MEDINĪ PRAKĀSH, ruler from 1684 to 1704 of Sirmūr, a state situated along the river Yamunā in the Kayārdā Dūn valley of the Śivālik hills, was one among the hill chiefs who did not support Rājā Bhīm Chand of Kahlūr in his designs against Gurū Gobind Siṅgh. In April 1685, he invited the Gurū to spend some time with him at Nāhan which had a cool climate and abounded in game. The Gurū accepted the invitation and travelled to Nāhan. As he reached the vicinity of the town (14 April 1685), Rājā Medinī Prakāsh came out to receive him and took him to his palace and looked after him and his Sikhs in a most hospitable manner. Gurū Gobind Siṅgh lived in the Nāhan territory for about three years and got a fort built at Pāoṇṭā. The years spent at Pāoṇṭā were the most creative and significant in the Gurū's career. While in the Sirmūr territory, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh had also to fight a battle at Bhaṅgāṇī on 8 September 1688 (15 April 1688 according to some sources) against Rājā Bhīm Chand and his allies. Though victorious in battle, Gurū Gobind Siṅgh left Pāoṇṭā for Anandpur soon afterwards. Rājā Medinī Prakāsh, who did not join the hill chiefs in their battle against Gurū Gobind Siṅgh, incurred the displeasure of both the princes and the Mughal government. He died issueless in 1704.


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K. S. Thāpar