Himachal Pradesh has continued to be inhabited by man since the dawn of civilization. Hence, the rich and varied history of Himachal Pradesh can be divided into several distinct eras.
Evidence suggests man's existence in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh, even during prehistoric times. The Bangana valley of Kangra, Sirsa valley of Nalagarh, and Markanda valley of Sirmour are some areas where prehistoric people are believed to have lived.
The history of Himachal Pradesh suggests that large numbers of people from Central Asia and the Indian plains had migrated to this region from time to time. The first human race to have set foot in Himachal Pradesh is believed to be the Proto-Australoid, followed by the Mongoloid and the Aryan. As per the Rig Veda, the ancient races of Dasyus and Nishads also inhabited Himachal Pradesh and their powerful King Shambra had as many as 99 forts. The history of Himachal Pradesh also mentions that tribes like the Koilis, Halis, Dagis, Dhaugris, Dasa, Khasas, Kinnars and Kirats inhabited the land.
Himachal Pradesh is popularly known as 'Deva Bhoomi ' or the Land of the Gods. The Aryan influence over this land dates back to the period before the Rig Veda. The history of Himachal Pradesh states that the Aryans defeated the local tribes and settled here permanently. During those times, Himachal was made up of a number of small republics, namely 'Janapadas' - each of which functioned as a provincial and cultural unit.
Himachal Pradesh enjoyed considerable independence until the Muslims invaded northern India. Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the region in 1009 AD. The History of Himachal Pradesh has it that this territory came to be ruled by the Rajputs in about 1043 AD. The land was again conquered by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1804 AD, whereby the Rajput power was crushed here. After that, the Gurkhas conquered the area and did much damage to the land.
The rich and checkered history of Himachal Pradesh also mentions that the British annexed Himachal after the Gurkha War of 1815-16. They established several hill stations in the region to get respite from the scorching heat and dust of the plains in summers. They made Shimla the summer capital of India.
After India gained independence, Himachal Pradesh became a centrally administered territory in 1948. With the implementation of the Constitution of India, Himachal became a part C state on 26th January 1950. It gained the status of a Union Territory on 1st November 1956, and later, on 25th January 1971, Himachal Pradesh came into being as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union. You can get glimpses of the rich history and cultural heritage of the state with our wide range of Himachal Pradesh tour packages. Our holiday packages are customizable and you can design the itinerary according to your requirements. Contact our travel experts for more information and book a tour with us!