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उत्तराखंडी ई-पत्रिका

उत्तराखंडी ई-पत्रिका

Friday, June 3, 2016

British Capturing Ramgarh

Nepal Rule over Kumaun, Garhwal and Himachal (1790-1815) -286
            History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -816          
                          By: Bhishma Kukreti (A History Student)

                   British unsuccessfully Surrounding Ramgarh

                 Ochterlony camped with his army in Goyala on 12th November. It was difficult most reaching to Ramgarh from Goyala. However, on back of Goyala, there was plain place for camping at Nori. From Nori, it was possible to watch on Arki road too.  On 24th November, Ochterlony army reached at Nori. As soon as Amar Singh came to know about British activities, he ordered building fences and establishing camps and keeping soldiers at various hillocks and other important places.  British army lost 1 European officer and 40 Indian soldiers in searching suitable place for Gun on the road of Nori to Ramgarh. British army surrounded Ramgarh from three sides. However, British army could not surround on north that is road from Ramgarh to Bilaspur
       It was expected army help from Kangra King Sansar Chand. However, Sansar Chand could not help.  Ochterlony was disappointed as in Dehradun too British army was unsuccessful at Nalapani. Many soldiers from plains got ill.
         Ochterlony decided surrounding Amar Singh Thapa from four sides. Ochterlony decided capturing Mangugarh four miles away north of Ramgarh. Amar Singh came to Mangugarh with 2000 -2500 soldiers. There was fierce war for three hours between British and Gurkha armies. Many Indian soldiers ran away due to fear of Khukri of Gurkha soldiers. British killed 150 Gurkha soldiers and injured 250 Gurkha soldiers by gun fires. Gurkha killed 6 British soldiers and injured 40 soldiers. Amar Singh Thapa lost armed force heavily. However, Amar Singh Thapa could protect Mangugarh and the road from Ramgarh to Bilaspur was available for Amar Singh Thapa.  
                      Army Strategy by British Commander

     It was bad situation for Ochterlony. Amar Singh Thapa and his troops could go further nort of Himachal where the terrain was difficult for British army. Then, it was difficult attacking Gurkha camps.  The winter season was due very near. Snow fall and rain was also part of winter season in Himanchal. It was difficult for British army to win over Thapa in Mangugarh and Ramgarh. It was necessary for British that Amar Singh Thapa leave Ramgarh hill region. It was necessary that Amar Singh shift to other place where British would win over him.
    The Garhis were on hillocks/hills of Kot, Ramgarh, Nori, Mangu , Taragarh hills. Below those hills/hillocks Gambar River was flowing. From the place where there was confluence of Sutlej  and Gambar Rivers, from there was a place  3 miles north  where Gamrola River meets Sutlej. There was hill in between Gambar and Gamrola Rivers. That hill was higher than Ramgarh hill.
        There were Ratangarh, Surajgarh, and Malaugarh Garhis on that hill. Malaugarh was the most strong and protective Garh (fortress). On that Garhi, the family of Amar Singh Thapa was staying and treasury was also there. Ochterlony deeply studied the maps and details about that region given by Field Engineer Peter Lotto. Ochterlony came to conclusion that if Amar Singh Thapa was brought to Malau Garh, it was easier to win Amar Singh Thapa at Malau Garh.  Ochterlony planned to surround Malaugarh from three directions -east, south and west. It was plan that when Amar Singh reached to Malaugarh, British would attack from North too. It was assumed that when Thapa would know that British were attacking on Malau, he would come to Malau Garh for protecting his family and treasury.  
       It was also discussed that Amar Singh Thapa would shift to Bilaspur that was at the both ends of Gamrola River and the region was ruled by friendly King. Ochterlony sent an army of 2000 Hinduriyo soldiers (irregular British army soldiers from Hindur) under Lieutenant Ross towards Bilaspur city. Hindur soldiers were old enemy of Bilaspur.  Hindur soldiers won the territory and Bilaspur King Mahachand, Shivdatt Ray the astrologer friend of Amar Singh Thapa ran away crossing Sutlej. Ochterlony wanted to make Mahachand and his subject goof friends.  Therefore, Ochterlony stopped looting of Bilaspur by Hindur soldiers.
           There was specific difficult situation for British army even after capturing Bilaspur. The British army was divided on two sides of Ramgarh hill shines. Gurkha army was centered at Ramgarh region only. If Amar Singh Thapa would have attacked on both sides or from one side, British would have lost the ground and soldiers. The winter was on its peak, snow was falling and plains soldiers were not habitual of such type of winter. British army spent three weeks just sitting idle. Ochterlony was busy in planning for winning over Thapa. Thapa had golden time .
     However, Amar Singh Thapa did not take the advantage of the golden situation.  As soon as Thapa came to know that British are moving toward Malaugarh, Thapa marched with his whole army towards Malaugarh. He kept scanty army at Ramgarh, and three nearby Garhis. Amar Singh Thapa could not take advantage of golden opportunity and caught in the mousetrap spread by Ochterlony.
       Arnold captured a strong Garhi in north of Malau Garhi region. Now, Amar Singh Thapa could not escape towards North without head on with British.

