India is a land of extremes. There were such kingdoms like Cuddappah, even though modern and in the centre of activity, of which we don’t know anything, like the Sultanate of Mysore, which existed only for 30-40 years but everyone in the world knows about it and of the likes of Jhargram or the Aswaraos, which just existed and none knows about them.
This is the story of the kingdom and then estate of Jhargram(basically nothing).
Legend has it that around 1574 CE Man Singh had come to conquer Bengal on behalf of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great from Rajasthan (erstwhile Rajputana Kingdom). He appointed two of his loyal officers in the army, Sarveshwar Singh and his elder brother to defeat the local Malla tribal rulers of the region known as Jungalkhand. Raja Sarveshwar Singh defeated the Mallas and took the name Malla Deb and set Jhargram as his capital. In order to commemorate this victory every year an idol of Malla Raja is made and killed on Vijaya Dasami. After Man Singh left for Rajputana after the campaign, the brothers decided to stay at their conquests. Sarveshvar Singh was made the Subedar and Raja of Jangalkhand and his elder brother, the ruler of Bhishnupur or Mallabhum, that later became independent. They belonged to the Kshtriya Chandra Vansha Chauhan clan of Rajputs. The Raja of the State was known as Sarveshwar Malla Ugal Sanda Deb(Ugal Sanda – the bull in the fort walls of the city of Jhargram) and the title has been continued up to Raja Narasingha Malla Ugal Sanda Deb. The estate had an area 252 sq. miles when it became a part of India and encompassed 1200 sq mi at its peak.
The southern half of the kingdom including Gopiballavpur, Nayabasan & Nayagram were occupied by Mayurbhanj and Alivardi Khan when the rulers of Jhargram were weak or indisposed.
In the seventeenth century, Jhargram Raj family took part in Chuar Mutiny when an East India Company force led by Robert Clive from Midnapore via Radhanagar invaded Jhargram in 1767. The kingdom was relegated to a Zamindari along with the title of Raja and had to pay 500/- per year.
In 1944-5 discussions were in progress to upgrade Jhargram to a Princeley State, subordinate to Mayurbhanj but due to the political situation of the day, the plans were put on a back burner.
List of Rulers
• Raja SARVESHWAR MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja VIKRAM MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja BHIM MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja PRITHVI MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja SANSAR MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja CHAKKU MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja GADADHAR MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja SHATRUGHNA MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja ANANDA MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja MAN GOVIND MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja VIKRAMJIT MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja SHYAM SUNDAR MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja VIKRAMADITYA MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja RAGHUNATH MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB
• Raja CHANDI CHARAN MALLA DEB(1912-1916)
• COURT OF WARDS 1916/1929
• Raja Sir NARASINGHA MALLA UGAL SANDA DEB(1916-1947, d. 1976) Post independence, he was the MP from Midnapore for two terms.