The Tajpur State

Brief History

It is said that the ancestors of Tajpur family lived in the North-West part of India. In this part the Muslim invaders used to invade India through Khyber Pass in hordes. First of all, the invaders had to face a brave tribe known as Taga as they entered Indian soil. Though there were other tribes in the region as well, but the bravest one was the Taga tribe, which in times of Aurangzeb abandoned their priestly profession, due to the atrocities on Hindus and became agriculturists. They in later years were designated asTyagi’s.

This part of India was in turmoil in those days. Balram Singh Sahib was the head of the Taga Clan. He fought bravely with the Muslim invaders. During these frequent encounters he had to face heavy losses and ultimately, he decided to leave this area with his family along with few trusted Lieutenants and a small Army to some peaceful area. Balram Singh Sahib occupied Azampur in Bashta Pargana and its surrounding areas.

our History

The Record Of This Period Is Available In The District Gazetteer Of Bijnor Of The Year 1879, 1908, 1926 And 1981. In 1525 The Records Of The Tajpur Family (Tagas) Who Were The Landlords And Contributed Revenue And Maintained Cavalry And Foot Infantry, Are Found In Ain –Akbari.

The mention Of Tagas To Which This Family Belongs Has Been Mentioned In The Akbar’s Administration And Also In Ain -I- Akbari Written By Abul Fazal. This Affords Some Idea About The General Condition Of The District. The Whole Of Bijnor District At That Time Was Included In Sarkar Of Sambal, Which Was A Suba Or Province Of Delhi. The Tract Was Divided Into Fifteen Parganas. The Modern Areas Known As Daranagar, Afzalgarh And Barapura Are To Be Found In The List Given In The Ain-I-Akbari Either In The Same Name Or Other Easily Recognisable Ones. Bijnor Was Known By The Present Name And Was Included As A Part Of Daranagar. Its Cultivated Area Was 60,362 Bighas And The Revenue Was 3,355,465 Dams And Inhabited Mainly By Tagas And Brahmanas.

The Zamindars Were Having Very Large Land Holdings And Revenue. They Were Expected To Supply A Contingent, They Also Maintain Cavalry And Foot Soldiers. The Zamindars With Large Holdings Were Tagas, Jats, Brahmanas, Rajputs And Ahirs. Chief Among Them Were Tagas (Now Known As Tyagi’s) And Jats. The Land, Revenue Along With The Cavalry And The Foot Soldiers Of The Tagas (Now Known As Tyagi’s) Is As Given In The Table Below: -

S No Place Cultivated Area (Bighas) Revenue (Dams) Cavalry Foot Soldiers
1. Daranagar 60,366 3,355,465 50 500
2. Bhurpur 87,273 3,355,465 50 500
3. Gandaur 18,577 751,520 60 500
4. Azampur 5,467 2,389,478 60 500
5. Kiratpur 53,791 640,264 50 200
6. Seohara and Sahaspur 82,789 2,278,036 100 700
7. Nihtaur 35,975 1738160 50 300

The General Prosperity Is Further Evinced By The Large Amount Paid In Revenue. The villages in the Areas Mentioned Above Were Part Of The Tajpur State. The Entire District, The Central Parganas Were The Most Highly Cultivated And The Military Force Of 680 Cavalry And 5400-Foot Infantry Testifies To The Density And The Strength Of The Tagas And The Jat Population.

extracts from bijnor a gazetteer volume xiv of the district gazetteers of the united provinces of agra and oudh by h r nevill, i.c.s, f.r.g.s, f.s.s, m.r.a.s - 1908

PAGE NO 95

“Tagas, (Now known as Tyagi’s) of whom 8,207 were enumerated, claim to be Brahmans, and to some extent are admitted as such, their position being analogue to that of Bhumihar Brahmans of the eastern districts. Half of them reside in the Dhampur Tehsil, and there they acquired the important Tajpur State, as well as several smaller properties, such as Nihtaur. They are capable cultivators and not ashamed to till the land. The great stronghold of this caste is in the Meerut district, but they are also very numerous in Moradabad. Like the Jats, they have many subdivisions, but the only two importance in Bijnor are the Bissas and Dassas, the latter being considered of impure decent.”

