Frist Read this: Geography of District Shimla
History of Shimla Hill States
The present district Shimla includes the many princely states such as Bushahr (Kamru), Balsan, Bhajji, Koti, Darkoti, Tharoch, Dhadi, Kumarsain, Khaneti, Delath, Dhami, Jubbal, Rawaingarh, Ratesh, Sangari, Keonthal, Ghund, Madhan, Theog, Kotkhai and Sairie.
Balsan or Ghondha
- Balsan was an offshoot of ancient Sirmaur.
- Balsan (also known as Balson) was founded before 12th century AD by Alak Singh a Rathore from Sirmaur and a scion of the Malwa Royal Family, and thus share an agnatic connection with the rulers of Baghal and Baghat.
- At the time of the Gurkhas invasion in 1805, it was subordinate to Kumarsain, ruled by Jog Raj Singh, who supported British forces against Gurkhas.
- The Chiefs of Balsan were feudatories of Sirmaur till 1815 when a sanad was granted by the British Government.
- During the revolt of 1857, Jog Raj Singh again helped Britishers. He died in 1867 at the age of 87.
- In 1893, the Rana maintained a military force of 50 infantry.
- Vidya Bhushan Singh was the last ruler of the state when on 15th April 1948; Balsan was merged with Himachal Pradesh.
- Bhajji was located on the bank of Nauti Khad, River Satluj, and nearby Shali peak.
- The state was founded by a prince who came from Kutlehar (Kangra).
- It is said that Kutlehar Raja had four sons and a daughter. Four among them were Cheru, Chand, Shogu, and Bhogu along with their sister crossed the River Satluj and settled at Mool Bhajji.
- Chand founded state Koti and his brother Cheru founded state Bhajji.
- Shogu and Bhogu along with their sister moved towards Fagu.
- Bhogu married to a Kanet woman and founded the Village Fagiyana.
- Shogu and his sister entered into the spiritual world and today they are worshiped in the Fagu area as Devta and Devi respectively.
- After the foundation of the state, Cheru changed his name as Udai Pal.
- 29th descendent of Cheru was “Sohan Pal” who founded the Sunni village on the bank of River Satluj and changed the capital from Mool Bhajji to Sunni.
- When Gurkhas were defeated by the Britishers, the Rana of Bhajji named Rudar Pal was provided with Sanad on the assurance that Rana will support the British army in the time of war.
- In 1893, the Rana was allowed to maintain a military force of 60 infantry and 1 gun.
- In 1948, Bhajji was made a Tehsil of Himachal Pradesh. At present Bhajji is a part of Sunni Tehsil.
- Sunni is famous for sulphur springs, which has medicinal values.
We have discussed the History of Bushahr State in the chapter History of Kinnaur.
Click Here to Read: History of Bushahr State
- Darkoti was founded by Raja Durga Singh Kachhawa in the 11th century or founded by a Rajput who came from Marwar at an unknown date and settled in the Simla Hills.
- The Gurkhas overran this State, with others in the Simla Hills, and when they were expelled by the British in 1815 the then Rana was confirmed in his possession of the state.
The Rana maintains a military force of 10 infantry.
- On 15 April 1948 it was merged with Mahasu district.
- The founder of Tharoch state was a Sisodia Rajput ‘Kishan Singh’ sometime around the 15th century.
- During the Gurkha attack, Thakur of Tharoch was Karam Singh.
- In 1941, the state was merged with Jubbal but in 1943 sanad was granted to Ranjeet Singh son of Karam Singh.
- On 16 April 1948, Tharoch was merged with Chaupal and became part of Himachal Pradesh.
- The state of Kumarsain was founded by Kirat Chand in around 11th century A.D. on the left bank of River Satluj.
- Kirat Chand came from Gaya because of the fear of Mahmud Ghazni.
- Before Kirat Chand, this territory was ruled by Koteshwar Devta.
- Ajmer Singh acquired the Forts of Shari and Shangri from Raja Man Singh of Kullu.
- When the Gurkhas attacked Kumharsain, Raja Kehar Singh took refuge in Kullu and returned in 1815 after the expulsion of Gurkhas.
- General Ochterlony granted Sanad to Raja in 1815.
- Keher Singh died in 1839 without a male heir and the state then lapsed to the British government.
In 1840, Pritam Singh a district collector was appointed to the Gaddi. Rana Pritam Singh and his successors remained loyal to Britishers.
On 15th April 1948, Kumharsain was merged with the then Mahasu district and know is part of the Shimla district.
Read also: Important Historical Buildings in Shimla
- Khaneti state was founded by Sabir Chand son of Kirat Singh.
- After the expulsion of Gurkha from the Hill States, Khaneti became feudatory of Bushahr.
- It was founded by Prithvi Chand who was the brother of Kirat Chand (founder of Kumarsain).
- After 1815 it was part of Bushahr and at present it is part of Rampur Tehsil.
- It was the only state founded by Govind Pal, a descendant of Prithvi Raj Chauhan.
- The capital of Dhami was Halog.
