History of Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand was the ancient Puranic term for the central stretch of the Indian Himalayas. Its peaks and valleys were well known in ancient times as the abode of gods and goddesses and source of the Ganges River. Around 200 B.C Khas Aryan people entered the Himalayan range all the way from Caucasus Mountains, Unlike Vedic Aryan who took southern,western,and eastern route, Khas Aryan took whole new route of walking northern route of great Himalaya from Caucasus Mountains of Europe to North-Western Himalayas. Today, it is often called "the Land of the Gods" (Devbhumi) because of the presence of a multitude of Hindu pilgrimage spots. Uttarakhand is known as Devbhumi from ancient times. The Pauravas, Kushanas, Kunindas, Guptas, Katyuris, Palas, the Chands, and Parmars or Panwars and the British have ruled Uttarakhand in turns.
The region was settled by the Kol people, a population speaking a language that belongs to the Munda language family. The Kol peoples were later joined by Indo-Aryan [Khas] tribes that arrived from the north by the Vedic period. At that time, present-day Uttarakhand also served as a haunt for Rishis and Sadhus. It is believed that Sage Vyasa scripted the Mahabharata here as the Pandavas are believed to have traveled and camped in the region. Among the first major dynasties of Garhwal and Kumaon were the Kunindas in the 2nd century B.C. who practiced an early form of Shaivism. They traded salt with Western Tibet. It is evident from the Ashokan edict at Kalsi, near Dehradun in Western Garhwal that Buddhism made inroads in this region. Shamanic religions are practiced by the Kol peoples and Folk Hinduism would emerge as a Hindu tradition distinct from Hindu orthodoxy. However, Garhwal and Kumaon were restored to nominal Brahmanical rule due to the travails of Shankaracharya and the arrival of migrants from the plains. In the fourth century, the Kunindas gave way to the Naga Dynasties. Between the 7th and 14th centuries, the Katyuri dynasty of Khas origin dominated lands of varying extent from the Katyur (modern day Baijnath) valley in Kumaon. Other peoples of the Tibeto-Burman group known as Kiratas are thought to have settled in the northern highlands as well as in pockets throughout the region, and believed to be the ancestors to the modern day Bhotiya, Raji, Buksha, and Tharu peoples.
Jaunsar- Bawar was Part of Garhwal Kingdom. It is the border area of Garhwal so it was captured sometime by Sirmaur rules. But Garhwal Kings defeated Sirmaur and again Jaunsar-Bawar became part of Garhwal. We can still experience Sirmaur language words in Jaunsari. And Garhwali surname in Jaunsar. In 1829, Jaunsar-Bawar was incorporated in Chakrata tehsil, prior to which it had been a part of Punjab state of Sirmur, till the British conquered it along with Dehradun after the 1814 war with the Gurkhas.
Before the establishment of British Indian Army cantonment in 1866, the entire area was known as Jaunsar-Bawar, and the name continued to be in popular use for the region, till the early 20th century. While western Hindi is popular in most of the neighbouring hill areas, Jaunsari, a language of the Central Pahari group, is spoken by most of the people of the region.
By the medieval period, the region was consolidated under the Garhwal Kingdom in the west and the Kumaon Kingdom in the east. From the 13th–18th century, Kumaon prospered under the Chand Rajas who had their origins in the plains of India. During this period, learning and new forms of painting (the Pahari school of art) developed. Modern-day Garhwal was likewise unified under the rule of Parmar/Panwar Rajas, who along with a mass migration of Brahmins and Rajputs, also arrived from the plains. In 1791, the expanding Gurkha Empire of Nepal, overran Almora, the seat of the Kumaon Kingdom. In 1803, the Garhwal Kingdom also fell to the Gurkhas. With the conclusion of the Anglo-Nepalese War in 1816, a rump portion of the Garhwal Kingdom was reestablished from Tehri, and eastern British Garhwal and Kumaon ceded to the British as part of the Treaty of Sugauli.
British Colonial periodEdit
In the post-independence period, the Tehri princely state was merged into Uttar Pradesh state, where Uttarakhand composed the Garhwal and Kumaon Divisions. Until 1998, Uttarakhand was the name most commonly used to refer to the region, as various political groups including most significantly the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Uttarakhand Revolutionary Party est. 1979), began agitating for separate statehood under its banner. Although the erstwhile hill kingdoms of Garhwal and Kumaon were traditional rivals with diverse lingual and cultural influences due to the proximity of different neighbouring ethnic groups, the inseparable and complementary nature of their geography, economy, culture, language, and traditions created strong bonds between the two regions. These bonds formed the basis of the new political identity of Uttarakhand, which gained significant momentum in 1994, when demand for separate statehood (within the Union of India) achieved almost unanimous acceptance among the local populace as well as political parties at the national level. Most notable incident during this period was the Rampur Tiraha firing case on the night of 1 October 1994, which led to public uproar and eventually to the division of the state of Uttar Pradesh in 2000.
However, the term Uttaranchal came into use when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central and Uttar Pradesh state governments initiated a new round of state reorganization in 1998 and introduced its preferred name. Chosen for its allegedly less separatist connotations, the name change generated enormous controversy among the rank and file of the separate state activists who saw it as a political act, however they were not quite as successful as Jharkhand state that successfully thwarted a similar move to impose the name Vananchal. Nevertheless, the name Uttarakhand remained popular in the region, even while Uttaranchal was promulgated through official usage.
In August 2006, India's Union Cabinet assented to the four-year-old demand of the Uttaranchal state assembly and leading members of the Uttarakhand movement to rename Uttaranchal state as Uttarakhand. Legislation to that effect was passed by the State Legislative Assembly in October 2006, and the Union Cabinet brought in the bill in the winter session of Parliament. The bill was passed by Parliament and signed into law by the President in December 2006. Since then, Uttarakhand denotes a state in India
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