History of District Kangra

In our previous posts, we talked about History of District Mandi and Tribes in Himachal Pradesh.

In this post, we talk about the important historical events of District Kangra of Himachal Pradesh.

Kindly point out the mistakes throughout the post if any, in the comment section.

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  • During the ancient times the name of Kangra was 'Nagarkot' or 'Bhimkot'. The other name of Kangra was 'Trigarta' during the Mahabharata time.
  • The Plain areas and Hill areas of Trigarta were called as Jallandhara and Nararkot respectively.
  • Kangra became the district of Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966.
  • Kullu was a Tehsil of Kangra district upto 1962 A.D.
  • Lahaul-Spiti was also a part of Kangra upto 1960 A.D.
  • The Europeans who visited Kangra were Thomas Coryat (1615 A.D.), Thevenet (1666 A.D.), Vigne (1835 A.D.), Foster (1783 A.D.), William Moorcraft (1832 A.D.) The last two had not visited Kangra but passed through the outer hills of Kangra.
  • Baijnth (Vaidyanath) is also known as Kirgrama or Paapnagri.
  • Tomb of Lord Elgin is in Dharmsala.
  • In 1337 A.D., Mohammed Tuglak captured Kangra fort in the reign of Prithvi Chand.
  • In 1398 A.D. Timur-i-lung invaded Kangra during the reign of Megh Chand.
  • Bhim Chand’s brother Kripal Chand made Bhawarnawali Kuhl (water course) from the snow-fed Dhauladhar above Bandla (Palampur).
  • In 1697 A.D. Raja Alam Chand founded Alampur near Sujanpur Tira.
  • Dharam Chand Natak was written by Manik Chand in 1562 A.D. in the reign of Raja Dharam Chand.
  • In 1700 A.D., Hamir Chand son of Alam Chand founded Hamirpur town.
  • In 1751 A.D. Ghamand Chand founded Sujanpur town.
  • Sansar Chand-II and Maharaja Ranjit Singh signed a Treaty of Jawalamukhi on July 20 1809.
  • Jahangir was the first Mughal ruler other than the Rajas of Kangra who brought the Kangra fort under his control.

The offshoots of the Kangra were Guler, Jaswan, Datarpur, Siba, Nurpur, Kuthelar and Bara Banghal. Without these states the history of Kangra will remain incomplete.

Nurpur state:
  • The old Hindu name of the Nurpur state was ‘Dhameri’.
  • The Nurpur state was founded by Raja Jhet Pal in 1000 A.D.
  • Audambara was the ancient name of the whole district.
  • The capital of the Nurpur state was Shahpur.
  • The Raja of Nurpur and Pathankot were called as ‘Pandir’ or descendent of the Pandavas.
  • During the reign the Raja Jagat Singh, Nurpur state reached the zenith of its prosperity.
  • A poem is written on Raja Jagat Singh –The Rhapsodies of Gambir Rai- the Nurpur bard” in 1650 A.D.
  • In 1686 A.D., the son of Raja Jagat Singh, Bhau Singh embraced Islam receiving the name ‘Murd Khan’ from emperor.
  • Nurpur was the first state to rise in rebellion against British.

Guler state:
  • The original name of the Guler state was Gwalior.
  • Raja Rup Chand of Guler received the title of ‘Bahadur’ from Jahangir.
  • Raja Man Singh was given a name of ‘Sher Afgan’ by Shah Jahan for his Velour.
  • Raja Rup Chand was succeeded by his son Man Singh, and from his time the suffix of the family was changed to ‘Singh’ by ‘Shah Jahan’.
  • Raja Baldev was the first vice regal Darbari in the District Kangra.                         
 Jaswan state:
  • Jaswan was founded by Raja Purab Chand in 1170 A.D.
  • The capital of the Jaswan state was Rajpura. 
  • Una district was formerly known as Jaswan Doon.

Siba state:
  • Siba was founded by Sibran Chand in 1450 A.D.
  • The last ruler of the Siba was Sham Singh (1926 A.D.

Datarpur state:
  • Datarpur was founded by Datar Chand in 1550 A.D.
  • The clan of the Datarpur people was ‘Dhadwal’.

Other important details about district Kangra:
  • Headquarter: Dharmsala.
  • Altitude: 1220 meters. (HQ)
  • Languages spoken: Kangri, Hindi, Punjabi.
  • District Kangra is situated between 31°40’ to 32°25’ East Longitude and 70°25’ to 77°5’ North latitude.
  • Population wise (1,507,223) Kangra is the biggest district which is 21.98% of the total population of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Area of District Kangra: 5739 sq. km.
  • River Beas enters the district Kangra at Sandhol and leaves it at Mirthal to enter Punjab.
  • Tea processing factory is located in Bir.
  • The tea farm was established in Palampur in 1939 A.D.
  • The fruit farm was established in Palampur in 1936 A.D.
  • Government Bee farm was established in Nagrota in 1936 A.D.
  • Natural Gas was founded in Jawalamukhi, Kangra.
  • Chamba fair is celebrated in Palampur Tehsil.
  • Dharamsala came into existence in 1849 A.D.
  • In 1855 A.D., Dharamsala was recognized as the Headquarter of the district Kangra.
  • Tibetan Institute of Performing Art (TIPA) was established in 1959 A.D. in Dharamsala. TIPA hold an opera festival called Shotou.
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Author: Karun

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  1. u r providing such a refined data in bulleted form in order to make it more memorable.... still no comments ....no thanx... i feel sorry for those who cant even take 2 minutes out to write thanx and boost ur morale up.... thanx buddy... u r doing a great job... keep it up... i really loved n enjoyed reading this post... keep it up

    1. Thanks for your kind words Mr. Virender.

  2. great work ...especially for the beginers like me... thanx...

    1. Thanks for your kind words @Lokinder Singh Chauhan

  3. nice work man it is really appreciable for such short and crispy notes

  4. Sir please provide data about temples and various dances of himachal

  5. Very good and crisp important information which can not be gained even through visting several places...nice platform to have such an infobase at one place..Good work Mr Karun.Keep posting.


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