Himachal Pradesh history – rediscover – camping trekking

backpack trekking; tents for camping; paragliding trekking; sleeping tent; outdoor camping tent

lotus as seen during the trek

In the Vedas they were called Dasas, Dasyus, Nishadas, etc. In the post Vedic literature they were mentioned as Kinnaras, Nagas and Yakshas. According to the historians, at the time of Rig Veda period they were the masters of the hills, and according to Rig Veda their powerful king was Shambara, who had ninety-nine strong forts in the hills between the Beas and Yamuna river. The second migrants were the Mongolian featured people called Bhotas and Kiratas in Indian Literature. In pre -historic times they occupied the sub-Himalayan region and at present they are found in the highest regions of Himachal pradesh.

During the later Vedic age saints and sages with their disciples came to the low Himachal valleys as peaceful settlers and established their hermitages in several places. Among them the Renuka lake in Sirmur district is connected with Jamdagni, the Vashishtha Kund in Mani Karan of the Kullu Valley with Vashishtha Rishi, Nirmand with Parshu Ram, the Beas Cave in Bilaspur with sage Vyas etc. In the post-vedic period the five Pandava brothers spent most of their exile in these hills and some of the places like Hatkoti in the Jubble area and Hidimba goddess in the Kullu Valley are connected with them.

According to the Mahabharata (1000 B.C) the Himalayan region now forming Himachal Pradesh was divided into a number of small tribal republics. The Audumbaras, also known as the Udumbaras or Odumbaras, were one of the most prominent tribes of ancient Himachal Pradesh, whose coins have been mostly found in the pathankot and Jawalamukhi region of Kangra district. They issued copper and silver coins and date from the first century B.C. The name Trigarta is found in the Mahabharata and in the Puranas, as well as in Panini’s wrok. Trigarta denotes the region drained by three rivers, the Ravi, the Beas and the Sutlej. Thus the Trigarta country corresponds to the modern Kangra, the land between the Ravi and Sutlej.

During the time of Hieun-Tsang’s (a Chinese traveller of 7th Century A.D), who visited Punjab, the fertile tract of land constituting Jullunur and the area lying between the two doabs of the rivers Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, was an independent state which also included, apart from Kangra, Hoshiarpur, Chamba, Mandi and Sirhind. Jullundur was its capital and the for of Kangra served as the mainstay of its defence. This state was also known by the name of Trigarta, which in reality was the name of Nagarkot or Kot Kangra, situated in the Hilly region of Kangra. According to an inscription of A.D 804 at Baijnath, near Kangra, Raja Jai Chand was then the ruler. Several of the Himachal hill states experienced Muslim invasions from time to time. Mahmud Ghaznavi is said to have conquered Kangra and descrated the fort at the beginning of the tenth century.


backpack trekking; tents for camping; paragliding trekking; sleeping tent; outdoor camping tent

Dhoula dhar Mountains during winter season


According to traditional accounts the hill states of Himachal Pradesh during the medieval period were ruled by petty chiefs bearing the tille of Rana or Thakur. These Rajas, Ranas and Thakurs were exercising religious, feudal as well as personal authority. With the advent of the Muslims, however, some of them were compelled to bow before their authority. The Katoch dynasty of Kangra was one of the oldest Hindu ruling houses of India. Their vanshavali (pedigree) contains nearly five hundred names from Bhuma Chand onwards. The first well-known figure of the Kangra house was Susharman Chandra, the 234th from the founder. He ruled over Multan and is credited with having fought in the Mahabharat war as an ally of the Kauravas. After their defeat he retired to Jullundur which became the capital of his kingdom and he also built a second capital at Nagarkot. Thus he was the real founder of Nagarkot. Duiring most of the Mughal period, the hill state of Himachal Pradesh did not form a part of the Mughal empire and practically remained autonomous. The only exception was Kangra, which was often a victim of the Muslim inroads and expeditions.

During the 18th century the prominent figures who dominated the history of the hill states especially the Kangra are Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra; Amar Singh Thappa, the Gurkha leader and the Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab with his capital at Lahore. The fort of Kangra came into possession of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in August, 1809. 

During the First World War, almost all the hill chiefs not only remained loyal but also rendered valuable service to the British, both with men and materials. The services of these rulers were recognised after the war. The rulers of Kangra, Chamba and Suket were honoured with the distinction of Knight of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire. The title of Maharaja was conferred upon Raja Jai Singh of Kangra. The services of the ruler of Mandi were recognized by a Kharita from the Viceroy. The Raja of Bilaspur was also honoured.



Camping trekking at Dhauladhar Mountain, dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Camping Trekking at Himachal Pradesh

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