A Revised and Enlarged Account of the Bobbili Zemindari/The Founder of The Samasthanam/IX. Rajah Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu

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IX.
Rajah Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu.
1830—1862.

Rajah Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao was born on the 15th August 1810. His reign is the longest and most important in the history of this family. During this reign the chattrams and other religious and charitable institutions established by his father were much improved, whilst the property was excellently managed. Moreover, in order to carry out his father's intentions, he finished, in the year 1837, the temple which had been begun by his father and consecrated to Sree Venugopalaswamy; endowed it with lands yielding Rs. 10,000 per annum, and made a similar endowment to the temple at Sitarampuram in the Bobbili Samasthanam. In 1832 serious disturbances broke out in the Ganjam and Vizagapatam Districts, during which the Rajah captured Kambara Venkatrayudu and other Fittooridars, and delivered them to Mr. Russell, the Special Commissioner.

The following letters and extracts from Public Reports speak for themselves :—

Mr. Russell's Report, dated Madras, 18th November, 1834, para. 60. "In this as in every other case, the mere temptation of money failed to accomplish the desired purpose, but the Zemindar of Bobbili, who visited me several times when I was at Palkonda, and whom I did all in my power to persuade to exert his powerful influence in aid of the public authority, succeeded in apprehending Kambara Venkatrayudu and his nephew, Apparayudu, within little more than a month from that period, and with a feeling highly honourable to his character, respectfully declined the proffered reward on the ground that he had only performed a duty he owed to the Government. The prisoners are now about to take their trial before the Judge on circuit for the atrocious murders committed by them in 1828."

President's (H. E. Sir Frederick Adam) Minutes,

30th June 1835, para. 27.

"The Zemindar of Bobbili, whose conduct during the disturbances in Vizagapatam and Ganjam is praised by Mr. Russell in his reports, visited me at Palkonda accompanied by his Dewan, Sitaramayya. I told him that Government entertained a high sense of the zeal and loyalty he had evinced in the assistance he had rendered to Mr. Russell as Commissioner. I adverted particularly to the apprehension of Kambara Venkatrayudu and his nephew, the reputed murderers of the former Dewan of Palkonda (whose long-suffered impunity was a signal of the weakness of our administration in this quarter), and to the honourable spirit he had manifested in declining the proffered reward for the important service. I also noticed with approbation the offer he had made to Mr. Russell of the services of his peons in aid of the public authority free from any charge. He answered, as he did to Mr. Russell, that he had only performed his duty, adding that now Mr. Russell had shown to the country that no further compromise with rebels and criminals would be suffered, there was reason to hope there would be an end to disturbances. I took occasion, in reply to this observation, to explain that the main object of Mr. Russell's mission was to assert the authority of Government and the laws, and make examples of those by whom they had been outraged, or who had given countenance and protection to offenders ; and it was the determination of the Government to exert its power to bring every criminal to justice, and to punish with severity any who should be found guilty of raising disturbances. I said that Government expected him to continue as he had done, to set an example to the other Zemindars, and relied on his rendering to the Magistrate every assistance in his power for the maintenance of peace and order. I think that a formal expression of the approbation of Government should be conveyed to the Zemindar through the Collector in such a manner as may be most gratifying to him."

Revenue Department, No. 1067.

Extract from Minutes of Consultation, dated 1st

September, 1835, para. 11.

"The Board of Revenue will be pleased to instruct the Collector of Vizagapatam to convey to the Zemindar of Bobbili the approbation of the Government of his conduct during the late disturbances in that district in such a manner as may be most gratifying to the Zemindar."

Again, the then Collector and Agent sent the following Resolution of the Government with his letter, dated 29th October, 1835 : —

"The Board of Revenue has been directed by the Government to intimate through your means its pleasure regarding the conduct of the Bobbili Zemindar during the late disturbances in the districts of Vizagapatam and Ganjam ; also to inform him in a friendly manner that His Lordship has highly expressed the meritorious service shown by him to Mr. Russell, the Commissioner, and further that the Right Honourable the Governor-in-Council cannot compare other Zemindars to him in any respect by his utmost exertions being used in assisting the Magistrate to afford relief of the community and preserve the peace."

Extract from a letter from the Acting Agent in

Ganjam (Judicial Department), dated 23rd

December, 1856, No. 551.

Para. 9. — "I would beg leave respectfully to suggest that Government notice with approval the readiness with which the Rajahs of Vizianagaram and Bobbili have sent in their quotas, the Sirdars and men have exerted themselves to the utmost, and have given me much satisfaction."

(A true Extract). (Signed) T. PVCROFT, Chief Secretary.

(True Copy). signed) P. B. SMOLLETT, Agent to the Governor.

No. 3. Judicial Department.

Extracts from the Minutes of Consultation under

date the 3rd January, 1857.

"Read the following letter "") rom the Acting Agent in Ganjam. Reports proceed- ings with the Sowrahs, the success of the joint attack on the Sowrahs, the flight of the Dundoosenah, and states that a continuance of the field force for any length of time will probably not be necessary.

23rd De- cember 1856, No. 551.