- During the attack of Gurkha’s Raja of Dhami was Dalel Singh.
- The last ruler of Dhami was Rana Dalip Singh. During his reign, the Praja Mandal movement was on its peak and the Dhami firing tragedy took place in 1939.
- In 1930, he imposed a ban on liquor in his state.
- On 15″ April 1948, Dhami became part of the Shimla district.
It is said that Sirmaur Raja used to send his one Rani to a prominent Brahmin. In Brahmin’s House three sons were born i.e Karam Chand, Mool Chand (founder of Seri Area), and Dhuni Chand (Founder of Rawingarh).
Jubbal was founded by Karam Chand who was the son of Raja Ugar Chand of Sirmaur.
Karam Chand made Sonepur his capital in the beginning and later on shifted to Purana Jubbal.
Raja Bhag Chand:
- He was the 5th ruler who destroyed a number of Thakrurais and expanded his state.
- Garhwal Raja attacked Jubbal and arrested him and took him to Garhwal where he fell in love with the princess of state but refused to marry her.
- He escapes from prison and returned to Jubbal.
- Garhwal army made another attack to capture him but they failed and his successor Narayan Chand came under their grip who died in the custody of Garhwal.
- He shifted his capital from Purana Jubbal to Deorha i.e. present Jubbal.
Raja Puran Chand:
- During his reign Gurkha invasion took place.
- His Wazir was Dangi who supported Britishers against Gurkhas.
Read also: Major Characteristics of the district Shimla
- He died in 1910 after his death his mother wanted to grant the throne of state to her second son Durga Singh and filed a case in Calcutta court and even went there herself. But the court made a judgment in favor of Bhagat Chand who was stepbrother of Gyan Chand.
- Bhagat Chand represented the Shimla hill states in the council of princes from 1921 to 1924 and was elected again in 1933.
- Bhagat Chand was elected member of the standing committee of the Chamber of Princes in 1939.
- He made an extensive tour of the world with his Rani.
- He made his state first princely state in Shimla to electrify with the construction of the hydroelectric plant in 1924.
- He made educational and medical services free in his state and established a college of higher education in Shimla.
- He died in 1951 at Woodville Palace in Shimla.
- Presently he is the owner of Jubbal palace since 1966.
- Raja residence was built in a Chinese style.
- On 15th April 1948 Jubbal became part of Himachal Pradesh.
Read also: Census 2011 Highlights of District Shimla
- Rawingarh was founded by Dhuni Chand who was the son of Raj Ugran Chand of Jubbal.
- After the expulsion of Gurkhas the state was divided among British, Raja of Garhwal, and Rana of Rawin.
- In 1830, the British exchanged their area of Rawingarh for Shimla station with Keonthal.
- At present Rawingarh is part of Jubbal Tehsil.
- It was founded by Raj Singh brother of Raja Karam Prakash (1616-20) of Sirmaur.
- Thakur Shamsher Singh was the last ruler of state who signed the document of accession with Himachal Pradesh.
It is said that Rup Sen was the Raja of Ropar. He had a fatal encounter with Muslim invaders. He had three sons who fled to the hills and founded three states.
Those three sons were Bir Sen who founded Suket, Giri Sen who founded Keonthal, and Hamir Sen who founded Kishtwar in Jammu.
- Before the Gurkhas invasion Keonthal had control over 18 Thakuries Koti, Ghund, Theog, Dhami, Kumarsain, and Tharoch were important.
- In 1809 A.D., when Gurkhas attacked Keonthal, Rana Raghunath Sen fled to Suket where he died.
- In 1815, after the Treaty of Sangauli with Gurkhas, the British provided Sanad to Sansar Sen.
Rawin and Kotgarh were exchanged by the British with Keonthal to get Shimla station.
Raja Balbir Sen: In 1884, he ceded area which is known as Kasumpati, to British to be part of Shimla.
Bijay Sen: In 1901, he ceded full control over land within the state required for Kalka – Shimla railway.
In 1948, Keonthal became part of Mahasu district of Himachal Pradesh and at present it is within Shimla district.
Read also: Fairs and Festivals of Shimla District
- The State of Theog was founded by Jaya Chand in the 17th century.
- Kotkahi state was founded by Ahimal Singh.
- Sairie state was founded by Mool Chand in the 12th century.
- Karangla state was founded by Sansar Chand.
- Sangri lies on the bank of River Satluj near Kumharsain.
- The area of state originally belonged to Bushahr.
- Sangri was conquered by Raja Man Singh of Kullu.
- In 1815 the area was restored by Britishers to Bikram Singh.
Read also: Shimla – The Capital of Himachal Pradesh
National Freedom Movement and Shimla
- The Rowlatt Act and Jallianwalla Bagh tragedy of 1919 made Samuel Evan Stokes; an American missionary to take a strong stand against the government.
- He raised voice against “Begar in Shimla”, which required peasants to serve as coolies to carry luggage virtually free. In 1921 Begar was abolished in Shimla.
- Samuel Evan Stocks met Gandhi Ji several times and attended Nagpur session of congress in 1920.