Today we the people of Jammu and Kashmir are celebrating the 200th anniversary of crowning ceremony of Maharaja Gulab Singh, the founder of Royal Dogra dynasty. It is a day to pay tributes to him and remember his bravery and valour. It is very unfair if we don’t mention role of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in this article. After seeing bravery of Gulab Singh, who was working under the Sikh army, Maharaja Ranjit Singh was greatly admired by Gulab Singh, and seeing in him the ability and qualities of a capable great emperor, without thinking too much he decided to hand over throne of Jammu to Gulab Singh. On June 17, 1822 at Jia Pota Ghat, near banks of river Chenab, at Akhnoor Maharaja Ranjit performed all the rituals of crowning ceremony. Although we generally prefer to always apply saffron mark on the forehead in an upward direction, Maharaja Ranjit Singh does the actual practice opposite, i.e., he applied Tilak on Gulab Singh’s forehead in a downward direction. On being asked to represent this uncommon activity, the Maharaja said that he had immovably planted a seed in the dirt that it may flourish well, hold its root solid in earth, and stays going forever.P N Bamzai wrote, “Maharaja Gulab Singh is the only Indian ruler to have carved out a state during 19th century out of the wreckage of great kingdoms of Sikhs. Moreover, he is the only Indian ruler to have extended frontiers of India to their natural boundary.”Even Dr Soft, who is not very kind in his comments, wrote about him, “Gulab Singh was unquestionably a remarkable figure in the history of Northern India during the first half of the 19th century. He was a distinguished soldier and a diplomat and knew the state craft of his own days exceedingly well”.Journey of Gulab Singh: Raja to Maharaja (1822-1846) and creation of Jammu and Kashmir StateThe important work which had been done by the first ruler is the foundation of modernized Jammu and Kashmir State. It was he who captured one by one different region namely Jammu, Poonch, Ram Nagar, Basohli, Bhadarwah, Kishtwar, Bhimbar, Rajouri, Kharmang, Kiris, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, Astor Gilgit, Nagar and Punial. In 1824, Gulab Singh captured Fort of Samarth, close to holy Mansar Lake. In 1827, he in conjunction with Sikh Chief Hari Singh Nalwa fought and defeated a horde of Afghan rebel diode by fanatic Sayed Ahmed at ‘Battle of Saidu’. During 1831-1839, Ranjit Singh presented on Gulab Singh royalty of the salt mines in northern Punjab, and also closed Punjabi cities like Bhera, Jhelum, Rohtas, and Gujarat. On death of Ranjit Singh in 1839, Lahore became a middle of conspiracies and intrigue, during which 3 Jamwal brothers additionally became concerned. They succeeded in putting the administration within hands of patrician Nao Nihal Singh with Raja Dhian Singh as Prime Minister. But in 1840, throughout the observance procession of his father, Nao Nihal Singh died once associate degree recent brick gate folded on him. Gulab Singh’s son Udham Singh additionally died during the accident (city of Udhampur in J&K is known by him). In January 1841, Sher Singh, purported son of Ranjit Singh, tried to seize throne of Lahore however was repulsed by those loyal to Nao Nihal’s mother, Chand Kaur.The defense of the fort was within the hands of Gulab Singh. Though outnumbered, Singh’s forces with their European artillery commander Alexander Gardner conducted defended themselves with an economical and controlled gunshot that resulted in Sher Singh’s retreat. A peace agreement was then created between the 2 sides and Gulab Singh and his men were allowed to go away with their weapons. On this occasion, hes the same to possess bumped off an outsized quantity of the Lahore treasure to Jammu. Afterward, Gulab Singh conquered the fort of Mangla (near the current Mangla Dam on the Jhelum River). In all, this point an outsized part of the Dogra army had been engaged in trans-Himalayan conquests. General Zorawar Singh, governor of Kishtwar, had conquered the Suru natural depression and Kargil (1835), remainder of Ladakh (1836-1840), and Baltistan (1840). These conquests had afraid Mian Singh, the Sikh Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, United Nations agency complained to patrician Nao Nihal Singh that ‘Zorawar Singh, agent of Raja Gulab Singh was getting complete possession of Baltistan’ (Punjab Akhbars, twentieth Gregorian calendar month 1840). The Dogra campaign vulnerable the Sikh position in Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit and Zorawar Singh turned his attention east to the conquest of Tibet. In May 1841, the 5,000-strong Dogra army supplemented by contingents of Kishtwaris, Ladakhis and Baltis advanced eastward in 3 divisions. Overcoming all the Tibetan and Chinese opposition, they came upon base at Taklakot close to holy Mansarovar Lake in Sep 1841, when traversing a distance of 450 miles from the Indian frontier. With the onset of severe winter, Dogras began falling one by one to the intense cold and lack of provisions, several burning the stocks of their muskets in futile makes an attempt to heat themselves and were overcome by a Sino-Tibetan force on Dec 12, 1841. Survivors of the campaign crossed over the chain of mountains south to British territories.Gulab Singh United Nations agency was then in metropolis leading the Anglo-Sikh campaign in the Asian nation was advised of this disaster by Henry Lawrence. The Tibetans and their Chinese allies then invaded Ladakh however were defeated by the Dogras at the Battle of Chushul. The boundary between Ladakh and Tibet was finally settled by the accord of Chushul. This accord was later desecrated by the communist rulers of China within the Fifties.Meanwhile, within the continued intrigues at the urban center the Sandhawalia Sardars (related to Ranjit Singh however currently on the QT allied to the British) dead Raja Dhian Singh and also the Sikh prince Sher Singh in 1842. Later on, Gulab Singh’s youngest brother, Suchet Singh, and nephew, Hira Singh, were conjointly dead. Because the administration folded the faith personnel clamored for the arrears of their pay. In 1844 the corrupt urban center court commanded the Associate in the Nursing invasion of Jammu to extract cash from Gulab Singh, supposed to be the richest Raja north of the Sutlej watercourse. However, the invasion didn’t capture the forts of Jammu and also the faith created peace with Raja Gulab Singh and in agreement to barter on his behalf with the urban center court. These negotiations obligatory Associate in nursing indemnity of rupees twenty-seven hundred thousand on the Raja. Within succeeding Anglo-Sikh wars, Gulab Singh unbroken himself neutral. Underneath accord of an urban center, the defeated urban center court transferred Gulab Singh’s kingdom and also the conterminous craggy regions of Hazara, Gilgit, Kashmir, and Chamba to the British in the function of the war indemnity. Lacking the resources to occupy such an oversized region at once when annexing parts of geographical region, the British recognized Gulab Singh as a prince directly tributary to them on payment of seventy-five hundred thousand of the war indemnity.The study of the modern history of the Indian subcontinent, in the early nineteenth century, describes that there was no state like Jammu & amp; Kashmir in existence then. The political developments, during this period by Gulab Singh in 1846 through his sagacity and statesmanship, and got succeeded in unifying Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh into a single unit. Although the treaty made Gulab Singh the Maharaja, the actual possession was still in the hands of the actual possession of Kashmir was taken over only after defeating the last Sikh Governor Sheikh-Imam-ud- din. After seeing this, Gulab Singh requesting Sir Henry Lawrence to intervene in the matter & only after the intervention of the British officer, Sheikh Imam- ud-din went back to Lahore along with Sikh forces. The integration of Jammu with Kashmir and Ladakh, into one political unit is one of the greatest achievements of Gulab Singh.
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