The term ‘Dogra’ is believed to originate from ‘Durgara’. The Durgara kingdom is mentioned in an eleventh century copper plate inscription at Chamba. In medieval times, it was also known as Dugar which later came to be known as a Dogra. Presently, Dogra has turned into an ethnic group of people who speak Dogri language. The ancestors of Gulab Singh belong to Jammuwal. According to some sources, Raja Kapur Dev ruled the region of Jammu in 1560 AD. He had two sons named Jag Dev and Samail Dev. Their descendants came to be known as Bahuwals and Jammuwals respectively. However, the family claims to be descents of Suryavanshi dynasty by Jambu Lochan who is believed to establish the Jammu city.

The Dogra state was ruled for a century. This period is marked as the most peaceful and progressive times in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. Gulab Singh was an important noble of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at Lahore. After the Sikh Empire collapsed, Gulab Singh established Dogra princely states in Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir was the second largest princely state in British India.

The first Maharaja, Gulab Singh was the founder of Dogra dynasty. He was born in the Dogra Rajput family. During his reign Jammu and Kashmir became a part of the Sikh Empire in 1808. Gulab’s father, Ranjit Singh was the governor of Jammu region in the Sikh Empire. ith the help of General Zorawar Singh, Gulab Singh extended the Sikh Empire to western Tibet. After thefirst Anglo-Sikh War, the East India Company annexed Kashmir Valley, Ladakh and Gilgit- Baltistan territories of Sikh Empire.

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