The history of the district may be traced back to remote antiquity.The presence of certainold indigenous people like Ahirs, Bhars, Cherus and meos, who probably represent the remnants of the descendants of the aborigines,amply testifies that in primitive times the region including this district was inhabited, though the bulk of the area was covered with forest and only clearings here and there served as human habitations.
The mute memorials in the shape of fragments of masonry, broken pottery,etc. which have been found in a number of kheras or mounds on which stand many modern villages ant towns bespeak the enjoyment of settled and civilisation by this area since very early times.
The earliest people of the Aryan stock, who settled in this region were probably the krivis, a Rigvedic tribe. They originally resided on the banks of the sindhu and the Chenab and seem to have moved from there to the east,across the Yamuna, to the area which after wards came to be known as the Panchala, lying within the bounds of Madhyadesa, a stronghold of Vedic culture and civilisation.Their domination roughly extended to the present districts of Bareilly, Badaun and Farrukhabad and the adjoining parts of Uttar Pradesh including portions of this district. Extending from the Ganga in the west to the Saryu in the east, it had two divisions -the northern, with its capital at Ahichhatra and the southern, with its capital at Kampilya, now in the Farrukhabad district. .
According to Pauranic tradition,Brihadvasu, son of Ajamidha, a Bharata king of Turvasu family, was the founder of the kingdom which later came to be known as South Panchala with Kampilya and Makandi as its capitals, It stretched from the south of the river Ganga as the river Carmanvati (Chambal), obviously including this district. the Panchalas are said to have been so named after the five sons of Bhrimyasva, the fifth in line from brihadvasu. They were nicknamed "the five capable ones", Panchalas, their territory, also being designated Panchalas as it represented the kingdom for the maintenance of which five capable persons were enough. According to some scholars, the Panchalas were a composite people made up of five Rigvedic tribes, or they represented a confederation of five such tribes. The Panchalas were closely associated with the Kurus. the Kuru Panchalas together were regarded as pre-eminent, parexcellence among the people living in Madhyadesa. Their territory was the home of Brahmanism, they were noted for their orthodoxy, they spoke the best Sanskrit and possessed a learned academy, the Panchala Parishat, which had its centres in their cities. They were examples of good manners and pure speech.
After the death of Bhrimyasva, the kingdom was divided among his five sons, each receiving a small principality. But Divodesa, an important king of. this dynasty extended the kingdom considerably and probably integrated all the five units under him. During the reign of Sudasa, probably fifth in [descent from Divodasa the kingdom rose to great eminence. He was the chief participant in the celebrated "battle of ten kings " and defeated the confederate tribes. It is not known if he attempted any consolidation of his conquests. His successors were weak but in due course the kingdom of South Panchala was revived by its ruler, Nipa, with whom another dynastic change occurred and his descendants were called Nipas. Brahmadatta known as pitrvartin, was a prominent king of this dynasty . He is said to have made a yogatantra on the instructions received from his preceptor, Jaigisavya. Tradition has it that he revised and rearranged Vedic and exegetical texts. He is credited with having fixed the Kramapatha of the Rigveda and of the Atharuaxeda, while his minister, Kandarika, that of Sambveda. The other kings of this dynasty were Visvaksena, Udaksena and Bhallata. Ugrayudha of the Dvimidha dynasty, forced Prishta, a prince of north Pandhala to seek shelter at Kampilya, by killing his grandfather and annexing his realm. He also overthrew Nipas and killed Janamejaya, their king, whose death brought an end to the dynasty. The celebrated Paurava prince, Bhishma, killed Ugrayudha and restored to Prishta his ancestral kingdom . It seems that South Panchala also came under his sway. Prishta was succeeded by his son Drupada, who a class-mate of Drona, son of Bharadvaja a great sage. the two received instruction in military science from Bharadvaja and in other disci;lines from another sage, Agnivesha. Prince Drupada had assured Drona to favour and help him on becoming king, but after as ascending the throne he and showed discourtesy to his friend, who felt offended and decided to take revenge. He asked the royal princes sons of pandu and Dhritarashtra to march against Drupada. who was defeated and captured and his country was [overrun. An agreement was made between the victors and the vanquished according to which the conquered realm, south of the river Ganga. known as south Panchala, reverted to Drupada and the North Panchala was retained by Dronacharya. Mainpuri district was, in all probability, a part of Drupada's dominion.
To avenge his defeat by Drona, Drupada practised austerity to beget a son, who would be able to fulfil his desire. As a result of performing tapa, he was favoured with a son,named Dhristadyumna.
In course of time the Pandava brothers had to leave the kingdom due to the hostile attitude of their cousin, Duryodhana, son of Dhritarashtra, the king of Hastinapur. While wandering from place to place, they happened to arrive at the capital of South Panchala at the opportune moment of the Svayamvara of the kings daughter, Draupadi. Arjuna, the third Pandava, who impressed Drupada with his skill in archery and other Qualities, won the kings daughter for himself and his brothers. The alliance proved a turning point in the fortunes of the Pandavas. They were offered a part of the kingdom with Indraprastha as its capital, but they were not allowed to live in peace. In a game of dice, Yudhishtira lost his kingdom to Duryodhana and had to go in exile for thirteen years spending the last year incognito. After the expiry of the period of their banishment, the Pandava, not receiving their due share in the kingdom, were forced to fight at Kurukshetra, the war known as Mahabharata, for their claim,about 1400 B.C. Drupada sided with the Pandavas. The Somakas and the Srinjayas, the remnants of the Panchalas, appear to have joined Drupada in the war. Participation in the Mahabharata war gave Drupada an opportunity to pay off past scores by getting Drona killed at the hands of his son, Dhristadyumna., who himself was put to death by Ashvatthama, son of Dronacharya, After the great war the Pandavas ruled over this region probably till the reign of Janamejaya.
Practically nothing is heard in the post-Mahabharata period about the two divisions, the common name, Panchala, being used for the entire region. The principality of North Panchala seems to have merged into or become a dependency of the kingdom of South Panchala, and Kampilya, which had till then been the capital of the South Panchala, came to be its chief city. It was one of the prominent centres of Brahmanical learning and culture. No details about the kings who ruled this region are available and in the absence of any recorded material the history of this tract relating to this period is obscure.
That the Kuru-Panchala continued, is testified by the tradition that Janamejaya, son of Parikshit, a Kuru king, performed a great sacrifice on the banks of the river Arind at Bardan, now Known as Parham, a corrupt form of Parikshitgarh, of this district which formed part of Panchala. The occasion for the sacrifice was, allegedly provided by the death of Parikshit, of a snake bite. A masonry tank said to have been built by Janamejaya to mark the site of the sacrificial pit, Known as Parikshit kund, still exists at this place. close to this village a very large and high khera containing the ruins of a fort and some stone sculptures has been found . It is said to date back to the time of Parikshit. A popular belief is that as a consequence of the virtues of that sacrifice snakes are still harmless in this place and its neighborhood.
According to the chhandogya Upanishad the whole of the northern doab, including the area covered by the South Panchala, of which this district formed part. suffered from natural calamities such as floods. locusts and hailstorms. The capital of the Kurus being washed away, Nichakshu, fourth in line from Janamejaya, shifted his capital from Hastinapur to Kausambi. Their migration across the South Panchala and passage through that region brought about a fusion of the Kurus and the Panchalas about 820 B.C.