                 British Capturing Ramgarh  

      After Amar Singh Thapa reaching to Malau, Cooper forwarded his army for capturing Ramgarh and nearby forts as Jorjoru, Taragarh, Chamba etc. That territory was motherland of Hindur soldiers. Gurkha capture Ramgarh region from Hindur people. Field Engineer Lotto with 600 irregular Hindur soldiers reached near Ramgarh on 12 the February 1815.  Gurkha soldiers came out from Garhi with Khukari, Hindur soldiers jumped on them with swords. Gurkha soldiers were surprised by bravery of Hindur soldiers. Gurkha soldiers took shelter in shrubs and small stone caves (Udyar). They started firing guns on Hindur soldiers. It took three days for British heavy guns reaching to that region. British started firing heavy guns on Gurkha soldiers. Ochterlony instructed that let captured Gurkha soldiers run towards Malau Garh. The idea was that when more and more Gurkha soldiers would reach to Malau Garh, there would be sever food shortage at Malau Garh.  British army offered two days for Gurkha soldiers surrendering. However, brave Gurkha soldiers were not ready for cowardly act of surrendering. On 15th February, the gun fires was increased and the wall of Ramgarh Garhi was demolished, Gurkha soldiers surrendered. British army allowed Gurkha soldiers going to Malaugarh with their   weapons, flags, musical instruments, individual and kingdom properties and even Guns to Malaugarh.  Gurkha soldiers were assured that they can take other materials after a few days too.  The Gurkha soldiers of Jorjoru surrendered next day. When the brave Grukha soldiers of Ramgarh and other Garhis reached to Malaugarh Amar Singh Thapa ordered for cutting their noses and ears. He was so angry that he ordered to kill them. He ordered to put handcuffs on officers who came from Ramgarh and other forts.
        Bhakti Thapa made Amar Singh Thapa to understand and Thapa cancelled death sentence for loosing soldiers.

(From writings of Atkinson, Preamble, Sanwal, Saxsena, Fraser, Letter of Bamshah for Amar Singh Thapa etc) 
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, bckukreti@gmail.com 3/6/2016
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -817
*** History of Gorkha/Gurkha /Nepal Rule over Kumaun, Garhwal and Himachal (1790-1815) to be continued in next chapter
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
XX                    Reference           
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Hory Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Garhwal, Kumaon, Uttarakhand Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal; Himachal; History Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Pauri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon, Uttarakhand Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal; Sirmour Himachal; History Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Chamoli Garhwal, Nainital Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Kangara Himachal Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal; History Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Rudraprayag Garhwal, Almora Kumaon, Uttarakhand; Baghat Himachal; History Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Tehri Garhwal, Champawat Kumaon, Uttarakhand Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal; Punar Himachal; History Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Uttarkashi Garhwal, Bageshwar Kumaon, Uttarakhand;  Nahan Himachal; History Gurkha /Gorkha Rule over Dehradun Garhwal, Pithoragarh Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History Himachal Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal;  History of Nepal, History of Doti Nepal, History of Nepalese/ Gurkha regime
Nepal Itihas, Garhwal Itihas, Kumaon Itihas, Himachal Itihas;  Gurkha/Gorkha ka Kumaon par  Adhikar Itihas , Gurkha/Gorkha Garhwal par Shasan Itihas Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal;  Gurkorkha Rule in Kumaon, Garhwal Uttarakhand; History Gurkha/Gorkha  Rule in Himachal Ruthless Gurkha/Nepalese Administration in Himachal