Barsana Mathura

From Jatland Wiki
Location of Barsana (Govardhan) in Mathura district
For village of same name in Charkhi Dadri see Barsana

Barsana (बरसाना) is a village in Govardhan tahsil in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.

Variants of name


Jat Gotra



The Battle of Barsana

Kanungo[1] writes....The Mughal victory at Dankaur (15th September, 1773) removed the serious menace caused by the Jat offensive in that quarter. About a fortnight after it news arrived that the Jats were making attacks upon Garhi Harsaru from their stronghold at Farrukhnagar. Mirza Najaf Khan at once sent a strong force under the able command of his lieutenant Najaf Quli to relieve that place, and put an end to the dominion of the Jats in that quarter. In order to fill this gap in the main army; opposed to Nawal Singh, he recalled his troops from the Doab. Nawal Singh who was encamped at Fatehpur Sikri [Baloch]12 5 miles south of Ballamgarh became

12. The MS. of Chahar Gulzar as well as a letter written to the Governor of Bengal by Mirza Najaf Khan [Pers. Cor.] mentions Fatehpur Sikri as the place of 'Nawal Singh's encampment. One Sikri is mentioned as a stage between Pirthala and Ballamgarh (3 miles

[p.149]: disheartened by the news of the disastrous defeat of his army in the Doab, and throwing a strong garrison at Ballamgarh retreated to Palwal and thence to Hodal, about 53 miles south of Delhi. Mirza Najaf Khan followed the track of the Jat army and came up with it at the village of Banchari, 3-1/2 miles north of Hodal (middle of October, 1773). Hira Singh and Ajit Singh,13 the dispossessed heirs of Ballamgarh, had come to offer their services to Mirza Najaf Khan. He appointed Ajit Singh, commandant and governor of Ballamgarh, and left him with a small detachment to besiege that fort. Hira Singh accompanied the Mughal general to play the usual role of a traitor to his country and his people. Both armies encamped at a distance of four miles from each other; several days passed in skirmishes in which the Muslim troopers had generally the better. One day by sheer accident the Jat camp was surprised. Jamadar Ali Quli Khan captured some men from the neighbourhood of the enemy's camp and learned from them that at that time Nawal Singh was eating his meal and that his soldiers were quite busy in cooking theirs. A party at once rode out from Najaf Khan's camp. "A cloud of dust was seen approaching from the west. Some soldiers [in the Jat camp] cried out that the troops of Najaf Khan were coming. The Jats became

north of the former and 5 miles south of the latter) on the Agra-Delhi road. [Prof. J.N. Sarkar's India of Aurangzeb, xcvii]. No such place is to be found in the modern atlas. A glance at the map would show that Fatehpur Baloch is the place meant. This is situated at exactly the same distances from those places. It lies in lat. 28°-0' long. 77°"-25'. Curiously enough Harcharan confuses this Fatehpur Sikri with the famous residence of Akbar near Agra. He mentions the next stage of Najaf Khan's halt as Dholpur to be consistent in his error. Dholpur may however be a copyist's error for Hodal which is the place really meant.

13. Ajit Singh was the son of Rao Kishandas and Hira Singh, son of Bishandas. Ballamgarh was taken away from their fathers by Nawal Singh. Ballamgarh was taken after a long siege in the third week of April, 1774 [Safar, 1188 H; Waqa p. 277]. Najaf Khan gave the title of Raja to both the cousins and Hira Singh was honoured with the additional distinction Salar Jang [Delhi Gaz. p. 213].

[p.150]: panic-struck and fled in all directions. Nawal Singh, quite at his wit's end stood dumb for a while, and then mounting an elephant fled towards Kotman (Ibratnama, MS. p. 233).

