Bravery & Heroism of Bachhawats at Bikaner

Bikaner_Rai_Singhji_1574-1612 @ 1800Karam Chand (1542-1607*), the descendant of Bachhraj, was appointed Diwan of Bikaner in 1571 during Rao Kalyanmal’s time (1571 – 1612). He was very popular in Bikaner and had very good rapport with Emperor Akbar. The honours conferred on Mehta Karam Chand Bachhawat by Emperor Akbar made Raja Rai Singh of Bikaner jealous.

Sensing development of ill will of Raja Rai Singh towards himself, Diwan Karam Chand politely took permission to resign and settle in Merta city along with his family members around 1592*. He was called by Emperor Akbar at his Lahore court and served him till his last breath. Karam Chand passed away in 1607* at Delhi.

In 1612, dying Raja Rai Singh said to his son Sur Singh, “Bachhawats and the family of Karam Chand should be enticed to Bikaner, that on them should be visited the sins of their father. The Purohit Man Mahesh and Bharat Chotji and the other conspirators such as Bharta Jat, associated with Karam Chand should receive the reward of their misdeeds”.

Sur Singh ascended the throne of Bikaner in 1613. Around 1619, Raja Sur Singh went to Delhi to pay his obeisance to Emperor Jahangir, where he was restored 11 mansabs by the Emperor. He also called on Bhag Chand & Lakshmi Chand, sons of late Diwan Karam Chand. He took them in absolute confidence and invited them to Bikaner. He went so far as to dismiss his Diwan, in order to give the office to Lakshmi Chand and Bhag Chand. Both sons of Karam Chand did not remember their father’s advice and started in good faith for Bikaner. They were appointed as Diwans very respectfully. Raja Sur Singh remained extra benevolent towards these brothers in the following months.

Captain PW Powlett writes in ‘Bikaner Gazetteer’, “The Bachhawats were resettled by deceit in Bikaner by Raja Sur Singh. One fine day (1620), Raja Soor Singh by treachery surrounded the haveli of Bachhawats. The Bachhawat women killed themselves to preserve their honour and chastity whilst Bachhawat brothers died fighting the soldiers of Bikaner Raja”.

Bhamashah - StampOne Pregnant lady (wife of Bhag Chand Bachhawat Mehta), who could not participate in the battle for honour, took shelter in Karni Mata temple. She was helped by a faithful servant, to go to her parents place at Udaipur, where her father Bhamashah lived. The lady delivered a boy and named him Bhanji. Later, Maharana Karan Singh of Udaipur appointed him as one of the commanders of his army, in accordance with importance of the lineage of Bhanji.

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