Sirmaur History Notes

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History

According to data in various historical records and archaeological features are considered irrelevant. This is due to two major reasons:
1) In past, no efforts seem to have been made for compilation of document(history of the state).
2) It is believed that, in about 1139 AD- the original capital of the state was destroyed by a unprecedented flood.

  • Main Source of Sirmaur History- “Tarikh-i-Riyasat Sirmaur” written by “Kanwar Ranzor Singh”.
  • Sirmaur was founded by ‘Raja Rasaloo‘ who came from ‘Jaisalmer‘ and one of his ancestor’s name was Sirmaur (state was named after his Sirmaur).
  • According to another theory- upto the time of Madan Singh, the capital of the state- Sirmaur and hence state was given the same name.
  • According to Kanwar Ranzor Singh (Tarikht-i-Riyasat), Sirmaur was the son of Buland, the brother of Raja Rasaloo, after whom the state took its name.
  • The king named Sirmaur is confirmed by the traditional worship of ‘devta’ (god) known as “Sirmuria”.
  • Sirmauria devta’s position was next to ‘Mahasu‘ (worshipped first by the state people).
  • According to the Urdu History of Kumharsain, Sirmaur was a powerful princiality.
  • During the period of Rana Zorawar Singh of Kumharsain, the then Raja of Sirmaur is said to have invaded Rampur Bushahr.
  • According to the tradition, Raja was forewarned by Goddess ‘Mahakali‘ to not attack the Rampur Bushahr, but he attacked and as a result, he had to retreat after cholera broke out in his army.
  • During this attack Chief of Kumharsain married daughter of Sirmaur’s Raja and have cordial relation.
  • Oldest name of Sirmaur-‘Sulokina‘.
  • Earliest inhabitants of the territory were said to be ‘Kulindas‘ or ‘Kunindas’ who were identified with the modern Kanets.

Madna

  • He was the chief of northern region(now called Sirmaur) who was challenged by the Rana of Paonta.
  • In a fierce battle, Madna was killed and his brother-in-law was taken as a prisoner.

Badal

  • He was the ruler of Pargana and he gave away his lands to’devas’ (Brahmins) and Rawats (Rajputs) for their living.
  • At that time ‘Kamna‘ heades the Rrahmins and ‘Kir Chand‘ headed the Rajputs. In a fight, Kamna was killed but his wife with a small army killed Kir Chand with her own hands.
  • Ancient capital of Sirmaur- ‘Kayara Dun‘.
  • It is said that, during the reign of ‘Madan Singh‘ a rajput of Suryavanshhi clan, was cursed by a women. After that the Sirmaur(capital) was destroyed completely by a flood in the Giri river.
  • This flood left the state without a ruler. The Pandits of the state visited the Raja of Jaisalmer and requested to send one of his rani(pregnant at that time) to Sirmaur.
  • When Rani entered the Sirmaur, a boy named ‘Badan Singh‘ was born under a ‘Dakh tree‘(still worshipped by females of Sirmaur).
  • Thus from Raja Badan Singh. there has been an continuous line of rulers till the time to Maharaja Rajinder Parkash, who died in 1964 without any male heir.
  • According to another account, it is said that in about 1609 Raja of Jaiselmer, Ugar Sen, who happened to visit Haridwar on pilgrimage on hearing throne vacant in Sirmaur sent his son ‘Rawal‘ who gain throne and made ‘Rajban‘ his capital.
  • He took title of ‘Subhans Prakash‘.
  • Raja Subhans Prakash’s son Mahe Prakash succeeded him. He built Lakshmi Narayan temple on bank of Bhagirathi to commemorate his victory in Garhwal as far as malda and named it after his own name Mahe Deva.

Raja Udit Parkash(1217-1227 AD)

  • He succeeded the throne in the year 1217.
  • He shifted his capital from Rajban to Kalsi (now in Dehradun, Uttrakhand).
  • He abdicated in favour of his son Kaol Prakash in A.D. 1227.

Kaol Prakash(1227-1239 AD)

  • He made the rulers of ‘Jubbal’, ‘Balsan’ and Tharoch’ his tributaries.
  • earliest mention of Sirmaur by Mohammedan historians occurs in the Tabakt-i-Nasiri, Nizam-ul-Mulk Mohammed Khan took refuge in the hills of Sirmaur (Bardar) when he rebelled against Razia Sultan.

Sumer Parkash(1239-1248 AD)

  • He succeeded in AD 1239.
  • He first annexed the fort and hill state of Ratesh which then forms part of Keonthal state.
  • He also made it his capital.
  • He died in AD 1248, after the reign of 9 years.

Raja Suraj Parkash(1248 AD)

  • During his reign(from Ratesh), people revolted at ‘Kalsi’ and also attacked the palace.
  • According to one account, daughter played a great role in the suppression of revolt.
  • Account to another account, his daughter died in the process.
  • After reestablishing order, he invaded the Thakurs of Jubbal, Balsan, Kumharasin, Ghund, Theog, Sairi Rawin and Kotgarh and made them to pay tribute and then returned to Kalsi.
  • It was during this period when Mohammedan army for the first time entered the area to chase ‘Qutlugh Khan’, in his retreat from Hindustan to Lahore. ‘Mahmud Shah-I’ attacked the fort of Santurgarh, but not before the flight of Qutlugh Khan.
  • Raja Suraj Parkash ruled for eleven years and died in the year 1259.
  • Next century from A.D. 1259 to 1374 was uneventful.

Raja Bhakat Parkash(1374-1386 AD)

  • He ruled from 1374 to 1386.
  • In 1379, ‘Firoz Shah’ of Delhi made Sirmaur his tributary.
  • He died in AD 1386.

Raja Jagat Parkash(1386-1388 AD)

  • 1n 1386, he succeeded to the throne.
  • His reign was famous for maladministration.
  • The rulers of Jubbal, Balson, Rawain., Kumharsain were all his subjects.
  • All of these Thakurais and other fiefs revolted against him.
  • He died soon in AD 1388.

Raja Veer Parkash(1388-1398 AD)

  • He was son of Jagat Parkash who came to power in AD 1388.
  • He crushed the rebellion of Thakurs.
  • He built a devi temple of Goddess Durga on the bank of the Pabbar river in the area of ‘Hatkoti’ (now in Shimla district).
  • He also built a fort, known as ‘Rawingarh‘.
  • He defeated all the chiefs, who revolted against his father and made them tributaries once again.
  • He died at Hatkoti in 1398, after ten years reign.

Raja Nekat Parkash(1398-1414 AD)

  • He succeeded to the throne in 1398 AD.
  • He made ‘Village Neri‘ as capital of Sirmaur.
  • Ruling for fourteen years, he was followed by Raja Garbh Parkash in A.D. 1414.

Raja Garbh Parkash(1414-1432 AD)

  • He transferred his capital from Neri to Jagri fort (Located in Ratesh).
  • He ruled for 18 years and died in A.D. 1432.

Raja Braham Parkash(1432-1446 AD)

  • He succeeded to the throne in A.D. 1432.
  • According to Ranzor Singh, he made Kot Deothal his capital.
  • But according to the old gazetteer, ‘Kot’ and ‘Gijari’ in Ratesh, were not his capital.
  • He ruled for fourteen years and died in A.D. 1446.

Raja Budhi Parkash(1605-1615 AD)

  • He succeeded to the throne in A.D. 1605.
  • He was also known as Bhupat Parkash.
  • He shifted capital from ‘Kalsi to Rajpur’.
  • He died in AD 1615.

Raja Karam Parkash(1616-1630 AD)

  • He ascended the throne in A.D. 1616 and reigned till A.D. 1630.
  • For six years, he resided at Kalsi and then in AD 1621, he laid the foundation of the city and the fort of ‘Nahan’.
  • It is believed that formerly the state was called ‘Nahar’, meaning lion, after the lion companion of a saint who was living there.
  • He was disciple of ‘Baba Banwari Dass‘, whose descendents still hold the temple of Jaganath at Nahan.

Mandhata Parkash (1630-1647 AD)

  • He was contemporary of the Emperor Shah Jahan. He was a man of great qualities and so favourite of Emperor Shah Jahan.

Raja Sobhag Parkash(1647-1659)

  • He succeeded to the throne in AD 1647.
  • The Emperor Jahangir in the third year of his reign, conferred upon him the territory of Kalankhar, on the ground that it was being mismanged.
  • It seems to be the present area of Kolagdh, near Dehradun.
  • It was during his period that Srinagar was conquered. In grant of his services to the Emperor, he was granted the territory of Kotaha.

Raja Bidhi or Budh Parkash (1659-1678 AD)

  • He was also known as Mahi Prakash.
  • He demanded a daughter in marriage from Raja Rup Chand of Keonthal.
  • On refusal, he attacked Rup Chand with the help of his father-in-law, the Raja of Guler and got married to princess.
  • Raja Bidhi Parkash died in AD 1678.

