The maharaja bahadur of Darbhanga, a Rajput, whose ancestor Mahesh Thakor received the Darbhanga raj (which includes large parts of the modern districts of Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Monghyr, Purnea and Bhagalpur) from the emperor Akbar early in the 16th century, is not only the premier territorial noble of Behar but one of the greatest noblemen of all India.
The chief of Dhrangadra, who bears the title of Raj Sahib, with the predicate of His Highness, is head of the ancient clan of Jhala Rajputs, who are said to have entered Kathiawar from Sind in the 8th century.
He remained throughout unflinchingly loyal to the British Raj, and by his vast and unquestioned influence among the frontier tribes on the northern borders of India he exercised a control over their unruly passions in times of trouble, which proved of invaluable service in the several expeditions led by British arms on the north-west frontier of India.
In 1182 the Chandel dynasty was overthrown by Prithwi Raj, the ruler of Ajmer and Delhi, after which the country remained in ruinous anarchy until the close of the 14th century, when the Bundelas, a spurious offshoot of the Garhwa tribe of Rajputs, established themselves on the right bank of the Jumna.
His charities were without limit; thus he contributed £300,000 for the relief of the sufferers from the Bengal famine of 1873-1874, and it is computed that during his possession of the raj he expended at least f 2,000,000 on charities, works of public utility, and charitable remissions of rent.
He was created a maharaja bahadur on his succession to the raj in 1898.
See Budgett Meakin, The Moorish Empire (London, 1899); the anonymous Raj(' el Kartas (Fez.
The chief educational institution is the Burdwan Raj college, which is entirely supported out of the maharaja's estate.
Save between 1404 and 1442, when it was the seat of an independent raj, founded by Raja Ganesh, a Hindu turned Mussulman, Dinajpur has no separate history.
The Bishnupur raj was one of the largest estates in Bengal in the end of the 18th century, but it was sold for arrears of revenue shortly after the conclusion of the permanent settlement in 1793.
The raj was founded in 1657 by Abu Ra Kapur, of the Kapur Khatri family of Kotli in Lahore, Punjab, whose descendants served in turn the Mogul emperors and the British government.
In 1854 it would have lapsed to the British government for want of direct heirs, but was conferred on Jagat Raj as a special act of grace.