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Tulsipur - Indian Historical State

Princely State status uncertain

Last modified: 2011-04-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: indian princely state | udaipur |
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Flag not known - the last flag was destroyed in the 1857 AD mutiny.

See also:

House of Tulsipur – Their "Bansavali" and Genealogy

Name of the State: House of Tulsipur

Tulsipur state’s northern border covered present day Nepali territories and southern border covered present day Indian territories. In Nepal, it was known as Baise Rajya "Tulsipur / Dang", one of 22 principalities and in India, it was known as "Tulsipur Pargana", one of various Taluqdars of Oudh.

Note: Before annexation by Gorkhali Rajah Prithvi Narayan in 1760 AD and annexation by the British East India Company in 1857 AD, the Rajah of Tulsipur ruled from Caughera (present day Chaughera, Nepal). His kingdom included wide regions including Dungoura-Deukhuri-Tulsipur (present day Dang Tulsipur, Nepal), Chilli (currently in Chhili, Nepal), Phalabang (present day Nepal), Caughera (currently in Chaughera, Nepal) and Tulsipur (present day India).
Covered area: The kingdom covered large areas in all direction from Baba Ratan Nath's monastery in Chaughera Dang, Nepal. The kingdom was roughly 150 miles by 150 miles in terms of territory bordering Salyan (present day Nepal) in the North and Balarampur (present day India) in the South. The King's summer palace was in North and winter palace was in South. The Kingdom in current day terms would have spanned over two countries, both in India and Nepal.

Dynasty: Chauhan - Solar / Suryabanshi
Surname: Singh
Gotra: Kashyap
Dynasty God (Kul Devata): Sun
Jagat-Guru of the Kingdom: Baba RatanNath (Grandson of Gorakhnath). His monastery is in Caughera (present day Chaughera, Nepal). A major celebration and puja takes place 7 days before "Chaite Dashain" at the Baba's monastery.
Shakti-Mata of the Kingdom: Patan Devi or Pataneshwori Mata. Her Temple is in Tulsipur, near Balarampur (present day India). A major celebration and puja takes place during "Chaite Dashain" and "Navaratri" at the Devi's temple.

Note: Tulsipur Pargana Principality in India currently lies near a town in district of Gonda, Oudh / Avadh. Connected to Utraula by road, the remains of old palace still resides in the southern part of Tulsipur village near Balarampur India. This was the southern palace. In Nepal, the same principality was known as Dang / Tulsipur rajya which was part of "Baise Rajya" or 22 principalities of Nepal. Remaining walls of an old palace fort is in Tulsipur-Dungoura-Deokhuri-Caughera region (present day Chaughera Tulsipur, Nepal). This was the northern palace.

House of Tulsipur Kings used northern palace during the summer months and southern palace during the winter months. Tulsipur rulers claim Prince Lava of Uttar Kosala as their ancestors.

The land, its Rulers and their Origin:

Lord King Rama of Ayodhya / Avadh / Oudh

Lord Rama's kingdom spanned from present day eastern Iran including Afganistan to end of Indonesia and New Zealand.
The Hindu Holy Scriptures "Vayu Purana" and "Uttra khand" of the epic story Ramayana speak of the two Kosalas. It mentions Shravasti as capital of the north Kosala and Kusavati as that of the south Kosala. The two Kosalas are said to have been once under the suzerainty of one and the same king, known as Lord King Rama. The epic hero Lord King Rama had installed his son Lava in north Kosala with Shravasti as its capital which lies on the foot of the Himalayas and his son Kusa in south Kosala as Kusavati as its capital which lies on the foot of the mountain Vindhyas.

King Lava

King Lava ruled Uttara Koshala from his capital Sravast.

Thousands of years later - - - - - - -

King Sravast

The ancient history of these districts is the history of Shravasti and regions around it. This region is about 16 km from Balrampur, 83 km north of Ayodhya and 1,152 km from Rajgir. The town was founded by Sravast - a king of Chauhan Solar race and descendant of Prince Lava. The first member of the twin name, Sahet Mahet, is applied to the site of the walled city of Shravasti.

Thousands of years later - - - - - - -

12th ruler - Raja Suhel dev - (Born 995 AD - Died 1050 AD)

Suhil or Suhel Dev/Deo of Sahet Mahet was known widely for his valour. He is said to have forewarned Muslim invader Masud that if he wished to save his and his men's lives, he had better leave the land and go elsewhere. Suhel Dev asserted that the land belonged to his ancestors and they were determined to drive the outsiders from their land. Masud, thereupon sent a brief and simple reply that the country is God's and that the property of him belongs to on whom He bestows it. Whoever gave it to your father's and your ancestors, he questioned.

