Saturday, November 15, 2008

Banaili Roots to Raj continued----Dynasty 2nd part

Deorhi Ramnagar (Adyanagar) -
Parmodaar Raja Padmanand Singh Bahadur

After the death of his father in 1883, Padmanand Singh received the title of “Raja Bahadur” from the government. Raja Padmanand Singh knew Sanskrit, English and Persian. He was adorned with the title of “Faarsinavees”. He composed verses in Hindi and Urdu.
Raja Padmanand was a staunch Brahmin and he performed his daily Puja and rituals with great devotion and regularity. He took food only after giving away some gold as Daan in the morning. It is said that during his old age, when his finances were very low and even his monthly allowance of Rs. 4000/- had been attached by his creditors, one day there was no gold available to be given away. He waited for hours for the material to be supplied to him so that he could rise from his Puja. At last he fulfilled his daily routine by giving away his own gold Pavitri (a gold ring, usually worn with the sacred thread for purity). Only after doing this, did he take food and water. Padmanand Singh had constructed a Singhdwaar on the premises of Vaidyanath temple at Deoghar. He also presented a doorway of ivory to the lord. This was fitted as the main entrance to the Garbh-griha (chamber) of the temple. He had also presented a Gold Tongue to the Goddess Kali at the Kalighat temple in Calcutta. He was as generous as his father, even more. Only he did not have the former’s resources and had inherited an estate which was encumbered with debts. As a result of his extravagance the estate was further laden with debts.
Padmanand Singh was married in 1868-69. His first wife was Rani Padmavati, daughter of Badan Jha, of Mangrauni[1]. There is a very interesting story related to this marriage. As it was customary, the horoscope of the bride was sent to the Raja Sahib Leelanand Singh, immediately after the marriage ceremony was over. He was horrified to learn about some unlucky combinations in the horoscope of the bride which suggested that she would soon be a widow. The astrologers advised him to counteract the bad prediction by marrying the prince again, this time, to a bride whose horoscope would predict long life to her husband with at least double the intensity of the horoscope of the present bride. The Raja at once, mobilized all his social connections and resources to find such a bride. Many offers came and the Raja selected two more brides at the same time, saying that he could not afford to take a chance anymore. Therefore within a fortnight Padmanand Singh was wedded thrice and became a young husband of three baby brides.
Raja Leelanand now returned victoriously, from Nauhatta to Deoorhi Ramnagar, with Kumar Padmanand and his three brides. The second wife[2] of Padmanand Singh was Rani Padmeswari, the daughter of Yognath Thakur of Ujaan. Yognath Thakur belonged to Khandawala-Bhour Mool. Yognath Thakur was the uncle (Peesa) of Rani Chandeswari and therefore the bride was her cousin. Yognath Thakur had married many times and one of his wives was the daughter of Kalitnath Singh of Amour, the Dayad of Padmanand. This Rani died issueless. The third bride Rani Padma-Rama was also a close relative of Rani Chandeswari. She was the daughter of Manodhar Misra of Salempur, Chandeswari’s own uncle (Kaka). This bride also was the first cousin of Chandeswari. This Rani gave birth to a son who died in infancy. Later she too, died at a very young age at Deorhi Asarganj[3] where she used to stay after the death of Raja Leelanand Sinha. All these three wives of Padmanand died before him, Padmavati dying only three month before his death. She died on 22nd of April 1912.
The last two marriages suggest that, the group of relatives from Salempur with Rani Chandeswari at the top, wielded great influence over Raja Leelanand, during this period.
In spite of these new marriage alliances with Padmanand the relation between the young Kumar and his father deteriorated fast and he was separated from his father very soon. I have already written about the unfortunate separation in the chapter of Raja Leelanand Sinha.
Soon after the death of his father, his stepmother, Rani Sitabati Debi filed a suit against him, for the share of her minor sons Kumar Kalanand Sinha and Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha, in the estate. Padmanand maintained that they were illegitimate children of his Father and fought the suit strongly. However, due to the feeble chances of winning on such grounds, and the timely intervention of his first wife Rani Padmavati, the case was compromised and Padmanand got 7annas out of the 16 annas, he enjoyed till then.
By his first wife, Padmavati, Padmanand singh had one son, Chandranand Singh and three daughters- Bhawani, Hira and Moti.
Kumar Chandranand Singh was born in the month of November in the year 1884. He was a mentally retarded child. He was sick as a child and was a born idiot. The Raja and his wife, together, tried out their best resources to cure him of his handicaps but in vain. On the advice of some astrologers that he would improve after marriage, the idiot Prince was married to the daughter of Ugri Jha of Koilakh. Ugri Jha belonged to the Khoware-Naahas Mool and was a Yogya. But the condition of the Prince did not change in anyway and he died in 1908, at the young age of 25. His wife was Rani Chandravati alias Sasirama, who later went to succeed to the entire 7annas estate of Banaili, through her husband Kumar Chandranand Singh.
Rani Padmavati was literate and very intelligent. She took active part in the affairs of the Zamindari. Being a Purdanashin lady, she sat in court with Purdah of muslin all around her, if and when she had to, for unavoidable business. According to Mr. Macgregor, manager of 7annas court of wards, estate, “She was a very capable woman. She was not likely to be dominated by any one.”
Rani Padmavati was of a very different nature than her husband and she never approved of his ways of life. She was a lady of strong character and gradually came to dislike his husband because of his loose morals and extravagance. Padmanand Singh had been pampered as a child and grew up to be a spoilt young man who took to intoxication and drugs at a very young age. He was badly addicted to cocaine and spent most of his time in wine and women. Although such a life was not very abnormal for the Princes and Zamindars of those days, Padmavati could not convince herself to accept his profligacy. As a result they gradually drifted apart.
Padmavati was amicably disposed towards her step-mother-in-law Sitabati and her sons and was against her husband’s plans to dispossess them on the plea of illegitimacy. Actually she feared that the wrath of god would destroy her family which was already on the point of extinction due to the physical and mental incapability of her only son. She intervened to patch up the matters, as she is said to have a strong sense of justice. Above all, she wanted to cure her only son and save her family from the curses of the step-mother of her husband, who was already grief-stricken with her widowhood, and would have to live in poverty and shame, if her marriage would be proved null and void, and her children illegitimate. So she prepared a deed of compromise between Rani Sitabati and her husband and tried to get the signature of her husband, on the deed, when he was high with cocaine. However, Padmanand could not be tricked and he rose from his slumber at the last moment. Later, he signed the compromise after uttering a phrase in maiyhili. It meant “I am being called a thief by the ones, for whom I am doing this theft.”
Padmavati was not in good terms with her husband since 1902 because the latter had encumbered the estate. She came to Bhagalpur with her son and filed a suit for partition. This offended Padmanand. Raja Padmanand Singh had incurred heavy debts. The manager Rai Bahabur Siva Shankar Sahay prevailed upon Rani Padmavati to devise some means to save the 7annas from going to ruins. At that juncture, when she was badly in need of money to pay off her husband’s creditors, she was offered a loan from the 9 annas co-sharers, (Kumar Kalanand and Kirtyanand) on the condition that she would bring the 7annas estate (her husband’s share) under the Court of wards and would give the lease of 7annas to the 9 annas for a period of 12 years. She agreed to these conditions. She filed a suit for partition of the 7annas on behalf of her son in 1903. This suit, i.e. case no 122/2 of 1903 was mutually compromised on 14/8/1903. Chandranand Singh’s share was declared to be 3½annas out of the 7annas of his father. It was also agreed upon, that a monthly allowance of Rs.-500/- would be paid to Rani Padmavati till she lived. As agreed upon earlier, the 9 annas took lease of the 7annas, for a period of 12 years starting from 25.3.1905. It was also agreed upon, that till the liquidation of the debts of 7annas, the entire 7annas would be managed by a common receiver.
From 1902 Kumar Chandranand Singh lived with his mother while his father lived separately at a distance, mostly at Jasidih, near Deoghar. Padmavati moved between Ramnagar, Bhagalpur and Vindhyachal, trying frantically, various doctors, quacks, Vaidyas, Tantriks, saints and magicians to cure her son of his disability or at least make him capable enough to produce an heir.
As I have already stated, relations between the Raja Sahab and Rani Padmavati Devi were far from amicable. When she sided with her son in order to save the estate and tried to control the extravagance of her husband, he grew to dislike her even more. He threatened Padmavati that he would marry again and produce a co-sharer to her son’s legacy. At this Padmavati went as far as to get her husband examined on the sly (when he was in a slumber, under the effects of cocaine) by a doctor ( Dr. Sanderson) who gave a certificate of his impotency that had developed due to over-indulgence and use of drugs like cocaine and Bhang. In anger she threw a copy of the report at her husband’s face and dashed out of his residence. This incident took place some time during 1903.
Rani Padmavati was extremely religious and she spent most of her time at Vindhyachal. She was devoted to the Devi enshrined at Vindhyachal and used to bear the entire expenditure of her elaborate annual Pujas in the months of Chaitra and Ashwin. Girija Dutt Jha Baidik, of Mahesi was a Tantrik who lived near Rani Padmavati who had employed him for Pujas and Purascharan, especially for the well being of her only son Chandranand. Girija Dutt was hated by Padmanand who had demanded his immediate removal from the household of Padmavati. This Girija Dutt Jha later became the chief instrument in the establishment of religious institutions made by the Rani.
She was extremely fond of her only son Chandranand and willed her entire Stridhan to him on 27.1.1908. But Chandranand died, soon after in august 1908. This unfortunate incident had a very adverse effect on her health. She started suffering from fever and Asthma.
She established a religious institution at Banaras and executed a deed of trust in favour of the institution, just two days prior to her death. She installed an idol of Tara Bhagwati at a temple called Tara Mandir at Nepali Khapra Mohalla, Banaras. After the death of her son she gave in Samarpan, Daan and Devottar, all her Stridhan in favour of the Tara Bhagavati.
The collector of Bhagalpur, Mahamahopadhyaya Krishna Singh Thakur of Rajgram Bhour[4], Girija Dutt Jha Baidik of Mahesi in Bhagalpur, and Babu Jaganath Prasad pleader of Bhagalpur were appointed as the four trustees of Tara Mandir.
Through the trust of Tara Bhagawati, Rani Padmavati provided for the regular Puja and Bhograg of the deity and maintenance of the temple. Apart from this she also directed and provided for daily lodging and food for at least 25 maithil Brahmins around the year.
For this she gave away a total of Rs.130000/- in property and cash. This included, apart from gold and jewellery about 800 to 1000 bighas of private land as Kamat and a large number of cattle.
After Chandranand’s death she became disconsolate. Weeping and lying about, she spent her days in mourning. For six months she did not converse and only took milk. She died of grief.
Her husband saw her, neither at the death of their son, nor after it.
In November 1904, Padmanand Singh married for the fourth time. His fourth wife was named Rani Padma-Sundari. She was the daughter of Bhuwanweswari Dutt Misra of Satlakha who belonged to the Sodarpur-raiaam Mool. A son was born to Rani Padmasundari on the 12th of january1906. He was named Kumar Surjanand Singh.
In the meantime, on 26/9/1905, Padmanand Singh, in order to prevent the ruin of the 7annas, conveyed his own 3½annas, to Kumar Chandranand Singh, subject to a monthly allowance of Rs.-4000/- for himself and Rs.-300/- for Padmasundari and some other conditions. Now Chandranand Singh became the master of entire 7annas of the estate and it was placed under the management of the court of wards. Kumar Chandranand Singh died in august 1908, issueless, On the Kusi- amawvasya day.
Now Raja Padmanand Singh was left with nothing but a monthly maintenance allowance of Rs.-4000/- which was a meager amount when compared with the expensive ways of the Raja. He now left Jasidih and came back to Deorhi Ramnagar in 1910. The financial condition of the Raja was such that one Sujayat Ali, Munshi at Deorhi Ramnagar, approached Raja Krityanand Sinha in April 1909 to purchase the elephants and the landau of the Raja to enable him to come to Ramnagar from Baidyanath junction. But his financial problems were not believed to be true, by many. Mr. Macgregor, the receiver of the 7annas estate remarked, “The Raja was, I fancy, put to difficulties.” It is true that since 1906, his allowances were also attached by his creditors, and were released just before his death in 1912.
He arrived at Purnea in Oct 1909 and put up at the Maranga-house of Mr. Charles Shillingford, an elite and Zamindar of Purnea. He stayed there for many months before shifting to Ramnagar. It seems that he hesitated in coming to Deorhi Ramnagar without the assurance and moral support of his step brothers at Champanagar.
Finally he came back to Ramnagar with Rani Padmasundari and the boy Surjanand. He even tried to patch up his relations with his step mother Rani Sitabati and her sons, and visited them on the occasion of the Upanayan ceremony of Kumar Ramanand, the eldest son of Raja Kalanand Sinha of Champanagar.
Raja Padmanand was already suffering from gout. He complained of a burning sensation in his throat which often gave him sleepless nights. In spite of several kinds of treatment, his condition deteriorated, day by day and he became a very sick man with various ailments. He fell seriously ill in 1912. At that time he was under the treatment of the civil surgeon who advised that he be shifted to Purnea. So he was carried in a precarious condition to Purnea on a car of the Srinagar estate on 18/6/12, but he died on the way. He was cremated in a most ordinary manner at Biwigunge, on the banks of the river.
His estranged wife Padmavati had died Earlier, at Benaras on 22/4/12. He was survived by his daughter Motidai, daughter-in-law Chandravati, his fourth wife Padmasundari and a son, Kumar Surjanand Singh.
Raja Padmanand Singh’s widow, Rani Padmasundari, who had no estate or property of her own, had no recourse but to incur debts to maintain her household. She had been left with nothing but a monthly allowance of Rs.-300/- only. Her step daughter-in-law, the lady Chandravati declared openly that Surjanand was an illegitimate son of Padmanand and as such also declared the marriage null and void.
The collector of Bhagalpur Mr. Sen wrote to the commissioner on the subject.
“Undoubtedly the above allowance (Rs.300/-) is far too small for a lady of her position. The history of the case shows that she has been the victim of heartless and callous cruelty on the part of the Raja from the beginning. He married her only to spite his first wife, and most probably at a time when he knew that his physical powers did not justify him in marrying, and in the end, he left her with a bare pittance though he reserved a monthly allowance of Rs. 4000/- to himself.”
Padmasundari filed an application before the collector of Bhagalpur on 22.12.1915 to the effect that she had been advised by eminent counsel and Vakeels of Calcutta high court that her minor son Suryanand had a very strong claim to the entire 7annas share of the Banaili Raj but as the said share was under the court of wards she would not bring a suit if proper arrangements were made for her son’s maintenance and education and the payment of her debts and her son’s right to get possession of the estate as heir of Raja Padmanand Sinha Bahadur presumably after the death of Rani Chandravati be recognized. She contested that Padmanand Sinha had conveyed his 3½annas to Chandranand Singh after Padmasundari had conceived Surjanand in her womb. According to authorities of the Hindu law, a Hindu son had vested rights in the joint family property from the time of his conception.
It was arranged finally that she got a raise in her monthly allowance. Now Rani Padmasundari started drawing a monthly allowance of 1000/-. Out of this Rs.-500/- was paid by 7annas and the other five hundred by the 9 annas estate.
Ever since the death of her husband, Padmasundari’s only source of solace and consolation was her only son. She did not leave a single stone unturned to give her son, education and training befitting the position of the family. The young Kumar Surjanand Singh was very intelligent and a promising boy. But it was very unfortunate that he succumbed to an illness and passed away on 11.9. 1919.[5]
The recently set allowance was stopped after the death of her son. The Rani was again in difficulties with her old maintenance of Rs.-300/- only and once again she made a representation to the court of wards. The court of wards agreed to pay off her debts.
Being pushed against walls, due to her financial difficulties she started to think about her own legal rights in the 7annas estate. Rumours were hot that she would file a suit for the claim of her rights in the estate. At one point she was even persuaded to sell off her inheritance rights in the 7annas, to the 9 annas in lieu of the settlement of her debts and a handsome monthly allowance.
Krityanand Sinha, on one hand was very sympathetic to her and never refused her any advances that were asked by her. She too, depended completely on him for advice and counsel. On the other hand he was very apprehensive of her moves. If ever she surrendered her rights to some proprietors of the 9 annas as she was offered by Kalanand and his son, there was every risk that these members of the 9 annas would meddle with the affairs of the 7annas and create chaos and trouble for the estate. Raja Krityanand wanted to keep the estate intact, for joint benefits which was also in keeping with the policy of the government. He was the sole reversioner of Rani Chandravati, and his rights would be affected if Padmasundari would assert her share in the 7annas or make any transactions of it. He therefore took up the policy of helping her in getting a handsome allowance, which would keep her satisfied and silent.
Finally Padmasundari settled down at Bhagalpur with an additional monthly allowance of Rs. 1200 and a separate house to dwell in, both of which was given to her by Raja Kirtyanand for her life-time. Rani Padmasundari died in 1962.


