The Phulkian Dynasty


The Royal House of Jind belongs to the Phulkian family, the same family as the Royal Houses of Patiala and Nabha. They trace their common ancestry to one Baryam, who was granted the title of Chaudhuri by Emperor Babur in 1526. The state of Jind was founded by Gajpat Singh, a great-grandson of Phul, in 1763. He greatly advanced his position by adding large additional territories to his inherited domains, but fell into disfavour with the Imperial authorities when he failed to remit land revenues. They eventually imprisoned him in Delhi as a hostage, until he directed his agents to discharge the debts, was restored to favour and eventually granted the title of Raja by the Emperor Shah Alam.

Raja Gajpat Singh's son and successor, Raja Bagh Singh, joined the British in opposing the Marathas. He helped Lord Lake in expelling them from Delhi in 1803, and received extensive territories in Shahjahanabad as his share of spoils. A few years later he suffered a paralysing stroke, which eventually forced him to appoint his wife as regent, but died an agonisingly slow death. His last years were spent as a spectator to murderous court intrigues, the Rani Regent murdered by his younger son, who attempted to seize control then fled to Lahore when his plan failed. Bagh Singh's eldest son eventually succeeded in establishing order, once his younger brother had been arrested by the British authorities.   

Raja Fateh Singh ruled as Regent for his father until he died, then succeeded as ruler in 1819. Alas, he did not enjoy his throne very long, and died relatively young, three years later. He had married several wives, but left an only son and heir, aged just twelve years. His younger wife, the Mai Sahib, ruled as regent for her minor son, Raja Sangat Singh, until he came of age in 1827. A spendthrift and wastrel, he squandered the states revenues on pleasure, and died without an heir in 1834. The Mai Sahib became Regent for a second time and, together with the British authorities, chose a distant second cousin of her late husband as the new successor. She continued to rule as regent until his formal installation with full ruling powers in 1837.

Raja Swarup Singh proved a worthy ally to the British, assisting them during the Sikh Wars and the Indian Mutiny. He was one of the first to take the field against the mutineers in 1857, clad in armour and chain mail, he fought his way through most of the principal campaigns. At war's end, he received huge increases in territory captured from the rebels, and was showered with titles and honours in recognition of his services. A modern and progressive administrator, he outlawed sati, slavery and female infanticide throughout his domains. He was sedulous in prosecuting anyone who transgressed these laws. He died in 1864, full of honours, leaving his throne to an equally able son in Raja Raghubir Singh. The latter, who also served alongside his father during the Mutiny, proved an equally capable ruler, being appointed a Councillor of the Empire to the Viceroy in 1877. At his death in 1887 the throne passed to his minor grandson, his eldest son having predeceased his father in 1883.

Ranbir Singh succeeded his grandfather at the age of eight and reigned for sixty years, and celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in March 1947. He saw out two world wars, and witnessed the British Empire from its high point to the Independence of India. Despite an unconventional family life, he remained progressive ruler throughout his reign, much like his father and grandfather before him. He had a great interest in educational matters, built schools and colleges, making primary education free throughout his state. He also founded several charities and charitable institutions to look after widows and orphans, built several hospitals, and established medical dispensaries. He acceded to the Dominion of India in 1947, but died within seven months of his decision.

Maharaja Rajbir Singh succeeded his father in March 1948, but ruled for little more than two months before signing the merger agreement with his fellow Phulkian rulers to form PEPSU. The merger too effect in August 1948 when he ceased to be sovereign. He lived another eleven years and died in 1959, being succeeded by his nineteen year old eldest son as Maharaja Satbir Singh. Known as Prince Sunny, the maharaja has been a life-long sports car and racing enthusiast, and a participant on the rally circuit for many years.

13-guns (18/6/1926, 15-guns local 1/1/1921).

Ermine a target sable bossed or within a bordure engrailed purpure. Crest: Elephant proper. Supporters: White horse and lion proper. Motto: "Bahu Pal Phulat Phalam" (The supporters of many are Phul's fruit). Lambrequins: argent and purpure.

