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What must everyone know about the history of Uttarakhand, India?

Kalyani PandeyPosted: 17 Jun 2017
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Kalyani Pandey 17 Jun 2017

Early history suggests that a number of tribes lived in these hilly regions.Some of them were Shakas(Sun Worshippers),Nagas, Khashas,Kiratas,Humas.(Before the Aryans ,around 1 century BC)It is known that Pandavas roamed in these hills during their exile.Nagas & Khashas dominated the Himalayan region(Kashmir,Kumaun,Garhwal,Himanchal,Nepal,Sikkim,Bhutan)before arrival of Rajputs or Brahmins . Khashas ruled in patterns of loose small kindoms/provinces.

They were followed by Kunindas till 6th Century AD ,who were worshippers of Shiva.They ruled by establishments of smaller kingdoms .In ancient times there was no caste system among Khashas. It is also to be noted that Rajput Clans ( 7th Century,) from the plains had a constant inflow in Himalaya & interior areas.For example Pundir & Chand Family clans,Therefore origin of Khasha Rajput Clans.

Katyuri Dynasty : (7,8th -11 Century,Debatable) : Lord Shiva was widely worshipped,along with other local gods. In this era Shankaracharya visted Uttarakhand and Nepal replacing Buddhism and spreading Orthodox Hindu religion .The Buddhist monks were also replaced by Brahmin priest of South in Kedarnath and Badrinath temple.Immigrant Brahmins and constant Rajput inflow divided the Uttarakhand into different Castes.(Brahmins,Rajput Kshatriyas,Khasis,Chandals/Doms)

Period : (Debatable)

Origin of this dynasty was from Joshimath(Present-Chamoli District,Garhwal,Uttarakhand),where Basu Dev fought and took over other houses/clans at the time.The small provinces/houses were called Khashas (There’s an ancient temple of Vasudev at Joshimath).Later the epicentre or the capital town was shifted to Now Baijnath(Present-Bageshwar District,Kumaun,Uttarakhand).Below is the list if successors of the period.

Basantana Dev ,Kharpar Dev,Adhiraj Dev,Tribhuvan Raj Dev,Nimbarta Dev,Ishttanga Dev,Lalitsura Dev,Bhu Dev,Salonadiya Dev,Ichchata Dev,Deshat Dev,Padmata Dev,Subhiksharaja Dev,Dham Dev & finally Bira Dev ,their reign ended in AD 1040.

Many researchers and scholars believe that the downfall of the Katyuri started form era of Bhu Dev i.e. AD 955.

Then after the last successor was eliminated ,Uttarakhand was divided into 7 mandals with independent chieftans/rulers.

1- Askot(Present-Pithoragarh Dist,Kumaon,Uttarakhand) : Ruled by Abhaya Pal S/O Trilok Pal (AD 1279), Capital – Lakhanpurkot,Chiefs – Rajwar/Rajwad.They were the Rajbar Dynasty which ruled till it was annexed to British Raj by treaty of Sighauli (1816)

2-Doti(Nepal and adjoining Kumaon): (Present-Nepal)The most powerful house at that period.Ruled by Niranjan Pal S/O Trilok Pal(AD 1279).These were the Raikas.

3- Sui (Kali Kumaon) : (Present-Champawat Dist,Kumaon,Uttarakhand) After the downfall of he Katyuris,Brahma Dev Katyuri was the last chief left. Meanwhile ,Rawat Clan (Chief of Damkot) with some rebel chiefs of Khashia posed a real threat to him. It was then he invited a foreign Chand Prince from Jhansi(Allahbad) which led to establishment of Chand Kingdom in Lohaghat. (Please make a note of this point ,because it was the turning point in the history of Kumaun)

4-Barahmandal (Almora & Surrounding Area) : Ruled by Arjuna Dev,followed by Niraya Pal and then Bir Singh Dev.(AD 1300-1450) .Bir Singh handed over the province to Pandit of Champawat Shri Chand Tiwari,which was later occupied by Chief of Bisaud and then later invaded and ruled by Kirti Chand of Chand Kingdom (AD 1488-1503)

5-Katyur (Baijnath ) : From Tribhuvan Pal(AD 1100) to Sukhal Dev ,who was killed by Rudra Chand(AD 1597).

