History of Kangra

The Fight for Freedom

Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra with Maharani Shailendra Kumari, Tehri Garhwal Palace
Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra with Maharani Shailendra Kumari, Tehri Garhwal Palace

Maharaja Jai Chandra died in A.D. 1933, and was succeeded by his eldest son Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra (at the age of 9). He too like his father was educated at Aitchison College Lahore. In A.D. 1945, he married the Princess of Tehri Garhwal.

Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra was one of the first ruler in the Punjab to sign the instruments of acquisitions (the authority provided to the Union of India to merge his state with India). At the time of partition between India and Pakistan he helped the Muslims of his state to migrate safely to Pakistan.

  • Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra and his family lost the completely furbished Haveli of Lahore (with all its furniture, Persian carpets, paintings, hunting trophies and personal artifacts). The family could only bring back to India what they would carry in their hands.

He also fought the first elections in India as an Independent candidate for the Lok Sabha seat of Kangra.

Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra headed the council of Punjab hill rulers, which went to Jawahar Lal Nehru (first Prime Minister of India) to put forward their case.

Jawahar Lal Nehru officially recognized them as Allah-Maliks (superior Land Lords) an ancient system of Land holding - where the rulers owned every inch of the land and his subjects were his tenants (this is one of the reason why there are no Jagirdars in Kangra) only Zaildar was appointed (officials who were allowed to collect revenue (tax's) but could not keep an army).

Tehri Garhwal
Tehri Garhwal

Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra was fated to be the last official ruling chief of Lambagraon - Kangra, and as the rest of the ruling states of India, Lambagraon - Kangra too suffered the same fate. Finally in A.D. 1972, a law was passed against the rulers - abolition of the Princely order - which deprived all the rulers and Allah-Maliks of their privy purses & privileges. These princes were also put under a land ceiling act.

Thus, all the promises made by the Government of India at the time of mergers to the rulers were broken and the glorious chapter of the Indian princes closed overnight. The ruling family of Kangra about whom Mr. Moorcoft, Col. Jenkins & Harcourt have said the following - "Their ancestors were ruling over settled states while ours were little better than savages and the Roman empire was still in its infancy... in comparison to them most of the royal houses in the world are but as of yesterday... the oldest must yield the palm of some of the noble family's of India" thus came to an end.

Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra was married in Tehri Garhwal. He passed away in December A.D. 1988 and was succeeded by his eldest son the Erstwhile Maharaja Aditya Dev Chandra.