The ruling prince: Farzand-i-Dilband, Rasikh-ul-Itiqad-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia, Raja-i-Rajgan, Maharaja (personal name) Singh Rajendra Bahadur, Maharaja of Jind, with the style of His Highness.
The consort of the ruling prince: Maharani Sri (personal name) Sahiba or (family name or clan) Sri Maharani Sahib, with the style of Her Highness.
The Heir Apparent: Sri Tikka Sahib Bahadur.
The consort of the Heir Apparent: Sri Tikkarani Sahib.
The younger sons of the ruling prince, by senior wives, at birth: Maharajkumar Sri (personal name) Singh.
The younger sons of the ruling prince, by senior wives, on attaining majority: Raja Sri (personal name) Singh.
The daughters of the ruling prince, by senior wives: Maharajkumari Bibiji  (personal name) Kaur Sahiba.
The daughters-in-law of the ruling prince: Rani (personal name) Sahiba.
The grandsons of a ruling prince, in the male line: Rajkumar Sri (personal name) Singh.
The granddaughters of a ruling prince, in the male line: Rajkumari Bibiji (personal name) Kaur Sahiba.

Jind Delhi Durbar Medal: instituted by Maharaja Sri Sir Ranbir Singh to commemorate the Delhi Cornation Durbar in 1911. Awarded in a single class to state troops, civil servants and personal attendants of the Maharaja. Awarded in a single class, a pewter medal.
Maharaja Ranbir Singh Golden Jubilee Medal: instituted by Maharaja Sri Sir Ranbir Singh to commemorate his fifty years on the gadi in 1937. Awarded in a single class, a silver medal.

Maharaja Ranbir Singh Golden Jubilee Medal (L) and Diamond Jubilee Medal (R).

Maharaja Ranbir Singh Diamond Jubilee Medal: instituted by Maharaja Sri Sir Ranbir Singh to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of his accession to the gadi in 1947. Awarded in a single class, a silver medal.
Installation Medal: instituted by Maharaja Sri Ranbir Singh to commemorate his installation on the gadi on 1st April 1948. Awarded in a single class, a silver medal.
Integration Medal: instituted by Maharaja Sri Ranbir Singh to commemorate the integration of Jind into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) on 20th August 1948. Awarded in a single class.

Farzand-i-Dilband Rasikh-al-Iqtidad-i-Daulat-i-Inglishia: Beloved and trusty son of the English nation.


Male primogeniture.

Sirdar Attar Singh, Chief of Bhuddour. The House of Phool, Being a Genealogical Table of the Family of the Cis Sutledge Chiefs of the Punjab. September 1872 (BL 85/14000 R 23).
Bhagat Singh, A History of the Sikh Misals. Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala, 1993.
G.L. Chopra. Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. 3 Volumes. Superintendent of Government Printing, Lahore, 1940.
Major W.L. Conran and H.D. Craik. Chiefs and Families of Note in the Punjab. 3 Volumes. Government of the Punjab, Lahore, 1910-1911.
Behari Lal Dhingra, CIE (comp. & editor). Jind State: A Brief Historical and Administrative Sketch (with some photographs). Time of India Press, Bombay, 1930.
Sir Lepel Henry Griffin & Charles Francis Massy (ed). The Panjab chiefs : historical and biographical notices of the principal families in the Lahore and Rawalpindi divisions of the Panjab. Civil and Military Gazette Press, Lahore, 1890.
S. Ranga Iyer. Diary of Late Maharaja of Nabha. Indian Daily Telegraph, Lucknow, 1924.
List of Ruling Princes and Chiefs, Leading Men and Principal Officials. Punjab States Agency. Manager of Publications, Delhi, 1938.
Marriage of the Raja of Jind to a European girl … Government of India, Foreign Dept. (Secret-I) Proceedings, June 1901, Nos 40-53. Punjab States. IOR (R/1/1/264).
Memoranda of Information regarding certain Native Chiefs. Volume II, Madras, Bengal, North-West Provinces, Punjab. IOR (L/PS/20/F76/2), Oriental & India Office Collection, British Library, St Pancras, London.
Northern India Who's Who. Lahore, Punjab, 1942.
Thacker's Indian Directory, Thacker's Press & Directories, Ltd., Caltutta 1863-1956.
A. Vadivelu, The Ruling Chiefs, Nobles & Zamindars of India. G.C. Loganadham Bros., Madras, 1915.

Father Lawrence Ober, SJ.
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
Copyright© Christopher Buyers
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