Bashahr

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Bashahr State
Princely State
1412–1948
Location of Bashahr
1911 map of Bashahr State
History
 -  Established 1412
 -  Independence of India 1948
Area
 -  1941 8,907 km2 (3,439 sq mi)
Population
 -  1941 115,000 
Density 12.9 /km2  (33.4 /sq mi)
Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Bashahr, also spelt as 'Bushahr' and 'Bussahir', was a princely state in India during the British Raj. It was located in the hilly western Himalaya promontory in the northern part of colonial Punjab.

The territory of this former state is now part of Kinnaur and Shimla district of the Indian republic's state of Himachal Pradesh. The erstwhile Bashahr state was traversed by the Sutlej river. It had an area of 8,907 km².

History[edit]

The erstwhile Bashahr state was occupied by a Gorkha king from central Nepal from 1803 to 1815. Ranjit Singh, the ruler of the Sikh state in the Punjab, intervened in 1809 and drove the Nepalese army east of the Satluj river. A rivalry between Nepal and the British East India Company over the annexation of minor states bordering Nepal eventually led to the Anglo-Nepalese War (1815–16) or the Gurkha War. Both parties eventually signed the Treaty of Sugauli, following which the Gurkhas were expelled from Kamru, the capital of Bashahr.

In 1898, Bashahr state was taken over by the British administration, although the Râja remained nominally in charge. After British occupation, the Bashahr state was by far the largest of the 28 Simla Hills States. There was a tax revolt by Bashahr's peasants in 1906.

Heads of State[edit]

The original seat of the rulers of the erstwhile Bushahr state was at the Kamru Fort, in the village of Kamru at the banks of the Baspa River. The fort is currently abandoned and houses an idol of Kamakhya Devi (Kamakshi Dev), which is believed to have been brought several centuries ago from Kamakhya temple in Guwahati. The rulers subsequently moved to Sarahan. The Palace of the "Raja of Bushahr state" at Sarahan ("The Srikhand view") was built by order of Raja Padam Singh for his lodging in September 1917. The current residence of the "Raja of Bushahr state" is at the Padam Palace at Rampur, Shimla district. The town of Rampur may have been founded by Raja Kehri Singh in the 17th century or by Raja Ram Singh in the 18th. The rulers moved down from their traditional seat in Sarahan to the banks of the river Sutlej. Bushair was one of the richest princely states in the hills and was an important center for trade between Tibet, Kinnaur and the lower areas.

The ruling princes of Bashahr were styled as Râna before the Nepalese occupation and titled Râja afterwards.[1]

With a personal gun salute of 9 guns, the ruler of Bashahr was the only Hills "Raja" amongst India's upper class of princely salute states, but was not entitled to the style of His Highness until independence in 1947.[2]

Rânas[edit]

  • ????: Kehri Singh
  • ????: Ram Singh
  • ???? - 1803 : Ugar Singh
  • 1803 - 1815 : Nepalese occupation

Râjas[edit]

  • 1816 - 1850 : Mahendra Singh
  • 1850 - 1887 : Shamsher Singh
  • 1887 - 1898 : Raghunath Singh
  • 1898 - 1914 : Shamsher Singh (return to power)
  • 1914 - 1947 : Padam Singh
  • 1947 - till date: Virbhadra Singh

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°25′15″N 85°22′41″E / 20.42083°N 85.37806°E / 20.42083; 85.37806