Rani Chandravati Devi

Rani Chandravati alias Shashirama was born in 1891(shaka-1813). Her maiden name was Ganga. At the age of ten she was married to Kumar Chandranand Singh of Banaili. The ceremony took place at Vindhyachal in Uttar Pradesh where Rani Padmavati lived with her son.
Through this marriage Chandravati inherited a vast legacy. Yet the marriage in itself may be considered to be very unfortunate. Kumar Chandranand Singh was mentally a retarded person; in fact he was an idiot. Although he had grown up in age he was crippled mentally and physically both. Best doctors of India had examined him and declared his case to be hopeless.
Kumar Chandranand Singh was a good looking boy in his early childhood. Padmanand loved him deeply and called him ‘Polkha’. Much effort was made to educate the young prince. He was entrusted under the care of his father’s cousin, Saahitya-Saroj Kamlanand Singh, for his basic education. But Kamlanand failed to teach him more than a single line of a poem. He gave up finally.
Padmanand Singh made another effort by keeping him at Purnea, for sometime and hiring able tutors to educate him, at least in the basics. But nothing could be done. Yet his mother Padmavati never gave up hope. She went from place to place in search of a savior (Doctor, Hakim, Vaidya, Tantrik and Saints) who could cure her only son. It was for this purpose that she had come to stay at Vindhyachal, where regular Purascharan and prayers were performed for the above purpose.
Padmavati had been told by some saintly person that Chandranand would be cured after marriage. Padmavati tried in vain, to make her son capable enough to produce a child and future heir. But Chandravati’s marriage proved to be a complete failure.
When Kumar Chandranand Singh died in the year 1908, Chandravati succeeded to his entire share of 7annas in the estate. She was then a minor, and the court of wards continued to hold the estate until she became a major on 1/4/1913. But she declared herself, a disqualified proprietor and applied to the board of revenue to retain charge of her estate. This was accordingly done and the court of wards continued to hold the 7annas estate. Later Chandravati received the title of “Rani” from the Government.
Rani Chandravati was an educated lady. She had received proper training to deal with the intricacies of Zamindari works and knew Hindu, Urdu and Persian.
In March 1922 Chandravati applied to the honorable board of revenue of the province of Bihar and Orissa, to grant her sanction to sell off a portion of the 7annas to pay off her husband’s debts. Out of the two joint reversioners of Rani Chandravati, Kalanand was in favour of the sale and was ready to buy jointly with Kirtyanand or even alone. But the junior reversioner Kirtyanand was against it and pleaded that Chandravati was not in real need of money and that she was not pressed upon by her creditors, to pay off her loans. So there was no call of money. Later when Kalanand repeated his offer and was ready to pay 42 lacs, Kirtyanand also offered the same. But the letter of Kirtyanand to Mr. Hammond the chief secretary, board of revenue, reveals his true intentions. He was willing to sanction the sale of 3 annas of Chandravati to the 9 annas on cash payment of 10 lacs and liquidation of her debts to 9 annas that stood at about 38 lacs at that time. He was also willing to pay her from the 9 annas a handsome allowance of 5000/- per month besides other expenses that were a charge on the 7annas. But he wanted unconditional surrender of the remaining 4 annas to himself as sole reversioner of Chandravati. Thus he aspired to hold to his sole share, 10 annas of the estate.
At one time, he even wanted the sale to be made solely in his favour as he was the sole reversioner.
The board of revenue, however, thought it unwise to allow the sale. It felt that Chandravati’s advantages by the sale (which it admitted) were less than the disadvantages to others and mainly to the estate which would undergo a large risk of division and disruption. The board of revenue (in its order dated 25.1.23) said that in order to save the Banaili estate from being broken up, the government had made special efforts, by taking charge of the 7annas, and by raising a loan from the 9 annas, at an interest rate of 5% per annum (whose main interest in it was to save the break up or prevent outsiders to hold the property). The placing of 7annas in the hands of 9 annas on lease was the only correct way for easy liquidation of its loan in the next 40 years. The proposal of sale was disallowed on 25.1.1923.
After the death of Raja Kalanand Sinha in 1922, Kirtyanand became the sole reversioner to Chandravati’s estate.
In 1928, Chandravati complained that the court of wards had not looked after her estate very well and had not done any thing to reduce her debts. When she wrote to the board of revenue complaining about the present, past and apprehended future management of the 7annas Banaili estate, she actually wanted to raise the annual rental payable to her to 500000/- from 375000/-. Rani Chandravati had been receiving from the court of wards, a monthly allowance of Rs. 3000/- and an annual allowance of Rs. 4000/- for her extraordinary expenses.
But Ramanand (son of Raja Kalanand Sinha) wrote to Mr. Y. A. Godbole, the manager, “She is labouring under a grave illusion as to the net income of her estate and the profit it yields to the 9 annas.” He added, “Before I give my views on the proposals contained in the memorial, I would point that when 24 years ago my father and my uncle agreed to lend a large sum of money to the proprietors of 7annas estate, they did so to save it from bankruptcy and disruption. It is wrong for any one to suggest that my father and uncle did it purely with selfish motives. They were inspired by the desire of saving a branch of the Banaili family from ruin and they wanted to protect its property from eventually falling into the clutches of outsiders and Mahajans. But for the timely assistance given by them which meant their raising a big loan themselves on the mortgage of their own property, the 7annas estate would have ceased to exist long ago.”
Ramanand Singh was of the opinion that his father and uncle had made a great sacrifice by giving timely loan to the 7annas and having saved it from disruption. However when gains were expected to come their way, he became a loser as the untimely death of Kalanand had made Kirtyanand the sole reversioner. The latter would reap the profits of the earlier sacrifice and Ramanand would be a loser along with his brother. He therefore wished to buy a share of the 7annas in fulfillment of his share of loans to Chandravati. He proposed the same to Kirtyanand. This being done, he would accept destiny even if only Kirtyanand were to succeed Chandravati. However the other possibility was that Kirtyanand would die before Chandravati. In that case he would be satisfied with his share of 1/7. Among the other co-reversioners was his brother, Kumar Krishnanand, and his cousins (sons of Kirtyanand) Kumar Shyamanand, Kumar Bimalanand, Kumar Taranand, Kumar Durganand, and Kumar Jayanand (Kumar Adyanand was not born then). He insisted on purchasing as much of 7annas as would suffice his share of loan to them.
On 12.10.28, in order to pay off the just and legal debts of her late husband, (which had been contracted mainly by her father-in-law and had come to her husband as inheritance) Chandravati sold 3 annas of her share in favour of the 9 annas share holders. Now she was left with 4 annas.
Mostly she lived at Bhagalpur, where she had built for herself, a palace called Chandravati-house, within the old Adampur house-compound of her father-in-law. During her entire life she visited Deorhi Ramnagar only once (so it is said). She never stayed there. Yet the establishment at the Deorhi was kept and religious institution like the Devighara and Gosown-ghar were maintained as before. She also continued to bear the expenses of the two Navaratra in Vindhyachal, which had been started by Rani Padmavati.
She has to her credit many religious and public works. In 1921 a reservoir at Kamakhya-sthan in Guwahati (in Assam) was constructed in order to help the inhabitants. Water was not available at hand and had to be carried from a much lower area. Arrangements were made for water to be pumped up from the original source into the reservoir and the problem of water was solved. Later in 1922 she performed a Pokhar Yagya at the same place. Rani Chandravati donated one lac of rupees to the government for the management of a middle school which she opened in her own name in her native village Koilakh in 1924. She kept English as the medium of education in order to facilitate maithil students to learn the modern language. This school runs successfully even today. Next, in 1934 she donated a well furnished house at Deoghar to the Dwaari Pandaa of Raj Banaili, to be used for the benefit of pilgrims who came to them for the worship of Baba Baidhyanath. This lord Baidhyanath of Deoghar has been a family god of the Banaili clan. She also donated a few lacs to the Shivtarani Women’s hospital in Bhagalpur.
Rani Chandravati’s own religious institution was the Shyama Mandir trust at Banaras. On an auspicious Monday in the brighter half of the month of Phalgun in 1923, a stone idol of kali (by the name of Chandravati Shyama) and a Linga of Shiv (by the name of Chandreshwar Mahadeo) were enshrined in a temple at Kachouri Gali, Banaras. Idols of Parwati and Ganesh were also installed. Later in 1934 idols of Ram, Sita, Laxman and Hanuman were also put up in a temple of white marble within the same complex. She also enshrined Laxmi (by the name of Malati Maha Laxmi) in remembrance of her brother’s daughter Malati, whom she had brought up as her own child and who had died recently.
The Rani set aside 8½lacs of rupees for the up keep and maintenance of the Shyama Mandir. Later she added another 1¼lacs. She executed a trust for the maintenance of the Shyama Mandir on 23/2/1934. The official trustee of Bengal was appointed as the chief trustee for the above trust.
Kumar Ramanand Singh Bahadur of Banaili, Babu Surja Prasad, lawyer, of Bhagalpur, Jagdish Thakur of Singhwar and Umanath Jha were appointed the trustees of Shyama Mandir.
The Kumars (Ramanand and Krishnanand) agreed to pay Rs. 6000/- in perpetuity from their share of the Raj, annually to the Shyama-mandir. This agreement was made on the eve of the sale of 3 annas to the 9 annas in 1928. The Chandravati Charitam records this as an attempt of the Rani to secure the co-operation and attention of the Kumars and their children in future generations.
Besides maintenance of the temple complex and the daily Puja and Bhog-Rag, She had provided the interest of Rs.100000/-, to be given annually for the maintenance of the Sivtarini Hospital at Bhagalpur. Rs.-300/- per year was given for the de-silting and repair of the reservoir she had made at Kamakhya-sthan. Within the temple complex itself a Sanskrit Vidyalaya and a charitable dispensary was opened and maintained by the trust. Hundreds of Brahmins were fed everyday and blankets were distributed on the occasion of the annual Shradh of Kumar Chandranand Singh and Rani Chandravati.
Later she made a will on, 14/1/1936 mentioning that, leaving aside an amount of Rs.-54325/-, all her wealth ¼L=h /ku½ would be given to the Shyama Mandir trust. She wrote explicitly that all her movables and immovable like:
1. Money saved from her maintenance allowance, and surplus income accruing from 4 annas estate, at the end of every year.
2. Gahna.
3. Jewels.
4. Silverware
5. Furniture.
6. And savings would go for the benefit of the trust.
For the other Rs.54325/- the following instruction were given in the will.
1. Rs.2000/- to be spent for her Dah-Karma.
2. Rs.2325/- to be spent for her Kshayah and Warshik Sraddh.
3. Rs. 10,000/-to be spent for her Gaya Shradh.
4. Rs. 25000/- to be spent for the main Shradh at Banaras.
5. Rs.2000/- to be spent on Brahmin Bhoj and feeding of the poor at Bhagalpur, on the occasion of Shradh.
6. Rs.1000/- to be spent on Brahmin Bhoj and feeding of the poor at Ramnagar, on the occasion of Shradh.
7. Rs.5000/- to be spent for the Shradh of her mother when she would die.
8. Rs.4000/- remuneration to the main Shradh-Karta.
9. Rs.1000/- remuneration to the Gaya Shradh-Karta.
10. Rs. 1000/- remuneration to the Warshik Shradh-Karta.