extract from report and minutes north india conference methodist episcopal church - 1903 [ 776344] methodist publishing house, lucknow

Page no: 110

The only other titled family is that of Tagas of Tajpur. This is comparatively of recent origin. The first member to rise to prominence being Balram Singh, who about the beginning of the 18th century acquired large State in the Azampur portion of pargana Bashta. His son Ram Kishen purchased land in the neighbourhood of Tajpur and removed the family residence to that place. He was succeeded by Kidha Singh, who made further additions to the property and was in possession when the district was evolved in 1801. Five years he rendered good services to Government during the invasion of Amir Khan Pindari and in reward obtained the State of Gopalpur. He was followed by Jiaraj Singh, who died young and left the property to his son Jagat Singh, who was styled Chaudhri of Tajpur.

extract from the imperial gazetteer of india vol xxiii singhbhum to trashi – chod – zong

PAGE – 206

extracts from imperial gazetteer of india provincial series united province of agra and oudh vol – 1 the provinces; rivers, mountains, lakes, canals, and historic areas; the meerut, agra and bareilly divisions

PAGE – 518

extract from imperial gazetteer united provinces, bareilly division

PAGE – 41

“Tajpur – Town in the Dhampur Tehsil of Bijnor District, United Provinces, situated in 29 10’ N and 78 29’ E, 27 miles South – East of Bijnor town. Population (1901) 5,105. The town is chiefly noted as the residence of the leading Taga family in the District, some members of which have embraced Christianity. The Tajpur State was acquired in the Eighteenth century and further extended in the Nineteenth century, for the services extended to the newly established British administration. In 1857 the Zamidar or Chaudhri of Tajpur remained loyal and was rewarded the Title of Raja and by remission of revenue. The present Raja lives in a fine house built after the European fashion and is a member of the Provisional Legislative Council. Tajpur contains a dispensary maintained by the Raja, a primary school with 79 pupils, and an aided Girls school with 32 pupils.”

The Tajpur State Flag

1. It was triangular in shape.

2. The color of the Tajpur State flag was kesari.

3. It had a rising sun on top and a Lion leaping toward the rising sun.

balram singh sahib

The Taga tribe lived in the North-West part of India. In this part the Muslim invaders used to invade India through Khyber Pass in hordes. First of all, the invaders had to face a brave tribe known as Taga as they entered Indian soil. Though there were other tribes in the region as well, but the bravest one was the Taga tribe, which in times of Aurangzeb abandoned their priestly profession, due to the atrocities on Hindus and became agriculturists. They in later years were designated as Tyagi’s.

Balram Singh Sahib was the head of the Taga Clan. He fought bravely with the Muslim invaders. During these frequent encounters he had to face heavy losses and ultimately, he decided to leave this area with his family along with few trusted Lieutenants and a small Army to some peaceful area. Balram Singh Sahib in the beginning of the eighteenth century had acquired a large State in Azampur of pargana Bashta and rose to prominence. This has also been mentioned in “Sarkeshe Bijnor”, which has been written in Urdu. He overcame resistance from the local Chieftains and expanded his area. As mentioned earlier this area was sparsely populated and was fertile. Owing to its geographical position this region enjoys a climate that probably was superior to that of any other district in the United Province, expecting Dehradun and the hill tracts of the Kumaon division. At that time majority of the population was backward. He was very brave and religious person. He was a Surya Vanshi and worshiped Sun God and the Kul Devi was “Chamunda Mata”