For about three centuries the history of this region is shrouded in obscurity except that in the sixth century B.C. Bimbisara, a prominent ruler of the Haryanka dynasty of Magadha, extended his kingdom up to Kannauj, obviously including the present district of Mainpuri.In that period Panchala ranked as a minor power. In the list of the sixteen premier states it figures as the tenth.Again little is Known about the history of this district till about the middle of the fourth century B.C. when the territory was annexed to the Nanda empire of Mahadha, probably in the reign of Mahapadma, who was a great military genius. This tract which was under the Panchalas was in all probability, a part of the Nanda dominion as its dependency. It appears from the Arthasastra of Kautilya that during this period the Panchala territory had its own republican form of government, the title of the head being raja. The prosperous condition of this area, the land being exceedingly fertile and the government efficient, was in striking contrast with the conditions prevailing in the area directly governed. It testifies to the fact that Nanda allowed a considerable amount of autonomy to the Panchala region including this district. In the Mauryan period Panchala retained its separate entity probably as a vassal of that empire. Ashoka, the most important king of the dynasty, patronised Buddhism and took keen interest in the regulations meant for a spiritual life. A number of mounds containing the ruins of buddhist shrines, the viharas at places like Anjani, Jasrao and Asauli prove that due to the efforts of Ashoka, the district came under the influence of Buddhism.
With the downfall of the Mauryas, a new dynasty, known as Sunga, came to power under Pushyamitra ( 184-148 B.C.) who revived the Brahmanical religion. During this period the region, covering this district; which continued to be known as Panchala, was overrun by the yavanas ( Greeks), along with the other parts of the empire, as mentioned in the Yuga purana, a section of the Gargi Samhita. The Yavanas stayed for a short time in this region and the last Yavana king, Menander, probably ruled over the South Panchala region which, according to Patanjali, extended to the east as far as the Kuru kingdom and to the south-cast to the territory of the Surasena.
The Greeks were followed by the Sakas and the Kusanas.In the beginning of the Christian era or the first century B.C. It is likely that the region containing this district passed over to the administration of a Saka Kshatrapa, Ranjuvuala, who made Mathura his capital. His coins are also found in this district.
Thereafter the district came under the sway of the Kusanas. Kaniska. the greatest of the Kusana emperors, conquered the whole of Northern India. A number of coins of his reign and of that of Huviska, one of his descendents have been found at Mainpuri. A hoard of Indo-Sassanian coins discovered at Eka, a village in this district, prove that they had some kind of ties with the Kusanas.
Hereafter, no details are available about the history of this district till the time of Harsha, except that it become part of the kingdom of the Guptas and the Maukharis in succession. During Harshas reign ( 606-647 A.D.), the Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, traveled from Ahichhatra to Sanssika. It may be presumed that during his journey he might have traversed a part to the Mainpuri district. He does not mention any place of this district probably because none was known to possess any significance from the Buddhist point of view.
For more than half a century after the death of Harsha, the history of this region as that of the rest of northern India spells anarchy and confusion. In the first quarter of the eighth century a very powerful monarch, Yashovarman, occupied the throne of Kannauj, and ruled from 725 A.D. to 752 A.D. After his defeat by Lalitaditya of Kashmir, the history of the region, including this district, is completely obscure. Another king who ascended the throne of Kannauj was Vajrayudha, whose accession may be placed about 770 A.D. His existence is borne out by an incidental reference made by Rajshekhar, a dramatist of the Pratihara court, in the Karpuramanjari. He mentions Kannauj as the capital of Vajrayudba, the king of Panchala, in reference to the record of a travel of a merchant named Sagardatta, who had gone on business to the royal city. The reference may signify that Panchala was the name of a country, of which Kannauj was the capital. It is evident that the country comprising the present district was occasionally called Panchala.
The Ayudhas were ousted about the beginning of the ninth century A.D.by Nagabhatta ll. (805-833 A.D. ), a Gurjara Pratihara king and the district continued for more than a century under the subordination of the Pratiharas. In 1018 A.D. Mahmud of Ghazni, after sacking and plundering the magnificent temples of Mathura which were known for their fabulous wealth, marched across Mainpuri on his way to Kannauj. No resistance seems to have been offered to his advance in this district which probably had on holy or rich town to attract the conquerors fanaticism or greed. On reaching Kannauj, Mahmud gave a death-blow to the already tottering Gurjara-Pratihara power. The reputed Arab scholar, Alberuni, came to India in the wake of Mahmud invasions and wrote a book on India in which he has referred to Panchala as one of the nine great kingdoms.
During the period of transition between the Gurjara Pratiharas and the Gahadvalas several
small principalities sprang up. Taking
advantage of the unsettled conditions then prevailing, the Rashtrakutas made themselves
independent at Budaun. In an undated Budaun inscription, Vodamayuta (Budaun)is
specifically described as the ornament of the land of Panchala, of which this district
formed part, and is praised so profusely as to prove that it was the only prominent city
in the possession of chandra, a Rashtrakuta king. The omission of Kannauj, which was
considered the most glorious city of that period in the inscription, implies that Kannauj
presumably was not included in the territory of the Rashtrakutas.
in the territory of the Rashtrakutas.
In the last decade of the eleventh century Chandradeva Gahadavala (10[89-1100A.D.) established his authority over Kannauj after defeating the Rashtrakuta ruler of Panchala. The last great king of this dynasty was Jayachandra ( 1170 - 1194 A. D. ) , famous alike in legend and history, whose power and extensive Jurisdiction struck even the Muslim historians. In 1194 A. D. he was defeated and killed by shihab-ud-din Ghuri at Chandawar in Agra district on the band of the Yamuna near Mainpuri. The victorious army proceeded southward along the left bank of the Yamuna towards Rapri which is situated about 72 km. from Mainpuri and attacked the petty chieftain of that place at Kharka about 5 Km. north - west of Rapri and defeated the ruler. To commemorate the victory the name of the place was changed to Fatehpur. the conquests of Ghuri left the district in a state of anarchy.
By 1206 A. D. Ghuri had completed the conquest of the lower western doab, including this district, which there after became a part of the sultanate of Delhi. The same year, before his departure, Ghuri bestowed the government of the conquered tracts including this district, on his trusted lieutenant, Qutb -ud -din Aibak ( 1206 - 1210 ) During the regency of Aibak, the hindu chiefs of this district tried to resist the Muslim over lordship of this region, but their attempts to recover their lost domains failed as a result of Aibak s ceaseless campaigns against them. Rapri this district became the headquarters of an iqta or fief and continued to be the seat of government for several centuries under successive Muslim rulers.
In 1259, Bhongaon in this district was given away as a fief to Malik Sher Khan, a nephew of Balban, by the then sultan , Nasir-ud-din Mahmud (1246-1265). he held it till 1260 .
In 1312, Malik Kafur, the veteran commander of sultan Ala-ud-din Khilji ( 1296-1316 ), stayed at Rapri while returning with huge quantities of rich booty from Malabar and Dwar Samudra in the Deccan. He founded here a mosque with an inscription which is an eulogy of Ala-ud-din s reign. Subsequently upon Kafur was conferred the fief of Rapri by the sultan.
In 1392, the district became the centre of intense political activity when Bir Bhan, the muqaddam of Bhongaon, supported by the Tomar raja of Gwalior and Sarvadharan of Etawah, raised the standard of revolt against sultan Muhammad Shah Tughluq ( 1390 - 1394). But the large force dispatched by the sultan under Islam Khan, the vizier, crushed the rebellion, and devastated the district and its adjoining areas.
In 1393, Bir Bhan again rose in arms and was joined by Sarvadharan and Abhai Chand , the muqaddam. The sultan sent another expedition under Mukarrab-ul-Mulk, the governor of Jalesar, in Etah district, to deal with the rebels. When the two parties came in sight of each other. Mukarrab-ul-Mulk adopted a conciliatory course, and by promises and engagements, induced the raise to submit, The duped insurgents were then taken to Kannauj, where they were treacherously put to death with the exception of Sarvadharan of Etawah who made good his escape.
Muhammad Shah died in 1394 , and was succeeded by his son, Nasiruddin Mahmud shah, who appointed Khwaja Jahan Malik Sarwar as the governor of Jaunpur. Malik Sarwar succeeded in extending his sway as far as Rapri in this district, with the result that the administration of the district passed into the hands of Sharqi rulers of Jaunpur.
