Early History of Himachal Pradesh
Evidences have consolidated the fact that about 2 million years ago, Himachal Pradesh served as the habitat of prehistoric man. Between the period of 2250 and 1750 BC, people belonging to Indus Valley Civilization lived in this region. During this era the inhabitants of Himachal Pradesh were the Dasas, who entered the hills from the Gangetic plain. By 2000 BC the Dasas were joined by the Aryans and a number of tribal republics known as Maha-Janapadas emerged into the geographically separate regions, where they upheld separate cultural traditions.
Medieval History of Himachal Pradesh
It was impossible for one ruler to rule over the whole region. Invasion of Mahmud Ghazni took place in 1009 AD who accumulated all the wealth of north Indian temples. In 1043 AD the Hindu Rajput families gained supremacy over the North Western districts of Brahmour and Chamba (the princely states created between the 6th and 16th centuries). The most powerful kingdom was the Kangra, where the Katoch Rajputs held various attacks before surrendering themselves to the Mughals in the 16th century.
Lahaul and Spiti remained aloof during the medieval era and was not governed by the Rajputs but by the Jos of the Tibetian origin (who introduced Tibetian customs and architecture). After some time, the Lahaul and Spiti came under the rajas of Kullu. Further south, the region around Shimla and Sirmaur was divided into 30 independently governed thakurais. In the 17th century, the newly empowered Sikh community added to the threat posed by the Mughals. In the 18th century the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh gained strongholds in Western Himachal, Kullu and Spiti.
Modern History of Himachal Pradesh
Amar Singh Tapur, the leader of Gurkha army set on extending his Nepalese dominion. He failed to take Kangra but consolidated power in the southern Simla hill states. The thakurai chiefs turned to the British for help and forced the Gurkhas back into Nepal in 1815. The British assumed power over the south, tempting the Sikhs to battle in the Anglo- Sikh wars. With the signing of the treaty in 1846, the British annexed most part of the south and west of the state. In 1864 Simla was pronounced as the summer government headquarters. After the Independence, the regions bordering Punjab were integrated and named as Himachal Pradesh. With Independence, the Chief Commissioner's province of H.P. came into being on 15th April 1948. Himachal became a part C state on 26th January, 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India. On 1st November 1956 Himachal Pradesh was recognized as a Union Territory and in 1966 the state was formed as it is today and Shimla became its capital. On 18th December, 1970 the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by the Indian Parliament and the new state came into being on 25th January, 1971. Thus Himachal Pradesh emerged as the eighteenth state of Indian Union.
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