"Para. 3. — Copy of para. 9 of Mr. Knox's letter will be furnished to the Agent in Vizagapatam, and he will be instructed to communicate to the Rajah of Yizianagaram and Zemindar of Bobbili the- acknowledg- ments of Government for the ready and efficient assistance which they have afforded."

(A true Extract). (Signed) T. PYCROFT, Chief Secretary.

To The Agent to the Governor of Fort St. George, at Vizagapataui.

(True Copy). (Signed) P. B. SMOLLETT, Agent to the Governor. No. 4740.

"To Rajah Saheb Meharban Dostan Rajah Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu

"Sir,

"I am in receipt of your letter dated the 13th instant, in which you allude to what occurred when you endeavoured, during your father's life, to pass in front of the fort of Vizianagaram on your way from these parts to Bobbili, in which you state that you will be at Vizagapatam on the second day of the second lunar fortnight of Jyestha and that every time your predecessors arrived at, and left, Vizagapatam, a salute of 15 guns was fired in their honour, and in which you request us to write to the Commanding Officer of the Northern Division to have the salute fired in your honour in accordance with the customary privilege.


"As for your second request, your conduct having always been satisfactory to the Government, and it having come to our knowledge that the salute was fired in honour of your predecessors, we shall instruct the General to show you the customary honour of the salute of 15 guns both at the time of your arrival and at the time of your departure, if you should, when you are one stage from Vizagapatam, intimate to us the time of your arrival at the place"

Office of the Magistrate OF VlZAGAPATAM, 2otli May, fSjp.

(Signed) ARBUTHNOT, Magistrate.

(Signed) CHENNUR RAMIAH, Assistant Manager."

To the same effect, in the year 1808, Major-General Goudie, Com. G. N. D., wrote to Rajah Rayadappa Ranga-Rao saying that he had instructed the Commanding Officer to fire the usual salute on his arrival at Vizagapatam

Extract from the Minutes of Consultation

(Revenue Department), under date the 3rd

February, 1857, No. 131.

"Read the following letter from the Agent to the Governor at Vizagapatam : —

"Reports that an amicable " settlement of the long existing ill-feelings between the Zemindars of Vizianagaram and Bobbili in j- point of etiquette has been effect- ed through the mediation of the Agent.

11th Janu- ary, 1857, No. 51.

"With reference to the expressed wishes of Government, Extract Minutes Consultation, 19th April, 1853, No. 441, that the Agent in Vizagapatam should direct his endeavours to effect an adjustment of the dispute between the Zemindars of Vizianagaram and Bobbili by an interchange of their villages, Mr. Smollett reports in the above letter that under his mediation an amicable settlement of their long existing - dispute and ill-feeling has been happily arranged, in a manner satisfactory to both parties and by mutual concessions. The Right Honourable the Governor-in-Council desires that the Agent will communicate to the two Zemindars the gratification which Government derive from being informed that the matters in dispute between them have been so satisfactorily and honourably settled. His Lordship in Council views with entire approval the endeavours made by the Agent for the reconciliation of these two great proprietors, which have been so fully successful.

(A true Extract).

(Signed) H. FORBES,

Ag. Secy, to Govt.

(True Copy).

(Signed) P. B. SMOLLETT,

Agent to the Governor." "From The Governor's Agent,

To His Highness The Rajah of Bobbili.

"Dear Sir,

On my late tour through your Zemindari, and while halting at Bobbili itself, the state of your country and the condition of the people did not escape my observation, and I was particularly gratified at all I both heard and saw in regard to your management of your hereditary estates. I am able to record of your people what can seldom be said of the inhabitants of most other parts of the country, namely, that a contentment and harmony seems to prevail amongst them which I have never met with to the same extent anywhere else. Of police-work throughout your Zemin- dari there is scarcely anything to do. Crime appears almost unknown, while minor offences of common occurrence elsewhere are equally rare, affording- most satisfactory evidence of the efficient and sound management to which alone such a state of things can be traced. Disputes of other kinds between ryot and ryot appear also as little known, and I do not think I had a single petition or complaint on my recent visit affecting yourself, or in any way connected with the fiscal management of your large Zemindari, and it gives me the greatest pleasure and satisfaction to bear this testimony to a state of affairs which reflects so much credit on you individually, as well as on those who are your coadjutors in the good and great work of sound administration. I shall not fail to bring the subject of this letter under the notice of His Lordship the Governor-in-Council, in view to the expression by Government of their approbation of your successful efforts in the cause of Peace and Order. I remain, with every sentiment of respect and regard,

Your faithful friend and servant, (Signed) CHARLES W. READE, Agent to the Governor." Palconda, 5th February, 1858.

The Agent addressed the Government as stated in the above letter, and received the following reply : —

Revenue Department, Fort St. George, 15th May, 1858.

"From No. 636. W. H. BAYLEY, Esq., Ag. Secy, to the Govt, of Fort St. George,

To C. W. READE, Esq., Agent to the Govr. of Fort St. George, at Vizagapalam.

