Brief information about Himachal Pradesh – History

by Nisha Parmar SEO Executive


The Khasas were akin to the Aryans and lived in Central Asia. Some historians have even called them Aryans, but according to the evidence in Indo-Aryan literature they were denigrated to the position of Shudras as they did not observe the Aryan rites. The precise time of the Khasa incursion into Himachal via Kashmir (Khashagiri) is not known though various conjectures have been made. Some opine that they came prior to the Aryans, while others believe that they entered Himachal just when the Aryans had left for the plains. The second opinion appears to be nearer the truth because if Khasas were earlier here they would also have clashed with Kirats. In that event the Kirats could not have been so powerful as to give a fight to the Aryans for forty years. Moreover, the Khasas would also have come in conflict with the Aryans. Some say that being of the same origin as the Khasas, the Aryans did not fight them But when the Aryans could fight the Aryans in Dashragh why would they have then shirked hostilities with the Khasas, who might even have been their first cousins.

The fad is that the Aryans took to the plains leaving the remnants of the Kirats, Kinners, Nagas, Yakshas and the newly arrived Khasas to contend for power. Ultimately, the Khasas emerged victorious and the Kirats and Kinners were pushed to interior and inaccessible areas, while the Nagas and Yakshas were lost to history, to deserve a mere mention in the Mahabharata and to be remembered later as demons and fairies.

The Khasas had a system of three-fold worship — The Ishta Devata (the deity of the individual), the Griha Devata (the deity of the household) and the Gram Devata (the deity of the village). This three-tier worship is even now prevalent in Himachal where everyone has his Ishta Devata, Kul Devata and Gram Devata. The Khasas had also the institutions of the head of the family, the head of the clan and the head of the panchayat. The Khasas of the lower hills being more in contact with the Aryans had like them the institution of Purohit while the Khasas of the upper hills had no such guru. Even today the marriage in the upper regions are non-Brahminical while in the lower areas they are more or less performed on the Vedic pattern.

Visited Himalayas

The Aryan conquerors no doubt left the hills but they maintained their contact with them through various rishis and sages who visited Himalayas in the quest of peace and for meditation. In the calm and beautiful environs of hills they built their ashrams where they worshipped and taught. Being influential gurus of the powerful Aryan kings, their word was respected. Their ashrams being seats of learning, great reverence was accorded to them. Even today the sadhu or the pujari has a great say in the life of the hill people, who go to him regarding all matters of life and death. The names of some of the local gods such as Vashishtha V yasa Jamdagni, Parasuram are derived from the ancient Aryan sages.

The Khasas were a democratic people and they formed some sort of oligarchic republics in the hills. The Aryan kingdoms in the plains had contact with these Khasa republics, which find mention in the Mahabharata and laterin Panini's Ashtadhyayi. Besides trade and commerce these republics had political relationship with the Kauravas and Pandavas. Susharama of Trigarta, an Ayudhajivi Sangha and a confederation of six states, fought on the side of Duryodhana in Mahabharata. Arjuna, during the conquest for Raisuya Yajna is stated to have visited Trigarta, Kulut and Kulind republics. Bhim married Hidimba, a Rakshashi princess, during his conquest of the areas near Manali. The Khasas, the Eksans, the Parods, and the Kulinds (their descendants are the present-day Kanets) presented Yudhishtira with pots of gold during his Rajsuya Yajna.


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Created on Sep 6th 2017 08:18. Viewed 427 times.


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