Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Janhavi Exploration III- The Chor Gad- Baspa Traverse (Part 1/3)

The Saga of 'Chunsa Khaga'

(This expedition won the IMF Award for "Outstanding Exploratory Civilian Expedition" in 2014) 

Casting a distant gaze towards the head of the valley and biting on a piece of 'pakora' he said,
(The Chunsa Khaga- the right saddle @ head of Bushaheri Nala)

कैंप  है  आगे;  बुशहरी नाला  के पास ”- he was answering my query about his intended destination.

The youthful spirit and the weather-beaten skin was a perfect contrast upon Tilak Raj, who had become our neighbor for the evening, quite by accident. His flock of about 300 sheep was unwilling to cross the engorged stream and the poor chap had been forced to bivouac for the night near our camp.

We were having an eager conversation with this new neighbor, huddled around a small fire even as the sun went down over the ridges of the Demoche Dhar-  the ridge bounding the western limits of The Chor Gad valley.

Tilak Raj seemed to be relishing the freshly fried pakoras as he chatted on.

क्या नाम बताया ?” I asked
बुशहरी नाला  he repeated वहीँ रुकेंगे एक महीना अभी।  फिर आगे जायेंगे  last कैंप तक he went on.
(Tilak Raj from Kangda- Himachal.
Has grazing rights of Upper Chor Gad valley)

The feeling of joy perhaps did not surface on my face. This was the final validation of our intense research. We seemed to be well on our way to re-tread on the ancient connect between Bushaher and Nelang; The Chunsa Khaga, a trail and a passage forgotten for well over two centuries.

The shepherd had just mentioned the local name for the watercourse along which lay our pre-plotted GPS track. There must be a historical reason why the shepherds associated that tributary stream in the Chor Gad valley with “Bushaher” – the largest and wealthiest Kingdom in Himachal Pradesh in the pre-colonial and post-Mughal era.

Our terrain research on Google Earth had been correct. The double depression on the bounding ridgeline of that tributary glacier of Chor Gad was indeed the ancient connect between Bushaher and the Nelang Valleys!

“हो कहाँ से भाई? गाओं कहाँ पे? ”
“कांगड़ा - हिमाचल” he said nonchalantly as if Kangda was next door
“हिमाचल से यहाँ??!!”
“कई पीढ़ियों से जी आ रहे हैं चराने यहाँ हम तो.. शायद दस पंद्रह पीढ़ी? अब ठीक से कह नहीं सकते।. ”

I made a quick calculation; 15 generations would mean approximately 300 years!, roughly the time when the Bushaher State had expanded its frontiers and making a roadmap for prosperity by signing up trade treaties with the neighbouring kingdoms. 

This was the time when the map of the kingdom got redefined, putting the Yamuna valley as well as the western most valley of Janhavi within its jurisdiction and claiming suzerainty over the Nelang Pass (Tsang Chok La) thus securing an additional trade route to Tibet for Kinnauris! The Chunsa Khaga would have fitted perfectly into the scene to facilitate the necessary administrative control.

Early Mention and Etymology of “Chunsa Khaga”

(Gerard in 'Account of Koonawar'-1815)

“Chunsa Khago” – wrote Alexander Gerard in his famous narrative on Kinnaur during his visit there as early as 1820. 

In a two-page description, his narrative captured the oral history and legend around the pass. He mentioned about the armed tax collectors of the Kingdom of Bushaher going to Nelang area over the pass. He went on then to describe how the pass had been in disuse after one such caravan, three decades earlier, led by the younger brother of the Wazeer-Teekumdas[i], met with an accident and lost few lives.

The name “Chunsa Khago” appeared to be a tongue twister and did not strike me again till I read up a book by Fredrick Wilson, the British-born agent of Tehri State for Harsil area, who emerged in the scene about couple of decades later.
(Wilson in his book -"Summer Ramble.."-1860)

Changso Khaga[ii] wrote Wilson, “..the pass that connects Nelang and Bushaher.” Wilson has gone on to explain the meaning of “Khaga[iii] without directly contradicting Gerard.  In a recent biographical sketch of Wilson, it is mentioned that he may have been the earliest European to frequent Nelang and perhaps the first ever to cross the “Chunsa Khaga”, apparently also called “Gundar Pass”[iv].