Raja Jog Raj (1678-1694 AD)

  • He succeeded under the title of Mast or Medni Parkash.
  • He was recognized as the ‘Raja of Sirmaur” with the title ‘Mast Parkash’ by Aurangzeb.
  • During his reign, Guru Gouind Singh came to Sirmaur state because Raja Bhim Chand of Bilaspur expelled Guru Govind Singh from Anandpur for a white elephant.
  • Raja Medni Parkash invited the Guru to Nahan where he stayed tor some time.
  • From Nahan, the Guru migrated to Paonta Sahib in Kiarda Dun and stayed there for years.
  • While the Guru was at Paonta Sahib-marriage of son of Raja Bhim Chand of Bilaspur was settled with the daughter of Fateh Shah, the Chief of Garhwal and friend of the Guru.
  • On this occsassion, Guru send gifts to Fateh Shah, But Bhim Chand made Fateh Shah to return the gifts to the Guru.
  • Guru took it as an unprovoked indignity and when the Raja of Bilaspur was returning after the wedding of his son, a fierce battle was fought at Bhangani near Paonta Sahib in which Guru emerged victorious.
  • Guru Govind Singh set a ‘Jhanda’ at Bhangani, where a Gurudwara also exists.
  • Raja Jog Raj died issueless in AD 1694.

Bhup Parkash(1703-1713 AD)

  • He was honoured with a Khillat, with title of Bhim Parkash by Shah Alamgir.
  • He died in A.D. 1713.

Biji Parkash(1713-1749 AD)

  • His Rani brought idol of Kali from Kumaon which was installed in a temple, at ‘Kalistan’.
  • She also built a large tank and a well for drinking water at Nahan.
  • He died in A.D. 1749.

Kirat Singh Parkash (1757-1773 AD)

  • He succeeded to the throne in AD 1757 while he was quite young.
  • He attacked Pinjaur fort with the help of Raja of Patiala and killed Ganga Ram who was appointed in charge of Gharib Dass.
  • Gharib Dass was founder of ‘Mani Majra‘ family who possessed 84 villages from his father who was revenue officerof Delhi empire.
  • In 1767, he built a temple dedicated to Jaganath, in commemoration of his victory.
  • He also assisted Praduman Shah, the ruler of Garhwal against Gurkha but Pradhuman Shah abandoned the field.
  • On this, Sirmauri Raja entered into a treaty with Gurkhas headed by Amar Singh Thapa.
  • According to the treaty, Ganga was accepted as the boundary line between the Gurkhas and the State of Sirmaur. While returning, Kirat Parkash was taken ill and died at ‘Lakar Ghat‘ at the age of 26 years in the year 1773.

Jagat Parkash (1773-1792 AD)

  • The old friendship between the Sirmaur and the Patiala Rajas helped him to defeat Ghulam Qadir Rohilla in battle of Katsan (near Nahan).
  • In commemoration of this victory, he built a temple of Devi of Katasan. Meanwhile, Raja Mahan Chand of Kahlur attacked Hindur (Nalagarh) and occupied a fort of this territory.
  • On the request Raja Ram Singh of Hindur, Raja Jagat Parkash sent an army and territory got restored.
  • He died in 1792 AD.

Raja Dharam Parkash

  • He was younger brother of Jagat Singh, who succeeded to the throne because no male issue of Jagat Singh.
  • A battle was fought between Ram Singh of Hindur and Dharam Parkash at ‘Chhalra Bhatra‘.
  • In this battle, Raja Jagat Singh of Baghat (an ally of Hindur) was captured by Dharam Parkash. To secure his release Ram Singh was forced to to sign peace treaty.
  • About that time, Katoch chief of Kangra, Raja Sansar Chand had taken the possession of some areas and forts of Kahlur.
  • Raja Mahan Chand of Kahlur sought help from Raja Dharam Parkash against Sansar Chand in exchange to one lakh rupees as Nazrana.
  • In this battle, Raja Ram Singh(Hindur) was also an ally against Sansar Chand. A great battle ensued at boundary of Kangra and Kahlur, place named ‘Chararatu‘ in 1796, in which Dharam Parkash died due to a gun shot.
  • Raja Dharam Parkash died without a heir.

Sirmaur Under the British

Raja Karam Parkash(1796-1826 AD)

  • He was younger brother of Dharam Parkash.
  • He was an inexperienced ruler.
  • Sirmaur’s internal affairs were interfered by Raja Ram Saran of Hindur.
  • A Officer Ajit Singh guided Raja’s brother Kanwar Rattan Parkash to capture the throne.
  • Raja escaped to Dehradun where he met Amar Singh Thapa and asked for his help to regain throne which was accepted by Amar Singh Thapa.
  • Gurkhas expelled Kanwar Rattan Parkash and set up their government leaving Karam Parkash in the same position before.
  • Amar Singh Thapa appointed his son Ranzor Singh Thapa as an administrator of Sirmaur and constructed ‘Jaitak fort‘.
  • Raja Karam Parkash took asylum at ‘Buria’ in Ambala district, where his Rani(Guleri Rani) appealed to Colonel Ochterlony to help Raja.
  • In 1815, Sirmaur was captured by Britishers after Anglo-Gurkha war.
  • British provided Sanad to Raj Kumar Fateh Parkash (child of 6 years) instead of Raja Karam Parkash because of his notorious behaviour.
  • He died in 1826.