She appointed Kashi Nath Jha, her nephew, as her Dah-Karta and Umanath Jha as Shardh-Karta. Chandravati started suffering from fever in 1936. At that time she was at Bhagalpur. In the morning of Saturday Magh-shukla-navami, 1/2/1936, her condition suddenly deteriorated and she died. Her death was very sudden as is evident from the telegram of Mr. Daunt (the then manager of the estate) to Kirtyanand Singh. The wire read, “Rani Chandravati died suddenly this morning.” The sudden death of Chandravati led all the higher government officials to become very suspicious in the matter. The Civil Surgeon immediately came to the spot of death, and expressed his wish to examine the dead-body. The close relatives of the Rani implored the civil surgeon to examine the body without touching it (according to Maithil customs, a dead body was not to be touched by any one except the nearest kith and kin). The Civil Surgeon complied and made his examination from a distance. He did not find any sign of use of poison or anything else that would suggest abnormal death. Rani Chandravati was cremated at the banks of Ganga. Kashinath Jha lit the funeral pyre and the Shradh was performed by Umanath Jha, as per the wish of late Rani Chandravati.
Kumar Surjanand had already died in September 1919. It was said that he had been treated for the wrong disease. Rani Kalavati (wife of Kalanand) wrote to Krityanand in 1919 “He was not treated for the disease he had but for another ailment. I did not speak this out for fear of bad name. But what I feared happened and the blame fell on my head.” It seems that Surjanand had died rather suddenly and mysteriously. As Raja Kalanand was the next reversioner to Chandrawati and Surjanand by Hindu law, he and his wife may have been blamed for being responsible for his death.
But in reality and effect the main benefactors turned out to be Bhimnath Mishra and his brothers who smashed all hopes of Kirtyanand Sinha to succeed to the entire estate of Chandrawati after her death in 1936. On the basis of the newly introduced bill on the rights of a Hindu woman to her parental property, Bhimnath Mishra and his brothers fought for the rights of their late mother Moti Daijee and took away 2½ annas out of the 4 annas. Only a meager 1½ annas were left with Kirtyanand and that too, because of a timely compromise in 1936.
The house of Sodarpur-Sarisab (Lalganj) which succeeded to 2½ annas of Rani Chandravati’s share in the Raj, through Rajkumari Moti Daijee, came to be known as the Ramnagar branch of Banaili Raj. They later purchased another ½ annas from Kumar Ramanand Sinha and established themselves as the 3 annas proprietors of the Raj. Among the sons of Moti Daijee, the eldest Babu Bhimnath Misra became the Deputy Inspecter General of Police and was held in high-repute as a capable officer. The second, Babu Buddhinath Misra resided at Deorhi Ramnagar and took care of the religious institutions of his Late Maternal Grandfather. He was also a member of the District Board at Purnea. The youngest, Babu Ravaneswar Misra joined as an Advocate of the High Court. He was also an active worker of the Hindu Mahasabha. From 1952 to 1970 he was a member of the Legislative Council of Bihar.
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Deorhi Banaili Champanagar –

