KASHMIR AND JAMMU
mutinous soldiers, and was succeeded by Shaikh Ghulàm Muhi-ud-din
in 1842. During his government the Bambas, under Sher Ahmad,
inflicted great losses on the Sikhs. In 1845 Imam-ud-din succeeded
his father as governor.
The history .of the State, as at present constituted, is practically the
history of one man, a Dogra Rajput, Gulàb Singh of Jammu. Lying
off the high roads of India, and away from the fertile plains of the
Punjab, the barren hills of the Dogrâs had not attracted the notice
of the Mughal invaders of India. Here lived a number of petty Rajàs,
and it appears that from very early times the little kingdom of Jammu
was locally of some importance. Towards the end of the eighteenth
century the power of the Jammu ruler had extended east as far as the
Ravi, and west to the Chenab ; but the power waned and waxed
according to the fortune's of petty and chronic warfare. To the east,
at Basoli and Kishtwar, were independent Ràjput chiefs, while to the
north-west were the Muhammadan rulers of Bhimbar and Râjaori;
descendants of Hindu ,Râjputs. These two states lay on the Mughal
route to Kashmir, and so came under the influence of Delhi. , Up the
Jhelum valley, the country was held by small independent Muham-
madan chiefs, whose title of Raja suggests their Hindu origin.
About the middle of the eighteenth century Raja Ranjit Deo was
the ruler of Jammu. He was a man of some mark, and his capital
flourished; but at his death about 1g8o, his three sons quarrelled.
The Sikhs were invoked, and Jammu was plundered. From Ranjit
Deo's death to 1846, the Dogra country became tributary to the Sikh
power. Gulab Singh, Dhyan Singh, and Suchet Singh were the great,
grandsons of Sürat Singh, youngest brother of Ranjit Deo. They were
soldiers of fortune, and as young men sought service at the court of
Panjit Singh of Lahore. They rapidly distinguished themselves; and
Gulab Singh, for his service in capturing the Raja of Râjaori, who
was fighting the Sikhs, was created Raja of Jammu in 182o. Dhyân
Singh obtained the principality of Pùnch, a hilly country between the
Jhelum and the Pir Panjal range, north of Râjaori ; while Suchet Singh.
received Ramnagar, west-by-north of Jammu.
Ranjit Singh had found that the control of the Dogra country was
a difficult task, and his policy of enlisting the services of able Dogrâs
was at once obvious and prudent. The country was disturbed, each
man plundered his neighbour, and Gulab Singh's energies were taxed
to the utmost in restoring order. He was a man of extraordinary
power, and very quickly asserted his authority. His methods were
often cruel and unscrupulous, but allowances must be made. He
believed, in object-lessons, and his penal system was at any rate
successful in ridding the country of crime: He kept a sharp eye- on.
his officials, and a close hand on his revenues. Rapidly absorbing the.