As per the Mahabharta the present day Himachal Pradesh was constituted of a number of small republics also known as the Janpadas. The Janpadas were believed to be an independent state andcultural unit in itself.
Some of the references about the state during ancient times:
- Audumbras -
They were one of the most ancient tribes of Himachal who resided in the
lower hills of Pathankot and Jwalamukhi. They formed a separate province
in 2 B.C.
- Trigarta -
The state was laid in the foothills drained by 3 rivers, namely- Ravi,
Beas and Satluj. It is believed that the state was an independent
- Kuluta -
The kingdom of Kuluta was located in the upper Beas valley which is also
known as the Kullu valley. The state capital was Naggar.
- Kulindas -
The kingdom covered the area between the Beas, Satluj and Yamuna rivers
(the area between Shimla and Sirmour hills). The administration resembled
a republic with the members of central assembly sharing the powers of the
- Guptas -
Chandragupta captured the republics of the Himachal by the use of his
force though he usually did not rule them directly. Ashoka, his grandson
extended his boundaries to the Himalayan region. He introduced Buddhism to
the state. He built various stupas here.
- Harsha -
After the collapse of Guptas and before the rise of Harsha, the area was
again ruled by chiefs also known as Thakurs and Ranas. With the rise of
Harsha in the 7th century, most of these small provinces acknowledged its
allround supremacy though many local powers remained with the chiefs.
- Rajput Period - After Harsha's death (647 A.D.) Rajput states ascended in Rajsthan and Indus plains. They moved to the hills with their followers, where they established small provinces or principalities. Some of these were Kangra, Nurpur, Suket, Mandi, Kutlehar, Baghal, Bilaspur, Nalagarh, Keonthal, Dhami, Kunihar, Bushahar, Sirmour.