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Introduction to Natnagar

Maharajkumar Ratan Sinh was born in the palace of Laduna to queen of Raja Raj Sinh – Rajkunwar Chawdiji – on Monday, April 11, 1808 (Vaishak Vadi 1, Vikram Sanvat 1865). His childhood was spent entirely in the palaces of Laduna. Not much is known about childhood of Ratan Sinh, but it is well-known that a lot of his time was spent in physical exercise and hunting apart from education. Through regular workout, Ratan Sinh’s physique had become powerful and well-balanced. There are lot of tales in circulation about his physical strength.

Under suitable guidance of Raja Raj Sinh, Ratan Sinh studied languages including Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Brij, Sanskrit and Dingal. By inspiration of his father and teacher Guru Shrupdas, Ratan Sinh started writing poetries in Hindi, Brij, Dingal, Persian and Urdu, under the pen name of `Natnagar’.
In Vikram Sanvat 1913, `Natnagar Vinod’ was created. In this epic poem of his, Ratan Sinh has described both aspects of `Shringar’ - `Sanyog’ and `Viyog’ beautifully. The composition is also grammatically beautiful and language-wise lucid. `Natnagar Vinod’ is mostly a tribute to Brij language, but yet in some places shades of regional dialects of Malwa could be seen. Along with this epic poem, Ratan Sinh had also penned `Deewan-e-Usshaq’ in Urdu, an unpublished copy of which is still available in the Natnagar Shodh  Samsthan.

Along with love for literature, Ratan Sinh was also fond of painting and music. He was also fond of horse riding. He had written `Ashwa Vichar’ on special attributes and qualities of horses.

Maharajkumar Ratan Sinh was considerably impressed by Dadupanthi saint Shrupdas and considered the latter as his teacher. Shrupdas was a great Sanskrit scholar. The correspondence between Ratan Sinh and Shrupdas could be seen in Natnagar Vinod. The correspondence was in poetic form. The collection of this correspondence is also available at Shree Natnagar Shodh Samsthan, Sitamau. Ratan Sinh was quite famous in the world of poets because of his love for poetry and writing. Poets like Suryamall, Chandidaan, Hariram, Gurubhai Shivram and Shyamrao were part of his literary group. Apart from writing poetry, Ratan Sinh was also an avid collector of volumes of poetries. He got a number of poetry volumes copied and collected them. The administration of Sitamau was also his responsibility. To resolve the `tanka’ (tax) related issues of Sitamau State, Ratan Sinh toured Gwalior in 1860. He met Maharaja of Gwalior Jayajirao through British official A.G.G. Shakespeare and managed to get a discount of Rs 5000 in the `tanka’ by impressing the Maharaja with his speaking style. While returning from Gwalior, Ratan Sinh took a holy bath in the Ganges and also visited Brijbhumi.

Maharajkumar Ratan Sinh died in unfortunate circumstances after falling from a horse at the age of 55 years at midnight of Tuesday, Magh Vadi 3 Vikram Samvat 1920 (January 26, 1864).