singh. Tehsils were established in Faridkot and Kotakpura and Tehsildars were appointed there. Every division had its own police station which was given to the Inspectors. Before this, the statistics of the land was not done. Wazir Singh led to the measurement of the land which came under the dominion. Hectares were calculated by asking the Nambardars. Wazir Singh was the first to take such measures for Faridkot. This was called ‘Moti Ram Bandobast.’ In this, documents related to Sajra, Khushrah, Khatoni and Khevad were prepared. Before Maharaja Wazir Singh, the tax was taken in the form of food grains. But Maharaja Wazir Singh started taking it in the form of money. It was taken in the form of rupee two per acre from the barren land, and rupee 8 per acre from the irrigated land. Maharaja Wazir Singh carried out many changes in the finance of the dominion. Before this, there was no appropriate management of the finance. It was under the control of the Deewan. Maharaja Wazir Singh stopped all this and took it under his control. Maharaja started holding court for the first time, wherein the disputes and problems of the people were solved in an open court. Maharaja had built the first Bazaar of Faridkot in 1861 AD. In this, businessmen from far off places would be invited. A revolt took place in Delhi in 1857. Under the leadership of Bahadur Shah, the people of the east led the revolt against the British. With their politics and strategies, the eastern people did away with the power of the court of Lahore. Due to this, the whole Sikh community was against him. In the beginning, the Sikhs gave full support to the eastern people against the British but gradually, they too started revolt against the British to gain freedom. But Maharaja Wazir Singh had helped the British a lot in that battle. He took heavy army and reached the Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur. He safeguarded near the banks of the river Satluj. His army had caught several revolutionaries and got them arrested by the Government. Due to this, people started hating the Maharaja of Faridkot. After the revolt ended, Maharaja was given the title of “Brar Vansh Raja Bahadur.” Instead of seven, he was given honours of eleven cannons. These were declared by Queen Victoria on 21st April 1863 in a special assembly meeting. Maharaja Wazir Singh was a wise and political person. He was also a follower of Guru Ghar. He had lended his services to Gurudwara Lohgarh Deena. It is that place where Sikh’s tenth Guru Gobind Singh had sent ‘Zafarnama’ to Mughal Emperor, which was written in Persian. In this letter, Guru Sahib had declared the Brar community as his own community. In his final years, he took the Sangat to visit the religious places of Haridwar, Calcutta, Allahabad and Patna. He built a Gurudwara named Sangat Sahib there. When the ninth Guru Tag Bahadur reached the pilgrim place of Kurukshetra, Maharaja Wazir Singh passed away on 1874. A Gurudwara was built on the place whose management was under the Faridkot dominion. After this, the throne was passed over to Wazir Singh’s son Kanwar Bikram Singh.3
Kanwar Bikram Singh (1874-1898):
Maharaja Bikram Singh was the third king of the dominion. After the demise of Maharaja Wazir Singh, he sat on the throne in 1874 AD. When he sat on the throne, civil and military officers, great Sardars and Maharaja Mahinder Singh of Patiala too came to visit him. Maharaja Bikram had two marriages. There were no children out of the first marriage. The second marriage took place in the dominion of Patiala. From this, Tikka Balveer Singh was born. Maharaja Bikram Singh was a very wise, intelligent and just king. Maharaja Bikram Singh had built dormitories, gardens, bungalows, roads and market places. Other than this, he also carried other social welfare works. He had also built the fort in a very elegant way. Other than this, Maharaja Bikram Singh also had an interest in collecting money. During his time, he had saved one crore rupees. At the time when Bikram Singh sat on the throne, Faridkot city resided within a fort only. After this, Maharaja Bikram Singh built a beautiful market area and led the people outside the fort for the first time. He imposed the ‘Aabkar Act’ by which he put a restriction on the regulation of alcohol in the region. With this, the income of the kingdom had increased. In order to document the whole land of his dominion, Maharaja gave the work to the British officer Lala Daulat Rai. It was declared on 1886 AD. After the death of Lala Daulat Rai in 1891, three other officers were appointed who completed the task. Maharaja also gave attention to the laws. He established civil and criminal courts. The retired English officers were appointed. At first, the dominion was divided into four parts. But Maharaja made two divisions instead