Himachal Pradesh has been inhabited by human beings since the dawn of civilization.

It has a rich and varied history which can be divided into several distinct eras. Prehistory and Protohistory About 2 million years ago man lived in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh, viz in the Bangana valley of Kangra, Sirsa valley of Nalagarh and Markanda valley of Sirmour. The foothills of the state were inhabited by people from Indus valley civilization which flourished between 2250 and 1750 B.C. People of Indus valley civilization pushed the original inhabitants of Ganga plains who were known as Kolorian people towards north. They moved to the hills of Himachal Pradesh where they could live peacefully and preserve their way of life. In the Vedas they have been referred to as Dasas, Dasyus and Nishadas while in later works they have been called Kinnars, Nagas and Yakshas. The Kols or Mundas are believed to be the original migrants to the hills of present day H imachal. The second phase of migrants came in the form of Mongoloid people known as Bhotas and Kiratas. Later on came the third and most important wave of migrants in the form of the Aryans who left their Central Asian home. These laid the base of history and culture of Himachal Pradesh.

Early History up to Harsha According to the Mahabharta the tract which forms the present day Himachal Pradesh was made up of number of small republics known as Janpadas each of which constituted both a state and cultural unit. Audumbras: The were the most prominent ancient tribes of Himachal who lived in the lower hills between Pathankot and Jwalamukhi. They formed a separate state in 2 B.C. Trigarta: The state lay in the foothills drained by three rivers, i.e. Ravi, Beas and Satluj and hence the name. It is believed to have been an independent republic. Kuluta: The kingdom of Kilita was situated in the upper Beas valley which is also known as the Kully valley. Its capital was Naggar. Kulindas: This kingdom covered the area lying between the Beas, Satluj and Yamuna rivers, i.e. the Shimla and Sirmour hills. Their administration resembled a republic with members of a central assembly sharing the powers of the king. Gupta Empire: Chandragupta slowly subdued most of the republics of Himachal by show of strength or use of force though he usually did not rule them directly. Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta extended his boundaries to the Himalyan region. He introduced Buddhism to this tract. He built many stupas one of which is in the Kullu valley. Harsha: After the collapse of Gupta empire and before the rise of Harsha, this area was again ruled by petty chiefs known as Thakurs and Ranas. With the rise of Harsha in the early 7th century, most of these small states acknowledged his overall supremacy though many local powers remained with the petty chiefs.

The Katoch rulers of Kangra availed of this op portunity and Kangra regained independence status under Maharaja Sansar Chand who ruled for nearly half a centuary. Suket. Sirmour. Mughal Rule The small hill kingdom enjoyed a large degree of independence till the eve of Muslim invasions in northern India. They came into direct conflict with the English along the tarai belt after which the English expelled them from the hill states east of the Satluj. Guler. Bushahar. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand. Later on as the Mughal dynasty began to break up. the British did not restore the hill territory vacated by Sikhs to their original owners. Dhami. the ruler of kangra. Sansar Chand began to expand his territory. Both the Sikh and English wanted to avoid a direct conflict. Kutlehar. Gradually the Gorkhas annexed Sirmour and Shimla hill states. Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower hills and captured several forts and fought many battles. where they set up small states or principalities. Many of these rulers entered into secret communication with the English. After he took formal possession of Kangra fort. These states were Kangra. Suket.) many Rajput states ascended in Rajsthan and Indus plains. After the first Anglo -Sikh war. but after the death of Ranjit Singh. Keonthal. States of the foothills were devastated by Muslim invaders from time to time. Nalagarh. After this defeat the Gorkhas began to expand towards south. Siwan and Datarpur came under the direct or indirect control of Sansar Chand. Baghal. They fought amongst themselves and the vanq uished moved to the hills with their followers. Gorkhas laid siege to Kangra. Nurpur. With the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa. a martial tribe came to power in Nepal in the year 1768. Mandi. the Khalsa army fought a number of wars with the British. He was one of the ablest administrators of the region. Bilaspur. the rulers of the hill states took full advantage. in 1806 with the help of many hill chiefs. The states of Chamba. the rulers of many hill states sided with the English as they were looking for an opportunity to settle scores with the former. After the Anglo-Gorkha war the common border of the British domain and Punjab became very sensitive. Jaswan. Thus British slowly emerged as the paramount powers in this tract. However Gorkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1809.Rajput Period A few decades after Harsha's death (647 A.D. . This resulted in the Anglo -Gorkha war. Anglo-Gorkha and Anglo-Sikh War The Gorkhas. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the begining of the 10th centuary. Kunihar. Mandi. They consolidated their military power and began to expand their territory. In 1845 when the Sikhs invaded the British territory by crossing the Satluj. Bilaspur.

