Monday, November 23, 2015

136. Lords of hills: genealogy Meghs of Jammu

Lords of hills: genealogy
Meghs of Jammu
"--------..---It was at this time that one of the distant branches of the family settled inChumba and another about or at Teera-Kangra- - The first of these is called now the Chummiall Rajpoot, the second the Katochee family ; and other members of the house became the founders>^ different principalities at present known by divers names, such as Patancote, Mandote, Seeba, Samba, Jesro- ta, &c. while the two principal or head members* of the family wandered for some time in search of a proper and suitable place of rest for their families. Ultimately Kirpal Debu and his * brotker*Singram Dehu settled in the then thickly-wooded and almost uninhabited hills of Dhahman, and about the spot where the present fort of Bhow stands. This occurrence is put down at about 591 of the Hejira,.or three years after their return from the battle of Thanessur. These hills were then but a wild, mountainous, thickly-wooded tract, very thinly peopled by a few Meghs, a poor race of low caste, and by yet fewer of a Hindoo race called Tukkers. But these hills, though wild, still afforded good pasturage, which was enticement sufficient to ensure the annual visits of the northern and eastern Ghaddees, — herdsmen and shepherds who generally live in and about the snowy ranges, north of Chumba, Kistowar, &c. and who were then a bold, independent and wandering race, who for ages past had been in the habit of proceeding with their flocks and familiejto the southern and milder parts, and to pass the severity of winter grazing their numerous flocks of sheep, goats, <fec. in the hdls now described. A long continued animosity existed between the bold and hardy hill shepherds and their neighbours, the poor and helpless Meghs, and each year's visit only brought on a new succession of quarrels and»sometimes bloody affrays. The Ghaddees in their annual visits monopolized and partly destroyed the best pasture spots, and even sometimes encroached cn the small tillage fields of the Meghs, who, too weak openly
to resist, sought to aveiage themselves and their wrongs 'by *""7 - nightly thefts and attacks, in which they carried off the , wiy^es and children of their enemies, whom th*ey usually sold afterwards in the Punjaub, &c. But the wild herdsmen always with fury, bloodshed and desolation, ^venged these barbarities. Such was the state of the hills when these two brothers came 'among the Meghs, and chose the place near _ V Bhow for their future residence. This poor and hitherto un- - * protected race were soon brought to cocsider the Rajpoot set- — X tlement among them in the light ef a blessing, and as a token of the favour of Heaven ; and they willingly acknowledged their claim to the title of lords and masters. The Rajpoot com munity, including the families of botU brothers, numbered only about t\vent3r persons ; but still their very name seems to have become a terror to the Ghaddees, who were brought by the superior prowess and policy ef the Rajpoots to enter into certain agreements and conditions, and to respect the rights of the now protected Meghs. Thus in course of time all animosity between these tribes was partly lost and for gotten, until the Rajpoot race grew so strong and numerous that at last even the very Ghaddees were obliged for their own > security to acknowledge the superiority and power ef the new colony, whom they in a few years were constrained to look on in the light of their temporary masters. However about the i— - ' year of the" Hejira 602, or nine years after their arrival, these two brothers are said, for some uuknewu reason, but most likely for their mutual interest, Kggraia/JAzement, and power, to have separated. The elder, Kirpal Behu, remained at or near the present site of Bhow, where hfe' had erected some huts ' with thatched roofs ; while his younger brother erected a small habitation of the same kind en the opposite hill to the west, and just on the opposite bank of the small stream, -Called the
Thovee, which divides the two hills, on the site of the present Jummoo, the places being less than a mile apart. Thus were the seeds of* the present gTeat and promising Hill principality sown, and thus those two brothers and their descendants slowly but steadily\ecame Lords of the Hills and of those around them. The 58th in the line of succession of the Jummoo or Jumwall family was the son of Singram Dehu, the elder branch, or that of Kirpal Dehu, being called the Bhow family, of which mention will be made hereafter in its proper place, The sixty-third chief of the family was the great Mai Dehu, who was the eldest of nine sons of Jey Dehu, and lived about the year 1389 of Vikramadita, or, as is mentioned, 749 of the Hejira, and is supposed to have been contemporary with Timor or Timorlung, Timor the Lame. He was the first of the family who had ever in those parts aspired to the title of Rajah. For this purpose he is said tothave taken a large stone (of about half a ton weight, and to be seen at the present day) from the bed of the stream that flowed round the hill on which his hum ble habitation stood, and thence carried this immense weight in his arms, up the steep paths to his home, where at a suitable spot he laid it down. Then collecting thither all his kinsmen and relatives on his side of the Thovee (then supposed to be about 500 in number) he, in the presence of these and of the neighbouring Meghs, was unanimously declared Rajah, by his own brotherhood and the people of all the hill territory, from the Thovee, westward to the Chenaub, an extent of about fourteen or fifteen miles of a wild hill tract, and then very thinly inha bited. He was now formally installed, and the ceremony was enacted, while he proudly sat on the huge block of stone, which was thenceforward considered a most necessary point in the creation or installation of his successors. It was to the story of his having (by the will and favour of Heaven) carried
this great fragment of rock the distance he is said to have done, •that he owed his own title of Rajah.* Henceforward this Rajgoot colony was treated with greater respect by thfc country people around, while the Meghs and numerous other new comers and temporary inhabitants, Hindoos, who fytfl fled from the Moslem rule and emigrated from the Punjaub. hither— all now looked up to> the Rajpoot chief as their rightful lord, prince, and protector."    Pages 232 to 235
A history of reigning Family of Lahore,
THIRD BENGAL LIGHT CAVALRY; WITH NOTES ON y malcolm, prinsep, lawrence, steinbach, McGregor, and the Calcutta review.
Publication: CALCUTTA: W. TRACKER AND CO.— ST. ANDREWS LIBRARY. 1847 , pp 232-235

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