People & Culture

People from the Indus Valley Civilization inhabited Himachal Pradesh between 2700 and 1750 BC. These inhabitants were known as the Kols and Mundas. Because of the state’s close proximity to Central Asia, the traditions and culture of Himachal Pradesh are somewhat unique. The people of Himachal Pradesh, especially in the northeastern districts, have both Aryan and Mongoloid physical features, cultures and traditions. Furthermore, given its location in the Himalayan mountain range, the state has remained fairly isolated, and thus, preserved its ancient history and culture.

Predominant population of the Kangra district comprises of Hindus followed by Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs. The Hindus mostly constitute Rajputs, Brahmins and the scheduled castes. The main Rajput community in the district are Katoch, Pathania, Mankotia, Dogra, Jasrotia, Jaswal, Jamwal, Katwal, Guleria, Mian, Thakur, Rana and Rathi. The Rajputs are well known in the history for displaying their valour and fighting qualities. The Rajput of high class never gave their daughters in marriage to those belonging to lower ones. The Brahmins generally acted as priests and religious devotees and occupied an important position in royal courts as well as in the religious life of the people. The Brahmins are further grouped into various classes. Those belonging to high class generally act as priests and preceptors of the people. The lower class Brahmins apart from their religious function, also plough their fields. The matrimonial alliances in the Brahmin community are restricted to their own class. The Hindus also constitute communities like Sood, Khatri, Mahajan, Walia, etc, who are mainly engaged in business activities. The Gaddis and the Gujjars are the two main tribal communities found in the district. These are discussed next.