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Author: Laxman Burdak IFS (R)

Neemrana Fort

Neemrana (नीमराणा) is an ancient historical place in Jat Behror tahsil of Alwar district of Rajasthan


It is situated at 122 kms on the Delhi-Jaipur highway.


It is the site of 14th century Hill-Fort, Kesroli that is the oldest heritage site. Historians trace it to the Matsya Janapada of the Mahabharata times. In Kesroli one gets to see the oldest remains of Buddhist Vihara at Viratnagar where the Pandavas spent the last year of their exile incognito; Pandupole, with the only reclining statue oh Humanyun; the samadhi of the ruler saint Bhartrihari and Talavriksha with ancient water reservoirs.

The fort Sited atop the rare, dark Hornstone Breccia rocks, commands splendid agrarian views from its ramparts, which rise to 50-65 meters. The origins of the Fort Kesroli are traced back to over six centuries. It is reputed to have been built by the Yaduvanshis, descendants of Lord Krishna, who converted to Islam in the mid-14th century to be called Khanzadas. It subsequently changed hands, being conquered by the Mughals and the Jats before reverting to the Rajputs in 1775 when the princely state of Alwar was founded.

Located in the heart of the 'golden triangle'. Kesroli is almost equidistant from the tourist sites of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It makes an ideal base to visit the Sariska tiger sanctuary, Kankwadi fort, Neelkanth Temples, Pandupol, the monuments of Tijara, Siliserh Lake, Jaisamand Lake, Bhangarh-Ajabgarh, the hot springs in Talvriksh, Rajgarh, Machari, Viratnagar, Deeg, the sanctuary in Bharatpur, the Jat mud fort of Govindgarh, the ancient city of Mathura and its renowned museum.

H.A. Rose[1] writes that In Hissar the true Chauhans are immigrants and may be divided into two branches, the Nimrana* and Sidhmukh or, as they call themselves, Bārā Thāl. The Nimranas who are descendants of Raja Sangāt, a great-grandson of Chahir Deo, brother of Pirthi Raj, are sub-divided into two clans, Rāth and Bāgauta, both of which came from Gurgaon, the former tracing their origin to Jātsāna. The name Bagauta would appear to be connected with Bighota.

The Bārā Thāl had a group of 12 villages near Sidhmukh in Bikaner, close to a famous shrine of Guga.

The Sohu and Chotia Pachadas claim Chauhan descent.

Suraj Mal's first encounter with Mughals

K. R. Qanungo[2] writes .... [p.41]: In the reign of the Emperor Ahmad Shah, Saadat Khan, Amir-ul-Dmra Zulfiqar Jang,11 had been appointed governor of Agra and Ajmer. He entered into a league with Raja Bakht Singh Rathor, who had usurped the throne of Marwar by ousting his nephew, Ram Singh. Though driven out-of the capital, Ram Singh, with the support of the Raja of Jaipur, held out near Ajmer, waiting for the arrival of his Maratha allies. So the situation was full of danger for Bakht Singh who, therefore, sought the help of Saadat Khan. The Khan also required his assistance against Jats for recovering the greater portion of his Suba of Agra from their clutches. An understanding seems to have been entered into, to the effect that Saadat Khan, instead of marching to Agra by the Delhi-Agra royal road, should strike southwest from Delhi, through Mewat, unite his forces with those of Bakht Sing somewhere on the frontier of his principality, and thence turn towards Ajmer to crush Ram Singh: after the conquest of Ajmer, the subjugation of the Jat country would become easier, -so the Khan was made to believe. He began his march (1162 H.)12

11. In the original text of the Siyar-ul-Mutaqharin we do not find the name Saadat Khan (see original text. ii, 38), imported in the translation. This Saadat Khan has been confounded by the translator with his namesake, the uncle and father-in-law of Nawab Safdar Jang (vide vol. iv, index, p. 63). Burhan-ul-mulk Saadat Khan died during Nadir Shah's stay at Delhi (siyar, i. 316): the exact date being 10th March, 1739. The second Saadat Khan (Zulfiqar Jang) was appointed governor in the reign of Ahmad Shah who ascended the throne on Wednesday, 2nd Jamada 1., 1160 H. 1st May, 1747; Waqa, p. 35). He was created Mir Bakhshi by the Emperor Ahmad Shah on Thursday Raja 14,1160 H. (11th July, 1747) on the very same day that Raja Bakht Singh was appointed subedar of Gujrat (Waqa, p. 38).