The whole of Bijnor at that time was included in the Sarkar of Sambal in the Suba or province of Delhi. The area was divided into fifteen parganas: these are the names of today; Daranagar, Afzalgarh and Barapura. Bijnor had the same name and was part of Daranagar. Cultivation was over an area of 60,362 Bighas and revenue was 3,355,465 Dams. The Zamindars had large land holdings, and with the revenue had to maintain a Cavalry and foot soldiers. The Zamindars were Tagas (Tyagi’s), Jats, Brahmins, Rajputs and Ahirs. The majority were Tagas and Jats.

extract of manual of titles, corrected on 30 september, 1931

” The Raja belongs to Taga caste (Tyagi) and is descended from Balram Singh, who acquired the estate of Azampur in the Bashta pargana of Bijnor and took his abode there towards the beginning of the eighteenth century. His son, Ram Kishan, bought land in Tajpur and re moved the family residence to that Palace. He was succeeded by Kidha Singh, who held the property at the Cession of the District, and in return for services rendered during the invasion of Amir Khan Pindari in 1805 obtained a grant of the Gopalpur estate. His successor, Jairaj Singh, died young, leaving the property to his son, Pratab Singh, who was styled Chaudhry of Tajpur.”

ram kishen sahib

Ram Kishen Sahib succeeded Balram Singh Sahib, who made further land additions including a large portion of land midst of groves on the highland above the Karula river which flowed about a mile to the East and is about 160 Kms from Delhi. He constructed a fort and laid foundation stone of his capital known as Tajpur and consolidated his estate by making the Tajpur town his seat. It was later renamed as Raja – Ka – Tajpur.

Ram Kishen Sahib maintained a large Cavalry and Foot Soldiers. He built the Bijai Niwas Palace in Tajpur. The Tajpur Fort was surrounded by Pit, (Khala). Today the old Mahal is in the Tajpur market and a small portion of fort is still existing in a depilated state. The Fort had a pit (Khala) around it and also had underground basement (The Khana) and a tunnel extending up to on the Banks of Ram Ganda River, Moradabad. He constructed many temples inside the Tajpur Fort, they were “Surya Temple” The Sun God Temple, The Kali Ma Temple, Lord Krishana Temple, The Kadam Devta Temple and was a devotee of Baba Gorakhnath Ji.

The whole of Bijnor at that time was included in the Sarkar of Sambal in the Suba or province of Delhi. The area was divided into fifteen parganas: these are the names of today; Daranagar, Afzalgarh and Barapura. Bijnor had the same name and was part of Daranagar. Cultivation was over an area of 60,362 Bighas and revenue was 3,355,465 Dams. The Zamindars had large land holdings, and with the revenue had to maintain a Cavalry and foot soldiers. The Zamindars were Tagas (Tyagi’s), Jats, Brahmins, Rajputs and Ahirs. The majority were Tagas and Jats.

extract of manual of titles, corrected on 30 september, 1931

” His son (Balram Singh Sahib), Ram Kishen, bought land in Tajpur and re moved the family residence to that Palace.”

Kidha Singh Sahib

After the death of Ram Kishen Sahib, it was his son Kidha Singh Saheb who succeeded the prestigious Tajpur State. He made further addictions to the State. The Bijnor district was created in 1801. In 1805 Kidha Singh Sahib with his Army along with the British Crown fought against the Holkars Chieftain Amir Khan Pindari and defeated him. Amir Khan was the leader of a large body of Cavalry composed of Pathans of Hindustan, South country Hindus and the Afridis from the North East. Amir Khan Pindari was a Solorazi Afghan and from his youth was a Soldier of fortune, who eventually joined the Holkars and had remained for many years faithful to the Holkars, fighting continuously on his behalf. For the support to the government and the good services rendered, Kidha Singh Sahib was rewarded with the prestigious “Gopalpur State”.

extract of manual of titles, corrected on 30 september, 1931

” He (Ram Kishen Sahib) was succeeded by Kidha Singh, who held the property at the Cession of the District, and in return for services rendered during the invasion of Amir Khan Pindari in 1805 obtained a grant of the Gopalpur estate. His successor, Jairaj Singh, died young, leaving the property to his son, Pratab Singh, who was styled Chaudhry of Tajpur.”