Around the same time that Wilson published his book, the Schlagintweit brothers from Bavaria published their extraordinarily detailed research of Central Himalaya and Tibet. These were based on their extensive explorations in the 1855-1858 periods. The Chunsa Khaga route[v] is described in fair amount of detail in it.

Incidentally all of the first few European travellers to the source of Ganges, including Fraser[vi], Hodgson & Herbert[vii], have reported as far back as 1815-1820 that the alternate name of Nielung (sic) village, where the  Jadh Bhotias lived, was “Chunsa”, “Chungsa” or “Chounsah”.
(Account of Chunsa Khaga route by
Schlagintweit brothers in 1860)

‘Khaga’, as Wilson describes and as is understood by the people of  Kinnaur, Rawain and Taknore even today, is a high pass of permanent snow (as opposed to ‘Kanda’/ ‘Kanta’ or ‘Khal’ which is a lower pass).

Thus lexically ‘Chunsa Khaga’ makes sense. It would then mean, quite logically, ‘the high pass to Nelang’. If that be true, then the name Chunsa Khago as mentioned by Gerard may have been a minor error either on part of the author or the publisher.

(Gerard’s book was published about a couple of years after his demise, based on his notes and diaries, edited and published by George Lloyd, the son of his co-explorer William Lloyd. There was little that could have been done, if at all there was an error in the manuscript or the publication. 

British travel writers of the early 1900s have also regularly pointed out typographical errors in maps and written accounts, particularly relating to local place names, in the documentations of the previous century. The British were in a hurry to map the empire, minor typos did not matter much till someone scrutinized the area further.  The detailed maps one sees today are the products of many feedback and corrections by those early travellers.)

The Rise and Fall of ‘Chunsa Khaga’:

One can only conjecture as to who discovered [viii]Chunsa Khaga and when it actually came to use.  Given terrain-descriptions and the xenophobia of the early Jadhs and their Tibetan Dzong Pens, its usage by Bushaheris could only have been mandated by reasons driven by political economy!

Rise of the Bushaher State and Chunsa Khaga

If one scans through the written political history of the area, which incidentally spans over a 500-year timeline, it becomes apparent that the modern state of Bushaher was at the zenith of its power around the mid seventeenth century during the reign of the illustrious Kehri Singh (Reign 1639-96). After his demise, the political fortunes of Bushaher steadily declined till it tapered off around 1914. 
(Tibetan Mural commemorating the Bushaher-Guge treaty)

Kehri Singh was a powerful ruler who had not only subjugated most of his neighboring principalities[ix] including the Yamuna valley[x] of Garhwal but also had entered into a profitable treaty with the with the 5th Dalai Lama- Losang Gyatso[xi] of Tibet. The treaty was a strategic move by both the parties during the “Tibet-Ladakh-Mongol” conflict of late 1600s.  The famous “Lavi Fair” is held till date at Rampur to commemorate that historic treaty wherein the traders of Kinnaur were allowed to do free-trade in the whole of Tibet "..till there is ice on the Mount Kailash..." The treaty was very much in force till 1962.

The Moravian missionary and explorer, August Hermann Francke, found the replicas[xii] of this treaty in the Bushaher Palace and Namgia village during his visit to Bushaher in 1909. To cement the friendship with Tibet, Kehri Singh married the princess of the Guge[xiii] Kingdom across the border. The King’s singular focus in advancing Bushaher’s commercial interests is evident in all written documentation of that period.
( Francke discovered the replica of the Treaty at Namgia Village)

So successful was his reign that many legends and folklores got woven around Kehri Singh. Such legends as, the length of his hands reached his knees[xiv] and that a mini cloud[xv] hovered over his head when he went meeting Aurangzeb! Bushaher peaked in its power and influence during his reign, which ended around 1680.

