Hill States of India

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This article is about the princely states in NW India during the British Raj. For the hills in Northeast India, see Khasi and Jaintia Hills.

India is known as the land of hill station.The Hill States of India were princely states lying in the northern border regions of the British Indian Empire.


During the Raj period, two groups of princely states in direct relations with the Province of British Punjab became part of the British Indian Empire later than most of the former Mughal Empire, in the context of two wars and an uprising.

For its princely rulers the informal term Hill Rajas has been coined. After the independence of British India, the Hill States acceded to the new Union of India and were later divided between India's constituent states of Punjab (proper), Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Simla Hills[edit]

Map of some states 1911

28 princely states (including feudatory princes and zaildars) in the promontories of the western Himalaya were named after Shimla as the Simla Hill States.[1] These states were ruled mainly by Hindu Rajputs.[2][3] Their inhabitants were mainly Hindu with a few Buddhists; the local languages were Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and various Pahari dialects.

Three quarters of the about 4,800 square miles (12,000 km2), on both sides of the Sutlej river, was the territory of the Raja (earlier Rana) of Bashahr. The direct tributaries of Bashahr were:

The other, all far smaller, princely states, including a few with some petty dependencies of their own, were further south, on the left bank of the Sutlej:

  • the Rana of Balsan
  • the Thakur of Beja
  • the Rana of Bhaji / Bhajji
  • a prince of Bhagat
  • the Raja of Bilaspur (formerly Kahlur = Kehloor), entitled to an 11-guns salute
  • the Rana of Darkoti(i) = Darkoti
  • the Rana (Shri) of Dhami
  • the Raja Rana (ex Rana) of Jubbal. The Jubbal state had two tributaries:
    • the Thakur (sahib) of Dhadi, initially tributary to Tharoch, then to Bashahr and finally in 1896 to Jubbal.
    • (title?) Rawin = Rawingarh
  • the Raja (formerly Rana) of Keonthal. Furthermore, the feudal pyramid included five Keonthal zaildars (jagirdars collecting a special tax):
    • a jagirdar Gundh
    • the Rana Sahib of Koti (since 1815)
    • a jagirdar Madhan = Kiari
    • the Thakur saheb (also styled Rana) of Ratesh (popularly known as Kot, 'fortress')
    • the Rana of Theog
  • the Thakur of Kunahair
  • the Rana of Kuthar
  • the Thakur of Mahlog
  • the Rana of Mangal
  • the Raja of Nalagarh
  • the Thakur (or Rai Mian?) of Sangri
  • the Thakur (Originally titled Rana up to the occupation by the Gurkhas, and Thakurs from 1815 to 1929) of Tharhoch = Tiroch

NB - For various of the entities above the authentic title of the chief is missing. While some of the lowest ranking may have had none, for the princes that can merely be due to insufficient sources available

The princely states of the Simla Hills all ultimately became part of the modern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

States of the Punjab Hills[edit]

Some nearby Hindu and Sikh states include:

  • HH the Raja (saheb) of Chamba = Chamba, entitled to an 11 gun salute
  • HH the Raja of Siba, no salute, as Siba was not fully part of the British Indian Empire, only Siba Jagir (Jagir of Mian Devi Singh) up to Kotla. The present-day titular Sibaia Raja is Raja Dr. Ashok K. Thakur.
  • HH the Raja of Mandi, entitled to an 11 gun salute
  • HH the Raja of Suket, entitled to an 11 gun salute
  • HH the Maharaja (until 1913 Raja) of Tehri Garhwal State (in Uttar Pradesh), entitled to an 11 gun salute
  • etc.

Sources and references[edit]

External links[edit]