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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Kangra District Map

Guler (गुलेर) was an ancient Hill Kingdom in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. [1]



  • Guler (गुलेर) (कांगड़ा, हि.प्र.) (AS, p.294)

Jat clan


The history of Guleria clan is available from 7th century. It is said that the Guler clan had a state in Himachal Pradesh about in 7th century. Guler state was situated to S.W. of Kangra. Its capital was Haripur Guler. The smaller chiefship of Guler was offshoot from the parent stem of Kangra. The independence of Guler, or Haripur, was established by Hari Chandra, about A.D. 1400, when he yielded Kangra to his younger brother, Karmma Chandra. [2]

Alexander Cunningham on Guler

Alexander Cunningham[3] describes about the Hill States of the Punjab as the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang has noticed so few of the many hill-states of the Panjab.

According to popular opinion the petty states of the Alpine Panjab, at the present time, consist of twenty-two Muhammadan and twenty-two Hindu chiefships, the former lying to the west, and the latter to the east of the Chenab river. [4]

An older classification divides them into three groups, each named after the most powerful state which formed the head of the confederation[5]. These were:

This division into three groups most probably existed prior to the seventh century, as we find that the states to the east of the Ravi were quite independent of Kashmir, while those of Urasa, Punach, and Rajapuri are spoken of in such a way as to show that they had kings of their own previous to their subjection by Kashmir.[6]

The Gakar chiefs hold the lower valley of the Jhelam, and the upper course of the Haro river to the south-west of Kashmir. The Gakars also occupy several portions of the eastern Doab, as Guliana, near Gujar Khan, and Bugial, under the lofty hill of Balnath. But these districts do not properly belong to the hills, although they were subject to Kashmir at the time of Hwen Thsang's visit in the seventh century. [7]

Alexander Cunningham[8]provides us the list which gives the names and positions of the various states attached to the eastern, or Jalandhar (Trigartta) division of the Alpine Panjab.

Vansha State
Somvansi 1. Kangra, or Katoch.
2. Guler, to S.W. of Kangra.
3. Jaswal, on Suhan River.
4. Datarpur, on lower Bias River.
5. Siba, on lower Bias River.
Surajvansi 6.Chamba, on Ravi River.
7. Kullu, on upper Bias River.
Pundir, or Pandayas. 8.Mandi, on middle Bias River.
9. Sukhet, to south of Mandi.
10. Nurpur, between Ravi River and Bias River.
11. Kotila, to East of Nurpur.
12. Kotlehar.

Of these twelve states no less than five are mere subdivisions of the once rich kingdom of Jalandhar, which embraced the whole of the Doab, or plain country, between the Bias and Satlej, and all the hill country lying between the Ravi and the frontiers of Mandi and Sukket, to the south of the Dhaola-dhar mountains. This included Nurpur, Kotila, and Kotlehar ; and as Mandi and Sukhet were at first under one rule, there were originally only four chiefships in the eastern division of the Alpine Panjab, namely, Jalandhar, Chamba, Kullu, and Mandi.

Alexander Cunningham[9] writes that Since the occupation of the plains by the Muhammadans, the ancient kingdom of Jalandhara has been confined almost entirely to its hill territories, which were generally known by the name of Kangra, after its most celebrated fortress.

Alexander Cunningham[10] writes that The royal family of Jalandhara and Kangra is one of the oldest in India, and their genealogy from the time of the founder, Susarma Chandra, appears to have a much stronger claim to our belief than any one of the long strings of names now shown by the more powerful families of Rajasthan. All the different scions of this house claim to be of Somavanshi descent ; and they assert that their ancestors held the district of Multan and fought in the Great War on the side of Duryodhan against the five Pandu brothers. After the war they lost their country, and retired under the leadership of Susarma Chandra to the Jalandhar Doab, where they established themselves, and built the stronghold of Kangra.

Alexander Cunningham writes that In the seventh century, the Chinese pilgrim, Hwen Thsang, was courteously entertained for a whole month by Raja U-ti-to, or Udita,[11] whom I would identify with Adima of the genealogical lists. One hundred and sixty years later, in an inscription dated A.D. 804, the Raja of Jalandhara is named Jaya Chandra, who is the Jaya Malla Chandra of the lists, the seventh in descent from Adima. Lastly, Ananta, king of Kashmir, from A.D. 1028 to 1081, married two daughters of Indu Chandra, [12] Raja of Jalandhara, who is the Indra Chandra of the genealogical lists of Kangra. These instances are sufficient to show that Jalandhara existed as an independent State for many centuries before the Muhammadan conquest. [13]

The smaller chiefships of Guler, Jaswal, Datarpur, and Siba, are offshoots from the parent stem of Kangra. The independence of Guler, or Haripur, was established by Hari Chandra, about A.D. 1400, when he yielded Kangra to his younger brother, Karmma Chandra. [14]

The date of the foundation of the other principalities is unknown, but I believe that they were always tributary to the parent state until the time of the Muhammadans, when the capture of Kangra by Mahmud of Ghazni afforded them an opportunity of asserting their independence. [15]

Raja Utito, mentioned by Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang, was a tributary of Harsh Vardhana, who appear to have continued to rule over the country right up to the 12th century, with occasional interruptions, but their capital was Jalandhar and Kangra formed an important stronghold.

We find in above description provided by Alexander Cunningham that Guliana Rawalpindi (p.132) represented by Mohammadans and Guler state to S.W. of Kangra (p.136) represented by Hindu chiefs of Guler. We may believe that these were the ancestors of Guleria clan.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[16] ने लेख किया है ...गुलेर (AS, p.294) - कांगड़ा, हिमाचल प्रदेश में स्थित है। कांगड़ा स्कूल की चित्रकला में गुलेर का विशेष महत्व है। वास्तव में इस शैली का जन्म 18वीं शती में गुलेर तथा निकटवर्ती स्थानों में हुआ था। बसौली के प्रसिद्ध चित्रकला-प्रेमी नरेश कृपालसिंह की मृत्यु के पश्चात् उनके दरबार के अनेक कलावंत अन्य स्थानों में चले गये थे। गुलेर में कृपालसिंह के समान ही राजा गोवर्धनसिंह ने अनेक चित्रकारों को प्रश्रय तथा प्रोत्साहन दिया। बसौली शैली की परुषता गुलेर में पहुँचकर कोमल हो गई और कांगड़ा शैली के विशिष्ट गुण, मृदुसौन्दर्य का धीरे-धीरे गुलेर के वातावरण में विकास होने लगा, किन्तु अब भी रंगों की चमक-दमक पर कलाकार अधिक ध्यान देते थे। किन्तु इस शैली का पूर्ण विकास गुलेर के मुग़ल चित्रकारों ने किया, जो इस नगर में दिल्ली से नादिरशाह के आक्रमण (1739) के पश्चात् आकर बस गए थे। गुलेर की एक राजकुमारी का विवाह गढ़वाल में होने के कारण कांगड़ा शैली की चित्रकला गढ़वाल भी जा पहुँची।

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