Medieval History of Himachal Pradesh

By | November 7, 2016

Turks and the Kangra Hills:

  • Mahmud Ghaznavi had invaded India 17 times.
  • Anandpal a Shahi king of Trans Himalayas formed a confederacy of Himalayan rulers against Mahmud Ghaznavi.
  • Anandpal had bad luck when his elephant ran away from the battlefield causing chaos in his army which resulted in his defeat against Mahmud Ghaznavi.
  • Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked Kangra in 1009 A.D. and looted the immense treasury.
  • Nagarkot was ruled by Turks till 1043 A.D and after that Tomar Raja Mahipal of Delhi ended the rule of Turks from Nagarkot.
  • Mahmud Ghaznavi could not rule many parts of Kangra excluding Nagarkot till 1023 A.D.
  • After the death of Raja Trilochan Pal and his son Bhim Pal, Kangra came under the rule of Turks in 1026 A.D.

Tuglaqs and the Kangra Hills:

  • Muhammad Ghori, Slave Dynasty (1206-1290 A.D.) and Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320) did not pay special attention to the hill states.
  • In 1337 D., Muhammad Bin Tuglaq (1325-1351 A.D.) led an army to defeat Raja Prithvi Chand of Nagarkot.
  • Raja Rup Chand of Kangra was participating in revengeful expeditions against the central authority, and he plundered the plains upto Delhi, was returning, he was encountered and lost all wealth to the Sultan of Kashmir Shahabuddin.
  • In order to teach a lesson to Raja Rup Chand of Kangra, Firoz Shah Tuglaq invaded Nagarkot and besieged the fort with his army in 1365 A.D.
  • We find references to this invasion in ‘Tarikh-i-Firoz-Farishta’ and ‘Tarikh-i-Firoz-Shahi’.
  • Raja Rup Chand and Firoz Shah reached to an agreement in which Raja Rup Chand accepted the suzerainty of the latter.
  • After the agreement in 1365 D., Firoz Shah visited Jawalamukhi and took away with him 1300 books of Sanskrit and a book was translated into Persian by an eminent Persian writer ‘Ajjudin Khalid Khani’ and named the book ‘Dalai-i-Firozshahi’ which deals with Philosophy, Astrology, and divination.
  • An image of ‘Nowshaba’ (wife of Alexander) was left in the Jawalamukhi temple by Alexander which was worshiped by the people.
  • After the death of Raja Rup Chand in 1375 A.D., his son Sagar Chand ceded to the throne.
  • According to Farishta’s account, Nagarkot was renamed as Mohammedabad in the honour of a late king.

Timur and the Kangra Hills:

  • In 1398D., Mongols invaded Kangra in the leadership of Taimur-lung.
  • During this invasion, Raja of Kangra was Megh Chand. Taimur invaded Shivalik region while retreating from the Kangra in 1399 A.D.
  • During the invasion of Taimur, ruler of Hindur (present-day Nalagarh) was Alam Chand, who helped Taimur and as a result, Taimur moved ahead without harming Hindur.
  • Taimur also invaded Nurpur and Sirmaur and was opposed by Ratan Chand. 

Sur, Mughals and the Kangra Hills: 

Babar:

  • In 1525 A.D., Babur established his outpost (Chowki) at Malaut near Kangra.

Sher Shah Suri:

  • Sher Shah Suri sent his general Khawas Khan to capture the Kangra Hills. After successful conquest, he placed Hamid Khan Kakar incharge of the area. Most of the historians argued that Jahangir was the first who captured Kangra fort in 1620 D.

