The princely state of Kotah lay in the south-east of Rajputana. The state was once a part of the Rajput kingdom of Bundi but became a separate princely state in the 17th century. Kotah belonged to the Kotah-Jhalawar Agency which had its headquarters at Kotah. It is now located in Rajasthan State of India. The chiefs of Kotah belong to the Hara clan of Rajput Chauhans. Their early history until the 17th century was identical with Bundi, as the Kotah rulers were an offshoot of the former. In 1342, under the leadership of Bundi Rao Dewa- Jet Singh, his grandson extended their territory eastwards towards Chambal. He overtook a place now called Kotah city from a community of Bhils known as Koteah. The chief’s descendants ruled this place and surrounding country for about five generations till dispossessed by Rao Suraj Mal of Bundi in 1530.
At the beginning of the 17th century Ratan Singh, the chief of Bundi, gave his second son Madho Singh the town of Kotah and its dependencies as a jagir. Subsequently Ratan and Madho Singh joined the imperial army at Burhanpur at the time when Prince Khurram was threatening rebellion against his father Jahangir. Ratan Singh obtained the governorship of Burhanpur and Madho Singh received Kotah and its 360 townships for their services rendered in the rebellion. Thus in 1625, Kotah came into existence as a separate State.
Its first chief, Madho Singh, assumed the title of Raja. He was followed his eldest son Mukand Singh, who with his four brothers fought gallantly at the battle of Fatehabad near Ujjain in 1658 against Aurangzeb. In this battle all the brothers were killed except the youngest Kishor Singh.