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Last Updated On: 29/01/2015  

Pre Independence : The erstwhile ruling family of Bilaspur claims its descent from Chanderwanshi  Rajputs who reigned at Chanderi in the Bundelkhad region of Madhya Pradesh.  The place now forms part of Guna district.  It is said that the seventh ruler of Chanderi Kingdo m Harihar Chand had a dream of Goddess Jawalamukhi. Thereafter, he decided to seek his fortune in a shrine.   As a result of this, he handed over the kingdom to his youngest son Govind and then proceeded towards Jawalamukhi along with his remaining four sons and established themselves at Jindbari where they constructed a fort and settled there for some time before proceeding to Jawalamukhi.  They paid a visit to Nadaun the then capital of Kangra.  The Raja of Kangra arranged a tent pegging contest and promised his  daughter to the men who succeeds in taking a certain peg.  In reality this peg was the trunk of a tree, entered the fray.  Sabir Chand lost the  control of his horse and was killed and the deception practiced by the Kangra Raja was discovered.  Thereafter the battle ensued and the Kangra forces were defeated.  Kangra Tikka and the Chanderi King Hari Chand were both among the slain.

         The remaining three Chanderi princes retired to the Jawalamukhi shrine.   The reigning Goddess appeared and promised each of them a kingdom.  In the fulfillment of her prophecy one of the three princes was adopted by the Raja of Kumaon and other prince  Gambhir Chand took possession of Chamba and the eldest son Bir Chand got Jindbari at present in tehsil Anandpur Sahib in Rupnagar district of Punjab.  It was Bir Chand who constructed the Naina Devi temple.  He extended the Jurisdiction of his kingdom Kahlur during his 33 years of rule and subjugated about 15 neighboring princely states.  His ambition of extending jurisdiction was ultimately halted by the Raja of Sirmaur with whom he concluded treaty of peace.  Thus, he carved out a kingdom of Kahlur for himself.  Bir Chand was followed by a number of his successors and last of them was Kahan Chand who conquered the Hindur state (Nalagarh) and gave it to his second son Surjeet Chand from whom the present ruling family of Nalagarh descends.

The Capital of ruling dynasty continued to be located at Kotkahlur till 1600 A.D. when the heir apparent Bir Chand fled to Sunhani across the river Satluj along with mother where he settled.  His father,the then ruler, Gyan Chand embraced Islam at the behest of Mughal ruler at Sirhand who was so impressed with his fine appearance that he gave his own daughter in marriage.   He returned to Kotkahlur after conversion.   After the death of Raja Gayn Chand, Bir Chand returned to Kotkaklur and got himself installed as the King.  He kept his capital at Sunhani on the right side of river Satluj.   In 1650 A.D. when Deep Chand of the same dynasty succeeded as Raja of Kahlur state, he decided to shift his capital as he developed strong disliking for the place.  It is generally said that accompanied by 2 Hindus and 2 Mohammdan faquirs he sought new site for the capital and finally settled at a place on the left bank of Satluj river traditionally called “Beas gufa” after the name of Rishi Vyas.  He built a palace called ‘Dholar’ over looking the river and founded a town on the river bank which was named after Beas gufa and was later on called Bilaspur.  Since then the capital of Bilaspur continued to be at Bilaspur though the original town which was established by the Chandel dynasty was submerged in the ’Govind Sagar’ on 1st July, 1954.  A new township above the old one has come up at an elevation of 673 metres above sea level.




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