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Máwáe Bhilán,* which possessed four strong citadels connected with each other, and surrounded by a deep ditch filled with water. On all sides were steep hills and inaccessible ravines. Fighting with muskets, rockets, arrows, spears, swivel-guns (rahlla) and cannon went on day and night. The first entrenchment was stormed and the garrison asked for terms, which were granted. The fort was not dismantled, as it afforded a protection against the inroads of the Mahrattas.
While Muhammad Kbán was engaged with these forts, he heard that Mulhár Holkar was plundering in the country of Rámpurat and Mandesh
He was opposed by the Imperial troops in the neighbourhood of Sárangpur, Shahjahanpur and Dhár, and he went off for a time into Jaipur territory. Meanwhile Anthú, another Mahratta leader, had ravaged the country round Kánth. The two leaders then united with Mathwárah to trouble the road between Paráth and Shahjahanpur. Reports of these things came from Sheikh Amán-ullah, manager of Sháhjahanpur, the jágir of Nizám-ul-Mulk, and from Dáud Khán, chela, Náib Faujdár of Sárang pur. At this time too, Fath Singh Wáúlbánsi and other Mahrattas had crossed the Narbada, and unopposed at any point by any of the Hindustani armies, had plundered the country of Mándúf returning home by way of Bárigarh.
Muhammad Khán returned and reached Ujain on the 13th Zi'lka’d of the 13th year, (9th May, 1731). He complains that besides himself no one else was heartily desirous of repelling the Mahrattas. To add to his difficulties, his troops now mutinied and demanded their arrears of pay. He found some means or other to content them for the time. Then Rájah Kishor Singh, son of Rájah Ajit Singh, was despatched to parganah Muhammadpur, and Sayyad Fath ’Ali Khán Bárha to parganah Bhadáwar, to protect the towns and bar the way to the enemy; while Anwar Khán was placed in Ujain itself, and Muķim Khán had orders to drive off any of the enemy who approached that place. When these dispositions had been made, Muhammad Khán on the 19th Zi'lşa'd (15th May, 1731) left Ujain.
Mábáráo Durjan Sál of Kotah, Kunwar Baládur of Orchha, and the sons of the Rájah of Chanderi were asked to take some of Muhammad Khán's troops and attack Anthú, who was reported to be then near Kánth at the head of one thousand men; and Mulhár, who had appeared again in the neighbourhood of Sárangpur. This request was refused.
On the 8th Zi'l Hajj (3rd June, 1731), Muhammad Khan was near Kánth. Anthú now withdrew. But next day, when the Nawab reached
* Or perhaps Wámá Ráe Bhilán; or Mawási, the title generally given to the chiefs on the Narbada. (Malcolm’s Cerstral India, I., 516.)
+ There is a Rámpura 40 miles N. E. of Mandeshwar, * Near the Narbada about 60 miles S. of Ujain.
Shahjahanpur, word came from Dáud Khán, náib of Sárangpur, that he would be overwhelmed by Mulhár unless he were reinforced at once. Forthwith, at midnight, the Mäháráo, Kunwar Bahadur, and the sons of the Rájah of Chanderi having been appointed to lead the van, the army set out and reached Sárangpur, about nineteen miles distant to the north, at an hour and a half after sunrise. The troops were still on the line of march or engaged in crossing the river, when Holkar, Anthú and others suddenly appeared. The Muhammadans at once drew up and engaged them, the fighting going on till an hour before sunset. The Mahrattas then fled, and in the pursuit, which extended for four kos, many were killed. Muhammad Khán, with his men, was out till midnight conducting the pursuit and plundering the camp and baggage, called in the Mahratta tongue “ Paráo."
“ Paráo.” When the pursuers got near the town of Sundarsi, about twenty-three miles south of Sárangpur, a spy came and informed them that the enemy in their flight from the field, after resting a short time in Sundarsi, had resumed their route and were making for the Narbada, and must have gone already fifteen or twenty Icos. The Muhammadans after a pursuit of ten to twelve kos returned to their camp.
Muhammad Khán speaks of having with him twenty thousand horse and twenty thousand foot. Night and day he was engaged in efforts to expel the invaders. On the other hand, the Názim of Gujrát (Hamid Khán?) had only given cash, jewels, elephants and horses to Báji Ráo, while the thánas were still in the hands of Kantya and Udá Puņwár. The Názim had never gone a kos from the city. In the dispute between the Názim and Mubariz-ul-Mulk (Sarbuland Khán) he heard that in the first encounter the latter gained the advantage, but night coming on the pursuit was stopped, and next morning an arrangement was come to.
