RAJA HARSUKH RAI AND RAJA SHUGAN CHAND

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RAJA HARSUKH RAI AND RAJA SHUGAN CHAND

Illustrious Raja Harsukh Rai, born at Hissar around 1746, was the descendent of Seth Deep Chand. The latter was invited from Hissar to Delhi by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan (1627-58) and was made a Courtier and given property.

Fair complexioned Raja Harsukh Rai was sobre, sweet tempered and greatly religious minded.

He established a Kothi for banking business with the princely States. He was made Shahi Treasurer and honoured with the title of Raja. He was one of the nine main courtiers of Shah Alam II, the Emperor of Delhi. The portrait of these courtiers including him is preserved in the Museum of Red Fort, Delhi.

He was financier of the princely states of Rajasthan including Jaipur and Bharatpur.

He was generous hearted and provided liberal financial assistance to the needy and institutions without his name being disclosed. He expired in 1803. His only son Raja Shugan Chand born at Delhi around 1774 carried on the banking business. He was also Shahi Treasurer. He used to do Shastra Pravachan in Naya Mandir of Dharampura. In 1810, he organised the first Jain Rath-Yatra in Delhi. Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow had presented him his (Raja Shugan Chand’s) life size portrait painted with gold and studded with precious jewels which is a valuable possession with his descendent Shri Tirlok Chand Jain in Bharat Nagar, Delhi. In the mutiny of 1857 the jewels were removed from the portrait.

It is belived that Raja Harsukh Rai and Raja Shugan Chand had constructed about 52 Digamber Jain temples in various parts of the country, important of which are Naya Mandir in Dharampura, Delhi and temples at Jaisingh- pura. New Delhi, Patparganj and Shahdara (Delhi), Hastinapur, Amer, Sanganer, Sawai Madhopur, Sonagir, Panipat, Hissar and Karnal.

The construction of artistic and famous Naya Mandir in Dharampura was started by them in 1800 and its pratishtha ceremony was performed in 1807. It was constructed at a cost of about Rs. 8 lakhs at that time and has very fine enamel and chiesel work on white marble. The land for famous Hastinapur temple and all the three Nishianji there was acquired by Raja Shugan Chand from Gujar Chief Raja Nain Singh in leiu of a loan of rupees one lakh to him. The construction of the temple was started by him around 1805. He expired sometime before 1857. Both these illustrious personalities had no assumption of their wealth and position. They were highly courteous and never liked publicity of their deeds and name.

The East India Company had great regard for them. The Viceroy Lord Lake had given Certificate of Honour signed by himself to Raja Shugan Chand in 1806. They were gazetted courtiers and Members of Chamber of Princes.

Seth Girdhari Lai only son of Raja Shugan Chand had established Hissar-Panipat Agarwal Digamber Jain Panchayat (now known as Prachin Shri Agarwal Digamber Jain Panchayat).

Lala Paras Dass, son of Seth Girdhari Lai looked after the Panchayat regularly. He had his only son Shri Gian Chand whose only son Shri P. D. Ram Chand was Secretary of the above Panchayat and one of the six Hindu Hon. Magistrates. His only son late Lala Hukam Chand was a Panch and Secretary of its Executive Committee. He was also Manager of Naya Mandir Dharampura. His son Sh. Tirlok Chand is Manager of Naya Mandir. The family has constructed a Jain temple in Bharat Nagar.