Previous Page [Digital South Asia Library] Next Page

Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 11, p. 212.


Graphics file for this page
DEHRA' DUN`'pisrRICT
bound up with the two great epics of the R&ir~. '~-
arad D bharata. Hither came Rama -arid' his' brother, to do
once for tht;, death of the demon-king, Ravuna; and here. sojourned
~S ve l a brethren on their way to the inner ..recesses of the
e, *~ erd they finally immolated themselves upon the sacred
Qanth. ; Another, memorable legend :connects, the origin
-af the little. river 5uswa with the, prayers of 6o,ooo pigmy kahmans,
'Whom Indra, the rain-god, had laughed to scorn when he saw ,them:
-vaiply endeavouring to cross the vast lake formed. by a cow's footprint
filled with-water. The indignant pigmies set to work, by means ,of
,penance and mortifications, to create a second- Indra who should super-
sede the reigning_ god; and when their sweat had collected into -the
existing river, the irreverent deity, alarmed at the surprising effect of
their devotions, appeased their wrath through the good offices of
Brahma. Traditions of a snake, Bamun, who became lord of the
Dun on the summit of the Nagsidh Hill, seem to point towards a period
of : Naga supremacy. The famous Kalsi stone, near Haripur, on the
:fight. bank of the Jumna, inscribed with an edict of the Buddhist
emperor Asoka, may mark the ancient frontier of Northern India.
It consists -of -a large quartz boulder, standing on a ledge which over-
hangs the river, and is covered with the figure of an elephant; besides
an inscription in the ordinary characters of the period. Hiuen Tsiang .
does not mention any cities which can be identified as lying within the
present District; and tradition asserts that it remained without inhabi-
tants until the eleventh century, when a passing caravan of Banjaras,
struck with the beauty of the country, permanently settled on the spot.
Authentic history, however, knows nothing of Dehra Dun till the
seventeenth century, when it formed a portion of the Garhwal kingdom.
The town of Dehra owes its- origin to the heretical Sikh Guru, Ram
Rai, a. Hindu anti-pope, who was driven from the Punjab and the
Sikh apostolate by doubts as to the legitimacy of his birth, and obtained
recommendations from the emperor Aurangzeb to the. Raja of Garhwal,
Fateh Sah. His presence in the Dawn shortly attracted numerous devo-
tees,and the village of Gurudwara or Debra grew up around his abode.
The Raja endowed, his temple, a curious building of Muhammadan
architecture, with the revenue of three estates. The Guru possessed
the miraculous power of dying at will, and returning to life after a
concerted interval; but on one occasion, having mistaken his reckon-
ing, he did not revive. The bed on which he died still forms an object
of reverence to the devout worshippers at his cenotaph. Monuments
of earlier-date, erected by one Ran! Karnavati, still exist at Nawada.
Fateh Sah died soon after the arrival of Ram Rai, and was succeeded
(x699) by his infant grands6n,`PratAp Sah, whose reign extended over
the greater part of a century.. But the flourishing condition of his
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 22:20 by dsal@uchicago.edu
The URL of this page is: https://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference/gazetteer/text.html