Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Sketches
May 9, 1540-July 6, 1614 = 74 yrs
[Adapted from Wikipedia]
Raajaa Maan Singh (Man Singh I) (May 9, 1540- July 6, 1614) was the Kushvaahaa Raajaa Saheb of Amber, a state later known as Jaipur in Raajsthaan. He was a trusted General of the Mugal Emperor Akbar, who included him among his Nava Ratna, or the nine gems of the royal court. He was a great devotee of Shree Krishn.
He was the son of Raanee Saa Bhagawatee Jee Saahibaa at Amber and his father was Raajaa Bhagwant Das of Amber. Raja Bharmal, the first Raajpoot ruler to marry his daughter to a Mugal, was his grandfather. Initially known as Kunwar (Prince), Maan Singh received the title of Mirzaa Raajaa and the "Manasab" (rank) of 5000 after the death of his father on December 10, 1589 from Akbar. 0n August 26, 1605, Man Singh became a Manasabdaar of 7,000, ie a commander of 7,000 cavalry in the Mugal forces, which was the maximum command for anyone other than a son of the Mugal emperor and the guardian of Khusaro, the eldest son of Jahaangeer. Akbar called him "Farzand" (son). He fought many important campaigns for Akbar. Kunwar Maan Singh led the Mugal army in the well-known battle of Haldee Ghaatee fought in 1576 between the Mugal Empire and Mahaaraanaa Prataap.
Maan Singh was sent by Akbar to persuade Raanaa Prataap to make a treaty with Akbar and accept Mugal sovereignty. But Raanaa Prataap, as a grandson of Raanaa Saangaa, considered the Mugals invaders and intruders on Indian territory so he declined to accept Akbar's sovereignty. The great grandfather of Man Singh, Raja Prithviraj, was married to Raanaa Saangaa's niece (Raanaa Raaimal's daughter). Thus Raanaa Prataap was his relative.
On the day of their meeting Raanaa Prataap invited Maan Singh for dinner. Raanaa Prataap deliberately avoided attending the dinner in person and sent his son Kunwar Amar Singh to dine with Kunwar Man Singh. The attitude of other Rajput nobles was also discouraging. They were secretly making mockery of Maan Singh as his aunt Heeraa Kunwar or Jodhaabaai was married to Akbar. Maan Singh took this as an insult to Akbar and himself. He knew Raanaa Prataap was making an excuse to avoid him so he refused to dine with Amar Singh. He said, "I will come again and then will have dinner". Understanding the hidden meaning a noble of Prataap remarked "Well, Don't forget to bring your uncle Akbar too". This laid the foundation of war between the Mugals and Raana Prataap, who already had many decades of rivalry and enmity.
So Man Singh came to Ajmer on 3rd April 1576. A gruesome battle was fought on June 18, 1576 at Haldee Ghaatee. Raanaa Prataap personally attacked Man Singh in this battle. Ultimately Maan Singh won the battle and Raanaa Prataap had to hide in Mewad hills. He prepared his army and ultimately was able to liberate all of Mewad except the fort of Chittaur. Despite Maan Singh's success Akbar was not happy with him, and stopped talking to him. Perhaps he thought Maan Singh was responsible for Prataap's escape from the battlefield.
In 1582 AD Kabul was annexed by the Mughal Empire and Maan Singh was appointed Governor there. He remained there for some years and built a fortress there, used by succeeding Mugal Governors. In 1585 AD some Afagaan tribes rose again against the Mugal empire. So Akbar sent an army under Zain Khan, Hakim Abul Fateh and Raajaa Birbal to control these revolting tribes. However they failed to control the revolting Afagaans and Raajaa Birbal, friend of Akbar and one of his Nava Ratna was also killed in the battle with Afgaan. Akbar then sent Raajaa Todar Mal to crush the revolt and called Raajaa Maan Singh to help Todar Mal. Todarmal had some success in controlling the rebellious Afgaan tribes. But the real source of the revolt was behind the Khaibar Pass. It was hard to cross this pass which was dominated by Afagaan. Still Maan Singh bravely made way for Mugal army in the pass. After crossing the pass Man Singh decisively defeated five Major tribes of Afagaans.
In 1588 AD Maan Singh was appointed Governor of Bihar. In second attack, Maan Singh captured Oreessa on April 9, 1592 in a battle near the present day Medeeneepur town. Oreessa then was annexed to the Mughal Empire and was included in Bangaal "Subah" (Province). On March 17, 1594 Raajaa Maan Singh was appointed Subahdar (Governor) of Bangaal, Bihaar, and Oreessa. He made his headquarters in Rohtaas, Bihaar. He built a Haveli (Palatial House) also as Rohtaas Fort. He defeated the Raajaa of Jessore, now part of Bangladesh, and brought the famous idol of "Shilaa Devee" to Amber. The temple of this goddess is still present in Amber fort. During Nava Raatri tens of thousands of people gather here. Raajaa Maan Singh served three successive terms as Governor of this area, in 1594-98, 1601-1605, 1605-1606.
Prince Saleem was born to Akbar after many prayers. But he soon became addicted to alcohol and opium. He had Abul Fazal (one of the Nava Ratna) murdered. Akbar tried hard to reform him, but failed. Saleem had a son named Khusaro. The royal court was divided into two factions, one favoring Khusaro and the other Saleem to be the next emperor. Raajaa Maan Singh and Mirzaa Azeez Kokaa were in Khusaro's favor.
In 1605 AD, when Akbar fell ill, he appointed Saleem to be his heir. Though Maan Singh opposed Saleem's accession to the throne during Akbar's lifetime, he never opposed Saleem after his coronation. After Akbar's death, Saleem became emperor and was named as Jahaangeer. Maan Singh was initially sent as Subahdaar of Bangaal on November 10, 1605 for a short period, but soon he was replaced by Qutb-ud-Deen Khaan Kokaa on September 2, 1606.
Maan Singh died a natural death on July 6, 1614 at Ellichpur. Following his death, he was succeeded by his son Mirzaa Raajaa Bhaaoo Singh. His direct descendants became known (to this date) as the Rajawat who had the privilege to the Gaddee (throne) of Amber and subsequently Jaipur. Raajaa Maan Singh was a devotee of Shree Krishn. He had a 7-storey temple of Krishn constructed at for Srila Rupa Goswami, disciple of Sri Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu, in Vrindaavan. The cost of construction was one Crore Rupees at that time. Akbar is also believed to have donated the red sandstone for this temple. Aurangzeb later demolished three storeys of this temple. The four-storey temple is still present at Vrindaavan. He also constructed a temple of Krishn at his capital, Amber. The place is now known as "Kanak Vrindaavan" near Amber Ghaatee of Jaipur. He constructed the temple of Shilaa Devee at Amber Fort. He also constructed and repaired many temples at Banaaras, Allahabad and various other places. He added much beautification to his palace at Amber. When Akbar was spreading his own religion "Deen Ilaahee", Maan Singh's father was the only person to oppose it. Later Man Singh also refused to convert to Deen Ilaahee. It is believed his son Jagat Singh I received education from Goswaamee Tulasee Daas Jee and Maan Singh himself used to attend his religious lectures. Tulasee Daas was a contemporary of Akbar and author of Raamcharit Maanas.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/20/12