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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gyanchandra: The Chand King of Champawat, Kumaon of Himalayan, Indian Medieval Period Part -1

(History of Kumaon from 1000-1790 AD)
         (History of Chand Dynasty Rule in Kumaon)
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar) - Part 152

                                              ByBhishma Kukreti

             Gyanchandra: The Chand King of Champawat (1367-1420)

 There are debates on Gyanchandra taking the crown of Chand dynasty after death of Abhaychandra. Dr Dabral proved that the ruling period of Gyanchandra is 1367-1420 AD.
 The inscription (inscription of Gyanchandra of Serakhadkot) suggests that Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand was heir of Abhaychandra.
 It is said that when Abhaychandra or Abhaya Chand died without any son, the heir of Thorchand uncle’s family Gyan Chand got the crown ship of Champawat.

                 Chand Kingdom Extension by Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand

   Though Abhaya Chand the predecessor of Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand captured Champawat Kot or fort from Raut Raja, Hyun Raj Raut family had rule over Dhyani Rau, Chaubhainsi regions.
         It seems that Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand won the Dhyani Rau or complete Doomkot region (Patti) from Raut king just before or in 1419. Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand handed over the area to his officer Nal Kathayat for administration (Raut is also called administration) in 1419.
 The inscriptions/copper inscriptions of Garudstambh of Raiganv, Baleshwar temple, Ashadh gaon, Dada gaon, Khetikhan, Gudamgal gaon and Champawat suggest that Vijaybrahm the ruler of Sor came under Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand super rule. Vijaybrahm became free ruler after death of Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand.
 It seems that Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand was administrator of Mal region at the time of Abhaychandra or Abhaya Chand. Mal region was adjacent in north of present Pilibhit, Bareilly, Moradabad and Bijnor districts of Uttar Pradesh.
The regions Dyani rau, Chaubhainsi, Chhakhata, Kota and Chikaliya regions were called Talla Desh. Talla Desh was also adjascent to mal region.
 Kota, Chhakhata, Dhaniyakot, Dhyani rau, Faldakot, and Ramgarh hills were not under Mal.
Only southern region ‘Madhua ki Mal of Talla Desh was under Chand kingdom.

                  Defending Mal Region was Priority

           For Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand the main priority was defense of plains (Mal) adjacent to Pilibhit, Bareilly, Bijnor and Moradabad. The Doti Katyuri and dislike of Khasa people for outsider Chand rulers were other factors that Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand did not pay attention extending his rule in hills.
        The administrators of Sultan in Bijnor, Moradabad and Badayun used to attack Mal (Bhabhar region) people and used to loot them any time.
 Due to Muslim kings extension; various Rajput army professionals took shelters in Bhabhar and hills of Uttarakhand.
                    Destruction of Katehar

  Rajput sects developed a region Katehr (today’s Rohilkhand).  Katehar or Rohilkhand region is just adjacent of Mal or Bhabhar of Kumaon. Katehar Rajput did not agree in accepting the rule of Muslim Sultan of Delhi.  In the Delhi Sultan Firoz Tuglak period (1351-1388), it was decided to capture Katehr under Muslim regime. There were continuous fights between Badayun administrator (Jagirdar) Sayyad Muhammad and Khadak Singh the ruler of Katehr regularly. In 1379, the news was sent to Sultan of Delhi that Khadak Singh killed Sayyad Muhammad and his brother Sayyad Allauddin.
  In 1380, Sultan Firoz sent huge army to Katehr for taking revenge of killing of Sayyad brothers. The army killed Hindus of Katehar without any second thought. The killing was cruelest ones.
  Khadag Singh did not find him powerful to resist Sultan army. Khadag Singh ran away into Bhabhar of Kumaon. From Bhabhar (today’s Udham Singh Nagar) Khadag Singh might have escaped to hill region.

               Destruction of Kumaon by Sultan Army
 The Sultan Firoz Tuglak and his army entered Kumaon region (might be hills too) following Sultan army. The Sultan army killed innocent people. The Sultan Firoz Tuglak Army captured twenty thee thousands people and forcefully converted them as Muslim. As soon as monsoon started the Sultan Army returned to Tarai (plains beyond Bhabhar) region.
       Dr Dabral calculated that Sultan army destroyed Bahedi, Kicchha, Chorgaliya, Bankheda, Thakurdwara regions of Kumaon.
 There was enmity between Gyan Chandra and Khadag Singh. Therefore, Khadag Singh did not take shelter from Gyanchandra.
 There is no record or folklore about actions against Sultan army by Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand.

