DARBAR HALL: A Heritage of Himachal Pradesh
Location and History
Darbar Hall is located in district Solan of Himachal Pradesh. It is approximately 2 km from the new bus-stand, Solan and 1 km from the old bus-stand, Solan respectively. It is located near Shoolini mata temple; it is opposite to the parking located on a small chowk from where the road diverges to Shoolini mata temple.
Himachal Pradesh got its existing name at Darbar hall, Solan. Thirty princely states of Himalayan province met here to decide the name.
Our Himachal Pradesh was once split into many princely states and then it was known as Himalayan province. After Independence, the kings didn’t want to be the part of Indian union as the kings of these states were not willing to relinquish their status of a king.
There were thirty princely states in the Himalayan province. Prajamandal movements against the princely states were coming into existence but they were lacking strong leadership.
Raja Durga Singh, the last king of Baghat princely state took the responsibility of merging and uniting all princely states into one state into his hands although he was also a king. And we can say he took a robust decision against the kings of princely states being himself a king.
Raja Durga Singh was appointed as the chairman of constitution assembly as well as the president of Prajamandals of Himachal Pradesh. He then with his intelligence convinced the kings of princely states to sign the agreement of merger of their princely states into a single state and to be a part of Indian union. He finally succeeded in uniting Himalayan Province with the help of prajamandals and the kings. Therefore, a new state was formed and also a name had to be decided unanimously.
Raj Darbar Hall was decided to be the venue for the signing of agreement on the merger of small states into a union and naming it.
Kings of all the provinces came up to meet at Darbar hall in Solan. The name ‘HIMACHAL PRADESH’ was suggested by Raja Durga Singh and it was welcomed by all the kings and the representatives of Prajamandals.
The historic event of affusion of Himachal Pradesh was witnessed at Raj Darbar Hall supervised by Raja Durga Singh.
On 8th February, 1948, a group of delegates comprising of active leaders of Prajamandals and the kings with Raja Durga Singh as a chairperson , met Dr. Pattabhi Sitaramayya, and submitted their proposal for Himachal afore the central minister and discussed the relevant strategies of the hilly states.
The Indian government after due discussions approved the proposal on 8th March, 1948 and Himachal Pradesh was established as the new Indian state. The official announcement was made on 15th April,1948.
Himachal was created on 15th of April that’s why we all celebrate Himachal Day on this day. And it got its statehood on 25th January, 1971 and then became the eighteenth state of India.
Darbar hall has played a vital role in the history of Himachal Pradesh. Therefore, it is a heritage of Himachal.
Statement of Kanwar Satinder Singh
“Darbar hall is a heritage of the state”: Kunwar Satinder Singh
According to 90 years old, Kunwar Satinder Singh, who was the member of Royal family, Darbar hall is a heritage, not only of the Solan city but the whole Himachal. He narrates that the name Himachal Pradesh was decided at Darbar Hall, Solan. He was a college student at that time. According to him, it is the biggest building ever constructed during the reign of Raja Durga Singh. It is about more than 100 years old; it has witnessed a century.
Kunwar Satinder Singh further narrates that Darbar Hall was constructed even before his birth. All major public functions at that time used to be held at Darbar Hall including Dussehra, then the biggest public function of worshipping weapons. Grand Holi Milan festival was also being organized here at Darbar Hall, well attended by the people of brewery.
According to him, there was a big dining hall there and guests of Royal families, diplomats and foreign representatives used to wine and dine there.
He told us, 28th January, 1948 meeting for the formation of Himachal was held at Darbar Hall Solan administered by Raja durga Singh.
Bhagmal Sotha, Shivanand Ramol and many other distinguished persons attended the meeting. He further added that said meeting was under the camera surveillance. There was controversy on the issue of participation of Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar and Padamdev in the meeting. After settling all such issues, the kings of princely states agreed for the merger of their states into Himachal and all of them unanimously agreed to adopt the name ‘Himachal Pradesh’.
Kunwar Satinder Singh further stated that during that period of merger of princely states into Himachal, the officers of Raja Durga Singh insisted him to keep the Darbar Hall under his ownership. Raja Durga Singh’s wife died in 1948. One girl child was born but she also died at the age of one and a half year. The king had no issue. So after the demise of his wife, the king transferred the ownership of Darbar Hall in favour of Himachal Government. Nowadays, it is the office of superintending engineer, HPPWD Solan.
Hence, the Darbar Hall has its own history and is a heritage for the people of Himachal Pradesh.
A detailed report on this has been submitted to TCP ( Town and Country Planning) Solan by the team of Raj Architectural Point ( #117, City Centre Plaza, The Mall, Solan, H.P. )
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