The Rájabs had throughout shown great reluctance to attend Muhammad Khán, Kunwar Bahadur of Orchha being the only one who had done any real service. Mábáráo Durjan Singh of Kotab, and Ráo Matwarah now requested leave to go home, and threatened to go without it, if leave were not granted. They quitted the army on the 22nd Muharram, 1144 H. (16th July, 1731). From this defcction others were disheartened, and a few days afterwards Kunwar Bahadur of Orchha with four or five hundred horse, and Jográj, son of Rájah Jai Singh of Chanderi, with forty or fifty horse marched away to their homes. Although, as Muhammad Khán
presence or absence of the latter was equally matter of indifference, still these defections were discouraging. The other Rajahs, Udait Singh of Orchha, Rám Chand of Datyá, Chattar Singh of Sháhábád, and the Bhadaurya Rájah, had paid no hced to all the orders and messengers sent to them direct from the Emperor. Nor had any attention been vouchsafed at Court to Muhammad Khán's recommendation of Hindu Singh Chandela* for whom he had asked for the rank of Sihhazári, 2000 horse, a jágir of his native country, and restoration to his zamindari. If Hindu Singh were sent to Málwá, the Bhadauriya Rájah would no longer have a pretext for lingering at Kanauj (where he held the office of Faujdár).
After Mulbár and Anthú had recrossed the Narbada, Muhammad Khán went to extort his revenue from one Umánt; and in two marches having reached Rájgașh, I he defeated the zamindar referred to, and settled matters with him. Muhammad Khán then returned to Sironj. This place, which is about 136 miles north-east of Ujain and about 150 miles south of Gwáliár, he made his head-quarters, probably because it was further from the Narbada than Ujain, and nearer his line of retreat by Gwáliár to Hindustán. His foothold in Málwá was too precarious for him to risk being surrounded and cut off. He appears to have remained at Sironj during the rainy season of 1731.
The state of the Súbah was most deplorable. The whole country had been spoiled by the Názim and ravaged by the Mahrattas. It was entirely out of cultivation and uninhabited (be cheragh), nowhere was any crop to be seen, there was nothing but dry grass. The villages which were inhabited had been plundered by the Thákurs and burnt to the ground, the ravages of the infidel caused the country to be deserted. Only Rs. 5000 had been collected from Mandeshwar and Rs. 4000 from Sironj and Bhilsa. S During the rains of 1731, Muhammad Khán made repeated reports of these facts, stating his want of money, the mutinous conduct of his troops, the impossibility of getting any revenue from Málwá, and the necessity for help in men and money. These urgent appeals were left unanswered.
His difficulties were further increased by the fact that Málwá, from one end to the other, was granted out in tanlchwah to jágirdárs, who were backed up by Khán Daurán Khán and Roshan-ud-daula. These jagirdars complained at Court of the slightest interference, but gave not the least assistance. Nowhere was there sufficient land left for the Subahdar to plant the sole of his foot, much less to use for a riding or hunting-ground. On the one side, from a tank which lies two and a half kos from Ujain, began the jágir of Burhán-ul-Mulk and others; and in another direction, from Fathá
* Apparently Hindu Singh of Chachendi in the Cawnpur district. He was ejected from his estate in the tenth year by Burhán-ul-Mulk and Rájah Gopál Singh Bhadauriya. [Dowson's Elliot VIII. 46.]
+ Or Admiyán.
I Long. 769, 46' and Lat. 24°—32 miles N. of Sárangpur and 66 miles W. of Sironj.
§ About 44 miles S. E. of Sironj.
bád, * four or five kos from the city, the parganahs and villages were all in Jagda". Rấmpuraht was held by Rájah Jai Singh Sawái; Haif Ali Khán’s jágir was Kankrál ; Rájah Múlráj held Kadraulah in Dhámoni ; & other portions of the Subab had been assigned to Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jáh, to Nawab Kudsia,8 to Hafiz Khidmatgáy Khán, Mukarrab-ul-hazrat Khá án, to Mír Husain Khán Kokah,l to Sa’d-ud-din Khán Bahadur Mír Atash, to 'Ali Ahmad Khán, and to the eunuchs of His Majesty. Many of the agents of these grantees allowed their ta’lukahs to become places of resort for the Mahrattas, where the plunder from the imperial territory was stored. When any Mahrattas took refuge with them and a force was sent after them, the agents declared that there were no fugitives in their parganahs. If the army entered their lands, they then raised loud complaints of the damage. Thus everything had to be left in confusion, and it became impossible to re-settle the country.
