The Nashipur Raj family is of considerable antiquity and historical importance.
It claims Raja Sagara of the Solar Dynasty (Suryavansha) as its founder.
This clan was the oldest and biggest kshatriya clan of India which was also known by many synonyms as Adityavamsha,
Mitrawamsha, Arkawamsha, Raviwamsha, etc. The early Suryavanshis considered Sun-god ('Surya', 'Aditya' or 'Arka').
as their kul-devta (clan God) and mainly practised sun-worship.
The Nashipur Raj may be traced as far back to Maharaja Tarawah, who was the ruling
chief of Bijapur, in the Deccan, in the fourteenth century. After the Maharaja Tarawah, his son Prince Madan Sinha
came into possession of the vast zamindary. Later Ajit Sinha, grandson of Tarachand Sinha, of Panipat, was in recognition of distinguished services
under the Mughal Emperor Jahangir,
invested with the title of "Rai".
Later in the Nashipur Raj ancestry, Rai Sambhunath, was appointed by the Emperor of Delhi as
Subahdar and Nazim of the whole tract of country from Shahranpur to Meerut, and his brother, Rai Badrinath,
took part in the battle of Shamli in May 1857, under Colonel Burn.
Rai Ajit Sinha's eldest son was Amar Sinha
, who left four sons, of whom the youngest was Diwali Sinha
Raja Debi Sinha
Bahadur, the founder of the Nashipur Raj family, was the second son of Diwali;
the eldest was Takiram Sinha
, and the youngest Bahadur Sinha
Debi Sinha migrated to Bengal in 1756, and rose to prominence by farming the districts of Purnea, Edrakpore, Rangpore and Dinajpore, under a lease
dated the 18th
Debi Sinha entered the service of the Honourable East India Company in the Revenue Department,
in which he held a high and responsible position in connection with the permanent settlement of Bengal.
Having rendered important services to Lord Clive at the Battle of Plassey পলাশী
he was honoured with the title of
. On the formation of the provincial councils in 1773 AD, Raja Debi Sinha
became Steward or Secretary to the provincial council of Murshidabad. The office of Dewan of the revenue administration
of Bengal, then newly created was conferred upon him. The revenues increased considerably and it was alleged
that Debi Sinha had inflicted a variety of punishments to effect this. In 1783 AD, the riots of Rangpore
broke out into open rebellion, Debi Sinha was removed from official trusts and a commission was subsequently
appointed to investigate into this matter. Sir John Shore
was of opinion that many of the worst accusations were against Debi Sinha, had no foundation whatever.
in 1783 AD and John Macpherson
and Lord Cornwallis
sewed the most laudable and anxious desire to do strict justice to Debi Sinha.
On his death, Mr. R.F. Bevan
, the collector of Murshidabad, wrote to the Board of Revenue -
"I beg leave to report to you the decease on the 18th instant (April, 1805) of Maharaja Debi Sinha Bahadur,
Zamindar of Huda Ekoori etc., has left no children. His property will devolve to (sic) his brother and his nephews
Raja Udwanta Sinha
Debi Sinha died without issue, and his vast estates passed into the hands of Raja Balawant Sinha
the eldest son of his brother, Bahadur Sinha. Balawant Sinha was succeeded by his son Raja Gopal Sinha
The inheritance next fell to Raja Udwanta Sinha
Bahadur, the third son of Bahadur Sinha.
Raja Udwanta Sinha was for some time, Dewan of Nawab Nazim Ali Jah.
A controversy having arisen regarding the disposal of certain Nizamat property, a Commission of enquiry
was appointed by Government and the evidence of the Raja having become necessary, he attended the
Commission on the 5th
August, 1822 AD, and stated that he could not depose an oath,
as he had never appeared as witness in a Court of Justice.
Interrogatories were therefore furnished to him to answer them solemnly.
In September, 1822 he set out on a pilgrimage to Gaya (Bihar) and paid visit to the Maharaja Sirdat Nath Sinha
of Ramgarh, where he fell ill.
Raja Udwanta Sinha who was widely known for his liberality, and it was during his time that the Thakur Bari
which is not only picturesque but grand, was constructed.
