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good Sanskrit scholar. Pandits from Bengal and Benares, nay even from the Bombay Presidency, have got munificent donations from him. Rare and important works in Sanskrit he got to be edited or translated by the Pandits at a great cost, simply for distribution. Among these is a monumental work on vedic rituals, Paraskara Gșhya Sūtra with several commentaries which issued from the press just when he was on his deathbed, and which he had prefaced with a brief narration of his family history in metrical Sanskrit. He was himself the author of a book of songs called Soka-Mudgara, composed on the death of his first son. His Sanskrit Library contains numerous rare and valuable MSS., all collected during his life time, which were examined by the Asiatic Society of Bengal and were enlogised by its President, Sir Charles Elliot, in his Annual Address. Although a Maharaja, he had the heart of an ascetic. So fond was he of a retired life that he had declined several times the offered seats in the Government Legislative Councils. No sooner he ascended the Gaddi after the Court of Wards' regime, he set out for a pilgrimage and travelled through almost the whole of Northern India. Later on he used to pass the greater part of the year in the associations of the Pandits and learned Sadhus at Benares, where he had built palatial buildings, temples, and chetras, endowing in perpetuity suitable sums for their maintenance. The Lion of the Punjab, Ranjit Singb, had plated the dome of the Bisvanath's temple at Benares with gold, and the late Maharaja of Hutwa had plated the reservoir of the image within with thick silver, costing nearly a lakh of Rupees. With a true maternal veneration he set apart a portion of his Raj in perpetuity, yielding an income of Rs. 20,000 for the maintenance of the beautiful temple of Gopalji constructed by his late mother. Finding the Brahmins in the Raj in a state of moral depravity he revived the Sanskrit School of Chattradhari Shahi which had dwindled away in his predecessor's time.
He was equally charitable in works of public utility. He excavated numerous large tanks, built on them masonry ghâts with slopes for cattle to drink water, opened many new roads, constructed thousands of wells and embankments for tenants, and set apart extensive mango-gardens for the public to enjoy their fruits. Each winter he used to distribute some thousands of blankets only to the old, decrepit, blind, and lame, and to such as were incapacitated for work. It was his express order that old horses and cattle must not be made to work, but be fed as superannuated human pensioners as long as they lived. Himself being very candid and upright, he always loved fair and square dealings in all transactions. It was his strict orders to pay salary of all his servants on the very first of every month, and he never liked to hear that he owed any debt to anybody. Although an oriental aristocrat to the back-bone he patronised both primary and high educations. He established a free Entrance School in the Raj with a scholarship for the successful student to prosecute the higher standard, and opened nu. merous primary schools in the interior of the Raj to impart liberally a free education to his tenants. He fully appreciated the meritorious services of his servants and often encouraged them with handsome rewards. The kindly feelings he entertained towards them might well be exhibited from his telegram of condolence on the death of his faithful Dewan, Babu Bhubaneswar Dutt, at his residence at Chandernagore, to his nephew Babu Devendra Nath Dutt, the present Dewan of the Maharani: “My heart bleeds to hear of your uncle's death. The loss is irreparable to the Hutwa Raj. You have got your uncle alive in me. It is I whose uncle is lost."
In July, 1890, the Maharaja lost his first son, a child of weak constitution, and the then Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, Sir Stuart Bayley, in his letter of condolence to the Maharaja, wrote: “ The loss of the only heir to one of the historical houses of Behar is what I consider a public calamity."
It is during the regime of the late Maharaja Sir Krishna Pratap Shahi that the prosperity of the Hatwa Raj has reached a point unknown to any of his predecessors. The architectural aspect of the town of Hutwa was immensely beautified by the erection of numerous magnificent buildings with high towered gates and a long line of barracks on their wings, facing in front an extensive and tastefully laid out park, stud with marble statues and fountains, thus imparting an idea of beauty mingled with sublimity. The new palace named after him, Krishna Bhaban, with its magnificently furnished and decorated Durbar Hall which is daintily painted and guilded, and glittering with tastefully arranged numerous splendid crystal chandeliers, with its painted door-panes bearing Shakesperean characters, and its walls hung with oil-paintings of all the crowned kings of Europe and two big lifesize portraits-one of the late Queen Empress and the other of himself attended with his faithful dewan, the late Babu Bhubaneswar Dutt facing each other, is indeed a work of art and is said to be one of the most picturesque buildings in India. The resources of the Raj had so considerably developed in his time that the rent-roll which was eight lakhs when he was a minor under the Court of Wards had risen to twelve lakhs of Rupees, and this not by any illicit enhancement but after a survey and preparation of a regular and systematic record of rights initiated by the Court of Wards. It is interesting to know that at his death he left behind him in the two strong-holds of his fort 55 lakhs of rupees in hard cash, notwithstanding the additious made by him in his richly stocked jewellery room, Howdakhana and Toshakhana, which including the amount spent in buildings and six
