Brief History of Kangra Riyasat

Date: 08 May 2017

Himachal Pradesh has a vast diversity in its culture and tradition. This diversity has prevailed from ages. This diversity also reflects in the history too. Each district has a distinct history. This article is on history of ancient Kangra Riyasat of present Kangra district.

This district has very vast history.Kangra was divided into three Riyasats i.e. KANGRA RIYASAT,GULEIR RIYASAT, AND NURPUR RIYASAT. To study history of Kangra we have to study history of all three Riyasats. In this article we have dicussed history of Kangra Riyasat. For sake of ease we divide history of Kangra Riyasat into three parts; Ancient, Medieval and modern history.

Ancient History:
It is believed that in ancient time KANGRA was formed at the time of Mahabharata.Bhumichand founded this Riyasat, at that time Multan(Pakistan) was its capital .234th king of KANGRA Susharma made kangra fort and made Kangra as Capital. He was founder of Kangra. He sided Kauravas during Mahabharata. The hilly area was known as Trigarta which means the land between three rivers i.e Ravi,Beas and Satluj. Banganga, Nugal and Kurali meeting point is also known as Trigatra.

The other part of the Riyasat was called Jalandhar. According to Kaningham, Jalandhar name as derived from Jalandhar Rakshasa, who was killed by Lord Shiva.

Later the hilly part Trigarta is named as Kangra. Kangra means Kan Ka Gad.Lord Shiva killed Jalandhar and his ear fallen here.

Medieval History:
Mahmoud Ghajnvi attacked KANGRA Fort in 1009 and defeated Anandpal and Bhrampal.Jagdish Chand was king of KANGRA at that time. Kangra was under Turk until 1043.Tomar king help kangra to free from Turk.In 1051-52 KANGRA was again under Turk. In 1060 King of Kangra again conquered Kangra Fort.

Mohd. Bin Tuglaq attacked KANGRA in 1337. Prithvi Chand was king at that time.FIROJ SHAH TUGLAQ took 1300 books from jawalaji to France to translate them in Faarsi(French). Firozshah Tuglaq's son Nasirudin Shah had taken shelter in kangra in 1389, Sansar hand was king at that time. During reign of Megh Chand in 1398 Taimur Lang looted Shivalik and Dhameri.

Then King Hari Chand lost his way during a hunt and went missing for days. There his brother Karam Chand was named the new King. After several days, when Hari Chand returned back, brother karamnd offered him the crown but Hari Chand refused and founded Guleir Riyasat in 1405.Sansar Chand, son of Karam Chand became king in 1430.

As per Tabakat-e-Akbar Khan Jahan conquered Kangra Fort in 1620. Akbar sent Todarmal to measure hilly region. Vidhi Chand in 1589, revolted against Mughal with the help of other kings but lost.
Trilokchand (1605-12) and Hari Chand II (1612-17) were the Kings at the time of Jahangir. Nawab Ali Khan was first Mughal Killedar of Kangra Fort. Jahangir made mosque in Kangra Fort. Nawab Saif Ali Khan was last Killedar of Kangra Fort.

Modern History:
Abhay Chand (1747-50) built fort at Thakurdwara and in Teehra in 1748. Ghamand Chand laid the foundation of Sujanpur town in 1761. At the time of Ahmad Shah Durani attack over Mughal Ghamand Chand took advantage and recovered all the territory that had been lost by his ancestors to Mughals.

Jassa Singh Ramgarhiya was the first Sikh to attack Kangra,Chamba and Nurpur. Jai Singh kanhaiya defeated him in 1775.

Sansar Chand kept Ishwari Sen, Ruler of Mandi Rasat in jail for 12 years.Amar Singh Thapa freed him. In 1794 he attacked Bilaspur which is responsible for his decline.Amar Singh Thapa defeated him in Mahalmoriya in 1805. After Jawalamukhi treaty between Sansar Chand and Ranheet Singh in 1809 Raja Ranjit Singh defeated Amar Singh Thapa. Sanar Chand gave kangra fort and 66 villages to Maharaja Ranjit Singh.Maharaja Ranjit Singh made Dessa Singh Majithiya as governor of KANGRA FORT and areas of Kangra. Sansarchand died in 1824.

Contribution: Prateek Bachlas(Prateek has worked in National Agri Food Biotechnology)

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