6-Dwarahat : Ruled by Gujjar Dev(AD 1257),Sudhar Dev(1316),Man Dev (1337),Som Dev (1355).Ranikshetra(Ranikhet )was preasure retreat for the Queens.

7-Lakahnpur : Asanti Dev & his successors ruled from 13


century till 1420,when their last ruler Kalyan Dev was attached by Kirti Chand(AD 1488-1503).He surrender the fort of Lakahnpur.

As anyone would understand from the above events,that majority of Clans/Houses/Khashias in Kumaon were scattered and the power was decentralized,most were at the verge of takeover or were attacked by Chand Rulers.

Chand Dynasty : (AD 750- 850,Debatable) & (AD 1067-1788) : The Orthodox Hindu(Brahmanical religion) was followed very strictly during the Chand Rajputs Rule.

The last Katyuri king Brahma Dev at Sui (Lohaghat,Champawat) invited Chandravanshi Prince Som Chand (Raghuvanshi Ancestry )to rule Kumaoun.(He married his daughter to the young Prince,which let to establishment of Chand Dynasty in Kumaon). Som Chand took support from Taragi Clan and defeated the leader of small revolting Khashia provinces Rawat Clan from Damkot .

Along with him he brought Kannaujiya Brahmins Joshis,Bishts and Pandeys.

He was succeded by Atma Chand,Purna Chand till Bira Chand.The Phase I of Chand reign was from AD 740- 850. After Bina Chand ,their kingdom was defeated by Katyuri Khasha Kings (Rawat Clan & Mandalikas).They ruled for around 200 years (AD-850-AD 1067) .

Bira Chand restored the Chand Dynasty in Kumaon in AD 1067.He was succeeded by Puran Chand ,Bhishmna Chand,Balo Kalyan Chand ,the most fierce and brave Rudra Chand (AD 1565-1597),Baz bahadur Chand (AD 1638-1678) , Deep Chand,Raja Mohan Chand .

(AD 1779) Raja Lalit Shah of Garhwal invaded Kumaon with help from Joshi’s of Kumaoun and placed his son Pradyumna Shah.It was Harsh Deo (Leader of Joshis) who acted as his Prime Minister & later ruled for a very short time on Kumaon after death of Garhwal Prince. He too was defeated by Lal Singh (Successor of Raja Mohan Chand) in AD 1788.

Garhwal :

After 10thCentury ,towards the end of Katyuri Dynasty,Uttrakhand was politically divided into Kumaon & Garhwal regions .The Pala Dynasty took control of the Garhwal region comprising of

Chamoli,Dehradun,Pauri,Tehri & Uttarkashi .

Ajay Pal (AD 1358-1370) had their capital in Bhilanga Valley.

Later in the 15th Century they dropped the ‘pal’ and adopted ‘Sah’ or ‘Shah’ title.Man Sah,Sma Sah,Dularam Sah.The capital was shifted to Tehri.Dularam Sah

GURKHA INVASION : (AD 1790- 1815 )

Gurkha Leader Amar Singh Thapa invaded Kumaon & Garhwal in 1790 AD .The Gurkhas ruled Kumaon from AD 1790-1815 & Garhwal from AD 1804-1815.

British Rule : With help from local Kumauni & Garwali soldiers British was able to drive Gurkhas out of Uttrakhand. The treaty of Saugali was signed in 1815 after British invasion of Kumaon.

References : Various Google books.For exact references pl contact me.

P.S. There are a lot of different versions by different authors on the history of Uttarakhand. As I’ve already mentioned in the post that the dates and period are debatable.

You are welcome to correct me.

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