HP GK – History of Bilaspur

HP GK notes [History of Bilaspur District] for HPPSC and other Himachal Exams

This article provides the History of Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. Questions from History of Himachal Pradesh are very important for various exams in Himachal Pradesh such as HPPSC HPAS, Naib Tehsildar, HPSSSB and other HP Govt. exams. These HP GK notes come handy for fast revision of Himachal GK.

History of Bilaspur District – Himachal GK

The records from the Twarikh-i-Rajputana Mulk-i-Punjab, written by Thakur Kahn Singh and Binod, suggests that territory of Bilaspur was under the rule of petty Ranas and Thakurs before the foundation of Bilaspur State. Given below are some Rajas of Bilaspur and some important events associated with them.

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Raja Bir Chand (AD 900:

  • The state of Bilaspur was founded by Raja Bir Chand of ‘Chanderi Bundelkhand’.
  • He waged many wars in his reign of 30 years and conquered many neighbouring territories.
  • He built the temple of Goddess Naina Devi on one of the seven Dhars. The temple is now called as Dhar Naina Devi.
  • Below the temple, Bir Chand founded his capital.

Raja Kahal Chand:

  • According to one historical source, the fort of Kot Kahlur was built by Raja Kahal Chand. (Although another account states that the fort of Kot Kahlur was built by Raja Bir Chand).

Rajs Ajit Chand:

  • He was the son of Raja Kahal Chand.
  • He founded the ruling dynasty of Hindur, which came to be known as Nalagarh.

Raja Megh Chand:

  • He was the eldest son of Raja Sangar Chand
  • Because of his harsh and tyrannical rule, he was forced by people to leave the state. He took asylum in Kullu.
  • He regained the Kingdom with the help of Delhi’s Sultan Shamsu-udin Altutmash.

Raja Abhisand Chand:

  • He was the ruler of Bilaspur during the period of Sikandar Lodhi
  • Both Raja Abhisand Chand and his son Sunder Chand were killed treacherously by the son of Tatar Khan.

Raja Sampuran Chand:

  • He was killed by his younger brother Ratan Chand

Raja Gyan Chand:

  • Raja Gyan Chand was the contemporary of Akbar.
  • He embraced Islam under the influence of Viceroy of Sirhind. His two younger sons – Rama and Bhima Chand also embraced Islam.
  • He eldest son Bik Chand remained a Hindu and fled across the Satluj river to a place called Sunhani.

Raja Bik Chand:

  • He had two Ranis – one of these was the daughter of Raja Trilok Chand of Kangra and other one was from Baghat
  • Kangra rani gave birth to Sultan Chand.
  • Bik Chand abdicated his throne during his life in favour of Sultan Chand in 1620 AD.

Raja Kalian Chand:

  • He was a contemporary of Raja Shiam Sen of Suket, whose daughter was his Chief Rani.
  • He built a fort at the border on the borders of Hindur, which ultimately led to a war between Hindur and Bilaspur.In the war the Raja of Hindur was killed.
  • Raja Kalian Chand also got mortally wounded in the war and died at a place called Kalian Chand di dwari while returning to Bilaspur. His rani became Sati.

Raja Tara Chand:

  • He was the son of Raja Kalian Chand
  • He built the Taragarh Fort.

Raja Dip Chand (1650-1656 AD)

  • He regained the prestige of Bilaspur state.
  • He shifted the residence of the royal family from Sunhani to Vyasguffa.
  • He erected a new palace which was called as Dholra.
  • He founded a town called Biaspur now known as Bilaspur.
  • He fixed the salute ‘Jai Deva’ to Rajas, ‘Jai’ to Mians and ‘Ram Ram’ to Ranas.
  • In 1656, Sikhs invaded Bilapsur.
  • Raja Dip Chand was poisoned by Raja of Kangra in Nadaun.

Raja Bhim Chand:

  • Son of Raja Dip Chand.
  • He was a minor at the time of his father’s death. Therefore, Manak Chand, brother of Dip Chand was appointed as his wazir. But Manak Chand proved to be harsh and tyrannical. Som he was dismissed by the queen mother ‘Jalal Devi’.
  • Manak Chand attacked Kangra with the help of Kangra Raja but was defeated by combined forces of Sidh Sen of Mandi and Bhim Chand at Jaboth.
  • In 1682, trouble started between Guru Gobind Singh and Bhim Chand in which Bhim Chand was defeated.
  • In 1685, again Bhim Chand was defeated when he, with the help of Kangra, Guler and other states, attacked Sikhs.
  • In 1700 AD, Bhim Chand and Alam Chand of Kangra again suffered defeat when they attacked the Sikhs.
  • Bhim Chand spent his closing years of life as a ‘Faqir’.
  • He was succeeded by his son Ajmer Chand.

Raja Ajmer Chand:

  • He had a peaceful reign.
  • He built the fort of Ajmergarh on the border of Hindur.
  • He was succeeded by his eldest son, Devi Chand.

Raja Devi Chand (1741-78 AD):

  • He was a contemporary of Nadir Shah.
  • Adina Begh Khan was the Nawab of Jalandhara at that time.
  • Raja Man Chand of Hindur got killed along with his son in a revolt in Hindur. Raja Devi Chand installed Gaje Singh Hindureas as the Raja of Hindur after that.
  • Devi Chand helped Ghamand Chand of Kangra when Abhai Chand of Jaswan invaded Kangra.
  • Later, Devi Chand helped Abhai Chand of Jaswan when Abhai Chand was expelled from his state by his brother Jagrup Chand. Devi Chand restored Abhai Chand to his state.
  • He built the fort of Bhaimalkot and gave the Ramgarh fort to Bejai Chand of Hindur.
  • He had a son named Mahan Chand who was six years old at the time of his death.

