History of Katochgardi or Atrocity of Katoch in Garhwal King Pradip Shah period

History of Katochgardi or Atrocity of Katoch in Garhwal King Pradip Shah period

History of Garhwal including Haridwar (1223- 1804 AD) –part -158

History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -405

By: Bhishma Kukreti (A History Research Student)

Names of Pradip Shah

Hardwick mentions Pratitshah for Pradip Shah in his Garhwal King list. Reper was told Pratapshahi as Garhwal King. Maularam mentioned him as Pradip Shah. In other lists of Garhwal Kings, his name is Pradiptshah. In Ramayanpradip, Medhakar Bahuguna Shastri mentions him as Pradip Shah. In the copper inscription of Kumaon King Deepchand for Shiv Datt Joshi, the name of this king is written Pratipshahi.
Source of Information about Pradip Shah

There are copper inscriptions of Pradip Shah available. Those copper inscriptions are from 1717- 1772
The temple inscriptions are –
Jileshwar Mandir, Jilasu – 1725
Kapilmuni Mandir , Shrinagar- 1734
Murlimanohar Mandir , Chandrapuri – 1745
The Rohila history books put light on Pradip Shah. Rohila attacked Garhwal and captured land too.
Maularam was a court poet of Garhwal Kingdom. Maularam was 29 years old in 1717. He described Shrinagar Court events in details in the time of Pradip Shah and Gorkha Attack.Maularam did not mention about Rohila attacks in his Garhrajvanshkavya.
Ruling Period of Pradip Shah
Hardwick – 1706-1741
Becket – 1709-1772
Raturi- 1750-1780
Walton – 1718-1772
The inscriptions suggest that the suggestion of Walton is more appropriate about ruling period of Pradip Shah.
Age of Pradip Shah at ascending on Crown
Raturi suggests that the age of Pradip Shah was 33 at the time of crowning.
Reper suggests that Pradip Shah was child at the time of ascending on crown.
Maularam wrote that Pradip Shah was five years old at the time of crowning.
Major Events
1-Queen Rule- Since Pradip Shah was child at the time of crowning his mother ruled Garhwal on his behalf.
2-King in his youth
3-Rohila rule in Bhabhar and Dehradun
Queen Rule
Since, Pradip Shah was minor at the time of crowning; his mother started looking after court works. Maularam named this era as ‘Rani Raj’- राणी -राज भयो गढ़माही। मंत्री नूतन चक्री चलाईं (गढ़राजवंशकाव्य , पर्ण 21 ब ).
Groups in Garhwal Court

There were groups in Garhwal Kingdom court in every regime. At the time of Fate Shah and Pradip Shah, there were two major groups –Rajput Dal and Khasiya Dal and other smaller and effective groups. There was internal infighting among different groups for power.
Rajput Group
These Rajput were outsiders and came by many means into Garhwal. Many Rajput families came to take shelters due to defeats from Muslim attackers in Indian plains. Garhwal Kingdom used to appoint Rajputs of Indian plains to balance the power of Khas (old and original inhabitants of Garhwal) soldiers. Garhwal Kings used to offer those Rajput soldiers and commanders land to stay in Garhwal.
The army chief of Pradip Shah was Narpat Singh Guleriya who was from Guler, Kangda. There were soldiers and commanders from migrated Himachal region in Garhwal Army.
Kathait, Katoch, Khunti Negi, Jambal Negi , Sipahi Negi , Bgdwal Bisht, Nakoti and Minya Rajput castes are said to be migrated from Himachal Pradesh into Garhwal .
The Rajput from outside used to take Khas Rajput as inferior castes. The King family and outside Rajputs used to have girl from Khas Rajput for their son’s marriages but never marry their daughters with Khas boys. The Garhwal King family used to pay more importance and honor to their wives from Himachal than Khas wives.
The Himchal queens used to shelter men from Himachal and used to appoint them in important posts of Garhwal court. Those outside court officers used to take part in various conspiracies.

Khasiya Group
The Khasiya group used to be original Brahmins, Rajput and Schudule Casts of Garhwal. Outsider Rajput and Brahmins used to treat those Khasiya as inferior. However, Khasiya groups in Garhwal had more numbers with them, had supports from common people and had their own army. Therefore, Garhwal Kings had to appoint them officers in Garhwal court.
Garhwali Kings used to balance both the power centers effectively. However, the queen could not balance the two power centers. The completion among Rajput and Khasiya groups reached on peak and both the group were eager to catch the central power. Khasiya Dal and Rajput Dal started conspiracy against each other. They used to complain to the queen about each other.

Five Katoch Brothers and Katochgardi

Harak Singh Katoch came from Kangda, Himachal Pradesh to Shrinagar at the time of Medni Shah. Harak Singh Katoch got important position in Garhwal court. Due to his wise character and hard work he was promoted many times. He was given Land lordship.
Harak Singh had five sons –Bhagwat Singh, Alam Singh, Mahipat Singh, Dayal Singh, and Kalam Singh. They all were at high and influential position in Garhwal Court. The queen was also Katoch from Kangda and she had more confidence on Katoch officers than other caste officers. That queen’s behaviours made Kathoch brothers atrocities and authoritative.
Five Katoch Brother levied many unheard taxes on subjects. The subject and Khas group were annoyed with Katoch Brothers. There were many Himachali commanders in Garhwal army. Katoch brothers convinced the queen that Garhwali Khasiya group is dangerous to Garhwal Kingdom. Therefore, queen had created distance from officers of original Garhwal castes. The fight between Khasiya group and Katoch or Himachal group was sure. However, Kumaon attack on Garhwal delayed the infighting.

