RANI OF TULSIPUR STATE WHO RAISED SWORD AGAINST EAST
INDIA COMPANY IN 1857 WAR
Dr K Prabhakar Rao
Rani of Tulsipur is one of the bravest queens in India who revolted in 1857 war and preferred battle field in preference to comforts of cozy palaces. She is much revered in the regions of Awadh ( Oudh) in Uttar Pradesh state. 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 Taluqs of Oudh ( Avadh/ Ayodhya) Kingdom. Awadh kindom include present Lucknow, Faizabad, Ayodhya, Barabanki, Pratapgarh, Sultanpur and some more prominant areas and consists of vast territory. In fact, the nawabs of Awadh played very important role in the Delhi capital as Vazirs and held most prestigious appontments in trhe court of Mughal emperors.Safdar Jung was one among them. His tomb is in Delhi. Before annexation by Gorkhali Rajah Prithvi Narayan in 1760 AD and later 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). . 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.
The Tulsipur sate was ruled by Chauhan dynasty that claimed lineage from Sun god and were called Surya Vanshi. Tulsipur rulers claim Prince Lava (son of lord Rama the king of Ayodhya )of Uttar Kosala as their ancestor . Lord Rama placed his son Lav as the ruler of North kosala at Sravasthi as capital at the foot of Himalayas. His brother Kush was placed as ruler of south Kosala at Kusavathi at the foot of Vindhyas . Patan Devi or Pataneshwari Devi is the family deity and a temple exists in Tulsipur where grand celebrations are held every year 7 days before Chaitre Dashain. The dynasty claims many rulers from the yore.
Raja Suhel Deo ( 995 AD -1050 AD) a ruler was known for his valor and he defeated Muslim invader Masud and slew him on June 13, 1033 after bitter struggle and battles. Islam was thus kept away from the region for the next 160 years till Shahbudding Mohammed Ghori invaded India and defeated Prithviraj Raj Chauhan in. 1133 AD. Iltamish one of the sultans of slave dynasty established Islamic control over the ares around Awadh. 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.
King Nawal Singh ( 1715-1790) 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 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. - "Rajah" Dan Bahadur Singh (Born 1775 AD - Died 1845 AD) 42 ruler
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 . The plesaed 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) became the subsequent ruler. He was banished to Balarampur in 1850 AD by his son Rajah Drig Narayan Singh who became the 44 ruler.( 1825- 1859). There is also a suspicion that King Drigraj Singh was poisoned by his son, Rajah Drig Narayan in 1855 AD while imprisoned ( confined) in Balarampur.
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 in confinement in Lukhnow at Residency where he died in 1859 AD. His consort, Ishwori Kumari Devi, 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. Raja of Gonda Devi Baksh Singh, Raja of Peshwa Nana Saheb and Rani of Awadh Begam Hazrat Mahal escaped to Nepal territories.The last Rajah of Tulsipur, Chauhan Drig Narayan Singh, a political prisoner of the British East India Company, died as a Martyr during the First War of Independence in 1859.
The enraged Rani of Tulsipur, 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. They were far superior to the Indian princes and rulers who betrayed the cause of freedom fighters and preferred comforts and luxuries in the palaces and of course the rewards, titles and gun salutes. They no doubt disappeared into dark pages of Indian history unceremoniously.
1.Houes of Tulsipur, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Tulsipur
2. Tulsipur, www.wolframalpha.com/entities/cities/5z/xn/7n/ - Cached
3. Official history of Gonda, gonda.nic.in/history.htm –
4. Awadh in revolt, books.google.co.in/books?isbn=8178240270...
5. Farhan college essay, books.google.co.in/books?isbn=8178240270...