Akbar:

  • Akbar sent his army to capture Sikander Shah because he invaded Punjab in 1557. When Akbar advanced against him, he entered in the territory of Nurpur whose ruler Bhakth Mal had a friendship with Sikander Shah but both were captured by Mughal army.
  • Sikander Shah was allowed to retire to Bengal and Bhakt Mal after surrendering his Mankot fort, he was taken as a prisoner to Lahore where he was executed by Bairam Khan, Akbar’s general.
  • Now suspicious about the Kangra ruler Jai Chand, Akbar ordered Raja Ram Chand of Guler to capture Jai Chand.
  • Assuming his father dead, Bidhi Chand son of Raja Jai Chand took the throne and broke out into the rebellion against Akbar with the help of Raja Gopi Chand to Jaswan.
  • Akbar sent his very able man Birbal along with Khan Jahan Hussain Kuli Khan, viceroy of Punjab to suppress the rebellion. They successfully suppressed the rebellion and the territory was given to Birbal as a Jagir.
  • Now Akbar sent with Khan Jahan Hussain Kuli Khan and other Nobel to capture Nagarkot fort by way of Pathankot and Nurpur.
  • Kotla fort which was located 20 miles from Nurpur, captured by Raja of Kangra by force, originally belonged to the Raja Ram Chand of Guler.
  • Kotla fort was snatched by Mughal army from Raja of Kangra and handed it over to the Raja of Guler.
  • When seize of the Kangra fort seemed favourable to the Mughals, news reached from the plains that Akbar’s relatives Ibrahim Hussain Mirza and Musud Mirza had invaded Punjab. The Mughal army now departed to Punjab to oppose the Mirzas.
  • Bidhi Chand became Raja after the death of his father Jai Chand in 1585 A.D. formed an alliance of the states between Jammu and Kangra.
  • In 1588-89, the alliance broke into the rebellion and Akbar sent Zain Khan Koka who successfully suppressed the revolt.
  • After the surrender, Raja Bidhi Chand had to keep his son Trilok Chand as a hostage in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar.
  • Another rebellion broke out in 1594-95, led by Raja of Jasrota but Raja Bidhi Chand of Kangra and Raja Basu of Nurpur did not participate in it. Mirza Rustam Qandhari and Sheikh Farid suppressed this rebellion.
  • Raja Pratap Singh Varman of Chamba and Dharm Prakash (1578-70 A.D.) of Sirmaur were the contemporaries of Akbar.

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Jahangir:

  • Jahangir seated on the throne in 1605 A.D. Trilok Chand became the Raja of Kangra after the death of his father Raja Bidhi Chand in 1605 A.D.
  • In 1615 A.D., Jahangir sent his allies Raja Suraj Mal of Nurpur (Dhameri) and Sheikh Farid or Murtaza Khan to capture Kangra, but some controversy broke out between the two. The plan to capture Kangra was postponed after the death of Farid Murtaza Khan.
  • Raja Suraj Mal was recalled by Jahangir and sent to Deccan to help the prince Shah Jahan in 1616 A.D.
  • In another attempt, Raja Man Singh of Jaipur was sent to capture Kangra but he was killed by a Zamindar Sangram of the hilly area.
  • Again in the year 1617 A.D., Jahangir sent his allies Raja Suraj Mal of Nurpur and Shah Quli Khan Muhammad Taqi to capture Kangra.
  • The same story was repeated again as some controversy broke out between Suraj Mal and Shan Quli Khan and as a result, Shan Quli Khan was asked by Jahangir to retreat back.
  • Now Raja Surajmal started to send away imperial troops to his Jagir and broke out into the rebellion against Mughals.
  • Jahangir sent his able man Raja Raiyan Sunder Dass to suppress the rebellion.
  • Raja Suraj Mal fled away to Mankot fort, from there to Nurpur fort and then fled to Taragarh fort in Chamba where he died in 1619 A.D.
  • Kangra fort came under the Mughals in 1620 A.D. Raja Jagat Singh younger brother of Raja Suraj Mal helped the Mughals to capture Kangra fort.
  • Nawab Ali Khan was appointed as the first Governor of Kangra Fort and the Mughals ruled the fort till 1783 A.D.
  • On 20th November 1620, new of the capture of Kangra fort reached the Jahangir.
  • Jahangir visited Dhameri (present-day Nurpur) in 1622 A.D. and renamed Dhameri as Nurpur before the name of his wife ‘Nur-Jahan’.
  • Jahangir constructed a Mosque inside Kangra fort and named one of the doors of Kangra fort as ‘Jahangiri Darwaza’.
  • Chamba was ruled by Raja Jagat Singh for two decades (1623 A.D to 1643 A.D).
  • Raja Budhi Prakash of Sirmaur was the contemporary of Jahangir.
  • Jahangir gave the title of Mian to Hill Princes who were kept hostages in the Mughal court. There were 22 Mians.