Jiaraj Singh Sahib

Jiaraj Singh Sahib succeeded after the death of his father Kidha Singh Sahib and he died at a very young age. Jiaraj Singh Sahib was survived by his son Raja Bahadhur Pratap Singh Sahib.

Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib

Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib

Jiaraj Singh Sahib , died at a very young age, Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib succeeded the Tajpur State. The Tapur State prospered in all spheres and this was considered as the Golden Era of Tajpur State. Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib was a Styled Chaudhary of Tajpur, he was a daring person and fought bravely with his soldiers against the tyrannical Muslim Nawabs of the area loyal to the Moguls in Delhi.

The Nawabs of Bijnor had proclaimed their alliance to the Throne of Delhi (The Mogul Sultanate). At the time there was a strong line of cleavage between the Hindus and Muslims and the Nawabs of the district carried out atrocities on the Hindus, by killing them and illtreating their women in the region which compelled the Hindu rulers to turn towards the East India Company and the British Crown

Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib rendered Signal service to the British during the 1857 Mutiny. He paid a large instalment of revenue at the outbreak of the Mutiny and suppled a force for the protection of Bijnor under great personal danger. At that point there was British Military presence in the district. In May 1857 the British Collectors sent requisitions of aid to the Principal land owners and called for soldiers to help serve in Bijnor. The British Soldiers moved out leaving the local Zamindars loyal to them to handle the situation. Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib refused to acknowledge the Nawab of Najibabad and Chaudhry of Haldaur.

He disposed of the Chaudhary of Sherkote. Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib subsequently held Bijnor on behalf of the British and rendered further financial assistance by sending funds to Nanital where the money was urgently required. He also fought with the British against Mohamad Khan of Najibabad and led the latter to return to Najibabad.

A compromise was affected, Mohamad Khan of Najibabad was recognised as a nominal Nawab with a monthly allowance of Rs 12,000/-. The Nawab’s elder son got Najibabad, Dhampur and Chandpur and his nephew got the remainder. Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib was invested with the personal title of Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib and the revenue of the Tajpur State was his for his life time with a further 50% endued to his successors. He also obtained a Khilat (Khil a Persian word for the honorific robe) prevalent in south Asia in pre- colonial and colonial period. In the 19th century British India, this also included gifts in money or goods awarded by the Government of India to the princely State for the services rendered. This was valued at Rs 10,000/- and a grant of six villages and a Muafi (Rent free land granted in perpetuity) of Tajpur. The events have been recorded by ”Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan” in the History of the Bijnor Rebellion (1858),

Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib opened Schools and Dispensary and he also donated the land and money to build the Seohara Railway Station. He was the largest contributor of revenue to the Government in the District. Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib was exempted from appearance in Court. He constructed the Ram Bagh Palace near Karula river. Later on, his grandsons Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh and Kunwar Sylvester Norbert Sheonath Rikh constructed the famous Sacred Heart Church in Front of Ram Bagh Palace in Tajpur.

extract of manual of titles, corrected on 30 september, 1931

“Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib rendered signal services during Mutiny, paying in a large instalment of revenue at the beginning of the outbreak and supplying a force for the protection of Bijnor. After the departure of the British officers he refused to acknowledge the Nawab of Nazibabad, and when the rebels dispossessed the Chaudhri of Sherkot he led a force against that place and ejected them. He subsequently held Bijnor on behalf of Government and rendered further assistance by sending money to Nanital, where funds were urgently required”.

” As a reward he was invested with the title of Raja and the revenue of the Tajpur estate was remitted for his lifetime. With a further assignment of 50 percent for the life of his successor. He also obtained a khilat of Rs 10,000/- and a grant of villages assessed at Rs 2,500/-.”

events in 1857

(covered in detail in history of the *bijnor* rebellion (1858), sir sayyid ahmad khan)

In June 1857 people of Bijnor attained freedom from the British rule. Instead of celebrations there was fight between the Hindus and the Muslims. Thousands of people died in this bloody fight, which was due to the fault of Mahmud Khan, the Nawab of Najibabad. This created further divide between the two communities. These events have been mentioned in the book “Sarkashe Bijnor” written by Sir Sayeed Ahmed of the Aligarh University in 1857. On 10 May 1857 the unrest started in Meerut and the news reached Bijnor on 11 May 1857. After this on both the sides of river Ganges people started looting. During this time the Soldiers belonging to the Meena Company in Roorkee Cantt revolted and around 300 Soldiers of the Meena Company reached Najibabad. Some of these soldiers went to the residence of Ahmed Ali Khan who was the local Tahsildar of Najibabad for talks. These soldiers pledged their support for Mahmud Khan, the Nawab of Najibabad if he revolted against the British. Ahmed Ali Khan told these soldiers that if they freed Bijnor from the British rule, then the Nawab could rule over Bijnor. This disheartened the soldiers of the Meena Company and on 20 May 1857 these soldiers reached Nagina where they looted the property. On the same day one Zamandar (Sweeper) named Ram Swaroop broke the Bijnor Jail and set the prisoners free.

The British came to know about the wrong intentions of Mahmud Khan, the Nawab of Najibabad. The British got the support from the Hindu Rais of the Bijnor district, like the Rais of Haldaur Chaudhry Randhir Singh and the Rais of Tajpur Chaudhry Pratap Singh Sahib and the British requested for military help to fight against the Nawab Mahmud Khan, which was refused. After which the Nawab reached Bijnor with a purpose to revolt. The British Officers fled with their families to Roorkee. On reaching Bijnor the Nawab established himself and instructed Chaudhry Pratap Singh Sahib of Tajpur to provide camping ground and ration to the soldiers coming from Bareilly for revolt and also instructed the Rais of Bijnor Chaudhry Jodha Singh to deposit the balance of the revenue. These incidents caused unrest among the Hindu Rais of the district. During this time the Deputy Collector Ahmed Ali Khan reached Sherkote and employed Mande Khan who was an influential person of Sherkote on a monthly salary of Rupees 100/-. His duty was to collect revenue. There was a rivalry between Mande Khan and Chaudhry Umaroo Singh of Sherkote. When Mande Khan went to collect balance of revenue of rupees 500/- from Chaudhry Umaroo Singh, there was a clash between the two on this issue. Mande Khan with his soldiers attacked Chaudhry Umaroo Singh. In this incident the uncle of Chaudhry of Haldaur Shiv Raj Singh died and Chaudhry Basant Singh was badly burnt. In this clash Mande Khan arrested Ghisa Singh.

This incident of Sherkote added the fuel to the fire. Chaudhry Randhir Singh of Haldaur, Chaudhry Pratap Singh Sahib of Tajpur and Chaudhry of Kanth along with their Armies attacked Sherkote and after a battle rescued Chaudhry Basant Singh and Ghisa Singh and brought them to Dhampur. They also fought with the two contingents of the Army of the Nawab of Najibabad and killed them. After this incident the enmity between the Hindus and the Muslims increased, many Temples and Mosques were damaged.

On 22 August 1857, in Jalalabad a place near Najibabad, Mahmud Khan and his men along with other Muslims had collected to kill the Hindus who were to hoist the flag. On the same day in Nagina, Chaudhry Ram Dayal had lost to Muslims in a struggle. This news reached Bijnor where the Armies of Chaudhry Budh Singh and Chaudhry Pratap Singh Sahib along with their Cannons were camping. They immediately reached Nagina. There was a fierce battle fought between the Hindus and the Muslims. The British returned to Bijnor and the Nawab was forced to return to Najibabad.

