Raja Bhim Chand

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Raja Bhim Chand, ruler of Kahlur (Bilaspur), a princely state in the Sivaliks, from 1665-92. The family claimed descent from Chandel Rajputs of Bundelkhand. Bhim Chand's father, Dip Chand, was a tributary of the Mughals and he was allowed to exercise nominal authority over twentytwo states in the hills including Kulu, Karigra, Mandi, Suket and Chamba.

Before Bhim Chand ascended the gaddi (throne) in 1665, the rulers of Kahlur had maintained amicable relations with the Sikh Gurus. In 1635, Guru Hargobind had retired to Kiratpur, a town founded by his son, Baba Gurditta, on the base of the Kahlur mount. Kiratpur remained thereafter the seat of the Gurus until Guru Tegh Bahadur founded Chakk Nanaki in in 1665. His son Guru Gobind Singh, continued to live in the city after his father's Martyrdom in Delhi. Later he renamed the city Anandpur.

However, Bhim Chand became jealous of Guru Gobind Singh's growing popularity and of the royal style he maintained. Acceding to the solicitation of the friendly ruler of Sirmur, Guru Gobind Singh departed to visit him in his capital city of Nahan. There at the urging of his host Raja Medini Prakash he established a habitation of his own, which he gave the name of Paonta Sahib. . However, Raja Bhim Chand's envy was not assuaged by his neighbor's absence.

He, and several other hill monarchs, while returning from the Himalayan state of Srinagar (Garhval) where he had gone to attend the marriage of his son Ajmer Chand, attacked Guru Gobind Singh. The Guru met the attacking host at Bharigani, 11 km northeast of Paonta. In the battle that took place on 18 September 1688. The hill chiefs were routed, and Bhim Chand had to flee. In 1688 Guru Gobind Singh returned to Anandpur where Bhim Chand made peace with him. The Guru in fact went to his aid in his battle against the Mughal commander, Alif Khan, which was fought at Nadaun, on 20 March 1691.

Raja Bhim Chand abdicated in favour of his son, Ajmer Chand, in 1692. According to the Guru kian Sakhian, he died on 16 Assu, 1749 Bk/16 September 1692.

References

1. Teja Singh and Ganda Singh, A Short History of the Sikhs. Bombay, 1950

2. Hutchinson, J., and J. Ph. Vogel, History of the Punjab Hill States. Lahore, 1933

3. Macauliffe, Max Arthur, The Sikh Religion. Oxford, 1909

4. Harbans Singh, Guru Gobind Singh. Chandigarh, 1966

5. Sukha Singh, Gurbilas Dasvin Patshahi. Lahore, 1912