18 September, 2020

Vanished Nagvansh

A 1,950-year-old dynasty comes to an end

Rajesh Kumar
Vanished Nagvansh

Ratu Maharaj, or Raja of Ratu, is how Chintamani Sharan Nath Shahdeo was known till he died in July this year. With him draws to a close one of the world’s longest recorded dynasties. Dating back to 64 AD, it lasted 1,950 years. The Imperial House of Japan, a clan in Bulgaria and the Hong Bang dynasty of Korea are the other dynasties that have lasted as long, says Aditendra Nath Shahdeo, a cousin and official biographer of the last maharaja.

Ratu Maharaj’s only son (he has four daughters) died childless in 2010. The daughters now plan to form a trust to maintain the Ratu fort. Boasting 103 rooms, it was fashioned after the Buck­ingham Palace. Aditendra, who teaches commerce at a local college in Ranchi, points out several unique features of the dynasty. “It never saw a revolt and never collected revenue from subjects barring grain and animal offerings from tribal chieftains on Dussehra,” he told Outlook.

The family maintained such a low pro­file that it is hard to find a plaque, insignia or a signboard even at Ratu, 15 km...



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