1 While at this stage of my writing I was fortunate enough to make a very im.
portant discovery throwing mach light on the dark period of some of the Rajas before Fateh Shahi. It is the Lakhraj Register of the Raj prepared in 1793 A.D. by the Government Deputy Collectors appointed to enquire into the Lakhraj land in the country for the Permanent Settlements, and which formed the Magna Charta of the Brahmins during the preparation of the Record of Rights subsequently by the Court of Wards in the minority of the late Maharaja Sir Krishna Pratap Shabi under the then most distinguished Manager, the late Mr. George James Spence Hodgkinson, I.C.S., C.S.I., (afterwards Commissioner of the Arakan Division, and some time Chief Commissioner of Lower Burma), who had not only sown seeds of Hutwa's present prosperity but had implanted in the heart of the minor in his charge noble ideas and principles which had hereafter made him so successful an administrator and an examplary chief in all respects. This Lakhraj Register records the Sanads for Brt lands granted or alleged to have been granted by the Maharajas of Hutwa. But on a careful examination of this record I was sadly disappointed to find it to be not of that value as was expected, as only in some instanoes the period found therein coincided with the dates assigned by me, calculated at the rate of 25 years; and in other cases the said register proved itself to be wholly unreliable. For instance there is one grant of the 89th Maharaja in the line, Maharaja Sangram Shahi Bahadur (the oldest one in that register), dated 1013 F.S. - 1606 A.D., granted to Gossain Madboram of village Chowchukka, Muth Madho, and another of the same Maharaja, dated so late as 1145 F.S.=1738 AD., given to Parsram Sukul of village Brindaban, thas giving the Maharaja's lease of life for more than 132 years, although there are many Sanads of the period intervening and given by the Maharajas succeeding him. Yet both these Sanads have been accepted and registered! There also appears one most glaringly false Sanad which the Amin preparing the register notes as having been declared to him (Sürat häl) to be of 1169 F.S. = 1762 A.D. i.e. (five years before Fateh Sahi's rebellion) and given by Maharaja Kalyan Mall to one Harkumar Bans Tewari of Khajooraha Tuppa Bagabi, and on the face of its spuriousness this has been accepted and regis. tered! There also appear many Sanads in which the heirs-apparent styling themselves Maharajas have been alleged to have granted landgain their fathers' (the real Maharajas) life-time, which could hardly have been the case. On the nature of these Sanads Mr. Hodgkinsson had reported to Government thus: “ The number of illicit Brts claimed is simply astounding." From this it is palpable that the present Maharaja and his ancestors have been deprived of a very large portion of their just rent by the Brahmins. The survey and record of rights were prepared by inexperienced Āmins under these Deputy Collectors for whom it was not possible to detect those fraudulently manufactured from those genuine sanads. An inspection of these Sanads might have been very useful for the history of the Raj, but unfortunatly I have not that power and position now in the Raj which I once had to induce the possessors to allow me to have a look.
By the 25 years' rule I have ascribed the date of the 25th Raja, Maharaja Jubraj Shahi, to be 1719 A.D. In the Lakhraj Register I find one of his Sanad dated 1112 F.8.=1703 A.D. given to Bholanath of Kharhurwa, and another of 1140 F.S.=1733
J. 1. 26
lakhs of rupees given away on the birth of his first son, and a lakh spent in the marriage of the present Maharaj Kumar of Benares at Salemgarh, district Gorakhpur, in which the bridegroom's party composing of several Rajas were his guests, would equal as much as the hoard left. The Maharaja died in his forty-first year on the 20th October, 1896, leaving a son of 4 years, the present minor Maharaj Kumar, and a daughter of nearly a year; and the Court of Wards again for the third time took up the administration of the Raj, appointing the Dowager
Maharani his guardian. The years of the demise of the two suecessive Maharajas, Rajendra Pratap Shahi and Krishna Pratap Shahi, are marked by the advent of the famines in Behar in which the Raj had to spend, on these two disastrous occasions, more than ten lakhs to relieve the distress of its tenants.
The charity and magnanimity of the present Maharani of Hutwa is proverbial. She had contributed a lakh of Rupees to the Famine Fund raised by His Excellency the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, for the relief of the distressed people in Central Provinces and Rajputana, another lakh to the Victoria Memorial Fund, Rs. 50,000 to the Lady Dufferin Zenana Hospital, Rs. 30,000 to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Families' Association Fund, presided over by Her Gracious Majesty the Queen Empress Alexandra, Rs. 25,000 for the Chupra Charitable Hospital besides numerous minor contributions. In recognition of her catholic charity and kindly feelings towards the tenants of her Raj, Her Majesty the late Queen Empress conferred on her the Kaisar-i-hind gold medal, with which she was invested at a grand Durbar at Hutwa, in January 1902, by His Honour the late Sir Joha Woodburn.
The Maharajas of Hutwa are entitled to take with them within the limits of Saran district 100 armed retainers, without license and to retain in their possession a gun and have the privilege of private entrée to Government House.
given to Samhowti Tewary of Husainpur. This proves the correctness of my date. . Again I have assigned the date of the 98th Raja, Maharaja Sirdar Shahi, to be 1747. In the Lakbraj Register there is one Sanad by him of Așadh 1151 F.S.=1744 A.D., granted to Balkissen Ojha of Karthowli, and another of Aghan Sudi 5th, 1165 F.8.= 1768, granted to Raghunath Soohool of Pankhapali. This also proves the cor- . rectness of my date.
The following are the date of grants gathered from the Lakhraj Register which conld be relied on to some extent and with certain allowances :
93rd Maharaja Huldal Shahi Bahadar-1644–78 A.D.
The annexed table shows the area and income together with other particulars of the Raj. The main portion consists of a compact block of the most fertile tract in the District of Saran :
Rs. A. P. Rs. A. P. 670 534,905 11,81,469 1,97,685 11 7469,894 5 0
670 534,905 11,81,4698 1,97,685 11 71 69,894 5 0
THOMAS GRAHAM, Esq.,
I beg leave to report to you the death of Dujjoo Singh who received a pension of Rs. 190-8-0 per mensem, and also to transmit
I The Raj has got only house properties in these districts.
% Besides these 30 new villages in Saran have been recently purchased by the Court of Wards, the area, population and rentroll of which have not been exactly known.
3 Besides this, the Raj has an annual income of Rs. 1,96,448 as interest in Government Papers and Municipal Debentures, etc., of the portion of the hoarded money of the late Maharaja invested by the present Court of Wards.