Gorkha menace

Gorkha menace

Last updated by Garhwali

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In 1803, the Gorkhas took over Garhwal.[2] The Gorkha warriors Subba Amar Singh, Hastidal Chautariya, Bamshah Chautariya and Ranjor Thapa commanded a huge army in the crusade against King Pradyumna Shah and his sons Kuwar Parakrama Shah and Kuwar Pritam Shah. A 12,000-strong army fought with the Gorkhas at Khurhbure where the king was killed. Gradually, the Gorkhas captured Dehradun, Saharanpur, Kangada and Shimla and later on extended their kingdom up to Kangara.

 

1903 map of United Provinces showing the boundaries of Garhwal Kingdom

From 1787 to 1812, the Gorkhas captured nearly 200 villages which were under the control of the East India Company. The British argued with the king of Nepal but to no avail. Finally, the Gurkha War (Anglo-Nepalese War) began in 1814, when an army of 8,000 under Major General Marley attacked Kathmandu. Four thousand soldiers under Major General Wood started an operation from Gorakhpur and 3,500 soldiers attempted to take over Dehradun under Major General Zileswy, where a Gorkha army of 300–400 was led by Balbhadra Thapa. The Gorkhas fought a fierce battle and crushed the British, who were reinforced by soldiers and cannons. Finally, the British army captured Dehradun on 30 November 1814.

The British Army then moved towards Kumaon. After a fierce battle, the Gorkha commanders Hastidal and Jayrakha were killed at Vinayathal. The war ended with the Sugauli Treaty, signed on 2 December 1815 and ratified on 4 March 1816 by Gorkha supreme commander Bamshah and thus, British rule started in the hills. The East India Company then merged Kumaon, Dehradun and east Garhwal into the British Empire while west Garhwal was given to Sudarshan Shah which then became known as Tehri Riyasat.

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