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Malwa Railway, Population {1901), 832. It stands on the Narbada
river and is a well-known Hindu place of pilgrimage, as it contains one
of the twelve celebrated Ungams of Siva. The village of Mandhata is
built partly upon the south bank of the Narbada and partly upon an
island in the river, and is exceedingly picturesque with rows of houses,
temples, and shops, and the Rao's palace conspicuous above the rest,
standing on terraces scarped out of the sides of a hill on the island.
Between the island and the southern bank the Narbada forms a deep
pool, which is full of large tame fish. Upon the summit of the hill are
signs of a once flourishing settlement, in the shape of ruined fortilica-
tions and temples. The most interesting is the temple of Siddhanath.
It stands on a raised platform, whose plinth is supported by elephants
in various positions. The temple of Onkar on the island is a com-
paratively modern structure, but the great columns supporting it have
been taken from some older building. On the north bank of the river
are some Vaishnava and Jain temples. The Rao of Mandhata, the
hereditary custodian of all the modern temples, is a Bhilala, claiming
descent from a Chauhan Rajput who is said to have taken Mandhata
from a Bhil chief in 1165. A large fair is held annually in October,
at which in former times devotees of Bhairon threw themselves from
the cliffs and were dashed to pieces on the rocks in the river. The
last sacrifice of this kind was witnessed by a British officer in 1824.
It is the practice at the fair to present horses as offerings at the shrine
of Siva ; and as the frugal worshippers are inclined to consider that any
horse will pass muster for an offering as long as it is alive, it has come
to be a proverb, when describing an absolutely worthless horse, to say
that it is good enough to be offered at the shrine of Mandhata.

Mandi State. — Native State in the Punjab, under the political
control of the Commissioner, Jullundur Division, lying between 31° 2;;^'
and -^2° \' N. and 76^ 40' and 77° 22' E., in the upper reaches of the
Beas. It is bordered on the north by Chhota Bangahal ; on the east
by the Nargu range, which divides it from the Kulu valley, and by
the Beas, Tirthan, and Bisna streams : on the south it adjoins Suket,
and on the west Kangra District. It is 54 miles long and 2)Z broad,
with an area (^f 1,200 square miles of mountainous country. The
Beas enters at the middle of its eastern border, and

Phvsic3l ... -

aspects leaves it near the north-west corner, thus dividing it

into two parts, of which the northern is the smaller.

This is trisected by two parallel ranges, of which the higher and

eastern, the (ihoghar-ki Dhar, is continued south of the Beas and

extends into the south-west of the State. The south-eastern corner,


ihe Mandi Saraj, t)r ' hiyhlaiid,' is formed by die wcstcin uiid of llic
Jalauri range.

The State lies partly on rcxks belonging to the central Himalayan
/one, of unknown age, and partly on Tertiary shales and sandstones.
The rocks of the central zone consist of slates, conglomerates, and
limestones, which have been referred to the infra-Blaini and Klaini
and Krol groups of the Simla area. The sandstones and shales of
the sub-Himalayan zone belong to the Sirmur series, of Lower Tertiary
age, and to the Siwalik series (Upper Tertiary). The most important
mineral is rock-salt, which appears to be connected with the Tertiary
beds '.

AVild flowers — such as the anemone, dog-violet, and pimpernel — grow
abundantly in the hills in March and April, The best timber trees are
the deodar^ blue pine, chll {Finns longifolia), spruce, silver fir, and box.
The forests abound in game, leopards, bears (especially black), hyenas,
barking-deer, gitra/, and musk deer being common. Feathered game
are also abundant, and fish in the larger streams.

The autumn months are unhealthy, except in the upper ranges, the
lower valley being malarious. The temperature is generally cool even
in summer, except at Mandl, the capital, which is shut in by hills, and
in the west of the State, which is only about 2,000 feet above sea-level.
The rainfall in the upper ranges cjf the Nargu and Ghoghar-ki-Dhar
hills is heav}'.

Mandi formed part of Suket Stale until in the reign of Sahu Sen,
the eleventh of the Chandarbansi Rajas of that kingdom, Bahu Sen,
his younger brother, left Suket and settled at Mang-
laur in Kulu. His descendant, Karanchan, was
killed in a battle fought with the Raja of Kulu, and his Rani, who
was pregnant, fled to her father's house at Seokot. On the way a son
was born to her under an oak-tree {bdti), who succeeded the Rana of
Seokot under the title of Ban Sen. Ban Sen enlarged his possessions
and transferred his capital to Bhin, 4 miles above Mandi town ; and his
son, Kalyan Sen, purchased Batauhli opposite Mandi on the other side
of the Beas. Little is known of their successors until the time of
Ajbar Sen, who founded the town of Mandi in 1527. The ambition
of a later chief, Suraj Sen, brought disaster upon the principality.
Having attacked Bangahal, he was defeated by Man Singh, the Raja's
brother-in-law, lost the salt-mines of Guma and Drang, and was
compelled to sue for peace and pay a war indemnity ; yet he built the
strong fort of Kamla in 1625 and the Damdama palace at Mandi. All
his eighteen sons having died in his lifetime, he had an image made of
silver which he called Madhava Rao, and to it he bequeathed his

^ Medlicott. ' Tlic Siib-Himalnyan Range between tlic Ganges and Ravi,' I\Ic)iioirs,
(Jeolo^ical Survey of India, vol. iii, pt. ii.


kingdom in 164S. He was succeeded in 1658 by his brother Shyani
Sangh, who built the temple of Shyanii Kali on the 'Jama ridge in
Mandi town. His successor, Gur Sen, brought the famous image
preserved in the Padal temple from Jagannath : and his illegitimate son,
Jippu, reorganized the re\enue of the State on a system still in force.
Raja Sidh Sen, who succeeded in 1686, a great warrior supposed to be
possessed of miraculous powers, conquered Nachan, Hatll, and Daled
in 1688, and Dhanesgarh, Raipur. and Madho[)ur from .Suket in 1690 :
but he treacherously murdered Pirthi Pal, the Raja of Bangahal, at
Mandi. He adorned his capital with a temple of Gani)ati, and also
built the Shivapuri temple at Hatgarh in 1705. It is said that Guru
Gobind Singh was hosi)itably entertained by him at Mandi, an occasion
on which the (iuru blessed him. Sidh Sen is recorded to have died at
the age of 100 in 1729. His grandson and successor, Shamsher Singh,
conquered Chuborai, Ramgarh, Deogarh, Hast[)ur, and SarnI from
Kulu. His son, Isri Sen, succeeded when only five years old : and
Sansar Chand, the Katoch Raja of Kangra, seized the opportunity to
invade Mandi. He took Hatli and Chohar, which he made over to
Suket and Kulu respectively, and Anant])ur, which he retained. IsrI
Sen was kept a prisoner in Kangra fort, and his ministers paid tribute
to the conqueror. In 1805 Sansar Chand attacked Rahlur, and its
Raja invoked the aid of the Gurkhas, who had already overrun the
country from the Gogra to the Sutlej. 'J'he allies defeated the Katoch
Raja at Mahal Mori in 1806; and Isri vSen, released from captivity,
paid homage to the (jurkha Amar Singh and was restored to his
kingdom. But in 1809 the Sikhs, under Ranjit Singh, drove the
Gurkhas back across the Sutlej, and in 18 10 Desa Singh Majithia was
appointed nazivi of all the Hill States including Mandi. Its tribute,
at first Rs. 30,000, was raised to a lakh in 1815, reduced again to
Rs. 50,000 a year or two later, and fixed at Rs. 75,000, in addition to
a succession fine of one lakh, on the accession of Zalim Sen in 1826.
On the death of Ranjii Singh in 1839, the Sikh government determined
lo ccjmplete the reduction of Mandi, as a stepping-stone to the projected
conquest of Chinese lartary. In 1840 General Ventura occupied
Mandi, and Kamlagarh capitulated after a siege of two months. The
Raja, Balblr Singh, was sent a prisoner to Amritsar, but was released
in 1841 by Maharaja Sher Singh and returned to Mandi. The
oppression of the Sikhs drove him into negotiations with the British ;
and after the battle of Sobraon his proffered allegiance was accepted,
and the relations between the Raja and the paramount power were
defined in a saiiad daled October 24, 1846. By that date the Sikh
garrisons had already been expelled by the unaided efforts of the
Raja and his subjects. 13albir Singh died in 1851, and was succeeded
by his f

Online LibraryGreat Britain. India OfficeImperial gazetteer of India .. (Volume 17) → online text (page 19 of 51)