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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 15, p. 95.


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HISTORY
95
power and possessions of the feudal chiefs around him, after ten years
of laborious and consistent effort he and his two brothers became
masters of nearly all the country between Kashmir and the Punjab,
save Rajaori. Bhadarwah fell easily into the hands of Gulab Singh
after a slight resistance. In Kishtwar, the minister, Wazir Lakhpat,
quarrelled with the Raja and sought the assistance of Gulab Singh,
who at once moved up with a force, and the Raja surrendered his
country without fighting.
His easy successes in Kishtwar, which commanded two of the roads
into Ladakh, probably suggested the ambitious idea of the conquest
of that unknown land. The difficulties of access offered by mountains
and glaciers were enormous; but the brave Dogras under Gulab
Singh's officer, Zorawar Singh, never hesitated, and in two campaigns
the whole of Ladakh passed into the hands of the Jammu State. It is
interesting to notice that the Dogras did not pillage the rich monastery
of Himis, which saved itself by allowing the army in ignorance of
its locality to pass the gorge leading to the Himis valley, and then
sending a deputation with an offer of free rations while in Ladakh
territory. The agreement made was respected by both parties.
A few years later, in 1840, Zorawar Singh invaded Baltistan, captured
the Raja of Skardu, who had sided with the Ladakhis, and annexed
his country. The following year (1841) Zorawar Singh while invading
. Tibet was overtaken by winter, and, being attacked when his troops
were disabled by cold, perished with nearly all his army. Whether
it was policy or whether it was accident, by r84o Gulab Singh had
encircled Kashmir.
In the winter of 1845 war broke out between the British and the
Sikhs. Gulab Singh contrived to hold himself aloof till the battle of
Sobraon (x846), when he appeared as a useful mediator and the
trusted adviser of Sir Henry Lawrence. Two treaties were concluded.
By the first the State of Lahore handed over to the British, as equiva-
lent for one crore of indemnity, the hill countries between the rivers
Beas and the Indus; by the second the British made over to Gulab
Singh for 75 lakhs all the hilly or mountainous country situated to the
east of the Indus and west of the Ravi. Kashmir did not, however,
come into .the Maharaja's hands without fighting. Imam-ud-din, the
Sikh governor, aided by the restless Bambas from the Jhelum valley,
routed Gulab Singh's troops on the outskirts of Srinagar, killing Wazir
Lakhpat. Owing, however, to the mediation of Sir Henry Lawrence,
Imam-ud-din desisted from opposition and Kashmir passed without
further disturbances to the new ruler. At Astor and Gilgit the Dogra
troops relieved the Sikhs, Nathu Shah, the Sikh commander, taking
service under Gulab Singh. Not long afterwards the Hunza: Raja,
attacked Gilgit territory. Nathu Shah retorted by leading a force to
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