The Katoch dynasty is considered to be the oldest surviving royal dynasty in the world. They first find mention in the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata and the second mention is in the recorded history of Alexander the Great’s war records. One of the Indian kings who in the time of Alexander ruled the area near Kangra is said to be a Katoch king.
Katoch is a Rajput clan of the Chandravanshi lineage. Their traditional area of residence was in the Trigarta Kingdom, based at Jalandhar and at Kangra Fort. In Mahabharata, they are referred to as Trigarta who fight Arjuna. Raja Susarma Chandra fought Pandav Arjuna. He was an ally of Duryodhana and sworn enemy of Virat and Matsya Kingdoms.
According to legend, the state of Multan – Jalandhara – Kangra, was also called Trigarta, Bhim Kot, Nagar-Kot, Susarmapura, Katoch, which dates back to 4300 BC. Trigarta kingdom was an ancient kingdom in northern Indian region of the Indian subcontinent with its capital at Prasthala (modern Jalandhar) and fort in the Kangra.
- In past centuries, the clan and its branches ruled several princely states in the region of Trigarta. Trigarta refers to the land between three rivers, namely, Beas, Sutlej, and Ravi.
- The Katoch dynasty was reputed to have ruled the town of Kangra and its vicinity since time immemorial.
- The katoch’s were also known for their sword skills.
- In past centuries, they ruled several princely states in the region. The originator of the clan was Rajanaka Bhumi Chand.
- Ranjanka Bhumi Chand was the founder of the Katoch Dynasty in 4300 BC. He was the first great king of the Chandravanshi group of Kshatriyas. He is mentioned in the Puran, as Brahmand Puran. According to this holy book, with the blessing of Goddess Parvati, he was born in the month of April or May, the date in which chetermas ki Asthami falls.
- Rajanaka Bhumi Chand Katoch founded the Jwalaji Temple in Himachal Pradesh.
- The Katoch clan was one of the 14 ruling clans of the Himachal Pradesh and Jammu region in the medieval times. The other major clans are Jaswal, Guleria, Sibaia, and Dadwal and Pathania.
- Dadwal stems from Dada, a place in Siba (Siba State, was a small independent Indian hill state in the Lower Himalayas. It was centered on the town of Dadasiba, Pragpur tehsil, Kangra district, in modern-day Himachal Pradesh. The state was founded in 1450. In 1849 the territory of Datarpur was added to Siba Jagir (1/3 part of land of Mian Devi Singh) and annexed by the British Raj as ‘Dada-Siba’). Sibaia also stems from Siba. Guleria stems from Guler region.
- Katochs suffixed ‘Chandra’ to their names until the rise of the Sikh dynasty in Punjab, after which some clan members started suffixing ‘Singh’ also. However, most clan members today, including in the sub-clans, suffix Chand.
- Until the reforms of the 1930s, the Katoch women were only married westward, generally to the Pathania and Jamwal/Jamuwal men.
- The main branch of the Katoch clan were the rulers of the Kangra State, which was, by some accounts, the most prominent kingdom between the Ravi and Sutlej in the pre-modern period.
- The Kangra State was also known as Trigadh, a name derived from the ancient Trigarta Kingdom mentioned in the Mahabharata.
- Katoch Clan defeated the army of Muhammad bin Tughluq which was not able to fight in the hills. Nearly all his 10,000 soldiers perished in 1333 AD and he was forced to retreat.
- Emperor Jahangir captured the Kangra fort in 1610, annexing the surrounding area and reducing the Katoch rajas to the status of vassals.
- After the decline of the Mughal power, Raja Ghamand Chand (1751–1774) recovered most of the territory earlier ceded to the Mughals.
- Raja Sansar Chand (r. 1775–1823) established the supremacy of Kangra over all the surrounding hill states. During his reign, Kangra became a major center for the arts and several palaces were built.
- In the year 1805, the neighbouring hill states rebelled, with the aid of the Gurkha army. Raja Sansar Chand was forced to seek the help of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore.
- The current head of the clan is Raja Aditya Katoch; The family also maintains the Maharaja Sansar Chandra Museum adjoining their Fort of Kangra.
- There are two possible origins for the world Katoch. Members of the clan say it comes from the words Kat (army) and uch (upper class) but other sources say that it comes from kot (fort).
- The Kangra fort was known as Nagarkot or Kot Kangra, and since the administrators/rulers resided within that particular kot they were vernacularly called “Kot’ch” or कोटच, which means those within the fort. This over time became Katoch.
- The history of the Katoch Dynasty has been showcased at the Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum adjoining the Kangra Fort.
- The Maharaja Sansar Chandra Museum was officially inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 6th of April 2011.
Jaswal is an Indian surname found among Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims of Punjab, India. It is also a clan of Rajputs that commanded the former princely state of Jaswan. Jaswal is reported as an offshoot of the Katoch, the great jat clan which gave rulers to the kingdom of Trigarta. It derives its name from (or possibly gives its name to) the Jaswan Dun of Hoshiarpur, and at its original seat, Bhir Jaswan, are remains of buildings, wells, and fountains which attest its former power. It still ranks high, being of Jaikaria status. In 1596 the Jasuwalas were described as ‘ Zamindars with an army ‘ and gave some trouble to the imperial authorities. Raja Naginder Singh is the present head of Jaswal clan.
Raja Brijesh Chand Guleria is the head of the Guleria Clan Rajputs. Guleria Rajputs are descendants of Hari Chand Katoch who while hunting fell in well and not being found, was declared dead, his younger brother Karam Chand was declared King. 22 days later Hari Chand was found by a shepherd and later after recovering he came to know that his brother has been declared king. He then decided to carve a new principality of himself rather than go back to his younger brother and ask for his old dominion, hence he started ruling from Guler Village and known as the “Ranas of Guler”(or guleria). They uses the surname Gul,Guleria,Rana,etc Even to this day, rulers of Guler are considered elder stock and hence given precedence to Raja of Kangra.
Raja Dr. Ashok K. Thakur is the present head of the Sibaia clan. Dada-Siba is a place in Himachal Pradesh near to district Kangra. In “DadaSiba” Dada represents Dadhwal Rajputs and Siba denotes Sibaia Rajputs (sapheyia,supeyia called in local language) settled in nearby areas.
Also written as Dadhwal or Dhadwal. The Rajput clan to which belongs the ancient ruling family of Datarpur but said to take its name from Dada in Kangra on the Hoshiarpur border. The Dadhwals are found in the neighborhood of Datarpur. The Dadhwals are a branch of the Katoch and do not intermarry with them or with the Galerias or Sibayas on the ground of common descent. They have an interesting local history that describes how they wrested the tract round Datarpur from a Chang Rani. The Dadhwals have several als or families, whose names are derived from their settlements, such as Janaurach, Dholbahia, Datarpuria, Fatehpuria, Bhanowalia, Khangwarch, Naruria, Rampuria etc. Datarpur is their chief village, but they have no system of chhats and makans.