Himachal Pradesh

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.

History Of Himachal Pradesh
The history of

Himachal Pradesh

dates back to the time when human civilization began. It has rich and varied history which can be divided into several distinct eras. The state was the prominent trade route for numerous travelers due to the presence of many passes in mountains. Large parts of northern regions of the state were under Tibet during the tenth century. This has made the Buddhist culture to develop in the state, which is still found in areas like Lahaul, Mcleodganj and Spiti. The other areas in southern region were dominated by Ranas, Thakurs and Raja clans. This made the state to be divided into smaller regions under different rulers. The divisions resulted in different regions like Chamba, Kangra and Kullu .

However, in early 19th century, the state was conquered by Sikh kings after a treaty was signed with the British rulers. The state is inhabited by several Aryan tribes till date; the best example is the Kinnauris of eastern

Himachal Pradesh

who follow mixed traditions of both Buddhism and Hinduism.

Prehistory of the Hill State

Archaeological evidences have brought to light the presence of primitive men in the foothills of the

Himachal Pradesh

. They are believed to have inhabited in regions of Bangana valley of Kangra, Markanda valley of Sirmour and Sirsa valley of Nalagarh. The Indus valley civilization is believed to have flourished in the valley during the period of 2250 and 1750 BC and Aryans used to live in these hilly regions.

Medieval History of the Hill State

Shankar Verma was the ruler of Himachal Pradesh

region and started exercising control over the state. The Hill region was also invaded by the Muslim ruler Mahmud Ghazni in the year 1009 AD. He was responsible for creating havoc and looting the wealth of almost all north Indian temples. Further in the year 1043 AD the region came under Rajput rulers. Sansar Chand was the most prominent Rajput ruler who ruled over the territory.

Rajputs under the rule of Katoch Maharaja Sansar Chand-II annexed vast regions of the state in 1773 AD. Rajputs ruled the region peacefully until they were over thrown by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the year 1804.
The small regions of the state enjoyed Independence and progressed before the invasion of Muslim kings. The Hilly region witnessed the worst devastation under Muslim invaders regime; they did not pay any attention to the progress of the region. They were only interested in accumulation of wealth and hence looted all the prominent temples. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered the entire Kangra region in 10th century. The feat of Mahmud Ghaznavi was followed by Timur and Sikander Lodi who also captured several forts and regions under their power.

British Rule in the Hill State

The British rule commenced in the state after Anglo-Gorkha war. The Gorkha’s were out powered by the British and they established their supremacy in the state after the Anglo-Gorkha war along the provinces of Satluj. Thus British started annexing the area one by one and emerged as dominant powers in the hill state. The early 19th century witnessed the annexing of Shimla by British. However,

Himachal Pradesh

became a centrally administered territory after India’s Independence in the year 1948 by integration of 31 hill provinces.

The first war of Indian Independence popularly called as the revolt of 1857 was the result of political unrest and grievance against British rule which involved social, religious and economical reasons. However, the freedom movement was not very active in hilly region unlike other parts of the country. They displayed their inactiveness when the first war of independence broke out, similar was the attitude of their rulers. However, Bushahr was the only ruler who was an exception and was hostile to British administration. It is believed that some people even offered helping hand for the British during the revolt period. Some of the rulers who helped the British included rulers from Bilaspur, Chamba, Dhami and Bhagal.

The hilly region of

Himachal Pradesh

was annexed to British territory after a declaration was made by the queen in year 1858. However, the British rule did not hamper the progress of the state, some of the districts like Mandi, Bilaspur and Chamba made excellent progress during British rule. The British rule got excellent support from the Hill districts during the First World War. The people of the state remained loyal and extended all possible help to British administration both in the form of men and goods. Some of the places like Bilaspur, Chamba, Nurpur, Mandi, Kangra, Siba and Suket were of great aid to the British rule.

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