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History of Jhargram

In the fifteenth century (1560-1565) there was a State situated near Fatepur Sikri in Rajasthan. The Raja & his brother of the state mentioned belonged to the Kshatriya Chandra Banshiya clan. They were interested in visiting Shri-Kshetra (Puri) in Orissa.
They left accompanied by their cavalry & Military force for their security and reached within a month to Shri-Kshetra and paid their homage to Lord Jagannath. After residing in this area four months they left for their homeland Rajasthan. As per custom of the Raj family the elder brother would ascend the throne and become the Raja of the State and the younger brother would be Prime Minister or Advisor to the Raja and therefore would be entitled to an allowance from the state.

As the younger brother of the Raja. Raja Sarbeswar Malla Deb desired not to go back to his native place. He together with his cavalry and Military force involved the Jungle Khand which was encircled by deep forests presently known as Jhargram . The area was populated by Tribals known as Santhals, Mal, Bhumij and Lodha.

This area belonged to Mal Raja. Raja Sarbeswar Malla Deb won and captured the Jungle Khand area from Mal Raja. In order to commerate this victory, every year an idol of Mal Raja is made and killed on Vijoya Dasami day.

Raja Sarbeswar Malla Deb has was the founder of the present Jhargram Royal family - Raj family. After defeating the Mals the Raja abandoned the winning Mal Raj Rajasthani Surname "Singh" and adopted the title Malla Deb as surname. There is a rumour in this area that the family is a branch of the Bishnupur Malla Raj family. The name of the state capital came to be as it is known as Jhargram , it was surrounded by walls and canals known in the local language as Ugal. The man who was hero (Bull) within the surrounded wall and canal was called Ugal Sanda. As such the full name of the Raja of this state was known as Sarbeswar Malla Ugal Sanda Deb and the title has been continued upto Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb. Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb was the eighteenth generation of the family. The deep forest area of Jungle Khanda area known as Jhargram was an independent state before the British period-with an area of 1200 sq. miles. History has witnessed many ups and downs of Jhargram Raj family. Maharaja of Mayurbhanj, owner of the adjoining state and the Nawbab of Murshidabad taking advantage of the family's idleness and luxurious life invaded and won the Southern portion of Jhargram i.e. Gopiballavpur, Nayabasan & Nayagram. To date there are still some places and markets in the area called Ugal Sand's that etc. the family is known for their noble heartedness from the very inceptions.

Many portions of the state was donated by the Raj family to their family's (Sabha Pandit) Scholars, Brahmin's poor who were later on become the properties of the area and recognized as Zamindars of the area. Before the abolition of Zamindars in indepenedent India in the year 1954, the area of the estate was 252 sq. miles.
In this seventeenth century Jhargram Raj family has taken part in "CHUAR MUTINY" to protect them independent status.

Around 1667 British army came from Midnapore via Radhanagar to invade Jhargram . Raja revolted against British Raj but ultimately surrendered to the British Raj and the Revenue was fixed for only 500/- per year.

In this connection I may mention that in the year 1944-45 the then Vice-Roy of India agreed to recognize Jhargram as feudatory state, Subedar to Mayurbhanj etc. but at that time whole India was going through Turmoil and moved for independent India lips mission & cabinet mission came here to negotiate with Congress & Muslim League and other Parties etc. The proposal for feudatory status of Jhargram Raj was moped then.

It is not possible in this short space to describe the history of Raj family who reigned here for last four hundred years. It is to inform Jhargram people shortly and about three or four generations who are well known for their generosity for the people of Jhargram even beyond Jhargram .

Raja Raghunath Malla Deb who was the sixteenth generation of the family and great grandfather of Raja Birendra Bijoy Malla Deb was an extraordinary wrestler of this area. His instrument of exercise has been kept in the Raj Palace and Calcutta Museum. And it seems that he was not an ordinary wrestles and the instrument used should be handled by super human. It is known from the people of that time that he was a great devotee of Bhairab. At the fag end of eighteenth century i.e. 1884-85 he was the first student of F.A. from this backward area surrounded by deep forest. Of course he left Midnapore before the final exam of F.A to marry Raj Kumari Raj Lakshmi Debi of Silda. He was famous for his charity, when cost of Rice is only one rupee per maund he donated thousands of Bighas of lands to his needy poor tenants. Even he had taken a loan of Rupees Three lacs to remove the poverty of his poor and needy tenants. In this renowned family Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb born in the year 1909, Raja Raghunath malla Deb, grandfather Raja Chandi Charan Malla Deb father respectively expired in the year 1912 & 1916. Respectively Jhargram Raj estate was the then under court of wards as settled with the Government by Late Raja Raghunath Malla Ugan Sanda Deb. And as per the rule District Magistrate was the guardian of minor Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb. The then Magistrate under the guidance of him minor Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb has been admitted and continued upto Matriculation exam in the Midnapore Colligiate School. At this time Magistrate appointed Prof. Debendra Mohan Bhattacharjee of Midnapore College and held from Faridpore (Dacca Division) as guardian tutor of minor Jhargram Raja Narasingha Malla Deb to guide and supervise the smooth running of life and studies and character development.

In the year 1929 Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb become major (attained majority) Jhargram Raj estate had been released from court of wards of Bengal Govt. Raja Saheb has passed his I.A Examination from Midnapore College in First Division and got admission in Presidency College of Calcutta. Raja Saheb then empowered by his preceptor Debendra Mohan Bhattacharjee to guide and administer the Jhargram Raj estate in a right way.

This is exaggeration to say that 1929-1950 was the Golden Period of Jhargram estate in these Twenty one years Jhargram has developed into Township and during this period many educational Institutions were established and developed. Kumud Kumari Institution the Premier Institution of Sub-division has been developed and upgraded Jhargram Agricultural College which later on was converted to Jhargram Raj College, Vidyasagar Bani Bhaban, Vidyasagar Polytechnic, Sarada Vidyapith with the help of Swami Sarbanandaji other institution within the Jhargram estate area established for this development of backward Jhargram people. All the Primary Schools within Jhargram estate have been established and run by helping and bearing salary of Teachers and other expenses. The royal family has established & assisted in the running of call primary institution in the Jhargram estate. After the establishment of Bani Bhaban under guidance of Lady Abala Bose for widows only there was no other institution the education of before 1940 on the advice of his manager Debendra Mohon Bhattacharjee Raja Saheb has donated and built a house to accommodate a Girls School upto Primary section and it developed upto Class VI and opened by the then magistrate Mr. Burge and the institution was named after his name Burge Memorial School. In the year 1947 further land was acquired and Building was constructed by Jhargram Raj and a substantial amount was donated by the estate to develop it. To the secondary stage and with the help of the then Chief Minister, Prafulla Chandra Ghosh the institution become pure Govt. School and renamed after the first wife of Raja Saheb Rani Binode Manjuri Govt. Girl's School and it is now one of the best school of West Bengal. It would be in justifiable if we do not describe his humanly good qualities during his twenty-five years of reign. He has donated during this short space of time 19 lacs of rupee cash and 10 thousand bighas of land in this area for development of different institutions extending from Calcutta Bangiya Sahitya Parishad to Delhi Kali Bari. In the Midnapore District Town he has donated for construction of building & donated fund purchase Lobmary's Books and borne all the expenses to built Jhargram Stadium at Midnapore. But now the name ' Jhargram Stadium' has been changed to 'Aurobinda Stadium' after his death. At the consent of Raj family land and grant for establishment of Hospital in the name of Chandi Charan Charitable Hospital was given by the Court of Wards. Later on in every Tahsil area a charitable hospital on a miniature scale was established for Primary treatment in the near by villages. He has got many other qualities which are worth mentioning. He was very much lover and entrust sports and games like his uncle Ganga Charan Malla Deb. At this time Rs. 20 / 22 thousand was allotted and sanctioned and subscribed every year for the development sports. He was a very a good angler and Shikari for which he won many trophies are still in the Palace. Rather than this he was a very good Photographer. He had won many international prizes from Switzerland, Thailand, Singapore and Russia. He inherited a keen interest and ear for music from his family. Music was his interest qualities from his family, he had a deep knowledge of Baishnab Sangeet. Due to his popularity in this area Dr. Bidhan Ch. Roy the then Chief Minister of Bengal wanted to exploit his popularity and requested his to stand in 2nd Loke Sabha which he won easily with a record margin.

His good natured and efficient son Shri Birendra Bijoy Malla Deb after finishing University education got involved in for Politics and he was three times Member of Legislative Assembly of West Bengal. He is very good Cricket Player and was the captain of cricket team from school to university. He has established many family business so that his family is able to cope with the modern tune. And later on he retained from all activities due to illness.

His mother Rani Binod Manjuri Debi expired in the year 1945. Who came from Maharaja Mayurbhanj's family.

Raja Birendra Bijoy married Rani Indira Debi daughter of Maharaja Sonepur, which was feudatory state with a nine-gun salute in the British Regime. Indira Debi coming from such a high honored state having so much of luxuries. She lived and passed 40 years in Jhargram and she felt shy if any body described her passed activity in her father's house. It would not exaggeration to say that she was rather say navigator of Jhargram family. She looked every thing and guide in a right way. She had got clear vision in everything small big and proud less in nature.

She was very much skilled in even stitching garland for Shri Shri Radharamanji, thus family deity. And very kind to her family employees and had never taken revenge to the persons who behave ill with her and she was attached to various charitable institutions.

At present they have got sons Shibendra Bijoy Malla deb & Joydeep Malla Deb and two daughters Radhasani & Rajashri. Both sons Shibendra & Joydeep who are looking after their family business and attached to Politics to some extent.

Prepared by: Jhargram Raj Family.


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