A Quarrel then arose the same year between sultan Nasir-ud-din Mahmud and Nusrat Shah, grandson of Feroze Shah Tughluq,the latter aspiring for the imperial[l throne. The two rivals fought with each other till 1398 , when Iqbal Khan a court noble, and a third aspirant for the throne, came upon the scene. Iqbal Khan ( 1398 - 1405 ) by means of violence and treachery, displaced Mahmud shah and firmly established himself at Delhi.
Khwaja Jahan Malik Sarwar ( 1394- 1399 ) was succeeded by his adopted son, Malik Mubarak Shah , who, by adopting the title of Sultan and striking coins in his name, deepened the rift with Delhi which had been caused earlier on account of the Jaunpur ruler s not rushing to the aid of the Delhi Sultan in 1398 , when Timur had invaded the country. Iqbal Khan o n capturing power at Delhi, had planned to attack Jaunpur and his army actually came face to face with the forces of Mubarak Shah at Kannauj in 1400-1401 . These developments , coupled with fractional rivalry for the throne Delhi, encouraged the Hindu chiefs of Mainpuri to declare independence. Their efforts to rule their territory themselves could not, however succeed and they were defeated by Iqbal Khan near Patiali in Etah district in 1400-1401 .
In 1405, Iqbal Khan was killed in the Punjab and the nobles at Delhi invited the exiled sultan, Nasir-ud-din Mahmud shah, to reoccupy the throne on which he remained till his death in 1412. No important event took place so far as this district is concerned till Taj -ul-Mulk, the vizier of Khizr Khan, the Delhi ruler, marched in 1420 , against the turbulent Hindu chiefs of the doab, sacked Mainpuri and destroyed the village of Dihuli which was their stronghold.
In the year 1429-30, Qutb khan, son of Hasan Khan, held the fief of Rapri which was resumed by Mubarak Shah ( 1421-1434, the successor of Khizr Khan, in 1429-30 , when the former s complicity was suspected in the series of revolts organised by the Rajput chiefs against the authority of the sultan. During the reign of Ala-ud-din Alam Shah ( 1444-1450) Rapri came again into the possession of Qutb Khan and Rai pratap or pratap Rudra held Bhongaon Rai pratap according to Sir H.E. Elliott was a son of Raja Sangat,the great grandson of Chatir Deo, the brother of Prithvi Raj, the last chauhan king of Delhi, who was vanquished in 1193 by shihab-ud-din Ghuri. The father of the Emperor's vizier, Hamid Khan had some years before, carried off the wife of Rai Pratap and plundered his estates, The Rajput chief, implacable in his vendetta, offered support to Ala-ud-din who needed assistance to strengthen his position as a ruler. The demanded as the price of his help the death of Hamid Khan. Ala-ud-din unwisely embraced the injured husband's cause and gave order for Hamid Khan's execution, but the vizier escaped and seizing Delhi offered it to Bahlul Lodi. Ala-ud-din retired to Budaun and soon after resigned his crown to Bahlul, who,in 1450, assumed the imperial title. Thus the abduction of the Chauhan Rani of Bhongaon was an important cause of the downfall of the Saiyed dynasty.
The accession of Bahlul Lodi (1450 - 1488) did not affect Rai Pratap's status as he was confirmed in his position by the sultan. In 1452, during a[ visit to Rapri, Bahlul encountered Qutb Khan's intransigence but the defiant chief was pardoned as quietly as he was punished and restored to his jagirs. The chiefs of Bhongaon and Rapri promised allegiance to the sultan and were left in full possession of their territories . The same year, when sultan Bahlul was preoccupied in the task of consolidating his empire, Mahmud Sharqi ( 1451-1457), son and successor of Ibrahim Sharqi, attacked Delhi. After an indecisive engagement at Etawah, a treaty was made between the parties through the good offices of Rai Pratap and Qutb Khan. Under the truce Mahmud had to relinquish his claims to Shamsabad. But in1457 Muhammad Shah Sharqi, who had succeeded his father Mahmud. attacked Shamsabad. and occupied it. This success disturbed Rai Pratap he went over to the victorious party of Muhammad shah Sharqi by shifting his loyalty from sultan Bahlul. The same year, war broke out between Muhammad Shah Sharqi and his brother Husain, in which the former lost his life. Bahlul made a truce with Husain Sharqi and Rai Pratap again professed loyalty to sultan Bahlul on the advice of Qutb Khan.
In 1461 , when Bahlul was in Shamsabad, Rai Narsing, son of Rai Pratap came to pay his respects to the sultan. Dariya Khan Lodi, the governor of Sambhal and a close relation of sultan Bahlul, Killed Rai Narsing at Shamsabad to avenge the humiliation which he had suffered earlier at the hands of Rai Pratap who is said to have wrested the kettledrum and drum from him This heinous crime went unpunished and Rai Pratap and Qutb Khan, once again went over to the side of Husain Sharqi. In 1479 , an other battle was fought
Bahlul died in 1488 and his son, Nizam Khan , ascended the throne in 1489, with the title of Sikadar shah ( 1489-1517), His youngest brother Alam Khan was governor of Rapri at this time. and had asserted his independence by assuming the royal title. After celebrating his accession, Sikandar Lodi marched against Alam Khan, who shut the gates of Rapri, but, unable to stand a siege, fled. Sikandar conferred Rapri on Khan-i-Khanan Farmuli, the sultan's guardian in youth, who, in 1502 , aided Sikandar against Binayak Deo of Dholpur and remained consistently loyal to his new master. In 1494, Barbak Shah. brother of Sikandar and governor of Jaunpur, who had turned hostile, was defeated by the sultan. With Barbak's death came the end of the Jaunpur kingdom. after an independent existence for a country, and thereafter Mainpuri and the surrounding doab ceased to be the battle-ground for the armies of the two kingdoms during Sikandar's reign.
Sikandar Lodi died in 1517 , and was succeeded by his son, Ibrahim Lodi ( 1517-1526), in 1518, the emperor's brother, Jalal Khan, asserted his claim as an independent ruler of Jaunpur and fought, but was defeated by the sultan and later on executed. This brought to an end the vexed politics which had from time to time in the past influenced the fortunes of this part of the country.
In reorganizing the affairs of the empire after defeating Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat in 1526-1530) took the fief of Rapri from Husain Khan Nuhani, an Afghan chieftain and conferred it upon Muhammad Ali Jang, a veteran soldier and ex-governor of Bihar and Sindh. By 1527 the Rajput chiefs of northern India had stood united against Babur which furnished an opportunity to Husain Khan Nuhani to re-occupy Rapri. But in the same year, when Babur sent Muhammad Ali Jang to eject Husain Khan Nuhani from the place, the latter offered unavailing resistance, and finally escaped from there. Muhammad Ali again entered Rapri and occupied it in April, 1527.
In February, 1530 , Babur stayed at Rapri where he was inspired to compose some devotional poems based on the thoughts contained in the walidia Risala written by Ubaidullah Abrar Naqshbandi, a famous Sufi saint of Khorasan employing a peculiar style, known as Tarkeeb-i-Khati.
After Babur's death in 1530 , civil strife broke out everywhere and the region covered by the present district of Mainpuri and the adjoining parts turned into a theatre of war. The chaos and confusion which overtook the Mughal empire, enabled the Rajputs of Mainpuri to assert their independence, which was facilitated by the rise of the Afghans. Humayun ( 1530-1556), the son and successor of Babur,was unable to withstand these rivals. in 1540 when he was defeated by Sher Shah Suri at Kannauj, his escape was interrupted by a force consisting of 3,000 cavalry,mainly of chauhan Rajputs who had assembled at Bhongaon in this district. They fought with the imperialists inflicting heavy causalities on them but they were ultimately routed.
During Sher Shah's rule ( 1540-1545) the chiefs of this district and the adjoining parts remained loyal to the sultan and maintained peace and tranquillity in this region. Rapri was often visited by Sher Shah and his successors. The Phatak Ahirs and Mewatis who lived along the borders of the Yamuna in the mainpuri district gave Sher Shah much trouble, and the latter had to send a force consisting of 12,000 horse to crush them . In 1556, the exiled Mughal emperor, Humayun, came to India and Mainpuri again came under the Mughals.
