Bharat Stories
Light of Knowledge

The builder of Jaipur City: Maharaja Jai Singh II

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As time passes away, it sweeps away the names of the people that resided. But there are few great people whose names are left as a mark of that particular time. They are the one remembered by generations.

The life of such great persons is an ideal and inspiration for the one who lived during the time and the generations to come. One such great person was Maharaja Jai Singh II, who was the ruler of the Rajput State Amber.

He was the person who was not only a great lawmaker but was also an expert general. He was the Hindu Rajput ruler of Amber kingdom, and also founded the city of Jaipur.

Jai Singh II was the one who commissioned many observatories of the Jantar Mantar at multiple places in India.

About Maharaja Jai Singh II

Maharaja Jai Singh II, the person who was not only the ruler of Amber but was also an astronomer, and a mathematician. He was born on 3 November 1688, to Bishan Singh and Indar Kanwar of kharwa, at Amber the capital city of Kachwaha.

Maharaja Jai Singh took up the throne and became the ruler when he was, 10 years, due to the demise of his Father on 31 December 1699.

During the initial years of his life, he worked as a Mughal Vassal and was given the title of Sawai by Aurangzeb, the Mughal Emperor. The title meant one and quarter times more than others.

But in his later life, he went back to his kingdom and then shifted the capital of the kingdom from Amber to the newly established Jaipur. To free the kingdom from Mughal sovereignty, the great Hindu Rajput performed Ashvamedha, twice, once in 1734 and the other in 1741.

During his time, the power in India was divided by the Mughals between Rajputs, Marathas, Pashtuns, and Sikhs.

Family

Maharaja Jai Singh II is born as Vijay Sing to Bishan Singh and Indar Kanwar of Kharwa. He had three sons namely, Kunwar Shiv Singh, Kunwar Ishwari Singh, and Kunwar Madho Singh.

The names of Jai Singh’s II wives were Ranawat, Surya Kumari, and Gendi.

History

Every great person does have a history behind, that is responsible for him being remembered. They have proved themselves in the past, that made them a remarkable person.

So was Jai Singh II who proved his greatness and chivalry in the past. He was the one who worked for his people. He was the one who fought many wars and achieved success.

Maharaja Jai Singh II, in the initial stage of his career, joined his troops with that of Aurangzeb, as his kingdom was close to Delhi. So, Rajputs need to keep an alliance with the Mughals.

One more reason for joining hands with the Aurangzeb was that they were campaigning in Deccan against the Marathas.

During this campaign, Maharaja Jai Singh met Pandit Jagannatha Samrat in 1700. He was the one who later became his Guru and the chief advisor in matters related to astronomy.

Once the campaign ended, Maharaja Jai Singh was accompanied by Jagannatha, who broadened his knowledge about the Islamic text and also supported him in enhancing the design of Jantar Mantar.

Maharaja Jai Singh was the one who was appointed as the governor of Malwa, between 1714 and 1737, three times.

Work for the Society

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was such a great ruler who performed his duties towards his people and society.

  • He was the first ruler to perform Ashwamedha and Vajapeya like ancient Vedic Ceremonies in the year 1716 and 1734.
  • He was the one who promoted Sanskrit learning during those days.
  • The Hindu Rajput leader worked to abolish the Sati system from society.
  • He also contributed his efforts in removing from society wastage of money on grand marriages.

Achievements

The great Hindu Rajput won many titles, in the initial years of his life, when he served the Mughals.

  • Title of Sawai, which was given to him by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the year 1699.
  • In the year 1721, the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah awarded him the title of Saramad-i-Rajah-i-Hind.
  • Later in 1723, the emperor also honoured him with the title of Raj Rajeshvar, Shri Shantanu Ji, and Maharaja Sawai.

Such great was his work and his achievements, which were also noted by the Mughals.

Maharaja Jai Singh II, the person who was not only a great Rajput and ruler but also, was a scholar, who had a keen interest in Astronomy. His interest was so much that he even had a diverse collection of manuscripts of astronomy and also had Arabia and European tablets.

This collection of Sawai Jai Singh II included, Englishman John Flamsteed’s ‘Historia Coelestis Britannica’, the Portuguese Pere de la Hire’s ‘Tabulae Astronomical’, the Turkish royal astronomer, and the Greek Ptolemy’s ‘Almagest’.

The great ruler, who was brilliant in mathematics and was keenly interested in astronomy, died on 21 September 1743, at the age of 54. The leader who succeeded Bishan Singh worked hard for the society. Later he was succeeded by Ishavri Singh, is still remembered by the people of Amber and Jaipur.

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