Temple Land and Temple Administration in British Garhwal-5
By: Bhishma Kukreti (History Student)
itish Administration in
History of British Rule/Administration over Kumaun and Garhwal (1815-1947) -113
History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -950
Badrinath temple was Ishtdev of Garhwal Kings. There was carving on coins as ‘Badrinatho Vijayate’. Common citizens respected and perceived the Garhwal King as speaking Badrinath ( Boldo Badrinath). It is assumed till l497, the Shankaracharya disciples used to look after Badrinath management. Later on Dandi Swami administrated Badrinath temple management. The article by Medhakar Bahuguna (contemporary of Jaikirti Shah) states that Ghamand Singh in 1782, killed Badrinath Mahant Narayan Tirtha and his disciple Ramkrishna and made Gopa Namburi as Rawal (chief priest) of Badrinath temple (Bahuguna). From that time, there is system of Rawal being chief priest of Badrinath. The Garhwal king used to offer gifts on the opening of Badrinath temple opening on Vasant Panchami.
From 1815, Badrinath and Kedarnath temples came under British rule. Rawal became the chief administrators too. Rawal also became the King of Sadavrat villages on Badrinath and Kedarnath temples. Rawal appointed a separate Bajir (Prime Minister). Rawals started settling the disputes of Sadavrat villages of Badrinath and Kedarnath temples. Rawals became lustful and started misusing the resources of temples. The temple treasuries became empty. There was mess or mismanagement in temples.
British government had to change the temple policies and dislodged Rawals as administrators. British government handed the administration to local committee headed by district collector. Committee used tax from temple land on pilgrim benefits. Rawal were left for using only Bhog money. Rawals provoked people and people revolted against the new way of administration. Ultimately, British had to hand over the administration to Tehri King. Government abolished the post of Bajir created by Rawal. Government kept the administration of Sadavrat villages with local committee.
In 1862, Tehri King took the Sadavrat villages under temples. Rawal and Lekhavar (record keeper etc) started administrating administration. Through, tehri King was the administrator of temples but the real court for temple land was with British government (Vaishnava). Rawal and other temple employees were free for misusing temple resources.
In 1899, district collector lodged a complaint against Rawal. However, court gave its judgment and handed over the administration to Rawal. Tehri King has only one right to appoint Rawal. Rawal again started keeping their keeps in temple compound. There was no improvement in mismanagement.
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History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -951
*** History of British Rule/Administration over British Garhwal (Pauri, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli1815-1947) to be continued in next chapter
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
1-Shiv Prasad Dabral ‘Charan’, Uttarakhand ka Itihas, Part -7 Garhwal par British -Shasan, part -1, page- 269-278
2- Shambhu Prasad Bahuguna, 1974, Lokbhumi
3-Shaligram Vaishnava, Shri Uttarakhand Rahasya page 149, 150, 180
History of British Rule, Administration , Policies, Revenue system, over Garhwal, Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule , Administration , Policies Revenue system over Pauri Garhwal, Udham Singh Nagar Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Chamoli Garhwal, Nainital Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Rudraprayag Garhwal, Almora Kumaon, Uttarakhand; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies ,Revenue system over Dehradun , Champawat Kumaon, Uttarakhand ; History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, ,Revenue system over Bageshwar Kumaon, Uttarakhand ;
History of British Rule, Administration, Policies, Revenue system over Haridwar, Pithoragarh Kumaon, Uttarakhand;