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KUMAON

THE LAND OF MIGHTY WARRlORS

Kumaon Kingdom

The only Hindu Kingdom, which the Mughals could never win and one of the very few kingdoms, which rejected British sovereignty. Kumaon Kingdom was always a sovereign country.

The history of Kumaon is older than that of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The worship of Lord Shiva is predominant in this region.

Historically, Kumaon region is believed to be the land where the Vedas and the Shastras were composed and the great epic Mahabharata was written. 

Status - Sovereign State.

GovernmentMonarchy.

Today part of - India, Nepal and China.

Common language - Kumaoni, Sanskrit, Dogri, Tibetan.

Religion - Hinduism, Buddhism.

 

ROYAL FLAG AND THE WAR FLAG OF KUMAON KINGDOM

The Royal Flag of Kumaon Kingdom,

  • The white background stands for peace and friendship.
  • The crossed Khukri sign embossed on the white background with blades on the outer side signifies that, although we yearn for peace and friendship, we are always ready for combat.
  • The red color signifies our enemies blood, if anyone dares to challenge us.

The War Flag of Kumaon Kingdom,

  • The black background stands for all out and no rules warfare.
  • The crossed Khukri sign on black background with blades on the outer side, reminds us to win the war at any cost, keep the flag fluttering with, enemy being the main target and annihilation of the enemy the main motto.
  • The red color on the black flag signifies our enemies blood, pushes us to defeat the enemy by utilizing all and any means, following the principles of 1. First Attack. 2. Swift Attack. 3. Lethal Attack and 4. Continuous Persistent Attack. 

RULE OF CHAND KINGS IN UTTARAKHAND, NEPAL AND TIBET

In the early 7th century the Chand Kingdom in Kumaon was established by Raja Som Chand. He continued to call his state Kurmanchal and established its capital in Champawat. The Baleshwar and Nagnath temples were built in this former capital city during the 11th and 12th centuries. Later in 1563 the capital was shifted to Almora by Raja Kalyan Chand and he lay the foundation of a town called Rajapur (A name that is still used and is found inscribed on a number of copper plates of that time.

The Chand rule is seen as the most prominent empire of Kumaon and it coincided with a period of cultural resurgence. Archeological surveys point towards the development of culture and art forms during this period. 

From 7th to 18th centuries, "Kumaon Kingdom" prospered under the Chand Monarchs and during this period , learnings and new forms of painting (The Pahari school of art) developed.

One of the most powerful ruler of Chand dynasty was Raja Baaj Bahadur Chand (1638 - 78) AD. In 1655 he attacked Garhwal and captured the Terai region, including Dehradun. Raja Baaj Bahadur Chand built the Golu Devta Temple at Gorakhal, near Bhimtal and also built the Bhimeshwara Mahadev Temple at Bhimtal.

Towards the end of 17th century Raja Udyot Chand erected several temples in Almora, including the Tripur Sundari, Udyot Chandeshwar and Parbateshwar, to mark the victory over Garhwal and Doti. Raja Gyan Chand ascended the throne in 1698 and in 1699 he attacked Garhwal, defeating the remaining Garhwali forces in the battle of Daduli (near Melchauri in Garhwal) In 1707 the Kumaon forces annexed Juniyagarh in Bichla Chaukot (Syalde), and razed the old fort at Chandpur. Later Raja Jagat Chand (1708 - 1720) defeated the Raja of Garhwal and extended his rule in entire Garhwal.

The Chand Kings also defeated the Pal's of Askot, though the latter were allowed to hold their land on payment of a yearly tribute. The hill station of Binsar, 30 km from Almora was the Summer retreat of the Chand Kings.

CHAND KINGDOM 

Established - 7 th Century.

"Chand Kingdom" of Kumaon was originally inhabited by a large number of Hindu clans, each controlling a small area and protecting it with a fortress. These fortresses were scattered across the western portion of Kumaon where fertile cropland was more readily available, because of these fortresses western Kumaon was referred to as Garhwal. "The country of fortresses" 

Because of its crucial strategic position and religious significance "Chand Kingdom" of Kumaon was attacked a number of times. In the sixteenth century the sultans of Bahmani launched several expeditions in to Kumaon. In 1635 the moghal emperor Shah Jahan I (r. 1628 - 1658) launched a massive invasion of Kumaon and in that war, Kumaon successfully defeated the Moghals. Shah Jahan increased the size of the force and attacked again, with out any success against the brave Kumaonis (As every time Shah jahan had to face defeat at the hands of the "Chand Kings" hence in the end, he made peace with "Chand Royal's").

 

The "Chand Kingdom" at its peak included Kumaon, Garhwal, Himachal, J&K, Mahakali Anchal, Seti Anchal, Bheri Anchal, Karnali Anchal, Rapti Anchal, Dhawalagiri Anchal, Gandaki Anchal, Lumbini Anchal and entire Tibet, which included the holy Mount Kailash also known as Gang Rinpoche or as Kangri Rinpoche in the local language.

The "Kumaon Kingdom" stretched up to Afghanistan at the far end, Nepal and Tibet at the other end and plains of UP  at one end. Very few kingdoms in the world can lay claim of having influence in such a vast area.

