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Gorkhas Attack on Uttarakhand :
Humiliating defeat of a British army of 2500 soldiers led by Captain Kinloch in year 1767 made King of Kathmandu over ambitious . It had led an explosion of Gorkha power in Nepal first . Gorkha king attacked his neighboring state Eastern Nepal and took it under his control in 1773 . Then he conquered Sikkim .Gorkhas crossed Kaali river and defeated the king of Kumaun in 1790.These victories made Gorkhas more expansionist and ambitious . At the same time rift in the royal family of Garhwal was widening .Factionlism persisted in a more aggravated form during the reign of Pradyuman Shah from 1785 to 1804 .Due to instigations of these intriguing officials Pradyuman Shah has to struggle for the preservation of his throne and had to fight against his younger brother Parakram Shah. As a consequences the state had fallen to disarray. Taking the advantage of an internal instability and exhaustion of the Garhwal state, Gorkhas imperial power had virtually plundered Garhwal in 1791.
The Gorkhas forced Garhwal to sue for a costly peace by imposing an annual tribute of Rs 25000/ and demanded the presence of a permanent representative of Kathmandu court in the Garhwal darbaar. Gorkhas was planning to attack on Garhwal but meanwhile they changed their strategy due to ongoing dispute over trade .They attacked Tibet and took the control of the trade and mountain passes .This move of Gorkhas made furious Chinese emperor, he sent a huge army to Tibet . Chinese army expelled Gorkhas from Tibet . After a long silence on the borders the Gorkha Raja attacked quake hit Garhwal in 1803 and conquered it along with other territories as far as the west of Satluj river . After defeat Pradyuman Shah , Raja of Garhwal made another attempt to regain the lost patrimony but he was killed in a deadly battle with Gorkhas at Khudbuda in Dehradun .This defeat led Garhwal to a slavery of 12 years .
The 12 years of indirect rule and next 12 years of direct rule of Gorkhas was known for rapacity, oppressions and undue harshness, particularly in the earlier years of occupation. The population was subjected to high land revenue assessments. On payment of these taxes, families were sold into slavery .Their lands were seized and mortgaged .People were forced to flee from their villages and abandon the fields. According to Frazer’s estimations perhaps 2 lakhs male, female and children were taken as slaves from Garhwal alone.Same atrocities were carried in Kumaun and more than one lakh person were taken as slaves and sold in the mandi .
Gorkha ruled in the Garhwal area ended in 1815 when the British drove the Gorkhas to the West of Kali river, despite stiff resistance offered by them. After defeat of Gorkha army, the Britishers on 21 April 1815, decided to establish their rule over the eastern, half of the Garhwal region, which lies east of Alaknanda & Mandakini river, later on, known as ‘British Garhwal’ and Dun of Dehradun. The remaining part of the Garhwal in the west was restored to King Sudershan Shah who established his capital at Tehri. Initially the administration was entrusted to the commissioner of the Kumaon and Garhwal with his headquarters at Nainital, but later Garhwal was separated and formed into a separate district in 1840 A.D. under an assistant commissioner with his headquarter at Pauri.
At the time of independence, Garhwal, Almora and Nainital districts were administered through commissioner of Kumaon division. In early 1960, Chamoli district was curve out of Garhwal district. In 1969 Garhwal division was formed with its headquarter at Pauri. After curving out of seventy-two villages of Khirsu block of district Pauri Garwhal in 1998 for creation of new district of Rudraprayag, the district is reached in its present form.
By: Pooja Sharda ProfileResourcesReport error
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