It is quite likely that during these years of expansion and consolidation of the state’s boundaries, the Bushaher- Nelang connect would have been established. Kehri Singh’s focus on trade and economic prosperity hints at expansion of Bushaher’s commercial interests to the Nelang boundaries. In fact the maps of Bushaher have had little change since Kehri Singh’s times, except for separation of Rawain after Gurkha War and have always shown Nelang Pass (Tsang Chok La) as one of their access points to Tibet through the Chor Gad valley
(Map of Bushaher 1911 - in Kehri Singh's time
Rawain area to the south was also part of Bushaher)

Securing this was only practically possible by an internal access across the Baspa Glacier, which could allow the necessary military force required to establish administrative control. The Chunsa Khaga had to be in use if there were to be trading activity across Nelang Pass

One can verify the above by comparing the old 1911-Map of the state with a modern-day map .

The above facts only strengthen the supposition that the Chunsa Khaga would have been the busiest in those heydays of 1680 till almost about the next hundred years, till the Gurkhas invaded the Indian hills including the Nelang tract. Nelang was destroyed by The Gurkhas during their attack in 1804.

History records the possible reasons of the gradual decrease of transaction and eventual disuse of this pass, which epitomized the Bushaher-Nelang connect.  The terrain difficulties did not impact its fate so much as the political developments did.
(Modern Map of Kinnaur - erstwhile Bushaher)

It seems that after the establishment of British superiority in the hills after the Gurkha war, the political fortunes of the area altered dramatically. The British, the State of Tehri and Fredrick Wilson of Harsil played a great part in strengthening Tehri/British influence on the entire Gangetic watershed (including Nelang)and the eventual waning of the influence of Bushaher.

As evident from subsequent narratives, the influence of Tehri State, backed by the British imperial power, steadily increased in Nelang during the course of the 1800s. This coincided precisely with a period of rapid political decline in the Kingdom of Bushaher. Though Gerard writes about the tax collection of the Bushaher King from Nelang in 1820, he also mentions that the last remembered tax collection raid by the Bushaheris was sometime in 1790s only.

By the middle of the 18th century Kehri Singh’s grandson Udai Singh had squandered away much of the power and fortunes of the once powerful kingdom. The last remaining vestiges of the erstwhile power was shattered during the ascension of Udai Singh’s grandson Ugar Singh when the Nepalis invaded[xvi] the mountain kingdoms around 1803.

Shortly thereafter the Gurkha war followed and after the Anglo- Nepalese treaty of Sagauli (1815) the British Government reinstated the young Mahender Singh as the ruler of the Bushaher. But his uncontrolled spending spree, lax governance and loose revenue management made the state almost bankrupt by 1850. The next line of successors did not survive even another fifty years [xvii]and power changed many hands around the end of 19th century. Eventually on 4th August 1914, the governance of the state lapsed into the British Crown[xviii].

Strengthening of the Tehri connection, Decline of Chunsa Khaga (Bushaher-Nelang Connect) 

(Raja Sudershan Shah of Tehri- Reign 1815- 1860)

It is interesting to note, when the young and weak Mahender Singh was taking over administration in the post Gurkha-war scenario, British explorers like Gerard and Hodgson came visiting to Kinnaur and Garhwal respectively. They and subsequent travellers would have only experienced the declining commerce in Bushaher and the rising influence of Tehri where a young Sudershan Shah had now been installed as ruler who was closely watched by the British from nearby Mussorie

(Caricature image- Fredrick Wilson of Harsil)
Around 1850, during the reign of Shamsher Singh in Bushaher, just when the Bushaheri kingdom was at it’s weakest, on the verge of bankruptcy; Wilson emerged into the scene in the Bhagirathi Valley of Tehri to precipitate the political scape irrevocably.

Fraser in 1815[xix] and Kinney in 1878 present very different pictures of the Nelang-Tehri interaction.

Kinney in his 1878 report mentions about Wilson being appointed as the agent of the Tehri Durbar to handle the border affairs in the Nelang area. He writes further that Wilson worked with the Jadhs closely to abolish girl-slavery[xx] from their society. Wilson’s engineering adventures in the area, including his initiative in building the 400ft suspension-toll-bridge over Bhaironghati are well documented by his biographers.
(Robert Hutchison, Author of
"The Raja of Harsil")

If one puts the various facts together it would validate the suggestions made by Hutchison in his interesting book- The Raja of Harsil.  Here he narrates about frequent visits and transactions of Wilson in the Nelang area. He mentions that Wilson had tremendous hold over the Jadhs and they used to listen to his counsel.