Raja Udwanta Sinha died in 1832 AD without issue, and was succeeded by Raja Krishna Chandra Sinha
the only son of his elder brother, Hanumanta Sinha
The Khillut of the title of Raja Bahadur was conferred upon Krishna Chandra Sinha by Major Cobb
the Agent to the Governor General at Murshidabad. Raja Krishna Chandra died in 1850 AD
He left two sons; the elder, who got the inheritance, was Raja Kirti Chandra Sinha
Bahadur, and the younger was
Kumar Uday Chandra Sinha
, who died at an early age. Raja Kirti Chandra Sinha died in 1864 AD.
Raja Ranjit Sinha
Raja Kirti Chandra Sinha's son, Kumar Ranjit Sinha
June, 1865), succeeded to the family title and estates,
in the management of which he has exhibited remarkable capacity, within a very short time and though burdened
with heavy litigation in which he found himself involved on taking over his estates from the hands of the court
of Wards, he made considerable additions to the family property.
His extensive zamindary, situated in the districts of Birbhum, Murshidabad, Malda, Pabna, Bogra, and Rajshahi
(of which the Government revenue was Rs. 3,32,000
), was managed by the Court of Wards during his minority.
The young Maharaja received his early education at the Berhampore College
where he had a brilliant career, and he devoted himself specially to mathematics, in which branch of study he
made considerable progress. From his boyhood he was remarkable for punctuality and steady habits, and his high
intelligence attracted the notice of his teachers and professors.
On the attainment of his majority on 9th
June 1886, he assumed control of his extensive estates.
He gave to the city of Murshidabad its Victoria Jubilee Hall
The Maharaja's public career began in the year 1887, when he was appointed as an honorary magistrate of the
Lalbagh Independent Bench. In 1888 he was elected chairman of the Murshidabad municipality, and during his incumbency of that office he introduced many
sanitary reforms which made him highly popular.
In the year 1889, when he was still chairman of municipality, the town of Murshidabad was heavily inundated,
and many families were reduced to the brink of starvation and ruin, their houses having been swept away by floods.
The Maharaja, risked his own life, for saving the lives and houses of many of these families, and for this benevolent
and heroic act Sir Steuart Bailey
, the then Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, applauded his services very highly.
The Government conferred on him the title of
", on the 1st
of January 1891 
At the Durbar held at Belvedere on the 4th
March 1892, Sir Charles Elliot
in addressing him said -
"It is a very great pleasure to me to convey to you the Sanad of the title of 'Raja'
which the Viceroy has been pleased to confer upon you. The title is one which had been honorably borne by your
family for many generations and it is committed to you to hold untarnished. One of your ancestors,
Raja Debi Sinha rendered very valuable services to Lord Clive at Plassey, and the continued favour in
which your family has been held and the honour which is to-day entrusted to you, is a proof
that the Government of India is never too slow to recognise and never forget services rendered to
it by the houses in this country. You have lately attained your majority and succeeded to your property.
I trust you will manage your estate in a manner worthy of your ancestry and that your career may
compare favourably with that of other Zamindars in the province; and that it will distinguish that
further honours will be conferred upon you, not on account of the good work of those who have gone
before you, but as a reward for your own merit and exertions
In 1894 he was invested with the powers of a magistrate of the second class, empowered to sit singly.
In this capacity he displayed so much zeal and ability that the Government in appreciation of his services
conferred upon him the powers of a magistrate of the first class on March 1, 1897, and entrusted him
with powers to take cognizance of offences on complaints and reports of police.
It was during that time that he was placed in entire charge of the Lalbagh Bench, and he virtually discharged
the duties of a Sub-Divisional Officer after the abolition of the Lalbagh Sub-Division.
In 1897, and again in 1903, he was re-elected as chairman of the Murshidabad municipality,
and in that capacity he was at the helm of its administration for about ten years.
The Government hold him in high esteem, in January 1899, he was appointed to a seat in the
Bengal Legislative Council, in succession to the late Maharaja Bahadur of Durbhunga.
In recognition of his great services in the Council, the District and Local Board members of the
Presidency Division elected him again as their representative in the Governor's Council on January 6, 1913.
