SAWAI JAI SINGH: Kachhwaha Rajput Ruler of Amer Kingdom

How the great Rajput ruler "SAWAI JAI SINGH" was treated by the Mughals? The facts and myths about the relation of the Amer kingdom with other dynasties.
SAWAI JAI SINGH: Kachhwaha Rajput Ruler of Amer Kingdom
SAWAI JAI SINGH: Kachhwaha Rajput Ruler of Amer KingdomImage Credit: Since Independence

The 29th Kachhwaha Rajput ruler of the Amer kingdom, RAJA SAWAI JAI SINGH founded the fortified city of Jaipur and made it its capital. He became the King of Jaipur at the age of 11 after the death of his father Raja Bishan in 1699.

At the initial years of his rulership, due to lack of power, Raja Sawai Jai Singh acted as the "VASSAL"(a person under the protection of a feudal lord to whom he has vowed homage and fealty) for Mughals, providing mutual support to each other.

He was given the title of "SAWAI", by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb before the seizure of Khelna in Deccan. The title of the "Raja Dhiraj" was given in the year 1723.

SAWAI JAI SINGH: Kachhwaha Rajput Ruler of Amer Kingdom
SAWAI JAI SINGH: Kachhwaha Rajput Ruler of Amer Kingdom

In the later years of his life, Jai Singh broke out from the hegemony of the Mughal empire and to declare his sovereignty, he performed the Ashvamedha sacrifice, an ancient rite that had been abandoned for several centuries.

This was the most inspirational deed by any ruler in the 18th century. He designated "Jaipur " as the capital of the kingdom Amber in 1727, followed by two Ashwamedha sacrifices in 1734 and in 1741.

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Relation with Mughals

In 1707, the death of Aurangzeb created troubles for Sawai Jai Singh. Jai Singh chose to attack the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar by forming an alliance with Marwar, but the war ended up with the victory of the Mughals.

After losing the war Jai Singh decided to form a treaty in which Bahadur Shah Zafar appointed Jai Singh to govern the important provinces of Agra and Malwa.

Dehli Darbaar
Dehli Darbaar

In the time period 1714-1737, Jai Singh was appointed as the "SUBEDAR" of Malwa. As time passed, the hate for Jai Singh grew in the Mughals and the results came out to be disrespectful to Sawai Jai Singh.

From the very initial years, Sawai Jai Singh faced a lot of disrespect, as well as appreciation from the Mughal emperors.

There are theories that say when the king of Jaipur first went to Dehli, his hands were tightened by Aurangzeb's soldiers, and was asked what he is going to do in response. On that Sawai Jai Singh surrendered himself in front of the Mughals.

Even after the submissive behaviour of Sawai Jai Singh, Mughals oppressed the king by rejecting him to be the "NAIR SUBEDAR" at the request of the subedar Bakht Singh by saying that Hindu rulers do not deserve to be a "MAMULI FAUZDAR".

The understanding between the Rajput King Jai Singh and the Mughal emperors was quite an unstable one as the Mughal emperors sometimes entitled Raja Jai Singh "SAWAI" and there were those times too when the king was not even allowed to sit on the same couch as the other members of Darbar.

With all these incidents, categorizing Jai Singh becomes tough as we can't conclude whether he was a slave or an independent ruler who fought for his dignity.

Marriage of Rajput Princess of Amer and Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar

After the death of Aurangzeb, there was some time for the Amer kingdom to make good connections with the Mughal empire.

For that, the younger brother of Raja Jai Singh- Vijay Singh came up with the decision for his sister to get married to Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Bahadur Shah Zafar
Bahadur Shah ZafarImage Credit: Commons

On behalf of this marriage, the Nawab took over the control of the Amer kingdom which again resulted in a conflict between the nawab and Raja Jai Singh, and in this Jai Singh was suppressed by the nawab and his younger brother and was designated as "Salamdar in the Darbaar"(integrated part of Mughal Darbaar).

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