Himachal pradesh's History
The name Himachal was coined in 1948
after India gained independence from British Raj to refer to the
Hill districts around Shimla and southern hill states of the former
Punjab region. But the history of the areas that now constitute
Himachal Pradesh dates back at least 5 millenia to the time when the
Indus valley civilisation flourished i.e. between the time period of
2250 and 1750 B.C. From the pre historic time it was inhabited by
tribes like the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas,
Kinnars and Kirats.
The small kingdom enjoyed a large degree of independence till the
eve of the Muslim invasions in northern India. The states of the
foothills were devastated by Muslim invaders a number of times.
Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th
century. Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower
hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many
The Gorkhas, a martial tribe came to power in Nepal in the year
1768. They consolidated their military power and began to expand
their territory. Gradually the Gorkhas annexed Sirmour and Shimla.
With the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkhas laid siege to
Kangra. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand, the ruler of kangra, in
1806 with the help of many provincial chiefs. However Gorkhas could
not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in
1809. After the defeat the Gorkhas began to expand towards the south
of the state. However, Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State
re-captured the fort of Siba from the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
in Samvat 1846.
This led in the Anglo-Sikh war. They came into direct conflict with
the British along the tarai belt after which the British expelled
them from the provinces of the Satluj. Thus British gradually
emerged as the paramount powers.
The revolt of 1857 or first Indian war of independence resulted due
to the building up of political, social, economic, religious and
military grievances against the British government. People of the
hill states were not politically alive as the people in other parts
of the country. They remained more or less inactive and so did their
rulers with the exception of Bushahr. Some of them even rendered
help to the British government during the revolt. Among them were
the rulers of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami. The rulers of
Bushars rather acted in a manner hostile to the interests of
The British territories in the hill came under British Crown after
Queen Victoria's proclamation of 1858. The states of Chamba, Mandi
and Bilaspur made good progress in many fields during the British
rule. During the first world war, virtually all rulers of the hill
states remained loyal and contributed to the British war effort both
in the form of men and materials. Amongst these were the states of
Kangra, Jaswan,Datarpur,Guler, Nurpur, Chamba, Suket, Mandi and
After independence the Chief Commissioner's province of H.P. came
into being on 15 April 1948. Himachal became a part C state on 26
January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India.
Himachal Pradesh became Union Territory on 1 November 1956. On 18
December 1970 the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by
Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971.
Thus Himachal emerged as the eighteenth state of Indian Union.