Rani Sitabati Devi of Koshikapur

Kumar Padmanand Singha had been privately informed about the serious condition of the ailing Raja Leelanand Singha. He was present at his death bed and took immediate and complete control of the situation, soon after the Raja died. He plainly declared that Rani Sitabati was not his stepmother. So there was no question of recognizing his stepbrother and sisters. He ordered their immediate removal from the palace. There were very strong rumours in the air that the heir apparent had planned the entire family to be assassinated. Amidst confusion and chaos, Rani Sitabati fled with her children to Bhagalpur where she put up at the Chhowni house of the Raj. Siva Shankar Sahay, a lawyer at Bhagalpur, and an associate of her late husband came to her rescue and provided her with valuable counsel and help.
In the meantime, the remains of Raja Leelanand Sinha were given a befitting funeral. His last rites were performed by Kumar Padmanand Sinha on the banks of the Ganga at Bhagalpur.
Now, Kumar Padmanand Sinha declared himself as the sole heir of Late Raja Leelanand, completely disowning his step-brother and step-mother, who lived in a pathetic condition within the confines of Chhowni Kothi where they were put under virtual house arrest by Padmanand.
As I have already written before, Rani Sitabati was in an advanced stage of pregnancy. Bereft of power and wealth, she led a miserable life. She was completely cut off from the outside world and it is said that she was not allowed, even a midwife, at the time of her delivery. Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha was born posthumously to late Raja Leelanand Sinha Bahadur on 23.9.1883.
Kumar Padmanand Sinha maintained his old stand and refused to recognize the claims of Kumar Kalanand and Kumar Kirtyanand as legal heirs of late Raja Leelanand Sinha. He went farther ahead and declared them illegitimate, derecognizing his father’s fourth marriage.
Finally, in 1888 a suit was instituted by the Kumars, Kalanand and Kirtyanand the minors, through their mother Rani Sitabati, in the court of district judge of Bhagalpur, to claim their rights in the estate of their father. This ended in a compromise decree, under which Kumar Kalanand and Kumar Kirtyanand were declared owners of 9 annas (56.25%) of the Banaili Raj and Raja Padmanand Singh of the remaining 7 annas (43.75%).
Rani Sitabati, miserable and poor, could no longer bear the burden of the expenses of the court, and agreed to this compromise, thus foregoing 10.42% of the share of her minor sons.
Through the compromise, her marriage to her late husband had been recognized by her opponents as well as the government and the honour of a Hindu Brahmin widow had been saved. Now she wanted to gain back her lost prestige and position as Rani of Banaili. She wanted to install her sons at the helm of affairs at the palace of Banaili, and she decided to come back to Deorhi Champanagar.
Being apprehensive about her smooth entry into the palace because of her step-son who resided at Ramnagar, only a mile north from Champanagar, she left her children behind at Bhagalpur, under the careful vigil of Siva Shankar Sahay. Her apprehensions were true as it was not easy for her to quash the obstructive designs of Raja Padmanand who tried his best to prevent her from getting possession of the Deorhi.
Finally she made a triumphant entry into Deorhi Champanagar, from where she had been led away by her late husband, many years ago.
Rani Sitabati brought up her children well. Both her sons began their primary education under the able tutorship of Awadh Bihari Sinha[6] who continued as their guardian and tutor during their schooling from the Zila School, Purnea. The younger son Kirtyanand went on with his studies and became a graduate from Allahabad University. In those days graduation was regarded as a matter of great prestige and pride.
Rani Sitabati married her elder daughter Laxmi to Padmanath Jha of Isahpur,[7] and the younger daughter Jamuna to Shambhu Nath Jha of Naruwaar.[8] Both the sons-in-law were high born Shrotriyas. But she preferred high born Yogya girls as brides for both her sons. Kumar Kalanand was married to the daughter of Vanshmani Jha[9] of Bharaam and Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha[10] to the daughter of Kunwar Jha[11] of Banu Chhapra.
Rani Sitabati had been married to Raja Leelanand to provide him with another son. From the very beginning of her married life, which was indeed short, she had lived amidst conspiracies and intrigues. These difficult circumstances had helped her in becoming very careful, shrewd and wise. She was a fine lady who understood the intricacies of the life of an able Zamindar. During the minority of her sons she carried on the Zamindari works with perseverance and tact. She carried herself well, in a manner that befitted a Regent and sat in Durbar. Although she was a staunch Hindu widow and fulfilled every thing that was expected from a widow like her. Yet she was compelled to abandon her Purdah to some extent, in order to be in direct touch with her subjects and sub-ordinates. When she sat in Durbar, a thin curtain of muslin separated her from the rest. Thus she maintained Purdah, in a symbolic way.[12]
At occasions, when she was expected to appear in public, she did so, with great poise and serenity. She dressed up in white with a veil covering her face and she held by chains, two tiger cubs that walked beside her, on either side, proclaiming her power and hold. She was greatly respected by her people.
During the period of scarcity and famine in 1892, Sir Charles Alfred Elliot, lieutenant Governor of Bengal motivated the well-to-do people of Bhagalpur to contribute towards relief works. On this occasion Sitabati donated Rs. 1000/- for the relief and rehabilitation of widows and women who could not appear in public. She was always eager to help towards the upliftment of women.
After her younger son became a major on 23.9.1904, she handed over the reins of government into the able hands of her sons. She withdrew completely from the life of a Zamindar, took to retirement and occupied herself in various religious pursuits[13]. She went on pilgrimages and spent most of her time in worshipping her favorite Lord Krishna and Radha.
She had started the construction of a temple complex at Champanagar in the year 1897. The first temple to be constructed within the complex was dedicated to Siva, who was named Seeteshwar Mahadev. This was followed by temples of Parvati, Ganesh, Bhairav and Hanuman. The complex was completed with the installation of idols of Radha-Krishna as the chief deity. The inscription on this temple reads thus:-
“On the Twefth day of the brighter half of the month of Chaitra in 1904A.D. Sitabati, the chief Queen of Raja leelanand constructed this temple of many stones and colours, with the help of various artisans and builders.”
She gifted all her Stridhan (including her personal Zamindari of Pirdouri), except her residential palace to the above deity and formed a Shebait system of management of the said temple complex, through two deeds of Arpan-nama on 8/11/1898 and 19/9/1925. Earlier, in 1872, her senior co-wife Chandeswari had constructed a Thakurbari at the site, where the new temple complex stood. But the Thakurbari building had fallen to ruins during the period of Sitabati’s stay at Asarganj and Chhowni Kothi. Now, she enshrined the Thakurbari idols in her new temple complex.
During the last years of her life, Rani Sitabati had to suffer the pangs of separation from her elder son, Kalanand who moved away from Deorhi Champanagar in the year 1918 following a partition of residences and movables, with Kirtyanand. Rani Sitabati could not even think of leaving Deorhi Champanagar which she had gotten back after such efforts. She continued to live at Champanagar with her younger son.
Rani Sitabati used to get a personal monthly allowance of Rs. 500 from the 16 annas Banaili Estate, since the compromise decree of 7/9 annas, and another thousand, out of the personal allowances of her sons. In 1920 she demanded an increase in her allowances. Her elder son, Kalanand, opposed this raise, as he was led to think that it was particularly and purposely planned by Kirtyanand Sinha to take advantage of the money sanctioned, as he continued to live with his mother at Champanagar and had control over her affairs. However after the intervention of Mr. Sen, Commissioner, on 14.9.21 an allowance of 3500/- (inclusive of 500 from 16 annas) was sanctioned to her from 1.1.21.
A large Tank was dug at Banaili Champanagar and Rani Sitabati Performed the very auspicious Chaatuscharan Yagya on its banks in the year 1922. On this occasion water of all the sacred rivers as well as the ocean was poured into the tank amidst elaborate rituals and the Tank was named Ganga-Sagar. Even today a large number of devotees bathe in the tank on Magh Purnima day when a small Mela is also put up at the site.
The untimely death of Raja Kalanand in 1922, put Rani Sitabati under severe pain and sorrow and she lost her health. After a short illness, she died on 28.9.1926, on the Jitiya day.
In her memory “Sitabati M.E.School” was started at Dharhara in Mullehpur circle of the Raj.


