|Princely state of the British Raj|
Princely States of the Shimla Hills, Bilaspur in the south straddling the Sutlej (1911)
|Capital||Bilaspur, Sunhani (1600-1650)|
|•||1931||1,173 km2 (453 sq mi)|
|Density||86/km2 (223/sq mi)|
|Today part of||Himachal Pradesh, India|
|This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.|
The state was initially known as Kahlur and was later renamed Bilaspur. It covered an area of 1173 km², and had a population of 100,994 according to the 1931 Census of India. The last ruler of Bilaspur State signed the accession to join the Indian Union on 12 October 1948.
Bilaspur State remained Bilaspur Province in independent India until 1950 when the province was briefly renamed "Bilaspur State" before it was merged with Himachal Pradesh state as a district in 1954.
According to local myths compiled during the reign of Raja Hira Chand the predecessor state was founded around 697 by Bir Chand. After Kahal Chand had built Kahlur Fort the state was named after it. Initially the capital of the state was at a place named Jhandbari —now in Hoshiarpur district— and then it was transferred to Kahlur Fort, but was later moved permanently to Bilaspur by Dip Chand, the 32nd Raja of Kahlur (1653 - 1665). Since the 18th century the rulers of Bilaspur State patronised artists of the Kangra painting style.
Bilaspur State came under British protection in 1815 under Raja Mahan Chand and became one of the Simla Hill States. H.H. RAJA SIR ANAND CHAND KCIE, MP, MLA (1913-1983) was the last ruler of the princely state and Pandit Sant Ram was the last Home Minister. As Bilaspur acceded to India on 12 October 1948( In fact it was the only unique case where Raja handed over charge to himself)Bilaspur retained an independent identity as a separate province and as a part C.Raja was appointed commissioner of the part C state.In following years after Raja resigned his deputy Chhabra, who was appointed by govt of India,helped run the temporary govt of Bilaspur while the territory of the princely state was politically integrated into the Indian Union.
From 26 January 1950 Bilaspur was administered by the Government of India as a separate C-Class state named Bilaspur State which in 1954 was incorporated into the State of Himachal Pradesh as a province.
- Bir Chand, founder
- Kahal Chand, 6th Raja
- Kahn Chand, 11th Raja. Conquered Hindur, which he created as a separate realm for his second son.
- Ajit Chand, 12th Raja (son of Khan Chand)
- Udai Chand, raja 1133-1143.
- Sangar Chand, 16th Raja, 1197-1220.
- Megh Chand, Raja 1220-1251.
- Abhaisand Chand, Raja 1302-1317.
- Hari Om Chand, date of rule disputed.
- Ratan Chand, Raja 1355-1406.
- Gyan Chand, dates of rule disputed.
- Bikram Chand, abdicated in either 1593 or 1620.
- Sultan Chand, died in either 1600 or 1630.
- Kalyan Chand, died 1636 or 1645.
- Tara Chand, ruled from either 1636 or 1645, died in 1653.
- Dip Chand, Raja 1653-1665.
- Bhim Chand, Raja 1665-1692
- Ajmer Chand,Raja 1692-1738
- Devi Chand, Raja 1738-1778
- Mahan Chand (born 1772 - died 1824), Raja 1778-1824
- Kharak Chand (died 1839), Raja 1824 - March 1839
- Jagat Chand (died 1857), Raja March 1839 - 1850
- Hira Chand (died 1883), Raja March 1850 - January 1883
- Amar Chand (born 1859 - died 1889), Raja January 1883 - January 1889
- Bijai Chand (born 1873 - died 1931), Raja June 1889 - 1927
- Tikka Anand Chand (born 1913 - died 1983), Raja 18 November 1927 – 12 October 1948
The Mian families
Most of the Rajputs in Bilaspur are Chandelas, that is they belong to different branches of the ruling family. These families are numerous, and all enjoyed jagir pensions from state amounting in aggregate to Rs. 40,000 a year in 1933. They are called 'the Mian families', and the chief names are:
- Hutchinson, J. & J. PH Vogel (1933). History of the Panjab Hill States, Vol. II. 1st edition: Govt. Printing, Pujab, Lahore, 1933. Reprint 2000. Department of Language and Culture, Himachal Pradesh. Chapter XIII Bilaspur State, pp. 494–518.
- Media related to Bilaspur State at Wikimedia Commons