History of Garhwal King Lalit Shah part - 3
History of Garhwal including Haridwar (1223- 1804 AD) –part -167
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -414
By: Bhishma Kukreti (A History Research Student)
Mohan Chand getting Kumaon Kingdom
At the time of Deep Chand as Kumaon King, opponent of Kahsipur Bhabhar in charge Shiv Datt Joshi killed Shiv Datt Joshi. They also killed two sons of Shiv Datt Joshi. Third son Harsh Dev Joshi escaped from the opponents. After some time, Hari ram Joshi died. Now, the administrators were free do act as per their wishes and it was free for all in Kumaon Kingdom. Deep Chand was helpless to recover the administration. His queen Shringar Manjari started interfering in te court activities. King Deep Chand appointed Harsh Dev Joshi (son of Shiv Datt Joshi) and Jaikrishna Joshi on prominent positions in Kumaon court. The queen Shringar Manjari appointed Mohan Chand Gusain and Parma Nand Bisht in place of Harsh Dev Joshi and Jaikrishna Joshi. Mohan Chand Gusain and his brother Lal Singh Gusain were decedent of late King Bajbahadur.
In 1777, Mohan Chand arranged Killing of Deep Chand and his supporters including his sons. Jaikrishna jOshi was also killed. Harsh Dev Joshi was put in jail. Mohan Chand became King of Kumaon.
Joshi Escaping from Almora
Mohan Chand Gusain used to think Joshis as his main enemies. He killed Lakshmi Pati Joshi. Lakshmi Pati Joshi was subordinate of Harsh dev Joshi. Mohan Chand also killed other Joshis and their supporters in Almora. Harsh Dev Joshi escaped from jail and reached to Bareli. Jay Nand Joshi and other Joshi also reached to Bareli.
Joshis were not having any work in Bareli and it was difficult for them to run the life. At that period Garhwal army was defeated by Sirmaur army. Harsh Dev Joshi became active to make fool of Garhwal King Lalit Shah.
Joshis sent a letter for Garhwal King Lalit Shah. In that letter they wrote that Lalit Shah could become the ruler of Kumaon and Sirmaur. Joshi requested Lalit Shah to attack on Kumaon and they would support Lalit Shah.
Lalit Shah coming under Conspiracies of Joshis
History is witness that solid Kingdom were destroyed due to greed and affection for women. King Lalit Shah was pleased to get letter from Joshi those were taking shelter in Bareli. He was already anxious to capture Sirmaur and Kumaon for his sons.
Lalit Shah answered to Joshis. Garhwal King invited Joshis to come to Shrinagar. Lalit Shah wrote that Joshi can take Garhwal army to capture Almora and Champawat. King wrote that you (Joshis) kill Mohan Chand and ascend Garhwal Prince Pradyuman on Kumaon throne.
The supporting administrators of Dotiyali Queen as Prempati Khanduri and Nityanand Khanduri wanted sons of the Doti queen Pradyuman Shah or Prakram Shah as King. They and Lalit Shah forgot in the same situation Pradip Shah the grandfather of Lalit Shah was caught in great dangers due to conspiracy of forefathers of present Joshis.
Deceptive Methods of Joshis
Joshis received the answer from Lalit Shah and were now, sure that the greedy King was under their selfish influences. Joshis wrote letter to the King that they were in heavy debts of 20-25 thousands rupees and before coming Garhwal they had to pay back the debts of money lenders.
Lalit Shah sent Rupees 25000 and gold coins too for Joshis living in Bareli. Joshis distributed money among themselves.
Garhwal King Welcoming Joshis in Shrinagar
Harsh Dev Joshi remained in Bareli under specific strategy. Jayanand Joshi and other Joshis came to Shrinagar. Joshis were resided in big Haveli and offered lavish dinner and lunches. Garhwal King ordered to store keeper and kitchen keeper to offer Joshis as per their demand.
Joshis reached to the court of Lalit shah with Shrifal (coconut). Joshis blessed Garhwal King with misspelled or wrong rong meaningful Shloka.
Lalit Shah and Joshis had sweet discussion. Jayanand Joshi told that Joshis and other Kumaoni ministers were ready to deceive their own Kingdom. Lalit Shah told that he was handing over his beloved son Pradyuman Shah to Kumaoni Pundits or ministers. Joshis advised the King that the King should send Garhwal army with them to Kumaon to dethrone Mohan Chand from Kumaon Kingdom. Joshis told to the King that they would take Pradyuman Shah after killing Mohan Chand.
Ascending Pradyuman Shah on Kumaon Throne
In Shrinagar Joshis ascended Pradyuman Shahn on Kumaon throne with auspicious chanting. Joshis sent the message to their supporters in Almora. Joshis took money from Garhwal King and dispatched secretly to their supporters that is – commanders, administrators and elites of Kumaon in Almora for corrupting them.
Garhwal King Lalit Shah sent Garhwal army led by Minister Prempati Khanduri and Commander Dhannu Gaddi with Joshis to conquer Kumaon. Garhwal army with Joshis entered in Kumaon from Lohaba side. Garhwal army reached to Dwarhat of Kumaon. Kumaon King Mohan Chand was now, a worried King. At the same time Harsh Dev Joshi also reached to Almora.
