Bilaspur History Notes

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Bilaspur History

  • A goat of Gurjar named Kehlu standing on a stone slab repulsed the attack of leopard thrice and the leopard finally ran away.
  • When this incident was narrated to Bir Chand, he immediately understood the secret of this miraculous slab and built a fort there, named it Kot Kehlur after the name of Kehlu Gurjar.
  • he also found an idol of Goddess Durga beneath that stone slab earlier. The idol found from this place was honored by consecrating for it the Naina Devi temple.
  • Raja also began to reside there. Since then Kehlur is associated with Bilaspur. The idol found from this place was honored by consecrating for it the Naina Devi temple.

Foundation of the state

Raja Bir Chand (A.D. 900)

  • Bilaspur state was founded by Raja Bir Chand, he came from the ruling family of ‘Chander Bundelkhand’.
  • Bir Chand reigned for thirty-three years and conquered fifteen neighbouring states.
  • He built a temple of Goddess Naina Devi on Dhar Naina Devi and below the Dhar founded his capital.
  • He obtained the tribute from the chiefs of Baghal, Kunihar, Beja, Dhami, Keonthal, Kuthar, Jubbal, Baghat, Bhajji, Mahlog, Mangal and Balson.

Raja Kahal Chand

  • He was the sixth descendant of the ruling family.
  • He is said to have built the fort ‘Kot Kahlur, (according to another account, Kot Kahlur was built by Raja Bir Chand).

Raja Ajit Chand

  • Kahal Chand had four sons, named Ajit Chand, Ajai Chand, Tegh Chand, and Suchet Chand.
  • After the death of their father, they attacked and captured the neighboring states.
  • He(Ajit Chand) founded the ruling dynasty of Hindur(Nalagarh), which later came to be known as Nalagarh.
  • According to another account, the ruling family of Hindur descended from Suchet Chand, who was installed as the Raja of Hindur by Ajit Chand.

Raja Sangar Chand (1197-1220 A.D.)

  • His seven sons founded seven different Rajput families namely Jhandwal, Sangwal, Ghal, Darol, Nanglu, Meghari, and Dohkli.

Raja Megh Chand

  • Megh Chand the eldest son of Sangar Chand, succeeded to the gaddi.
  • But being harsh and tyrannical, he was forced by people to leave the state and took asylum in ‘Kullu’.
  • Later he took the help of Delhi’s Sultan, Shamsu ud-din Altutmash (1211-1236), and regained his lost kingdom.

Raja Abhisand Chand

  • He ruled the Bilaspur during the period of Sikandar Lodhi.
  • He fought a battle against Tatar Khan Amir in which Tatar Khan Amir was defeated and killed.
  • Later Son of Tatar Khankilled the Raja and his youngest son, Sunder Chand.

Raja Sampuran Chand (1380 A.D.)

  • He reigned for a short period of time.
  • His younger brother Ratan Chand killed him( a rare case among Hindu ruler when a younger brother killed his elder brother for the throne).

Raja Ratan Chand (1400 A.D.)

  • Ratan Chand had a long reign
  • He had cordial relations with the court in Delhi.
  • For killing a lion, he receives 1.25 lacs from the emperor.

Raja Gyan Chand or Ayam Chand (1570 A.D.)

  • Gyan Chand was a contemporary of the Mughal emperor, Akbar.
  • During his reign, smaller states aroused their antipathy against him(Due to his overbearing attitude towards them).
  • Raja Gyan Chand embraced Islam under the influence of the Viceroy of Sirhind.
  • Gyan Chand’s tomb is still shown at Kiratpur in Punjab.
  • He had three sons-Bik Chand’, ‘Rama’, and ‘Bhima Chand’ – the two younger sons also embraced Islam with a large number of people.
  • Bik Chand, however, remained under the Hindu faith and fled across the Satluj to a place called “Sunhani’.
  • Gyan Chand was a contemporary of the Mughal emperor, Akbar.
  • During his reign, smaller states aroused their antipathy against him(Due to his overbearing attitude towards them).
  • Raja Gyan Chand embraced Islam under the influence of the Viceroy of Sirhind.
  • Gyan Chand’s tomb is still shown at Kiratpur in Punjab.
  • He had three sons-Bik Chand’, ‘Rama’, and ‘Bhima Chand’ – the two younger sons also embraced Islam with a large number of people.
  • Bik Chand, however, remained under the Hindu faith and fled across the Satluj to a place called “Sunhani’.

Raja Bik Chand (1600 A.D.)

  • He married two Princesses, one of these from Kangra and other from Bhagal at Sunhani.
  • A son was born to each of the Ranis. The Kangra Rani gave birth to Sultan Chand and the Bhagal Rani to Kesba Chand.
  • Raja Bik Chand abdicated the throne during his life in favor of Sultan Chand.
  • Sultan Chand ascended the throne in 1620 A.D. He left a son, named Kalian Chand, who succeeded his father.

Raja Kalian Chand (1630 A.D.)

  • Raja Shyam Sen of Suket (A.D. 1620-53) contemporary of him, His daughter was Kalian Chand’s, Chief Rani.
  • A war between Bilaspur and Nalagarh was fought because Kalian Chand built a fort on the border of Hindur.
  • The Raja of Hindur was killed in the battle.
  • In the Battle, Kalian Chand was mortally wounded. He died at a place still called ‘Kalian Chand di-dwari’ (cave of Kalian Chand). The Rani from Suket became Sati.

Bilaspur History

Raja Tara Chand (1645 A.D.)

  • He was a weak and timid ruler.
  • A fort called Taragarh fort in Hindur was built by him (now demolished).

Raja Dip Chand (1650-1656 A.D.)

  • He regained the lost reputation of the Bilaspur.
  • He shifted the capital from Sunhani to a place on the left bank of the Satluj, also called as ‘Vyasgufa’.
  • He erected a new palace was called ‘Dholra’, overlooking the river. He founded a town and called it Biaspur, now called Bilaspur.
  • He fixed the salute ‘Jai Deva’ to Raja, ‘Jai’ to Mians, and ‘Ram-Ram’ for the Ranas.
  • In 1656, Sikhs who then came into power in Punjab invaded Bilaspur and reduced it to submission.
  • He (Raja) was poisoned, during his stay at Nadaun by the Raja Chander Bhan Chand of Kangra. Chand.

Raja Bhim Chand (1667 A.D.)

  • Bhim Chand succeeded to the throne when he was a minor.
  • Manak Chand (brother of Dip Chand) was appointed as the Wazir, but after his tyrannical attitude, he was dismissed by Jalal Devi the queen mother.
  • Manak Chand took the help of the Kangra Raja and attacked Bilaspur but their attack was repulsed by the combined forces of Mandi and Bilaspur forces at ‘Jaboth’ near Bhambla.
  • In 1682, trouble arose between Guru Govind Singh and Bhim Chand, in which the Bhim Chand was defeated.
  • In 1685, Bhim Chand took the help of the Rajas of Guler, Kangra, and other states and attacked the Sikhs but defeat again.
  • He spent the last years of his life as a Faqir after abdicating in favor of his son.
  • He died about 1712 A.D.
  • He was succeeded by his son, Ajmer Chand.

Raja Ajmer Chand (1712-41 A.D.)

  • Raja Bhim Chand was succeeded by his son, Ajmer Chand.
  • Raja Bhim Chand had a reign that lasted for 30 years.
  • ‘Ajmergarh fort’ on the border of Hindur was built by him.
  • Bhim Chand died in the year 1741 and was succeeded by his eldest son Devi Chand.

Raja Devi Chand (1741-78 A.D.)

  • In his early years of reign, a revolt took place in the adjoining state of Hindur and Raja Man Chand and his son, both were killed.
  • Raja Devi Chand of Bilaspur installed Gaje Singh, a member of Hindur’s ruling family as Raja of Hindur.
  • Later, Raja Abhai Chand of Jaswan invaded Kangra and Devi Chand helped the Raja Ghamand Chand.
  • He also recovered the Bilaspur territory that had been annexed by the Mughals.
  • The Nawab of Jalandhara at that time was Adina Begh Khan.
  • Nadir Shah was also a contemporary of Raja Devi Chand.
  • He built the fort of ‘Bhamaikot and the Ramgarh fort was given to Bejai Chand of Hindur.
  • He had a son named Mahan Chand, who was born in 1772. When Devi Chand died Mahan Chand was only six years old.

Raja Mahan Chand (1778-1824 A.D.)

  • During the minority of Mahan Chand, Wazir Ramu of the ‘Darol family maintained the administration of the state. But He died in 1785 and then Bairagi Ram formerly Wazir of Mandi was called to perform the duties of a Wazir.
  • But Wazir Bairagi Ram’s appointment did not work and after him, Zorawar Chand(younger brother of Raja Devi Chand) held the office of Wazir till Mahan Chand came of age.
  • Sansar Chand(Kangra) invaded the Bilaspur (right bank of the Satluj) and occupied Chauki Hatwar.
  • Mahan Chand spends his time in the low company and sexual pleasures.
  • Rani of Bilaspur requested Raja Dharam Parkash of Sirmaur who came to help Kahlur got killed in the Battle.
  • A fort on the Dhar Janjrar was built by the Sansar Chand in Bilaspur territory. Sansar Chand called it ‘Chhatipur’ i.e. a fort on the chest of Bilaspur.
  • He(Mahan Chand) got help from the Sikh Sardars, Gurdit Singh, and Desa Singh of Anandpur, but again Sikhs were defeated.
  • At that time, the Gurkhas of Nepal emerged as a powerful force. Gurkhas’ headquarters was at Garhwal.
  • Mahan Chand turned to Gurkhas for help against Sansar Chand, he sends an invitation to Amar Singh Thapa, the Gurkha Commander, to invade Kangra.
  • Mahan Chand was also supported by other Chiefs of Kangra state against Sansar Chand.
  • In 1805, Sansar Chand’s forces were defeated at Mahal Morian, in district Hamirpur.
  • Sansar Chand took shelter in the Kangra fort. Gurkha forces laid siege to Kangra fort.
  • In 1809, Ranjit Singh liberated Kangra fort and compelled the Gurkha forces to retire across the Satluj river.
  • Till 1814, Gurkhas continued to occupy Bilaspur and other hill states.
  • In 1808, Jahanbhari was annexed by the Sikhs(currently a part of Punjab).
  • In 1813, Kharak Chand(son of Mahan Chand born) in 1813.
  • Raja Mahan Chand died in 1824.