Kalanand and Kirtyanand (The Nine Annas) -

Kumar Kalanand Sinha was only three years senior to Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha. Both these brothers were brought up beneath one roof. Brotherly care and love for each other, developed between them, naturally. They meant everything to their widowed mother, whose singular purpose of life was to bring them up, in the best possible manner. Both the brothers lived and grew together. Kalanand was not as bright as his junior brother and was quite frail in body and mind, as compared to his brother who was endowed with a strong physique. So he became more of a friend than a typical big brother who protects his younger brother and takes pride in showing off his seniority. He began to adore the abilities of Kirtyanand and, gradually came to depend on him for advice and support. Kirtyanand, finding a very loving and caring big brother in Kalanand, loved him dearly. He understood his special responsibilities towards the management of day to day problems of his brother and took upon himself to look after his elder brother. In this way a perfect sense of understanding and oneness developed between them which found stronger bonds when they had to face the onslaughts of their step-brother, quite early in life.
Together, they had lived through the days of poverty, when to fulfill their childish demands; their mother had to sell away her jeweled bangles to buy them a landau carriage. Together they went to school, afraid of being kidnapped by the men of Padmanand. Although they were too young to properly understand and apprehend the unfortunate implications, in case their mother failed to prove their legitimate rights, yet they must have hoped together that their mother’s problems would end some day. Finally when the case was compromised and together, by inheriting 9 annas[14] of their father’s estate, they might have made many plans for the future, together.
This sense of togetherness that had developed between the brothers resulted in being very beneficial to the entire family in the long run. Some very important steps, that they took together, saved the Banaili Raj from disruption and fragmentation, and kept it intact till its very end.
According to the terms of the Sulehnama of 1892[15], Kalanand and Kirtyanand were jointly entitled to a 9 annas share of Banaili Raj. But it was decided, that the estate would continue with a common manager, till the youngest share holder, Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha, would become a major on 23.9.1904. This was done mainly for the convenient payment of the debts of the estate. The 9 annas proprietors were free to have separate management of their share, after 23.9.1904. This would mean that the estate would be divided by metes and bounds. Kirtyanand and Kalanand, as advised by their mother and the manager Shiv Shankar Sahay, opted to take a lease of the 7 annas for a period of 12 years. They agreed to give a large sum of Rs.4900000/- as loan to the 7 annas to satisfy its various creditors. Now the 9 annas became the sole creditors to the 7 annas. When the term of the above lease was over, a fresh lease of the 7 annas was executed on 1.9.1916 for a period of another 12 years.
These two leases were solely responsible in keeping the estate intact. The advantages of joint management was noticed and appreciated by the Zamindars as well as the Government. In future, the Government made it a policy to discourage, as far as possible, every attempt of the partition of the Estate.
Today, when the Banaili Raj is no more, every descendent of the family is still united under one name. Every descendent may claim, and rightly, to be a part of what used to be, one of the largest Zamindari estates of Bihar. Many descendents of the Srinagar branch, whom I know of, now prefer to be held as a member of the Banaili family, a name, which had been given up by their forefathers for making a separate entity i.e. the Srinagar Raj.
After the two brothers had established themselves at Deorhi Champanagar and had successfully consolidated their position as leading Zamindars of the province they decided to commemorate their success. The new township that had developed around their fortress called Deorhi Champanagar was named ‘Banaili[16] ’, in remembrance of the old village of their ancestors. Amidst celebrations related to the foundation of the new ‘Banaili’, a beautiful idol of Devi Durga, in white stone was enshrined within the Debighara. This installation was made in the year 1908[17]. The inscription on the wall of the temple reads thus:- ‘among the Kings of Aryavarta, the Raja of Banaili, the very generous Leelanand Sinha, realized the worthlessness of the materialistic world. So he remembered the lord Visnu and discarded his body on the banks of the River Ganga. Thus he attained salvation.
His two sons who were like God, in beauty and radiance, were generous, quiet, virtuous, and possessed fire like valour to destroy the power of the enemy. Being fond of observing the duties of a King as is prescribed in the texts, they crushed the pride of other Rajas with their power and influence. They worshipped the gods with true devotion.
After satisfying the saint-like Brahmins with many gifts they invited many men from far away countries who were fine artisans and constructed this Palace-like temple of Durga.
In Shaka 1830, on the full moon day in the month of Chaitra, which fell on a wednesday, the goddess Durga was enshrined within the temple by the well known Raja Kalanand Sinha and Raja Kirtyanand Sinha who thus lighted the lamp of good fame of their family.’
It was during the days of the togetherness of Kalanand and Kirtyanand, that the name and fame of the Banaili Raj, reached its greatest heights. One of the most remarkable Public works which goes to the credit of Banaili Raj is the Tej Narayan Banaili College of Bhagalpur. This college was originally named as “Tej Narayan Jubilee College”. It was started by Babu Tej Narayan Singh. Later, in 1909, when the institution was dying away for lack of funds, it was revived by the efforts of Kumar Kalanand Sinha and Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha,[18] through their munificent donations.
In 1920, a donation of Rs.20,000 was made to the Patna University for opening of a Readership in Indian economics and Rs.5000 for the purchase of books for the economics section of the University library[19].
Among the other main contributions was the donation of Rs. 1 Lac to the Prince of Wales medical college Patna and another Lac to the Benares Hindu University.
There was such a strong bond of friendship and brotherly love between the brothers that they were always ready to make sacrifices for each other. Kirtyanand Sinha has narrated an incident in his book ‘Purnea a Shikarland’, where, during an accident, he was saved by his brother.
“I had come home to enjoy the summer vacation. A distant relation of mine went into a garden with his muzzle-loader capped and loaded. I also accompanied him and was playing near the gun, when it suddenly went off. The shots struck me in the arm, but luckily I was too near its muzzle for the shots to expand. All the same, half an inch of flesh from under my arm was carried away and my clothes caught fire. Had it not been for my elder brother, who was close to me I should have been very badly scorched, for the whole sleeve of my shirt had by that time been burnt off. My brother ran up to me and tore the shirt from off my body.”
In 1910, the names of both, Kalanand Sinha and Kirtyanand Sinha were proposed to the government for the title of Raja. The government was in favour of conferring the title on Kirtyanand as he was more into public life and had great popularity in the province. When Kirtyanand came to learn of the intentions of the government, he tried hard and convinced the senior good officials, that it was more desirable, for the benefit of the family and estate that Kumar Kalanand would be decorated with the title instead of himself. He insisted on his brother’s name being sent up to the viceroy for the title, and finally succeeded. When Kalanand was decorated with the title of ‘Raja’ and their manager, with the title of Rai Bahadur, the latter wrote to Raja Kalanand Sinha “I am glad to say that the title has been conferred upon you instead of your brother though we would have been glad to see both of you made Rajas. But since that would have been expecting too much and probably none of you would have got it. We are thankful to government for bestowing the title on you instead of your brother. Though it would be too long to say as to what happened previous to the honour’s list being out. I can say this that your good brother had quite realized the intention of the government and did what was only proper to my mind. Government has increased the peace and happiness of the family by conferring the title on you as Raja of the family instead of on your brother. I cannot let this opportunity slip without congratulating you on having a brother who is much devoted to you. I hope you will always remember this and feel as I do that your confidence is placed in a person who would do his duty by you, even at great sacrifices to himself when necessary”.
Thus, with faith and confidence in each other, Kalanand and Kirtyanand consolidated their estate and led their family to attain new heights in respect of riches and popularity.
But, in due course, differences started to crop up between their families and a time came when separation between the brothers became inevitable. Kalanand loved his brother from the core of his heart and saw to it that no misunderstanding grew between them, ever, till his eldest son Ramanand grew up and persuaded him to separate from his brother. Kumar Ramanand Sinha was very ambitious. By 1918, Ramanand had grown up into a young man, full of enterprise and zeal for life. He had his own ideas and did not agree at all with the present state of affairs, where he would have to be satisfied as a subordinate to his uncle. But when Kirtyanand came to know about his nephew’s inclinations towards profligacy, and tried to put a check on his adventures, he lost complete control over the boy. Ramanand rebelled and started expressing his intolerance and mistrust towards the present management and successfully influenced his parents. As a result, Kalanand drifted apart from Kirtyanand and sought a partition. The decision was taken while Kalanand was at Calcutta for treatment of his illness. He decided not to return to Deorhi Champanagar and went instead, to Bhagalpur and stayed at the Anand-Garh house. From here, under the influence of Kumar Ramanand, he wrote to his younger brother that he wanted to live separately.
Since long, there had been an under-current of jealousy and competitive rivalry between the families of both the brothers, which finally surfaced during the years of 1916-17-18 and added spark to the already inflammable circumstances.
Rani Prabhavati Devi, (wife of Kirtyanand) had been blessed with her first child (a daughter) in 1908, when she was nineteen years of age. In those days, a woman was expected to have her first baby by the time she was sixteen. This delay in childbirth, had led to various rumours within the palace. Rani Kalabati had already suggested a second marriage for Kirtyanand on the presumption that Prabhavati may be barren after all. This created misunderstandings between the two sisters-in-law.
Kalabati had two sons already, Ramanand and Krishnanand. They would succeed to the entire estate, in case Kirtyanand had no son. When finally Kirtyanand was blessed with a child, she was a girl (Ganga Dai) and did not improve the situation as far as the succession of the estate was concerned.
Kirtyanand Sinha, who was a well educated person and had brushed aside the proposals of remarriage, was also affected by the question of succession after the birth of his second and third daughter in 1910 and 1912. He ordered his eldest daughter to be dressed in male attire on public occasions, where she would appear, before the people, as a boy prince. This act may have made the people to believe that he had a male heir, yet it did nothing to stop his brother’s family from making ambitious plans of inheriting the whole estate.
Much to the joy and relief of Raja Kirtyanand Sinha, he was blessed with a son in 1914, who was named Kumar Kamakhyanand Sinha. But the boy did not live, and died a sudden death in 1915. This untimely death of the heir apparent left the parents completely disconsolate and shattered.
It is said that the Rajmata, Rani Sitabati, sensed some foul play in the manner of the sudden death of the child. A maid servant of Rani Kalabati, one Ameliya-mai, was blamed for having practiced witchcraft on the boy prince. Ameliya-mai was a favorite of Kalabati and had come from her father’s house, to stay with her, since the days of her marriage.
This Ameliya-mai, on being summoned by the Rajmata, took shelter with her mistress, who protected her and refused to let her go into the presence of the Rajmata to face a trial. Later she was sent away secretly to Bharam, her native village. These gestures on the part of Rani Kalabati, led to further misunderstandings.
The disconsolate Rani Prabhabati declared that she would not dwell any more, in the common Palace and demanded a new Palace to be built for her, where she could be safe. Moreover, she engaged the services of a Sadhu-tantrik, one Kalipada Sen Gupta of Bakulia near Asansole, who assured them, that he would appeal to the mother goddess to bless them with many sons and ensure their safety and long life.
A son was born to Kirtyanand Sinha in July 1916 and another in December 1918. The happy parents gave lavish presents to the Babajee of Asansol and a temple was built for the mother goddess at Bakulia. Rich properties were given away for the maintenance of the temple.
In the meantime a new palace[20] was made for Rani Prabhavati Devi where she came to live with her children.
All these developments created further mis-understandings within the families of both the brothers. Kalanand’s camp may have felt neglected due to the construction of a new palace, for Rani Prabhavati, and the Bakulia affair may have added to their mistrust. During the wedding celebrations of Kumar Ramanand in 1916, and the following prolonged ailment of Kalanand, the elder camp blamed the junior camp for indifference and lack of co-operation. Kalabati went so far as to suggest that witchcraft was practised on Kalanand for his serious illness, by the other camp.
The marriage ceremonies of the two elder daughters of Kirtyanand, Ganga Daijee and Saraswati Daijee had taken place in 1918. Even this was not relished by Kalavati who complained that according to seniority, her daughter Bhagirathi Daijee should have been married before Saraswati. Kirtyanand’s plea was that his brother’s family was away at Calcutta due to the latter’s illness and he thought it unwise to let go of an opportunity when a suitable bridegroom was made available. But he failed to convince the offended party. Kirtyanand had managed to procure a young, good-looking Shrotriya bridegroom, which was indeed an accomplishment for the house of Banaili in those days. Kirtyanand Sinha was also blamed for having celebrated the marriage ceremony of Kumar Ramanand Sinha in a most ordinary way, in 1916, in spite of the fact that the actual expenses had crossed an exorbitant Rs.1,04,000/-.
Kalanand Sinha always felt that when subscriptions and donations were made jointly, he did not get the credit due to him. People accepted Kirtyanand as the chief donor as the latter was more into public life. This lack of recognition may have been taken at heart by the young Ramanand.
On the other hand, Kirtyanand Sinha held his sister-in-law, Rani Kalavati, responsible for the above problems. Through her letters she had shown complete lack of confidence in Rani Sitabati, Jamuna Daijee, and Babu Shaktinath Jha, and was against the entire family. Kirtyanand wrote to the manager “I know my brother is not doing these, but there are mischievous heads at the back pulling the string.” According to him, Nirsoo Jha, the brother in law of Ramanand, was also in the conspiracy to separate the brothers. He also blamed Dewan Nath Prasad and Babu Anant Prasad, manager of Laxmipur for spoiling relations between him and his brother. According to Kirtyanand, even the manager A.B. Sinha wanted to use the separation as a device to usurp all power as the supreme common manager between hostile brothers. But when the manager saw Anant Prasad rise in power disproportionately, he realized his mistake and denied his support to the problem mongers. Kirtyanand feared that with the common management amidst fighting co-sharers (proprietors who opposed each other), only the power of the common manager would improve and rise to undesirable heights.
So he pleaded with his brother to stay together and to forgive him if he had wronged but Kalanand showed complete indifference and was not ready to reconsider anything.
The result of all these complaints was the in-evitable separation. Raja Kirtyanand Sinha wrote to Mr. M.G. Hallett, district magistrate and collector of Purnea, that there were certain points of difference between him and Raja Kalanand Sinha regarding the division of their movable property and other matters. He requested Mr. Hallett to intervene in the matter and endeavour to affect an equitable settlement. Mr. Hallett wrote to Kalanand and inquired about his opinion on the matter. Raja Kalanand accepted the proposal. Through this Arbitration Award of Mr. Hallett[21], which was completed on 24.8.1919, the brothers Kalanand and Kirtyanand separated, and put an end to their long togetherness. With this, ended the era of peace and tranquility. Henceforth, the pride and prestige of the house of Banaili never remained the same. It took to the road of feud, consistent quarrels and gradual decline.
Finally on 20.7.1920, due to the intervention of sir Edward Gait, the lieutenant governor of the province who came down to Purnea and smoothened matters and an agreement between two brothers was made to the effect that the management of the estate would remain common.
When finally peace was restored, both the brothers resumed visiting each other. When Kirtyanand went to see his brother at his new Deorhi which was named Garh-Banaili,[22] he was received well.


Raja Kalanand Sinha Bahadur

Raja Kalanand Sinha was born in 1880 at Deorhi Asargunj. He received his primary education at Zila School, Purnea. Although he was not a very bright student he could also write and speak English tolerably well. He was a fine motor car mechanic and could repair clocks and watches with skill. Kalanand had learnt the art of carving wood, ivory and soft stone. He made small artistic articles of the above. I have gone through his correspondences with his younger brother and the manager of the estate. These letters throw light on his personality and attitudes. Kalanand Sinha had great fascination for animals and birds. He had a collection of animals such as deer, monkeys and tiger cubs. Dogs were his favorite and he had more than a dozen of them, of various breeds. He was very possessive about “Moti Prasad”, his favourite Tusker elephant.
He had caught a couple of tiger cubs during one of his hunting expeditions. These were kept as his pets and later shifted to large cages within a park situated south of the Deorhi[23]. This park became famous as the “Baghva Bari”[24] and is known by this name even today. Although the tigers encaged there-in became unmanageable within a few years and had to be sent away as a gift to the Calcutta zoo. One of the tigers had actually attacked its keeper when the latter was administering food to the beast.
Kumar Kalanand Sinha was married to Rani Kalawati Devi[25] of Bharaam. Rani Kalawati belonged to the same family as Rani Chandrawati and was a second cousin to her. Kalanand Sinha had three sons, Kumar Ramanand, Kumar Krishnanand and Kumar Shivanand and three daughters, Bhagirathi, Tripura and Karpura.
On the 1st of January 1910 Kalanand was decorated with the title of Raja by the British government of India. He received his title (Khilat) at a Durbar held at Purnea for the special occasion.
Raja Kalanand Sinha was a man of very poor constitution. He had occasional spans of illness and never kept well. The condition of his health can be clearly understood by the fact that Rs.55753/1/- was spent on his treatment in 1918, alone. Raja Kalanand Singh was fond of music and dancing. He loved poetry. A book of poems and songs was published under his patronage in 1910. This book was named Kalanand Binod. This book is a collection of romantic poetry. Kalanand Vinod was compiled by Kumar Kirtyanand’s brother-in-law Sri Trilochan Jha of Betiah. This compilation was presented for the amusement of Raja Kalanand Sinha Bahadur, on the occasion of the latter’s coronation ceremony. In this book of love songs Sri Trilochan Jha had also put in many poems of his own, where he had used his name as Lochan. Under the patronage of Kalanand Sinha a group of intellectuals had formed a club within Deorhi Champanagar by the name of Subodhini Sabha. Nakchhedi Jha, (husband of Baba Dai, niece of Kalanand) whose several poems can be seen in the above mentioned book was the president of Subodhini Sabha.
Kalanand Sinha could play the Tabla well and was so fond of music and dancing that he could sit up for hours to watch these performances.
Kalanand Sinha was a simpleton at heart. He could very easily be influenced by his near and dear. Although he loved his younger brother with his heart, and perfect understanding prevailed between them regarding the management of the estate, he was persuaded by his elder son Kumar Ramanand Sinha, to seek separation from his brother.
He left Deorhi Champanagar in his younger brother’s share and constructed a new residential setup at village Sarra, near the township of Kasba, and named it Garh-Banaili. He moved into his new palace in 1920, but could not live long enough to see it completed. He died of pleurisy and displacement of heart, after an extended period of illness on Mahasaptami day, the 26th of September 1922.
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Honourable Raja Kirtyanand Sinha Bahadur B.A.

