Himachal Pradesh was established in 1948 as a Chief Commissioner's Province within the Union of India. The province comprised the hill districts around Shimla and southern hill areas of the former Punjab region. Himachal became a part C state on 26 January 1950 with the implementation of the Constitution of India. Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory on 1 November 1956. On 18 December 1970 the State of Himachal Pradesh Act was passed by Parliament and the new state came into being on 25 January 1971. Thus Himachal emerged as the eighteenth state of the Indian Union.
In earlier times, the area was variously divided among smaller kingdoms, such as those of Chamba, Bilaspur, Bhagal and Dhami. After the Gurkha War of 1815–1816, it became part of the British India.
Some evidences have been found that nearly 2 million years ago man lived in the foothills of Himachal Pradesh. Bangana valley of Kangra, Sirsa valley of Nalagarh and Markanda valley of Sirmour are found to be the places where prehistoric man used to live. The foothills of the state were inhabited by people from Indus valley civilization which flourished between the time period of 2250 and 1750 BC.
In about 883 AD Sankar Varma, the ruler of Kashmir exercised his influence over Himachal Pradesh. The region also witnessed the invasion of Mahmud Ghazni in 1009 AD, who during that period looted the wealth from the temples in the North India. In 1043 AD the Rajputs ruled over the territory.
Sansar Chand (c. 1765–1823)
In 1773 AD the Rajputs under Katoch Maharaja Sansar Chand-II possessed the region, until the attack by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the year 1804 which crushed the Rajput power.
The small kingdom enjoyed a large degree of independence till the eve of the Muslim invasions in northern India. The states of the foothills were devastated by Muslim invaders a number of times. Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Kangra at the beginning of the 10th century. Timur and Sikander Lodi also marched through the lower hills of the state and captured a number of forts and fought many battles.
The Gorkhas, a martial tribe came to power in Nepal in the year 1768. They consolidated their military power and began to expand their territory.
The Gurkhas who migrated from Nepal captured the area and devastated it. Gradually the Gorkhas annexed Sirmour and Shimla. With the leadership of Amar Singh Thapa, Gorkhas laid siege to Kangra. They managed to defeat Sansar Chand, the ruler of kangra, in 1806 with the help of many provincial chiefs. However Gorkhas could not capture Kangra fort which came under Maharaja Ranjit Singh 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.