Mohan Chand promised Harsh Dev Joshi if Kumaon army defeat Garhwal Army Harsh Dev Joshi would get his post and honor back. Harsh Dev Joshi marched with Kumaon Army led by Lal Singh the brother of Mohan Chand to fight with Garhwal army. When Harsh Dev Joshi came to know that Garhwal Army defeated Kumaon army in Bagwali Pokhar, Harsh Dev Joshi reached secretly to meet Joshis who were with Garhwal Army. After defeat, Mohan Chand and his brother ran away from Kumaon (1779) and took shelter under Rampur ruler Faijulla Khan.
Rule of Joshis on Kumaon
Now, Joshis were real ruler of Kumaon. Harsh Dev Joshi and other Joshis were ruling Kumaon in the name of King Pradyuman Shah. Prem Pati Khanduri was with them and he became their stern supporter.
Joshis and Khanduri sent a letter to Lalit Shah that he should send Kumaon King Pradyuman Shah to Almora.
Discussion about Sending Pradyuman Shah to Kumaon
Lalit Shah discussed the matter with his aids. Pradyuman Shah was only thirteen years old prince and he was also not a strong built man. Lalit Shah and ministers of Garhwal were aware the past killings of two Kumaoni Kings and in pat Pradip Shah was caught in major danger in Kumaon.
Lalit Shah wrote letter to Joshis that since, Pradyuman Shah was immature instead of prince the King was coming to Almora to reconstruct the administration. Joshis were not comfortable with Lalit Shah coming to Almora.
Joshis wrote back to Lalit Shah not to come to Almora but to dispatch Pradyuman Shah.
Lalit Shah Marching to Almora
Lalit Shah was not satisfied by the answer of Joshis. He along with Garhwal army marched towards Kumaon. When Garhwal King reached at Khetsari, Joshis were afraid. Harsh Dev Joshi ran away from Almora.
Jayanand Joshi came to Khetsari and met the King Lalit Shah. Jayanand Joshi told to Lalit Shah that the deceptive ministers had run away from Almora and he was alone in Almora. He made Lalit Shah understands to camp in Dulari and he would bring the Kumaoni ministers and elites to the King. Jayanand also promised that he would bring Harsh Dev Joshi to meet the King.
Lalit Shah accepted the advice of Jayanand Joshi and shifted his camp from Khetsari to Duladi.
Lalit Shah in Dulari camp for Seven Months
Garhwal army dug the camp in Dulari/Duladi. Garhwal King had to camp in Dulari for seven months. Garhwal King wanted to meet harsh Dev Joshi before sending Pradyuman Shah to Almora. Joshis wanted that first Garhwal King should return to Shrinagar. Both sides were using diplomacy but both were susceptive with each other’s deceptiveness. Garhwal King was adamant to send his son without proper protection for his son in Almora. Lalit Shah wanted to meet Harsh dev Joshi and harsh dev Joshi did not meet him.
One day, harsh Dev Joshi appeared in Dulari with his own army. He entered in the camp of King. Harsh Dev Joshi talked with Garhwal King for a while and walked out from camp suddenly. The King and ministers were shocked to find the behavior of Harsh Dev Joshi. Garhwal King was helpless as Harsh Dev had his army with him. After that short meeting Harsh Dev Joshi never came to meet Garhwal King Lalit Shah.
Death of Lalit Shah in Dulari
Lalit Shah offered money to Joshis to get Kumaon Kingdom. Joshis got back Kumaon Kingdom and did not allow Garhwal King to rule over Kumaon. Lalit Shah was a disturbed man in Dulari. Lalit shah and his many aids got caught by Malaria. Due to Malaria Lalit Shah died in August 1780.
His body was brought back in Shrinagar and was cremated in Shrinagar.
The Kumaon folklore sates slightly different story about Lalit Shah and Harsh Dev Joshi than what Maulram wrote in ‘Garharjkavya’.
1-Harsh Dev invited Lalit Shah when he was in prison of Mohan Chand in Almora. When Lalit Shah attacked on Kumaon, Mohan Chand freed Harsh Dev Joshi and sent Harsh Dev Joshi with Lal Singh‘s army to defend Garhwal army.
2-After Bagwalipokhar battle, Lalit Shah invited Harsh Dev Joshi at Pali. And there they ascended Pradyuman Shah on Kumaon crown.
Lalit shah died due to Malaria.
Lalit Shah was a greedy King.
He was not able to guess the power and strategic points of his enemy that is why he could not be successful in winning Sirmaur.
His greed became the source of destruction of Garhwal Kingdom.
He did not offer shelter to scholars as his forefathers used to offer. Only Maulram was his a court artist. Maulram portrayed his portrait.
Lalit Shah accepted the dressing and culture of Sikhs (as shown in portrait by Maularam).
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, email@example.com/8/2014
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -415
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal from 1223-1804 to be continued in next chapter ….
Notes on South Asian Early Modern Period History of Garhwal; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Pauri Garhwal; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Chamoli Garhwal; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Rudraprayag Garhwal; South Asian Medieval History of Tehri Garhwal; Medieval History of Uttarkashi Garhwal; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Dehradun, Garhwal; Medieval History of Haridwar ; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Manglaur, Haridwar; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Rurkee Haridwar ; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Bahadarpur Haridwar ; South Asian Early Modern Period History of Haridwar district to be continued