History of Junga (Shimla)
HImachal Pradesh which was carved out on 15th April, 1948 but became a State on 25th Jan, 1971. Prior to this there were 31 princely states and Bushahar and Kyonthal were amongst the largest and most influential having Junga as a Capital of Kyonthal State
In the year around 1203 the Sen dynasty migrated from Bengal to Ropar in Punjab and finally moved towards hills. Out of three Sen Brothers, Veersen went to Suket, Girisen to Kyonthal and Hamersen to Kishtwad in Jammu. Raja Girisen completely established the Kyonthal State in the year 1211 with an area of 260 sq. kms. Having 18 parganas.
Since the formation of Kyonthal State By Raja Veersen more than 100 kings from the Sen dynasty ruled this princely state, out of which 77 Kings have proof of their names in revenue records. Raja Veer Vikram Sen who passed away in October, 2021, the Kyonthal State is now looked after his son Khush Vikram Sen
Since its inception the Kyothal Estate had many invasions and a few prominent invasions were in the year 1379 by Mughal Firozshah Tuglak but couldn’t hold its reins for a long time. It was also invaded by Gurkhas in the year 1803 to 1815 when Britishers assisted the King to throw away the invaders.
In the year 1819 British Assistant Political Agent Ros, took permission from the King of Kyonthal to construct a Wooden Hut, which later on was completed by his descendant Capt. Kennedy which is now known as one of the oldest buildings in Shimla by the name - Kennedy House which was completed in the year 1822.
In the year 1827, Governor General Lord Amrest when came to Shimla got mesmerized by its beauty and took a decision to establish Shimla as Summer capital. Later he took permission from the King of Kyonthal to give them 12 villages for the purpose of making Shimla as Capital. The king obliged them and rehabilitated the uprooted habitants in nearby villages now known as Kusumpti, Mehli, Vikas Nagar etc.
In 1830 Shimla had 30 houses which increased to 200 by 1860. The Kalka Shimla motorable road was also constructed in the year 1860 and Railway line was laid and completed in the year 1903. The capital expenditure to build Shimla as a capital at those times was Rs. 171 lakh
Shimla was not untouched by the 1857 revolt against Britishers. The British males wanted to protect their ladies and children, and got a safe shelter at Keonthal State which was then led by Rana Sansar Sen. Impressed by the help & amenities extended to the families of Britishers, they in return honored him with a Degree of Raja on 24th July, 1858.
Bishop Cotton School is a boarding school in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the oldest boarding schools for boys in Asia, having been founded on 28 July 1859 by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton. The land for the school was given in kind by the King of Kyonthal State to Britishers.
The Kings of Kyonthal Build a marvel of architecture, unique and adorable five story Palace at Junga which became a bone of contention of adjoining rulers and had to undergo many invasions yet survived. One of the invaders burnt the palace and post invasion the kings rebuilt it, but only upto three stories and later abandoned this palace and shifted to the new palace. The crafting on wood, pillars and its foundation, the size of the main gate etc makes it a unique and amazing possession of ruins of rich architecture and heritage.
“Junga” name has been derived from the Name of Local Deity which is Totem i.e. Kul Devta of the King Dynasty known as Junga Devta. The God of justice as well. This Deity used to resolve the local public issues and if not resolved by him, the King used to take further action. The place of Deity and King used to be at the same pedestal. There is a beautiful temple of Junga Devta at Junga where religious festivities are still held on auspicious occasions of the year.
A maiden effort to collate the informations.