Hamirpur is a town and the district headquarters of Hamirpur district in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Hamirpur is located in a relatively colder region in western Himachal Pradesh with a lower altitude as compared to the other districts of the state. It has five Tehsil headquarters which named Hamirpur, Barsar, Nadaun, Bhoranj and Sujanpur. Shri Sidh Baba Balak Nath Temple, Deotsidh, is the biggest holy shrine in Barsar tehsil of the district. It is situated on the Deotsidh Dhar Range in Shivalik Hills. It stretches across 44 kilometers from Hamirpur, 185 kilometers from Chandigarh, 93 kilometers from Nangal Dam (Railway Station), 64 kilometers from Una, 16 kilometers from Barsar and about 5 kilometers from Shah Talai. Hamirpur district is bordered by Kangra to the north, Mandi to the east, Bilaspur to the south and Una to the west.
Carved out from the Kangra district in 1972, the district is closely associated with the Katoch dynasty. It was the part of old Jalandhar-Trigarta empire. Panin referred to the people of this kingdom as great warriors and fighters. Even today Army is the largest employer for Hamirpuris, who form large bulks of Dogra Regiment, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles regiment as well as Hodson’s Horse and Scinde Horse. In addition to their repute for being brave and professional soldiers they are well known for the hardiness characteristic of hill people thus earning the name VeerBhumi for Hamirpur as rest of Himachal calls itself Dev Bhumi.
The Katoch dynasty predominated during the period of Raja Hamir Chand who ruled from 1700 to 1740. It was Raja Hamir Chand who built the fort at Hamirpur and the present town derived its name from this ruler.
Hamirpur District is situated between 31°25’N and 31°52’N and between 76°18’E and 76°44’E. Situated at an altitude of 785 meters, Hamirpur is the district headquarters.
Politics and Leaders
This segment of Himachal Pradesh is also known as politically hot segment in state politics. BJP had a greater influence on this particular region. In 1967, Kanshiram Thakur elected as first non congress MLA from this segment, Ramesh Verma of congress remain MLA from 1972 to 1977. Later in 1977, an advocate by profession Thakur Jagdev Chand (Nephew of Kanshiram Thakur) became the MLA of Hamirpur by defeating Ramesh Verma.
Thakur Jagdev Chand was a stalwart political figure of Himachal Pradesh, represented this constituency till December, 1993. Thakur Jagdev Chand died on 6 December 1993 just a week after his 5th victory in a row, Thakur was the only minister in Shanta Kumar’s cabinet who managed the victory whereas Shanta Kumar himself and rest of his cabinet were defeated in 1993 assembly elections. BJP just won 7 seats, Narinder Thakur (son of Jagdev Chand) contested unsuccessful bi-election in 1994, to whom BJP selected after his father sudden demise. Anita Verma of congress remained MLA till 1998. In 1998, BJP offered ticket to Mrs. Urmil Thakur, elder daughter in law of Thakur, and she successfully contested the election and remained on the post till 2003. Family dispute lead to the defeat of Urmil Thakur as Mr. Narinder Thakur contested election as an independent candidate an attracted over 10000 votes (a huge number where total number of votes were around 50000). Anita Verma of Congress became MLA of Hamirpur second time and remained on the post till December 2007.
Ex MLA Urmil Thakur (1998-2003 and 2007-2012) managed her victory on the BJP ticket and won December 2007 election along with full support of her brother in law Narinder Thakur this time, with a margin of 6901 votes. The sitting Chief Minister of Hiamchal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal managed to be on the post of Chief Minister in 1998 because of the strong ground prepared under leadership of Jagdev Chand, who was considered as a strongest contender of the post of chief minister after 1993 victory. As a tribute to leader who contributed a lot for the state government opened a Government Degree College at Sujanpur and Town Hall at Hamirpur which were named after Thakur Jagdev Chand. A very senior RSS member Thakur Ram Singh opened a history research institute at Neri and is also named after late Thakur Jagdev. Almost two decades have passed since Thakur died but his legacy and name still have considerable vote bank. Narinder Thakur openly revolted against the sitting P.K Dhumal. Anurag Thakur who won parliament bi election with a huge margin 1.75lack Aug 2008, his record margin was dropped by 1 lack votes in just 8 months. In May 2009 elections he won by 73000 votes when he contested against new congress candidate Narinder Thakur, despite of the fact on remaining 3 parliament seats in Himachal BJP improved.
In 2012 assembly election a new assembly segment was created after delimitation named Sujanpur, Urmil Thakur(BJP) and Anita Verma(Congress) contested unsuccessful election against an independent candidate Rajinder Rana. Prem Kumar Dhumal decided to contest from Hamirpur and won by 9300 votes against congress candidate Narinder Thakur.
Narinder Thakur was welcomed back to BJP on March 24, 2014, in presence of Prem Kumar Dhumal and Urmil Thakur. Rajinder Rana has joined Congress prior to that and contested 2014 Lok Sabha election against BJP’s Anurag Thakur, Rajinder Rana lost this election. On April 13, 2014 Urmil Thakur quits BJP and joined Congress in presence of Chief Minister Virbhadra singh, she attacked Prem Kumar Dhumal and Anurag Thakur for promoting their family agenda and sidelining old grass root BJP workers. Narender Thakur successfully contested Sujanpur by poll on BJP ticket in May 2014. Narender defeated Anita Rana, wife of Rajender Singh Rana who contested as Congress candidate by 538 votes.