By 1878, when Kinney from Survey of India carried out plane-table work in the area, the Tehri Durbar already had its customs post[xxi] at Nelang. He also mentions that by that time the Jadhs of Nelang had already established a summer settlement at Dunda[xxii] near Uttarkashi in the Bhagirathi valley.

Looking at the documented history, it is not difficult to see that that Chunsa Khaga was an unaware, innocent and accidental victim of the Great Anglo-Russian Game.

Kinney and Hutchison in their respective writings indicate that Wilson was in fact planted by the higher authorities (Col Young of British Intelligence) at Mussorie to act as an agent (representative) of the Tehri Durbar for the Harsil-Nelang-Gangotri area. Hutchison suggests with sufficient rationale that the real purpose of the British was different. It was to have someone trustworthy to keep an eye out for European and specifically Russian activity around that part of the frontier.
(Prince Waldamer of Prussia whom
Wilson prevented from Visiting the Nelang Pass)

How Wilson played a crucial part in keeping out Prince Waldamer of Prussia from visiting the Nelang Pass[xxiii] is well described by Waldamer’s scribe Dr Hoffmeister [xxiv]and well crafted into a narration by Hutchison in his seminal work on Wilson’s biography.

Wilson seems to have used his envisaged role, that of governing the trade and taxes of the Jadhs, to gain a close connect with the Jadh community of Nelang and thereby furthering his own and British interests in the back drop of the Great Anglo-Russian Game unfolding in high Tibet.

Access to Nelang gave Wilson a much wider area of operation for his business interests in Timber and Game Hunting. In fact Wilson's hunter buddy Col Fred Markham mentions this in 1851 ("Shooting in the Himalayas"-Para 3 pp53);

"..The Neilang Tartars allow Wilson, and anybody accompanying him, to pass into their country..."

The Jadhs were not complaining since their trade interests were protected and now they had added access to secure summer homes in the Bhagirathi valley.  The newly established socio-political influence over the Jadhs would have earned Wilson additional brownie points from the Tehri Durbar and his British Handlers!

Bolstering the Garhwali territorial claim over the Nelang watershed, he was the first European to have ever used the term “Jeela Kanta[xxv] (the politically correct Garhwali name of Tsang Chok La- The pass from Nelang to Tibet) in his book frequently to describe the water parting line that defined the border with Tibet!

The Jadhs started getting integrated with Garhwal in more ways than one, both in the socio-cultural as well as in the geographic context- a process that has continued till date. Even today, their habitat is the Uttarkashi District (Dunda near Uttarkashi and Bagori near Harsil) in Bhagirathi valley and some of them pay an occasional visit to their ancient village for religious reasons.

However, even today, more Jadhs live in Kinnaur (Janhnavi II, 'The Jadhs of Jadung', Para 4) than in Uttarkashi.  In the Joshua Project website, a Christian organisation tracking tribal people, the Jadhs are shown as inhabitants of Bushaher area in the Google Map provided in the page. This clearly indicates the dominant historical connection with Kinnaur, which over a period of time has changed to a deep transaction with Garhwal.

All the above, by design or by default, seems to have contributed irreversibly towards waning of transactions with Bushaher and the consequent abandonment of usage of the Chunsa Khaga.

Terrain Research

Coming back to the main narrative, out of the four available accounts of this ancient pass, at least two centuries old as I write this today, the following common points emerged.

  • The pass was one that connected the valleys of Baspa and Janhavi
  • The pass had a connect with the Baspa glacier
  • It was close to or above 18000 ft in altitude
  • People from Kinnaur and Nelang transacted over this pass to collect or pay taxes to the powerful Kingdom of Bushaher
  • Taxation in those days was usually in kind and not in cash
  • To carry the tribute or cash loaded Jooboos(crossbred Yak) or pack sheep were in use in those days
  • Alternate name of the pass was “Gundar/Gaundar Pass” (thus indicating the necessity that the Gundar pasture had to be on the route)
  • After cold and crevasse related accidents the pass fell into disuse
  • For 6 days of mule march there would not be a human habitation
  • The ascent from Chitkul side is easy and subsequently passes over vast snowfields
  • Snow trudge is for about 1 and half days of march which approximates about 15 miles
  • The preferred period of crossover is post monsoon meaning the September/October period although there have been mentions of the May-June window also
  • From the Chor Gad side the pass is crossed on the third day of march and the long sloping descent on the other side ends near the snout of the Baspa Glacier
  • The pass was to the east of the Lamkhaga- Chot Khaga ridge

Tapan Pandit’s pioneering expedition over the North Chorgad glacier in 2009 matched several of the above features but not all. But it was surely a close match in many ways. The route they had forged was a sure possibility of a regular connection between Chor Gad and Arsomang Valleys.

(Tilak Raj fondly remembered Tapan Da’s expedition five years back and mentioned how he met the party near the Thandapani camp, at the entrance to upper Chor Gad valley.)

The few important mismatches were: 
  •       The party jumared up to the pass from Arsomang side. It would have been impossible for loaded caravans to pass through that way
  •       The Baspa/Gaundar connection was absent
  •       This pass did not lie to the east of Lam Khaga, neither was it possible to cross in the third march from Nelang; thus contradicting the Schlagintweit route

(The pic that led us to the pass)

It was a chance discovery while verifying on Google Earth, a photograph shot by Vinod from the top of Nakurche South Col during our previous year’s expedition to Jadung

I noticed an interesting looking pass to the far right of the picture frame which looked to be pretty much around the head of Baspa. Upon closer examination in Google Earth (thankfully the area is now populated with good high-res imagery) we found every feature of the now-mythical Chunsa Khaga matching! I must have re-checked and compared the elevation gradient of Tapan Da’s route several times! This one looked decidedly friendlier, straightforward and a logical connection between the two valleys!

We located it at the little twin-depression at the head of the Kalapani Glacier- one of the tributaries valleys in the Upper Chorgad basin. The depression in the ridge led on into the head of the Main Baspa Glacier

(Sat. Imagery of the target area)
It appeared to have an easy angle of ascent and descent, albeit through a crevassed snowfield on the Baspa side. It looked like the only chink-in-the-armor along the otherwise impregnable defense of the high ridge standing between the Chorgad valley and Baspa Glacier.

A little more research and cross-referencing strengthened our confidence and our terrain research zeroed-in on the specific area.

(While camping later in June of 2014, at the head of Baspa Glacier, we noticed another depression of similar altitude at the head of the valley south of Kalapani, which was later found to be an impractical match for Chunsa Khaga features).

Team Planning

The research of satellite imagery and elevation analysis made us almost sure that we had cracked the Chunsa Khaga puzzle, at least for now, virtually on our computer screen.

I was happy. Deep in my hearts I am not yet done with the pretty and mysterious watershed of Nelang, with its myriad enigmas and tales of adventure. This was going to be the meaningful purpose to the next wander-about in the lovely valley.

(Elevation Profile of the Chunsa Khaga)
We wanted to be extra careful with navigation and weather window so that we do not meet an unexpected obstacle like the previous year. We had all the technology one could only dream of in the times of Gerards and Hodgsons who had the luxury of time and resources that we, can only dream of. Well, we had no excuse not to do this right, the first time.

The contour analysis of the 3D data in Google Earth was encouraging. The saddle of the pass topped out at about 5500M. The average ascent and descent grades were in the 25-30% range with peak points not exceeding 60% at only two possible locations. Overall average gradient was 10%; pretty doable, we thought.
(Crevasse Analysis on Icesheet- Historical Sat. Imagery)

The historical imagery on Google Earth fortunately showed us a two-year-old snow-free image of the glacier icesheets, which allowed us to digitally trace crevasses on both Kalapani and Baspa side.

Water bodies were located at convenient places on both sides of the dividing ridge.  Visual goat-trails could be seen for almost the entire route up the Chor Gad except for the glaciated areas and the broken Upper-Chorgad banks.

Route design and custom maps for the GPS were complete within about 10 weeks even as the team was slowly getting formed.
(The Team- L to R- Arun, Nitin, Venkat, Bharat, Ashu, Sanjit)

Soon enough an expedition page was created in Facebook and aspirants poured in. After much requests, additions, apologies and cancellations the final team was that of 6 people- 5 of us old friends of previous expeditions and a new addition to the group in the form of the indefatigable Nitin Joshi- a fine addition to the team as we later found out as he smoothly assumed the twin role of Team Scout and Stills-expert.
(The Expedition planning page of the team)

The Facebook group served as the virtual meeting ground plus data repository, so that everyone could be on the same page on the history, route and potential risks etc. The chosen window for the expedition after much iteration was the 2nd and 3rd week of June.

We started monitoring the weather and terrain from April 1st onwards. We were in for some good news! (Though it did not augur too well for the country’s agriculture). There was a forecast of high probability of El Nino setting in; thus possibly resulting in a delayed monsoon.
(Weather update, a week before the expedition)

As the D-Day approached, the Accuweather forecast, for our expedition window, slowly started aligning with the El Nino pattern. Rains were getting delayed and we were seeing more sunny days in the expedition window.

By the time we left for the expedition, the prediction for almost a week had been consistently hinting at a sunny sky for almost the entire duration of the expedition.

The terrain monitoring that we were doing through the EOSDIS website of NASA was regularly shared on the virtual world of Facebook. We had reasons to be happy in that department too.
(Terrain Update
A week before the expedition)

It looked like the existing snow cover was rapidly melting and we were going to have a snow-free run almost all the way till our base camp. We expected snow only on the main bodies of the Kalapani and Baspa Glaciers by the time we started off from Delhi.

Confidence grew so much, so that we even looked up the moon-phase predictions to see the possibility of a moonlit-photo-fest at the head of the Baspa Glacier.

It is a different thing that later on, when the opportune time arrived, on a moonlit night of 15th June, all of us were found snoring in our respective tents after a whole day of tiring snow trudge.

Continued in Part II

[i] pp  48-49- “Account of Koonawar in the Himalaya”- Capt. Alexander Gerard, 1815. Gerard mentions in the footnote that he even managed to talk to few people in the party that went with “Runjeet”. The grandson of the hereditary Wazeer Teekum Das went on to become the ruler of Bushaher for a short time during the politically turbulent times there in late 19th century
[ii] pp 150-151- “A Summer Ramble in the Himalayas”- “Wilson-The Mountaineer” 1860. Under the pseudonym “Mountaineer”, Wilson describes his deep knowledge of the Nelang tract and in that mentions the “Changso Khaga” as a straighter but more difficult alternative to the Lamkhaga/Chhot Khaga passes
[iii] pp 152- “A Summer Ramble in the Himalayas”- “Wilson-The Mountaineer”, 1860
[iv] pp 58- “Raja of Harsil”- Robert Hutchison, 2012. In a dramatic reconstruction of Wilson’s times Hutchison, out of his own research, proposes the Nelang-Chitkul connect as the “difficult Gundar Pass through Baspa” thus indicating that the Nelang-Chitkul connect had both “Baspa Glacier” and “Gaundar Grounds” in its way
[v] pp94- Route# 153- “Results of a scientific mission to India and High Asia- Vol III”- “Hermann, Adolphe and Robert De Schlagintweit”,1860. The authors describe the pass as “..At the third march from Nelong cross a difficult pass to the east of Lam Khaga. The slopes of this pass lead direct to ‘Do Sumdo’ and then one long march to Chitkul.” The absence of any journal reference in this documentation is understandable since there have been few written records of the pass in any previous documents apart from Gerard’s and Wilson’s. This further suggests that Adolphe Schlagintweit would have taken down the details of the pass from oral accounts during his visit to Southern Tibet.
[vi] pp217- “Asiatic Researches Vol 13 1822- Account of a Journey to the source of the Jumna and Bhagirathi rivers” James B Fraser-1815, para 6-“..they stated that they were inhabitants of the village ‘Chounsah’ consisting of few poor houses..”
[vii] pp91-“Asiatic Researches Vol 14-1822- A Journal of Survey to the source of the Jumna and Bhagirathi rivers” Capt. JA Hodgson-10th Regt.NI-1818, para 5-“..’Do Bhasias’ village called ‘Neilang’ in the district of ‘Tungsah’..”
[viii] After the expedition was over, we realized that the discovery may not have been very difficult since it lies straight at the head of the Baspa Glacier, which broadly has a straight-line lay with east-west alignment.  One does not even have to turn anywhere approaching upstream from the Baspa side. Any curious soul exploring up the gradual plains of the main Baspa Glacier would eventually notice the pass at the end of his quest.
[ix] pp 107- “The Princely and Noble Families of the former Indian Empire- Himachal Pradesh, Mark Brentnall”- Indus Publishing 2004- Para 4
[x] Possibly one of the reasons why we see a distinct Himachali (Kinnauri) influence upon the people of the Tons valley e.g. Har – Ki- Doon. Polyandry is a distinct Kinnauri trait, which supported their profession of trading through distant places of Tibet. The Tons valley is the only place where it is found in practice even today. This politico-economical influence is very likely to have started at Kehri Singh’s time
[xi] pp 51- “March of Central Asia, Ram Rahul”- Indus Publishing-2000, Para 02:“..The agreement conferred the traders of Bushaher the right of free trade in Tibet..”
[xii] pp 139- “Loss of Memory and Continuity of Praxis in Rampur-Bushaher, Contemporary Visions in Tibetan Studies, Dr Georgios Halkias, Serindia Publications-2009”, para 2
[xiii] pp 173-174- “Naga Cults and Traditions in Western Himalayas, O C Handa, Indus Publishing- 2004”- The author narrates that the princess was called Guge Rani and stayed in her separate fortified quarters at Sapani. She was tragically killed as a result of a conspiracy hatched against her by the Raja’s first wife.
[xiv] pp18-“The Enchanting Himalayas, Kiranshankar Maitra, Mittal Publications-2002”, Para 6
[xv] pp 6-Part A, “Bashahr State Gazetteer, Gazetteer of The Simla Hill States 1910”, Para 4
[xvi] pp 107- “The Princely and Noble Families of the former Indian Empire- Himachal Pradesh, Mark Brentnall”- Indus Publishing 2004- Para 06: “.. Raja Ugar Singh had the misfortune to be on the throne at the time of Gorkha invasion..”
[xvii] pp 108- “The Princely and Noble Families of the former Indian Empire- Himachal Pradesh, Mark Brentnall”- Indus Publishing 2004- Para 1,2,3
[xviii] pp 109- “The Princely and Noble Families of the former Indian Empire- Himachal Pradesh, Mark Brentnall”- Indus Publishing 2004- Para 02: “..on 4th August 1914 Raja Shamsher Singh died and the state of Bushaher lapsed into the British Crown…”
[xix] pp217, “Asiatic Researches- Account of a Journey to the source of the Jumna and Bhagirathi rivers” James B Fraser-1820, para 5-“..they were poor inhabitants of a miserable village and had never travelled much..”
[xx] pp- Appendix -XVIII, ‘Report on Survey of the Western sources of the Ganges- particularly the Jadh Ganga or Nilang Valley in 1878”, Mr T Kinney. “When the Raja of Tehri placed Mr F Wilson in charge of his frontier affairs, the Jadhs, their trade, taxes etc., he abolished the system of slavery prevailing and set all the slave girls free”
[xxi] pp- Appendix -XVII, ‘Report on Survey of the Western sources of the Ganges- particularly the Jadh Ganga or Nilang Valley in 1878”, Mr T Kinney. “The Tehri Raja now has his frontier customs post at Nelang for the collection of duty from the traders”
[xxii] -do- “..are deserted during the winter months, the Jadhs moving down to Bhagirathi and hutting themselves in at a place called Dhunda about 7 or 8 marches below Nelang”
[xxiii] pp138- “Raja of Harsil”- Robert Hutchison, 2012. “…but his instructions were to keep Prince Waldamer and is party away from Nelang Pass”
[xxiv] pp 343-“Travels in Cylone and Continental India”- Dr W Hoffmeister, 1847. “ Who would have imagined that our afore-mentioned companion, the English Nimrod, during all this vexatious and disgraceful business, would be secretly acting a part in the game, and, while publicly appearing on our side, privately behind our backs, doing his utmost to oppose our plans”
[xxv] pp 148- “A Summer Ramble in the Himalayas”- “Wilson-The Mountaineer” 1860. Wilson does not even bother to mention the Tibetan name of this famous pass- “..this range is crossed at several places, but the main road leading to the large Tartar towns of Chaprung and Toling may be considered the actual pass, and is called the Jeela Kanta..”

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