The council of war decided and told Masud to remain on the defensive, but the Hindus drove off his cattle and forced an attack. The loss was great on both sides and one third of Muslim army perished. During month of June 1033 continuous fighting went on. Two-thirds of what remained of the Muslim army was slain and among them was Saifud-din who was the Kotwal of the Muslim army. In spite of many vicissitudes, Masud did not lose courage and while making a bid to mount his horse to repel the attack; his body-guards were attacked by Shuhel Dev and his men. An arrow pierced the main artery in Masud's arm resulting in his death and the remnants of his body-guards were cut to pieces by Suhel Deo on June 14, 1033.

Thus ended the singular invasion by the Muslims and Islam was in abeyance in Avadh for the next 160 years until the conquest of Shihab-ud-din Ghuri in 1193 AD.

It seems probable that Sultan Iltutmish effected the subjugation of lands as far as Avadh, Bahraich & the districts north of Ghaghra including Gonda. From this time onwards Gonda & Bahraich seem to have always been held singly by the Muslims owing to its isolated position due to river Ghaghra. Sultan Iltutmish appointed his eldest son Malik Nasir-ud-din Mahmud, as governor of Avadh in 1226 AD.
Muslim author Minhaj-uj-Siraj historically recorded in the document known as "Taqat-i-Nasiri", the Muslim prince Malik Nasir-ud-din overthrew and reduced to submission the Bhars under whose sword more than one hundred and twenty thousand Muslims had perished. These Bhars resisted the Muslim prince together with their local rulers of Tulsipur, Gonda, and Bahraich. Tulsipur rulers were descendants of Suhel Deo who claimed Prince Lava of Uttar Kosala as his ancestor. About 300 years later - - - - - -

24th Ruler - "Rajah" Meghraj Singh Chauhan:
Born 1315 AD - Died 1385 AD Became Rajah in 1350AD)

A deer hunting episode has been recorded in Yogi Baba Ratan Nath's Caughera monastery which lies currently near Dang / Deokhuri in Nepal. The story narrates that King Meghraj arrow-shot a deer while hunting in his forest land (present day jungles of Nepal / India border). As the deer was struck by the arrow, it ran bleeding heavily. The King followed the trace of blood for couple of miles. At the end of the blood trail, he saw a Yogi-Baba meditating under a large tree. The blood stained arrow was in front of him and Yogi-Baba had blood mark on his ribs. The king, realizing his mistake, immediately begged for forgiveness. The King asked the Yogi for his permission to speak. Then he humbly requested the Yogi to come to his palace so he could personally nurse the Yogi's wound and offered him 84 kind of dishes known as "Chaurasi Byanjan".

Yogi forgave the King and mentioned to him that he was Baba Ratan Nath (Grandson and/or third line from GorakhNath). He said he was given a mission by Gorakh Nath Baba to establish a Hindu peeth in the western frontier land of Lord Rama's Kingdom (present day Iran / Afghanistan). In Hindu scriptures, Gorakhnath is considered to be incarnation of Lord Shiva. King Rama himself had worshiped Lord Shiva in many occasions during his reign and prayed to Lord Shiva as his JagatGuru. Stories of King Rama's dedication to Lord Shiva are found in holy book epic Ramayana. It is also found in the book of "Swastani" which is collection of stories and hymns to Lord Shiva.

Baba Ratan Nath blessed 84 Kosh (about 150 miles) in each dual direction (east / west and north / south) as the Kingdom to be ruled by King Meghraj and his descendants. The King built a temple for Baba Ratan Nath in the northern part of his state (currently in Chaughera/Tulsipur/Dang, Nepal).

Baba Ratan Nath established Patan Devi Temple in Rajah Meghraj's southern part of the state (currently in Tulsipur village near Balarampur India). Devi Patan temple is one of the most important 51 Shakti Peeths revered by Hindus in Nepal and India border. Located 70 km from Gonda and 2 km from Tulsipur village in India, this famous shrine is surrounded amidst the beauty of Himalayan tarai. It is believed that while Lord Shiva was carrying the corpse of his wife Sati, the right shoulder of Sati had fallen here.

After blessing King Meghraj Singh Chauhan, Baba Ratan Nath is said to have moved on to his mission to the western frontier land (present day eastern Iran and Afganistan) of Lord Ram.