Kirtyanand Sinha was a posthumous child. He was born on 23/9/1883, almost four months after the death of his father.
Kirtyanand was born as a prince and grew up to become a Raja. Yet, he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Soon after the death of his father, his mother had been banished from the palace. She was confined within the premises of the Chhowni House at Bhagalpur. All her resources were cut off and her entire family was reduced to poverty. It was amidst such circumstances that Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha was born at the Chhowni Kothi. At that time, his step brother Padmanand’s cruelties had reached such heights that even a mid-wife was not allowed at the time of the delivery. Rani Sitawati had to manage every thing herself. It is said that ants had gathered around the new born baby during the long period of unconsciousness of the mother due to post child-birth fatigue. But the child lived and grew up to shine as the brightest star of the Banaili clan.
Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha received his primary education at the Purnea Zila School. He joined the Muir Central College, Allahabad, after passing the matriculation, and became a graduate of the Allahabad University in 1903. During his days at Allahabad he studied under the guidance of such learned men as Mr. J. G. Jennings who was, later, the vice-chancellor of Patna University, Dr. De La Fosse who later became the D. P. I. of the United Provinces and Dr. Thebout, the renowned Sanskrit Scholar. Kirtyanand Sinha was the first graduate among the nobility and Zamindars of Bihar.
Though he graduated in history, he was a Scholar of Hindi, Sanskrit and English as well.
Kirtyanand Sinha was a patron of art and letters. Two books in English, “Purnea a Shikar Land” and “Shikar in hills and jungles” were authored by him. The first book “Purnea a Shikar Land” was published in 1916. It is written in excellent English and forms an interesting addition to the literature of big game shooting in India. The second book “Shikar in hills and jungles” was printed in 1934 and is yet another book on Shikar. Both these books are narratives of his experiences of Shikar in the district of Purnea in Bihar and in the Terai jungles of the kingdom of Nepal.
His Shikar prowess was well known, and his trophies of the chase and hunting formed a very large and valuable collection. He counted among his trophies over a hundred eighty tigers and an equal number of leopards and panthers, three Rhinos and other big game. Many of them were stuffed in, life like manner along with a collection of rare birds etc., which formed a small museum in the palace. His knowledge of Indian Shikar was indeed unique.
Today, the world over, people are eager to protect wild life. Many species such as the tiger are on the verge of extinction. Wild life protection has become a must. But the scenario in the days of Kirtyanand Sinha was very different from what it is today. “The country all around is calm, but is not, certainly, devoid of population. A number of scattered thorps dot the plains here and there; but the life of the inhabitants is at times one of danger and dread; for, which their numberless cattle grazing freely in the jungles, attract the cattle lifter from his grassy ambush, the people themselves have at times cleverly to deceive the vigilance of the dangerous man-eater. The welfare of these poor agriculturists and cow herds who are our tenants made me take to the rifle and generated in me and all about me a passion for jungle sport which is the subject of this book.”
The above excerpt from “Purnea a Shikar Land” throws light on the jungle sport which was practised in those days, not only for fun, but also for the necessity of the welfare of the people.
He wrote, “The ominous growl of a tiger has at times been heard so far as a mile away from our residence and leopards have actually carried away goats and lambs from our gardens. On such occasions, we have had always to hasten to the spot with our Shikaris either on elephants or on foot when elephants were not available, and have bagged the animal to the great joy of our frightened tenants.”
“Alligators are very common in our district, and are responsible for the loss of many lives during the year. Cow-boys and women of the lower classes, and other people who cannot do without fording or swimming across waters haunted by alligators, easily fall a prey to them. Stories of the depredations and the misery caused by these brutes had roused my curiosity in my very childhood, but it was through the incentive given to me by a popular magistrate of the district that I took to alligator shooting.”
Kirtyanand Sinha took to handling guns when he was a boy of ten. He started with an air gun and took a double barrel 410 gun when he was twelve and had joined school. But an accident, when his muzzle loader went off and hit him in the arm, put a temporary stop to his adventures with his gun. This accident in the summer of 1895 confined him to bed for over two months and made him give up his school for one full term. But when he recovered, he again wanted to handle guns, but was never allowed to go near one, not to speak of handling it.
Nevertheless, he was the proud owner of a .303 rifle before he went to college. He shot his first leopard with this .303 rifle, in the summers of 1901 when he had come home for the vacations.
He shot his first tiger in 1903 and had scored a total of 103 in 1933 before he concluded his second book “Shikar in hills and jungles” in 1934.
In these two books we find, apart from the narratives of various shoots, much information about the wild life in the district of Purnea. We find a description right from the ‘Rhino’ which ‘sometimes used to be shot in the district, about thirty years ago’, the Tiger whose ‘usual haunts now are the jungles on the banks of the big Kosi and the high grass jungles in the Tappus to the north of the district’, the Leopard which “are still common” the Wolves that “are never seen now” Buffaloes which “are rare and almost extinct in the north but are in abundance in the Bhowa and Mohanpur jungles to the south” and to the Deer that “are found in all grass jungles.” A complete list of the game birds has been provided, also of the crocodiles and alligators. The book is very informative about the country and jungle life of the district.
Kirtyanand Sinha loved the challenges of the hard and tough life of a Shikari.
He wrote, “the life of a Shikari is one of unexpected hardships, great disappointments, and frequent dangers. But these very untoward features make it worth living and impart to it the glamour of romance. Persons of dash and enterprise with a more or less romantic cast of temperament take to it and delight in hardships braved, disappointments borne, and dangers overcome. Evidently, there is no real pleasure without danger;”------------------------------------------------- “the first stage of his career, then, must be one of severe training, both physical and mental. While the body should be hardened to all sorts of bitter physical experiences, the mind should be tutored to be always prepared for the worst and the unexpected, so much so that after some time the feelings of suspense which always accompany a mental state like the above should lose all their terrors for him, and generate in him a keen appetite for feats of arms and a confidence in his own powers to outmatch the boldest adversary in the wilds.”
He had one speciality regarding his method of Shikar. He always preferred a face to face encounter with the animal than the more prevalent method of sitting up in trees and shooting at the animal from a hiding.
He wrote “but nothing can equal the self-satisfaction of a sportsman who, after charging home a brute snarling in rage, prepares himself in the heat of the moment to brave a countercharge, and by his dash and daring knocks him over. I always advocate this form of sport. There is manliness in it mixed with exercise and a world of heroic entertainment. But, for the excitement it creates, it would simply be nothing to me. I should never stand the “sitting-up” on a machan through a succession of long-drawn hours of anxious expectation. Whatever it be I must think it likely to be a tame affair. It lacks the fire and activity of movements which must characterize a spirited Shikar. I have often read descriptions of Shikar at night but have never relished them.”
Soon after he became a major in 1904, he started taking a keen interest in the affairs of the Zamindari. We find an instance in his diary of 1905 when he went to Bhagalpur and inspected the accounts of the Raj at the manager’s office. He went out into the interiors of the Raj and made direct contacts with the peasants. He inspected the papers at the Tehsildar’s office and immediately removed a Tehsiladar when he detected fraud on the latter’s part. He went out to these interior sections of the estate (Dehat) on horseback and sometimes on elephants.
Kirtyanand Sinha entered the public life of the Province very early and was a distinguished member of the Old Bengal Legislative Council under the Morley Minto Reforms. He was elected president of The Bihar Industrial Conference held at Bhagalpur in 1909. It was here that he met Mr. Gokhale and came in contact with him. In the same year he donated Rs. 2000/- for the relief of famine struck people of Bhagalpur. After the formation of Bihar and Orissa into a separate province, Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha again entered the Bihar and Orissa Legislative council as the elected representative of the Zamindars of Bhagalpur.
His works and activities have been great and varied. It is said that he played a vital role in giving shape to the development of the modern system of education in contemporary India. On the birth of the new Province of Bihar, he helped to organize the first English daily News-paper (The Biharee) which was started in 1906. His substantial contribution towards the political and general education of the people through the medium of a well-equipped high class daily paper was most valuable to the fortunes of the new province. This “Biharee” came to be later known as the “Searchlight”.
At the time when the T.N.Jubilee College of Bhagalpur was dying for want of funds, he in co-operation with his brother came to its financial assistance and gave it a new lease of life. For this great act, in particular, as well as for other general acts of charity, he was titled a Raja by the Government on 22.6.1914.
The happy news was not known at Deorhi Champanagar, till late in the evening of the next day, when the Banaili guns, at the orders of Babu Raghubeer Narayan (Private Secretary to Kirtyanand Sinha) boomed at night, majestically saluting the Raja. Neighbouring and distant villages lit bonfires to celebrate the occasion. Commenting on his title, the Express wrote - “The title of Raja conferred on Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha of Banaili, will undoubtedly be received with very great satisfaction. Raja Kirtyanand Sinha has freely opened his purse for all good works, calculated to promote the advancement of the province, and it is an honour which he richly deserves.”
While handing over the Sanad of the title of Raja to him His Honour Sir Charles Stuart Bayley observed “…………………………you are fortunate in sharing with your brother Raja Kalanand Sinha the old and important estate of Banaili and thus being possessed of means which have enabled you to take a prominent position in the Province, and in co-operation with your brother to follow the dictates of a generous disposition in conferring liberal benefaction on the Public. Of these I would lay special stress on one, your munificent contribution of land and money for the Tej Narayan College at Bhagalpur which there is every reason to believe will be one of the finest institutions in Bihar……………”
On 9.7.1917 Raja Kirtyanand Sinha[26] was put on the Champaran Agrarian Committee to represent the Zamindars, and the good work he did thereon is well known to all. He held the balance even, between the Zamindars and the Raiyats, and his labour was appreciated both by Government and Mahatma Gandhi who represented the Raiyats on the said committee. For his commendable work in this connection, he was later on decorated with the title of Raja Bahadur by Government in 1919.
After his involvement in the Champaran agrarian committee Kirtyanand came to be well associated with M.K.Gandhi and it is believed that he was a keen but quiet supporter of the latter’s nationalistic drives. But when Gandhiji visited Purnea in 1934 and faced acute difficulty in procuring the usage of an open field for his public address, Kirtyanand came out in the open and offered the use of his Navratan house grounds for the above purpose in spite of the strong anti-Gandhi policy of the Government.
Raja Kirtyanand Sinha accepted the Presidentship of the Reception Committee of the AKhil Bhartiya Hindi Sahitya Sammellan at Bhagalpur and thereby gave a great impetus to the growth of Hindi literature in India. Later he also presided over the session at Muzaffarpur. He promised a gift of Rs. 10,000/- for the construction of ‘Sahitya Sammelan Bhavan, Patna’, which was fulfilled by his sons (after his untimely death) in 1938.
Babu Raghubeer Narain, whose patriotic poem ‘Batohia’ had become very popular in those days, lived at Banaili Champanagar as the Private Secretary of the Raja Bahadur. During his stay with the Raja, Raghubeer Narain wrote several books on English poetry like ‘Sita-Haran’, ‘Raghubir Prem Pushpa’ and ‘Rambhaa’. Many writers and poets were helped in their literary pursuits through timely monetary help given by Kirtyanand Sinha. Among them one was Pandit Ishwari Dutt Sharma, the Guru of Acharya Siv Pujan Sahay.
Kirtyanand Sinha was the President of the Sanskrit Association, Bihar and Orissa (Biharotkala Sanskrit Samiti) for a long period of time. It was during his term as the President of the Sanskrit Association that he came in contact with Pt. Sadasiva Sharma, Vyaakarnaacharya of Puri Rajkiya Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya, who wrote a booklet named Santaan-valli in the honour of the Raja. This booklet[27] contains a short history of the Banaili Family.
When the students of the Brahmacharya Ashram of Gunmanti in Purnea approached the Raja and made a demonstration of Vedic recitations and Yogic asanas, in 1930, Kirtyanand Sinha was very happy to find such an Ashram flourishing in the region and gladly agreed to bear the entire expenses of the school. The Superintendent of the Ashram, Yashodanand Jha expressed his desire to accept only half of the promised sum and said that he wanted to involve the cooperation of others by collecting the rest of the sum from them. This school was later named Kirtyanand Brahmacharya Sanskrit Vidyalaya, Gunmanti. On his way to Motitappu and other Shikar resorts in the Terai and Nepal, Raja Kirtyanand used to stop at the institute for regular inspections.
The Honourable Raja Bahadur Kirtyanand Sinha, B.A. was a fellow of Patna University. He was also a member of its Senate. The endowment, which he in conjunction with his elder brother, made to the Patna University, for the establishment of a permanent chair in Economics was indeed a great contribution to the University. Another endowment of 1 Lac was made to the Benares Hindu University. A similar Endowment in the Medical field by which he helped in the conversion of the Temple Medical Trust into the Prince of Wales Medical College of Patna is worth mentioning here.
The building of Zila School Purnea was badly damaged during the earthquake of 1934. Kirtyanand Sinha donated a large portion of his Navrattan House compound (17½acres of land[28]) to the Zila School where a new building was made in 1937.
Raja Kirtyanand Sinha will always be remembered for his services rendered to the Establishment of ‘Maithili’ as a recognized language of India. In 1917-18, with the efforts made by Sir Ashutosh Mukherji who was the Vice-chancellor of Calcutta University, fourteen regional languages like Bangla, Tamil and Marathi etc. were sanctioned to be taught in the campus. Unfortunately Maithili was left out. At that time, Babu Braj Mohan Thakur of Purnea who was closely associated with Ashutosh Mukherji, approached and reminded him that he had forgotten to include the name of Maithili. Sir Ashutosh was convinced of the importance of Maithili as a sister language of Bangla and he readily agreed to do the needful for the cause of the language, on the condition that Mr.Thahur would arrange a sum of Rs. 2500 within a period of three days. Actually all the sanctioned cash in the University treasury had already been distributed among the other fourteen subjects and there was no money left for the use of Maithili. Braj Mohan thakur took this as a challenge. He immediately rushed to Purnea and approach-ed Raja Kirtyanand Sinha along with his cousin, Kumar Kalikanand Singh. Kirtyanand sinha was so thrilled by this proposal, that he immediately gave Rs. 7500, saying that he was indeed lucky to get an opportunity to do something for the cause of his mother tongue. A telegram was sent to Sir Ashutosh about the donation and it reached him just in time, when the last meeting of The University council, on the subject, was in progress. Thus Maithili was included as a language of study till the M.A. Degree. Later, another Rs. 3500 was donated by Raja Tanknath Chaudhary of Rajaur. In this way Banaili-Rajaur Chair was established in the Calcutta University for the study of Maithili. Soon after, in 1919, Krityanand Sinha and KalikanandSingh promised to give Rs. 1200/-annually for the establishment of a lecturer-ship in Maithili in Calcutta University. This lecturer-ship was called “Raja Kirtyanand Sinha Bahadur and Kumar Kalikanand Sinha Lecture” and was established for a term of 6 years.
When the World-war was being fought, Raja Kirtyanand Sinha Bahadur announced grants of land to recruits from among his tenants, both for combatant and non-combatant service- and for this generosity on his part he was thanked by the provincial Recruitment Board.