of four. The division of Deep Singh Wala was combined in Faridkot whereas the division Bhagta was combined with Kotakpura. In these, instead of police stations, Chunkis were established. In 1884, during the time of Maharaja Bikram Singh, the railway line had come to Faridkot. With this, Faridkot was associated with Lahore, Kotakpura, Sarsa, Hisar, Revari and Mumbai. In order to boost business, Maharaja Bikram Singh established Mandis in which the businessmen started coming soon in huge number. Maharaja also took care of many orchids in the area. A beautiful palace was also built in the fort. He was very interested in education field and opened many schools in 1875. He also helped in the building of Panjab University. He was the founding member of the university. He was also a follower of Guru Ghar. He laid the foundation of the first Sikh organization. The first religious improvement organization was Singh Sabha Organisation which was established in 1873. The British authorities also respected him a lot. Due to this, he maintained his friendship with them. In 1878, he gave help of armed force to Britishers in the battle of Afghanistan. He was therefore awarded with title of “Farzandeshaadat Nishan Hazrat-e-Kesar-e-Hind.” Other than this, one interesting fact about him appears about him in the Illustrated Weekly of India, page no. 12. When Maharaja Daleep Singh called Sardar Thakur Singh Sandhawalia to England, before he came to Hindustan. On 31st March, 1886, Maharaja Daleep Singh started his journey to India from England. Listening to the news, the Sikhs of Punjab get emotional. Due to this, the British Government did not allow him to come to India. He was stopped at the port of Adan. Maharaja Daleep Singh then went to Roop. From there, he sent secret letters to the Awadh King Maharaja Holkar, Maharaja Sindhiya, Maharaja Amar Singh Kashmir. In those letters, Maharaja Bikram Singh of Faridkot and Maharaja Heera Singh of Nabha had spoken of giving their full support. Maharaja Bikram Singh ruled over 24 years in Faridkot and in the end, died in 1898 AD.4
Maharaja Balveer Singh (1898-1906)
Maharaja Tikka Balveer Singh was the fourth king in the dominion of Faridkot. He was born in 1869 AD to Maharaja Bikram Singh. His father Maharaja Bikram Singh gave him a god nurturing. In 1879, there were additions of learning Persian and English in his education. After that, he was admitted to Meo College Ajmer for his higher education. Every student of the college respected him. Babu Amarnath was his friend who made him learn English. During his college years too, Babu Amarnath helped him a lot. In 1885, he was married while he was in college. His father had spent a lot in his marriage. He was married in district Ambala to the daughter of Raja Bhagwan Singh. Maharaja Bikram Singh was famous for his extravagancy and affluent behavior during those times. Due to this, he also spent a lot on his son’s wedding. After his college, he started taking interest in the affairs of the kingdom. With this, he had learned the tactics of ruling. When in 1898, his father died, he took over the throne. Maharaja Bikram Singh had already given the area of Dhaane Ditrict Hisar to his younger son. Maharaja Balveer Singh was very fond of architecture. He had led to the establishment of many important buildings. Among them were Raj Mahal, Victoria Memorial, Ghanta Ghar. Other than this, he built an Anglo Vernacular Middle School in Faridkot. He loved of his younger brother Rajinder Singh very much, But in 1900, he died at the age of twenty one. Sometime after sitting on the throne, he travelled his dominion. His aim was to know the problems of the people and to find measures to solve those problems. After this tour, he also wrote a book, in the introduction to which he wrote, “Whenever a king takes a tour of his kingdom, his aim should be the welfare of the nation as well as that of the population.”5 According to an old tradition, a court would be held on the occasion of Dusshera in Faridkot. On 3rd October 1900, such a court was organized. It was Maharaja’s first session. Two addresses were given by the Governmental officers and the subjects to the Government and the answers Maharaja offered are as follows: “… you should have by the short duration of my rule that according to my principles, no innocent person would be criminalized. I believe in trusting a suspicious person to the point until he is able not to prove himself as an innocent man. In reward for good services, I believe in promoting the person to the next level. You should believe that the service of a worker is acceptable to the point when he is able to offer his services along with believing in the Waheguru and having no other ill thoughts.” These words of Maharaja show his wisdom and intellect in building a community.