Note: Even to this day, a large fair takes place every year during Chaitra Dashain/Panchami at Baba Ratan Nath's monastery (present day Nepal) and Patenashwori Temple (present day India). For seven (7) days Baba Ratan Nath is worshiped in his monastery. The day before Chaita Dashain, deity of Baba Ratan Nath is taken from Tulsipur/Dang Nepal to Patan Devi temple in Tulsipur India. On Chaita Dashain/Panchami, both deities are worshiped side by side.

About 170 years later - - - - -

31st Ruler - 1485 AD Rajah Udat Singh Chauhan

About 230 Years later ........

In the 1700s, British author Hamilton noted that among the most powerful Taluqdars of Avadh/Oudh were Rajah of Tulsipur, Raja of Baiswara, Raja of Balarampur, Rajah of Momudahbad, Rajah of Nanparah and Raja of Tiloi. Each of these Taluqdars had elaborate forts with guns.

Tulsipur had 12 guns in its fort according to author Hamilton.

40th Ruler - "Rajah" Nawal Singh - Bron 1715 AD died 1790 AD.

King Nawal Singh was considered the 40th chief King and Raja of the Chauhan dynasty (Source: Hamilton - British author). King Nawal was also known as Nawab Singh by his Muslim subjects. He ruled from Caughera (present day Nepal). He has been identified by various names such as Newal / Nehal / Nawab / Nawal Sen / Singh. King Nawal's state borders at this time were Madi River (currently known as Maaddi Khola) in the east, Balarampur in South and Salyan in North and West.

In 1760 AD, while King Nawal was away at the southern palace during winter months time, his district Dang (Baise Rajya - one of 22 principalites of Nepal) was annexed by Gorkhali King Prithvi Narayan Shah. Dang region was given as a dowry in the marriage of King Prithvi's daughter to Ranabhim Shah in 1763 AD (Source: Tamrapatra 1804 AD, Nepal Itihas). King Prithvi did this as a reward to King of Salyan for helping or staying neutral during the war against King of Dang / Tulsipur.

Unhappy that King Prithvi had attacked his land while he was away in the southern part of his country; he went to war against the Gorkhali King and Salyani Raja. He was defeated in 1786 and was forced to move to southern part of his land near Balarampur (currently in India). He ruled from his southern palace as Rajah of Tulsipur hence forth.

41st Ruler - "Rajah" Dalel Singh (Born 1750 AD - died 1820 AD)

42nd Ruler - "Rajah" Dan Bahadur Singh (Born 1775 AD - Died 1845 AD)
He went to war and killed Kanslir Shah (Rajah of Salidna) in 1822 AD. Lord Amherst "Governor General of India" came to visit the King in 1828 AD. They went for hunting trip and bonded well with each other. Pleased, the British Governor increased the Rajah's purse and recognized Tulsipur as an independent state.

There is suspicion that King Dan Bahadur Singh was poisoned by his son Rajah Drigraj Singh who wanted to become King sooner.

43rd Ruler - "Rajah" Drigraj Singh (Born 1800 AD - Died 1855 AD)
It is an interesting observation from historical perspective that King Drigraj himself was banished to Balarampur in 1850 AD by his son Rajah Drig Narayan Singh. There is suspicion that King Drigraj Singh was poisoned by his son, Rajah Drig Narayan in 1855 AD while imprisoned (nazarband) in Balarampur.

44th Ruler - "Rajah" Drig Narayan Singh (Born 1825 AD - Died around 1859 AD).
Rajah Drig Narayan was a rebel from early on. He resisted paying tax to the British in 1850s. After few years Sepoy Mutiny broke out. British East India Company considered King Drig Narayan a barrier to the British expansion plan. British force from Delhi was sent to capture the King. He was imprisoned and kept "nazarband" in Lukhnow where he died in 1859 AD.

His consort, Rani of Tulsipur was Joint Leader of the War of Independence during 1857-1858 AD. The Rani was considered a heroine during the freedom fight. While Rajah Drig Narayan Singh was a prisoner in Lucknow fort, Rani of Tulsipur was siding actively with the freedom forces in Bahraich to free her husband and her country from the British. Her contributions to the cause of freedom were remarkable. She had collected a large force to assist the freedom forces and strengthen her own position. Raja Riasat Ali Khan of Utraula had also joined the freedom forces at Gorakhpur under Mohammad Hasan who once was the nazim of Gonda-Bahraich.