Raja Fateh Parkash(1815-1850 AD)

  • During minority of Raja, Aziz-Ullah-Khan was appointed administrator of the state.
  • In 1827, British Government granted him full administrative and revenue Powers.
  • To set up good relations, Rana Puran Chand of Jubbal, deputed his Wazir to the court of Raja Fateh Parkash.
  • When Raja Fateh Parkash took over the charge, he removed all causes of maladministration with great ability and straightened out affairs of state.
  • For his Rani from Kahlur, ‘Sheesh Mahal‘ and the ‘Moti Mahal‘ builted by him.
  • He got back Kayar-Dadun in 1833 for Rs. 50,000.
  • He supported the British Government during the Afghanistan expedition and first Anglo-Sikh war.
  • In 1850 AD, he died in 36th year of his reign.

Raja Shamsher Parkash(1856-1898 AD)

  • He was made Raja at the age of 10.
  • He helped the Britishers during 1857 revolt and they entitled him to a salute of 7 guns and also a Khillat to Kanwars.
  • For his administrative skill and performance, in 1867, gun salute was increased from seven to eleven.
  • In memory of his Rani from Keonthal, he laid foundation to ‘Ranital Bagh’ garden.
  • He constituted Forest Department on organized and regular lines.
  • In 1879, the second Afghan war, he offered invaluable services to the British.
  • In 1880, a separate cantonment was built in ‘Satyon-Ka-Pahar‘.
  • In 1896, Sirmaur was taken out of the political control of Superintendent of Shimla Hill States, Sanad was placed under Commissioner of Delhi.
  • In 1890, Urdu knowing clerks were replaced by those conversant with the English language.
  • Raja purchased a tea garden in 1890, named Enfield, in Dehradun’ and another at Cherapani (Uttrakhand) to increase the state revenue and to improve economic condition of the people.
  • During his period, agricultural exhibitions and Dussehra celebrations were introduced.
  • During his period, Nahan became first municipality in the state.
  • During his period, the colonization of Kayar-Da Dun (a wild dense forest track) was started.
  • He banned the “Siyapa” (bewailing) custom. He died in 1898 due to stroke of paralysis.

Raja Surinder Bikram Singh(1898-1911 AD)

  • He ascended to the throne in 1898.
  • On 9th November 1901, he was honored with KCSI.
  • From 1902, he remained a member of the Imperial Legislative Council for 5 years.
  • In 1906, unrestricted power to pass sentence of death was invested to him.
  • He helped the British army with men and material, in South Africa.
  • He died in 1911 at ‘Musoorie’.

Maharaja Amar Parkash(1911-1933 AD)

  • He was installed with full powers by the Lieutenant-Governor.
  • On the 3rd June 1915, the Raja was honoured with the title of K.C.S.I. During first world war (1914-18), the Maharaja rendered invaluable service to the British government.
  • In 1914, he sent his small well knit army, four hundred strong, of Sirmaur Sappers and Miners to Mesopotamia.
  • For this friendly gesture he was given the title of Maharaja’ on 1st January 1918 and in the same year, gazetted as Honorary Lieutenant
  • Colonel.
  • For this, his salute was also raised from 11 guns to 13 guns.
  • In 1919, he was invested with unrestricted powers to proclaim sentences of death.
  • On 1st January 1921, he received the K.C.I.E.
  • ‘Mahima Library’ was inaugurated by him.
  • During his period, the road from Nahan to Kala Amb was completed in 1927.
  • He died in 1933.

Maharaja Rajinder Parkash(1933-1948 AD)

  • He installed on the throne on 22nd November 1938 with full powers.
  • He was member of the Princes of Chamber Standing Committee.
  • In the year 1943-44, he was promoted to rank of a captain in the British Indian army.
  • He was entitled to a salute of 11 guns.
  • Raja had no son to succeed him, so after his death there were many claimants to the ancestral property.
  • He signed the merger of Sirmaur on March 13, 1948 at Nahan. Later, merger was legally organized from 15th April, 1948.

Read Also: Shimla-The Capital History Notes

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