Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day in India Date in the current year: January 25, 2024

Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day in India Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day, also known as Himachal Pradesh Foundation Day, is celebrated in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh on January 25. It is an official holiday and a non-working day in the state.

The mountain state of Himachal Pradesh is situated in the Western Himalayas. It was inhabited by various tribes as early as the prehistoric era. Ancient kingdoms that ruled over parts of what is now Himachal Pradesh are mentioned in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. In the Middle Ages, the region was conquered by several powers, but local hill states enjoyed a high degree of autonomy.

In the mid-19th century, several Himalayan states were conquered by the Nepali Kingdom of Gorkha that annexed them to expand its territory. However, in 1816, Nepal lost the Anglo-Nepalese War (also known as the Gurkha War), and the British East India Company gained control over the hill states.

The people of the hill states was generally not hostile towards the British, since the colonial authorities mostly left them to their owned devices, allowing them to govern themselves. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, most hill state rulers remained more or less neutral, and some of them even openly supported the British authorities and rendered them help. Virtually all rulers of the hill states remained loyal to the British Crown during World War I as well, contributing to the British war effort.

When the war ended, the people of some hill states joined the Indian independence movement. However, their main goal was not to liberate the Western Himalayas region from the British, but rather to initiate internal reforms in their respective states, which still enjoyed a great deal of autonomy.

In 1947, India finally gained independence from the United Kingdom, and the hill states joined the newly independent country. On April 15, 1948, 28 petty princely states in the Western Himalayas were officially integrated into the Indian Union as the chief commissioner’s province of Himachal Pradesh; the name is translated as “snow-laden province”.

When the 1950 Constitution of India came into force, Himachal Pradesh became a Part C state. In 1954, the neighboring small state of Bilaspur was merged into Himachal Pradesh. Two years later, Himachal Pradesh became a union territory, which meant that it was governed directly by the union government instead of its own government.

In 1966, in accordance with the Punjab Reorganization Act, several districts of the former state of East Punjab were incorporated into Himachal Pradesh. Finally, on December 18, 1970, the Indian Parliament passed the State of Himachal Pradesh Act that came into effect a little over a month later. On January 25, 1971, Himachal Pradesh became the 18th state of the Indian Union and gained its own government led by Chief Minister Yashwant Singh Parmar.

To commemorate the statehood of Himachal Pradesh, January 25 was declared a public holiday by the state’s government. It should not be confused with Himachal Day, celebrated on April 15 to commemorate the incorporation of the hill states into the Indian Union.

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