12. Siyar's date 1163 H. is wrong (Siyr, iii, 312). In that year Suraj Mal was, according to better authorities, fighting as an ally of Safdar Jang against the Ruhelas. The correct date seems to be Safar 1162 H. The translator of Siyar, iii, 311, 20th line, omits the date, "the end of the year 1162" (text, ii. 38). The text is also wrong. This should be the end of 1161, as is evident from Waqa-i-Shah Alam Sani.

[p.42]: with a well-equipped army of 15,000 horse, and arrived at a place, Nimrani, on the northern boundary of Suraj Mal's dominion. The Jat Raja was watching the movements of the Mughal army, without any intention of showing his hand first. But some soldiers of Saadat Khan picked a quarrel with the Jat garrison of a small tort XV and drove them out. This was construed by the Khan as a great victory, and he ordered his drums to be beaten in rejoicing. He becameover-confident of his strength, and the sudden elation of an insignificant success Changed his whole plan of campaign. He made a halt there, and recalled his advanced guards from the direction of Narnol. In spite of the earnest remonstrances of some of the officers of his army, he decided to conquer the Jat country first and then go to Ajmer. Saadat Khan ordered Fath Ali Khan to go out on a forage in force. The party started in the morning from their camp near Sobha Chand's sarai. While at noon the foragers with their convoy were about to return, the Jat army commanded by Raja Suraj Mal selfself appeared. Fath Ali Khan, who was at a distance of two or three kos13 sent urgent requests for reinforcement, but it came tardily towards the sunset.

Thinking a retreat by night before a stronger enemy dangerous, they sent word to Saadat Khan proposing to pass the night on the spot, expecting him to march with the whole army to their relief in the morning. This was objected to and this immediate return was insisted upon by the Khan. The Jats surrounaed the retreating column; their mounted matchlockmen close in small bodies and discharged volleys upon the confused Muslim troopers without dismounting. Such a mobile force as Suraj Mal's mounted matchockmen could hardly be brought to the grapple in the darkriess of night. A great many of the Mughals died helplessly, and the rest lost heart when Hakim Khan was shot dead and All Rustam Khan wounded - the two gallant officers who had brought reinforcements. The retreat became a panic-stricken flight. The main camp was also thrown into confusion by the rush of fugitives and the appearance of the advanced

XV. This small fort was Nimrana garhi (33 miles south-west of Pataudi), which was captured b the Mir Bakshi, Saadat Khan from the Jat garrison on 30th December, 1749. P.C. Chandavat, Maharaja Suraj Mal Aur Unka Yug, 70; G.C. Dwivedi, The Jats: their role in the Mughal Empire, 116 f.n.10 for references. -Ed.

13. This is omitted in the translation of the Siyar.

[p.43]: party of the enemy, close on their heels. A greater disaster was averted by the firmness and decision of Saadat Khan's more discreet captains, who did not hesitate to prevent by force their master's flight. The Lords of Lords writhed in agony in then grip till the panic subsided. "Luckily", says the author of the Siyar, whose uncle was an eye-witness of the affair, "as the Jat chief, for his own safety, did not wish to gain the evil repute of having caprured or slain an Amir-ul-umra, he contented himself with besieging the camp for two or three days together, at the end of which he offered terms through Fath Ali Khan, an officer with whom he was acquainted. The Amir-ul-umra, considering it to be a great gain, consented to them." Suraj Mal sent his own son Jawahar Singh, to the Amer-u-umra and concluded an agreement on several conditions, two of which were, that the dependents of the viceroy should not cut any pipal tree, nor offer any insult or injury to the Hindu temples in the country. 14 This Victory over the Amir-ul-umra of the empire brought great prestige and self-confidence to Raja Suraj Mal. Soon afterwards he entered the political arena of Hindustan to play a bolder and more honourable role.

Notable persons

External links


Monika Adlakha: Hindustan times, 24 July 2006

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