+91 8679200111

Modern History of Himachal Pradesh (Sikh and Hill States)

The Sikh religion started by first Sikh Guru Nanak Dev. They have their sacred book, Guru Granth Sahib which is revered in all the Gurudwaras (Sikh temples) throughout Himachal.

Sikh sources particularly the Adi Granth, the Janam Sakhis, Gur Sobha and Gur Bilas etc., contain several references about the spread of Sikhism in the Shiwalik foot-hills during the Guru period.
To deliver his message of peace, goodwill and brotherhood, Guru Nanak toured the Himalayan region as far as Ladakh during the course of his third Udasi (Journey).

The Guru is recorded to have visited the mountain states including Jwalamukhi, Kangra, Lahaul-Spiti, Tibet, China, Garhwal and Sirmaur, where he held discussions with the disciples of Yogis, Gorakhnath and Machhandemnath and clarified the religious issues raised by them.
5th Guru Arjuna Dev sent Bhai Kalian to hill States to collect funds to complete Hari Mandir Sahib at Amritsar.
The sixth Sikh Guru, Hargobind, like Guru Nanak, travelledcountry up and down. He is said to have converted the Raja of Kangra and Pilibhit to the Sikh faith. Mohsin Fani, his contemporary, also reports that as the time passed, the followers of Guru Hargobind considerably increased in the hills.

In 1618 Guru Hargobind ji also helped Dharam Chand of Hindur ( Nalagarh) in the war of succession. In 1625 Guru Hargobind sent his eldest son Gurditta to establish a Sikh center in that territory.
Guru Hargovind built Kiratpur on the plot gifted by the raja of Bilaspur in 1634. Guru also supported Raja Tara Chand of Kahlur in battle against Nawab of Ropar in 1642.
Guru Har Rai ji stayed at Thapal in the territory of Karam Prakash.
9th Guru Teg Bahadur visited state of kahlur purchased some land and established himself in the village of Makhowal that was later known as Sikh town of Anandpur Sahib.

Conflict arose between 10th Guru Govind Singh and Raja Bhim Chand of Kahlur on account of a petty white elephant “Prasadi , which was gifted to Guru by Rattan Rai of Assam. Bhim Chand demanded the elephant for himself that was refused by Guru.
Raja Bhim chand of Kehlur, Fatehshah of Gharwal and Raja Hari Chand of Hindur fought a battle at Bhagani near Ponta sahib in 1686 in which Guru Govind Singh emerged victorious. Raja of Hindur Hari chand was killed by the arrow of Guru Govind Singh.
Later Guru Gobind Singh and Raja of Kehlur became good friends and Guru returned the captured property to the successor of Raja Hari Chand.

When Mughals under Alif Khan, tried to attack the territory of Kehlur, Raja Bhim Chand asked for the help of Guru Govind Singh and battle was fought at Nadaun. When Raja Dayal Chand an ally of Alif Khan was killed and his friend Kripal Chand was wounded then Mughal army lost its courage and withdraw in darkness of night. The battle of Nadaun was fought in 1690.

At time of Raja Sidh Sen of Mandi, Guru Gobind Singh visited Mandi and Kullu. On April 13, 1699, Guru Gobind Singh laid foundation of Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahiab. Guru Gobind Singh had to leave Anandpur on 21st December, 1704 A.D. at the Battle of Anandpur Sahib.

The Battle of Chamkaur—
The Battle of Chamkaur, also known as Battle of Chamkaur Sahib, was a battle fought between the Khalsa, led by Guru Gobind Singh, and the coalition forces of the Mughals led by Wazir Khan in 1704. Guru Gobind Singh makes a reference to this battle in his victory letter Zafarnama.
The Battle of Muktsar or Battle of Khidrāne Dee Dhāb—-
The Battle of Muktsar took place on 29 December 1705, following the siege of Anandpur. In 1704, Anandpur was under an extended siege by the allied forces of the Mughals and the hill chiefs.

Banda Bahadur Singh and hill states:—
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur (16 October, 1670 – 9 June, 1716) (Lachhman Dev alias Madho dass Bairagi), originally from the Jammu region, is revered as one of greatest Sikh warriors as well as one of the most hallowed martyrs of the Khalsa Army.

Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah, sent Amin khan to subdue Banda, he ran away from Lohagarh but made escape through Sirmaur state during the reign of Raja Bhup Prakash. The first state to face the attack of Banda Bahadur was Kahlur.

This attack caused fear to other hill states and they started to pay Nazrana and assured their loyalty. Farukh Siyar sent army under Abdus Samad khan to punish Banda he was captured and execute in June 1716 AD.

Other Powers—
Nadir Shah invaded in 1739 and Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded in 1752. Abdali looted but left reins in the hands of Adina Beg.
In 1759 Ghamand Chand was appointed governor of Jalandhara by Durrani. He annexed ‘Chauki’ of Kahlur state and ‘taluka of Palam‘ from Chamba. He defeated Jassa singh Ramgarhia but later he had to bear another attack of Jasa Singh Ramgarhia in collebration with Jai singh Kanheya.
In 1781-82 Sansar chand requested Jai Singh Kanheya to help him to regain Nagarkot font form Mughal Sikh emerged successful to gain control over fort in 1783 but Jai Singh showed reluctance to hand over fort to Sansar chand till 1787 when Sansar Chand succeeded to obtained the aid of other Sikh leader in order to pressurize Jai Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh—
Maharaja Ranjit Singh belongs to Sukerchakia Misl. Maharaja Ranjit Singh took the title of Maharaja on April 13, 1801 (Baisakhi day), with Lahore as his capital form 1799. He brought Misls under his leadership. In 1802 he took the holy city of Amritsar. He also modernized his army, hiring European mercenaries to create the first modern Indian Army.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh successfully resisted two attacks by Maharaja Sansar Chand on Jalandhar in 1803, and Hoshiarpur in 1804.

In 1807, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh sent his Diwan Mokhram and captured Pathankot. He also took tribute from Chamba, Basoli and Jasrota.
Maharaja Sansar Chand became helpless against the rising tide of Gurkhas and appealed to Maharaja Ranjit Singh for help who became ready after initial reluctance.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to the hills, met Maharaja Sansar Chand at Jawalamukhi for negotiations. At last, the treaty was signed at Jwalamukhi on July 20, 1809. Maharaja Sansar Chand gave 66 villages and Kangra Fort to Maharaja Ranjit Singh in return for assistance.

Consequently, Maharaja Ranjit Singh sent his Diwan Mokhram and Sardar Fateh Singh Kalinawala. Gorkhas were ousted and one lac rupess were also received by Maharaja Ranjit Singh for safe passage to them. On 24th August Kangra fort was handed over to Maharaja Ranjit Singh after Gorkhas’ ejection.

After treaty of Jwalamukhi (1809 AD), the Sikh influence began in Kangra Hills. Desa Singh Majithia, was appointed the Qiladar of the Kangra fort and Nizam (Governor) of the Kangra hill states.
Starting from 1809 (Treaty of Jwalamukhi) Maharaja Ranjit Singh became master of Hills between Ravi & Satluj by 1828. By the end of 1816, Ranjit Singh was the master of hill States viz. Chamba, Nurpur, Kotla, Shahpur, Jasrota, Basohli, Mankot, Jaswan, Siba, Guler, Kehlur, Mandi, Suket, Kullu and Datarpur.

Leave a Reply