History & Culture in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh celebrated its 50th anniversary as a full-fledged state in 2021. There is a long history of Himachal Pradesh ranging from Indus Valley civilization to the British era, till the present period.  Around 2250 BC and 1750 BC, people from the Indus Valley Civilization lived in the valleys in the foothills of Himachal. The initial people who inhabited the region were the Mundas or Kols, followed by Kiratas and Bhotas, and then people from Central Asia. King Asoka introduced Buddhism in the valley. He also built many stupas. King Harsha governed the province in the early seventh century.

After his death, several Rajput leaders with their followers moved from Rajasthan to Himachal. They set up around thirteen small states like Mandi, Kangra, Sirmaur, Bushahr, and Bilaspur. Most states from this were later conquered by the Mughal rulers. It included the vital state of Kangra as well. The dynasty regained power near the end of the eighteenth century, under the leadership of Sansar Chand. It expanded in the nearby hilly areas such as Mandi, Bilaspur, and Chamba. During the nineteenth century, the Gorkhas of Nepal annexed Shimla and Sirmaur hill states. They defeated Sansar Chand in Kangra. After a few years, the Sikhs under the leadership of Ranjit Singh annexed the Kangra Fort. But both Sikhs and Gorkhas were later ousted by the British during the First Anglo-Sikh and Anglo-Gorkha war.

Following Queen Victoria's proclamation in 1858, the British territories in the region became subject to the British Crown. Then during the Indian freedom struggle, the Praja Mandal launched a protest for freedom. During this time, the congress party was active in Kangra. Some of the leaders from this era were Shivanand Ramaul, Padam Dev, Purnanand, and Dr. YS Parmar.  After the independence, the state was initially a centrally administered region in April 1948. It had thirty princely states. It was designated as a Part C state in 1951. Himachal Pradesh remained independent from Punjab until 1956 when it was combined with Punjab. Then it became a Union territory. It became the state of Himachal Pradesh in December 1970. Finally, on 25th January 1971, it became the 18th state of India. 

Culture of Himachal Pradesh

The culture of Himachal Pradesh sets its people distinctly apart. From their colorful Himachal Pradesh traditional dresses to their rustic and simple lives, there is much to explore about the state. The population has a mixture of tribes, Buddhist, and a majority of Hindu community makes Himachal most exciting to explore. The common Himachal Pradesh language is Hindi, followed by Pahari. Their arts and handicrafts are gaining popularity across the world. But your Himachal Pradesh tour is incomplete without shopping for the Himachali cap.

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