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Raja Sansar Chand

Sansar Chand was a scion of the Katoch dynasty which had ruled Kangra for some centuries until they were ousted by the mughals in the early 1600's. In 1758, Sansar Chand's grandfather, Ghamand Chand, had been appointed governor of Jalandhar by Ahmed Shah Abdali. Building upon this background, Sansar Chand rallied an army, ousted the then ruler of Kangra, Saif Ali Khan, and regained possession of his patrimony. This happened in 1783, and Sansar Chand was aided by the Kanhaiya misl, one of several informal but well-armed Sikh militias that roamed the Punjab in that era.


During the campaign, Sansar Chand and his mercenary force overran other nearby principalities and compelled the submission of their rulers. He reigned over a relatively large part of present-day Himachal Pradesh for some two decades, but his ambitions brought him into conflict with the Gorkhas ruling the then nascent state of Nepal. The Gorkhas and the recently humbled hill-states allied to invade Kangra in 1806. Sansar Chand was defeated and left with no territory beyond the immediate vicinity of the fortress of Kangra, which he managed to retain with the help of a small Sikh force sent to his aid by Ranjit Singh.

In this despair, Sansar Chand treated with Ranjit Singh at Jawalamukhi in 1809. By that treaty, he surrendered his (now largely notional) state to Ranjit Singh, in return for a fief to be held under the suzerainty of the latter. Ranjit Singh duly established his rule over the land; Sansar Chand received in appenage the estate of Lambagraon. This estate, spread over an area of 324 sq.km., consisted of 20 villages, yielding a revenue of Rs. 40,000/- in 1947.

Later years

Sansar Chand retired to the estates thus conferred upon him by Ranjit Singh and devoted his remaining years to cultural pursuits. He died in 1823, and was succeeded in his estates and titles by his son Anirudh Chand. The estate, which came under British suzerainty in 1846, was held by the progeny of Anirudh Chand until 1947, when it acceded unto the Dominion of India.