               Five Years Oppression and killings by Sultan

    Sultan returned Delhi after destroying Katehr and some parts of Kumaon. Firoz appointed a Afghan governor for Sambhal region and ordered him to destruct Katehr every by fire and sword.
 For five years, Sultan Firoz used to reach Katehr every year to destruct and oppress the people of Katehr.  Nobody ploughed the land and the land became forest. No Hindu  slept into hut for five years.
 While following Katihr army of Rajputs, the Sultan army might have reached Bhabhar of Kumaon and definitely, might have oppressed the people.

      Katehr people living in Kumaon Bhabhar –Mal

 Due to suppressive acts of Sultan army, the people from Katehar started living in Kumaon Bhabhar. They started dominating local Kumaoni people and did not accept Gyan Chandra as their king.

               Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand visiting Delhi
 The folklore states that Gyanchandra or Gyan Chand went to Delhi before Sultan. Sultan offered him title of Garud (vulture).  Sultan also appointed Gyanchand as his devoted Samant of Bhabhar.  The folklore states that Sultan took Gyan Chand for hunting too. Atkinson guessed the date of hunting would be either 1410, 1412 0r 1413.
However, the logical conclusion is that there is no truth on the folklore.  There is no mentioning Garud in his inscriptions. His successors did also not mention about Garud title of Gyan Chand. In other folklore Gyan Chand is called Guru Gyan Chand.

          Attack of Sambahl Sardar on Madhuva Mal (Bhabhar)

   Historical evidence states that around 1413, the Sultan governor of Sambhal attacked on Madhuva ki Mal (Bhabhar, Kumaon) and captured the territory . Gyanchandra sent his faithful army commander Nalu Kathayat with huge army to free Madhuva ki Mal. Nalu Kathayat freed Madhuva ki Mal from Muslim encroachers.
  The Champawat king Gyan Chand offered title to Nalu Kathayat as ‘Kumaya Saropa’. Gyan Chand also offered nalu Kathayat many villages in mal (Bhabhar) and villages in Dhyai rau region as Raut (Jagir). Gyan Chand also wrote inscription in Kaproli village (the village of Nalu Kathayat) declaring Nalu as winner against Mlecch.
 However, in later stage there was tussle between Gyan Chand and Nalu Kathayat.

##3Read about demotion of Nalu Kathayat, more destruction of Katehar by Sultan in part 153…..

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti -bckukreti@gmail.com 25/9/2013


Dr. Shiv Prasad Dabral, Uttarakhand ka Itihas Bhag 10, Kumaon ka Itihas 1000-1790
Badri Datt Pande, 1937, Kumaon ka Itihas, Shri Almora Book Depo Almora
Devidas Kaysth, Itihas Kumaon Pradesh
Katyur ka Itihas, Pundit Ram Datt Tiwari
Oakley and Gairola, Himalayan Folklore
Atkinson, History of District Gazette
Menhadi Husain, Tuglak Dynasty
Malfujat- E Timuri
Tarikh -e-Mubarakshahi
Kumar Suresh Singh2005, People of India
Justin Marozzi, 2006, Tamerlane: Sword of Islam
Bakshsingh Nijar, 1968, Punjab under Sultans 1000-1526 
The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume 13 page 52 
Bhakt Darshan, Gadhwal ki Divangit Vibhutiyan

(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -153
History of Kumaon (1000-1790) to be continued….
 Middle Himalayan, Indian Medieval Age History of Chand Dynasty rule in Kumaon to be continued…
  (Middle Himalayan, Indian Medieval Age History (740-1790 AD to be continued…)

Notes on Chand dynasty kings of Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Champawat, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Jaspur, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Ashadhgarh, Dada gaon, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Khetikhan, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Gudamagal Ganv, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Bhabhar, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Madhuva ki Mal, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Bahedi, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Kicchha, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Chorgaliya, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Bankheda, Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Thakurdwara Kumaon; Chand dynasty kings of Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon;