Jubbal, a picturesque valley (and its equally picturesque sprawling palace) is one of the prosperous areas of present-day Himachal Pradesh being an apple pocket. A small beautiful hill town, it is famous for its apple orchards and the Jubbal Palace. Two eyes are not enough to see the beauty of this place! Aristocratic in its entirety and exquisitely beautiful like only a Princely State can be, Jubbal stands testimony to all that is royal with its mesmerizing sceneries and exotic vistas.
The present palace is an impressive structure. The main entrance to the palace is through a massive wooden door, about 18 ft. high and 7 ft. wide. It is covered with copper and studded with coins — a practice much prevalent in the Pradesh. Old furniture and other artifacts and a rich library with a choice collection of Sanskrit and Persian books are some of its other attractions besides the beauty of the palace.
Built partly in Chinese design with a combination of masonry walls and wooden galleries, the Imperial Gazetteer of India describes the palace thus”The Rana’s residence is built in partially Chinese Style, the lower portion consisting of masonry, while the upper half is ringed round with wooden galleries capped by overhanging eaves. The Palace is remarkable for the enormous masses of deodar timber used in its construction”.
The Jubbal Royal Family belong to the Rathore clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs who were renowned for their chivalry and bravery and can trace their origins upto two thousand years. Raja Bhagat Chand, K.C.S.I., one of the most enlightened rulers amongst the Simla Hill States, represented the Simla Hill States in the Council of Princes from 1921-1924. He was made a C.S.I. (Companion of the Star of India) in 1928 and a K.C.S.I. ( Knight Commander of the Star of India) in 1936 for meritorious services.
Jubbal State had an area of 288 square miles and was famous for its dense forests of ‘deodar’ trees. Today, Jubbal is reputed for its apple orchards which provide its residents their main source of income. The town of Jubbal is about 100 kilometres from Simla. Jubbal has also given the state of Himachal Pradesh a Chief Minister. He was the late Mr.Ram Lal who was the Chief Minister from 1975 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1982. Later, he became the Governor of the state of Andhra Pradesh from 1982 to 1984.
The history of Jubbal State goes back to 12th century. Among the 18 thakuries located in the valleys of Sutlej, Pabbar and Giri this thakurrai was of considerable importance. Rulers of Jubbal belong to the Rathore clan. During 12th century The ugar chand The Raja of Sirmoor State, had a summer palace in Soonpur, The modern Hatkoti, which is overlooked by the plateau of Sonnpur, on the right bank of the pabbar river. While he was having pleasant company with his family he had to go back to Sirmaur leaving royal family behind. Due to heavy rainfall river giri got flooded and capital of the state was swept away and the royal family lost its ancestral possessions the Sirmur State forever to a prince of Jaisalmer.
The princely state of Jubbal was founded in 1800. It was occupied by Nepal from 1803 to 1815 and by the British from 1832 to 1840. The rulers who belonged to the Rathore clan took the title of Rana. The last ruler Rana Baghat Chandra took the title of Raja in 1918.