The maharaja bahadur of Darbhanga, a Rajput, whose ancestor Mahesh Thakor received the Darbhanga raj (which includes large parts of the modern districts of Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Monghyr, Purnea and Bhagalpur) from the emperor Akbar early in the 16th century, is not only the premier territorial noble of Behar but one of the greatest noblemen of all India.
The raj was founded in 1657 by Abu Ra Kapur, of the Kapur Khatri family of Kotli in Lahore, Punjab, whose descendants served in turn the Mogul emperors and the British government.
He was created a maharaja bahadur on his succession to the raj in 1898.
The great prosperity of the raj was due to the excellent management of Maharaja Mahtab Chand (d.
In 1854 it would have lapsed to the British government for want of direct heirs, but was conferred on Jagat Raj as a special act of grace.
Under his supervision his raj came to be regarded as the model for good and benevolent management; he constructed hundreds of miles of roads planted with trees, bridged all the rivers, and constructed irrigation works on a great scale.
Maharaja Lachhmeswar Singh Bahadur, who succeeded to the raj in 1860 and died in 1898, was distinguished for his public services, and especially as one of the most munificent of living philanthropists.
The Bishnupur raj was one of the largest estates in Bengal in the end of the 18th century, but it was sold for arrears of revenue shortly after the conclusion of the permanent settlement in 1793.
The chief of Dhrangadra, who bears the title of Raj Sahib, with the predicate of His Highness, is head of the ancient clan of Jhala Rajputs, who are said to have entered Kathiawar from Sind in the 8th century.