Daulat Ram. 6. virtually all rulers of the hill states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort both in thr form of men and materials. Padam Dev. Among them were the rulers of Chamba. Some of them even rendered help to the Britishers during the revolt. bl ow to up the bridge over Beas river. Suket. . Amongst these were the states of Kangra. Freedom Struggle 1914 to 1947 The people of the hill also participated in the freedom struggle. During the first World War. The Pajhota agitation in which the people of a part of Sirmour state revolted is regarded as an extension of the Quit India Movement of 1942. Meetings were held in Mandi and Suket states in December 1914 and January 1915 and it was decided to murder the Superintendent and Wazir of Mandi and Suket. Parmar. Mandi and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British rule. Thakur Hazara Singh and Pahari Gandhi Baba Kanshi Ram. Mandi and Bilaspur.S. Siba. The highlights of the freedom movement in this tract are listed below: 1. Sada Ram Chandel. Nurpur. British Rule 1858 to 1914 The British territories in the hill came under British Crown after Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858. 4. Shivanand Ramaul. 2. Important freedom fighters of this state during this period included Dr. Purnanand. The states of Chamba.Revolt of 1857 The revolt or first Indian war of independence resulted due to the building up of political. In other princely states agitations were launched for social and political reforms. However it is not clear wheth er they actually aided the rebels or not. People of the hill states were not politically alive as the people in other parts of the country. social. Chamba. to loot the treasury. economic. Bhagal and Dhami. However these were directed more against the princes than against the British and as such were mere extensions of freedom movement. However conspirators were caught and sentenced to long terms in prison. The rulers of Bushars acted in a manner hostile to the interests of British. religious and military grievances against the British. 5. 3. Y. They remained more or less aloof and so did their rulers with the exception of Bushahr. Praja Mandal launched agitations against the British yoke in areas under direct British Rule. Bilaspur. The Mandi conspiracy was carried out in 1914-15 under the influence of the Gadhr party. Satya Dev. The Congress party was also active in the freedom movement in the hill state particularly in Kangra.

November. It has seen a number of full fledged governments which have led the state towards economic self-reliance. Just like most of the Indian states the Himachal Pradesh Society is also multilingual and multicultural in nature. Daulat Ram. Kangra and most of the other hill areas of Punjab were merged with H. became a part C state on 26th January. In 2003 the state legislative assembly was won by the Indian National Congress (INC). Parmar. 3. Himachal Pradesh became Union Territory on 1st November. Governments have seen alternates between BJP & Congress all the times. Finally it gained the status of a full fledged state on 25th January. Himachal Pradesh has come a long way since then. Thus H. Bilaspur was merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1st July.P. 4. Sada Ram Chandel. the state had gained importance especially due to its serene environment. 1970 the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25th January. 1956. Satya Dev. After India got her freedom in 1947. Purnanand. H.S. 7. 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India. 1971. Shimla had become the summer capital of British India. The Congress party was active in this region Administration under the leadership of several political leaders viz. On 18th December.Post-Independence Period The history of present day Himachal Pradesh in the post -independence era has been outlined below: 1. Padam Dev. Y. The most recent political picture of the state is held by the Indian National Congress. the state was made a Chief Commissioner's province in 1948. on 1st 6. The Praja Mandal had launched demonstrations against the British and demanded for social and political reforms. In 1950 it was offered a status of Part C state. 1948. The Chief Commissioner's province of H. Shivanand Ramaul. Dr. The Social Practices here are a combination of tribal values and the dominant Hindu customs. 2. 1954. No third front has ever come out significantly in the Political Links T . During British Rule. 1966 though its status remained that of a Union Territory. 5. came into being on 15th Ap ril.P. The Cultural Practices in the Himachal Pradesh zFor more informations on the Himachal Pradesh Society the following links can be browsed y y y y y Culture People Language Food Art v Politics The people of Himachal Pradesh participated actively in the prePolitics independence politics. The main opposition party is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Thakur Hazara Singh and Pahari Gandhi Baba Kanshi Ram.P. emerged as the eighteenth state of Indian Union.P. 1971.

2. 5.state. State Political Parties 1. 6. Kangra . Mandi 3. 7. 4. Shimla 2. All India Tribes and Minorities Front Him Loktantrik Morcha Himachal Kranti Party Himachal Vikas Congress Janhit Morcha Lok Raj Party Himachal Pradesh Loktantrik Morcha (Himachal Pradesh) Assembly Constituencies (Total: 68) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Kinnaur(Sc) Rampur (Sc) Rohru Jubbal Kotkhai Chopal Kumarsain Theog Simla 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Nadaun Hamirpur Bamsan Mewa (Sc) Nadaunta Gagret (Sc) Chintpurni Santokhghar Una Kutlehar Nurpur Gangath (Sc) Jawali Guler Jaswan Pragpur (Sc) Jawalamukhi Thural Rajgir (Sc) Baijnath Palampur Sulah Nagrota 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 Shahpur Dharamshala Kangra Bhattiyat Bankhet Rajnagar (Sc) Chamba Bharmour (Sc) Lahaul And Spiti 55 (Sc) 56 Kulu 57 Banjar 58 Ani (Sc) 59 Karsog (Sc) 60 Chachiot 61 Nachan (Sc) 62 Sundernagar 63 Balh (Sc) 64 Gopalpur 65 Dharampur 66 Jogindernagar 67 Darang 68 Mandi - Kasumpti (Sc) 32 Arki Doon Nalagarh Kasauli (Sc) Solan Pachhad (Sc) Rainka (Sc) Shillai Paonta Doon Nahan Kotkehloor Bilaspur Ghumarwin Geharwin (Sc) 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Lok Sabha Constituencies (Total 4) 1. 3.

Hamirpur .4.

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