History of Cooch Behar State in Brief

Cooch Behar State was earlier known as Pragjyotisha which has also been mentioned in the great Hindu Epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The western part of Pragjyotisha was called Kamarupa later and was under the Guptas and Palas for certain years. Cooch behar history states that Kamarupa was attacked by Muslim Army in A.D.1498. After some time, the Muslim army was thrown out and the Kamta kingdom experienced complete anarchy. It was at this time that the king of Cooch Behar came into power.

The first king of Cooch Behar State was Viswasimha who was given the term Kamteshwar. After his death in 1533, his second son Naranarayan, also known as Mallanarayan succeeded the throne. He defeated Nar Singh in a civil war after which, Nar Singh escaped to Morung and later to Bhutan. Narnarayan was succeeded by other kings like Lakshminarayan and Birnarayan. After that, Mahinarayan was termed as Nazir- deo. Birnarayan was succeeded by Prannarayan in 1632. He ruled till 1666 and constructed Baneshwar temple. Modnarayan became the next king and the influence of Bhutan on Cooch Behar State increased during this time.

Cooch Behar

The third son of Prannarayan, Vasudevnarayan became the next king because Modnarayan died without a son in 1680. After Vasudevnarayan was killed during a war, the great- grandson of Prannarayanm, Mahindranarayan became the next king. After Mahindranarayan’s death, Rupnarayan became the next king who ruled for 21 years and died in 1714. His son, Upendranarayan ruled till 1763. The little son Devendranarayan became the next king and Nazir Lalitnarayan guided him. In 1765, the son of Kharganarayan, Dhairyendranarayan became the next king in 1765. Bhutan’s power increased and it set up an office along with an army base in Cooch Behar State. Bhutan captured Dhairyendranarayan and put him in prison after which, his son Dharendranarayan became the next king.

The East India Company feared the growing power of Bhutias near their borders. Dharendranarayan and the East India Company signed a treaty on 5th April 1773. Bhutan and East India Company signed an agreement on 25th April 1774 after which Dhairyendranarayan was released. After Dharendranarayan’s death in 1775, Dhairyendranarayan was enthroned once again. Harendranarayan and Narendranarayan were the next kings in line. One year old Nripendranarayan became the next king in 1863. The commissioner under the Governor administered the Cooch Behar state during this time. Colonel J.C.Haughton was the first Commissioner in the history of Cooch Behar.

After Nripendranarayan died in 1911, Rajarajendranarayan came to power. The next kings were Jitendranarayan and Jagaddipendranarayan who was also the last Maharaja of the Cooch Behar. Cooch Behar became a part of India on 12th September 1949. It became a part of West Bengal on 1st January 1950. It is now a district in West Bengal.

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