"SIR,

I am directed by the Right Honourable the Governor in Council to express his satisfaction at the favourable opinion you have formed of the personal character of the Zemindar of Bobbili, and of the efficiency of his administration in the territory of which he is possessed.

I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient servant,

(Signed) W. H. BAYLEY, Ag. Secy, to Government."

(True Copy). (Signed) C. W. READE, Collector.

The Rajah made large additions to the Zemindari.

In the limits of the Madugulu Zemindari.

(1) Dundi Suravaram, and (2) Jagannadhapuram with its suburbs, Vantarlapalem and Appalarazupuram, were purchased in 1835 from Rajah Krishna Bhupati Deo Garu, Zemindar of Madugulu ; (3) Pappu Chatti Seri was purchased in 1835 from the Zemindar of Madugulu ; and (4) Chidikada was purchased in 1835 from Mandapaka Jagannayakulu Garu.

In the Ganjam District.

(1) Karakavalsa, and (2) Munagavalsa, Malguzari estates consisting of 45 villages, were mortgaged by Makatapalli Venkanna and Chinna Kamanna to Rajah Sweta Chalapati Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu, and these were eventually purchased by his son and successor, Rajah Seetarama Krishna Rayadappa Ranga-Rao Bahadur Garu ; (3) the Hunda of Mantina was purchased in 1856, and the Hunda of Kintali in 1857, both from Kalabarigi Bhaskara Narasingarow Pantulu.

In the limits of the Vizianagaram Zemindari.

( 1 ) Annamrazpeta, and (2) Kottavalsa, Mokhasa villages, were purchased in public auction in 1840 from Jampana Viziaraghava Padma- nabha Razu Bahadur Garu ; (3) Tummapala, a Mokhasa village, was purchased in 1843 in public auction from Dantuluri Seetaramarazu Garu and Narayanarazu Garu ; (4) Jammu, (5) Gujjangivalsa, (6) Ambativalsa, and (7) Duvvam with its suburbs, Chintapallipeta and Seripeta, were purchased in 1843 from Sri Tirumala Peddinti Sampat Kumara Ananta Venkata Acharyulu Ayyavarlungaru.

In the adjustment of the dispute between the Zemindars of Vizianagaram and Bobbili, under the mediation of the Governor's Agent, Mr. P. B. Smollett, referred to in the Minutes of Consultation, dated 3rd February, 1857, No. 131, quoted before, the above mentioned seven villages were permanently leased on the 10th March, 1858, by the latter to the former for Rs.22,568 per annum, the Governor's Agent, for the time being, being made answer- able for the rents.

In sending the papers connected with the proposed transfer of the seven villages to the Rajah of Vizianagaram, the Governor's Agent wrote as follows : —

"To H. H. The Rajah of Bobbili.

"Dear Sir,

I am desirous that yourself and the Rajah of Vizianagaram should meet in my tents in December next. The Rajah expresses himself most happy to do so, and also that all past differences should be forgotten. I am sure you must share in this feeling, and if I am permitted to be the means of bringing about so happy a result, it will be a source of much pleasure to me. I can safely affirm that the Rajah of Vizianagaram is very desirous of proving to you that, as far as he is personally concerned, he wishes to maintain the most perfect friendly relation with Your Highness, and it only remains on your part to shew that the feeling is reciprocated, and of this I look for your assurance in reply to this letter. Allow me to subscribe myself,

Your faithful friend and servant,

(Signed) C. W. READE, Agent to the Governor."

VlZIANAGARAM, 24th October, 1857.

[The proposed meeting, however, did not take place, owing to some differences regarding etiquette].

The Rajah bestowed the proprietary estates of Wungarada, Kintali, and Mantina on Rajah Inuganti Rama Rayanin Garu, and the estates of Chidikada and Jagannadhapuram on Rajah Inuganti Rajagopala Rayanin Garu, both being his brothers-in-law, i.e., his sisters' husbands, and thus made them the Proprietors of these estates respectively. The latter dying without issue, Chidikada and Jagannadhapuram were taken back with the consent of his widow, Gopayyamma Garu, sister to the Rajah, and were given to Inuganti Sitaramaswami Garu, a nephew of the Rajah, i.e., another sister's son. The Rajah was of a very benevolent and charitable disposition, made grants of Agraharams and Inams to several persons; he was also very particular in the observances of his religion and used regularly to visit the temple thrice daily, early in the morning before day-break, at 9 a.m. before his breakfast, and 7 in the evening. He helped many Zemindars with timely loans ; and it is recorded in Carmichael's District Manual, page 293, that "for many years loans from Bobbili saved half of the estates in the district from confiscation and ruin." Many tanks and gardens were constructed and laid out by him, to which he gave the names of his father, brothers, and the God ; amongst which may be mentioned the Pool Bagh, Venugopala Vallabham, in Bobbili, which he laid out in 1855 at considerable expense.

He married first a lady, Vekataramanamma, of the Chintapatla family in the Godaveri District, and after her death he married his second wife, Vengayamma, of the Damera family. Having no issue, the Rajah adopted the third son of Rajah Suryarow Bahadur Garu, the Rajah of Pittapur. He died on the 18th August, 1862.