Bilaspur History

Raja Kharak Chand (1824-1839 A.D.)

  • At the time of his birth, Astrologers predicted that he had been born under unlucky stars and would be a cause of great calamity to the state, which later proved true.
  • His reign marks the darkest period in the history of Bilaspur.
  • When his atrocities reached their climax, the people of Bilaspur went to Mian Jagat Chand, the Raja’s uncle, and begged him to help them.
  • His two uncles led a revolt against him, one of them was Jagat Chand, and continued fight for some time.
  • After some time, Kharak Chand contracted smallpox and died.

Raja Jagat Chand (1839-1857 A.D)

  • Raja Kharak Chand of Bilaspur died without any heir to the throne but his one of his Rani was pregnant at that time. She gave birth to a son in Sirmaour(her Parental house).
  • Jagat Chand(Uncle of Kharak Chand) had taken a leading part in the struggle against the oppressive rule of Kharak Chand. In April 1839, he was duly installed as Raja of Bilaspur in April 1839.
  • The Rani of Kharak Chand, returned to Bilaspur with an army, supported by the Sirmaur, and a force from Suket to claim the throne.
  • To save his life Raja Jagat Chand fled to Hindur.
  • Raja Jagat Chand was restored to the throne by the political agent of Ambala.
  • Raja Jagat Chand was also helped by Raja Ram Saran of Hindur.
  • Jagat Chand abdicated the throne to his grandson and retired to ‘Brindaban’ in 1850.

Raja Hira Chand (1857-1882 A.D)

  • He received a salute of eleven guns for his valuable support to the British during the 1857 revolt.
  • In 1857, his son Amar Chand was born.
  • His reign is known as golden period of Bilaspur.
  • Before 1863, the land revenue was paid in kind, the state taking one-third of the product.
  • Hira Chand made revenue demand payable partly in Cash and partly in kind in some selected portions of the territory.
  • A long strip of land called Based ‘Bachhretu’ was restored to the state in the year 1867.
  • The Doab region restored to the state from the Sikhs.
  • The Wazir of the state was Mian Bhangi Purgnia.
  • In 1882, Hira Chand and his son ‘Tikka Amar Chand visited Shimla. On the way back Hira Chand got serious illness there. His son arranged a ‘Palki’ (palanquin) to take him to Bilaspur, but on the way, he died at a place called ‘Mahol’.

Raja Amar Chand (1883-1888 A.D)

  • He was installed as Raja by Deputy Commissioner of Shimla in 1883.
  • In his short reign, there was a revolt against the revenue administration of the state.
  • In 1885, Nagari(Hindi) was ordered to keep the record of cases.
  • He opened schools, hospitals in the state.
  • He got constructed a suspension bridge over Satluj.
  • Raja Amar Chand died in 1888.

Raja Bijai Chand

  • Raja Bijai Chand was the son of Raja Amar Chand and he was born in 1872. He was the 43rd ruler of the line.
  • After his installation in 1889, he introduced many reforms in the state administration.
  • For the first time, the system of Court fee and non-judicial stamps were introduced in the state.
  • In 1893, He was invested with full powers.
  • The water supply system laid in Bilaspur town was also laid by him.
  • The famous ‘Rang Mahal’ palace at Bilaspur was also built by him.
  • Chandel Rajputs revolted against him, in 1901.
  • In 1902, Lala Hari Chand(a retired tehsildar), was appointed as Wazir.
  • During the first World War, he extended all possible help to the British.
  • For his services, he was granted the title of K.C.I.E., (Knight Companion in the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire) as also the honorary rank of a major.
  • He died in 1931.

Bilaspur History

Raja Anand Chand (1928-1948 A.D)

  • He was born on 26th January 1913. K.C.I.E Raja of Bilaspur from 1927 to 1938. He succeeded to the throne after the abdication by his father(Raja Anand Chand) on 18 February 1927.
  • Anand Chand abolished child marriage, begar with the introduction of prohibition in Bilaspur by Act in 1942.
  • He also constructed new roads linking the capital(Bilaspur) with Suket and Mandi.
  • He also constructed new schools and health centres.
  • Temple of Shri Gopalji was built by him and the new Palace (now submerged) was also built by him.
  • Bilaspur joined the Indian dominion and signed the instrument of accession.
  • He(Anand Chand) ruled up to 9 October 1948 after that Bilaspur was made a part ‘C state vide agreement dated 15th August 1948.
  • On 12 October 1948, He was appointed as the first Chief Commissioner of the newly formed part ‘C’ state and continued up to 1 April 1949.
  • On 1 July 1954, Bilaspur was merged into Himachal Pradesh and formed a district of HP.

Raja Shubhendra Chand

  • He was born in 1987.
  • He succeeded his father on 8th Octo ber 2013 and currently owns the Palace of Bilaspur.

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