British and Hill States - Himachal Pradesh General Studies


  • During the war with Gurkhas, British had promised to give full independence to Hill states after the war is over.
  • But after the war, British didn’t fulfilled their promises completely. Although they gave back the thrones of States to their respective Kings, they also kept many strategically important places under their occupation.
  • British also took over those States where either there was no heir left to the throne or there was a fight within royal family for the future heir of the State or Kingdom.
  • Hill Rajas had to give huge money to the British in the name of war expenses.
  • In ‘Palasi’ British invited meeting of 20 Shimla Hill States for dividing the area obtained after defeating the Gurkhas.
  • Hill States like Bilaspur, Kotkhai, Bhagal, Bashahar, Kumarsain, Balsan, Kuthan, Mangal, and Dhami etc were restored to their original areas as before the Gurkha occupation.
  • These Rajas of these States were granted ‘Sanads’ (Charter or Warrant) by the British to carry on the rule in their states independently.
  • Kanethi & Daleth were given to Bashahar State while Koti, Theog, Ghund, Madhan and Ratesh were given to Keonthal State.
  • Due to the threat of Sikhs many Hill states took shelter and protection of British.
  • Raja Bir Singh of Nurpur took refuge in Subathu Cantonment (In Shimla), due to imminent Sikh threat.
  • Raja of Mandi Balbir Singh wrote a letter to British political agent of Subathu ‘Colonel Tupp’ seeking British help against Ranjit Singh.
  • Many of the Hill States also helped British when fight between British and Sikhs broke out.
  • Samsher Singh of Guler State, Bir Singh of Nurpur State and Narayan Pal of Kutlahar (all three States are now in present day Kangra district) forced out Sikhs from their territories.
  • After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and “Lahore Treaty” of 9 March, 1846 reached between British and Sikhs, the adjoining areas of Satluj and Beas were occupied by British.
  • Till 1846 A.D. British had completely occupied Kangra, Nurpur, Jaswan, Datarpur, Mandi, Suket, Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti.

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Author: Karun Bharmoria

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