Thakur Devi Singh ji, Mandawa

Thakur Devi Singh ji Mandawa was a person of pleasing personality and it was always a pleasant occasion to enjoy his company and listen to his tales of Rajput bravery and chivalry. His knowledge was vast which he used in writing a number of books outstanding value. One particular book he wrote named "Bharat Aur Bhartiyta Ke Rakshak" revealed the prominent part played by then rulers of Rajasthan and Gujarat, Bappa Rawal and Nagbhatt respectively to check and repulse the invasion of Arabs from Sindh into rest of India. Hardly anyone is aware of this, which took place during the seventh century. His other books are also very valuable including history of Rajput Clans.

It was so very kind of him to present me a copy of each of his books, duly autographed by him. I thus have a good collection of them and the last one he presented was on 31-12-98 called Prtihar aur Unka samrajya". He was a true histrorian in every sense and as such would not accept any fact of history, unless it was proved by some recorded evidence. For example when I told him that my ancestor Raja Bhim Sin ghji, one of the sons of Maharana Raj Singhji of Mewar and founder of Banera family, was a "Panch-hazari" the highest "Mansab" given by Mugal Emperors to Maharajas and Rajas, he would not accept it and asked me to produce historical data about it. However, some year later when I called on him at his Mandawa House on Sansar Chandra Road, he jubilantly told me that Shri Ojha, the great historian of Rajasthan, had said so in his book, the matter was at last settled between us.

I first met Thakur Saheb when he was a Kunwar during 1977 and I called on him to negotiate the alliance of my second daughter Manjul Kumari to his third son then Bhanwar Randhir Vikram Singhji, I am happy to say that the alliance took place and from then onwards I used to meet him and stay with him, whenever I visited Jaipur. Our get-together in the evening were always very interesting and rewarding as I learnt much from him about Rajput history which I shall cherish. He had other interests also, such as old forts and monuments, music both classical and Rajasthani. Earlier he was interested in Shikar also and shot panthers and wild boars, but later he had no spare time for it. Once we both even made a programme to go for a big game shoot but it had to be cancelled, due to his other engagement. As working President of the All India Kshtriya Mahasabha he attending meetings at various places and so had to travel often.

Beside writing books and visiting places he also edited the monthly journal "Ranbankura" which also gave valuable information on Rajput history and culture. He thus did great service to the Rajput race and his contribution would he fondly remembered. His passing away at the age of 77 years is a big loss to us and I pray to God to give all peace to the departed noble soul.

Colonel Maharaj Guman Singh (Retd)
Banera
in Ranbankura, April 1999
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Ratan Singh Shekhawat.
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