Monday, August 10, 2015

First Non Hindu King of Kashmir-Lha-chen-Rgyalbu-Rinchan

Lha-chen-Rgyalbu-Rinchan was first non Hindu king of Kashmir who belonged to Islamic faith(convert). He was not a born Muslim but Buddhist by faith. Rinchan’s father was killed in some internal disputes in Ladakh leading him to run away in exile and settle as a refugee in Kashmir. He took refuge in castle of Ram Chand commander of Raja Sahadeva. Here he met Shamshir a Persian Muslim immigrant- another fellow like him. Rinchan first won confidence of Ram Chand and later killed him to ascent himself to throne and proclaimed himself as king of Kashmir on 6th October 1320.He gained peace by marrying Ram Chand’s daughter Kota Rani and appointing his son Rawan Chand on his father’s post of commander in chief and Shamsir as vazir(Minister) of his kingdom. 

Even after securing peace he did not feel secure. He wanted to remove stigma that he captured throne by fraud. Therefore he made an attempt to identify himself with the country and the people to understand and follow their culture, religion and traditions, as one of them. To begin with he expressed desire to accept Saiva cult which was most popular form of religion followed in Kashmir. He approached Devaswami Pundit who was head guru of Court Pundits of Kashmir in order to become his disciple and entreated him as his devotees. Devaswami Pundit appeared to be a very strong head man but without imagination. He turned down request of Rinchan as he was Buddhist by origin. (Ref Jonaraja page 20-21). 

Hindu Kashmir lost this opportunity forever but Shamshir made full use of it. Finding Rinchan in a state of confusion, he consoled him, pleaded him and requested him to leave the decision to chance. It was agreed that he would accept the religion of that person whom he would first see the next morning. By sheer chance of manipulation by Shamshir it happened, that Rinchan eyes fell on a Muslim fakir Sayed Sharafuddin Bulbul shah the very next morning. He accepted Islam from Bulbul shah and adopted name of Shah Sadruddin as first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. 

After accepting Islam Rinchan founded Rinchanpura a quarter in Kashmir and build first mosque in Kashmir known as “Bud Masheed” on the site of a Buddhist temple. Not very far from here he built another mosque at Ali Kadal and started a Langarkhana (public charity kitchen) after his mentor Bulbul Shah as Bulbul Langer. He even named his only son born with Hindu wife Kota Rani as Haidar and trusted him to the care of Shamshir. Under Rinchan rule state religion of Kashmir became Islam and full patronage was given for conversion to Islam to both Hindus as well as Buddhists leading to rapid decline in their numbers. Rinchan was later attacked by relatives of king Sahadeva and he died of wounds on 25 November 1353.
Lha-chen-Rgyalbu-Rinchan was first non Hindu king of Kashmir who belonged to Islamic faith(convert). He was not a born Muslim but Buddhist by faith. Rinchan’s father was killed in some internal disputes in Ladakh leading him to run away in exile and settle as a refugee in Kashmir. He took refuge in castle of Ram Chand commander of Raja Sahadeva. Here he met Shamshir a Persian Muslim immigrant- another fellow like him. Rinchan first won confidence of Ram Chand and later killed him to ascent himself to throne and proclaimed himself as king of Kashmir on 6th October 1320.He gained peace by marrying Ram Chand’s daughter Kota Rani and appointing his son Rawan Chand on his father’s post of commander in chief and Shamsir as vazir(Minister) of his kingdom. Even after securing peace he did not feel secure. He wanted to remove stigma that he captured throne by fraud. Therefore he made an attempt to identify himself with the country and the people to understand and follow their culture, religion and traditions, as one of them. To begin with he expressed desire to accept Saiva cult which was most popular form of religion followed in Kashmir. He approached Devaswami Pundit who was head guru of Court Pundits of Kashmir in order to become his disciple and entreated him as his devotees. Devaswami Pundit appeared to be a very strong head man but without imagination. He turned down request of Rinchan as he was Buddhist by origin. (Ref Jonaraja page 20-21). Hindu Kashmir lost this opportunity forever but Shamshir made full use of it. Finding Rinchan in a state of confusion, he consoled him, pleaded him and requested him to leave the decision to chance. It was agreed that he would accept the religion of that person whom he would first see the next morning. By sheer chance of manipulation by Shamshir it happened, that Rinchan eyes fell on a Muslim fakir Sayed Sharafuddin Bulbul shah the very next morning. He accepted Islam from Bulbul shah and adopted name of Shah Sadruddin as first Muslim ruler of Kashmir. After accepting Islam Rinchan founded Rinchanpura a quarter in Kashmir and build first mosque in Kashmir known as “Bud Masheed” on the site of a Buddhist temple. Not very far from here he built another mosque at Ali Kadal and started a Langarkhana (public charity kitchen) after his mentor Bulbul Shah as Bulbul Langer. He even named his only son born with Hindu wife Kota Rani as Haidar and trusted him to the care of Shamshir. Under Rinchan rule state religion of Kashmir became Islam and full patronage was given for conversion to Islam to both Hindus as well as Buddhists leading to rapid decline in their numbers. Rinchan was later attacked by relatives of king Sahadeva and he died of wounds on 25 November 1353.