IN MEMORY OF LATE SHRI MADHUSUDHAN JHA
List of major Temples constructed by Raj Darbhanga
- Kankali Mandir, Rambagh, Darbhanga
- Madheshwar Mandir, Darbhanga
- Shyama Temple, Darbhanga
- Manokamna Mandir, Darbhanga - This is a small temple dedicated to God Hanuman. It is intricately carved temple, built entirely of white marble.
- Raj Rajeshwari Kali Mandir, Muzaffarpur
- Kali Mandir, Navlakha Palace, Patna
- Ram Mandir, Bans Phatak, Varanasi
- Ram Sita Mandir, Ahiari Village, District - Darbhanga - Built in 1817 by Maharaja Chhatra Singh Bahadur.
- Temple Complex at Darbhanga. - Temples were constructed by Raj Darbhanga at the site where the Maharajas of Darbhanga were cremated. There are several temples in the complex. An interesting fact of these temples was that till the decade of 1980's jackals use to come to the complex every evening and were offered food by the priests of the temples. However, due to rapid urbanisation of Darbhanga town, specially in areas around these temples, the jackals do not come to the complex any longer.
- Lakshmeshwari Tara Mandir, Darbhanga
Raj Darbhanga and Indian Independence Movement
Maharaja Lakshmeshwar Singh Bahadur was also one of the founders of Indian National Congress in 1885. It was an open secret that Raj Darbhanga was one of the major donors to Indian National Congress despite maintaining its proximity to British Raj. During British Rule, Congress Party wanted to hold their annual convention in Allahabad but they were denied permission by the Government to use any public place in Allahabad for this purpose. Thus, Maharaja of Darbhanga bought this area and allowed Congress to hold their annual convention there. The annual convention of Congress of 1892 was held on December 28, 1892 at the extensive grounds of Lowther Castle, purchased by the then Maharaja of Darbhanga.
This area was leased to Indian National Congress by Maharaja of Darbhanga to thwart the attempts by British officials to deny Indian National Congress the place to hold annual convention. The Maharaja of Darbhanga was a major supporter of Indian National Congress.
One least known fact is that Maharaja Kameshwar Singh was the first person in India to get a bust of Mahatma Gandhi made and this bust was presented to the then viceroy of India Lord Linlithgow to be displayed in Government House (now Rashtrapati Bhawan).This was acknowledged by Mahatma Gandhi in a letter to Lord Linlithgow in 1940.
Among his beneficiaries were stalwarts such as Dr Rajendra Prasad, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Shubhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, and others in India, besides Swami Bhawani Dayal Sanyasi of South Africa.
Kings of Raj Darbhanga, Mithila Society and Maithili Language
The Kings of Raj Darbhanga were Brahmins by caste. Mithila being a centre of knowledge from times immemorial, the Kings promoted knowledge, art and craft in every possible manner. This has had a profound effect on society of Mithila. Even today, a persons social standing is considered by his knowledge than wealth acquired by him.
Maharaja of Darbhanga and Darbhanga Raj were looked upon as embodiment of Mithila and Maithili by people in the region. The Maharaja was also hereditary head of Maithil Mahasabha. Maharaja and Raj Darbhanga played a prominent role in revival of Maithili language and literature.
Maharaja Kameshwar Singh being a core nationalist espoused cause of Hindi along with Maithili. This caused great anguish to leaders of Maithili movement. Maharaja Kameshwar Singh gave a call to the people to start using Devanagari script rather than tirhuti script for writing in Maithili. Today, people write Maithili using Devanagari script and efforts are being made to revive Tirhuti Script again. In 1931, the then Maharaja of Darbhanga, Kameshwar Singh Bahadur made an endowment of Rs. One lakh to Patna University to create a Maithili development fund. These had the desired result of spurt in literary activities and publications, and ultimately in 1937, the language came to be recognized in the field of higher education.
The views of Maharaja Kameshwar Singh did not gain popularity with the people except for call for using Devanagri script. He effectively became leader of small elite group having pan-nationalistic agenda rather than a popular King of masses. His alienation from the masses can be gauged from the fact that he lost in general election in Bihar in 1952 despite being one of the biggest philanthropist and progressive minded King in pre-independence India.
A remark by an erstwhile Secretary of Maithil Mahasabha best reflects the dicotomy between interest of maithili and national integration in actions of last Maharaja of Darbhanga Kameshwar Singh - was a great nationalist, one of the founders of Indian National Congress. Now he worked for national integration. So he removed the claim of Maithili itself and fought for Hindi. we have a script of our own, but when he established a printing press here [in Darbhanga], he established a Hindi printing press. A great contribution to national integration but a loss for Mithila
At the same time, Maharaja Kameshwar Singh, also published Mithila Mihir, a maithili periodical. Mithila Mihir was published Newspaper and Publications Pvt. Ltd, by one of the companies owned by Raj Darbhanga. Publication of Mithila Mihir was continued till the decades of 1980s and intermittently thereafter. Maharaja Kameshwar Singh had made a provision in his will for continued publication of Mithila Mihir, that ensured publication of this Maithili periodical since 1908 to 1980s.