Kalu Singh Mahara

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Kalu Singh Mahara was a Kumauni leader during Indian Rebellion of 1857. He is known as the first freedom fighter from Kumaun, then in the United Province.[1]

Kalu Mahara was the leader of the Vishung Patti of Kumaun, Karnakarayat in present. This region is situated near Lohaghat, in district Champawat of Uttarakhand.

The Rebellion[edit]

He received a cryptic letter from Audh[chronology citation needed], inviting the Kumauni people and other hill people to join the Rebellion against the British. The government of Awadh proposed that after regaining the power from the British, the hill area will be returned to Kumauni people and the Tarai (plain area) will be taken by Oudh. Kalu Mahara organised the local people against British empire.

Skirmishes all across the area of Kali Kumaun, Sui, Gumdesh and the adjoining areas, now in the Champawat district, frustrated the British. His militiamen composed mainly of riflemen Bandukchi ambushed and harassed the British forces on several occasions.


Kalu Mahara received the support of many other leaders of the Champawat region including Anand Singh Phartyal, Bishan Singh Kharayat and many others.They led the anti-British Militia then active in the Kali Kumaun region of Kumaun. The rebellion failed as Delhi and Awadh fell to the British.


Kalu Mahara, Anand Singh Phartyal and Bishan Singh Kharayat were arrested at Annakhera. Kalu Mahara was executed along with the others.


He is still revered as the first freedom fighter in Kumaon and is remembered on the day of his birth by the people of Champawat and Kumaon for his ultimate sacrifice.


  • The Himalayan Gazetter by E. T. Atkinson
  • The History of Kumaun by B. D. Pandey

See also[edit]