Hindustan Tibet Road- Road Where History Speaks & An Engineering Feat


Road where history speaks

The Hindustan-Tibet Road, also known to us as the National Highway 22, leads to Kinnaur and presents an idyllic picture of life above 12,000 feet. This one conjures up images of a rich past, a valley flanked by the Trans Himalayas and The Kinner Kailash range, a road along the river Sutlej, flowing in from Mansarovar Lake in Tibet in gusto through the narrow gorge. The people are as rugged as the land, and Buddhism prevails alongside Hinduism, a place dotted with Monasteries and Temples.

Historic Background of Old Hindustan Tibet Road

The British Governor General of India, Lord Dalhousie (1848-1856) ordered to commission the work of constructing Hindustan Tibet Road in June 1850. Lord Dalhousie wanted to create trade ties with Tibet and this is felt to be the real reason for initiating the road other than his monitoring access to far off regions under British control.  Then Commander-in-chief Sir Charles Napier has designed the map of road and immense machinery at the disposal of the East India Company was pressed into service and halfway down the nineteenth century, work on what was then styled as the Great Hindustan Tibet Road began. Beyond Shimla, to the Shipki La pass on the border, the route included a length of 228 miles through Shipki-la till Shipki village in Tibet. ‘Shipki La’ – The pass which the protagonists in ‘Seven years in Tibet’ crossed to get into India.
While the Dalhousie road brought the route into focus, the area had long been on one of the peripheral trade circuits of the legendary Silk Route. The path that passed the tract carried goods like musk, borax, wool, livestock, dry fruits, precious and semiprecious stones to and from Tibet, Kashmir, Ladakh and Yarkand. It was basically a mule track constructed and maintained by British. Local traders used to do border trade through other passes also which were Lukma-La (Gongma-La), Yamrang-la, Gumarang-la, Shimdang la, Raniso-la, Keobarang etc. People of Baspa and near-by area used to go to Tibet through Yamrang-la and Chor-Gad valley.

The Route of the Hindustan Tibet Road

This road has been featured in the History Channel as one of the most “Deadliest Road” in the world. Built in 19th century, the Hindustan-Tibet road, also known as the Silk route or the National Highway No. 22, begins from Ambala in Haryana, as an offshoot of NH.1.

It runs 40 Km through Punjab and is known as Ambala Chandigarh Expressway. From Chandigarh, it runs north towards Zirakpur and meets NH.64. Thereafter it goes to Panchkula- Pinjore- Kalka and then enters Himachal Pradesh at Parwanoo.

With the change in the terrain it becomes a mountainous road, full of hairpin bends and continues north-east up to Solan and then goes northwards to Shimla. It joins the NH 88, where it repeatedly criss-crosses and goes along the Kalka Shimla Rail track, which is an “UNESCO World Heritage Site”.


Then it heads north-east towards the Tibetan frontier from Shimla. About 569 km from Delhi, and 28 km from Sangla, the village Chitkul in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh is the last inhabited village on this road on the Indo-Tibet border.

The road reaches the border town Khab and then runs for a short distance through Namgial up to the Shipkila pass, and ultimately enters Tibet. Here the Indian side of the road ends at the Line of Actual Control.

Actually the road does not lead to the actual border. It closes about 90 km before the border and then rest of the road is under the control of ITBP, the Indian Paramilitary force guarding the frontiers.


The Kinnaur District

The major part of the Hindustan Tibet Road passes through Kinnaur valley. It goes along the bank of river Satluj and finally enters Tibet at Shipki La pass.

The headquarter of Kinnaur district is about 235 km from the state capital Shimla. It is surrounded by Tibet in the east and is the northeast corner of Himachal Pradesh, The valleys of the Satluj, Spiti and Baspa rivers along with their tributaries are enclosed in Kinnaur by three high mountains ranges in Kinnaur, namely, the Zanskar, the Himalayas and the Dhauladhar, The district was opened for the outside world in 1989.


Mythology rules

Kinnaur is a land seeped in mythology, nurtured and contained, no doubt, due to the inaccessibility of the region. Ancient Indian texts considered the mystical Kinners (people of Kinnaur) as supernatural beings, halfway between humans and gods. The Kinner Kailash range is purportedly the mythical winter abode of Lord Shiva. The Pandavas, too, chose Kinnaur to spend their last year of exile in. Visible from across Jangi, on the old Hindustan-Tibet Road, is a hamlet called Moorang, the name indicating a place where three water channels meet.

Remarkable for the strikingly beautiful mountains surrounding the village, as much for a distinct mud structure crowning a rocky hilltop in the foreground. Silhouetted against the sky and the snowy peaks, it is an antediluvian structure of indeterminate architectural style and age. The Pandava Fort is supposed to have been built by them during their stay here; it presently houses Ormig Devta, the reigning deity of the village.






Kumharsain – History Behind The Princly State

Kumarsain lies along a side-road that branches off from the Hindustan Tibet Road between Narkanda and the valley floor of the river Satluj.

Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh, kumarsain lies between the longitude 77.00″ and 78.19″ east and latitude 30.45″ and 31.44″ north, having its headquarters situated at Shimla. It is surrounded by Mandi and Kullu in the north, Kinnaur in the eas The elevation of the district ranges from 300 metres (984 ft) to 6,000 metres (19,685 ft).

Kumharsain was a State protected mountain group in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Simla to today. 3,310 233 km² and the population in 1881 and 1901 of 11.735 9.515 ‘s inhabitants spread over 254 towns or villages. The capital was Kumharsain 65 km to the West of Simla in 31 ° 19 N, 79 ° 30.7′ N, ECoord: 31 ° 19.77 ° 30 ° E (map). In 1881 the inhabitants around 9500 9400 were Hindus. Mountain station in Narkanda (Nag Kanda), favourite residence of inhabitants of Simla, 2795 meters, was in that State.
Hira Mehal
Hira Mehal Kumarasin
The State was founded in the 10th century and 11TH CENTURY. Ajmir Singh who ascended the throne at the beginning of the 18th century was the 49th rana. Was a feudatory State of Bashahr. In 1803 it was occupied by raja kahal Chand and Kehar Singh fled to Kulu. After the expulsion of the kahal Chand was recognized as independent by sanad on 7 February 1816, but at the same time he lost his own tax Bharauli and Madhan. Kehar Singh died without direct heirs in 1839 and the State went through the doctrine of lapse to the British. But in 1840 the British allowed the succession to a relative. The ruler Rana Hira Singh who ascended the throne on 12 November 1874, was considered little capacity and a Council of Regency was the Government for several years but without any positive results and then appointed a British Manager until the death of the sovereign on 24 August 1914. Revenues were £ 2500 in 1893 that 200 were paid as a tribute.

KUMHARSAIN (Princely State)

AREA:  218 km2 PRIVY PURSE:  15,500Rs  ACCESSION:  15th April 1948
STATE:  Himachal Pradesh DYNASTY: Surajvanshi Rajput RELIGION:  Hindu
CAPITAL: Kumharsain POPULATION:  11,735 (1901)  REVENUE:  25,000Rs 

Present Ruler/Head/Tikai/Thakur :-

Rana SURENDRA SINGH, 59th Rana of Kumharsain since 1996. Married Rani Sita Devi, daughter of Kanwar Shyam Singh of Sangri, and his first wife, Kanwarani Padam Prabha, and has issue.

  • Tikka Kamalendra Singh
  • Kunwar Vimalendra Singh
Hira mehal Kumarsain
Hira mehal Kumarsain


Founded by Kirat Singh around 1000AD. Formerly a feudatory of Bashahr, the state was declared independent after the expulsion of the Gurkhas in 1815, by a sanad dated February 1816, but at the same time it lost its own tributary states of Bharauli and Madhan. The Rana maintains a military force of 45 infantry and 1 gun (as of 1892).

Predecessors and Genealogy Tree

Rana AJMIR SINGH, 49th Rana of Kumharsain -/1725, married and had issue.

Rana Anup Singh (qv)

Rana ANUP SINGH, 50th Rana of Kumharsain 1725/1755, married and had issue. He died 1755.

  • Rana Dalip Singh (qv)
  • Kumari (name unknown), married Raja Ram Singh of Bashahr.
  • Mian Ram Singh, Wazir of Kumharsain, married and had issue.
    • Rana Pritam Singh (qv)
  • Kumari (name unknown), married Raja Devi Chand, Raja of Bilaspur.
  • Mian Surat Singh
  • Rana DALIP SINGH, 51st Rana of Kumharsain 1755/1789, married and had issue.
  • Rana Govardhan Singh (qv)
  • Rana Kehar Singh (qv)
  • Rana GOVARDHAN SINGH, 52nd Rana of Kumharsain 1789/1803, died sp in 1803. GURKHA OCCUPATION 1803/1815

Rana KEHAR SINGH, 53rd Rana of Kumharsain 1803/1839, he took refuge in Kullu during the Gurkha occupation, the state lapsed to the British authorities on his death without surviving issue. He died sp in 1839.

INTERREGNUM 1839/1840, in consideration of the late Rana’s early attachment to British interests during the Gurkha war, the Government confirmed the State to a collateral heir of the family.

  • Rana PRITAM SINGH, 54th Rana of Kumharsain 1840/1858, married and had issue. He died 1858.
  • Rana Bhawani Singh (qv)
  • Kumari (name unknown), married Rana Ram Saran Singh of Kotkhai, and had issue.
  • Kumari (name unknown), married Rana Ram Saran Singh of Kotkhai, and had issue.
  • Kumari (name unknown), married Raja Shamsher Singh of Bashahr.
  • Rana BHAWANI SINGH, 55th Rana of Kumharsain 1858/1874, married and had issue. He died 1874.
  • Rana Hira Singh (qv)
  • Kanwar Indar Singh, born 1872, married Kanwarani Janki Devi of Delath, and had issue.
Hira Mehal
Hira Mehal

Kanwar Baldev Singh, married Kanwarani Hemawati Kanwar, daughter of Kanwar Mahendra Singh of Suket, and had issue.

  • Rana Surendra Singh (qv)
  • Kumari Ramarani Kumari, married Col. Kanwar Devinder Singh of Reh, and has issue (see Nurpur).
  • Kumari Mahamaya Kumari, married Kanwar Prakritibhushan Singh of Balsan, and has issue.
  • Kumari Sharda Devi, married Capt. Kanwar Romesh Katoch, son of Kanwar Raghunath Chand Katoch, and his wife, Kanwarani Sansar Dei of Jalari in Nadaun, and has issue.
  • Kumari Richa Katoch, married Kanwar Arun Singh of Koti.
  • ·  Kumari (name unknown), married HH Raja Amar Chand Sahib Bahadur of Bilaspur.
  • ·  Kumari (name unknown), married HH Raja Amar Chand Sahib Bahadur of Bilaspur.
  • Rana HIRA SINGH, 56th Rana of Kumharsain 1874/1914, born 1851, he succeeded to the gadi on 12th November 1874 (), he was of unsound mind and the state was controlled by the Council of Regency 1874/1896, married and had issue. He died 24th August 1914.
  • Tikka Bedar Singh, died vpsp in 1913.
  • Rana Vidyadhar Singh (qv)
  • Rana VIDYADHAR SINGH, 57th Rana of Kumharsain 1914/1945 , born 1895 and succeeded to the gadi on 24th August 1914, educated at Aitchison College, Lahore; married 1stly, 1913, a daughter of Rana Durga Singh of Bhajji, married 2ndly, 1st February 1918, Rani Pratibha Devi, daughter of Raja Dhayan Singh of Baghal, married 3rdly, 1929, a daughter of Mian Partab Singh of Baghal, died in 1936, and had issue. He died 1945.
  • Rana SUMESHAWAR SINGH, 58th Rana of Kumharsain 1945/1996, born 1930, married Rani Ishwari Rajya Lakshmi Devi, daughter of Gen. Shri Sur Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal, and his wife, a daughter of HH Maharaja Dhiraj Prithvi Bir Bikram of Nepal, and had issue. He died 1996.
  • Rana SURENDRA SINGH, 59th Rana of Kumharsain
  • Rana Sumeshwar Singh (by third wife)(qv)
  • Rajkumari Shahshi Kumari (by third wife), married (as his first wife), Shri Jagdish Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana of Nepal, and had issue.
  • Rajkumari Pratima Kumari
  • Rajkumari Rajeshwari Kumari

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Malana Village – Little Greece in Himachal Pradesh

Introduction to Malana Village

Malana valley is located in Himachal Pradesh. It is situated closely to the Jari village of Kullu which takes about a duration of six hours to reach Malana from there. Malana for its beauty is also known as the ‘Little Greece in Himachal Pradesh’. It is completely because of the point that the individuals of Malana declare that they have got the Ancient source in their blood.

Image by Scoopwhoop

Malana is an historical town to the north-east of Kullu Area. This individual town in the Malana Nala, a part valley of the Parvati Area, is separated from the community. The grand mountains of Chandrakhani and Deotibba darkness the town. It is located on a distant stage by the part of heavy Malana stream at a size of 3029 m above the sea stage. Unchanged by the contemporary civilisation, Malana has its own way of life and public framework. Individuals are demanding in following their traditions. Malana has been the topic of various documentaries such as, Malana Globalization of a Himalayan Village, Malana & Malana Missing Identification. The current speakers of the autochthones terminology Kanashi, the conventional terminology of the inhabitants of Malana are roughly 1700. According to the 1961 age, terminology speakers were 563. These days the inhabitants of Malana are at least three periods as huge as 40 decades ago.

The govt of Malana is independent. They choose their own staff. They nominate their own Chief executive and Excellent Reverend. One of the attribute of Malana is that the men and ladies get married to several periods here. The residents believe that Alexander the Excellent took his way through Malana during his trip of cure. According to the tradition of Himachal Pradesh, Malana is considered to be the most well-known current democracy around the globe.

