The Battle of Jaipur (1751): Maharaja Ishwari Singh Vs Madho Singh and Rajput Maratha Struggle

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Swai Jai Singh the founder of Jaipur city was the dominant political leader of the Jaipur kingdom. He made efforts for the betterment of Jaipur city and its native citizens. To this day he is remembered as an illustrious political figure in the history of Jaipur.

Image of Maharaja Swai Ishwari Singh of Jaipur
Rajput Maratha Struggle 
Madho Singh
Image of Maharaja Swai Ishwari Singh of Jaipur

It was he who took Jaipur to new heights and made it a prosperous land through various developments in the fields of science, art, astronomy, culture, etc. However, the Politics of Jaipur went into chaos after the death of this great leader. Jaipur witnessed bloody battles between the sons of Swai Jai Singh which deteriorated its economy and prestige.

Madho Singh 
Rajput Maratha Struggle
Image of Madho Singh the younger son of Maharaja Swai Jai Singh

Swai Ishwari Singh and Madho Singh the two sons of Maharaja Jai Singh fought against each other for the throne of Jaipur. The struggle between the two for the throne of Jaipur changed the history of Jaipur and consequently of India. It also invited the Maratha incursion which further damaged the RajputMaratha relation.

In the end, the struggle resulted in the death of Swai Ishawari Singh which developed a sense of resentment among the local citizens of Jaipur which resulted in total chaos for the Marathas.

Maharaja Ishawari Singh: Kingdom of Jaipur after Swai Jai Singh

Swai Ishwari Singh ascended the throne of Jaipur in 1743 and with him started the war for succession. The reign of Swai Ishwari Singh remained full of conflicts. It was after the death of Maharaja Jai Singh when things broke completely and a struggle for the prestigious throne of Jaipur occurred between Ishwari Singh and his younger brother Madho Singh.

The reason behind this bloody struggle between the two brothers was the promise that Swai Jai Singh had given to the Maharana of Mewar. During his reign, Swai Jai Singh who had married the daughter of Maharana Amar Singh II had promised the latter that after him the new king of Jaipur would be the son of his beloved daughter.

The marriage between Swai Jai Singh and Chandra Kunwar the daughter of Maharana Amar Singh II took place in 1708 at Debari Udaipur. Madho Singh the son of Swai Jai Singh and Chandra Kunwar was the rightful heir of Jaipur according to the pledge of his father.

However, Swai Ishawari Singh the elder brother of Swai Jai Singh ascended the throne of Jaipur after his father’s death which initiated a bloody warfare in which several neighboring kingdoms played an important part.

The struggle between the two brothers invited the kingdoms of Kota, Bundi, and most importantly the Marathas. The Marathas played a vital role in this struggle as they allied with both sides in return for huge tribute but ultimately it resulted in total chaos for themselves which deteriorated the Rajput-Maratha relations. Ishwari Singh gained the support of the

Mughal emperor and the latter had accepted the former as the rightful heir to the throne of Jaipur. Furthermore, Ishwari Singh was also able to include Malhar Rao Holkar the Maratha Sardar on his side. On the other hand, Madho Singh had the support of Maharana Jagat Singh II of Mewar, Maharaja Durjansal of Kota, Umed Singh of Bundi, and Maratha leader Ranoji Scindia.

The important point here is that the Maratha allied with both sides.

Battle of Jaipur

Initially, Ishwari Singh had defeated Madho Singh and his allies in the battle of Rajmahal in March 1747 CE. The victory of Maharaja Ishwari Singh was so astonishing that he built the 140 ft long tower of Isarlat also known as Sargasuli the passage to heaven at Jaipur to commemorate this victory.

One important point to note is that Ishwari Singh also defeated Madho Singh in 17 However a year later in the battle of Bagru (at Jaipur) which was fought on August 1748 Madho Singh and his allies were able to gain a decisive victory over Ishwari Singh.

Malhar Rao Holkar 
Rajput Maratha Struggle
Image of Malhar Rao Holkar

One important point in this campaign was that Malhar Rao Holkar the Maratha leader who initially had allied himself with Ishwari Singh fought against him in this battle of Bagru. The defeat of Ishwar Singh forced him to accept the demands of Madho Singh which were as follows-

1 The Pargans of Tonk, Toda, Niwai, Malpura, etc were handed to Madho Singh.

2 Three Parganas should be given to Maharaja Durjansal of Kota

3 Umedh Singh to be accepted as the next king of Bundi and a huge tribute in the form of money should be handed over to the Marathas.

Death of Maharaja Ishwari Singh and Rajput Maratha Struggle

The demand for the immense amount of tribute from the Maratha was too much for the Maharaja Ishwari Singh. Furthermore, the defeat caused the Maharaja to lose all his allies and left him alone. It made him anxious which severely affected his mental state.

Unable to pay the necessary amount of tribute to the Marathas the latter then launched an assault on Jaipur under the leadership of Malhar Rao Holkar. With Malhar Rao Gangadhar Tatya also came with his forces to invade Jaipur.

Ishwari tried everything he could to save his kingdom and sent an amount of around two lakh rupees to Malhar Rao but the Marathas refused as the amount was not sufficient. Furthermore, the trusted ministers of Maharaja Ishwari Singh betrayed him and sided with his arch-rivals which broke Maharaja’s heart and consequently his spirit.

Although he had fought bravely and resisted several onslaughts of Madho Singh and his formidable force including the Marathas. Maharaja Ishwari Singh even helped the Mughal and the Sikh and defeated the Durrani army of Ahmad Shah Abdali in the battle of Manupur in 1748.

However, all the contributions and good deeds of Maharaja Ishwari Singh were neglected and on 12 December 1750, Maharaja Ishwari Singh committed suicide along with his three queens. This shocking news and betrayal from the loyal ministers completely shattered the heart of the local populace of Jaipur city.

The people felt betrayed as their beloved king committed suicide. When the Marathas entered the city of Jaipur on 10 January 1751 the general public who had already generated an immense amount of resentment towards the Marathas took up arms and revolted against them.

The outbreak was so fierce that the general public which was without any leader gave the Marathas the never healing scars. In nine hours about 1500 Maratha troops were killed and about 1000 were wounded.

The Marathas lose many of their high-ranking officials which further deepens their wounds. This deteriorated the relations between the Rajputs of Jaipur and the Marathas. Jaipur lost his ardent monarch and the Marathas got the scars which became the reason for the Maratha incursions in the land of Rajputana.


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