During the early years of Akbar's reign some parts of the present district had turned hostile and complaints were received of their want only plundering the people of the region. in 1562, Akbar proceeded to restore order. people, numbering 4'000 came to offer resistance and a severe fight took place in the village Paronkha of pargana Bewar in tahsil Bhongaon of this district. The emperor himself was hit by seven arrows of which five pierced his shield, but the i urgents were overpowered.
Under Akbar's regime ( 1556-1605) , the Mainpuri tract was in cluded in the subah of Agra and the mahals were divided among the sirkars of Agra and Kannauj . The mahal of Rapri in the present tahsil of Shikohabad, was in the sirkar of Agra and possessed a brick fort .This mahal consisted of the parganas of Ghiror in tahsil Mainpuri , Mustafabad in tahsil Jasrana and Shikohabad, having a cultivated area of 4,77,201 bighas and was assessed to a revenue of 1,35,08,035 dams. The area was chiefly inhabited by Chauhan Rajputs, who were bound to send a force consisting of 200 horse and 4,000 foot to the imperial army.
The rest of the district was within the sirkar of Kannuj. Bhongaon, the headquarter of the present tahsil was noted for brick fort and a tank called Somnat "full of water extremely sweet." It had a cultivated area of 3'37'105 bighas and was liable to pay 45.77.010 dams as revenue and 53,316 dams as suyurghal. Among the residents Chauhan Rajputs were prominent. The were expected to supply 1,000 horse and 10,000 foot to the imperial army. Patti Alipur in the present tahsil of Bhongaon was assessed at 11,53,632 dams on 38,418 bighas and was chiefly inhabited by Rajputs. It supplied 20 horse and 500 foot. Sauj in tahsil Karhal, was the home of the Dhakara clan of Rajputs, evidently a warlike rather than a cultivating race. This mahal had a cultivated area of 64,070 bighas and fetched 12,00,000 dams, supplying 200 horse and 3,000 foot. The mahal of Kuraoli in tahsil Mainpuri had a cultivated area of 40,445 bighas and was assessed to 14,09,988 dams with a liability of 20 horse and 1,000 foot. The inhabitants were mainly Rajputs. The mahal of Etawah in the sirkar of Agra included the parganas of Karhal and Barnahal. The chief castes Were Chauhans and Bhadauriya Brahmins and the whole mahal paid 1,07,39,325 dams and contributed 2,000 cavalry and 15,000 infantry.
After Akbar's death in 1605, the district underwent no major change under his successors and this peaceful state of affairs remained un affected till Aurangzeb's death (1707).
After the death of Aurangzeb 1707, a keen contest ensued for the imperial throne, providing opportunities to adventurers to try their luck in grabbing territory. Muhammad Khan, a Bangash Afghan,born about 1665 A.D. and settled at Mau-Rashidabad ( a suburb of Farrukhabad town), emerged at this stage as a powerful leader of a band of free-booters and was destined to play a very significant role in the subsequent history of the Mughal empire. He helped Farrukhsiyar in the battle of Samugarh near Agra with 12,000 men, and was rewarded with honours and jagirs in Bundelkhand and Farrukhabad He saw several ups and downs in the subsequent regime of Muhammad Shah (1719-49) His Farrukhabad jagir included practically the entire district of Mainpuri.
In 1737 , a few years before Muhammad Khan's death, a large force under Baji Rao's lieutenants, Malhar Rao Holkar, and Pilaji Jadhav, crossed the Yamuna near Rapri and laid siege to Shikohabad. The Governor, Lalji Khatri, saved the town from destruction by paying a sum of one and a half lakh rupees. The invaders were routed subsequently by Burhan-ul-Mulk Saadat Khan and driven back with heavy losses across the Yamuna. Muhammad Khan Bangash died in 1743 leaving his estate without a good administrator .
In 1748 , Emperor Muhammad Shah was succeeded by his son Ahmad shah, who appointed Safdar
Jang, as nawab vizier of Avadh. The inroads of the Marathas, and the Abdali raids between
1743 and 1750 further weakened the central authority and the provincial governors came to
be invested with dangerous degrees of power. The most influential of them were Ali
Muhammad, the Rohilla, and the new vizier, Safdar Jang. on the death of Ali Muhammad in
September, 1748, after an abortive attempt to overthrow his successor by other means. an
imperial firman was issued conferring on Qaim Khan, son and successor of Muhammad Khan
Bangash. the mahals of Bareilly and Moradabad which had been usurped by sadullah Khan, son
of Ali Muhammad . Qaim Khan set out for the
conquest of his new territories with a large force but was defeated and killed by Hafiz
Rahmat Khan. Safdar Jang at once attempted to Seize the Farrukhabad nawab's territories,
which included Mainpuri, but Ahmad Khan, son of Qaim Khan, collected his troops and in
1750 defeated Safdar Jang. Ahmad Khan entrusted the administration of the various parganas
to his brothers and relations, Shikohabad (including Sakit, Kuraoli and Alikhera) going to
Azim Khan and Bhongaon and Bewar to Majhle Nawab. Shadi Khan was sent to occupy Kora and
Allahabad was stoutly defended by Rajendra Giri Gosain and a band of Naga Sanyasis. Safdar
Jang in the meantime completed his preparations and with the assistance of the Marathas he
completely routed the Pathans and Ahmad Khan fled to Kumaon where he remained till 1752,
when a fresh invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali made the Marathas and Safdar Jang anxious to
patch up peace with the Pathans . It was agreed that the Bangash territories were to be
evacuated on Ahmad Khan's undertaking to
discharge the debt of rupees thirty lakhs due from Safdar Jang to the Marathas as pay for
their services, and ceding, as security for the debt, sixteen and a half of the thirty
there parganas comprised in the Bangash territories. The management of the whole
territory, however, remained in the hands of Ahmad Khan who paid the surplus revenue,
after deducting the cost of management and the pay of the troops. to the two Maratha
agents stationed at Kannauj and Aliganj in
Farrukhabad and Etah districts, respectively. These payments continued to be made till the
battle of Panipat in 1761 , when the Marathas were routed. No list is given of the
parganas ceded to the Marathas, but they certainly included Shikohabad, Karhal and
Barnahal in the present district of Mainpuri, for in 1754 these are stated to have been
taken from the Marathas by Hafiz Rahmat Khan.
central authority and the provincial governors came to be invested with dangerous degrees of power. The most influential of them were Ali Muhammad, the Rohilla, and the new vizier, Safdar Jang. on the death of Ali Muhammad in September, 1748, after an abortive attempt to overthrow his successor by other means. an imperial firman was issued conferring on Qaim Khan, son and successor of Muhammad Khan Bangash. the mahals of Bareilly and Moradabad which had been usurped by sadullah Khan, son of Ali Muhammad . Qaim Khan set out for the conquest of his new territories with a large force but was defeated and killed by Hafiz Rahmat Khan. Safdar Jang at once attempted to Seize the Farrukhabad nawab's territories, which included Mainpuri, but Ahmad Khan, son of Qaim Khan, collected his troops and in 1750 defeated Safdar Jang. Ahmad Khan entrusted the administration of the various parganas to his brothers and relations, Shikohabad (including Sakit, Kuraoli and Alikhera) going to Azim Khan and Bhongaon and Bewar to Majhle Nawab. Shadi Khan was sent to occupy Kora and Allahabad was stoutly defended by Rajendra Giri Gosain and a band of Naga Sanyasis. Safdar Jang in the meantime completed his preparations and with the assistance of the Marathas he completely routed the Pathans and Ahmad Khan fled to Kumaon where he remained till 1752, when a fresh invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali made the Marathas and Safdar Jang anxious to patch up peace with the Pathans . It was agreed that the Bangash territories were to be evacuated on Ahmad Khan's undertaking to discharge the debt of rupees thirty lakhs due from Safdar Jang to the Marathas as pay for their services, and ceding, as security for the debt, sixteen and a half of the thirty there parganas comprised in the Bangash territories. The management of the whole territory, however, remained in the hands of Ahmad Khan who paid the surplus revenue, after deducting the cost of management and the pay of the troops. to the two Maratha agents stationed at Kannauj and Aliganj in Farrukhabad and Etah districts, respectively. These payments continued to be made till the battle of Panipat in 1761 , when the Marathas were routed. No list is given of the parganas ceded to the Marathas, but they certainly included Shikohabad, Karhal and Barnahal in the present district of Mainpuri, for in 1754 these are stated to have been taken from the Marathas by Hafiz Rahmat Khan.
