|Princely state until 1810. |
Estate of Lambagraon
(Annexed by the British Raj) after 1846
Kangra district in a 1911 map of Punjab
|324 km2 (125 sq mi)|
|Today part of||Himachal Pradesh, India|
Kangra-Lambagraon was a historical princely estate (jagir) of British India located in the present-day state of Himachal Pradesh. In 1947, the estate comprised 437 villages, encompassing an area of 324 km2. It had with a Privy Purse of Rs 70,000/- and enjoyed a revenue of approx. Rs.1,76,000/-.
The rulers of the estate belonged to the ancient Katoch dynasty which had ruled the former Kangra State. Kangra is credited with being the oldest and largest state in the Punjab Hills.
Kangra State was extinguished and annexed by Sikh Empire in 1810. Its ruler was granted the jagir of Lambagraon by Treaty of Jawalamukhi. In 1846 Kangra was annexed to British India as part of the Treaty of Lahore.
Early history of the Kangra State
According to legend, the state of Multan – Jalandhara – Kangra, was also called Trigarta, Bhim Kot, Nagar-Kot, Susarmapura, Katoch, which dates back to 4300 BC. The first modern recorded mention of the state, however, is from the 11th century AD. The Katoch dynasty are reputed to have ruled the town of Kangra and its vicinity since time immemorial. Several very extended interregnums are acknowledged.
During Prithvi Chand II's reign, they defeated the army of Muhammad bin Tughluq which was not able to fight in the hills. Nearly all his 10,000 soldiers perished in 1333 AD and he was forced to retreat.
Conflicts with Mughals
The fort of Kangra resisted Akbar's siege. Akbar's son Jahangir successfully subdued the fort in 1620 annexing the surrounding area and reducing the Katoch rajas to the status of vassals. Kangra was at the time ruled by Raja Hari Chand Katoch of Kangra (also known as Raja Hari Chand II)
Mughal Emperor Jahangir with the help of Suraj Mal garrisoned with his troops. Under Jahangir, Murtaza Khan the governor of Punjab was directed to conquer Kangra, but he failed on account of the jealousy and opposition of the Rajput chiefs who were associated with him. Then Prince Khurram was put in charge of the command. The siege of Kangra was pushed on for weeks. Supplies were cut off. The garrison had to live on boiled dry grass. It was faced with death and starvation. After a siege of 14 months, the fort surrendered in November, 1620. In 1621, Jahangir visited it and ordered the slaughter of a bullock there. A mosque was also built within the fort of Kangra.
The Katoch Kings repeatedly looted Mughal controlled regions, weakening the Mughal control, aiding in the decline of Mughal power, Raja Sansar Chand II succeeded in recovering the ancient fort of his ancestors, in 1789.
State extinguished and annexed by Sikh empire
As the Mughal power waned, many former officers of the Mughal empire took autonomous charge of the areas under their power and this situation affected Kangra. Meanwhile, (in 1758), Ghamand Chand, a supposed scion of the dispossessed family, attained a position of power in the Punjab plains, being appointed governor of Jalandhar by Ahmed Shah Abdali. Building upon this ascendency, Ghamand Chand's grandson Sansar Chand rallied an army, ousted the then ruler of Kangra, Saif Ali Khan, and gained possession of his patrimony. This happened in 1783, and Sansar Chand was aided by the Kanhaiya misl, one of several Sikh principalities that ruled the Punjab in that era.
During the campaign, Raja Sansar Chand and his mercenary force overran other nearby principalities and compelled the submission of their rulers. He reigned over a relatively large part of present-day Himachal Pradesh for perhaps two decades, but his ambitions brought him into conflict with the Gorkhas ruling the then nascent state of Nepal. The Gorkhas and the recently humbled hill-states allied to invade Kangra in 1806. The Raja was defeated and left with no territory beyond the immediate vicinity of the fortress of Kangra, which he managed to retain with the help of a small Sikh force sent to his aid by Ranjit Singh. In this despair, the Raja treated with Ranjit Singh at Jawalamukhi in 1809. By that treaty, Raja Sansar Chand surrendered his (now largely notional) state to Ranjit Singh, in return for a substantial fief to be held under the suzerainty of the latter. This estate consisted, in 1947, of 20 villages yielding a revenue of Rs. 40,000/- and encompassing an area of 324 km2. Ranjit Singh duly established his rule over the land; Sansar Chand received in addition the estate of Lambagraon.
