Chapter Two: Birth of a Hill Station It was due to the conquest of Garhwal by the Gurkhas that, indirectly, Mussoorie came into being. About 225 years ago, in 1765 or therabout, the progenitors of the redoubtable Gurkha warriors who now form so distinguished a section of the Indian Army had, under the leadership of Prithi Narain, begun to make themselves felt as a formidable power. They first subdued Kathmandu and Bhatgaon in Nepal proper; and, after Prithi Narain's death, under his widow and brother as regents for his infant son, they extended their conquests westward into Kumaon. From Kumaon, the Gurkhas carried their invasion into Garhwal. Srinagar, then the capital of Parduman Sah, the Raja of Garhwal, was attacked in February 1803. The Raja retreated and made a futile stand at Barahat (Uttarkashi), but was driven southwards, first into the Dun, and then to Saharanpur. Here he raised a couple of lakhs of rupees by pawning all his property, his throne, and even the sacred jewels and plate of the Badrinath temple. With these funds he got together a new army, retunred to the Dun, and attacked the invaders who, under Umar Singh Thapa, had occupied Dehra; but he was defeated and killed. J.B. Fraser, author of Himalayan Mountains, mentions that the priests of Paligarh, a sacred glen not far from Jomnotri, prophesied the misfortunes of Raja Parduman Sah, the rise of Gurkha power and its eventual subjugation by the British. In fact, British forces reached the steep south faces of the Siwalik range just as the Gurkha wave surged up the northern slopes. Colonel Burn marched into Saharanpur about the same time as Umar Singh Thapa occupied Dehra, in October 1803. The immediate cause of the war between the Gurkhas and the British was the destruction of a police station in a disputed portion of British frontier territory and the barbarous murder of the daroga in charge after a gallant defense in which 18 of his constables were killed and six wounded. Another police station was raided shortly afterwards. The season being unfavourable for undertaking punitive operations, the Governor General sent a letter of remonstrance to the Raja of Nepal. The reply was unsatisfactory, even insolent, and war was formally declared on 1 November 1814, although operations had begun before that. The Gurkhas, as might be expected, proved formidable foes, and although they had a mere handful of fighting men in the Dun, they gave the British no end of trouble, and their defence known as Kalinga, was as stubborn and heroic as any such deed that history records. It took three separate assaults by British troops before the Gurkhas were compelled by continuous and well-sustained bombardment to evacuate the Kalinga Fort. In number about 70 survivors only, they cut their way through the besiegers' lines on the night of 30 November. The gallant Gurkhas afterwards repulsed another British assault under Major Baldock against Jauntgarh, a mountain fort in Jaunsar into which they had thrown themselves. After repulsing this attack Balbhaddar Singh, commander of the Gurkhas, crossed the Jamuna and held Jaitak in Sirmur territory against all British efforts, till the evacuation of all Gurkha strongholds between the Kali and the Sutlej, by treaty, on 15 May 1815. And now the Dun proper, as we know it, may be considered to have come into existence. It was formally annexed to the district of Saharanpur by a Resolution of Government dated 17 November 1815.