Interesting Facts about Kinnaur

Kinnaur or Koonawar or Chini Tehsil, as it was earlier called, was the part of erstwhile Bushahr State.

Kinnaur was divided into seven divisions called Khoond or Khund

Khunds as mentioned by Capt. Alexander Gerard  (1817-18)

1. Hungrung Tartars
2. Shoong or Shooe
3. Tookpa
4. Rasgramme
5. Wangpo
6. Utharabees
7. Pundrabees

Khunds and their headquarters, as mentioned by Rahul Sankrityayan  ( 1948)

1. Dasho or Doshi Khund – Gaura
2. Pandrah Bish Khund – Ghanvi
3. Athara Bish Khund – Sungra
4. Wang Po Khund – Bhaba
5. Pa Gram ( Rajgram) – Tholang ( Chagaon)
6. Chhu Wang Khund – Chini
7. Tukpa Khund – Kamroo ( Mone)

The Upper Kinnaur was ceded to the Bushahar Kingdom by Tibet in 1684 for helping Tibet in the war against Ladakh. That treaty also gave exclusive trade rights of trading with Tibet to Bushahr State.

The natives of Kinnaur were all traders and were the lifeline of the trade between the Indian plains and Tibet, extended to as fas as central Asia and Russia. The famous trade markets were Leh, Garoo, and Rampur. Additionally, trade was also done with Garhwal, Kumaon, Choara (Rohru), Spiti, and Kullu.

Exports from Kinnaur

* Kharwa or strong red cotton cloths
* White cotton cloth, Chintzes, Silks
* Gongs
* Iron both wrought and unwrought
* Tutenag or spelter ( Alloy of Copper And Zinc)
* Lead, Copper and brass pots
* Match- locks
* Straight swords, sabres, shields, bows and arrows,
* knives, scissors, spectacles, looking glasses
* Sunkhs or sacred shells
* Crystals, precious stones, sandal-wood,
* Porwa or vessels of juniper-wood
* Otter skins
* Indigo, oil, ghee, or boiled butter
* Opium, tobacco
* Rice, wheat, barley
* Walnuts, apples, raisins, almonds, Shungtee or Nioza
* Cloves, cinnamon, nutmegs, cardamom
* Misree, Gur, Cheenee and Shukur
* Sheep and goats
* Grape Liquor of Kinnaur

Imports to Kinnaur

* Kesar
* Coarse shawls
* Numdas or felts
* Dochuks or ingots of silver,
* Soom, a kind of blanket dyed red and blue
* Thermas, Goodmas, Punkhees and Pushmeenas,
* Bulghar or Bulkhal or skins of red Russian leather
* Tincal ( Crude Borax) and Borax
* Rock-salt
* Beangee and shawl wool
* Gold dust,
* Tea
* Nirbissi or Zedoary
* Shawl goats and Beangee sheep
* Large Tartar dogs

The Trade Route of Kinnaur later became the Hindustan Tibet Road connecting the plains of India to Tibet and China.

River Satluj was called by the name of Sumudrung in the lower Kinnaur. Near the capital of Bushehr, it was called Sutroodra, or Sutoodra.

Eighteen (18) kinds of vine were cultivated in Kinnaur, each having a distinct name based on its size, colour, shape, or taste. Chini and Pangi were the places known for the best vine plantations.

Apple Cultivation was reported as back as 1817 in Kinnaur with the finest of the apples in size and taste.

The natives of Kinnaur are placed very high in honesty and loyalty, in the court of Bushehr State they were trusted with money and confidential messages. The majority of the officers and close attendants to the Raja of Bushehr were from Kinnaur.

Kinnaur was the only area in this region that Gurkhas could not cede during their reign in the hill states of Punjab and Shimla. They faced strong resistance from Kinnauri Soldiers and finally agreed to a peace treaty. The Royals of Bushehr took refuge in Kinnaur during the Gurkha regime.

In 1891 Tika Ragunath Singh created Chini Tehsil covering the entire Kinnaur Valley from Wangtu.

In 1960 Kinnaur District was formed out of Chini & some parts of Rampur Tehsil.