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Cheynporel and the extensive tract on both sides of the Ganges after killing the Bhuinhars who swayed there. The Hutwa Raj family also dates its origin from a prehistoric age. The present minor MaharajaKumar traces his descent from a long line of ancestors, Rajas, whom he counts up to 102 generations above him. The founder of the Dynasty was Raja Bir Sen. Allowing even an average of 25 years for each generation, Raja Bir Sen would be about 25 centuries older than the present progeny of his and this would carry us back some six centuries before the Christian era, ie, nearly about the time of Buddha's birth. The popular belief is that this part of the country anciently called Kośala was in the days of yore inhabited by an aboriginal race called the Cheros and numerous mounds, ghats, square wells, and old tanks are still being pointed out as the vestiges of supremacy of the Chero Rajas. The remnants of this aboriginal race are still to be found in this part of the country and many of them hold jagirs from the Bettiah Raj for their services as guards and peons; but they have now been classed in the lowest order of the Hindu Society with the Musahars. This popular belief seems to have a very good historical significance as we know from history that the first spread of Aryan colonisation from the banks of the Saraswati was to Kurukshetra (Karnal), Panchal (Rohilkhund), Matsya (Jaipur), Surasena (Mathura), Kaśi (Benares), Kośal (Oudh), Magadh (South Behar), Videha (North Behar). Thus it appears probable that the aboriginal Cheros were overturned by the Aryan Kshatriyas, the present Rajputs (some of whom still hold a very high position, as for instance, the Maharajas of Majhowli who draw even a longer chain of ancestors than the Hutwa Rajas), who in their turn were subverted by the Bhuinhars, amongst whom, very probably, was Raja Bir Sen, the founder of the present Hutwa Raj Dynasty. The history of Kosala at the age ascribed to Bir Sen further goes to confirm the aforesaid conclusion. We know that the two greatest kingdoms of the south-eastern half of the Gangetic valley were the lands of Kośala and Magadha which had become the chief scenes of Buddha's teaching and labours. "The Sakyas, the family to which Buddha belonged, were the forerunners of such Rajput families as have in later times, by the aid of armed bands, held their ground against the neighbouring Rajas. Of these greater monarchies there stood in the closest proximity to the Sakyas the powerful kingdom of Kośala adjoining it on the south and west. The kings of Kosala are said to have brought the Sākya land within their power and to have exterminated the ruling family. The Kośala king to whom this act was ascribed was Viḍūḍabha, the son of
1 These villages at Amnour and Cheynpore in the Saran District still exist, inhabited by influential Rajputs and Bhuinhars.
Buddha's contemporary and patron Pasenadi, and that the later legends represent the Sakyas as having been destroyed during Buddha's lifetime." It is, therefore, not improbable that Raja Bir Sen had received the Raj and the title from king Viḍūḍabha for his services in subverting the Sakyas.1 The fact that the ancient seat of the earliest Rajas were at Bharhichowra, Perg. Salempore, Majhowli, in the district of Gorakhpur, further goes to establish this conclusion. The Baghochia Bhuinhars2 to which the Hutwa Rajas belong still exist there.
The patronymic of the earlier Rajas was "Sen," which in the 16th descent was changed to "Simha" and in the 83rd to "Mall,” and in the 87th to "Shahi." The tradition is that these titles were conferred on them by the Emperor of Delhi, But this cannot at least be correct in the case of the 16th Raja Jagat Sinha, whose date, according to the aforesaid calculation, comes to be about 150 B.C., when the modern Delhi was unknown. Although Yudhisthira, the hero of the Mahābhārata, founded the city of Indraprastha, the site of which coincides with a part of Delhi, nothing was known of it till the beginning of the Christian era, when king Dilu founded a new city which he named Delhi after himself. Moreover, at this remote period, the Maurya kings of Magadh, descendants of the mighty Asoka, were reigning in the Northern India and there was no "Emperor" or "King of Delhi." But the date thus ascribed to this Raja brings us very approximately to a historical incident. Meander, the Bactrian king of Sakala, in the Panjab, had advanced in 141 B.C., as far as the city of Saketa in Kośala (Ayodhyā), but had to retrace his steps on account of the stubborn resistance he met with from Puşyamitra, the general of the last Maurya king, Brihadratha. It seems that Raja Jagat Sinha had assisted the Maurya king in driving out his enemies and thus got the title of “Sinha” which means 'Lion,' an emblem of the Mauryas which is still found on the pillars of Asoka in these parts. But as the name of even the great king Asoka had been forgotten by the people, and has only been unearthed by the researches of scholars, everything of remote antiquity is erroneously ascribed to Delhi, the real fact having been lost in oblivion.
1 When this paper was read in the meeting, Mahamahopadhyaya Hara Prasad Shastri argued that if we only loosen a little the rigidity of assigning the 25 years' rule to each Raja, we could at once identify this Bir Sen, the founder of the Hutwa Raj family, with a historical personage, Bir Sen, who was General of the Sunga king and had conquered Deccan and was ancestor of the Sen kings of Bengal.
2 The tradition is that the Bagachin Bhuinhars and the Bisen Rajputs, to which the Majhowli Rajas belong, are descended from the one and the same ancestor, Mayur Bhatt, who had four wives of four castes.
By the same method of calculation we arrive at the date of the 83rd Raja, Jay Mall, to be about 1525 A.D. This was an age of unrest and disorder in India. The last of the Lodi kings fell into the hands of Babar in the Battle of Panipat and Babar became master of an extensive territory from the western limits of Bengal to the eastern boundary of Persia. The Pathans had attempted to set up a new kingdom at Jaunpur under the leadership of Darya Khan Lohani. On hearing of this Babar set out for Jaunpur and defeated him. In his expedition he obtained possession of Benares and Patna, and his son Prince Humayun was left to tranquilise and settle Oudh. Behar was in possession of Mahmud Lodi1 who made himself master in 1529. Babar defeated Mahmud Lodi and appointed the grandson of Darya Khan to the Government of Behar. Then followed the memorable fights between Humayun and Sher Shah resulting in Humayun's flight. The battles of Buxar (1539) and Kanauj in which Humayun was completely routed by Sher Shah took place at this time, and Sher Shah ascended the throne of Delhi in 1540 A.D. Such times of disorder and troubles gave ample scope for exhibiting one's military genius, and there seems little doubt that Raja Jay Mall had aided one of the parties and received, or more probably assumed, the title of "Malla" (meaning in Sanskrit, 'Wrestler),' for it is not likely that any Mahomedan kings of such remote date would have conferred a title which has purely a Sanskrit origin and signification. To fix accurately the dates of these earlier Rajas is, if not altogether hopeless, a hard task, and in this respect the Sanads, &c., if available, would have been of much use, but all earlier records of the Raj were either destroyed or taken away by the rebel Maharaja Fateh Shahi of whom we will speak later on. In the absence of any such documentary evidence, the materials for the history of the period of these earlier Rajas are necessarily the composition of the hereditary bards (Raj Bhats) retained in the Durbar, the tradition current in the Raj family and in collateral branches and the popular belief in the places alleged to have been connected with any historical incidents.
We have come to the Raja who is the 86th in descent, Kalyan Mall, the first in the line to receive the title of Maharaja. He had made his seat at Kalyanpur, named after him, where the ruins of his fortress and a big well of 50 feet in diameter, said to have been constructed by
1 Copper coins of the Lodis are often found in these parts. The author found some, as also the former D.S.P. of Saran, Mr. Knyvet, near Kataya Police outpost in 1898.
2 The title "Malla" is very old. As for the "Mallas" of Kusiwara and Pava, vide Sacred Books of the East, Vol. XI, Buddhist Suttas.
him are still extant. We calculate his date, with a greater historical certainty, to be 1600 A.D., i.e., the latter part of the reign of Akbar, when the great Financier Raja Todar Mall was Viceroy of Bengal and Behar and the division of the country into Parganas after a general survey was taken in hand. Kalyan Mall must have greatly assisted Todar Mall in his undertakings, and in recognition of the services rendered by him the pargana Kalyanpur Kuadi, wherein his seat lay, was named after his capital and he was made a Maharaja by the Great Akbar. (Vide Note on page 227.)