In the same year ( 1754 ) Safdar Jang died and he was succeeded by his son, Shuja-ud-daula, as the nawab-vizier of Avadh. Towards the end of 1756, Ahmad Shah Abdali again swooped down on the plains of Hindustan and plundered Delhi, Mathura and Agra in 1757. Before Quitting Delhi, Abdali planned and dispatched an expedition against the rebellious provinces of Avadh and Allahabad, in accordance with his scheme which embraced the restoration of the empire to Alamgir II and winning back for him the lost provinces of the empire from the hands of rebel governors. For various reasons Shuja-ud-daula was the first target of this scheme . Ahmad Khan Bangash also had not yet given up his long cherished desire of adding the Allahabad subah to his paternal dominions and through his envoy he instigated Shah Abdali to send an army against Shuja-ud-daula. Despite all this Abdali passed over the ambitious claims of the Bangash chief. Imad-ud-Mulk Ghazi-ud-din was asked to plan an expeditionary force against Shuja-ud-daula with some of the Mughal princes at the head of the army. Accordingly, the Delhi princes, Hidayat Baksh and Mirxa Baba were sent to lead the expedition. The army reached Agra on 23rd March , 1757 and, crossing the Yamuna on 25th March at the Rajghat ferry, proceeded towards the town of Mainpuri and reached there on 31st March, being joined on the way by various allies. Here a five days; halt was made to chalk out a plan of action in consultation with Ahmad Khan Bangash before proceeding to Avadh. Their aim was to drive out the Marathas from the doab, including Mainpuri. in the approach of this army the Maratha officials fled away from Etawah and Mainpuri and the whole of this region came back to its legitimate master. But hardly did this accession of territory prove profitable as the Abdali troops, habitually given to loot and plunder, ransacked the defenseless inhabitants and no civil administration could be established While the two princes were thus occupied in the doab. news came that Shuja-ud-daula had dispatched an army to oppose the Delhi armament and that it was advancing with great speed towards Farrukhabad. This shook Ahmad Khan Bangash and he took leave in order to save his own capital. Gradually the Rohillas also left the imperial cause and Ghazi-ud-din Imad-ul-Mulk' mission failed. Shuja-ud-daula also asked for Maratha aid which was readily given because of the Maratha interests in the doab, particularly in the regions of Mainpuri and Farrukhabad. After minor skirmishes between the two parties, peace was concluded in Jun , 1757 and the
Marathas recovered their lost possessions in the doab, including Mainpuri district. With the Maratha defeat at the battle of Panipat in 1761, their dominions in the doab, including Bhongaon, Mainpuri, Etawah were given over to Hafiz Rahmat Khan. Dunde Khan established himself at Shikohabad along with a few other mahals in the neighbourhood.
Shuja-ud-daula entered into a treaty of alliance with the British in August. 1765 agreeing to pay 50 lakh rupees, and all his dominions were restored to him in order to create a strong buffer state to check the Maratha in roads in the central doab, including Mainpuri district. But the Marathas, who had recovered after their set-back in 1761, re-entered the doab and plundered the country upto Rohilkhand in 1771. The parganas of Etawah and Mainpuri held by Hafiz Rahmat Khan after 1761, were recovered by the Marathas in December, 1770 and were occupied by their garrisons. In 1772, the Marathas were expelled by Sir Robert Barker from Rohilkhand and their reverse prompted Shuja-ud-daula ( in1774) to round off his dominion by the addition of this region of the doab. No opposition was made by the weakened Maratha garrisons to hold it and they withdrew from these districts. Anup Giri Gosain was appointed deputy governor of the entire mid-doab in his possessions ( districts of Etawah, Etah, Mainpuri, Etc.) and the territory was farmed out to him for an annual sum of fifty-one lakhs of rupees, payable in eleven installments. From this time onwards Mainpuri and other parganas of the neighbourhood continued to form part of the dominions of the Nawab vizier of Avadh and were finally ceded to the British in 1801.
Mainpuri became the headquarters of the civil administration and small cantonments were established there and at Shikohabad . In 1803, the second Anglo-Marathas under Adult Rao Sindhia and other Central India chiefs was formed against the British, that they launched a counter-offensive against them simultaneously in Northern India and the Deccan. In August that year Lord Lake advanced from Kanpur through Kannauj and Mainpuri against General Perron, the custodian of Agra and Aligarh on behalf of Sindhia, and defeated him at Aligarh. while the British force was engaged at Aligarh, a body of 5'000 Maratha horses under M. Fleury, one of General Perron's lieutenants, suddenly appeared before Shikohabad and made a fierce attack on the cantonment which was commanded by Lt. Col. Cunningham, but the Marathas were repulsed with quite heavy losses. Two days later, another assault was made forcing the British commander to capitulate. The Marathas then burnt and pillaged the cantonment. On receiving this news Lord Lake dispatched a detachment of cavalry under Col. Macan to Shikohabad but the Marathas avoided an engagement, and withdrew precipitately across the Yamuna.
In November, 1804, Jaswant Rai Holkar, who was eluding the British, came to Farrukhabad where his army was overwhelmed by General Lake, and he fled through Mainpuri attacking the cantonment there. His force was, however, driven out and thrown across the Yamuna by the British cavalry under Capt. Skinner who had been following him from Farrukhabad in hot pursuit. Except for these two years or thereabout of turmoil the district generally remained peaceful after the advent of British rule in 1801 till the freedom struggle of 1857.
At the beginning of 1857 , the commissioner of the Agra division was on tour in the Mainpuri district when his attention was drawn to a mysterious distribution of chapatis ( Loaves of bread)being made with astonishing rapidity. Nothing could be elicited from the bearers who appeared to Know no more of the purport of the symbols than of the fact that on the receipt of a cake, five more were to be prepared and forwarded without delay to villages further in advance along the line of the Grand Trunk road where they could be called for. In this manner the cakes traveled often over 160 to 200 miles in a night. He saw some more which had that morning been delivered on the Etawah side of Mainpuri. on the following day the commissioner heard of them at the extremity of Etah and Aligarh. Enquiries were made as to the meaning of this mysterious movement but beyond a conjectural tracing of its source in Bundelkhand of Nagpur and the fact that it was generally acknowledged to be of Hindu origin, the recipients being for the most part Hindus, nothing was discovered. In January. the sullen demeanor of the troopers of the 3rd Light Cavalry, who formed part of the commander - in - chief's escort through Mathura and Bharatpur was noticed and commented on, but these seemed to have been the only indications of the coming storm, and went unheeded.
On the 11theMay, a broken telegraphic message announcing the revolt of the 3rd Cavalry at Meerut reached Agra, and the following day, the tidings arrived at Mainpuri. A consultation among the officers in the station was held, and it was decided to send away the women and children to Agra, But only one family actually left. The alarm which prevailed among the Christian community in every military station after the rebellion at Meerut was to a certain degree shared by the residents of this station also. Rao Bhawani Singh, the uncle of Raja Tej Singh of Mainpuri, and claimant of the raj volunteered to raise a body of chauhan Thakurs and with his assistance , Mr.John Power, the magistrate and collector of Mainpuri, began to enlist a force with which he hoped to resist any attack by the revolutionaries.
