Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day: All you need to know about

Himachal Pradesh is set to observe its Full Statehood Day on January 25, just a day before Republic Day. On January 25, 1971, the then Prime Minister of the country, Indira Gandhi, made the historic announcement granting full statehood to Himachal Pradesh from the Ridge Ground of Shimla. Since that significant moment, the Statehood Day has been commemorated annually. This year, the celebration of Himachal Pradesh's Full Statehood Day will take place in Dharampur, located in the Mandi district.

Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day 

Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day is a celebration of the region's achievements and milestones in history. It marks the evolution of Himachal Pradesh into a unique state within the Indian Union. Himachal Pradesh is located in the Himalayas and has a rich cultural, geographical, and administrative identity. The Statehood Day is celebrated on the 25th of January each year.

It is essential to understand the significance of this occasion. Himachal Pradesh is a state with a blend of scenic beauty and cultural diversity. On January 25th, 1971, Himachal Pradesh attained its full statehood, becoming the 18th state of the Indian Union. This momentous day symbolizes the formal recognition of Himachal Pradesh's status as a state.

Himachal Pradesh is a State located in north-western India. It covers an area of more than 21,629 (56019km) and is bounded by Jammu & Kashmir in the north, Punjab in the west and south-west, Haryana and Uttarakhand in the south-east and Tibet in the east. It is one of the smaller States of India, a hill State. Its capital is Shimla.

State Animal: Snow Leopard

State Bird: Western Tragopan

State Flower: Pink Rhododendron

State Language: Hindi & Local Dialects

Significance of Statehood Day Celebration

Statehood Day is a significant celebration in Himachal Pradesh that goes beyond just commemorating a historical event. It is a day that reflects the state's remarkable resilience, diversity, and collective spirit. The people of Himachal Pradesh, through this occasion, symbolize their aspirations for greater autonomy and self-governance, highlighting their rich cultural heritage and unique identity. The day is marked with various cultural events, parades, and flag-hoisting ceremonies, creating a sense of unity and pride among the people. It is a time to acknowledge and honor the state's progress, achievements, and contributions to the nation, while also looking forward to a brighter future.

The Formation of Himachal Pradesh

The Chief Commissioner’s Province (1948)

The genesis of Himachal Pradesh's journey towards statehood can be traced back to the post-independence era, specifically to the establishment of the Chief Commissioner’s Province on April 15, 1948. 

15 April 1948 AD, the State of Himachal Pradesh was created. Himachal Pradesh came into existence as “Chief Commissioner’s State” on 15th April 1948. At that time, the whole of the State was divided into four districts and Punjab Hill States was named as Patiala and East Punjab State. In April 1948, this state was made a Union Territory (UT) by merging about 30 princely States spread over 27, 000 square km of this area. Every year, 15th April is celebrated as “Himachal Day”/”Himachal Divas”.This marked a crucial administrative reorganization reflecting the region's growing significance.

Reorganization of 1950: Redefining Boundaries

Himachal Pradesh attained the status of a "C" category state on January 26, 1950, following the reorganization of states in 1950 concurrent with the enforcement of the Indian Constitution. This restructuring involved adjustments to the state boundaries, with Kotkhai gaining sub-tehsil status, incorporating areas from Khaneti, Darkoti, Kumarsain sub-tehsil, and parts of Balsan. Kotgarh was amalgamated with Kumarsain sub-tehsil, while Jubbal Tehsil acquired two villages, Sangos and Bhandar, from Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand). Solan Tehsil incorporated seven villages from Nalagarh in Punjab.

Conversely, areas like Kusumpti, Bharari, Sanjauli, Wakna, Bhari, Kato, and Rampur Keonthal near Shimla were included in Shimla area/Mahasu District headquarter at Kasumpti. Additionally, the Chharbra area (in Mashobra) of the "Patiala & East Punjab States" (PEPSU) was integrated into Kasumpti Tehsil. This integration was part of the unification of eight princely provinces, including Patiala, Jind, Nabha, Faridkot, Kapurthala, Kalsia, Malerkotla, and Nalagarh, forming the Patiala & East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) in 1948 until 1956.

