Chamba is the only state in northern India to preserve a well-documented history from circa 500 A.D. Its high mountain ranges have given it a sheltered position and helped in preserving its centuries old relics and numerous inscriptions. The temples erected by rajas of Chamba more than a thousand years age continue to be under worship and the land grant-deeds executed on copper plates by them continue to be valid under the law.
Regarding the early history of this region it is believed that this area was at time inhabited by certain Kolian tribes,which were later, subjugated by the Khasas. The Khasas too after a time came under the sway of Audumbaras (2nd centaury B.C.). The Audmabaras had republican form of government and worshiped Shiva as their principal deity. From the Gupta period (4th Centaury A.D.) the Chamba region was under the control of Thakurs and Ranas who considered themselves superior to the low tribes of Kolis and Khasas. With the rise of Gurjara Pratiharas ((7th Centaury A.D.) the Rajput Dynasties came to power.
In circa 500 A.D., a legendry hero called Maru migrated to north-west from Kalpagrama (a mythical place from where majority of the Rajput dynasties claim their descent) and founded Brahampura (Bharmour) in the valley of the Budhil river, seventy five kilometer to the east of present Chamba town. His successors continued to rule over the country from that capital city for over three hundred years until Sahilla Varman shifted his capital from Brahamputra to the more centrally located plateau in the lower Ravi valley. He named the town after his beloved daughter Champa. His rani voluntarily offered herself as a sacrifices to bring water for the town’s people through a running channel which takes origin at a place called Bhalota. The layout of the plan of Chamba seems to be in conformity with the ancient texts. From then on the rajas of Chamba continued to rule from here in an uninterrupted and direct line of descent. Click here for some historical pictures of chamba