History of Himachal Pradesh
Speaking of the history of Himachal Pradesh, it has a rich background with a strong foundation. It takes people back to the era of the first colonization of the human in the dainty land during the Indus valley Civilization. Being a part of the Indian Himalayas, they play a significant role in the history of the state. Consisting of beautiful wide valleys, Snow Mountains, transparent lakes, overflowing streams and rivers, this state is indeed a treat to the tourists. After India attained freedom in the year 1947, a number of the princely states were added to the state so as to be administered by the Government of India. Being one of the most sought after tourist destinations, it is essential to recognize the roots of the history of the state. The snowcapped mountains greet trekkers from all over the world to drape themselves in snow and enjoy the chill as well. Scroll further to know the origin of the state.
History of Himachal Pradesh
- The historic records reveal the existence of man in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh nearly two million years ago. Previously the Himachal region was known as ‘Deva Bhoomi’. The place where the pre historic men lived were Bangana valley of Kangra, Sirsa valley of Nalagarh and Markanda valley of Sirmour. The influence of the Aryans dates back to the era before the Rigveda. These settlements existed from the Indus valley civilization which later grew to the time period between 2250 and 1750 B.C.
- The ruler of Kashmir, Sankar Varma in 883 A.D extended his influence over Himachal Pradesh. In 1009AD, this region also witnessed the downfall of Mahmud Ghazni who during that period looted the wealth from the temples in North India. Later in 1043 AD the territory was ruled by the Rajputs till 1773 AD under the Katoch Maharaja Sansar Chand II. As the land was admired for its scenic natural beauty, it was given the royal benevolence of the Mughal rulers who initiated several works in gratitude to its vibrant and elegant features.
- This continued until the attack by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1804 who bought an end to the Rajput power. This kingdom though small, enjoyed great independence until the eve when the Muslims invaded in the north India and the states of the foothills were abandoned by the Muslim invaders. It was in the beginning of the 10th century that Mahmud Ghazni conquered Kangra. Also many forts were captured and battles fought by Timur and Sikander Lodi as well.
- The Gorkhas who were migrants from China, hence seized Sirmour and Shimla and under the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, they also annexed Kangra. The Gokhas defeated Sansar Chand who was the ruler of Kangra in 1806 with the aid of many provincial chiefs. Thus, they failed to capture the Kangra fort that was owned by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the year 1809.
- Hence Raja Ram Singh, who was the Raja of Siba State re captured the Siba fort after winning over the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The Gorkhas began to enlarge towards the south of the state after the defeat.
- During this time, the Anglo-Gorkha war was fought as they came into conflict with the British along the tarai belt. The British then deported them from the provinces of Satluj.
- Hence, the British emerged as a predominant power and in the early 19th century, they annexed the areas of Shimla after the Gurkha War (1815-16). In the year 1948, Himachal became a centrally controlled territory along with the combination of 31 hill provinces and also received additional regions in the year 1966.
- The people of the hill states were dormant politically when compared to the other parts of the country with the exclusion of Bushahr. It was the result of the revolt of 1857 which took place as the first war of Indian Independence. Also, some of the rulers such as that of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami offered support to the British government during the revolt.
- After the proclamation of the Queen Victoria of 1858, the British territories in the hill were controlled under the British Crown. Chamba, Mandi and Bilaspur were the states which made much progress during the British rule. During the First World War, the rulers of the hill states such as Kangra, Nurpur, Chamba, Suket, Mandi and Bilaspur supported the British by providing both men and the essential materials.
- The Chief Commissioner’s province of Himachal Pradesh was formed on 15th April 1948 after independence. With the enactment of the Constitution of India, the state was regarded as a part C state in the year 1950 on 26 January. It was on 1956; November 1 that Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory.
- As a means of reorganization process of Punjab, on 1 November 1966, Punjab hill areas were merged to the state. Hence on 25 January, 1971, Himachal Pradesh transformed into a full-fledged state of the Republic of India. In 1966, Himachal had 6 hill districts whereas after it was enlarged and reorganized, it consisted of ten districts altogether.
- In 1972-73, Bilaspur, Chamba, Hamirpur, Kangra, Kinnaur, Kulu, Lahaul & Spiti, Mandi, Shimla, Sirmaur, Solan and Una were also included ot the state and the total number of districts of the state rose to 12 in number.
- The State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passe passed on 18 December 1970 by the Parliament and the new state was formed on 25 January 1971 and was the eighteenth state in the Indian Union.
- Almost all the villages of the state have continuous water supply and regular electricity. A large number of the state’s youth serves in the Indian army and have contributed in the National defense of which Kargil War is the latest.
Through this article, hope you gained an insight on the history of your favorite tourist destination.