In the meanwhile Najaf Quli was making steady advance, keeping the hills of Mewat to his right and driving the Jats westward. In his first encounter with the Jat army, he captured four wheeled field-pieces [rahkala] from them. Next he reached Bawal14 (?) and the enemy was reported at a distance of 7 kos. On the 19th October, a letter of victory from Mirza Najaf Khan brought to the Emperor the happy news "Nawal Singh has fled and taken shelter in his garhi (i.e., Kotman]); Shankar's army has been defeated (Nawal Singh's general at Farrukhnagar) and all his equipages of artillery [asbab-i-topkhana] captured by the [imperial] troops; Najaf Quli has gone in pursuit of the enemy" [Waqa, p. 270]. Najaf Quli cut off the retreat of this division of the Jat army to Mewat and drove it northwards into Farrukhnagar. He laid siege to this place, but was soon after recalled to Sahar by his chief. Nawab Musavi Khan Baloch, the ex-lord of Farrukhnagar, succeeded him in command there.

After the flight of Nawal Singh, Mirza Najaf Khan summoned at night (17th Oct.) a council of war for discussing the future plan of campaign. All his officers were unanimously of opinion that next morning they should start in pursuit of the fugitives and the camp should be removed from Banchari to the deserted site of the Jat encampment. But Hira Singh Jat submitted to the Nawab that there was yet no certainty about the break-up of the army of Nawal Singh, who might prepare for battle with his rear resting upon the fort of Kotman - men who had been enjoying the bounty of the house of Bharatpur would not so lightly desert the Raja but would surely sacrifice their lives for him on the day of battle. He further pointed out that it would be injudicious to risk an engagement at this stage with such men so strongly posted, because the bulk of the army of the Amir-ul-umra

14. Our MS. of the Waqa writes Palwal, which is a place 30 miles due south of Delhi. It is absurd to suppose that Najaf Quli should go to Palwal on his way to Farrukhnagar (!) is certainly a copyist's error for some other place name. Nearest approach to correct reading is perhaps Bawal a place 10 miles south of Rewari.

[p.151]: was composed of raw levies of untried valour. "It is advisable" he said "to push rapidly towards Deeg, giving up the project of pursuing the enemy. If Nawal Singh comes out of Kotman, knowing this intention of yours, you can offer him battle [with advantage]; if through God's grace he remains inactive in his own place, the capture of Deeg, left without a master, will be easily accomplished. Mirza Najaf Khan approved of this proposal of Hira Singh and at once issued orders for a march upon Deeg. Leaving Kotman at a distance of 4 or 5 miles to the east, the Mughal army moved along the old Delhi-Agra royal road. They plundered Koshi.15 Chhata,16 and other parganas on their way and reached Sahar 17 (22nd October) to take the road to Deeg, via Govardhan. Nawal Singh guessing the design of Mirza Najaf Khan against his capital, left Kotman with his army, and taking a shorter route via Nandgaon18 arrived at Barsana19 about the same time. The march of the Muslim army was thus arrested by the sudden appearance of Nawal Singh on their right flank. The surprise of Deeg was no longer feasible, because the Jats were at least one march nearer their objective. Najaf Khan encamped at Sahar, but after a day or two moved his tents to Shahpur [?] half way between Sahar and Barsana, leaving his heavy baggage and the camp followers behind. Skirmishes went on for more than a week. Owing to the exhaustion of supplies in the neighbourhood, hardship began to be felt by the troops of the Nawab, who was hard-pressed by his officers to attack the enemy.

The key of the situation was in the hands of Nawal Singh. He was encamped with his rear protected by the fortified hill of Barsana; he could safely refuse to fight as long as he wished, because the whole resources of the

15. Koshi, 7 miles south-east of Kotman.

16. Chhata, 10 miles south-east of Koshi and about 11 miles north of Sahar.

17. Sahar, 15 miles n.w. of Mathura and 7 miles west of Barsana.

18. Nandgaon, 8 miles south-west of Koshi and 6 miles north of Barsana.

19. Barsana, 22 miles n.w. of Mathura and 12 miles due north of Deeg.

[p.152]: surrounding tract were at his disposal. He could kill his enemy by playing a waiting game as indeed the officers of Mirza Najaf Khan apprehended. But Fabian tactics were unsuited to his excitable temperament and weak nerve. On the morning of the 31st October [14th Shaban, 1187 H.] Mirza Najaf Khan led out his forces in the array of battle to try the temper of the enemy. Nawal Singh, who had a strange eagerness without ability for a fight, was easily provoked and a general action began after five gharis of the day had passed.