Shah Jahan:

  • Nawab Asadullah Khan and Coach Quli Khan were the two prominent Mughal governors of Kangra fort during the reign of Shah Jahan.
  • Coach Quli Khan served for 17 years as the Mughal governor of Kangra fort.
  • Raja Mandhanta Prakash of Sirmaur was the contemporary of Shah Jahan. He helped Mughals a number of times during the Gharwal campaigns.

Aurangzeb:

  • Sayeed Husain Khan, Hasan Abdullah Khan and Nawab Sayeed Khalilullah Khan were the chief Mughal governors of Kangra fort during the reign of Aurangzeb.

Battle of Nadaun (1690-91): Raja Bhim Chand of Bilaspur refused to pay tribute to Mughals. This resulted in the battle in which Raja Bhim Chand was supported by Guru Gobind Singh and on the other Mughal army under Alif Khan was supported by Kangra forces. Raja Bhim Chand emerged victorious in this battle.

Fall of Mughals and Ghamand Chand: 

  • Fall of Mughals started after the death of Aurangzeb.
  • Ahmad Shah Durrani attacked the territory of Punjab ten times between 1748 A.D and 1788 A.D.
  • Taking advantage of Durrani’s attacks; Raja Ghamand Chand captured areas of Kangra and Doab.
  • Kangra Fort was still under the reign of Mughals and the last Mughal Governor of the fort was Nawab Saif Ali Khan.
  • In 1759 A.D., Ahmad Shan Durrani transferred Jalandhar doab to Raja Ghamand Chand and the areas between River Satluj and Ravi came under the rule of Raja Ghamand Chand.

Mughals and Chamba:

  • In 1572 A.D., Akbar deputed his revenue minister Todar Mal to established Royal estate in the hill states.
  • The royal estate had in it 66 villages of Kangra and Rihlu, Chari, Pathiar and Dharon areas of Chamba.
  • During the reign of Jahangir, the ‘Battle of Dhalog’ in 1623 was fought between Raja Janardhan of Chamba and Raja Jagat Singh in which Jagat Singh emerged victorious.
  • In 1641, Jagat Singh revolted against the Mughals and Shah Jahan sent Murad Baksh to suppress the revolt.
  • Raja Chattar Singh of Chamba refused to accept the orders of Aurangzeb in 1669, in which he ordered to demolish all Hindu temples in Chamba. He made an alliance with the rulers of Guler, Basholi, and Jammu and beat Mirza Obed Begh a Mughal governor of Punjab and took his areas back from him.

Mughals and Sirmaur:

  • Raja Dharam Prakash of Sirmaur was the contemporary of Akbar.
  • Raja Budhi Prakash of Sirmaur was the contemporary of Jahangir.
  • Raja Subhag Prakash of Sirmaur was the contemporary of Aurangzeb.
  • Raja Mandhanta Prakash of Sirmaur was the contemporary of Shah Jahan helped Mughals a number of times during the Gharwal campaigns.

Read also: Mughals and Chamba

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6 thoughts on “Medieval History of Himachal Pradesh

  1. tanya verma

    under the headline Jahangir. It was Rai Raiyann Sunderdass along with Jagat Singh who suppressed the revolt by Surajmal against Mughals. Raja Roy vikramjeet and Abdul aziz has no sch role according to my information. Please solve this dilemma.

    Reply
  2. PARVEEN KUMAR

    Sir, Under Jahangir……In third line it is written that Raja Suraj Mal was recalled by Akbar and sent to deccan to help Sahajahan in 1616…i think Jahangir recalled Raja Suraj Mal. Please look into the matter.

    Reply
  3. PARVEEN KUMAR

    Thank you Sir for updating data…these are very helpful notes.

    Reply

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