For his valuable services during the mutiny, as a reward he was invested with the title of Raja and the revenue of the State was remitted for his life time, with a 50% reduction for the lifetime of his successor.

Raja Pratap Singh died in 1873 leaving three sons: Kunwar Jagat Singh, Kunwar Shiam Singh and Kunwar Shiva Nath Singh. After his death his eldest son Raja Bhadhur Jagat Singh Succeeded as the Raja of the Tajpur State and was given the personal title of Raja Bahadur. A coat of Arms was registered on the 18th December 1880. He built the Ram Bagh Kothi in 1866 and the famous Hathi Wala Temple (Elephant) in Moradabad, UP.

Raja Bahadur Jagat Singh Sahib

Raja Bahadur Jagat Singh Sahib

In 1873 after the death of Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh Sahib his eldest son Kunwar Jagat Singh succeeded as the Raja of the Tajpur State. He obtained the personal distinction of the title of “Raja Bahadur” conveyed by the notification No: 2913 P of 23 December 1873 issued by Northbrook, The Viceroy and Governor General of India. A “Coat of Arms” dated 18 December 1880 was presented to Raja Bahadur Jagat Singh Sahib on behalf of the Queen Victoria and a Crest was assigned to the Tajpur State. The title of “Raja” was bestowed to the on all the successive heads of the family and was declared hereditary to the descendants of Raja Bahadur Jagat Singh Sahib (Line-1). He was the Raja of the Tajpur State for twelve years. During his period, he constructed a magnificent Kothi Ram Bagh in 1866 in Tajpur, which had Italian chandeliers and it was in the centre of 100 Bighas of land. This Kothi had variety of plants and trees from Italy. He also constructed the famous Hathi Wala Temple (The Elephant Temple) in Moradabad.

Raja Bahadur Jagat Singh Sahib was blessed with two sons, Kunwar Randheer Singh and Kunwar Dig Vijai Singh. In the year 1885 when the Raja died, his both the sons were minors

extract of manual of titles, corrected on 30 september, 1931

“Raja Pratap Singh died in 1873, and was succeeded by his elder Son Jagat Singh. The later obtained as a personal distinction the title of Raja Bahadur, conveyed by notification No. 2913- P of December 23, 1873. At his death in 1885 the property passed to his brother Kunwar Shiam Singh. The latter, a man of great public spirit, who had devoted his attention towards the improvement of agriculture in these provinces, was awarded the personal title of Raja on December 7, 1888, and honour was declared hereditary ten years later”

extracts from report and minutes north india conference methodist episcopal church - 1903 [ 776344] methodist publishing house, lucknow

PAGE – 206

” During the mutiny Raja Pratap Singh rendered signal services to Government incurring there by great danger and loss as will be narrated in the history of the district. As a reward he received the title of Raja Bahadur and a grant of villages assessed at Rs 2500/-, while the Tajpur State comprising six villages was freed from revenue for his life time, with the remission of half the demand during the life of his successor. Raja Pratap Singh died in 1873 and was succeeded by his elder son Jagat Singh, on whom the title was again conferred as a personal distinction.”

The contents of the letter dated 23 December 1873 are as under: -

To,

Koer Juggut Singh of Tajpoor

In recognition of the valuable services rendered to the Government during the mutiny 1857-58 by your late father, Raja Pratap Sing Bahadur, I hereby confer upon you the title of” Raja Bahadur,” as a personal distinction.

Dated for William, the 23rd December 1873.