The Rani of Tulsipur and the Raja of Gonda Bala Rao never surrendered. Bala-Rao later died in the malaria-infested jungles of Nepal. British crushed the 1857 Mutiny uprising with the help of Maharaja Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal. The "freedom fighters'' principalities were confiscated in April 10th 1859 AD when they refused amnesty. State of Tulsipur was bestowed to the Raja of Balrampur who sided with the British throughout the revolt. The enraged Rani of Tulsipur, who refused to give up without a fight, escaped capture by the British only to die in 1865 AD of exposure or disease in the wilds of southern Nepal, a fate she may have preferred to slavery.

The last flag was destroyed in the 1857 AD mutiny.

45th Chauhan - Rajkumar Tirtharam Singh (Born 1845 AD - Died 1867 AD).
He was on the run with his mother, Rani of Tulsipur due to the effects of 1857 mutiny. He had personally taken his son Har Dayal Singh when he was two years old to Banaras for his son's safety. It is likely that he died around Nepal India border not too long after his mother's death in the Jungles of Nepal and India.

46th Chauhan - "Sardar" Hardayal Singh (Born 1865 AD - Died 1925 AD) When he was 2 years old, Rani of Tulsipur had her grand children hidden in different parts of northern India and southern Nepal while she herself was on the run from the British forces. She had rejected amnesty from the British and waged war continuously. British considered her and her descendants real and a viable threat to the expansion plan of the British Empire in India.

One of her grand child Hardayal Singh (son of Chauhan Tirtharam Singh), at the age of two, was taken to Benaras by his father and was raised there by the supporters of Raja Drig Naryan Singh. The supporters were told to hide the identity of all the grand children including Hardayal Singh for the fear of the British due to their family's involvement in 1857 AD Mutiny and the War of Independence.

Hardayal Singh studied Pharasi and secured Sashtri degree in Benares / Allahbad. Pharsi language was used as the official corresponding language between various countries in the sub-continent of India during this time. Nepal's Prime Minister Maharaja Bir Shumshere brought Hardayal Singh to KTM in 1886 AD due to Hardayal's expertise in Pharasi language.

He joined Muhshi-Khana and Takshar as an officer. During Prime Minister Maharaja Sir Chandra Shumshere Rana's time, he rose to become "Sardar" of Munsi-Khana and Takshar. Prime Minister Chandra Shumshere affectionately awarded title of "Khalifa" meaning "The One Who Knows" to “Sardar” Har Dayal Singh. In addition, Khalifa Sardar Hardayal and his descendants were granted "Teen Khun Maff" (Three Offenses Not-Punishable). Maharajdhiraj of Nepal had "Sab Khun Maff" (Unlimited Offenses Not-Punishable) and the children of ruling "A" class Ranas had "Sat Khun Maff" (Seven Offenses Not-Punishable) as per the rule at that time.

The "Khalifa" was considered one of the closest core advisors to the Prime Minister. He expected to be promoted to "Bada Kazi" by Chandra Shumshere, but the Rana gave that promotion to much junior Sardar from Rajbhandari clan. When Sardar Hardayal was dying in the Aryaghat (Pashupati Temple), Shree-Teen Chandra himself came to Aryaghat, an unusual act at the time, and asked what he could do for him. The "Khalifa" has been reported to have said nothing in response because of his unhappiness with the Rana. It is rumored that Chandra Shumshere did not want to bestow power-of-position of Bada-Kazi to Sardar Hardayal because he hailed from Thakuri Rajputana clan.

Today's Foreign and Finance Ministry in Nepal was known as Munshi-Khana and Takshar during the Rana rule.

"Sardar" Hardayal Singh was married to "rajkanya" of Musikot - one of the 22 principalities of Nepal (Baise Rajya). They had 5 (Five) sons as follows:
"Captain" and "Gadhi Ko Hakim" Bijay Singh
"Pahalwan" Laxman Singh
Consul General, Judge, “Sardar” Jwala Singh - see below the 47th Chauhan
"Taksar Ko Hakim" Karna Singh
"Jaleshwor Mal Ko Hakim" Sittal Singh

47th Chauhan - "Sardar" Jwala Singh (Born 1890 AD - Died 1962 AD).
Jwala Singh earned Bachelor’s degree in English and Law from Calcutta University. He rose to the rank of "Sardar" of Munsi-Khana. Later on, he served as Consul-General to Tibet. He also served as Judge in Joodha Shumshere’s court as well. He is credited as the first author of Nepali-English Grammar course book that was widely used in higher secondary education in Nepal.

