The mountains had always allured them and Kumaon could not escape their notice.
In 1839 Kumaon was divided into two districts Kumaon and Garhwal and in 1842 another district called Tarai was formed. This arrangement continued until 1891. In 1892 there was reorganization and the new districts were named Almora, Nainital and British Garhwal. This order remained in force throughout the British rule.
In 1857 the headquarters of the Kumaon commissioner was shifted from Almora to Nainital. Despite constraints of rugged terrain, agriculture flourished till the beginning of the 19th century when a great decline occurred on account of the repressive Gorkha rule. Following the British control, agricultural production showed a progressive rise. Under encouragement from Henry Ramsay, the then commissioner of Kumaon the cultivated area increased vastly. In the Tarai, various crops showed substantial improvement.
The origin of the Chands is a matter of debate.
With the creation of a power vacuum following the decline of the Katyuris, the Chanda and the Raikas ruling the neighbouring principalities vied for political supremacy that culminated in the Chands subjugating nearly the whole of Kumaon.
The most accepted view of the Chand ascendency is that, Thohar Chand was the founder of the dynasty in 1261 A.D. As his line became extinct after his great grandson, Gyan Chand, a direct descendant of Thohar Chand's uncle ascended the throne with Champawat as the capital. This view finds support in the epigraphical material discovered recently. During his reign of over 40 years, Gyan Chand consolidated the kingdom. A later ruler, Bhishma Chand, shifted the transfer of the capital from Champawat to Almora in order to free himself from an over-reaching bureaucracy. Baz Bahadur Chand was the most powerful king of the Chand dynasty and he annexed territories and brought the whole of Kumaon under his rule. During the Chand rule, the Chands of Kumaon fought frequently with the Panwars of Garhwal as both carried strong territorial ambitions.
During the early medieval period, the Katyuris, deriving their name from the Katyur Valley in Almoravid district, ruled Binsar.
They held sway far and wide including the whole of Kumaon, Garhwal, parts of western Nepal, parts of eastern Himachal Pradesh, and more. During the Katyuri reign, art and architecture blossomed and found expression in the construction of a large number of temples, forts and sculptures. It was mostly influenced by the Gupta art in the initial stages, and developed later with close similarities to the Guevara-Pratihar art, thus exhibiting striking parallels with the then prevailing art constructs of North India.
The historical period synchronizes with the rise of the Kunindas whom we know from a large number of coins and through the accounts given by Panini, Ptolemy and Varahamihira and references in ancient literary texts such as the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Puranas, the Mahamayuri and the Parashara Samhita. The combined testimony of literary and numismatic sources leave no room for doubt that the Kunindas reigned supreme in Kumaon from the time of Panini (500 B.C) to that of Varahamihira (6th century A.D). The Kuninda society was tribal in character and the people lived in village communities far and wide as borne out by the remains of brick structures raised over the foundation of river-bed pebbles as noticed at Ranihat in Tirhi Grawhal which are indicative of Kuninda architectural practices.
40,000BC-8,000BC -The Upper Paleolithic Period (Son Human - Son River Inhabitants)
It is believed that human societies of stone age came to Uttarakhand via Kashmir and Punjab in the west and were named as Son Human (Son River inhabitants).
8,000BC-2,700BC - Mesolithic Period (Lakhu Udiyar - Rock Paintings)
Stone age tools in Nanital and Almora districts and painted rock shelters are situated in close proximity of a dolmenoid structure at Dalband near Barechhina. Paintings on the rock were found in Lakhu Udyar Almora, Kimni Village, Gyarkhya gufa in Chamoli districts. Some more paintings were found in Levpath, Falsima and pethshala in Almora, Hudli in Uttarakhand and Bakhot in Pithoragarh.
2,700BC-1,500BC -The Aryans
The Aryans - nomadic cattle herders who came from Central Asia and crossed the Hindu Kush Mountains to migrated into the Indian subcontinent.