The history of Hamirpur is closely associated with the Katoch dynasty which ruled the area between the Ravi and Satluj rivers in the olden days. It is evident from the “Puranas” and Panini’s “Ashtadhyai” that during the Mahabharta period, Hamirpur was a part of the old Jallandhar-Trigarta empire. Panini referred to the people of this kingdom as great warriors and fighters. The tradition of those people seems to have continued till today, as is evident from the large number of people from the region in Indian defence forces. It is believed that in the ancient period, the rulers of Gupta dynasty had set up their sovereignty over this part of the land. During the middle ages, Presumably the area fell under the control of Mohammed Gazani, Timurlang and later Sultans. But with the passage of time, all the aforesaid rulers went away and at the time of Hamir Chand, a Katoch ruler, the area was under the control of ‘Ranas’ (Feudal hill chiefs). Some of the prominent Ranas were, ranas of Mewa, ranas of Mehalta and Dhatwal. There was no time when these feudal chiefs were not in quarrel against each other. It was only the Katoch dynasty which put these Ranas under its control, to ensure an orderly society. The Katoch dynasty became predominant during the period of Hamir Chand who ruled from 1700 A.D. to 1740 A.D. .

The British made Kangra, of which Hamirpur formed a part, a district in which Kullu and Lahaul-Sipiti were also merged to form the part of the district. In 1846, after annexation of Kangra, Nadaun was made the tehsil headquarters. This settlement was revised in 1868, and as a result the tehsil headquarters was changed from Nadaun to Hamirpur. In 1888, Palampur tehsil was created, merging part of the areas of Hamirpur and Kangra tehsils. Hamirpur remained a part of Punjab province until 1st November 1966, when these areas were merged in Himachal Pardesh consequent upon the reorganization of the Punjab. As a result of re-arrangement of the districts in the merged areas on 1st September 1972, Hamirpur was created as a separate district with two tehsils of Hamirpur and Barsar. In 1980 three more tehsils viz. Tira Sujanpur, Nadaun, Bhoranj were created with the further reorganization of the tehsils. Of these Nadaun and Bhoranj have become full tehsils at the 1991 census. Presently, district has five tehsils viz, Hamirpur, Barsar, Bhoranj, Nadaun and Sujanpur and one sub-tehsil i.e. Dhatwal at Bijhari. It consists of three Revenue Sub-Divisions namely, Hamirpur, Barsar and Nadaun. The Hamirpur Sub-Division comprises of Tehsils Hamirpur, Bhoranj and Sujanpur, the Barsar Sub-Division comprises Barsar Tehsil and Sub-Tehsil Dhatwal at Bijhari, whereas Nadaun Sub-Division comprises only one Tehsil Nadaun. This District has been divided into six Development Blocks such as Hamirpur, Bijhari, Bhoranj, Nadaun, Sujanpur and newly created Bamsan at Touni Devi.

Languages Spoken:

People of the Hamirpur district speak dialects of western Pahari. These dialects are akin to other dialects spoken in the adjoining areas of Mandi ,Bilaspur and Kangra districts. According to the classification languages made by the Linguistic Survey of India, Pahari comes under Indo-European family of languages. It has further been classified as a language belonging to Aryan Subfamily, Indo-Aryan Branch, Inner Sub-Branch,Pahari Group and Western Pahari Sub-Group (Census of India 1961, Vol.I.India,Part II-C (ii) Language Tables,p.CLXX). Western Pahari includes a number of district dialects. Besides Western Pahari, bulk of the population of Hamirpur district can speak Hindi.