Ajodhya Estate

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This article has been extracted from



Note: National, provincial and district boundaries have changed considerably since 1908. Typically, old states, ‘divisions’ and districts have been broken into smaller units, units, and many tahsils upgraded to districts.Many units have since been renamed. Therefore, this article is being posted mainly for its historical value.

Ajodhya Estate

A large talukdari estate situated in the Districts of Fyzabad, Gonda, Sultanpur, Bara Banki, and Lucknow, United Provinces, with an area of 762 square miles. The land revenue and cesses payable to Government amount to 5.9 lakhs, and the rent-roll is nearly 11 lakhs.

The founder of the estate was Bakhtawar Singh, a Brahman, who entered the service of Nawab Saadat Ali Khan of Oudh as a trooper. He rose rapidly in favour, and Muhammad Ali Shah conferred on him the Mahdona estate in Fyzabad District with the title of Raja. Bakhtawar Singh became the first noble in the State, and was selected to accompany Sir William Sleeman on his tour through Oudh in 1849. His younger brother, Darshan Singh, also attained high rank. Darshan Singh died in 1844, leaving three sons, the youngest of whom, Man Singh or Hanuman Singh, was employed by the king of Oudh and rendered important services.

In 1855 Bakhtawar Singh died childless and left his large property to Man Singh. In accordance with the general policy at the annexation of Oudh, Man Singh was deprived of almost the whole of his estates, and when the Mutiny broke out he was in confinement at Fyzabad.

He was, however, released and requested to protect the European women and children, whom he received into his fort at Shahganj and escorted to the Gogra, where they embarked in safety. He then joined the rebel army before Lucknow, but withdrew in October on the arrival of Sir James Outram, and was subsequently instrumental in saving the lives of several European ladies, and gave valuable assistance in the pacification of the Province.

Man Singh's estates were restored in 1858, and for his services he received the title of Maharaja and also the confiscated estate of the rebel Raja of gonad He became the most influential talukdar'in Oudh, and rendered great assistance in the settlement of the controversies about rights in land (see article on Oudh), for which he was appointed a K.CS.I. At his death in 1870 the estates were managed for a time under the Talukdars Relief Act. Man Singh was succeeded, after protracted litigation, by his grandson, Sir Pratap Narayan Singh, K.C.I.E., who held the per sonal title of Maharaja, and served as a member of the Imperial and Provincial Legislative Councils. He died in 1907.

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