On 19th may, the first symptoms of disaffection were displayed by the detachment of the 9th Native Infantry stationed at Mainpuri; on that day a sepoy who was guarding the malkhana fired his musket and shot a crow. The sepoy was immediately taken into custody and ordered to be escorted to Aligarh, the headquarters of the regiment, but was released by the guard en route. From then onwards the sepoys on guard assumed a threatening the defiant demeanour.
In the afternoon of 21st May , Martin, head clerk of the Collectorate, received a message that his wife was reaching Mainpuri as there was much excitement and alarm at Kanpur. She arrived with three other ladies in the evening. At about 5 A.M. on 22nd May, two sergeants, Montgomery and Scott, came galloping and roused everyone informing that a strong force of freedom fighters was heading towards Mainpuri from Aligarh. On receiving this news Martin's wife left for Agra immediately and on the way did not come across anything untoward. late at night on that date, news arrived at Mainpuri of the uprising at Aligarh where the sepoys of the 9th Native Infantry had murdered their officers and appealed to their brethren at Mainpuri to follow the same course . Arrangements were at once made for the removal of the ladies and children to Agra. It was ultimately decided that the detachment should be removed to Bhongaon where they should not get information about the revolt at Aligarh. Accordingly Lt. Dekantzow was sent on the advance with the main body and Lt. Crawford followed him after leaving a small guard at the treasury and at the quarter guard.About four o'clock the following morning Lt. Crawford galloped in and reported to the magistrate that his men had broken into open rebellion and had fired at him and added that he believed Lt. Dekantzow to have been killed. Lt. Crawford declared his own intention of riding off to Agra, as nothing more could be attempted. In this opinion Cocks concurred and as the sepoys were now approaching the station, firing their muskets and shouting, he and Rev. Kellner drove off with Lt. Crawford . John Power still hoped that Lt. Dekantzow must have escaped as Lt. Crawford had not actually seen him fall, and resolved to do what he could to prevent the outbreak from spreading to the city. With this object he proceeded to the bridge over the Isan river on the Grand Trunk road accompanied by his brother, James power, who had returned after escorting the ladies, At the bridge they were Joined by Rao Bhawani Singh with a small force of horse and foot and by Dr. Watson with sergeants Mitchell, Scott and Montgomery of the road and canal departments and Me Glone, a clerk in the magistrate's office. Here they took up their position, in the hope of keeping the highway open and of preventing a junction between the approaching revolutionaries and their supporters in Mainpuri city.
In the meantime the rebels had returned to the station, firing into and plundering the houses of sergeant Montgomery and Dr Watson and breaking open and looting the magazine of the rear guard from which they carried off all the ammunition Lt. Dekantzow was forced to accompany them as their prisoner, and while the rear guard was being plundered, his life was in great danger. Then they turned towards the Kachahri where they were met by the jail guard, who were prepared to oppose and fire at the sepoys. But Dekantzow prevented them from firing as they would have been outnumbered and badly mauled by them if they had tried to do so. Here a fearful scene occurred . The fighters sepoys tried to force open the iron gates of the treasury and were opposed by the jail guard and Dekantzow who thrust himself between the treasure chest and the sepoys and made every effort to dissuade them from looting the government property. The fighters left the Kachahri for their lines after taking some public money(about Rs 6'000) from the quarterguard. They left in the direction of Etah. while this scene was being enacted in the treasury and the Kachahri, John Power with some six other Europeans stood upon the bridge helplessly, greatly concerned about Dekantzow's fate. He intended to visit the treasury and help Dekantzow's but was deterred from going by the urgent advice of Rao Bhawani Singh who informed him that it was impossible to face the hostile sepoys with the small force at their disposal. Moreover, he received a note from Dekantzow through a trusted emissary, dissuading him from going to the treasury, as the sepoys were getting quieter and that his presence would only make the matters worse.
Rao Bhawani Singh advised power and others to go to the gurhee (fortress) as their houses were not safe from the attacks of the sepoys. The party , accordingly, took shelter there. Bhawani Singh then left for the Kachahri from where he brought Lt. Dekantzow to the gurhee (fortress). Dekantzow joined Power and again took possession of the Kachahri but on his return he found the whole of the malkhana (room containing the unclaimed and confiscated property) looted, the sepoys having helped themselves to swords, iron bound sticks and other weapons which had accumulated during ages past
In the afternoon, the treasure amounting to rupees three lakhs was placed in the gurhee (fortress) under the charge of Rao Bhawani Singh and Power then took up his position in the court which was garrisoned and fortified. The garrison consisted of all those officers who were at the bridge at the time of the loot and some 200 matchlock men and a body of horse belonging to the irregular cavalry. These men were sent for patrolling and reconnoitering in order to prevent the sepoys from sacking the Kachahri in which the Europeans had taken shelter . So great was the fear of these fighters that no business was transacted and the revenue and criminal administration collapsed.
The revenue collection was suspended as every collector was worried about himself and nobody bothered to realise the dues. Thanadars sent no reports. There was anarchy and confusion all over the district. The authority of the British, in their own words, was only confined within the range of their muskets. Not a day passed with out the apprehension of the British being attacked by the rebels who were passing through Mainpuri on their way to Delhi. After the revolt at Fatehgarh, the fall of Etah to the revolutionaries and the sack of Etawah, John Power reported on 25th May that, though he wasn't an alarmist, he considered the position of the British to be Very unpleasant. Lying on the high road to Agra. and Delhi , Mainpuri was the focus on which converged the revolutionaries from Jhansi, Kanpur, Farrukhabad and Gwalior on their great Journey to Delhi which they considered to be a pilgrimage. Every now and then there were bloody engagements between the British force and the refractory villages. one such engagement took place in the village, named Ghinsupur, where the British force had gone to liquidate the revolutionaries.The Avadh Irregular Cavalry, encamped at Kuraoli, showed signs of defiance. on the 29th May, Maj.Hayes, military secretary of sir Henry Lawrence and Capt. Carey of the 17th Native Infantry joined this cavalry. The former had come by forced marches from Lucknow to be under the orders of the Lt. Governor and had under his command three or four troops of an Avadh Irregular Regiment with Capt. Carey, Lt. Barbor of 20th Native Infantry and Fayres. a volunteer . Maj.Hayes intended ordering his force to march to Fatehgarh, whether he had proceeded from Gursahaiganj, but being dissuaded from doing so by col. Smith of the 10th Native Infantry and Probyn, the magistrate, at the instance of the troopers of the 10th Native Infantry, had sent orders to Lt. Barbor to march to Bhongaon on the 30th May and meet him at Kuraoli in the 31st. The troopers arrived at Bhongaon on the 30th But their behavior was so defiant that Lt.Barbor reported them in a letter which was intercepted by the troopers . on 31st May they broke out into open rebellion. In the meanwhile news arrived that they had not marched on the 31st May and Maj. Hayes wrote to enquire the cause but received no reply. So he prepared to go to Bhongaon personally but as he was proceeding some of his troopers arrived. They reported that the force had halted at Bhongaon because it was tired but was now proceeding to Sultanganj, for the night halt. The troopers had forcibly taken their officers to accompany them and the party which had met Hayes at Mainpuri was only sent to deceive him and to decoy him to Kuraoli. Maj. Hayes and Capt. Carey left Mainpuri on 1st June to join their force at Kuraoli and they found the troopers drawn upon the plain at Kuraoli to receive them. They say danger to their life and turned back to escape . The troopers spread over the plain in pursuit. Maj. Hayes was overtaken , and receiving a deep sword wound cut across the face fell head from his horse. Capt. Carey managed to escape and got safely back to Mainpuri. About the same time that Hayes was killed, the insurgents killed Lt. Barbor and Fayrer and marched towards Delhi.
When Maj. Hayes and Capt. Carey had left Mainpuri on 1st June, the loyal garrison guarding the Britishers at Mainpuri was Joined by Maj. Raikes at the head of 70 troopers of the 1st Gwalior Cavalry. Some six of eight Sikhs from various disbanded Corps and about ten of the Native Infantry also jointed the garrison. Power then proceeded to raise a body of mounted police and succeeded in collecting about a hundred well armed and mounted men. This force which was placed under the command of Lt. Dekantzow was surprised by the main body of freedom fighters at Bhongaon. The Britishers lost a number of men and Lt. Dekantzow received a sever wound on his head . The rebels then attacked the police station, the thanadar ran away and all the persons guarding the station were killed. They also plundered and burnt the tahsil.