There is an interesting story about "Sardar" Jwala Singh while he was a student in Calcutta. During this time (around 1908 AD), either the ruling Rana Prime-Minister himself or a future-would-be Prime Minister in the roll was in Calcutta for a visit. All the Nepalis were chanting "Jai Maharaj, Jai Maharaj". He reportedly had remarked "I condone it" to this behaviour. “Sardar” Jwala Singh had felt a need for change at an early age.

There is another documented fact about him while he was serving as Consulate General in Tibet. Then, would be future Prime Minister, Pudma Shumshere had asked for Tibetan horses. “Sardar” Jwala Singh, an honest administrator, sent the Tibetan horses and the price description as information only to Pudma Shumshre. The Rana took this as an insult. Reportedly the Rana had fumed “Tyo-Tyo Thakuri ko etro himmat” (how dare that lousy Thakuri). Later, when Pudma Shumshere became Prime Minister, as an act of revenge, he retried “Sardar” Jwala Singh prematurely. As a sole earner, the loss of income severely impacted the Sardar’s ability to support his expanding family.

During "Sardar" Jwala Singh's time, Zarowar or Jabodar Singh Chauhan from India / Nepal border (one of the grand children of Rani of Tulsipur) had inquired about his half-cousin uncle Har Dayal Singh, whom he had heard had gone to Nepal. This inquiry was reported by several descendants of "Sardar" Har Dayal Singh when they visited India during several occasions.

"Sardar" Jwala Singh had 5 (five) sons:
"Makwanpur Mal Ko Haakim" Dilip Singh - see below the 48th Chauhan.
"Babusaheb" Mohan Singh
"Babusaheb" Devi Singh
"Babusaheb" Tara Singh
"Babusaheb" Manohar Singh

Note: The term Babusaheb or Bausab or Raja were used interchangeably to denote the same respect and title to the descendants of "Sardar" Hardayal Singh.

48th Chauhan - "Mal Ko Hakim" and "Mir" Dilip Singh (Born 1905 AD - Died 1975)
Dilip Singh married Bhuwaneshwori Jyu Thakur from a ruling Thakuri clan in Nuwakot.

They had 4 (four) sons:
Engineer "Bausab" Shanta Singh
"Mailo Bausab" Prachanda Singh - see below the 49th Chauhan.
"Bausab" Vivek Singh
"Bausab" Binayak Singh

49th Chauhan - "Babusaheb" Prachanda Singh Thakuri (Born 1933 AD - Died 2001)
Married Geeta Rani Rana - daughter of "Rajasaheb" Thir Jung Bahadur Rana.

She was grand-daughter of Commander-in-Chief Jodha Jung Bahadur Rana who fought in World War I commanding Tripura forces. She was great-great-grand daughter of General Maharaj-kumar Commander-in-Chief Padma Jung Bahadur Rana. She was great-great-great grand daughter of Maharaja Sir Jung Bahadur Rana of Kaski and Lamjung, Nepal.

They had 3 (three) sons and 3 (daughters):
Ms. Himali Singh - married to Dhananjay Bahadur Singh of Baitadi, Nepal.
They have one (1) son - Vikrant Bahadur Singh.
Mr. Rajpal Jwala Pratap Singh - see below, the 50th Chauhan.
Mr. Deshpal Jwala Singh - married to Bhumija Singh of Raya Bareli, India.
They have two (2) daughters: Samragyi R.L. Singh and Saubhagyi R.L. Singh.
Ms. Ishwori Chand - married to Arun Bahadur Chand of Bardia, Nepal.
They have one (1) son - Avanish Singh Chand.
Ms. Laxena Hamal Thakuri - married to Shailesh Hamal Thakuri of Udaypur.
They have one (1) son - Sarbodaya Singh Thakuri.
Mr. Dharmapal Jwala Pratap Singh - Unmarried.

50th Chauhan - Mr. Rajpal Jwala Pratap Singh (Born 1964 AD)
Married to Sabina Thapa - daugther of Five-Times Prime Minister Shree Surya Bahadur Thapa of Nepal. They have one daughter as of 2011. Her name is Avantika Rajya Laxmi Singh. She was born in 2003 AD in New York, USA.

Source and References

2) Gazetteer of the province of Oudh... By Oudh, William Charles Benett

3) History of Gonda

4) The kingdom of Awadh By Surya Narain Singh

5) The Nepalese State and Goraknath Yogis - by Veronique Bouillier

RJ Singh, 23 February 2011, 25 March 2011

According to sources Tulsipur was NOT a princely state. Whatever sovereign status, it was lost after the Mutiny of 1857. Since it appears amongst list of Taluqs of Oudh, it probably didn't have any sovereign status at all.
Ben Cahoon, 24 February 2011