Nawal Singh divided his army in three divisions and stationed them at a little distance from each other. Somru with six battalions of musketeers drilled in European fashion, and three battalions carrying flint guns with fuses, and bayonets fixed at the muzzle, commanded by French officers, was stationed on the right wing. Twelve thousand Naga Bairagis resembling leopards and tigers [in courage], with about ten thousand horse and foot under the command of the Rajas who had come to Nawal Singh's assistance, formed the left wing. The artillery, tied together with iron chains, was placed in front; trustworthy commanders were stationed in the rear as a reserve; and Nawal Singh himself surrounded by a magnificent retinue stood in the centre. On the other side, Mullah Rahim Dad Khan with his Ruhelas was stationed against the Naga Bairagis; Reza Beg Khan and Rahim Beg Khan with their own cavalry and two battalions of His Majesty's infantry were placed opposite Somru's division; and Najaf Quli Khan and Afrasiyab Khan stood in the centre facing the enemy's artillery and Nawal Singh. Mirza Najaf Khan mounted on a fleet horse spurred to and fro encouraging his chiefs, while Masum Ali Khan was made to take his seat upon the elephant of the Amir-ul-umra, a dangerous distinction for which the poor man paid with his life .. A furious and stubborn fight began. Nawal Singh's left was broken by the determined charge of the Ruhelas, animated by the example of their brave leader Rahim Dad; while Somru checked and afterwards put to flight the left wing of Najaf Khan. The Jats made a gallant dash at the Amir-ul-umra's elephant, and capturing it despatched Masum Ali with many blows of dagger, taking him to be Mirza

[p.153]: Najaf Khan himself. The day seemed to be almost lost when Mirza Najaf Khan made his way to the centre and ordered Najaf Quli and Afrasiyab to charge the enemy's artillery with drawn sabres. Nawal Singh's centre gave way under the tremendous shock of Najaf Quli's charge: Nawal Singh himself fled on an elephant. The Muslim army fell upon the baggage in the rear and dispersed in search of booty. But Somru, entrenching his position, placed the cannon in front and kept together his sepoy battalions, quite ready to receive the enemy. Jud Raj, diwan of Nawal Singh, with 500 fresh horse-men was seen preparing for fight behind Somru's sepoys. Mirza Najaf Khan thundered and stormed in vain to bring together his scattered troops mad after looting. At last in frantic rage he flung himself upon Jud Raj's horse; followed only by forty troopers, and after an obstinate contest broke their ranks and put them to flight. Somru, considering it fruitless to continue the fight, ordered a retreat and marched away in good order. But one Frenchman, a lieutenant of Somru, refused to turn back and urged his men to fight. They fired volleys with such rapidity and precision as to deprive the Musalmans of their senses. Najaf Khan himself charged them several times, but their ranks stood firm and unshaken. At last matchlockmen and guns were sent for by the Khan to fire upon them By the grace of God, the very first shell struck the enemy's powder-chest, the second, guided as if by the hand of destiny hit the Frenchman on the head, and the third fell in the very midst of their ranks, carrying to them the message that it was high time to depart. The sepoys slowly marched off dragging their guns behind them with their departure life seemed to come back to Najaf Khan, and smiles of joy appeared on his face for the first time on .that fateful day.20

Nawal Singh had fled from Barsana towards Deeg. Abdul Ahad Khan and the Emperor heard the news of thegreat victory at Barsan with misgiving and apprehension.

