Nobility, or Aristocracy of Mewar, is unlike any other State, and, perhaps, most interesting of all. While some of them boast of being Bhai Betas (kinsmen) of the Maharana, others boast of exemplary and valuable services rendered by their ancestors to their liege-lord, the Maharana, his family, and to the State.
Nobles in Mewar were ranked into various groups on the basis of their proximity to the rules and the size and revenue of their estate. They were numerous and powerful body, whose fiefs comprised about one-third of the territory of the Mewar. There are three classes of Nobles:
The seating in the court was determined by rank of the house. Those seated to the right of the Maharana at right angles to the gaddi were called Badi Ole, and those to the left, not to feel any inferior, were seated parallel to the gaddi and were called Munda-barobur (head at the level of the face of the Maharana). Guests, relatives, priests, and visitors sat at a lower level, facing the throne, samney-ki-baithak.
Solah-ke-Umrao, or nobles of first order, were originally sixteen, as enumerated in the following couplet (translation):
Subsequent additions were made to this class; a seventeenth noble, a Sindhi Muslim, was added to this class. Later, five more nobles were added to this class and hence number of Umrao’s was increased. The precedence of the Solah among themselves is as liberal as the composition of the group.
These nobles enjoyed rights and privileges that were unprecedented throughout India, for example:
- In Durbar, they take rank above the heir apparent.
- The Court maintained at their own estates is almost an exact counterpart of that of Maharana.
- Maharana could not use the hukka in the presence of the noble of first order till he himself requested the Maharana to do so.
- Solah-ke-Umrao, whenever they visited other Rajput states , were given a place on the right side next to Chief of that state.
Below is a list of the Solah-ke-Umrao, in order of rank.
|1||Bari Sadri||Jhala||Raj Rana of Bari Sadri has the privilege of bearing the royal insignia of Mewar and beating his kettle-drums up to the gate of the palace.|
|4 ‡||Ghanerao||Rathore||4th (later 5th) Ranked thikana Ghanerao was transferred to Marwar with Godwar. The seat was kept vacant for a while. The thikana then had a seat amongst the first class nobles Sirayat in the Marwar durbar (court).|
|5||Salumber||Sisodia||Rawats of Salumber were authorized by the Maharana to sign all-important documents of the state on his behalf.|
|16 (a) ‡||Asind||Sisodia|
|16 (b) ‡||Sardargarh||Dodiya|
(a), (b) = Aik Baithak (same seat/status), any ONE was invited for the Durbar usually as per Osra (alternately / roster)
‡ = these weren’t listed in an 1892 source.
Battis, or nobles of second order, were originally thirty-two, their number also increased with the passage of time
Below is a list of the Battis, in order of rank.
Gol-ke-Sardar, or nobles of third order, they number into hundreds. They had jagirs consisting of a few villages, sometimes even one village. These nobles attended on the person of the Maharana and formed his strength against any combination or opposition of the nobles of the higher ranks.
Below is a list of Gol-ke-Sardar, 39 in total. A further 12 added at a later date (listed at end).
|47||Khodiyo ka Khera||Sisodia|
Feudatories who were most closely related to Maharana were: Chiefs of Bagore (reverted back to state in 1889, now represented by Chiefs of Peeladhar & Netawal), Bavlas, Karjali, Karaoi, Shivrati, Banera, and Shahpura. First five are descendants of Maharana Sangram Singh II. Chief of Banera is descended from Maharana Raj Singh I while Chief of Shahpura is descended from Maharana Amar Singh I. It is interesting to note that Banera and Shahpura both came into existence through the Imperial Grant, first through Aurangzeb’s grant and later through Shah Jahan’s, they both held title of Rajadhiraj. Another interesting thing to note is that Rajadhiraj of Shahpura, on the one hand, enjoyed the status of a native feudatory (like the Maharana of Mewar) having direct relations with the British Government, and on the other hand, he held the position of a jagirdar of the Mewar by virtue of holding the estate grant of Kachhola from the Mewar State.
Below is a list of the nobles of Mewar (Udaipur), related most closely to the Ruling family.
These jagirs were held on Khalsa (court) lands and were not hereditary till confirmed by the Maharana.