Even today the attire worn by people and practices being followed in the entire stretch from Afghanistan, Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Tibet and Nepal is similar.

Till date, there is no record of any oppression or exploitation of the poor by "Chand Kings" and during their rule it was ensured that every citizen of the "Kumaon Kingdom" had food readily available and cooking fire is lit in every household. (Because of the oppression and exploitation of the poor, many of the Kingdoms built massive forts, using free and forced labor, to protect themselves from attack by their adversaries but, you will still not see any massive forts in "Kumaon Kingdom", i.e exactly the reason why "Chand Royalty" is still the most respected name in "Kumaon Kingdom").

PRACTICES OF A PERSON FROM CHAND DYNASTY

Both "Earlobe Piercing", regularly wearing of the six sacred thread "Janev" and recital of the pious "Gayatri Mantra" for men, is a must for a "Chand" to be referred as a "Raja" (Without these three rituals, "Chand Raja's" cannot even enter in to a wedlock).

As per tradition, Chand Raja's do not bow down for anyone (Even with the "Kul Brahmin's" a practice of "Jethi Kansi" dhog is followed} i.e, a younger "Kul Brahmin" first gives "Dhog to a elder Chand and in return, he is blessed by the elder Chand. (Other Brahmin's are referred to as "Kathi Brahmin" who irrespective of their age, are the first to give Dhog to a "Chand Raja's" of any age group).

Practice of touching feet of anyone is also not followed in the "Chand Community".

Marriage rituals of "Chand Raja's" are strictly held with in the "Ruling Class" only, with out considering the financial condition of any parties involved (Any marriage outside the "Ruling Class" is boycotted by most of the community members).

Unlike other communities of India and Nepal, In "Chand Community" the bride's side do not go out looking for prospective grooms for their daughter. It is the groom's side which has to approach the bride's family and the bride's family has complete right to accept or reject the proposal. There is also no system of Dowry exchange with in the "Chand Community".

Tilling / Ploughing farmland is also not permitted for "Chand Raja's" (Any "Chand Raja" who tills farmland is considered as inferior. boycotted and marriage between his family members is held, only with other "Chand Raja's" who plough). In derogatory local language a "Chand Raja" who ploughs and or is of immoral character, is referred to as "Khassinaka Raja" (Chand Raja's do not touch the "Haluono" which is tied up with the dead cow / Buffalo skin and touching it is considered as "Sacrilege" with in the Chand Community)

CURRENT LIVING KING

The current living King of Uttarakhand is Raja Mahendra Chand of Lamakhet (Pithoragarh) married to Rani Gita Chand of Rina and they both have three children. Rajkumari Aakanksha Chand, Rajkumari Mallika Chand and Rajkumar Aryan Chand.

NAMES OF PAST KINGS OF KUMAON KINGDOM BEFORE THE CURRENT KING

Names of Chand Kings who have ruled Kumaon Kingdom before Raja Mahendra Chand. (Names in ascending order)

Serial NumberNameSamvatYears Ruled
1Raja Som Chand70021
2Raja Atma Chand72119
3Raja Puran Chand74018
4Raja Indra Chand75820
5Raja Sansar Chand77815
6Raja Sudha Chand81320
7Raja Hari Chand83323
8Raja Vina Chand85613
9Raja Veer Chand106515
10Raja Roop Chand108023
11Raja Laxmi Chand109320
12Raja Dharam Chand11138
13Raja Karam Chand112119
14Raja Kalyan Chand11409
15Raja Nirbhay Chand114922
16Raja Nari Chand11707
17Raja Nanki Chand117718
18Raja Ram Chand11959
19Raja Bhism Chand120516
20Raja Megh Chand12267
21Raja Dhyan Chand123318
22Raja Parwat Chand125110
23Raja Thohar Chand126114
24Raja Kalyan Chand127521
25Raja Trilok Chand12967
26Raja Damroo Chand130318
27Raja Dharam Chand132113
28Raja Abhay Chand134430
29Raja Garud Gyan Chand137445
30Raja Hari Chand14191
31Raja Udhyan Chand14201
32Raja Atma Chand14211
33Raja Hari Chand14221
34Raja Vikram Chand142314
35Raja Bharti Chand143713
36Raja Ratan Chand145038
37Raja Kirti Chand148815
38Raja Pratap Chand150314
39Raja Tara Chand151716
40Raja Manik Chand15339
41Raja Kalyan Chand15429
42Raja Puran Chand15514
43Raja Bhism Chand15555
44Raja Balo Kalyan Chand15608
45Raja Rudra Chand15689
46Raja Laxmi Chand159724
47Raja Dilip Chand16213
48Raja Vijay Chand16241
49Raja Trimal Chand162513
50Raja Baaj Bahadur Chand163840
51Raja Udyot Chand167820
52Raja Gyan Chand169810
53Raja Jagat Chand170822
54Raja Devi Chand17206
55Raja Ajit Chand17263
56Raja Kalyan Chand172918
57Raja Deep Chand174730
58Raja Mohan Chand17772
59Raja Pradyuman Chand17797
60Raja Mohan Chand17862
61Raja Shiv Chand1788Few Months
62Raja Mahendra Chand17882
63Raja Mahendra Chand1964Current Raja of Kumaon Kingdom