Ancient Indian texts like the Puranas placed the people of Kinnaur as halfway between men and gods. Other ancient traditions speak of the exile of the Pandavas and the time they spent in Kinnaur, an episode from the epic, Mahabharata.
In verifiable history, Kinnaur was a part of the erstwhile princely state of Bushair. From their original seat in the village of Kamru, the rulers moved out to Sarahan that lies lower down the Satluj, and then to Rampur – which is built right on the banks of the river. In the early 19th century, when the Gurkha’s spilled out of the borders of nearby Nepal, they captured large tracts of the present-day Himachal Pradesh. Bushair also fell into their hands and the infant ruler was scurried to safety was signed in 1815-16. Most of the original rulers were restored their seats, and the British presence in the area was firmly established.
Kinnaur relapsed into secluded splendor till the British Government General of India, Lord Dalhousie set about creating the ambitious Hindustan – Tibet Road in 1850. With the coming if India’s independence in 1947 and the creation of the state of Himachal Pradesh in 1972, geographic isolation steadily eroded. Hydro projects, the spread of education and economic growth with scientific horticultural practices began bringing their own changes. Relaxation of the 'inner line' permits in the mid-nineties (Kinnaur borders China), opened the area to tourism.
Given the proximity to Tibet, it is not surprised that there are strong cultural and religious links with that distinctive land. These have manifested themselves in dress, language, architecture, customs and most visibly, in religion- the main body of Hindustan has been embellished with several Buddhist practices. It is commonplace to find images of the Buddha and other deities and saints of Trans Himalayan Buddhism like Avaloketeshwara and Padmasambhava, side by side with those of Hindu gods and chortens, the sacred obelisk-like structures of Vajrayana Buddhism may well mark the entry to a Hindu Temple.