20. Both the Waqa-i-shah Alam Sani [MS. p. 271) and a paper of news in Pers. Cor. MS., dated November 17th, 1773 gives the same date i.e., 14th Shaban 1187 H. The paper of news gives the following details which differ to a certain content from those of the Ibratnama "Najaf Quli and Taj Muhammad on the right; Niyar Beg Khan and

[p.154]: They sent letters to Nawal Singh encouraging him to fight the Amir-ul-umra. Some of these letters were captured by Najaf Khan's soldiers. Najaf Khan gave several days rest to his army at Barsana. He sent Rahim Dad to besiege the fort of Kotman,21 held by Sitaram, the father-in-law of Nawal Singh. After defending his fort for several days (18 days as local tradition says) Sitaram one night escaped with the garrison. About this time news spread that the Nawab Wazir-ul-mulk [Shuja-ud-aula] was coming to the assistance of Nawal Singh; in fact he had sent in advance a detachment for taking charge of the fort of Agra from the Jat garrison. Najaf Khan hearing this gave up his plan of subduing the Jat country around Deeg, and, practically running a race for Agra reached there just in time to prevent the junction of the Jats with the troops of the Wazir-ul-mulk.

Fath All Khan Durrani on the left; the English battalion and the artillery were on the front .... at about one o'clock in the afternoon an attack was made upon Nawal Singh's army with artillery which kept up a continuous fire till five o'clock. Nawal Singh fled; Somru and Balanand and few others continued the fray. A hot battle followed and in the end Balanand and several others were mortally wounded .... about 200 of the enemy [Jats] were killed. Somru lost most of his men; about 2000 Mughals were killed and 300 wounded."

21. Kotman (in the Mathura district) is also known as Kotban. It lies on the Delhi-Agra Trunk Road a furlong or two beyond the boundary line of the Gurgaon district. I have visited this ruined fort in the course of my historical tour. Only the mahal (harem), and Kachhari (Court-room) which is now the Choupad or village Common-hall, stand intact. These lie within the brick-built inner fort of which only the big gate, about 50 yards away from the Kachhari still remains. There is also a large pucca tank outside the gate. The descendants of Sitaram still live there as humble peasants. I met some of them; I was told that the fort had an outer wall of mud 18 cubits high and 16 cubits broad, with a ditch around. One Giribar Prasad, a tall, fair and blue-eyed peasant nearing 50 told me the story he had heard from his grandfather, how the Jats were surprised by the troops of Najaf Khan when they were preparing roti, how they came to Kotman and next went to Barsana, where they fought a battle for 18 days; in short a tradition exactly coinciding with written history. Harcharan says that Kotman was defended for nineteen days by the Jats.

[p.155]: From the time of Abul Mansur Khan Safdar Jang, the Oudh Nawabs had been the allies of the Jats. Shuja-ud-daula had no mind to see Nawal Singh crushed, and, besides, the ambition and ability of Mirza Najaf Khan had made him uneasy. He reached only as far as Etawah when the news of the victory at Barsana and arrival of Najaf Khan at Agra was heard. Finding his own design upon Agra anticipated, he at once changed front and, with consummate duplicity, sent a letter of congratulation to Najaf Khan, assuring him that he had come to these parts only to assist the Amir-ul-umra! At the same time Major Polier- the commandant of the detachment sent ahead - was thus secretly instructed: "If the qiladar of Akbarabad consents to give up the fort according to previous agreement and understanding, then, throwing off the mask at once, you should try to get into the fort by every possible means. If you fail you are to act under the command of Najaf Khan and obey him as your superior." The citadel of Agra was besieged by Najaf Khan aided by Major Polier. The qiladar tried without success many tricks to bring in secretly the troops of Shuja-ud-daula. After defending it bravely for some time he gave up the fort on the promise of the safety of life and property of the garrison. He came out and encamped at Naharganj; but apprehending treachery from the Muslims fled towards Bhadawar, leaving his baggage and treasure behind. Najaf Khan appointed Daud Beg Khan Karchi to the command of the Agra fort. 22

With the capture of Agra from the Jats, the first campaign of Najaf Khan ended. Soon afterwards, he went to Etawa to pay a visit to the Wazir-ul-mulk. His attention was engrossed for a few months by Ruhela affairs and the Court intrigues of Abdul Ahad Khan.

