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Chhimal

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Chhimala (छिमाल) is name of ancient Abhisari republic, which includes Poonch, Rajori and Bhimber areas situated in west of Chenab River.

Origin

Variants

History

Chibhal was a princely state founded by a cadet of Katoch Rajputs of Kangra in 1400 A.D. Chibhal's first ruler was Raja Partab chand Katoch, who was the youngest son of Raja Megh chand Katoch of Kangra.[1][2] Chibhal was also known to Timur's historians under the name Jibhal. The conversion of the family to Islam is probably of a late date, as Ferishta mentions Howns Raja (Raja Hans Chand) of Bhimbar in A.H. 891, i.e., A.D. I486. But so many of these hill chiefs retained their Hindu names after they became Muslims that the Hindu name alone cannot be taken as a decisive proof of his being Hindu. However, most historians believe Raja Shadeep Chand/Dharam Chand to be first Muslim convert during Babar's reign. The territory of Chibhal originally included upper the hill region bordering Hazara. These areas were lost to Islamic conquests and the Chibs migrated to Bhimber, evicting the original Thakial Rajputs who were ruling there.

The inhabitants of the state were known as Chibhalis. The northern barrier of India, a popular account of the Jummoo and Kashmir territories by Frederic Drew 1877, page 30-31</ref> Chibs who ruled this princely state are the direct descendants of Raja Chib Chand Katoch from whom the term Chib, Chibhan and Chibhal are derived. In 1822, the state's territories were reduced to no more than twenty five kilometres due to invasions from the Sikh Empire. The state was then referred to as the state of Bhimber. At that time it included the towns of Bhimber, Samhani and Mangal Devi.[3]


During the seventh century AD, the celebrated Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, translator and pilgrim to India Hsuan Tsang mentioned Bhimber in his works. The works of Hsuan Tsang were translated into English in 1884 by Samuel Beal a scholar from England.

Bhimber has remained capital city of Chibhal, named after Raja Chib Chand the eldest son of Raja Partab Chand Katoch who came to Bhimber and established the state after marrying local ruler's daughter in 1400 A.D. Chibs are direct descendents of Raja Chib Chand Katoch.[4][5][6]

In Chibs, the first who embraced Islam was Shadaab Khan who is famous as Hazrat Baba Shadi Shaheed. His Hindu name was Raja Dharm Chand Chib. The last ruler of Chibhal was Raja Sultan Khan (1800–1840). Bhimber has been important strategically. It lies on the route that was followed by the Mughal Emperors for their frequent visits to the Kashmir Valley. It is also known as "Baab-e-Kashmir" (Door to Kashmir) because of its importance and geographical location which was ideal for Mughal Emperors to enter Kashmir. Therefore, the Mughals used Bhimber as a staging point for journey to Srinagar. Mughal Emperor Jahangir discussed Bhimber in his book Tuzk-e-Jahangiri. There live different caste peoples, in which mostly are Jatt secondly Rajpoot and 3rd are Mughal and some Gujjar and others.[7]


Alexander Cunningham[8] writes that....Rajaori and Kotali were held in later times by two branches of the royal family of Kashmir, to which they were usually tributary. But in the middle ages, under the Hindu rulers, Kotali formed part of Punach, to which it naturally belonged as part of the same valley. Bhimbar and Khariali were divisions of the Chibh, or Chibhan, branch of the Somvansi Rajas of Kangra and Jalandhar. In early times the name of Bhimbar was little used, the common appellation being Chibhan, which is found in Sharifuddin's history of Timur, under the form of Jibhal. The conversion of the family to Muhammadanism is probably of late date, as Ferishta mentions Howns Raja of Bhimbar in a.h. 891, or A.D. 1486.[9] But so many of these hill chiefs retained their Hindu names after they became Muhammadans, that the Hindu name alone cannot be taken as a decisive proof of his being unconverted. Kashtwar and Bhadrwar are situated on opposite banks of the upper Chenab river, to the south-east of Kashmir, to which they were generally subject. These nine chief-ships of the central division, added to the thirteen of the western division, form the twenty-two Muhammadan states which the popular belief assigns to the western half of the Alpine Panjab.


[p.135]: I may remark that all the chiefs of the Central Division, whose genealogies I possess, trace their origin to the Surajvansi, or Solar Race, with the single exception of the intrusive Chibban of Bhimbar.

छिमाल

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[10] ने लेख किया है ...छिमाल (AS, p.349) प्राचीन अभिसारी राज्य का प्रदेश, जिसमें चिनाब नदी के पश्चिम में स्थित पूंछ, राज़ोरी और भिंभर का क्षेत्र सम्मिलित है।

External links

References

  1. People of India, Jammu & Kashmir, Anthropological Survey of India, 2003, by Kumar Suresh Singh, K. N. Pandita, Sukh Dev Singh Charak, Baqr Raza Rizvi, page 269
  2. Gulabnama of Diwan Kirpa Ram: A History of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu & Kashmir, page 41
  3. History of the Punjab Hill States “by Hutchison and Vogel, reprinted edition, 2 volumes in 1 CHAPTER XX IV.
  4. Gulabnama of Diwan Kirpa Ram: A History of Maharaja Gulab Singh of Jammu & Kashmir, page 41
  5. History of the Punjab Hill States "by Hutchison and Vogel, reprinted edition, 2 volumes in 1 CHAPTER XX IV. 1933 AD
  6. The Ancient Geography of India by Alexander Cunningham, page 134, 1871
  7. Government of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Website. "Jahangir discussed Bhimber in his book Tuzk-e-Jahangiri."
  8. The Ancient Geography of India/Singhapura,p.134-135
  9. Briggs, 'Ferishta,' iv. 483.
  10. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.349