History of modern Himachal Pradesh after Independence

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History of modern Himachal Pradesh after Independence

Himachal Pradesh has a rich history that has laid a strong foundation for the state it is now. The origin of Himachal Pradesh goes back to the era of the first ever human settlement that took place in India – Indus Valley Civilization.

The flourishing civilization affected the foothills of the Himalayas, the place where present day Himachal Pradesh is located. According to evidences studied by historians, it is clear that the influence of the Aryans in this region dates back to the time period preceding the Rig-Veda. The history of Himachal Pradesh is reflective of the accumulation of the varied culture that evolved as well as flourished here. This was the ‘Deva Bhoomi’ – land of Gods, since earlier times. There are evidences that confirm the existence of pre historic humans in this region. Himachal Pradesh has also find its place in Epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana too. Various legends and mythological depiction also have appraised this state with varied names

Medieval history

In about 883 AD Shankar Verma, the ruler of Kashmir exercised his influence over Himachal Pradesh. The region also witnessed the invasion of Mahmud Ghazni in 1009 AD, who looted the wealth from the temples in the North India. In 1043 AD the Rajputs ruled over the territory.
The small kingdom enjoyed a large degree of independence till the eve of the Muslim invasions in northern India. The states of the Himalaya were devastated by Muslim invaders a number of times. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century. Timur and Sikander Lodhi also marched through the lower parts of the state and captured a number of forts.
The Gorkhas, a martial tribe in Nepal in 1768, consolidated their power and began to expand their territory. The Gurkhas marched in from Nepal and captured the area of Sirmour and Shimla. Under the leadership of Bada Kaji Amar Singh Thapa, managed to defeat Sansar Chand, the ruler of kangra, in 1806. However Gorkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjit Singh katoch in 1809.
However,Raja Ram Singh, Raja of Siba State re-capture the Siba fort after defeating the army of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After the defeat, the Gorkhas also began to expand towards the south of the state.
This led to the Anglo-Gorkha war. They came into direct conflict with the British along the tarai belt after which the British expelled them from the provinces of Satluj. In early 19th century the British annexed the areas of Shimla after the Gurkha War of 181516. Himachal became a centrally administered territory in 1948 with the integration of 31 hill provinces.

British period

The revolt of 1857 resulted due to political, social, economic, religious and military grievances against the Britishers. People of the hill provinces were not politically as active as the people in other parts of the country. The people as well as rulers remained more or less inactive with the exception of Bushahr. Some of them even helped the British government during the revolt. The rulers of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami were among them.
After Queen Victoria’s proclamation of 1858 the British territories in the hill came under British Crown . The provinces of Chamba, Mandi and Bilaspur made good progress in many areas during that period. In World War I, almost all rulers of the hill states contributed and helped the Britishers both in the form of men and materials.
Having a cool climate, Shimla was made the summer capital by the British Govt. Shimla had made great progress under british rule in terms of infrastructure and administration. Shimla -Kalka railway track and Indian Institute of Advanced studies are some examples. First Hydropower project was built by the britishers at Shanan, Joginder Nagar.

Post Independence

Class ‘G’ State:

State came into existence on 15th April, 1948 as the Chief Commissioner’s Province of H.P. by integration of 28 princely states with four Districts Chamba, Mandi, Sirmour and Mahasu. On 1951 state was declared as Class ‘G’ state. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India and the Lt. Governor was appointed. Legislative Assembly was elected in 1952 and Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar was elected as the first Chief Minister of the state.

Union Territory Himachal:

Himachal Pradesh became the Union Territory on 1 November 1956. Later on Bilaspur which was the class ‘G’ state was merged as the fifth district on 1 July,1954. On 1 May, 1960 Kinnaur became the 6th District. Following area of Punjab State namely Simla, Kangra, Kulu and Lahul and Spiti Districts, Nalagarh tehsil of Ambala District, Lohara, Amb and Una kanungo circles, some area of Santokhgarh kanungo circle and some other specified area of Una tehsil of Hoshiarpur District besides some parts of Dhar Kalan Kanungo circle of Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur Districts were merged with Himachal Pradesh on 1 November 1966 and on same day Kullu, Lahaul & Spiti, Kangra and Shimla districts were created.


On 18 December 1970, the state of Himachal Pradesh act was Passed by Parliament and Himachal Pradesh became the 18th state of Indian Union on 25 Jan, 1971. Hamirpur and Una Districts were carved from Kangra and Shimla and Solan districts were created from Mahasu. Himachal Pradesh is divided into 12 districts namely, Kangra, Hamirpur, Mandi, Bilaspur, Una, Chamba, Lahaul and Spiti, Sirmaur, Kinnaur, Kullu, Solan and Shimla. The state capital is Shimla which was formerly British India’s summer capital under the name Simla.


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