22. Najaf Khan entered the city of Agra on the 26th Ramzan 1187 H. (Dec. 11, 1773). The fort fell in the month of Ziqada between 7th and 29th of that month i.e., about the beginning of February, 1774 (Harcharan; Waqa p. 273). He crossed the Jamuna on the 15th of Zihijja, 1187 H. (Feb. 27, 1774) to meet the Nawab Wazir-ul-mulk (Waqa p. 284). He was given valuable presents and made naib- wazir on behalf of Shuia-ud-daula on the 22nd Zihijja (ibid, p. 285). Khair-ud-din wrongly calls the Jat commandant of Agra Dan Sahi, who had died about six months before. The news of his death two days after the battle of Dankaur reached Delhi on the 2nd Rajab 1187 H. (19th September, 1773). The Jat defender of the Agra fort was not Dan Sahi but his brother as we learn from the Waqa (p. 273).


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[2] ने लिखा है.... बरसाना कृष्ण की प्रेयसी राधा की जन्मस्थली के रूप में प्रसिद्ध है. इस स्थान को जो एक बृहत पहाड़ी की तलहटी में बसा है प्राचीन समय में वृहत्सानु कहा जाता था (वृहत्+सानु =पर्वत शिखर). इसके अन्य नाम ब्रह्मसानु या वृषभानुपुर (वृषभानु राधा के पिता का नाम है) भी कहे जाते हैं. बरसाना [p.610]: प्राचीन समय में बहुत सुंदर नगर था. राधा का प्राचीन मंदिर मध्यकालीन है जो लाल पत्थर का बना है. यह अब परित्यक्त अवस्था में है. इस की मूर्ति अब पास ही स्थित विशाल एवं भव्य संगमरमर के बने मंदिर में प्रतिष्ठित की हुई है. यह दोनों मंदिर ऊंची पहाड़ी के शिखर पर हैं. थोड़ा आगे चलकर जयपुर नरेश का बनवाया हुआ दूसरा विशाल मंदिर पहाड़ी के दूसरी शिखर पर बना है. कहा जाता है कि [[Aurangzeb|औरंगजेब] जिसमें मथुरा व निकटवर्ती स्थान के मंदिरों को क्रूरता पूर्वक नष्ट कर दिया था, बरसाने तक पहुंच सका था. बरसाने की पुण्यस्थली बड़ी हरी-भरी तथा रमणीक है. इसकी पहाड़ियों के पत्थर श्याम तथा गौरवर्ण के हैं जिन्हें यहां के निवासी कृष्णा तथा राधा के अमर प्रेम का प्रतीक मानते हैं. बरसाने से 4 मील पर नंद गांव है जहां श्री कृष्ण के पिता नंदजी का घर था. बरसाना-नंदगांव मार्ग पर संकेत नामक स्थान है जहां किंवदंती के अनुसार कृष्ण और राधा का प्रथम मिलन हुआ था. संकेत का शब्दार्थ है पूर्वनिर्दिष्ट मिलने का स्थान.

राधा का परिचय

कृष्ण की प्रेमिका का नाम राधा था जो बरसाना के सरपंच वृषभानु की बेटी थी। श्री कृष्ण राधारानी से निष्काम और निश्वार्थ प्रेम करते थे। राधा श्री कृष्ण से उम्र में बहुत बड़ी थी। लगभग 6 साल से भी ज्यादा का अंतर था। श्री कृष्ण ने 14 वर्ष की उम्र में वृंदावन छोड़ दिया था। और उसके बाद वे राधा से कभी नहीं मिले।


Notable persons

External links


Back to Jat Villages