chapter  15
8 Pages

The Consolidation of Dardistan

In the course of the Sikh wars, which were to end with the British annexation of the Punjab in 1846, Gulab Singh, the Rajah of Jammu, was recognised under the Treaty of Amritsar as the Maharaja of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.1 Unusually, he was not obliged to have a British Resident at his court, and, while he was promised assistance against any aggression, there was no provision for the control of his external relations. Over several years, he tried, with varying degrees of success, to establish his authority among the petty states of Dardistan to his north and west, but it was left to his successor, Ranbir Singh, to take Gilgit in 1860 and to go on to extend his rule over Ponial and Yasin. An attack on Hunza and Nagar in 1863 failed, but by the end of the decade the two states had proffered their allegiance to Kashmir.