He responded to the address given by the subjects in this way: “you have mentioned my ancestors. And this is even more commendable. The wise men say that a good ruler is one who accepts his responsibility. There is no ambiguity in this fact that those ancestors would understand their responsibilities clearly and only then could make efforts to fulfill them. They truly were in love with humanity. They were a mine of gold and every person participates according to his destiny. He feels sad in the sadness of the community and finds himself happier in the happiness of the people.” He also mentioned about the animals in his speech and also announced some new Mandis. Maharaja was also very fond of literature. He established Balveer Press and built a library. He also published many books. Among them were the travelogue of Maharaja Kapurthala, the diary of Maharani Kapurthala. In February 1906, he died at the age of thirty seven. Maharaja Tikka Balveer Singh had no children of his own. Hence, the successor to his throne was his brother Rajinder Singh’s son, Barjinder Singh, who sat on the throne of Faridkot dominion after Maharaja Balveer Singh.6
Maharaja Barjinder Singh (1906-1918):
Maharaja Barjinder Singh was born in 1896. His father was Rajinder Singh, who was the brother of Maharaja Tikka Balveer Singh. Maharaja Tikka Balveer Singh was his uncle in relationship. He had no children and hence, he had fatherly feelings for Barjinder Singh from the beginning. Henceforth, after his death, Barjinder Singh was made his successor. Therefore, when Maharaja Tikka Balveer Singh died on 15th March, 1906, Barjinder Singh was crowned the next king. When he was given the throne, he was just ten years old. Due to this, the management of the dominion was given to a council. He took control over the kingdom after a long period of time. Maharaja Tikka Balveer Singh had made good arrangements for the education of Barjinder Singh. For his proficiency in English, Mr. E. S. Aitkinson was appointed and for Punjabi and other religious education, Sardar Inder Singh was appointed from Amritsar. For higher education, he was sent to Asichen College, Lahore. All his teachers and fellow students praised him for his virtues. In this way, he obtained his diploma degree in 1914, which was the topmost among the princes of Punjab. When the kingdom was given to Council due to his being a minor, Sardar Bahadur Rasaldar Partap Singh was the head of the council at that time. He continued his term till 1909. After him, Dayal Singh Maan became the President of the council. In 1914, the council was done away with and a Superintendent was appointed at the place. During the time of council also, there were progressive changes. Several new schemes were brought about. Several new buildings and schools were made. For example, a hospital named Queen Suraj Kaur Hospital was established for women. Then Barjindra High School, several other schools and police stations were established. When Dayal Singh was the President of the council, the documentation of the dominion was carried out again. At that time a new act named “Panchayat Act’ was started. In November 1916, Maharaja Barjinder Singh took over the control over the dominion in his hands. Maharaja Barjinder Singh was married in Shahzadpur to the daughter of a rich Sardar Jeevan Singh, which was a good family in Punjab. This family had a great blessing because it was associated with the family of Baba Deep Singh. After his marriage, a son named Harinder Singh was born to him. He was an ardent follower of the Sikh religion. Other than this, he also respected other religions too. When the World War happened in 1914, Maharaja Barjinder Singh had supported the British a great deal. He had given a huge amount of money to the British Government. Other than this, he also offered the relevant materials and thing from his dominion. He had given the proof of his loyalty towards the British by offering help for three years. Several youngsters of the Faridkot dominion took part in the war and several of them were sent to be recruited for the services to British. Twenty two jawaans of the dominion were given state honours. The dominion had given as the war interest and one lac as the war fund to the British. Also, it had given good breed of horses and camels. Due to all this, the British praised Maharaja Barjinder Singh and gave him the title of a ‘Maharaja.’ Except this, Maharaja had also done several important works for the dominion. His rule continued for a short period of time. His life ended so soon. On 22nd December, 1918, he died. In the end, his son Harinder Singh took over the throne. 7
Maharaja Harinder Singh(1919-1948):