The zamindars of Rámpurah were in league with Mulhár Holkar and helped to plunder the country. When the imperial army followed them up, Rájah Jai Singh Sawái remonstrated at Court, and Muhammad Khán was rebuked. In defending himself he gives an instance of what was done. Sítá Rám Nágar had been chief writer of the zamindars of Rámpurah till Ráj Adhiraj took possession. This man then became a jama’dár in the regiment of Muķím Khán. Having broken his leg, he was put on Mukim Khán's elephant, and the day the army left Bansilah he set out for his home followed by fifty or sixty men. Rajah Jai Singh Sawái's men were lying in ambush at seven or eight kos from Rámpurah. As he passed they stopped him and seized the elephant. They would neither return the elephant nor grant an interview to the Nawab's messengers. Muhammad Khán exclaims how hard it is that Ráj Adhiraj, who held all Akbarábád and Ajmer, and had lately received the parganahs round the capital, should try to stretch forth his hand on Subah Málwá and intrigue there with the infidels.
As for Haif ’Ali Khán's jágir, it had been customary for the zamindar of Kankrál to pay peshlash to former názims; one lakh of rupees had been paid to Rájab Girdhar Bahadur besides four elephants. Now instead of injuring, Muhammad Khán had benefited the jágirdár. When Mukím Khán went there, he settled the zamindars' payment at a higher amount, collected the money, and remitted it to the jagirdár. The latter's Amil still retained possession of the jágirs of 'Abd-ur-razák Khán, Khwajah Munír Khán and Ghási Rám. After settling Ujain, Muhammad Khán intended, he said, to go to Dhámoni to recover the jágir of Rájah Múlráj.
* About 12 miles S. of Ujain.
of There are several Rámpurahs, I supposc this to be the ono 56 miles N. W. of Sironj.
I 69 miles E, of Sironj near Khimlása. s Mother of Muhammad Shah. || Killed in 1149 H. in fight with Báji Rúo outside Delhi. Grant Duff, p. 236,
Seeing that no one in the Presence paid any attention to his representations, Muhammad Khán determined to leave a naib in his place and repair to Court On his way, he resolved to settle Sháhábád* and Ranúdah, ť the faujdári of which Rájah Chattar Singh had not yet relinquished, and he had also behaved badly to 'Atík-ullah Khán, naib of Muhammad Khán. This expedition put the finishing touch to the Nawab's misdeeds, and no doubt formed one of the causes of his sudden recall.
Rájah Chattar Singh Narwari, who was specially recommended to Muhammad Khán by Hafiz Khidmatgar Khán as his friend and companion”, held the Sarkárs of Shábábád and Ranúdah, to which Muhammad Khan had been appointed faujdár. His ancestral estates were in Shiupuri and Kalaras, and his country extended up to the neighbourhood of Sironj. He also held Narwar, I which for seven hundred years had never been in possession of the Hindus. Although he had been ordered to join he did not attend, be did not give up the Sarkárs, and nothing could be collected ; at length he surrounded Sayyad Atik-ullah Khán, naib, and cut off his supplies. From his position in the line of Muhammad Khán's communication with Hindústán, he was able to give great annoyance. Narwar, " which is as a gateway
sufficient for the passage of one man at a time”, was the only route open to recruits; the road by Bhadáwar being closed by the Bhadauriya Rájah. Seven or eight times the men of Chattar Singh had murdered messengers at the pass of Narwar and had taken their letters. Only one pair of messengers, after giving up their letters, had escaped with their lives. To obviate this inconvenience, Muhammad Kbán renewed his request that his son Akbar Khán might be made faujdár of Narwar and Bhadáwar. Or if that were not approved, some one of the Mughal party might be appointed to keep the road open. This request was refused on the ground that, Sháhábád having recently been taken from Rajah Chattar Singh, Narwar, his native country, could not be taken without any fault. As an alternative, the Nawab urged that Chattar Singh's rank (mansab) and jágirs might be taken away, as a lesson to others who had failed to attend in obedience to the Emperor's orders. After writing to him in vain several times, Muhammad Khán decided to proceed to active measures against bim.
About the commencement of his second year in Málwá (October-November, 1731,) Muhammad Khán marched to Sarae Nau about fifty miles north of Sironj, giving out that he was on his way to Court. On the 3rd Jamádi, I. 1144 H. (23rd October, 1731), the army surrounded the village
* About 90 miles N. W. of Sironj. + About 68 miles N. of Sironj. | About 44 miles S. of Gwáliár,