Uttarakhand Stories

Tehri Dynasty: The Kingdom Mughals couldn’t succumb

by Pragati Chauhan
Mar 19, 2016

Uttarakhand, the land which has many fables associated with it has been the nerve of many political issues, whether we talk about its history or formation. Tehri Garhwal, one of the largest districts of the state, known for its ethereal beauty was among the few places which the Mughals couldn’t succumb even after putting all their efforts. It nestles Pratap Nagar, Kirti Nagar and Narendra Nagar towns. Also, New Tehri which lures many backpackers is on the bucket list of every wanderer searching for quietude in the Himalayas.

Even the mythological tales such as Ramayana and Mahabharata came after the existence of Garhwal:

The denizens of Garhwal enraptured themselves in the divine intervention of Lord Shiva “The Destroyer” whom they believe was ‘one for all’. Even history texts quote that great Vedas and Shastras were compiled at the surreal land of Garhwal and the epic Mahabharata was also written here.

Garhwal was an independent kingdom which was not under the dominance of the Mughals:

Kanak Pal was the first ruler who had the command of Garhwal in 823 AD. He hailed from what is now known as Dhara Nagari in Dhar. The kings of Garhwal remained liberated and were able to successfully rein their kingdom, which unlike other northern states was not perished by the Mughals. On the contrary, there was fray between the Mughals and Garhwal kings. The disagreement on one or more issues changed the course of the history and the region. While their relationship with the Mughals remained humble but there were certain uproars from time to time. One of the noteworthy historical events is that of Rani Karnavati was famously known as Nakkati Rani, the wife of Mahipati Shah. Her book is available online at www.culturaltrends.in : Naak Kati Rani

Rani Karnavati ‘The knight in shining armour’ and the ‘Keeper of Garhwal’:

Rani Karnavati who had immense love for Garhwal cut the noses of the Mughal soldiers who attacked her land. After the demise of her husband, she was seated on the throne in 1622 and ruled the kingdom on behalf of her son Prithvi Pat Shah.

Rani Karnawati thrust back the attack of Shah Jahan’s army which was led by his chieftain Najabat Khan in 1640:

She cut the noses of the Mughal soldiers at the fierce battle which took place near Srinagar, forcing Najabat Khan to leave the ground. Shah Jahan enraged by his defeat, removed Najabat Khan from the post of Jagirdar and appointed Mirza Khan in his place.

The monuments built by Rani Karnavati at Nawada, Dehradun are now in ruins:

Rani Karnawati built many monuments at Nawada in Dehradun which has withered and gone with time due to the lack of interest shown by the government in preserving it. She was the person behind the construction of the Rajpur canal which starts from Rispana River and supplies water to the entire Doon Valley. It is also believed that Karnavati had also built the present Karanpur.

The relationship of Garhwal Kings with Mughals:

In the history of Garhwal, it has been noted that King Shyam Shah went to Agra for meeting the Mughal emperor Jahangir. However, this does not indicate that Garhwal had been a part of Mughal Empire. Also, Mahapati Shah, the husband of Rani Karnavati didn’t have a harmonious relationship with the Mughals. But he was present when Shah Jahan was being crowned as Mughal emperor in 1628. There is one such instance in which Prithvi Shah, the son of Mahpati Shah assuming to be throne soon didn’t respond well to the delegate of Shah Jahan sent to the Garhwal king court. When this news reached the ears of Shah Jahan he incurred his wrath upon the Garhwal king and ordered his commander, Meer Mughal to capture him and drag him to the court for insulting the Mughal delegate. Prithvi Pat Shah who encountered several Mughal attacks wrote letters to Jahanara Begum, daughter of Shah Jahan and requested her to involve Dara Shikoh to sign a treaty with Shah Jahan. Dara Shikoh promised help to Prithvi Shah and convinced Shah Jahan to pardon the Garhwal king, leading a treatise with Garhwal. Then Medani Shah, the son of Prithvi Shah was ordered to visit Delhi and offer the gold coins to Shah Jahan. Inputs: Ajay Ramola, Tribune News Service

Pragati Chauhan

Pragati Chauhan

A writer by profession, thinker by choice and a nature lover since birth. I have always loved expressing myself through words, I believe words have a certain kind of melody which can be understood by anybody.

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