Sukait & Mandi Kingdoms

Sukait & Mandi Kingdoms:

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The state was founded about 765 AD by raja  Bira Sen (Vir Sen), claimed to be a son of a Sen dynasity from Bengal The early history of Suket was marred by constant warfare against other principalities, especially against the Kingdom of Kullu. At the time of Raja Bikram Sen Kullu was under the overlordship of Suket State. Raja Madan Sen’s reign was the golden age of Suket, when its ruler reduced into submission the neighboring smaller states. At the time of Raja Bikram Sen II, Sukket survived the invasion of Gurkhas of Nepal (1803 to 1815)

History of various dynasities of Suket kingdom can be traced back to 500 AD to 765 AD. Sukait was earlier a brahmin kingdom. During 1100 AD , Vijaya Sen had two sons, Sahu Sen who ruled over Suket and Bahu Sen who ruled over Kullu. Bahu Sen’s descendants emigrated to Kullu until the tenth descendant, Kabakha Sen was killed by the Raja of Kullu and his son had to flee to Siokot, not very far from the present city of Mandi which was founded during Ajbar Sen’s rule.

The Chiefs of Mandi State are said to be the descendants of common ancestors of the Chandervanshi line of rajputs of Sen dynasty of Bengal who claim to be the descendants of Pandavas of Mahabharata times. According to the earlier accounts, Bahu Sen established an independent territory and was recognized as a Rana or local Chief. The Raja Ajber Sen, the nineteenth descendent from Bahu Sen, was considered as an able and benevolent ruler. He founded the present Mandi city around the ‘Bhootnath Temple’ in the early 16th century (1500 AD-1534 AD) and shifted his capital to this place from Purani Mandi. The temple of Trilokinath was also constructed during his reign. He was succeeded by Chhattar Sen who built a fort in Kalar by name Lakargarh. The successive rulers of Mandi were Shyam Sen, Gaur Sen, Sidh Sen, Shamsher Sen, Surma Sen, Ishwari Sen, Jalam Sen, Balbir Sen and Vijay Sen. Many public utility, services and facilities like schools, hospitals and post offices, etc., were started by Raja Vijay Sen during his time. He also built large number of palaces and houses. A Mule road from Baijnath in District Kangra to Sultanpur in adjoining District of Kullu, via Mandi and the Victoria suspension Bridge on river Beas were constructed during his time in the year 1877. Raja Vijay Sen was issue less and left no direct heir. So in 1897, Bhawani Sen was recognized as his successor. He was succeeded by Joginder Sen in April 1914 who was, however, vested with full powers of ruling chief in February 1925. Mandi remained under the management of a British Officer and a number of departments were overhauled and reorganised.

The chiefs of Mandi and Suket are said to be from a common ancestor of the Chandravanshi line of Rajputs of Sena dynasty of Bengal and they claim their descent from the Pandavas of the Mahabharata. The ancestors of the line believed to have ruled for 1,700 years in Indarprastha(Delhi), until one Khemraj was driven out by his Wazir, Bisarp, who then took over the throne. Khemraj, having lost his knogdom, fled eastward and settled in Bengal, where 13 of his successors are said to have ruled for 350 years. From there they had to flee to Ropar in Punjab, but here also the king, Rup Sen, was killed and one of his sons, Bir Sen, fled to the hills and reached Suket.

The State of Suket is said to have been founded by Bir Sen, an ancestor of the Sena Dynasty of Bengal. The seperation of Mandi from suket took place about the year 1200 AD. Upto that time, it was the single state of Suket. The then reigning chief Sahu Sen had a quarrel with his younger brother Bahu Sen, who left Suket to seek his fortunes elsewhere. Bahu Sen after leaving Suket settled at Manglan in Kullu, where his descendents lived for 11 generations. Then then chief, Kranchan Sen was killed fighting against the Kullu Raja and his Rani, who was pregnant at that time. fled alone to her father who was the chief of Seokot, who had no son. Here she gave birth to a baby boy who was named Ban, the tree under which he was born. Ban had hardly crossed the age of 15 when he defeated the chief of Kilti who used to plunder travellers.On the death of the chief of Seokot, Ban succeeded to the chiefship of Seokot. He, after some time killed the Rana of Sakor and took posesssion of his lands. he then changed his residence to Bhiu, on the banks of Beas and a few miles from the present Mandi town.

Mandi emerged as a seperate state in the begining of the sixteenth century. Down the line of descendants of Ban came Ajbar Sen, nineteenth in descent from Bahu Sen, who founded Mandi Town in 1527 AD, the capital of the erstwhile state of Mandi and the headquarters of the now Mandi District. Ajbar Sen was the first great ruler of Mandi. He was probably the first to assume the designation of Raja. He consolidated the territories that he had inherited and added to them new ones that he wrested from the hands of his neighbours. He built a palace here and adorned it with four towers. He also built the temple of Bhut Nath and his Rani constructed that of Trilok Nath.

 

Down the line of descendants was Raja Sidh Sen, who succeeded Raja Gur Sen in 1978 AD.

The entire history of both the states of Mandi and Suket is littered with wars with among themselves and other adjoining states. These two states had always been rivals and generally enemies.

 

On 1st November 1921, both the state of Mandi and Suket were transferred from the political control of Punjab Government to that of Government of India till 15th August 1947, India’s Independence Day.Understand Raja Laxman Sen had to flee for safety during early 1930s due communal violence and there was complete chao in the kingdom.  There was a rebellion in ” Sukait” kingdom in Himachal Pradesh. The british appointed Shri Gokul Chand Mohan as Chief Executive Officer of the kingdom. Mehta Gokul Chand Mohan had earlier served Sukait kingdom also, as Revenue Minister (1926 to 1927.   The British Government had appointed him as an Administrator in the kingdom with an authority so as  to restore law & order. Understand the rules laid down by Mehta Gokul Chand Mohan for Communal harmony, were followed by people of Sukait for many decadesThe last ruler Raja Laxman Sen signed an agreement for the accession  of his kingdom to the Indian Union on 15 April 1948. Currently, the kingdom is part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh 

The Ranas of Sukait

  • 1663 – 1721 Jit Sen (d. 1721)

  • 1721 – 1748 Garur Sen (b. 1693 – d. 1748)

  • 1748 – 1762 Bhikam Sen (d. 1762) (Aghan invasions)

  • 1762 – 1791 Ranjit Sen (d. 1791)

  • 1791 – 1838 Bikram Sen II (b. 17.. – d. 1838)

  • 1838 – 1876 Ugar Sen II (d. 1876)

  • 1876 – Apr 1878 Rudra Sen (b. 1828 – d. 1886)

  • 1878 – 1879 Arimardan Sen (b. 1863 – d. 1879)

  • 29 Mar 1879 – 27 May 1908 Dasht Nikandan Sen (b. 1865 – d. 1908)

  • 29 Mar 1879 – 1884 Munshi Hardyal Singh -Regent

  • 27 May 1908 – 12 Oct 1919 Bhim Sen (b. 1885 – d. 1919) (from 1 Jan 1918, Sir Bhim Sen)

  • 13 Oct 1919 – 15 Aug 1947 Lakshman Sen (b. 1895 – d. 1970)[5

 

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