Shortly afterwards sergeants Wills and his wife and children were wounded by the revolutionaries at the Nabiganj toll barrier, and the former died soon after his removal to Mainpuri. In the early part of June, writes Powers. " our position became extremely precarious, as all the surrounding districts broke out into open revolt and Mainpuri was the only spot in which authority was upheld , The worst information came from Kanpur, Fatehgarh, Lucknow and Jhansi. The Grand Trunk road swarmed with mutineers proceeding to Delhi whose spies intrigued about us and whose piequets reconnoitered our position at Kachahri .The thanas, tahsils, schools, bungalows and chowkis along the Etah branch of the Grant Trunk road were burnt and all Mustafabad was in rebellion. Every night villages were seen burning in all directions around us, and every hour brought notice of some heavy affray having occurred, of the commission of some fearful murder". The police administration in the district was either overthrown or the members of the police force had themselves started revolting in different parts of the district. Towards the end of June the British authority in the district virtually came to an end. The mounted police also revolted and the telegraph connections with other districts were cut.
On 28th, June news came from Karhal to the British that the Jhansi insurgents were coming
and on June 29th the advanced guard of that force actually reached Mainpuri town. This
consisted of the 14th Irregular cavalry and the 12th Native Infantry. The jail was broken
open on 29th with the help of Rao Bhawani Singh's men who had defected to he side of
revolutionaries, the jail guards and jail officials, and that marked the fall the what
little authority had remained with the British. The Collectorate Sowa's and mounted levies
started plundering the government property. The British now hurriedly evacuated the
district and prepared to Move to Agra, leaving the government treasury to the care of Raja
Tej-Singh, (who till this time had posed as savior of the British), and Rao Bhawani Singh.
Some days after, the Sagar revolutionaries consisting of nearly five hundred sepoys on
foot , and one thousand sowars with two large guns wore reported to be arriving at
Mainpuri. Power finding himself unable to oppose the revolutionaries immediately left the
district for Agra . The Raja took possession of all the guns, muskets and everything which
was left in the office. Raja Tej Singh had been deprived the three-fourth of his estates
by the Settlement of 1840 , and though a money compensation had been paid. the wound
caused to the honour of the house by the curtailment of its hereditary dignities still
rankled, and finally provoked the Raja into taking arms against the government.His uncle,
Bhawani Singh, who had disputed his claim to the Mainpuri raj, throw in his lot with the British and by his steadfast
loyalty to the aliens won back for himself both title and the estate.
compensation had been paid. the wound caused to the honour of the house by the curtailment of its hereditary dignities still rankled, and finally provoked the Raja into taking arms against the government.His uncle, Bhawani Singh, who had disputed his claim to the Mainpuri raj, throw in his lot with the British and by his steadfast loyalty to the aliens won back for himself both title and the estate.
On 30th June the Sagar revolutionaries entered the city The Raja took possession of the district and appointed thanadars and tahsildars to bring order in the district and collect the revenue. In the meantime , the British refugees reached Shikohabad and stayed there for four days. The troops of Maj. Raikes who had loyally escorted the British upto Firozabad, when ordered to proceed to Agra, revolted and marched off to Gwalior. Back at Mainpuri, the Sagar revolutionaries killed Richards, Donovan and Lawrence, three clerks who had remained behind to try and save their property.
In Shikohabad. the rebellion was at its height. In Kuraoli too, there was an uprising. The
Raja made a proclamation that any person carrying information to the Europeans would be
severely punished . After this he went to Bharaul with a large number of his men, as the
Zamindars of that place refused to submit to his arms, He killed many of the Bharaul Ahirs
and having put them to flight plundered the village. After this he went to Bhongaon where
in July he came very near to engaging in a war with the Nawab of Farrukhabad but the two
revolutionary leaders patched up their differences and thence forward displayed the utmost
unanimity in their struggle against the British. The raja offered no resistance to Sri
Hope Grant's column on its march through the district in October.
to Bharaul with a large number of his men, as the Zamindars of that place refused to submit to his arms, He killed many of the Bharaul Ahirs and having put them to flight plundered the village. After this he went to Bhongaon where in July he came very near to engaging in a war with the Nawab of Farrukhabad but the two revolutionary leaders patched up their differences and thence forward displayed the utmost unanimity in their struggle against the British. The raja offered no resistance to Sri Hope Grant's column on its march through the district in October.
The position in this region towards the end of December, 1857 became highly intriguing. The doab districts down to Aligarh, including Mainpuri, came under British occupation in October, the Ganga forming the dividing line between the British and the revolutionaries with the result that Brig. Grant's column moved freely from Agra to Kanpur, including Mainpuri. But with the withdrawal of Grant's troops the state of things in Mainpuri changed very much for the worse. British claims were openly repudiated . the raja of Mainpuri, Taj Singh, who had allied himself with the nawab of Farrukhabad was conducting the war of liberation in the upper doab. He plundered Mainpuri and reoccupied it. In December the whole of middle doab was more completely than ever in the possession of the liberators.
During this time Agra was also threatened and the people to Farrukhabad became restive and
ventured to carry their plans of conquering British territories to the west and north and
the intermediate districts(including Mainpuri) towards Agra were so much in danger of
falling into the hands of revolutionaries that reinforcement from Delhi had to be sent to
the fighting lines. large bodies of Pathans and Rohillas assembled on the opposite bank of
the Ganga and crossed it. On hearing that Brig. Seaton was coming with a force from Kasganj to join Walpole at
Mainpuri, Tej Singh advanced to Kuraoli with the intention of stopping Seaton. Seaton,
however, Immediately outmanoeavred him and the revolutionaries retreated with a loss of
eight guns and about a hundred men.
advanced to Kuraoli with the intention of stopping Seaton. Seaton, however, Immediately outmanoeavred him and the revolutionaries retreated with a loss of eight guns and about a hundred men.
It was after this action that Hedson performed one of the most daring exploits of his adventurous career. Accompanied by his Second-in-command, McDowell, and 75 men, he rode across a countryside swarming with rebels to carry dispatches to Commander-in-chief . At Bewar he left all his escort but 25 men and with them and MeDowell pushed on to Chhibramau where he learnt that Sir Colin Campbell was not at Gursahaiganj as he had believed, but at Miran Ki Sarai 24 km. further off. Leaving the 25 troopers at Chhibramau the two officers rode on alone and reached Sir Colin Campbell's camp safety having ridden 88 km. in ten hours without changing horses. on their return the same evening they came to know that after their departure a party of 2,000 revolutionaries had entered Chhibramau, killed the 25 troopers left there and were waiting for Hudson's return. Hodson, boldly continued his journey and when the two officers reached the village they dismounted and leading their horses along the soft earth at the side of the road passed right through the village unnoticed by the =enemy . At Bewar they found a party sent by Seaton, who had heard of the disaster at Chhibramau, where he Joined Walpole next day.
Although after the fall of Mainpuri to the British the rush of the revolutionaries started towards Lucknow, yet they gave tough fight to the British wherever both me each other. One such place was Sandi in Fatehgarh, opposite Mainpuri, where there was a force of 4,000 men and several guns hovering about the nearby ghat on the Ganga and in the neighbouring ghat at Moorah several revolutionary chiefs including Raja Tej Singh of Mainpuri had assembled with a strong force of cavalry and infantry and some guns.
The complexion of the great uprising was, however, changing for the worse for the revolutionaries and to the advantage of the British The capture of Lucknow and Jhansi had given it a decided turn in favour of the British The struggle began showing unmistakable symptoms of collapse and by June 1858 every thing had been lost for the revolutionaries.