On the 22nd
of June 1897, he was created a "Raja Bahadur
When conferring that title upon him Sir Charles Stevens
observed as follows :
"Raja, you are a scion of a very ancient and respectable family, and as the proprietor of extensive zamindaries,
have conducted yourself in a manner worthy of your origin and of your rank and responsibilities; you have the
reputation of being a good and liberal landlord to your own ryots; but your desire to do good service to the
public has led you to enter a more extended sphere of usefulness. As a municipal commissioner and an honorary
magistrate you have rendered great assistance to the local authorities. It has been deemed just and proper that
you should be raised to the dignity which your father enjoyed. You have therefore been created a Raja Bahadur,
and it gives me great satisfaction to hand you the Sanad and the Khillut which mark your elevation to
On January 1, 1910, the title of "Maharaja
" was conferred upon him by the Government on account
of his manifold services of public utility, and Sir Edward Norman Baker
, K.C.S.I., on the
occasion of the presentation of the Sanad
to the Maharaja said :
"It is always a matter of gratification to me to be the instrument for conveying marks of public recognition to those who have de-
served well of the State. That pleasure is much enhanced when the recipient of the honour is an old and valued friend of
my own. In your case, our friendship dates back to the year 1898, when we were serving on the Bengal Council, and when
I first learned to appreciate in you those qualities of rectitude, sincerity, straightforwardness, and moderation which have
given you so high a place in my regard."
"The family of which you are the head is both old and distinguished, and one member of it enjoyed the title of Maharaja
as long ago as the year 1800; more than a century ago. Twice already you yourself have received marks of the favour of
Government, in 1892 and again in 1897; and it gives me peculiar pleasure now to hand you the Sanad of the still higher
title of Maharaja, together with the Khillut which accompanies it."
"This honourable distinction you have worthily earned, not merely by service in a variety of public offices, as chairman of
of the Murshidabad municipality, as an honorary magistrate, as member of the Legislative Council and the like; but
still more by the loyal and devoted spirit which you have invariably displayed in times of difficulty and temptation, and by
the influence which you have uniformly exerted to counteract the evil forces of sedition, and to further the cause of law,
order, and good government. I am hopeful that influence will be further strengthened by the honourable preferment
which you have now received, and which I earnestly hope you will live long to enjoy."
The Maharaja was always a kind patron and benefactor, particularly to the inhabitants of Nashipur,
for whom he has sunk wells, founded schools, and established a charitable dispensary called the
"Nashipur Raj Charitable Dispensary
He was the first among native princes who responded to the call of Government for aid in the suppression of anarchism in India.
In private life the Raja was a model of what a man in his high position ought to be.
His amiability and gentleness, his lofty conception of the obligations of his rank, and his intelligence,
have made him a general favourite. His book, named "The Rules for the Management of the Nashipur Raj Estate
though prepared with the chief object of controlling his own estate, was a model guide to
zamindary matters, and it showed the close and comprehensive grasp which the author has of such questions.
His officials were governed by those rules, and enjoyed privileges, such as leave and pension,
while everything was conducted in accordance with the strict rules and procedure laid down in the book.
Confirming the Title of "Raja
" to Kumar Ranajit Sinha
by Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice - 5th Marquis of Lansdowne
(1845-1927 AD), Dated 1st
January, 1891 AD.
was appointed Viceroy of India in 1888, having already served as Governor General of Canada,
Foreign Secretary of Great Britain and deputy leader of the Conservative Party. Lansdowne's administration
was a period of peace, progress and some development work. Railway and irrigation works were extended,
China recognised the British conquest of Burma, the kingdom of Sikim was brought under
British protection in 1888 and its boundary with Tibet and the India-Afghan border
(the Durand Line) were demarcated. Lansdowne retired from the post of Viceroy in 1894 and was appointed
Britain's secretary of war in 1895, which he held until 1900 AD.
Confirming the Title of "Raja Bahadur
" to Raja Ranajit Sinha
by Victor Alexander Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, 13th Earl of Kincardine (1849-1917)
, Dated 22nd
June, 1897 AD.
was born in Canada during his father's tenure there as Governor-General.
He was known to be a modest and retiring man but was persuaded to take the position of Viceroy of India.
He served from 1894 to 1899 during a particularly troubled period in India's history and consequently his
tenure was not viewed as successful. He later was Chairman of the Royal Commission that investigated the
conduct of the Boer War (1902-03) and was Colonial Secretary from 1905 until 1908.
Bruce was given the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1893 and appointed a Knight of the
Garter in 1899. He died in Dunfermline, Scotland.
Nashipur Palace Gallery