Apart from the above, he was :-
1. President of the Temple Defence Committee (Devalaya Sanrakshan Samiti) under the All India Varnansram Swarajya Sangh in 1934,
2. Member of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Committee of Bihar and Orissa-1930,
3. Member of the Bihar Provincial Sanaatan Dharma Sabha-1930,
4. Member of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society-1930,
5. Director of Indian National Insurance Company,
6. Director of ‘Bank of Behar’
7. Director of Bihar Potteries Limited,
8. Chairman of the Provincial co-operative Bank,
9. Trustee of the Town Hall Trust, Purnea,
10. Patron and Member of Ram Krishna Vivekanand Seva Aashram-1932,
11. President of the managing committee of the Station Club Purnea,
12. Member of Bihar Club Committee, till 1936,
13. Chairman of the District Board, Purnea and
14. Member of the Tournament Trust fund committee, Purnea.
With the sincere efforts of the Raja, in 1928, a new Railway Station was established near village Bhokraha on the Purnea-Saharsa railway line, in order to provide the people of his native place, an easy access to the Railways. The station was constructed with the financial aid of the Raja and was named “Kirtyanand nagar”[29]. Soon a village of the same name cropped up around the station. This was the nearest Railway-station to Deorhi Banaili Champanagar. Kirtyanand-nagar later developed into a revenue block after the independence of India.
It was due to the co-operation and patronage of Raja Kirtyanand that two iron bridges were constructed over the Kari-Kosi River at Champanagar and Banbhag, thus relieving the common people of his native place from undergoing hardships in crossing the river, especially during the rainy seasons. To further facilitate easy traveling and transport, trees were planted along the roads and wells were dug at regular intervals to provide drinking water to the thirsty travelers. This operation was carried out along almost all important roads of his Estate.
Although Kirtyanand Sinha was very much a Zamindar yet he understood the importance and necessity of industrial development in the times to come. One of his most remarkable industrial enterprises was the Kirtyanand Iron and Steel works at Sitarampur, across the Bengal Border. This started production in 1921-22 and was the only firm besides Tata works at Jamshedpur and the Bengal iron company, which produced pig Iron in those days. Unfortunately the Kirtyanand Steel works (Kisco) resulted in a failure[30]. Kirtyanand was also one of the Directors of Bihar Potteries Ltd
Kirtyanand Sinha played a vital role in shaping the economy of the Province as one of the very active Directors of the Bank of Bihar between 1929 and 1937. This Premier Bank had been established in 1911. He also did a great service to the cooperative movement by providing an excellent investment and co-operation for the success of the movement. The first provincial conference in the province of Bihar and Orissa was organized in December 1913 at Patna. Another important development of the cooperative movement was that the Provincial co-operative bank started functioning in April 1914 under the able chairman-ship of Raja Kirtyanand Sinha. The purpose was to provide liquid cash in the form of cash credit to the central banks. Reasonable rates of interest would be charged on the cash credit. These banks started with deposits from the people, and were like a book bank. The chief share holders of the bank in the Kosi region were Raja Kirtyanand Sinha of Banaili and Mr.P.C.Lal of Purnea.
In 1933, when the Houston-mount Everest expedition started its operations from their base camp at Purnea, Raja Kirtyanand Sinha not only put almost all his motor cars at their disposal[31] but also arranged pony-races and Polo-matches at his private race course[32] and Polo grounds for their entertainment on Easter Monday and other such occasions. In return, the expedition group wanted to do something for the Raja in order to thank him for his hospitality. So, they flew the smaller aero-planes towards the Raja’s Estate and gave an aerobatic display over his Palace, for the benefit of his guests and his family. Mrs. Fellowes (who was in the Expedition group) called upon the Rani Sahiba of Banaili who in return, expressed her pleasure and reciprocation by making a visit to the aerodrome[33]. For the Expedition group it was very amusing to watch the Rani arrive in Purdah with her elaborate entourage.
Raja Kirtyanand was a very religious man[34]. He woke up at 4 in the morning and sat down to perform Puja which continued till much after dawn. Apart from meditation and daily rituals, he chanted the Gayatri Mantra, one thousand times daily. Monthly Paarban and Daan on every Sankranti day were performed with solemnity. An amount of Rs. 1100/- was given away to needy Brahmins every month as Daan. Apart from the above, hundreds of umbrellas and blankets were distributed to the poor and needy during every monsoon and winter. When he came to learn that the best possible way of performing Tarpan and Shradha of the dead was by using the blood and flesh of a rhinoceros, he earnestly sought permission from the Maharaja of Nepal for shooting a Rhino in the Nepal jungles. Soon he killed one and completed his religious obligation to the dead by performing Tarpan and Varshik Shradha of his fore-fathers with the blood and flesh of the animal.
He religiously followed the daily routine of visiting the shrine of Gosown before sitting down for breakfast at 8 A.M. After having breakfast he distributed homeopathic medicine to the poor patients who went up to him for medical help. Raja Kirtyanand Sinha was a keen student of homeopathy. He wrote a book on homeopathy named “Homeopathic Practice”. This book is an easy and useful guide to the beginners of homeopathy. After this charity to the sick and ailing people, he sat in Durbar and dealt with the works of Zamindari. He attended to the daily package of mail and letters.
After midday meals, which he took with his near and dear relatives and higher officials, the Raja sat down in the library and spent the afternoon in his literary pursuits.
Evening time was spent in outdoor games like football and polo. Kirtyanand Sinha had his own team of polo and football players at Deorhi Champanagar. He was a distinguished football player and played on district level with contemporaries like Sammad and Haneef[35]. He played as full back in his football team of Champanagar and had organized a tournament called “Champanagar cup”. After his death this football team was led by his two sons Shyamanand and Bimlanand.
During his younger days he played Cricket, Hockey and Tennis and engaged in other amusements like horse riding, Motor boating in the near by river and Motoring. He was an expert Motorist and took part in manly games surprisingly well. It was during these, that he came in contact with the peasants and other subjects who came up to him with their problems.
At dusk he visited the temples and sat in an open Durbar at the temple grounds where the common man found an opportunity to approach him with their problems. Here, appeals of the people were heard and disposed off through the personal intervention of the Raja. On several occasions, he paid off (from his pocket) the revenue dues of his poor tenants whose land was on the verge of being auctioned by the Raj. Later, he returned to the palace and after a refreshing wash up or bath, he visited his mother in the Haveli where problems of the inner quarters were dealt with. The senior officials like the Dewan and manager would join here to discuss the more serious and confidential matters related to the estate. The Rajmata took keen interest in the affairs of the estate and gave valuable help by her advice and suggestions.
The later part of the evening was spent in entertainment. These consisted of musical performances, shows of bioscope and cinema and also games in billiards and snookers, in which he took keen interest. Kirtyanand Sinha was also a musician and could play the Harmonium well. Whenever he found an opportunity to be with his friends like Kumar Kalikanand Sinha of Srinagar and Raja Tanknath Chaudhary of Maldwar, who were proficient at the Tabla and Pakhawaj, it is said that they sat for long musical sessions. Renowned Classical Singer of Khurja Gharana, Ustad Iltaf Hussain Khan was a court-singer of his Durbar.
Unlike the midday meal, only his sons and very close relatives accompanied him at supper.
This punctual routine was interrupted only at family and religious festivities, some urgent Zamindari work, or else, for Shikar, his favorite adventurous sport.
In spite of his elevated position and status, Raja Kirtyanand Sinha Bahadur never refrained from keeping connections with the common man. He went out of his way to interact with the peasants. On the occasion of Makar-sankranti he went out with all the villagers to hunt for hares and jackals with the help of hounds and dogs according to the village custom. He also visited them at their various tolas and joined in dust-play with them on the morning of Holi festival. In return they came to him at the Holi Durbar and sprinkled colour at his feet. He never failed to attend the Akhara of the Moharram festival. During the festivities of Durga-puja, wrestling matches were held in the Mela. Renowned wrestlers from all over the country gathered at Champanagar and wrestling tournaments were held amidst huge crowd of people. Kirtyanand Sinha sat with the people and attended the bouts. The winner of these wrestling matches was awarded with an Asharfi.
Owing to his dogmatic nature, superb leader-ship qualities and extraordinarily charismatic personality, Raja Kirtyanand came to be accepted as a natural over-lord among the neighbouring aristocratic gentry. He emerged as an ‘Adhiraja’ who was greatly respected by the nobles and zamindars of the region. Some of them went to the extent of paying homage to him through various gifts and even the traditional Nazar at the annual Durbar held on Diwali day. The Zamindar of Bahaduraa presented an elephant [36](the beast was named Bahadur Gaj in acknowledgement of the name of the house of Bahduraa) to Kirtyanand sinha as a token of his unfailing faithfulness. The Chaudhary of Simri-Bakhtiyarpur went one step ahead and gifted by way of Nazarana, a Bunglow with a grove all around it at Salkhua, to be used as a Shikar-Gah by the Raja during his frequent hunting excursions in the area.
Kirtyanand Sinha started suffering from high and irregular blood-pressure. He fell ill in 1936 and never recovered. He was taken to Patna for treatment. After his conditions deteriorated during the second week of January 1938, he was carried to Benaras by a special train hired by the Rani Sahiba in order to provide him a sacred death at Benaras. He died at Kasi, soon after reaching there on the evening of 18th January. His body was carried to Manikarnika Ghat by boat from Kasi station and was cremated there. Kumar Shyamanand Sinha, being the eldest son, lit the funeral pyre.
Rani Prabhavati Devi, the widow of Raja Kirtyanand Sinha followed her husband’s footsteps in helping the cause of Education in Bihar. Through her liberal donations she helped the Bihar Hindi Sahitya Sammelan to grow and perform well. She was a pious lady and spent most of her remaining life in practicing her religious duties at PrayagRaj (Allahabad). She walked on foot to far off places like Kedarnath, Gangotri, Jamuntri, and Badrinath in 1942 and Maan-sarovar in 1949. During her Piligrimage in 1942 she built piligrim rest-houses at Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Like her mother-in-law, Rani Sitavati, she donated a major portion of her Streedhan to the Temples of her husband’s ancestors and created a Trust in 1966 for carrying out the religious festivities at Deorhi Champanagar. These religious institutions were dying away due to lack of funds, after the abolition of the Zamindari System.
During her last years she did another act of public charity by donating a charitable ward to the B.S. Mehta Eye hospital at Allahabad. She died at a ripe age of 86, on 5.7.1975 at Deorhi Banaili Champanagar.