The district was re-occupied by the civil authorities and though it was not by means brought under complete control till late 1858 , no other events of any importance took place within its borders. The raja of Mainpuri, after a vain effort to induce the insurgents in Farrukhabad to re-enter and once more raise the doab, a scheme which was foiled by Seaton's victory at Kankar in April, 1858, engaged in another campaign on his own account. But he met with little success being repulsed from Shikohabad and finally compelled to surrender to Hume at Etawah on 11th June, 1858. He was removed to Banaras where he lived on a nominal allowance of Rs 250. A trial was held in which Tej Sing was held guilty of creating disorder in the district. An article featured in the Hindu Pat--- of 8th July, 1858 , on the trial of Taj Singh pleaded for his acquittal on the ground, "that he was a victim of circumstances, that he had spilt neither white man's blood nor black blood and that he had been reduced to this state by his rival (Rao Bhawani Singh) who had been unrelenting in his efforts to compass his ruin ", Taj Singh was, however , not granted pardon and Bhawani Singh became the new raja of Mainpuri
The 20th century began with the resurgence of spirit of nationalism in the whole of India and Mainpuri was no exception. The youth of the district had been restless for quite a long time. The year 1915-16 saw the birth of revolutionary activities in the district when Dammi Lal, Karori Lal Gupta , Sidh Gopal Chaturvedi, Gopinath, Prabhakar Pande, Chandradhar Jauhri and Shiv Kishan Joined hands with Genda Lal Dixit of Etawah , who organised a group against The British. The news of their underground activities reached the authorities who arrested the prominent leaders and brought them to trial at Mainpuri, in what came to be known as the Mainpuri conspiracy case. Various terms of imprisonment were awarded to these revolutionaries .
In 1919-20 , the foundation of a district Congress committee was laid in Mainpuri. The whole country was now humming with political activity which had been generated by the Khilafat movement and the Non-co-operation Movement of the Congress. These movements were launched together after the League-Congress Pact of Lucknow in 1916 in which both the parties decided to join hands in order to attain independence from the British. The people of this district nearly forgot about the Mainpuri case and the people who had been harassed by the police Kept out of this movement.
Thakur Digvijay Singh, a local leader addressed a public meeting in 1921 at Bewar exhorting the people to boycott everything foreign. A local Congress committee was formed at Barnahal in 1921 but all the office-bearers of this committee were apprehended by the police. Prominent among those who went to jail in the Non-co-operation movement of this district were Gulab Singh, Chandra Bhan Raja Singh and Rewati Ram.
As the movement was gaining momentum an unfortunate incident that took place at Chauri Chaura in the Gorakhpur district led Gandhiji to call off the movement which appeared to him to be lapsing into ways of violence. Nothing worth noting took place till 1929 when a District Political Conference was held at Bewar. It was presided over by Sri Shri Prakash, of Banaras. a governor of Bombay in post-independence India.
About the same time a conference of 'Nav Jawan Bharat Sabha;' a revolutionary organisation, was held at Bewar. It was presided over by Vinayak Sakharam Dandekar and it is said that Sardar Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad had also attended it in disguise. Gandhiji and Jawaharlal Nehru who were on a hurricane tour of the whole of Northern India in order to mobilize support for the newly launched civil disobedience movement after the visit of the Simon Commission, came to Mainpuri where they were accorded an enthusiastic welcome. Large numbers of volunteers were enrolled and Karori Lal, who had been previously convicted in the Mainpuri conspiracy case, headed the group of volunteers and accompanied Gandhiji form Makhanpur to Nabiganj. Gandhiji addressed the people of the district and explained to them the significance of the Salt Satyagraha and Civil Disobedience movement.
Mahatma Gandhi's visit to the district imparted a keener edge to the political awareness of its people, and the declaration of 'Complete Independence' as the political goat at the Lahore Session of the Congress in 1929 greatly stimulated political activity in this district, bringing a number of local freedom fighters into prominence in the agitation which marked the year 1930 in the district. Large-0scale arrests were made in the district to crush the movement. Among the most reputed Congress workers of the district in 1930 were Motilal Shambhu Dayal, Govind Varma and Bhawani Singh. people made salt, discarded the use of foreign cloth and other goods and courted arrest by violating various laws made by the British government. To counteract the Congress movement the British Government patronised 'Aman Sabhas' which were anti-nationalist bodies organised to create distensions among the freedom fighters. To counteract the influence of these Sabhas, the Congress organised public meetings where their subversive activities were explained. Meetings were organised by the Congress to expose the unworthy designs behind these Amans Sabhas and their influence was largely dissipated. Congress also mounted a campaign for total prohibition. Palm trees were cut and liquor shops in the district were picketed. The police charged the picketteers with lathis arresting many of them
A batch of Congress workers of the district went to Soron in the Etah district to participate in a massive rally organised there. The police opened fire on the demonstrators killing many persons. When the party was returning to Mainpuri after cremating the martyrs, its leader, Mathura Prasad Gupta and some others were, and arrested, tried and jailed. All the political prisoners were, however, released in pursuance of the Gandhi-Irwin Pact of 1931.
Upon the failure of the Round Table Conferences, the Congress party was outlawed and a number of repressive ordinances was issued by the British government, and this served only to lend greater Vigour to the civil disobedience movement. The congress organised a no-tax campaign to dissuade people from paying land revenue with a view to paralyse the government. The appeal had the desired effect and land revenue practically remained unpaid leading to large scale arrests in the district . In 1934 , when the ban was lifted from the congress, the dissolved district committees were revived.
During the Second World war the Congress declined to lend support to the British in the war effort. The congress ministers resigned .Meetings were held at Mainpuri to explain the stand of the Congress in relation to the war. The administration resorted to making mass arrests of Congress men. Shyam Behari Lal and Kunj Behari who were addressing a meeting on 19th September, 1940 , were among those who were taken into custody and sentenced. But in 1941 all the political prisoners were released again to create a climate favourable for an agreement between the government and the Congress. A settlement could not, however, he reached as the Congress. demanded complete independence which the British government was not prepared to concede. on 8th August, 1942 no sooner had the Congress passed the 'Quit India ' resolution at its Bombay session than all its prominent leaders and active warders all over the country were rounded up, and put into prison. Those who escaped arrest went underground to run the party. Hartals were organised at many places in Mainpuri. Mass arrests were made, and educational institutions were closed down. The most disturbed spot in the district was Bewar, a small town with a population of 4,000 souls. On 13th August school boys, still even in their early teens, participated in a mass demonstration. Almost all the shops were emptied for fear of being looted . Groups of students holding the tricolour aloft demonstrated before courts and offered themselves for arrest. The police-station was attacked, government offices were forcibly closed and communications disrupted. During the night a special police force combed the town, arresting numerous persons.Curfew was imposed in the area. On 15th August police opened fire on an innocent mob consisting mainly of school boys Many were killed and over 85 persons received bullet injuries. Among those who lost their lives were Jumna Prasad Tripathi, Krishna Kumar, and Sita Ram Gupta. Seventy people were arrested and prosecuted for arson and looting government property.
The battle of India's struggle was subsequently taken to the legislatures and ultimately the British had to leave the country. On August 15,1947 , the country and with it the district were liberated from alien rule and declared independent. The rejoicing on the occasion were not a little marred by news of ghastly happenings in Pakistan and elsewhere as a result of the partition of the country and the consequent displacement of large bodies of men from and to Pakistan. About 2,939 displaced persons from Pakistan arrived in the district and were rehabilitated Close on the heels of this unprecedented disturbance came the shocking news of the dastardly assassination of Mahatma Gandhi at Delhi on January 30, 1948 . This plunged the district into great sorrow and mourning Markets, offices were closed and several processions were taken out and meetings held to mourn the tragic and irreparable loss to the nation caused by the murder of the Father of the Nation. Though he died, he still lives fresh in the memory of the people and is remembered on October 2, which is celebrated as Gandhi jayanti, in the district as in other parts of the State.
With the enactment and adoption of the Constitution of India on January 26, 1950, India became a Sovereign Democratic Republic .