Foundation of the State: Note: there is inaccuracy in dates of foundation of state & kings in various available sources. Below mentioned material shall may be more accurate & authentic, as deeper research has gone into it.
Main theory says that the state was founded by Raja Rasalu the son of Raja Salvahna of Jaisalmar. Sirmour was the son of Buland, the brother of Raja Rasalu, after whom the state took its name. However, timing seems controversial (2nd Century AD).Alternate theory says that ancient Sirmour principality was probably founded in between 6th or 7th Century A.D. by a Rathore prince named Aditya.There is a legend that in the end of 12th AD, Raja Madan Singh/Ugar Chand (descendent of Raja Rasalu) promised half of his kingdom to a lady named Natti if she was able to cross river Giri between Toka & Poka ranges and come back. She was about to succeed when her rope (called, Bharat) was cut by king’s minister. This treacherous action resulted in a curse. Curse was: “Niche Giri upar Poka, is Nagrimein rahena koi Loka”. Giri river completely Swept away Sirmouri Tal, the ancient capital of Sirmour. Raja Ugar Chand known as Madan Singh/Ugar Chand was drowned in the flood, while his three sons were at the Hatkoti.After the loss of royal family & capital, there was sense of despair & anarchy in Kingdom. Muslim &neighbouring states may had been a threat for hapless Sirmour. Sensing this, it was decided by influential people that Hoshang Rai Bhat may be sent to Salvahan-II (Bhati Dynasty) the king of Jaisalmer for help. We need to note that Original founders of Sirmour were from Jaisalmer area only. This may reason for inviting same family to rule Sirmour. Salvahan-II (1168-1200) was requested to
help Sirmour for a king for Sirmour, from his family. He sent his 3rd son Hansu to be king of Sirmour. Unfortunately, Hansu died at Sirhind while on his way to Sirmour. His already pregnant wife gave birth to a child under tree of Palash (पलाश) .That is why Sirmour royalty was later known as Plassia.However, it appears that Rai Salvahan-II may have dispatched another son or grandson to rule as regent or guardian for the young Plasoo. At any event, Plasoo came of age and assumed full ruling powers as the first ruler of the new dynasty under the reign name, Raja Shubhansh Prakash in 1095.
Nomenclature of Sirmour: Multiple theories
Sirmour (means: top) is believed to be originated from the top position.Alternate explanation for name is that Sirmour is (Shirya + Maurya = Top situated state during Mauryan era).Third theory suggests that the state was founded by Raja Rasalu of Jaisalmer whose son’s name was Sirmour, that’s why the name.Another theory states that capital of state was already Sirmour, that is why the name of state.Last theory says in local language, Sar+Mor= Crown of head.
Important Kings of Sirmour
Plasoo subdued the country, and made Rajban his capitalHe assumed the name and title of Raja Subansh Prakash. Subhansh Prakash reigned for 4 years and passed away (1195-1199 AD).
Raja Malhi/Maha Prakash (1199-1217): He won Fort of Malda from Raja of Srinagar (Gharwal), to commemorate this victory he built Laaxminarayan temple called Maahi Deval (on his name) at the banks of Bhagirathi river. Mnemonic: Mal-Mal (Mal-Malda).
Udit Prakash (1217-1227 AD): He was younger son of Raja Subhansh Prakash. Succeeded on the death of his elder brother in 1217.Udit Prakash ruled for 2 years from Rajban (Doon Valley, Ponta). He transferred the capital from Rajban to Kalsi.Mahmud Shah – I attacked Santurgarh (Capital of Kalsi of modern-day Ambala) during the rule of Rana Ranpal Rai.
Somer / Sumer Prakash (1239 – 1248): Captured Ratesh, a feudatory estate under Keonthal, constructed a fort and transferred his capital there. Muhamand Junaidi (Nizam-ul-Mulk) who rebelled against Razia Sultana, took refuge in Sirmour.
Suraj  Prakash (1248-69): While at Ratesh, he got a news of a revolt at his former capital Kalsi. Accordingly, to one version, his daughter played a great role in the suppression of revolt; while according to some, she died in the process.He appointed his brother Kalyan Chand as their incharge, for collecting tribute from territories.He relinquished Ratesh & made Kalsi as his capital.
Bir Prakash (1387 – 1398) : His son who took over the reign of state in 1356 AD and ruled until 1366 AD. He was an energetic ruler and crushed the revolt of Rawin and Jubbal States.He also built Rawingarh fort and another built the fort of Hatkoti on the boundary of Sahri, Rawin and Jubbal.
Nakat (Anant) Prakash (1398 – 1414): Removed his capital to Neri.Taimur Lang invaded Kiar-da-Dun in 1399 and took tribute during the times of Nakat Prakash.
Garv Prakash (1414 – 1432): Garv Prakash placed his capital at Hath-Kot (which is today’s Solan district). Another theory says that he transferred his capital to Jogri Fort inside the Ratesh state.
Brahm Prakash (1432 – 1446): Transferred his capital to Kot Deothal.
Dharam Prakash (1538 – 1570): Returned the capital to Kalsi.
Bhupat (Buddhi) Prakash (1605 – 1615): He probably usurped the throne from Bakhat Prakash, or established control over a portion of the principality, 1605. Established his capital at Rajpur.
Raja Karam Prakash (1616 to 1630): Founded a new capital at Nahan in 1621 AD. Raja Liked this forested place (Nahar=Lion) for hunting.He became disciple of Baba Banwari Das, whose descendants still hold temple of Jagannath in Nahan.
Budh Prakash (Also Bidhi Chand/Mahi Prakash, 1664 to 1684 AD): He recovered an area of Pinjaur for Aurangzeb’s foster-brother. In reward Aurangzeb gifted the fort of Bairat and Kalsi to Sirmour state.He used to send gifts to Alamara (the sister of Aurangzeb) like medicinal herbs, honey, pomegranate, birds, musk etc. He used to send ice from his state to her, that’s why he was also known as “Barfi Raja”.He also defeated and captured some area from Keonthal state in Battle of Ratti-pani. Budh Prakash wanted to marry daughter of Raja Anup Sen (1670-1692) and this led to the war.
Medini/Mat/Mit/Mast Prakash/Jog Raj (16841704) : He was minor king & his regent & minster Dullu Mehta mal-administered & put exorbitant taxes & beggar on public.He gave an asylum to the Guru Gobind Singh Ji.Guruji earlier came first to Toka village after invitation of Medini Prakash he stayed from some time at Nahan. Later he shifted to Ponta Sahib.
Bhup/Bhim Prakash (1709-1713): He was given the name of Bhim Prakash by Emperor Bahadur Shah.Banda Bahadur in 1710 took refuge at Lohagarh fort in Sirmour Hills. He was fighting against 60,000 soldiers of Mughal king Bahadur Shah. Lohagarh became the capital of first Sikh state.The first was fought between emperor Bahadur Shah and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in 1710; the second was fought in 1712 (between emperor Jahandar Shah and Baba Banda Bahadur) and the third battle in 1713 (between Abdus Samad Khan, the Mughal Subedar of Lahore appointed by emperor Farrukhsiyer, and Baba Banda Bahadur).Bahadur Shah unhappy by escape of Banda Bahadur from Sirmour. Bhup Prakash was imprisoned by in Lal Quila by Bahadur Shah, but was released after the anarchy in latter’s kingdom.
Raja Vijay Prakash (1713-1749): His wife was princess of Kumaon & was A Kali worshipper. Raja constructed a temple (Kalistan) in Nahan. Vijay Prakash also built a water Tank in Nahan.
Jagat Prakash (1773-1789) Jagat got to throne in the age of 10 & faced revolts by various chief, immediately.He defeated the famous Rohilla chief Ghulam Qadir, who had blinded Mughal ruler Shah Alam, at the Battle of Kiarda Doon, near Paonta Sahib. To commemorate the victory, the temple of Katasan Devi was erected at Baraban, 11 miles from Nahan.Jagat helped Raja Ram Saran of Nalagarh against Raja Mahan Chand of Kehlur.Forster an English traveller visited Nahan in 1781 AD.