Maharaja Harinder Singh was the last ruler of the Faridkot dominion. After him, all the princely states were disintegrated after the independence of the country. The five princely states of Punjab were disintegrated and combined into PEPSU. Maharaja Harinder Singh was born on 29th January, 1915. He had to sit on the throne at a very young age, because he was the only successor to the throne after the death of Maharaja Barjinder Singh. When he was eight years old, he had to go abroad due to some medical complication. After coming back, he took hold of the dominion. He came back from abroad in February 1924. After that, he was sent o Chief’s College. Other than this, he also got good positions in several other examinations. For this, he was rewarded with Watson-Albel Singh medal and Gardley Medal. When Maharaja Harinder got the throne, he was very young. Due to this, the kingdom was under the rule of the Council. It took control over the kingdom from 1918 to 1934. Maharaja Harinder got the hold back in October 1934, when he was an adult. He took over all his rights over the dominion. Maharaja Harinder Singh was married to the daughter of Sardar Bhagwant Singh Bhareli of district Ambala in 1933. He learned at first that the good rule and administration could be enjoyed by literate people. Hence, he focused on the sphere of education. He would open schools and colleges every year in the dominion. The youth felt overjoyed in attaining higher education. The result is that today there is a prestigious Science college, B. T. Training center and Agricultural classes. Bikram College of Commerce is the second top most college of Punjab. J.V. Training College, 12 High Schools and several primary schools fulfill the goal of Maharaja Harinder Singh. Maharaja Sahib built many roads so as to take the people closer to the Mandis. In order to bring transparency in the official works, Maharaja Sahib established a Secretariat in 1934 in which all the offices of the dominion came under the courts. A High Court was also established. A Judicial Committee was also organized in which great judges of law were appointed. In this way, the dominion was arranged with the new ideas of laws and was hence improved. He had done great works for the welfare of the society.8 He opened a great number of hospitals, built wells and roads, opened several colleges and schools. In Faridkot, a veterinary hospital and dispensaries were also opened. When Maharaja Sahib had taken hold of throne, there was one high school, five middle schools and forty seven primary schools, but during his rule, there were dozens of schools and several colleges. Maharaja Harinder Singh was rewarded with several titles from time to time. Some were given by the British while others were adopted by himself, such as ‘His Highness Farzande’, ‘Siyaasat Nishan Hazrat-e-Kesar-e-Hind’, ‘Brar Vansh Raja’, “Harindu Singh Sahib’, ‘Bahadur Ruler Faridkot’, etc. Under Maharaja Harinder Singh, there was 643 square feet of area, which was under the dominion. Its annual income was near about 80 lacs. In this, tax was taken from several villages. In the dominion, there were 344 soldiers and 224 police officers. Maharaja Harinder Singh had one son and three daughters, namely Harmohinder Singh, Amrit Kaur, Deepinder Kaur amd Maheepinder Kaur. After the dominion disintegrated, the family went to Shimla to lead a Sardari life. Maharaja Harinder Singh stayed at Shimla for several years after the independence. At last, he died on 16th October, 1989. The rulers of the dominion of Faridkot had done several developmental works during their rule. They had given their best according to the situations and circumstances of the times, by bringing about social welfare But till 1930, several movements related to independence were gaining momentum. For instance, the political parties such as Congress, Akali Dal, Ghadar Party were struggling for independence. In the independent dominion of Faridkot, these parties were getting influential. Due to which, people had made a Praja Mandal to struggle against the rule of Maharaja of Patiala. After this, a Mandal Committee was organized which held meetings from time to time to decide over matters. Here in Faridkot, people were tortured by the Police Raj. They were exempted from selling their crops in other Mandis. The Faridkot dominion had much treasury but still the landlords were exploited. The fee structure of the educational institutions was very high. Due to these reasons, there was also a revolution of Praja Mandal, which was the struggle of the common people of the dominion. They came together to revolt, to end which several attempts were made by the dominion. In this way, where there were several works done for the social welfare, there also were revolts against the dominion too. The dominion was disintegrated in 1948 because at that time, India had got independence. By the attempts of Jawahar Lal Nehru, dominions were disintegrated. The five princely states of Punjab—Faridkot, Patiala, Jind, Nabha and Kapurthala were combined into PEPSU. The Faridkot dominion was also disintegrated.
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2. Parihar Subhash, Architectural Heritage of a Sikh State, Faridkot, Aryan Books International, New Delhi, 2009.
3. Duler, Hushaar Singh, Jattan da Itihas, Lokhgeet Parkashan, Sector-22, Chandigarh, 2001.
4. Khalsa, Inderjit Singh, Kuj Anfaroliya Parta, Parkashak ‘Narayan Villa, Faridkot, 2013.
6. Nabha, Bhai Kahan Singh, Mhan Kosh, Bhasa Vipag, Patiala, Punjab, 2011
7. Singh, Gyani Gian, Twarik Guru Khalsa Bhag Duja, Bhasa Vipag, Patiala, 2003
8. Singh, Gurnaik, Bajwa Fouja Singh, Parja Mandal Adolan Riyasat Fridkot, Publication Beauru, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1990
Received on 12.02.2019 Modified on 02.03.2019
Accepted on 15.03.2019 ©AandV Publications All right reserved