Originally (before independence) the only clans allowed to conduct business dealings in the state of Kangra were the Maharajas and soods. The soods like their counterparts the Marwaris of Rajasthan have become famous businessmen and have settled in various parts of the world.
The abolition of the prevy purses and the confiscation of lands under the ceiling act of 1972 rendered most of the Rajas and Maharajas of India without any source of income.
Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra (the head of the Royal family) had to face many difficulties. Like almost every ruling family of India, he too had to sell a lot of his family heirlooms such as- silver furniture, jewelry, gem studded cloths and carpets, guns, lands, shikar trophies and most importantly his heritage of the Kangra miniature paintings in order to survive. The situation of the ruling family had become so bleak that a lot of rulers gave up their grand palaces for moderate dwellings. Even Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra fell in this vicious trap and had to demolish the main palace of Lambagraon (because it became too expensive and difficult to maintain). It took few years for Maharaja Dhruv Dev Chandra to get over this shock.
Then, with the help of his estate managers and secretaries, he implemented the good advice of his best friend the present Raja of Kutlehar (he is the ruler in India to loose his lands - in A.D. 1998) and converted Maharaj nagar into a co-operate farm (by combining all the lands of family members) of about 1000 acres. This area was converted in a mango and leechee orchard (300 acres) and the rest of the land was converted into a commercial forest of Bamboo and Katha (khair). This was the first time in the history of 487 generations that a member of the Katoch royal family had become a business man. This co-operate farm is still controlled by the family.
Maharaja Aditya Dev Chandra (488th in lineal descent) settled into a business of Jewelry (earlier his hobby). In A.D. 1990 he converted his family's summer house in the hill station of Dharamsala (clouds End villa) into an eight bed room heritage hotel. In A.D.1992, this hotel got a mention in the Tatler travel guide as one of the 50 best value hotels in the world.
Maharaja Aditya Dev Chandra's son Tikaraj Aishwarya Dev Chandra after returning from England (where he studied and also worked as merchandise for the famous fashion house of Seera Lee & Hermes) has got involved in the family business. He, along with his old school friend Mr. Vishal Singh, Started Royal Expeditions (Established A.D.1992) a travel and tour Management Company dealing in inbound tourist traffic to India, Nepal, Bhutan & Srilanka.
In A.D. 1997, Tikaraj Sahib and his wife Tikarani Shilja Katoch opened another Company called the Kangra Hotels Pvt. Ltd. This company is presently involved in a phase wise conversion of their old family properties into heritage hotels.
On the social front Tikarani Shailja Katoch has started a gap year's program which is called Asia Venture. This program involves bring students (from the ages of 17 to 20 years) from England. These students in their Gap year (time taken off between school and college) come to Lambagraon and teach English related subjects in private and under privileged school - (for free) in return they learn about the life in rural India (a cultural exchange program). So far 11 schools in the Lambagraon area have been benefitting from this program for the last 4 years.
Tikaraj Aishwarya Dev Chandra heads the Kangra Rural Development Society (N.G.O.)
This society with help of Maharani Chandresh Kumari's M.P. funds from Embassies and other associations is helping develop villages in Kangra by providing roads, rooms for schools, community halls and water system like hand pumps etc. This society is now looking to start a free clinic with the help of local doctors and the private hospitals in Delhi. This clinic in rural Himachal will be connected directly (online by computer) to the private hospital in Gurgaon, in order to provide immediate diagnoses in consultation with senior city doctor for village patients.