As a result of the First Anglo-Sikh War (1846), the area between the Sutlej and Ravi rivers, including the hill states, were ceded by the Sikhs to the HEIC. Thus, Lambagraon estate was annexed by the British and was one of the feudatory estates placed under the Simla Hill States' Superintendency. In deference with the ruling dynasty's association with Kangra town (and given the fact that the estate fell within Kangra district) the estate was referred to as "Kangra-Lambagraon".
The princely estate of Kangra-Lambagraon acceded unto the Dominion of India in 1947; the following year, it was merged with its sister states of the erstwhile Simla superintendency to create a province named "Himachal Pradesh", administered by a Chief Commissioner.
Purported timeline of the Katoch dynasty
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C. 4300 BC
C. 3000 BC
C. 1500 BC
- (234th) Raja Susarma Chandra fought against the Pandavas in the Mahabharata war
- He also built the fort of Kangra
C. 900 BC
C. 500 BC to
C. 275 BC
C. 100 AD
- The Rajas of Kangra fought numerous battles against the Rajas of Kannauj
C. 470 AD
- The Rajas of Kangras fought the Rajas of Kashmir for the supremacy in the hills
C. 643 AD
- Xuanzang visited the Kingdom of Kangra (then known as "Jallandhra")
C. 853 AD
- Rajanaka Prithvi Chandra's reign
C. 903 AD
- Coinage of Kangra from this period can be seen in the Himachal Museums
- Mahmud of Ghazni invades Kangra (captures a large booty)
C. 1170 AD
- Kingdom of Kangra is divided into two parts, Kangra and Jaswan
- The Katoch armies fight against Muhammad of Ghor (the lands of Jalandhar were lost c.1220 AD)
C. 1330–1360 AD
- Prithvi Chandra II defeated the army of Muhammad bin Tughluq which was not able to fight in the hills. Nearly all his 10,000 soldiers perished and he was forced to retreat.
- Rajanaka Rup Chandra's looting expeditions take him till the gates of Delhi
- The Katoch kings fight Taimur
- Tughlaqs grant the title of Mian to the Katoch Royal Family
- Further division of the Kangra State; state of Guler is founded
- Further Guler State is also divided and a new State namely SIBA is found.
- Sikandar Shah Suri and the Rajas of Kangra combine their forces against Akbar but are defeated
- The Raja of Kangra renders his alliance to Emperor Akbar and in return in given the title of Maharaja
- Later, the Mughals attack the fort of Kangra 52 times but fail to defeat it
C. 1620 AD
- Mughals occupy the fort of Kangra
- First European travelers to the court of Kangra
C. 1700 AD
- Maharaja Bhim Chandra unites with Guru Gobind Singh against Aurangzeb
- He receives the title of Dharam Rakshak from the Guru
C. 1750 AD
C. 1775 AD to C. 1820 AD
- The golden age of Kangra under Raja Sansar Chand
- Kangra miniature painting flourishes under him
C. 1820 AD
- Decline of the Kangra state
- Kangra fort occupied by the Sikhs after the Gorkha War but the Fort of Siba was re-captured by Raja Ram Singh after defeated the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
- The Sikhs cede Kangra to the HEIC
- The Katoch kings fight for their independence against the British. Raja Pramod Chand loses the battle and is taken prisoner to Almoda – he dies there
- Maharaja Jai Chandra of Kangra-Lambagraon is granted the title of "Maharaja" as a hereditary distinction, and a salute of 11 guns as a personal honour.
- Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra (last ruler of Kangra-Lambagraon) merges his estate with the Dominion of India, when India gains Independence
- The Princely Order is abolished in India and the Rajas of Kangra-Lambagraon become ordinary citizens
- The district of Kangra is merged with the newly founded state of Himachal Pradesh.
- Present titled Raja of Katochs is Raja Aditya Dev Chand Katoch.
Rulers of Kangra
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 652. .
- Srivastava, R.P. (1983), Punjab Painting, Abhinav Publications, p. 7, ISBN 978-81-7017-174-4
- "Indian Princely States K-Z".
- Narayan, Kirin (22 November 2016). Everyday Creativity: Singing Goddesses in the Himalayan Foothills. ISBN 9780226407562.
- Chandra, Satish (1997). Medieval India: From Sultanate to the Mughals. New Delhi, India: Har-Anand Publications. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-8124105221.
- Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4.
- Parry, Jonathan P. (2013), Caste and Kinship in Kangra, Routledge, pp. 11–13, ISBN 978-1-136-54585-6
- Hutchison, John (2008). History of the Panjab Hill States, Volume 1. Asian Educational Services (First ed 1913) Ed. 2008. pp. 200–225. ISBN 978-8175364400.
- "7". Kangra. Ekaant (in Hindi). 2015. EPIC. Cite has empty unknown parameters: