Suket & Mandi


Derivation of Name
The name of Suket may have been derived from SuKshetr(good land).Another derivation may have been from Rishi Shuk Dev (son of Rishi Vyas).
Foundation time of Suket
Some sources erroneously mention foundation in 1211 AD. Suket was founded in 765 AD by Raja Bir Sen and Pangna was the capital.
Sahu Sen (1000-1020 AD): Around 1000 AD Sahu Sen became the King. He and his younger brother Bahu Sen (founder of Mandi state) did not have cordial relations, as Sahu was disrespectful to his people.
Sewant Sen (1120): Earlier in Queen of Bilas Sen had to flee to Siraj area in terror with an infant son (Sewant Sen). Sewant had spent his childhood in Taluka Chawasi, and was called to become King in 1120. He built a fort at Chawasi and called it Rani ka Kot after the name of his mother.
Madan Sen (1240 AD): He was sixth King after Sewant Sen who died issueless. Before him a to-be-king, Liyun-Phiyun.Madan Sen built two forts near Pangna and named one as Madankot.He also captured some areas under Kullu and Kehlur. On his return journey from Kullu expedition, he built the fort of Madanpur, in Kothi Khokhan in Kullu.He recaptured forts of Seoni and Teoni now in Bilaspur, and erected the fort of Dehar.In his dreams, a Devi had told him that Roral Palace is built on her own place (Sthan). Taking her clue, Raja shifted his capital from Pangna to Lohara. He later built a temple of Asthambarnath at Pangna.
Kartar Sen (1520-40 AD): This Raja believed that his palace in capital Lohara was cursed due the Brahmin affair during last Raja’s reign. Therefore, he changed his residence towards Taramari forest and named new capital below it, as Kartarpur (Purana Nagar).
Shyam Sen (1620-50 AD) : He had two Ranis; of Bushahr and Guler. Rani of Guler gave birth to Ram Sen and he was made heir apparent. She tried to kill heir apparent with help of a Mian Jughanun. Bushahr Rani was banished from state and family of Mian Jughanun was executed.Shyam Sen’s daughter was married to Kehlur Raja Kalyan Chand in 1630 AD.Kalyan Chand died during a battle with Shyam Sen. The place where he died is known as “Kalyan Chand ki Dwari”. Shayam Sen was given Chola (external attire) by a jogi named Chand Piri.
Garur Sen (1721-48 AD) : He was the grandson of Hari Singh, who was the son of Bushahr Rani &Shyam Sen (1620-50).Baned (Sundernagar) was founded during his reign, which became capital during the reign of later King, Bikram Sen (1748-62 AD).
Bikram Sen (1791-1838 AD ): Changing from Suket (Nagar) he made Baned town as his capital which earlier founded by Garur Sen. Pali & Dudar forts were constructed during his reign. Moorcroft, probably the first European in Suket, visited during Bikram Sen’s reign in 1820.Raja Bikram Sen died in 1838 after the long region of 47 years.
Ugar Sen (1838 AD): Suket was visited by Vigne during Ugar Sen’s reign in 1839.In 1857, Tikka (heir apparent) Rudar Sen left state (for 3rd time) after having differences with Wazir Narottam, who was having a great influence on Kingdom.Later Narottam made a law that widows may be sold and state need to be paid taxes under the transaction. Narottam was also Wazir of Narsingh Temple and also built Durga temple. He was replaced with Wazir Longu and later by Dhungal, who was harsh and claimed fines (Dand) from public. Dhungal was captured by irate people, and was kept as a prisoner for 12 days at Garh Chawasi, in Chattri at Karsog.In October 1871, Lord Mayo, Viceroy and Governor-General of India made a visit to Suket. Ugar Sen built temple of Shiv at Amla Bimla and died in 1876 after attack of paralysis.
Rudar Sen (1876 AD): 0n hearing of his father’s death Rudar Sen came to Suket from Haripur, and was installed as Raja by Col. Davies. Commissioner of Jalandhar.Dhungal re-appointed and dismissed in the next year and Ramditta Mal was made next Wazir. Due to mal-administration & Taxes, British deposed Rudar Sen in 1879.
Dusht-Nikandan Sen (1879-1908 AD) : A School was established in 1893 AD at Bhojpur, followed by Post office in 1900 AD and telegraph office in 1906 AD.Bridge was built on Satluj at Jiuri in 1889 AD. Dusht-Nikandan died in 1908.
Bhim Sen (1908-1919 AD) : He built King Edward Hospital at his capital Baned. In recognition of World War-I services the Raja received distinction of Knighthood.He built Dak bungalows at Baned, Seri and Debar and constructed a motor road between Baned and Mandi. He died in 1919 due to pneumonia without any heir.
Laxman Sen (1919 AD): On 1st of November 1921, Suket was transferred from Political control of the Punjab Government to the Government of India. In 1924 the Raja changed the name of his capital to Sundernagar.The Suket Satyagrahis started movement at Sunni in February 1948, under Shri Padam Dev and Mian Rattan Singh.On 25th February 1948, the Suket State administration was taken over by the Government of India. On 15th April 1948 Suket state was also merged with Himachal Pradesh.


Shaping of Mandi State:
Mandi is also known as “Chhotti Kashi”.Mandi was called ‘Zahor’ by the Tibetans.Mandi State was the off – shoot of Suket State.In the reign of Sahu Sen (1000 AD). He was 10th in succession from founder Bir Sen. Sahu Sen (Suket King) had differences with King Bahu Sen, so Bahu Sen and left abruptly. After leaving he made Hat as his capital.Later, Bahu Sen settled at Manglore, within the territory of Kullu.Thus, Bahu Sen shall be considered as the founder of Mandi State.His descendants lived at Manglore, till Kalyan Sen.
Kanchan Sen/Karenchan Sen (1278AD) He was the 11th descendent of Sahu Sen.Ranas took the help of Kullu Raja, and Kanchan Sen was killed.His queen was forced to flee for her life. In the night she gave birth to a son under a Baan or Oak tree. It is because of association with Baan tree, kid was named Ban Sen.
Ban Sen (1280-1304 AD): At the age of 15, he defeated Rana of Kilti and later took the territory of the Rana of Sakor by killing him.He also built the temple of Parashar Dev in Uttarsal Valley.Ban Sen settled at Bhiuli around 1280 AD and died in 1304 AD.
Kalyan Sen (1304-1332 AD): He shifted the capital from Bhiuli to Batahuli (presently called Purani Mandi) at the right bank of the Beas.It was the first capture of Suket territory by a Mandi King.Batahuli was the capital of Mandi State until the foundation of Mandi town in April 1527.
Ajbar Sen (1500-1534 AD) : Ajbar built capital at the present Mandi town (Sadhiana), at left bank of Suketi & Beas in 1527AD.Raja Ajbar Sen became the first Mandi chief who assumed the title of Raja.He also built a small fort with four towers, called Chauki.Temple of Bhootnath was built by him. Trilokinath temple was built by his queen, Saultana Devi (Surtrana).
Sahib Sen (1554-1575 AD): He married Prakash Devi, daughter of Kehlur (Bilaspur) Raja.In 1557 Mandi came under the control of the Mughals (Akbar) and the tax was fixed at 500 rupees.Sahib Sen won over Rana of Drang, and got salt mines of that state.Fort of Jajru-Kupru is also associated with his name.
Narain Sen (1575-95 AD): He was handicapped and was cured by Sidh called Chuni-Muni.A temple was built in honour of Sidh and a tax was imposed for the availability of funds for the temple. Taxes on the public were 1 stack (2 kg) which was called ‘Pir-Patha’.He died after an attack of paralysis in 1595 AD.
Hari Sen (1623-37 AD): Kamlahgarh fort was founded in his time during 1625-1630 AD, though completed in times later to his reign.Under his reign, a four-year refugee prince of Chamba, Prithvi Singh was given asylum in Mandi for 17 years.
Suraj Sen (1637-64 AD): He was invited to Marry Raja Jagat Singh’s (Nurpur) daughter but it was a trap, which was disclosed by Jagat Singh’s queen.Suraj Sen helped his father-in-law Jagat Singh in 1641 against Mughals, but he was defeated.He also constructed Damdama Mahal &Naina Devi Temple near Rewalsar.He had 18 sons, all of whom died during his life span. Dejected Raja got a silver idol of Madho Rai made by Bhim, the goldsmith in 1648 AD. Madho Rai leads procession in Shivratri celebrations. He also built Dadama Palace & Naina Devi Temple near Rewalsar.
Shyam Sen (1664 -1679 AD): Shyam Sen’s skin colour was dark, and Suket’s King Vijay Sen used to call him ‘Thikar -Nath’ by being rude.Shyam had to return from a pilgrimage of Banaras and Jagannath to become King.He built a temple of Shyama Kali (Tarna Devi) under it a fair is held for 9 days in Asuj month.Kullu army killed Shyam Sen, while his way back from victory over Raja Bidhi Singh of Kullu.
Sidh Sen (1684-1727 AD) : He was a saint and great warrior who captured areas from Bhanghal, Suket & Kullu.He was believed to be having supernatural powers.He built the fort of Sidhkot.In 1719 AD Sidh Sen invited Raja Prithvi Pal of Bhanghal to Mandi, who was his son in law. Sidh Sen killed him treacherously after a month, and his head was buried in front of Damdama palace. It’s said that Prithvi lost his life because of his growing proximity to Suket King or because Sidh Sen wanted his territory. Legend said that Raja Prithvi Pal’s ghost used to wander around the palace.
Guru Gobind Singh (GGS) was respectfully received by Sidh. Guru Ji blessed Mandi by saying: ‘Mandi ko jab lootenge, Asmani gole chutenge’ (if Mandi is looted, the fire balls will fall from heavens). Vigne, who visited Mandi (1839 AD) during reign of Balbir SenSidh Sen’s son Shiv Jawala Singh died in Sidh Sen’s reign (1722).
Shamsher Sen (1727-81 AD): Shamsher was indulgent and was low on intelligence.In 1745-46, Adina Beg Khan advanced towards Kamlahgarh fort, but returned seeing it as a difficult one to conquer.Wazir Main Jippu took care of administration as King was in infancy, but was killed by conspirators.He was replaced with Dhul-chatia as Wazir, who controlled the rule along with a minister.Shamsher Sen died in 1781 AD after a reign of 54 years.
Ishwari Sen (1788-1826 AD) : He was a minor, so Bairagi Ram was made his regent.Bairagi Ram asked for Maharaja Sansar Chand’s help, who in turn invaded Mandi in 1792 with the help of Suket and Ishwari Sen was taken to the prison and was kept at Chaumukhi fort of Naduan for 12 years, until he was freed by Gorkhas invasion of Kangra. After treaty of Jwalamukhi, MSC lost hold of Mandi & it came under Sikhs, whom tribute was to be paid.Moorcroft was the first European to visit Mandi and he came through Kehlur and Suket in 1820 AD.
Balbir Sen (son of Ishwari Sen): He became the King in 1839 AD. Vigne visited him in the same year who witnessed sati performed in Mandi. Sikhs sent a force under General Ventura, so that they could capture Mandi. Mandi was plundered and even Kamlahgarh fort was captured after 3 months of siege under Col. Foulkes of Sikh Army. A Sanad was granted from British to Mandi Raja for his rights to the state on 24th Oct 1846 AD.
Vijay Sen (1851-1902AD): Vijay Sen was 4 years old when he was king. Wazir Gosain took control in the early years In Nov 1863 AD, Vijay met Lord Elgin while he was coming back from Kullu. In Oct 1866, Vijay Sen was finally made the King after attaining majority in age. Boundary between Suket and Mandi was finalised by Commissioner of Jalandhar. In 1871 AD, Lord Mayo visited Mandi and Nawa Mahal was constructed for his welcome. Raja Vijay Sen was present in proclamation Darbar held in Delhi (1877 AD).He built the Victoria Bridge in 1877 to commemorate coronation of Victoria as Empress of India, which costed one lac Rupees. Vijay Sen died in 1902 AD.
Bhawani Sen (1903-13 AD): He was an illegitimate son of Vijay Sen, had to be made a minor King.A severe Earthquake of 1905 took place shortly which was destructive, even Raja was buried under Dak Bangla of Palampur, but got safe.In 1909, an agricultural movement took place, where many big officers were imprisoned by the farmers. The leader of Shobha Singh movement of Sarkaghat. After British intervention, the agitation was controlled. Bhawani Sen died in Feb 1912 after attending Darbar of Delhi in Dec 1911.
Joginder Sen: A Nearest relative of Bhawani Singh, Joginder (8 years) was made a minor Raja in April, 1913 AD and was invested with full powers in 1925 AD after getting education.Urdu was made the language of official work.At the time of Joginder Sen (1915) Gadar revolutionaries planned to loot treasures and ammunition and to fly the market, which could not succeed.In 1932 he built Shana Power House at Jogindernagar over river Uhl.
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