Dharam Prakash (1789 to 1793): Married daughter of Maharaja Tegh Chand (and sister of MSC), Maharaja of Kangra.During his tenure, Raja Ram Saran of Nalagarh occupied his territory, which he got back.In 1793 Maharaja Sansar Chand of Kangra attacked the Kehlur state and Dharam Prakash helped Kehlur in Battle of Chartadu.Raja of Sirmour himself commanded his forces and lost his life in a duel (combat with Sansar Chand.
Karam Prakash-II (1793-1803): Dharma Prakash did not have any child. Therefore, his brother Karam Praksh ascended the throne of Sirmour. Karam Prakash took asylum in Morni Fort. Instead of handing Sirmour Kingdom to Karam Prakash, Gorkha included Sirmour under their Gorkha regime. Gorkha established their government there. Karma Prakash was left in lurch. He stayed in Subathu of Ramgarh Thakurai for a while and then fled to Buria (near Ambala) where he lived till his death in 1826.
Fateh Prakash (1815-1850): In the meanwhile, Raja Karam Prakash’s Rani (from Guler) invited British (Col. Ochterlony) for help against Gorkha. Rebel king Ratan Prakash was hanged by British in 1804. Nahan was evacuated from Gorkha in 1814.After British help during Anglo-Gorkha war, Sirmour was restored by a sanad to Fateh Prakash, minor son of Karam Prakash on 21st September 1815. Guler Queen (his mother) was made regent of this 6- year-old king with support of Wazir Azizullah Khan.During the first Afghan War (1838), Raja Fateh Prakash helped British with a contingent, and another one in the first Sikh War (1845-46) at Hari-ka-Pattan.His 2 sisters were married to Khadak Chand of Kehlur. After his demise, there was a conflict on legal heir to state in which Sirmour interfered. British dissuaded Sirmour by threatening some sanctions.
Shamsher Prakash (1856-1898): Shamsher was 10 year when he got regent aided administration. He was invested with full powers of a king by 1862.
He was the next able King who was married to princess of Keonthal (Rani Talab Deviji). After the death of his wife, he left the palace and he built Rani Tal Bagh at Nahan, in her memory and built Shamsher Villa.
He also built Lytton Memorial.Raja Shamsher developed PWD, Regular Police, Courts, Bank (1893), Dispensaries (1872),Hospital (1898)Schools, Tehsil Post Offices (1887), Telegram Office (1885), High Court (1891) and Municipality along with Foundry (factory for casting iron in 1867) at Nahan.
Raja extended his support towards British, in 1857 and during Second Afghan War (1878- 1880 to NWFP).
Raja got Khillat & robe for 1857 services, KCSI in 1876 and GCSI in 1886.He passed away from a paralytic stroke, at Shamsher Villas, Nahan, 2nd October 1898
Surender Bikram Prakash (1898-1911): Installed on the gadi, at the Shish Mahal, Nahan, 27th October 1898. Attended the Coronation Durbar at Delhi in 1903 & received Darbar Medal.Awarded KCSI (Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India) on 9.11.1901. He was married to the daughter of Raja of Suket. He supported British Army in South-African war. He died at Mussoorie after 3 months of illness in 1911.
Maharaja Amar Prakash (1911 to 1933): KCSI (3.6.1915) & KCIE (1.1.1921) Succeeded on the death of his father, 4th July 1911.In 1930 He built Mahima Library in remembrance of his daughter who passed away in 1929.
He achieved the goal of free primary education in his state. In 1927, metalling of Nahan Kala Amb Road was done.
Raja & his Queen passed away due to medical conditions, while at the Wiennier Cottage Sanatorium, Vienna, Austria, 13th August 1933.
Rajendra Prakash (1933-48): In 1937 made a Ministerial council with king as its leader.Praja Mandal in Sirmour was organised during 1935-36 and demanded the ruler to include at least once representative of Public in the Ministry. This was rejected outrightly. Panjhota agitation took place during his reign in 1942. The reformists had also started this non- cooperation movement also known as ‘Bhai DO Na Pai’.
Yuvraj Lakshya Raj Prakash Singh: He was the grandson of Rajmata of Jaipur, was crowned the king of erstwhile Sirmour royal family in a traditional coronation (Raj Tilak) ceremony in 2013.
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