The Fort Ramgarh's Rich History
Ramgarh was one of the independent ("Khud-Mukhtyar") Cis-Sutlej states of The Punjab ruled by Chandel Rajputs, whose ancestry goes back to Ramayana and Mahabharata days. Chandel Rajputs had their base of power in Bundelkhand (Madhya Pradesh) and they ruled over the entire Central India in the medieval period before the arrival of Prithviraj Chauhan. World-famous Khajuraho temples were built by them and well-known warriors Aalah-Udal, whose exploits are still evoked through folk songs, were Chandels.
Nearly 1,300 years ago, The Ramgarh family's ancestors transferred from there to Punjab and established the state of Kot Kahloor. The capital was later shifted to Bilaspur and one branch of the family of the Raja of Bilaspur came to Ramgarh nearly 360 years ago and laid the base of Ramgarh.
In 1760s when anarchy prevailed in the complete region Ramgarh was one of the only three States which survived unscathed, the other two being Raipur and Kotaha. The Ambala District Gazette of 1886 remarks these details.
The later rulers added to the glory and territory of the state through their courage and martial exploits. In the three consecutive years (1806 to 1808), raids were made in creature by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on Ludhiana, Nalagarh and Ambala areas. It was openly announced by him that he intended annexing the complete territory up to the Yamuna. But the Chiefs of the area put up a stiff battle and he had to abandon his plans.
On April 25, 1809, Maharaja Ranjit Singh signed an agreement with the British by which he surrendered his acquisitions south of the Sutlej. The treaty was followed up in May, 1809, by a proclamation of the British Government which limited Maharaja Ranjit Singh's powers and avowed the Cis-Sutlej Chiefs sole owners of their possessions. "Each chief, great and small alike, had within his own territory absolute civil, criminal and financial jurisdiction, subject only to general expert of the Agent to the Governor-General".
Ramgarh was one of those States which excessively opposed the British and the British called it "Passive Obstruction Or Open Hostility". In 1849, the Punjab was annexed by the British and power and freedoms of most of the Cis-Sutlej states, including Ramgarh, were momentously reduced.
In earlier times, The Fort Ramgarh comprised a much larger area. What now survives is essentially the zenankhana (women's chamber) it boasts of 18-ft thick walls. Ravages of time have played havoc with the Fort but the family, instead of deserting it, continues to live there, painstakingly renovating and faithfully reconstructing it. It has been converted into a heritage resorts, a unique feature of which is that it is the one and first heritage hotel of Haryana and Punjab, and perhaps India's only heritage resort serving only pure vegetarian food and no liquor at all.