Raja Mahan Chand (1778 – 1824 AD):

  • Mahan Chand was a minor when Raja Devi Chand died. So the administration remained in the hands of Ramu Wazir.
  • When Ramu Wazir died in 1785, Bairgai Ram, former Wazir of Mandi, was called for help but this trial failed. Later on, Zorawar Chand, the younger brother of Devi Chand, was appointed as Wazir and held office till Mahan Chand became major.
  • Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra invaded Bilaspur in 1795 and occupied Chowki Hatwar. Raja Dharam Prakash of Sirmaur, who came to help Mahan Chand, got killed.
  • Sansar Chand built a fort on Dhar Janjrar in Bilaspur and called it ‘Chhatipur’ i.e. fort on the chest of Bilaspur.
  • Mahan Chand asked Sikh Sardars, Gurdit Singh and Desa Singh, for help. But they also got defeated and were killed.
  • In 1808, Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed Hathawat, Jahanbari and Dharkot.
  • It was Raja Mahan Chand of Bilaspur who invited Amar Singh Thapa, the Gurkha leader, to invade Kangra. Gurkha forces defeated Sansar Chand at Mahal Morian. Also, Gurkhas occupied Bilaspur and other hill states till 1814.
  • Jahanbari annexed by the Sikhs is now in Hoshiarpur district as it was never restored to Bilaspur/
  • In 1819, Desa Singh Majithia, the Nizam of Kangra Hills, with the help of Sansar Chand captured the forts of Pichrota, Nihalgarh and Biholi Devi
  • Mahan Chand died in 1824 A.D.

Raja Kharak Chand(1824-1839 AD):

  • His reign is marked as the darkest page in the history of Bilaspur.
  • When the atrocities of Kharak Chand became unbearable, people went to Mian Jagat Chand, Raja’s uncle, for help.
  • A revolt was led against Kharak Chand by his uncles and the fighting continued for some time.
  • Soon after, Raja contracted Small Pox and died.

Raja Jagat Chand(1839-1857 AD):

  • After the death of Kharak Chand, Jagat Chand was installed as the Raja of Bilaspur.
  • Sirmauri Rani of Kharak Chand returned to Bilaspur with his son to claim the Gaddi. Jagat Singh fled to Hindur to save his life.
  • Political Agent of Ambala on receiving this news restored Jagat Chand to power. Raja Ram Saran of Hindur also helped Jagat Chand in this.
  • Raja Jagat Chand abdicated the throne in 1850 in favour of his grandson Hira Chand and retired to Brindaban.

Raja Hira Chand (1857-1882 AD):

  • His reign is remembered as the Golden age of Bilaspur.
  • He supported British in the 1857 revolt. For this, he was granted a salute of 11 guns as a honour to the state.
  • Hira Chand also reorganised the land revenue system making paying of land revenue partly in kind and partly in cash in some selected areas of the territory.
  • In 1867, a long strip of land called ‘Baseh’ and ‘Bachhretu’ was restored to Bilaspur.
  • Doab region ceded by the Sikhs in 1842 was also restored during his time.
  • Mian Bhangi Purgnia was his wazir
  • He paid a visit to Shimla with his son Amar Chand in 1882 where he got seriously ill. His son arranged a ‘Palki’ to remove him from his state but he died on the way at Maholi.

Raja Amar Chand (1883-1888 AD):

  • He was installed as the Raja of Bilaspur in 1883.
  • His reign was marked with a revolt against the administration.
  • In 1885, the record of cases was ordered to be kept in ‘Nagari'(Hindi).
  • Schools, Hospitals and a suspension bridge over Satluj were constructed in his time.
  • He died in 1888 AD

Raja Bijai Chand:

  • He was born in 1872.
  • he became a Raja in 1889 and brought many reforms in the state administration.
  • The system of court-fee and non-judicial stamps were introduced for the first time.
  • He also laid a water supply system in Bilaspur town.
  • Built two houses for his residence in Varanasi and a summer house in Bahadurpur and at a place called Haridwar near Bilaspur.
  • Built Rang Mahal palace at Bilaspur
  • Lala Hari Chand was appointed Wazir in 1902 and Bijai Chand retired from the administration and departed to Varanasi.
  • In 1903, Rai Sahib Mian was appointed the Manager of the state. He carried out many reforms.
  • In 1908, Bijai Chand returned to the state and resumed control. Rai Sahib Amar Singh was his Wazir.
  • He gave all possible help to the British in World War 1. For this, he was given the honorary rank of a major and was decorated with the title of K.C.I.E.

Raja Anand Chand (1928-1948 AD):

  • Anand Chand was born in 1913 and became the Raja of Bilaspur in 1928.
  • He studied at Mayo College Ajmer and recieved training in Administration of Civil and Criminal Laws in Gurgaon.
  • He ruled Bilaspur till 9th October 1948 when Bilaspur was made a part C state of the Indian Union.
  • On 12th October 1948, he was made the first Chief Commissioner of Bilaspur. He remained at this post till 1st April 1949.

On 2nd April 1949, Anand Chand handed over the position of Chief Commissioner to Sh. Chand Chhabra who continued till 3rd November 1953. After that, Major General Himmat Singh, the Lt. Governor of HP, took over the additional charge of Chief Commissioner of Bilaspur. Bilaspur state was merged into Himachal Pradesh on 01st July 1954 and became a separate district in HP.

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