(History of Kumaon from 1000-1790 AD)
(History of Chand Dynasty Rule in Kumaon)
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar) - Part 190
Garhwal and Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb
Garhwal king Prithwipati Shah had to create friendly alliance with Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan. Dara Shikoh the Son of Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan became friend and supporter of Garhwal kingdom. When Shah Jahan became ill, there was fight for Mogul empire among sons of Shah Jahan. Aurangzeb killed or exiled all his brothers.
Now, Aurangzeb was to kill sons of his brothers. Suleman Shikoh the son of Dara Shikoh had to take asylum in Shri Nagar Garhwal. Aurangzeb threatened Garhwal king to return Suleman Shikoh. Aurangzeb followed the strategy of Shah Jahan to attack Garhwal from three sides. At the end, Garhwal king had to hand over Suleman Shikoh to Aurangzeb. Garhwal king was forced to accept supremacy of Aurangzeb. Garhwal King Medni Shah sent his relatives Bhim Singh and Prem Singh as Mansabdar in Aurangzeb court.
Though, a folklore states that for a while Kumaon King provided asylum to Suleman Shikoh but there are not proofs for the same.
Attack of Baj Bahadur Chandra on Garhwal King
Around 1663, Garhwal King Prithwipati Shah became seriously ill and he declared Fate Shah the son of Medni Shah as heir of Medni Shah.
Through conspiracy means, Kumaon King Baj Bahadur got the support of Bishts of Savali Patti and Bangari Rawat of Bangari Patti of present Pauri Garhwal.
Baj Bahadur sent his one army towards Garhwal from Pindar Valley. He led second army himself and marched towards Garhwal through Chaukhatiya. This path was to reach to Shrinagar through Lohaba and Baijron. Baj Bhadur reached to Shri Nagar and there was a treaty between Garhwal and Kumaon Kingdoms. Baj Bahdur handed over Thokdari of Tali to Bishts of Savli Patti and Bharsali to Bangari Rawat. At this time, many Dangwal warriors and Ganida bIsht (who helped Kumaon king) also migrated to Kumaon from Garhwal. Kumaon King rewarded them. Baj Bahadur took golden Nanda Devi sculpture and female dancers of temple and established sculpture in Malla Mahal.
Request of Garhwal King to Aurangzeb
Virtually, Garhwal and Kumaon kingdoms were under Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb. Prithwipati Shah was seriously ill. Prithwipati complained about looting of Kumaon king in Shrinagar. Mansabdar Bhim Singh also informed Aurangzeb that there is gold store in Kumaon.
On 16th January 1664, Aurangzeb presumed that Prithwipati was dead and he sent an order to Fate Shah to attack on Kumaon Kingdom. Prithvipati was ill and Fate Shah was in his teen age. Therefore, Garhwal king could not attack on Garhwal.
Attack by Mogul Army on Kumaon Kingdom
Garhwal and Kumaon were under mogul rule. Kumaon king attacked to Garhwal. Therefore to punish Kumaon king, Mogul army attacked on plains of Kumaon in May 1665. Mogul army captured Bhabhar-Tarai regions of Kumaon. Mogul army took over administration of Tarai-Bhabhar under Mogul administration. However, it was not easy for Mogul army to fight/attack in hills of Kumaon. Mogul army spent one lakh rupees to build road for Top and other ammunitions. In 1666, Mogul army appointed two hundred Oads (building builders) to build road from Bhabhar towards Almora hills of Kumaon.
When Mogul army attacked and captured Bhabhar and Tarai regions of Kumaon, Garhwal King Prithwipati Shah sent his army to help Mogul army. However, the nephew of Prithwipati Shah helped Kumaon king as he was married to Kumaon King family member.
It is unknown that till what time Mogul army was there in hills of Kumaon. It is also unknown about the place of attack by Garhwal King on Kumaon.
After 1665, Aurangzeb was busy in other acts in other parts of India.
Request letter of Baj Bahadur to Minister of Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb
Due to capture of Bhabhar and Tarai (Kumaon Mal) by Mogul army and help from Garhwal king to Mogul army, Kumaon King Baj Bahadur was in uneasy position.
Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra sent a request letter (fariyad) to Alivardikhan the minster of Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb.
Kumaon King wrote “I am old servant of Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb. Shah Jahan looked after me. My kingdom is the territory of Mogul Emperor. The Shrinagar King sent you false information about huge gold stock and wealth with me. The gold as mentioned by him would not be there in entire hill state. The Shrinagar King should be ordered to prove the truthfulness of gold stock. I am ready to pay tax in lieu of my attack on Shrinagar kingdom without permission of Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb.”
Tax by Baj Bahadur Chand on people for Mogul Emperor
To have better relationship with Mogul Empire, Kumaon King Baj Bahadur levied new taxes to his subject. In 1672, Baj Bahadur started taking a type of ‘Jajiya ‘ or Paul tax or Mundkar tax tax from each family. This tax was sent to Mogul court and gifts to various administrators in Mogul court and regional Mogul army.
In 1673, suggestion from Minister Nabab Alivardikhan, Aurangzeb pardoned Kumaon king. It is assumed that Mogul Emperor might have returned Bhabhar and Tarai region to Kumaon Kingdom.
After getting pardon from Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb, Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chand and his son visited Aurangzeb court in 1673.
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti -email@example.com 18/11/2013
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(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -191
History of Kumaon (1000-1790) to be continued….
Himalayan, Indian History of Chand Dynasty rule in Kumaon to be continued…
(Himalayan, Indian History (740-1790 AD to be continued…)
Notes on Asian History of Relationship of Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Pithoragarh -Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Champawat-Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Bageshwar-Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Nainital-Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Almora-Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Ranikhet-Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Udham Singh Nagar-Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of central Himalayan Kumaon King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb; Asian History of Relationship of Kumaon North Indian King Baj Bahadur Chandra with Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb;