Medieval Jammu

1111In 1215, Narsingh Dev became the ruler of  Jammu, he was  a man of scholarly tastes. He was succeeded by Arjun Dev in 1245 AD.  Arjun Dev was a careless ruler and many Zamindars revolted against him. The Zamindar of Bhalwal was one of them but he treacherously befriended him and fed him salty dishes and took the  Zamindar of Bhalwal to a waterless hunting ground where he died due to thirst.  Later, his son also  revolted against Arjun Dev but Arjun Dev managed to kill him through a barber. Then Dulla, grandson of Zamindar also revolted. But he was killed in a fight. Arjun Dev was succeeded by Jodh Dev.  Jodh Dev was contemporary of Kashmir ruler Suhdev. During his  period, Zulfikar Turk (1308 AD) invaded Kashmir via Baramulla and carried out inhuman slaughter and destruction in Kashmir. Raja Suhdev of Kashmir fled to Kishtwar and from Kishtwar, he sought the help of Jammu ruler, Raja Jodh Dev. Raja Jodh Dev extended him help but by that time, the turks had ravaged Kashmir and then withdrawn. Subsequently, Kashmir passed under Rattanju, a Tibetan Chief (from Ladakhi side) who managed to get the support of all chiefs of the country. This forced Raja Suhdev to live in Kishtwar in dismay. Raja Jodh Dev of Jammu made provisions  for his sustenance there. After Jodh Dev, Maldev became the ruler of Jammu. Being powerful ruler, he shifted the capital of his kingdom from Babbapura (near Akhnoor) to Jammu. The present Purani Mandi  buildings are said to be raised by him. During his period, Timur invaded India (1398-99 AD) and after raiding India, Timur retreated and marched towards Jammu.
In the biography Mulfazat-i-Timuri, Timur made mention of Raja of Jammu but not written his name. From the Haridwar upto Jammu, Timur fought 22 battles and killed lakhs of Hindus. Timur’s army had also a small encounter with Raja Mal Dev of Jammu. Though Raja Mal Dev tried to avoid the fight because he was no match for blood thirsty Timur’s army. Raja Mal Dev was wounded in 1399 and taken to Timur. In order to save his life, Maldev even embraced Islam (Zaffarnama). After Timur left Jammu, Maldev re-embraced Hinduism. Maldev died and was succeeded by Hamir Dev (Jamir Dev). He was contemporary of Khizr Khan, the Hakim of Multan who later on occupied Delhi. He was friendly with Ali Shah, elder brother of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir. It is said that he had  matrimonial relations with Ali Shah, Sultan of Kashmir and brother of Zain-ul-Abidin.  After the death of Ali Shah, Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin became the ruler of Kashmir. Raja Hamir Dev of Jammu also helped Sultan Mubarak Shah  of Delhi against Sheikha Khokhur. For his services, Sultan Mubarak Shah bestowed him the title of Bhim Dev and entrusted him the command of 22 principalities of Kohistan. These 22 principalities stretched from river Satluj to river Chenab and were ruled by Hindu Rajas.
In 1399, Sheikha Khokhur was killed by Timur’s men. His son Jasrat Khokhur succeeded him and was contemporary of Raja Hamir Dev of Jammu and Sayyed ruler Mubarak Shah of Delhi. Hamir Dev put his minor son Mian Ajay Dev on the throne of Jammu to run the kingdom in his absence when he decided to go and help the Hakim of Lahore. Raja Bhim Dev died in 1423 AD. After his death, Ajay Dev became ruler and during his period Mehta Mardana  and Mehta Jaipal became powerful and they patronised Rakhwal people who attained highest positions during his period. During the time of Ajay Dev, Jasrat Khokhur had been ejected from Lahore. Ajay Dev ruled for 31 years and was contemporary of Sultan Mohd. Shah and Malik Behlol. Ajay Dev had good relations with Jasrat Khokhur. Ajay Dev had sent his courtesan and maid servant named Meena to Jasrat Khokhur to entice him. Finally, Jasrat Khokhur married Meena. He gave 50 villages in Dowary to Meena. Ajay Dev has also friendly relations with Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir and also sent his son Biram Dev to Kashmir where he was  given a large Jagir by Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin. Paras Ram, Biram Dev’s Nephew lived and managed his Jagir in Kashmir. Ajay Dev died in 1454 and was succeeded by Biram Dev.
During the time of Biram Dev, some people revolted against him at the instigation of Jasrat Khokhur. Biram Dev got the help of Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir and defeated the rebellious elements. During his time, Sultan Bahlol Lodhi of Delhi sent him a Khilat and recognized him as Raja. During his period,number of enlightened Darvaishs came to Jammu. A sayyed named Qutul Alam also came to Jammu and made both Hindus and Muslims his followers. These followers were served  with gifts of milk, sugar, sweats and sugarcane. He spoke sweet words to people and because of this, he came to be known as Peer Mitha. During the time of Biram Dev, Jasrat Khokhur became powerful. Jasrat Khokhur was ambitious and wanted to  conquer Delhi. He became friendly with Bahlol Lodhi against the Sayyids. But Bahlol Lodhi had bad intentions against Jasrat Khokhur. Biram Dev made schemes to kill Jasrat Khokhur at the instance of Bahlol Lodhi.
Finally, Jasrat Khokhur was killed with the  help of one Bhau, an attendant and maid servant named Meena from Jammu and then Biram Dev conquered Jasrat’s territory and handed it over to Bahlol Lodhi. Finally Meena, the maid servant sent by Ajay Dev to entice Jasrat Khokhur came to Jammu upon the death of Jasrat Khokhur and lived here. For his services,  Biram Dev was given the areas of Sailkot, Bahlolpur as Thanadhari. Biram Dev had actual control over the territories of Jammu, Samba, Akhnoor, Manglan. He ruled till 1500 AD and was succeeded by his eldest son Raja Ghoghar Dev also called Raja Khokhur Dev. He ruled from 1500-1530 AD. During his period a great earthquake rocked Jammu and brought much destruction here and also in other parts of Hindustan and Kabul. Finally, they asked Kashiram Pandit, an expert in astrology and astronomy about the effects of  this earthquake and he told that, since this earthquake occurred on Vaishakha Nakshatra its effects will appear after a long time. His prediction became true and after 20 years, Babar came from Kabul and invaded India. Raja Ghoghar Dev who was contemporary of Babur and sent him gifts. He ruled for 30 years and was succeded by his son, Kapur Dev in 1530 AD.