The next, 87th Raja, was Maharaja Khemkaran Singh Shahi, Bahadur, who received both the title of " Maharaja Bahadur” and "Shahi" from the Emperor of Delhi. This last patronymic is yet current in the family. His date we calculate to be 1625 A.D., in the latter part of the reign of Jahangir, when Behar enjoyed a degree of internal tranquility which had not fallen to its lot at any time previous to the Mahomedan conquest. In the days of Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan, we find the Hindu chiefs appointing their agents in the court of Delhi to protect and further their interest, to personally attend in the Emperor's court, and to accept military and civil services under them; and some such meritorious services had enabled Khemkaran Shahi to get the double title of "Maharaja Bahadur” and "Shahi" (a word of pure Persian origin meaning of royal rank') and raised him to the highest pitch of honour he could aspire. The fact that the Majhowli chiefs received similar honours and that the Darbhanga and Bettiah Maharajas owe their origin to these Emperors of Delhi goes to corroborate our conclusion.1
Maharaja Khemkaran Shahi was equally blessed in the ramification of his issues. We find from the genealogical tree of the Hutwa Raj family, annexed herewith, that he had five sons and a brother and must have found the little fortress of Kalyanpur too small for him and very much unsuited to his present high position. So he must have shifted his capital from Kalyanpur to Husainpur, about 3 miles from Kalyanpur, and built an extensive fort there on a very imposing site and commanding position between the junctions of the two rivers Jharai and Shiahi, the last one now entirely silted up. Husainpur remained the seat of the Hutwa Maharajas till it was destroyed during the reign of Warren Hastings in the rebellion of Maharaja Fateh Shahi, the 99th in descent, who had also enlarged the precinct of the fort by 1 It is a noteworthy fact that the four quondam chiefs of Behar, Dumraon Bettiah, Darbhanga and Hutwa, received similar honour almost simultaneously from the British Government. They were all made Knight Commanders of the Indian Empire one by one.
adding another fort which is still called the "Naya killah." After the fall of Husainpur the family split into two, the elder branch in the direct line of Maharaja Fateh Shahi establishing at Tancohi, where they found the Tancohi Raj in Gorakhpur; and the younger branch, descendants of Babu Basant Shahi, establishing at Hutwa, founded the present Hutwa Raj at about 1802 A.D. The ruins of the fort Husainpur are still extant, and the place abounds in sites1 of historical interest. The late Maharaja Sir Krishna Pratap Shahi, Bahadur, K.C.I.E., had built a decent bungalow on an elevated place in the "old fort" in front of an ancient archway still supporting a big banyan tree, had laid a very extensive mango garden of about 100 Behar bighas on both sides of the road, excavated a big tank with ghat in front of the temple of Siva constructed by him, and re-excavated one within the fort and edified its bank with a masonry ghât,
A historical tradition is associated with the name of the 95th Maharaja Jubraj Shahi, Bahadur. He is said to have wrested Pargana Seepah, which still forms a portion of the Raj, from Raja Kabul Mahomed, of Barheria, who was killed in the fight. The lineal descendants of Raja Kabul Mahomed who are still living in the destroyed citadel have in their family a like tradition with respect to the ruins of their fortune. There is a nice legend connected with this event. It is said that Maharaja Jubraj Shahi Bahadur was several times defeated in his wars with the Raja Kabul Mahomed of Barheria, who began to extend his estate by encroaching on the Husainpur (Hutwa) Raj. The Mahomeḍan chief is said to have made a baughty proposal to the Maharaja to give up two villages, Turkaha and Bhurkaha, and to retain two others, Selari and Bhelari, and demanded that if the Maharaja was not agreeable to that settlement he would claim all the four. After his last defeat the Maharaja was fleeing through the jungles with a handful of followers, when the Goddess Bhavani appeared to him in a dream and complained that she was miserable under the Mahomedan rules. She encouraged the Maharaja to fight again with his handful of men and promised aid. "The moment you commence your journey," she said, "you will see a jackal on the left and a serpent on the right, bow down to the former and kill the latter." The Maharaja acted according सैयादेवी
1 There is a stone image of a Goddess called under a Bar tree on the bank of the Jharai river. The Rajas of Husainpur before going to battle used to worship her and present offerings. Probably is a phonetic contraction of सहायादेवी meaning Goddess of assistance.
* Thus sings the bard " तुरका हा भुरकाचा मोर । सेलारी मेलारी तोर | | | मानो तो मानो नही वहभी है मोर ॥"