1954: Bilaspur Integration

Bilaspur princely State remained separate when Himachal Pradesh merged in 1954 due to the Bhakra Dam project. However, after the passage of "The Himachal Pradesh and Bilaspur (New State) Act, 1954," Bilaspur State dissolved on July 1, 1954, becoming Bilaspur District within Himachal Pradesh. Subsequently, on July 1, 1954, Kahlur State was included in Himachal Pradesh and named Bilaspur, forming two tehsils - Bilaspur and Ghumarwin, and becoming the fifth district.

Himachal Pradesh's territorial expanse increased to 28,241 sq km when Bilaspur, a "C" class princely State, merged in 1954. 

1956: Union Territory Status

On July 1, 1956, Himachal Pradesh became a Union Territory. Initially, it functioned under a Lt. Governor, with a thirty-six-member Legislative Assembly. However, the strength of the Legislative Assembly increased to forty-one after the merger with Bilaspur in 1954. The state transitioned from being a "Commissioners State" to a Union Territory.

1960: Kinnaur - The Sixth District

The creation of Kinnaur as the sixth district occurred on May 1, 1960, including Chini Tehsil of Mahasu district and 14 villages in Rampur Tehsil. Its three Tehsils were made Kalpa, Nichar and Pooh.

1966: The Reorganization of Punjab

In the pivotal year of 1966, the landscape of Punjab underwent a historic reorganization, leading to the creation of two distinct States, Punjab and Haryana. This monumental shift extended beyond administrative boundaries, encompassing language and hilly regions that found a new home in the embrace of Himachal Pradesh. Notable areas like Sanjauli, Bharari, Kusumpti, and others, once part of Punjab, became integral components of Himachal Pradesh.

The Visionary Struggle for Statehood

Under the leadership of Chief Minister Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar, the political leaders of Himachal Pradesh undertook a commendable and peaceful struggle for the attainment of full Statehood. This long and non-violent battle stood in stark contrast to the widespread violence often accompanying similar demands in other parts of the country.

Merging of Territories (1966)

November 1, 1966, stands as a landmark date when regions like Kangra, Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, Shimla, Nalagarh, Kandhaghat, Una, Dalhousie, and more were seamlessly merged into Himachal Pradesh. The members of the Legislative Assembly from these areas seamlessly transitioned into the Himachal Legislative Assembly.

Birth of "Large Himachal"

This amalgamation not only increased the geographical expanse of Himachal Pradesh to an impressive 55,675 square kilometers but also united the entire mountainous region from the Chenab-Ravi River to the Yamuna River, giving rise to the grandiose concept of "Large Himachal" or "Vishal Himachal."

Announcement of Full Statehood (1970)

July 31, 1970, witnessed a historic moment when then Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi announced "Full Statehood to Himachal Pradesh" in the Lok Sabha. This proclamation materialized with the passage of the "State of Himachal Pradesh Act, 1971" in the Parliament in December 1970.

Inauguration and Symbolism (1971)

On January 25, 1971, amidst heavy snowfall at the Ridge Maidan Shimla, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated Himachal Pradesh as the 18th full Statehood, symbolizing the culmination of dreams for the hill people. This joyous occasion marked a turning point for the freedom fighters, activists, and the resilient residents who entrusted their future to the elected government.

To this day, the 25th of January holds profound significance in the heart of Himachal Pradesh, commemorating the formal recognition of the state. Statehood Day stands as a testament to the region's journey, its triumphs, and its identity within the diverse tapestry of the Indian Union.

1972: District Formation

On November 1, 1972, Himachal Pradesh underwent further administrative changes. Three new districts—Kangra, Una, and Hamirpur—were created from Kangra district. Additionally, Solan district emerged from the areas of Mahasu district.

The Statehood Day celebrations are a grand spectacle of Himachal's cultural heritage. Traditional dance forms, music, and artistic expressions take center stage, showcasing the diversity that defines the state. These cultural performances not only entertain but also serve as a testament to the resilience and spirit of the people.


The evolution of Himachal Pradesh from a "C" Category State to achieving full Statehood is a testament to the resilience and determination of its people. The journey, marked by territorial reorganizations and political struggles, shaped the state into what it is today—a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of the hill people.

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