[1] Ramanath Jha says that Badan Jha was from Mouje-Naahar. Badan Jha was of the Kanhauli-sodarpur Mool.
[2] According to Pt Ramanath Jha (Alaee-kul-prakash) she was the first.
[3] Diary of Jadunandan Misra-records that she died at Asargunj and witch-craft was practiced on her.
[4] Krishna Singh Thakur was a close relative. She held him as trustworthy and wrote in her deed “Babu Krishna Singh Thakur is my relative and is a respectable man, and his father and brother have worked very loyally during the time of my father-in-law Raja Lelanand Singh Bahadur.”
[5] Rani Kalabati wrote to Kirtyanand that Surjanand was having one disease and was being treated for another. She had not spoken her views at that time but now feels sorry as the entire blame had fallen on her. Jadunandan Misra wrote in his diary that Surjanand was murdered(ekjy eqbykg)
[6] Rai Sahib Awadh Bihari Sinha, later became the General Manager of Banaili Raj.
[7]Babu Padmanath Jha belonged to the Parihat-Sankaraarhi Mool.
[8] Babu Shambhunath Jha belonged to Narone Sulhani Mool.
[9] Vanshmani jha belonged to Nahas khowaal Mool and Kalavati held the Paainj ‘Khusiaal Misra’
[10] Kumar Kirtyanand Sinha was married to Rani Prabhavati Debi on Baisakh Shukla-Ekadasi in the year 1900 A.D.
[11] Kunwar Jha belonged to Belounch Sudai Mool and Prabhavati held the Paainj called ‘Mahadev Jha’.
[12] As told by my Grandmother, Rani Prabhavati Devi.
[13] Rani Sitabati never missed any opportunity to take a dip in the Ganges at Manihari Ghat, on every auspicious occasion. She used to travel to Purnea by horse carriages and from there by train to Manihari-Ghat. Since 1898 she had been celebrating Janmastami, within the palace where she worshipped clay idols of the entire family of Krishna to commemorate the lord’s birthday.

[14] 9 annas means 56.25%. In the contemporary currency system, a rupee was divided in 16 equal parts called annas. Each anna was roughly equivalent to a little more than 6 naya paisa of today.
[15]I have already written about the case that was filed by Rani Sitabati, on behalf of her minor sons, to define their share in the estate. This case no. 21 of 1888 ended up in a compromise called Sulehnama on 4/14/1892.

[16] The post-office at Deorhi Champanagar was named Banaili and exists with the same name
[17] Shaka1830-Chaitra Shukla Purnima, wednesday
[18] History of Education in Bihar, under British rule – by Rai Bahadur Bhagawati Sahay I.S.O., M.A.B.L., page 338- The Raj was a most distinguished public benefactor. The Tejnarayan Jubilee College owed its position to the Banaili Raj which endowed it with landed property yielding a net annual income of 60000/. Rai Bahadur Bhagwati Sahay has written in details about the beginning of T.N.B College on page124 of his book “History Of Education In Bihar Under British Rule” he wrote “The second college that arose in Bihar (The first was the Patna College) was the Tej Narayan Jubilee College, which was affiliated in 1887 as a second grade college and in 1890 as a first grade college. It was started by Babu Tej Narayan Singh, whose public spirit was duly recognized by conferring on him the title of Rai Bahadur. Babu Ladli Mohan Ghose, a medical practitioner in the town of Bhagalpur, did much to inspire and materialize the idea of this college. Babu Hari Prasanna Mukherji was the first principal of the college. The present condition of the college-it is a first grade college teaching up to the Honours standard- is due to the liberality of Raja Krityanand Singh, who is the only B.A. among the landed magnates of Bihar, and his brother Raja Kalanand Singh. Under the wise counsel of their manager, Babu Sivasankar Sahay, they made a munificent donation of three lakhs towards the building of the college on an ideal site, outside the town. There was the usual outburst of “popular opposition.” Poor Sivasankar had no one to support him at Bhagalpur in his resolve except his old school and college friends, Babu Surya Prasad, the leader of the Bar, and my humble self. But he mustered up courage and bore the brunt of the “popular” opposition and incurred much odium and obloquy, and at last his voice prevailed with the Rajas, whom the people had memorialized. The college is none the worse for the change of site- it is attended now by about 500 students—except that according to the Maharaj Kumar of Gidhaur, the students are losing their eye sight because of the electric light and their robust manhood owing to the palatial hostels! Babu Sivasankar Sahay was made a Rai Bahadur and thereafter a C.I.E for his public spirit.”
[19] Patna University- minutes of the Senate, Syndicate, & Faculties 1919-20---minutes of the Syndicate 16, 3, 1920—434-Read a letter from the manager, Banaili Raj, to the vice-chancellor, intimating the payment of a donation of Rs.20,000 for the endowment of a university readership in Indian economics, and of Rs.5,000 for purchase of books for the economics section of the university library.
Resolved---- that the grateful thanks of the syndicate be conveyed to the donors for their very generous gift.
[20] This palace called “the Domahalaa”, was completed in 1918 and was the residence of Raja Kirtyanand Sinha and Rani Prabhavati.
[21]The main portion of the Arbitration was the following:-
1. The total value of all the houses and buildings of Deorhi Banaili (Deorhi Champanagar), including furniture and fittings was taken at Rs.2,68,000/-.The above property would now belong to Kirtyanand Rs.2, 68,000/- would be paid to Kalanand from the joint funds of the Estate, for constructing a new Residence elsewhere, as proposed by him. The block of building occupied by the Rajmata (Sitabati Debi) and the Bhansa-Ghar (house of the family deities), the dispensary, the doctor’s quarters, the post-office and the school building was excluded from this valuation.
2. The articles in the Toshkhana (these were the paraphernalia, used at ceremonials) were divided in two equal parts and allotted to each brother.
3. Tents and camp furniture was divided in two equal parts and allotted to each brother.
4. Horses, ponies and the jointly purchased cars were divided equally. The Rajmata’s car, a Standard with a closed body was kept joint. The ponies which were given to the brothers as dowry were excluded from the partition.
5. Among the palace Elephants, their prized possession was the male Tusker, Moti Prasad. This along with another Tusker, Bam Bahadur was allotted to Kalanand Sinha. The She Elephant, Chanchal-Pyari was the favorite of Kirtyanand. This along with three other tuskers, Bhagwat Prasad, Sunder Prasad and Bhairo Prasad was allotted to Kirtyanand Sinha
[22] Banaili-Garh was the original name
[23] Deorhi-Champanagar
[24] Garden of tigers
[25]She was the daughter of Banshmani Jha of Khowal Naahas Mool. Banshmani Jha held the Paainj “Khusiaal Mishr”.
[26] He replaced Raja Harihar Prasad Narain Singh.
[27] Printed by R. Bose,Raghunandan press, Puri-1933
[28] Rajah’s gift for school from our correspondent Ranchi June 22, 1935- The Rajah Bahadur of Banaili has presented 17½ acres of land at Purnea for the purpose of building the new Purnea Zila School to replace the old school ruined by the Bihar Earthquake- “The Statesman”.
[29] In the beginning the name “Banaili Road” was proposed but “Kirtyanand Nagar” was selected by the Government to be more appropriate.
[30] History of Education in Bihar, under British rule – by Rai Bahadur Bhagawati Sahay I.S.O., M.A.B.L., page 338- “the Kirtyanand Steel works struggled long and crippled the personal financial resources of Raja Kirtyanand Singh Bahadur of Banaily.”
[31] The Pilots’ Book of Everest by Squadron Leader The Marquess of Dauglas And Clydesdale, A.F.C., M.P. and Flight Lieutenant D.F. M‘intyre page83 “our bungalow was lent us by the Maharajah of Darbhanga; a fleet of motor-cars by the Rajah of Banaili.”+ First Over Everest The Houston-Mount Everest Expedition 1933 by Air-Commodore P.F.M. Fellowes, D.S.O., L. V. Stewart Blacker, O.B.E., P.S.C., Colonel P.T. Etherton, and Squadron Leader the Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale, M.P. with a Foreword by John Buchan, C.H., M.P. and an account of the filming of the flight by Geoffrey Barkas. “The Raja of Banaili, a cheery personality, who had shot over a hundred tigers, offered us his fleet of motor-cars, remarking that, if possible, he would like to retain one or two for his own use. He had seventeen. He seemed astonished, as if at an unusual display of moderation, when only three cars and a lorry were required.”
[32] First Over Everest page165 “across the park lay the local club-house with attendant tennis courts, and about a mile away, alone in its glory, the Raja of Banaili’s private race-course smiled an invitation.”
[33] The Pilots’ Book of Everest by Squadron Leader, the Marquess of Dauglas and Clydesdale, A.F.C., M.P. and Flight Lieutenant D.F. M‘intyre- page110 “The presence of Mrs. Fellowes in the party also enabled us to arrange for a purdah visit of the Ranee to the aerodrome.”
[34] Before starting for every Shooting tour, 1 ¼ maunds of milk was poured on the Shivalinga at Sundarmath temple by the Raja to procure the blessings of the lord.
[35] Diary of Kirtyanand Sinha 21.9.1914. ‘Sammad played for the Town-Club and Haneef for the Friends union.’
[36]

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