Malana also known as the village of Taboos
Malana also known as the village of Taboos

The homes of Malana are created out of wooden that has been delicately rounded. This wonderful area of Malana is under the huge veil of alpines and outrageous hilly plants and herbal remedies. The position is an perfect for experience going and has been quenching the desire of the sport hunters for lengthy decades. The individuals have a easy way of existing. They have got their own terminology that is just like Lahaoli terminology. The vision of the hill varies from Malana are incredibly exciting and a food for the sight. But this position has not designed that much as a vacationer identify until now.

History of Malana Village

Temple of Jamlu Devta

Malana is a town in the Kullu section of Himachal Pradesh, which has its exclusive identification. The town is located at cooling size of 12000 toes on the Chandrakhani hill. The lifestyle, guiding guidelines, custom of this town is very different from the regional population of Kullu. The individuals here are considered to be the successors of Alexander. The whole town is under the guideline and security of individual deity, Jamlu Devta. Since age groups individuals have been operating and paying attention to the guidelines of Jamlu Devta. There is no disturbance of strangers, Native indian law, Native indian cops or any other main or condition guiding system in the issues of this town. All the issues are resolved upon the approval of the authorities hired in this town and every choice is taken according to Jamlu Devta’s will.

Dressing Style of Malana Ladies

The primary profession of the individuals here is gardening and gardening. The whole area here is in the name of the regional deity, Jamlu Devta. People work on the areas and at the time growing, they always provide some discuss of the to Jamlu Devta. This aspect of foods is saved and used in periods of traditions and other gatherings associated with Jamlu Devta. Since the town is at a very good size, celery also develop here. Malana town is worldwide popular for fresh mushrooms. All these are the primary resources of earnings of this town. People this town have to get married to within the town and cannot get married to outside.

Who is Jamlu Devta

Jamlu Devta is generally a regional name given to Rishi Jamdagani of Tretayug who came in this aspect of Kullu area for relaxation. He was the father of the most furious sage Shri Parshuram. Renuka was the partner of Jamdagani Rishi which these days prevails as Renuka Pond in Sirmour . Jamdagani Rishi was one of the most well known e of that era. He was the only Rishi who was blessed the Kamdhenu Cow, a cow with unnatural energy to generate any meals for any variety of individuals.

Malana Village

There is no particular idol of Rishi Jamdagani, that is worshipped. Individuals praise sculpture of horse in the name of Jamdagani. Equine is considered as the indication of Rishi Jamdagani . Individuals viewing this town provides designs of horse created out of gold to the deity. The everyday living of Jamdagani Rishi is known to be at very few locations. One is in this Malana town and another is in the Ani tehsil of Kullu section. There is a little forehead of Jamdagani Rishi in the Village Zehra, Ani Tehsil of Kullu. Jamdagani Rishi is considered to are available there too.

The Upper house, Jayeshthang Malana Village – Kullu

GUR- Jamlu Devta

The upper house, Jayeshthang consists of three permanent members and eight temporary members (total eleven members). The three permanent members are Karmishth, Pujari and Gur. Karmishth is the executive and administrative head of the entire village. Pujari is the main worshipper associated with Jamlu Devta. He has to participate and perform all the rituals and religious ceremonies related to Jamlu Devta and in the village. Gur, is one of the most important members of the upper house. He is the person, in which Jamlu Devta actually comes to give his verdicts, to tell the policies and to make various important prophecies related to the betterment of village. Gur is chosen by Jamlu Devta himself. Gur has to devote his entire life for the service of Jamlu Devta. The temporay eight members of the upper house are chosen from the four wards called Chug. Each Chug has two parts, each of which is known as Chhuddi.Four wards are,Thamyani, Nagvani, Durani and Palchani respectively. Two eldest members of each ward (one from each Chhuddi) are chosen to form the eight temporary members of the upper house.

Culture of Malana

After the death of Gur, the next Gur is selected by Jamlu Devta himself. That particular person starts getting dreams or Jamlu Devta himself in his body. After certain rituals, the new Gur is then officially declared. However, the eight temporary members are elected among the most mature members of each of the four wards. After the death of any of the members similar procedure is followed.

Kanishthang Lower House of Malana Village – Kullu

The lower house, Kanishthang, consists of one eldest member from each of the family of the village. Mostly, the head of the family is chosen as the member. In case, there is no male head in the family, the eldest lady is chosen as the member. Every decision in the village requires the consent of the lower house. Once a particular issue has been forwarded by positive consent of both the houses only then the decision is finalized. In case of conflict between the two houses, the issue is left in the hands of Jamlu Devta himself. Thus Jamlu Devta acts as the land of last resort in case of conflicting matters of the village. Jamlu Devta put forth his decision by speaking through the body of Gur. The decision of Jamlu Devta is final and mandatory for all the villagers to follow.