Northbrook

Viceroy and Governor General of India

Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh

Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh

Kunwar Shiam Singh, the younger brother of Raja Jagat Singh Sahib succeeded as the Raja of The Tajpur State and personal title of Raja was made hereditary in 1898 that is 10 years later. Raja Shiam Singh adopted Christianity and changed his name to Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh. His descendants from Hindu wife remained Hindu and the descendants from the Christian wife follow Christianity. He was a man of wide culture and of great public spirit. He put great importance on the improvement of agriculture in the United Provinces. This is mentioned in the Book of Titles. The government realised his sterling qualities of head and heart made him a Statutory Civil Servant and Honorary Magistrate. As a further recognition of his public services, he was awarded the Kaiser-I-Hind in 1900, and elected to the Legislative Council from 1910 to 1912. By deed of poll on 7th February 1910 Raja Shiam Singh changed his Surname from Singh to Rikh.

extract of manual of titles, corrected on 30 september, 1931
raja francis xavier shiam rikh of tajpur

Born: June 18, 1856, Died in 1941 Succeeded: June 11, 1888.

Heir: Son, Kunwar Bishnath Rikh, born August 26, 1874.

Residence: Tajpur, Tehsil Dhampur, Bijnor.

State: One third of Tajpur estate which consists of one hundred and seventy-seven villages and 35 Pattis, assessed at Rs 1,11,036 in Bijnor.

Title: The title of Raja, bestowed as a personal honour on several successive heads of the family, was declared hereditary by notification No. 4-I. A of January 1, 1898.

“Raja Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh was for some time a member of the Statutory Civil Service and is now an honorary magistrate of the second class for the police circle of Chandpur, Nurpur, Sherkot, Dhampur and Seohara. In May, 1900 he obtained the Kaisar- I – Hind medal of the second class as an acknowledgement of his public services. The Raja has become a Christian. He was a member of the Legislative Council from 1910 to 1812.”

exteacts fro bijnor a gazetteer volume xiv of the district gazetteers of the united provinces of agra and oudh by h r nevill, i.c.s, f.r.g.s, f.s.s, m.r.a.s - 1908

PAGE NO 7

TAJPUR ESTATE – Raja Francis Xavier Rikh is leading a retired life at Bangalore and the State is being managed by Chaudhry Gopi Nath Singh, his sister’s son. It has been divided among his sons

Kunwar Vishwanath Rikh is the local head of the family. The property of his brother Kunwar Jaswant Rikh and of Kunwar Rani Kuntla Rikh is managed by Court of Wards.

extract from report and minutes north india conference methodist episcopal church - 1903 [ 776344] methodist publishing house, lucknow

Page no: 110

After the death of Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh in 1885, the property passed the property passed to his brother, Sham Singh who was educated in England and he embraced Christian religion. He was awarded the title of Raja in December 1888 and the honour was declared hereditary six years later for Line -2 as well. For a time, the Raja was a member of the Provincial Civil Services and is now an Honorary Magistrate of the Second Class for the police circle of Chandpur, Bashta, Nagina, Sherkot, Dhampur and Seohara. His property is widely distributed

Kunwar Sylvester Norbert Shiva Nath Rikh

Kunwar Sylvester Norbert Shiva Nath Rikh

Kunwar Shiva Nath Singh was the third son of Raja Pratap Singh. He inherited a large State comprising of 30 villages and shares in 32 others. He had also studied law in England and qualified for the Bar. He took up practice in Allahabad until the exigencies of his vast State made him relinquish it. He and his descendants adopted Christianity; he changed his name to Kunwar Sylvester Norbert Shiv Nath Rikh.

extract from report and minutes north india conference methodist episcopal church - 1903 [ 776344] methodist publishing house, lucknowh

Page No 111

“Raja FX Shiam Rikh’s younger brother Kunwar Sheonath Singh is also a Christian and for years resided in England, where he qualified in self as a Barrister at Law. He resides in a house which has builtin the English Style and owns a large property comprising 30 villages and shares in 33 others in four parganas od Dhampur tehsil and in Daranagar, Chandpur, Bashta and Afzalgarh. The total assessment being Rs 20,674/-.”

tajpur estate and their christian links

The early history of the Royal family of Tajpur is from Mughal emperor Akbar’s period somewhere in the beginning of 18th century. They moved from western part of India to District Bijnor. Their ancestors fought many wars and reorganised their State. The fought many battles against the Nawabs who were supporting the Mughal in the district. After the death of Raja Bahadur Pratap Singh, the division in the family took place. Raja Pratap Singh had three sons. Line – 1 Raja Jagat Singh Saheb, line – 2 Raja Shiam Singh (Rikh) and Line – 3 Kunwar Shiv Nath Singh (Rikh). Line – 2 and Line – 3 converted to Christianity.

A virtual prince, Father P.S. Sinha used to come all the way from Raja-ka-Tajpur in Bijnor district to collect oil for prayers from Delhi church. The Raja, Sir Francis Xavier Shiam Rikh was descended from the rulers of Tajpur, The Raja became a Catholic, along with his brother, Sir Sylvester Norman Shiva Nath Rikh towards the end of the 19th century. Father Sinha, the Raja's adopted son, was a clean-shaven priest, like Father Daniel. Now to sum up: Father Adeodatus was murdered at the age of 80 when he accosted burglars in the Begum's church at Sardhana. Another Italian priest, Father Leo too lost his life to a burglar. The other priests mentioned in this piece also are no more. But old timers still remember them and the way they made the church echo to the Gregorian chant - and recited the passion of Christ on Good Friday. Now the Mass is in English, Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam or in some other Indian language but the ritual is just as solemn at the Sacred Heart Cathedral, though one misses the haunting strains of the Gregorian chant, named after Pope Gregory I of the early years of the Christian Calendar

However, the old pulpit in the cathedral is still there as a reminder of the times when a priest climbed the stairs of the exquisite wooden structure to preach to the congregation. It is hardly used now after the installation of a mike on the altar. But the pulpit at the Agra church has unfortunately been pulled down in the zeal to impact a modernistic look to the church, though it was even more elaborately made and was much older, being a symbol of an age when loudspeakers were not even thought of.

Father Adeodatus, an Italian of the order of Friars Minor Capuchin, had become almost Indian by long association with the peasants and spoke the rural Delhi dialect to perfection. His hair-cut too was like them and he sang hymns in the Dehati baritone, clapping his hands in rhythm with the beat of the dholak, 70 miles from the Capital, where he ate thick rotis (tikkar) and onions for dinner and did not say "No" if the indulgent villagers offered him the local brew (tharra) on Sundays and feast days. A small man, he donned a saffron cassock and knew seven languages, including English, Latin and French, besides Urdu, Parsi, Hindi and Sanskrit. Along with Father Anthony Pearey Lal, he was brought up as an orphan by the Catholic Church.

Father Gabriel was handsome, who gave the impression of being a strict disciplinarian. His sturdy build, close-cropped beard and piercing blue eye added to his dignity. If memory serves right, he was in charge of a church 250 miles from the Capital. He, however, came here often, especially to St. Mary's Church, near Delhi Main Station. Father Bonaventure was an Anglo-Indian who looked after the parish Gwalior. A tall, suave man he was educated at St. Peter's College, Agra and was conspicuous in Connaught Place in the sola topi and brown cassock he wore in all seasons. Another distinguishing feature was his long grey beard. His father, Father Juke, who supervised the construction of Delhi Cathedral, is remembered for the hot cross buns distributed by him on Good Frida.

Raja FX Rhiam Rikh, the head of Line – 2 of Tajpur family did not force religion on his children and subsequent descendants. Therefore, most of them were Hindus.

At present the members of Line – 1 of the Tajpur Royal family are residing at Raja – Ka -Tajpur, District Bijnor, UP. The Line – 1 never left Tajpur. At present Raja Shailenderjit Singh (Chote Raja) and Rajkumar Inderjit Singh (Raja Bhaiya) are staying in Bijai Niwas Palace and Mahal Sarai in Raja – ka – Tajpur. They are the only link with at present with the Sacred Heart Church, as the other members have left Tajpur in 1960’s. The present family members visit the Church Regularly and share a very cordial relations with The Father and other priests and Sisters at Church