Kumaon Attacking on Garhwal

Devi Chand ascended on Kumaon crown after death of his father king Jagat Chand in 1720. Devi Chand was aware about minor king, queen as guardian and groups among court officer of Garhwal Kingdom.
In 1723, Devi Chand attacked on Garhwal and reached to Badhan. His army looted Garhwal territories. Garhwal Kingdom army and officers kept aside their infighting and tried to push back Kumaon army from Badhan. Garhwal army pushed back Kumaon army to Katyur region. However, Kumaon army defeated Garhwal army at Ranchula Fort.
Kumaon army was in enthusiastic mood by the win. Devichand took a vow that he would take back Shrinagar that was donated to a Brahmin by his father Jagat Chand. Kumaoni Army followed Garhwal Army. In Ganai, the reserve force of Garhwal also reached and in a battle of Ganai, Garhwal Army defeated Kumaon Army.
Garhwali Army pushed back Kumaon Army into Kumaon territory.
Though, Pande stated that Devi Chand captured Shrinagar but there is no logic in that statement.

Drama by Kumaon King for Winning Shrinagar
Devi Chand is called Muhammad Tughlak of Kumaon. When Kumaon Army could not win over Garhwal, Devi Chand created a false winning drama on a hill of Havalbag. He decorated the hill and celebrated the winning of Garhwal Kingdom. The Kumaon King named the place as Fatehpur (place of Win).
Alignment of Devi Chand with Rohila Commander Daud Khan

Devi Chand had an alignment with Mughal Empire rebellion Daud Khan. Daud Khan and Kumaon Army attacked on Mughal Army in south plains of Kumaon. Mughal commanders of Muradabad and Sambhal came with huge army and had battle at Rudrapur. Mughal army defeated aligned armies of Devi Chand and Daud Khan.

Garhwal and Doti Armies Attacking on Kumaon Kingdom
Being aware about Mughal army defeating Devi Chand Army, Doti King from east of Kumaon and Garhwal King from west of Kumaon attacked on Kumaon around 1726. Devi Chand went for a treaty with Doti king and he sent his army towards Chandpur and Lohaba of Garhwal. Devi Chand was engaged in lust with women dancers in Devipur Vilasbhavan (Entertaining palace) in Kotdun. Puran mal Gainda Bisht killed Devi Chand with deceptive methods. In past, Puran Gainda Bisht deceived Garhwal and helped Kumaon King against Garhwal Kingdom.

Atrocities of Katoch Brothers

Katoch commanders and commanders migrated from Himachal showed bravery in Kumaon attack. The queen was pleased with Katoch brothers and paid more attention to Katoch advises. Five Katoch brothers got more and more power in Garhwal court. On the whole, they were ruling Garhwal kingdom.
Five Katoch (Panchbahya Katoch) levied more types of taxes on people and following taxes were painful to the subject.
1-Syundi Suppa- Every married woman had to pay Kingdom tax of grains full of Suppa or winnowing basket.
2-Chulha Kar- Every family had to pay another tax.
3-Vitta Kar- Tax on income
Most of people everywhere were unhappy by new taxes. The Kingdom officers were cruel on collecting taxes too. Katoch brother created other atrocities too.
. Khas group was displeased from Katoch brothers taking all the power in their hands.
Ministers as Shankar Dobhal and Puriya Naithnai and many Sayana (local leaders) from many places met secretly in Shrinagar. They and Khas groups took a vow to kill Katoch brothers. The Khas commanders and other Sayana surrounded the house of Katoch brothers. Katoch Brother ran away from their houses. Khas commanders ran after Katoch brothers. Khas commanders caught Katoch at Bhattisera 10-12 miles away from Shrinagar. Khas or Prajadal group killed brutally Katoch brother there. There is a terrace mad in memory of Katoch brothers in Bhattisea. The terrace is called Katochon ka Manda. The terrace is made of 6’x6 plain five stones as Ling.
Khasiya group was not satisfied by death of Katoch brothers. They killed other Rajput officers. Many Rajput commanders ran away from Shrinagar. Dr. Dabral calculated the year of Killing of Katoch and Rajput officers in 1726.

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, bckukreti@gmail.com 17/8/2014
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -406
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal from 1223-1804 to be continued in next chapter ….
Notes on South Asian Medieval History of Garhwal; SouthAsian Medieval History of Pauri Garhwal; Medieval History of Chamoli Garhwal; South Asian Medieval History of Rudraprayag Garhwal; South Asian Medieval History of Tehri Garhwal; Medieval History of Uttarkashi Garhwal; South Asian Medieval History of Dehradun, Garhwal; Medieval History of Haridwar ; South Asian Medieval History of Manglaur, Haridwar; South Asian Medieval History of Rurkee Haridwar ; South Asian Medieval History of Bahadarpur Haridwar ; South Asian History of Haridwar district to be continued

  • Ankit

    Ek taraf AP bol rahe ho Khas ladko ke sath Baki community wali ladkiyo ki shadi nai karate the. To Garhwal ka raja b to khas tha. Use kese de di dusri community wale NE apni ladki shadi ke lie ?

    • Poonam Aswal

      Panwar Raja khas the ?

      • Ankit Kumar

        To kya the ?

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