Previous Page [Digital South Asia Library] Next Page

Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 10, p. 130.

Graphics file for this page
falls in the winter months, and is important for both the spring and
autumn crops, as on the higher ranges it is received as snow, which
melts in summer and supplies water for irrigation.
The Chamba State possesses a remarkable series of inscriptions,
mostly on copperplates, from which its chronicles have been completed
and authenticated. Founded probably in the sixth
History. century by Marut, a Surajbansi Rajput, who built
Brahmapura, the modern Brahmaur, Chamba was extended by Meru
Varma (68o), and the town of Chamba built by Sahil Varma about 920.
The State maintained its independence, acknowledging at times a
nominal submission to Kashmir, until the Mughal conquest of India.
Under the Mughals it became tributary to the empire, but its internal
administration was not interfered with, and it escaped almost unscathed
from Sikh aggression. The State first came under British influence in
1846. The part west of the Ravi was at first handed over to Kashmir,
but subsequently the boundaries of the State were fixed as they now
s`-and, and it was declared independent of Kashmir. In 1848 a sanad
was given to the Raja, assigning the territory to him and his heirs male,
who are entitled to inherit according to Hindu law, and on failure of
direct issue to the heirs of the brothers according to seniority. A sanad
of 1862 confers the right of adoption. Raja Gopal Singh abdicated in
1873, and was succeeded by Raja Sham Singh, who abdicated in 1904
in favour of the present Raja, Bhuri Singh, K.C.S.I., C.I.E., an enlight-
ened and capable ruler. The Raja is entitled to a salute of r r guns.
The principal antiquities are described in the articles on CHAMBA
Exclusive of Chamba town, the capital, the State contains 1,617
villages. The population at each of the last three enumerations was
(1881) 115,773, (1891) 124,032, and (1901) 127,834
Population. The State is divided into five wazdrats, each sub-
divided into several itdkas, with head-quarters at kothis in which the
revenue in kind is stored. Hindus number 119,327, or 93 per cent. of
the population; Muhammadans, 8,332 ;and Sikhs, 8o. Only 2z Buddh-
ists were returned, but there is reason to believe that some Buddhists
were enumerated as Hindus. The density of population is only 41
persons per square mile. The principal dialect is Chambiali, which
is understood throughout the State, the script being called Takra.
Punjabi, Urdu, and Hindi are also spoken. The population. includes
a few Rajputs, who form a kind of aristocracy. The Brahmans, who
are of all grades from Gaddis upwards, number 16,126. The Gaddis
and others who live at a distance from the capital are engaged in
agricultural and pastoral pursuits, but the purists of Chamba and its
environs disdain to till the soil themselves. The majority of.the popu-
lation are Rathis, a versatile tribe, which takes with equal readiness
Previous Page To Table of Contents Next Page

Back to Imperial Gazetteer of India | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Monday 18 February 2013 at 16:20 by
The URL of this page is: