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Bharmal

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Bharmal

Bharmal
Raja of Amber
Reign June 1, 1548 - January 27, 1574
Born c. 1491
Birthplace Amber, India
Died January 27, 1574
Predecessor Askaran
Successor Bhagwant Das
Issue Raja Bhagwant Das
Rajkumari Hira Kunwari
Father Raja Prithviraj Singh I
Mother Rani Apurva Devi
Religious beliefs Hinduism

Raja Bharmal or Biharimal (r. June 1, 1548 - January 27, 1574) was a Kachwaha ruler of Amber which was later known as Jaipur in the present day Rajasthan state of India. Bharmal is more known for marrying his daughter, Heera Kunwar or Mariam-us-Zamani to the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1562. He was first among the Rajputs to marry his daughter with a Mughal.

Ancestry and accession

Bharmal was born in c.1491 at Amber. He was the fourth son of Raja Prithviraj or Prithvi Singh I of Amber (r. January 17, 1503- November 4, 1527) and Rani Apurva Devi or Bala Bai of Rathore clan, the daughter of Rao Lunkaran of Bikaner royal family. Prithviraj was son of Kachwaha ruler Chandrasen and son-in-law of Rana Raimal of Chittor. He fought at the Battle of Khanua on March 17, 1527 in Rana Sanga's favour. Prithviraj has eighteen sons and three daughters by his nine queens. Some of his sons died young while some did not have any issue. After the death of Raja Prithviraj in 1527, Raja Puran Mal (r. November 5, 1527 - January 19, 1534), his eldest son by Tanwar queen succeeded him. He died at the Battle of Mandrail on January 19, 1534, while helping Humayun to recapture the fort of Bayana. He had a son named Surajmal or Suja. But Suja could not succeed his father as he was a minor at that time. Puranmal was succeeded by his younger brother Bhim Singh (r.1534 - July 22, 1537), the next eldest son of Rani Apurva Devi. The dispossessed Suja took shelter in the Tanwar royal family. Bhim singh was succeeded by his eldest son Ratan Singh (r. 1537 - May 15, 1548). He was killed by his step- brother Askaran, who became the king next day. But the nobles of Amber joined to depose him and on June 1, 1548 Bharmal became the ruler of Amber.[1]

Situation at the beginning of the reign

When his eldest brother Puranmal succeeded the throne in 1527, the political scenario was very uncertain.The Rajput confederacy led by Rana Sanga suffered great loss in the battle of Khanua.The Mughal power was not firmly established in India.There were other Muslim rulers, who were gaining power to oust Humayun, the son of Babur out of India. Bahadur Shah of Gujrat and Sher Khan (later Sher Shah) Suri were prominent among them. Puranmal was the first person to realize that Mughals were trustworthy.They were not like the old stock of Muslim rulers. But however it was Puranmal who first offered services of Rajputs to Mughals.Bahadur Shah was pursuing a policy of expansion. He helped and sent Tatar Khan Lodi to occupy the fort of Bayana.He occupied the fort of Bayana which was in Mughal occupation since the time of Babur.Humayun sent his brothers Askari and Hindal to recapture the fort.Puranmal the Raja of Amber fought in the battle called the battle of Mandrail in favour of Mughals in 1534. Next year Bahadur Shah of Gujrat besieged the fort of Chittor, upon which Humayun himself started to fight against him.Rani Karmawati the widow of Rana Sanga was ruling Chittor as regent. She also tried to be friendly with Mughals and sent a Rakhi to Humayun, but Humayun did not arrive in time either due to his belief or slackness. If he would have arrived in time and helped Karmawati, perhaps it would have been Sisodias as their close allies.As a result Chittor was crushed and all the women in the fort committed Jauhar and the men died in the war.However it were Kachwahas who became the first allies of Mughals in Rajputana. Bharmal's policy towards Mughals was merely extension of his brothers policy.

The reign

It appears from the recorded history that he did not inherit his father as principles laid down by Manu. Instead he was a collective choice from all the Kachwahas, dominated at that time by Bara Kotris. The Dhundhar region of Rajputana never faced a war until Aurangzebs reign. Moreover his descendants offered their services to Mughals which became a strong empire. The wise emperor Akbar pursued a liberal policy towards his Hindu subjects.

The situation became critical for the Kachwahas when Mirza Muhammad Sharaf-ud-din Hussain was appointed Mughal governor of Mewat. Suja reached his court and received his support for winning the throne of Amber. Mirza led a large army to Amber and Bharmal was in no position to resist. He forced the Kachwahas to leave Amber and live in forests and hills. Bharmal promised a fixed tribute to Mirza and handed over his own son Jagannath and his nephews Raj Singh and Khangar Singh as hostages for its due payment.[2]

Akbar and Bharmal

In 1556, Bharmal helped Majnun Khan Qaqshal, a Mughal commandant, which Majnun Khan later narrated to Akbar. Akbar subsequently invited Bharmal to the court of Delhi. here, he was rewarded and sent back to home. In 1562, when Mirza was preparing to invade Amber again, Bharmal met Akbar's courtier Chaghtai Khan. When Akbar was at Karavali (A village near Agra) on his way from Agra to Ajmer (on a pilgrimage to the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti), Chaghtai Khan pleaded on behalf of Bharmal for his protection, which he agreed and summoned Raja Bharmal to his court. Accordingly Bharmal's brother Rupsi Bairagi and his son Jaimal met Akbar at Dausa and Raja Bharmal himself met the emperor Akbar at his camp at Sanganer on January 20, 1562. Chaghtai Khan introduced Raja Bharmal and his relatives to Akbar and Bharmal proposed to give his eldest daughter Hira Kunwari in marriage to Akbar. Akbar consented and ordered Chaghtai Khan for necessary arrangements for his marriage. When Akbar reached Sambhar on his return journey from Ajmer, Mirza surrendered his hostages Jagannath, Raj Singh and Khangar to Akbar. Here Bharmal brought his daughter and on February 6, 1562 she was married to Akbar amidst proper festivity. On February 10, 1562 Akbar's newly made Kachwaha relatives again came to his camp at Ratanpura to take formal leave from him. Here, Man Singh was presented to him. From there, Bhagwant Das, Man Singh and a number of their relatives accompanied Akbar to Agra[2]

The succession

Main article: House of Kachwaha

Raja Bharmal was succeeded by his eldest son Raja Bhagwant Das after his death.

Notes

References

  1. Beveridge H. (tr.) (1907, Reprint 2000). The Akbarnama of Abu´l Fazl, Vol. II, Kolkata: The Asiatic Society, ISBN 81-7236-093-2.
  2. Sarkar, J.N. (1984, reprint 1994). A History of Jaipur, New Delhi: Orient Longman, ISBN 81-250-0333-9.

External links

  • Jaipur genealogy
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