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Haryana is a state in India. During the British Raj period it was administered as a part of the Punjab province. It became a separate administrative entity in 1966.

Vedic period

In some ancient Hindu texts, the boundaries of Kurukshetra correspond roughly to the state of Haryana. Thus according to the Taittiriya Aranyaka 5.1.1., the Kurukshetra region is south of Turghna (Srughna/Sugh in Sirhind, Punjab), north of Khandava (Delhi and Mewat region), east of Maru (desert) and west of Parin.

Medieval period

Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya

After ousting the Huns, king Harshavardhana established his capital at Thanesar near Kurukshetra in the 7th century AD. After his death, the kingdom of his clansmen, the Pratiharas ruled over a vast region for quite a while from Harsha's adopted capital Kannauj. The region remained strategically important for the rulers of North India even though Thanesar was no more as central as Kannauj. Prithviraj Chauhan established forts at Taraori and Hansi in the 12th century. Muhammad Ghori conquered this area in the Second Battle of Tarain. Following his death, the Delhi Sultanate was established that ruled much of India for several centuries. The earliest reference to 'Hariana' occurs in a Sanskrit inscription dated 1328 AD kept in Delhi Museum, which refers to this region as The heaven on earth, indicating that it was fertile and relatively peaceful at that time. Firoz Shah Tughlaq established a fort at Hisar in 1354 to further fortify the region, and also constructed canals or rajwahas as they were referred to in the Indo-Persian historical texts.

The three famous battles of Panipat took place near the modern town of Panipat. The first battle took place in 1526, where Babur, the ruler of Kabul defeated Ibrahim Lodi of the Delhi Sultanate, through the use of field artillery. This battle marked the beginning of the Mughal empire in India. In the Second Battle of Panipat (November 5, 1556), Akbar's general Bairam Khan defeated the local Haryanvi, who belonged to Rewari, the last Hindu emperor of India, Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya also called Hemu. Hemu rose from a businessman to become advisor to Afghan kings and then Prime Minister-cum-Chief of Army. He fought and won 22 battles in between 1553 to 1556, from Punjab to Bengal against Afghans and Mughals and won all of them without losing any. Hemu defeated Akbar's army at Tughlaqabad in Delhi and became emperor of North India at Delhi on 7th of Octobet 1556 declaring him self as a Vikramaditya king following the reigns of earlier Vedic kings.[citation needed] and paved the way for Akbar's reign. The Third Battle of Panipat was fought in 1761 between the Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Abdali and the Marathas under Sadashivrao Bhau of Pune. Ahmad Shah won decisively, on January 13, 1761.

Formation of Haryana

On 1 November 1966, Haryana was carved out on the basis of that the parts of Punjab which were to be Haryana's "Hindi-speaking areas."Same example was followed in creation of Himachal Pradesh as well. Haryana state was formed on the recommendation of the Sardar Hukam Singh Parliamentary Committee. The formation of this committee was announced in the Parliament on 23 September 1965.

On 23 April 1966, acting on the recommendation of the Hukam Singh Committee, the Indian government set up the Shah Commission under the chairmanship of Justice J. C. Shah, to divide and set up the boundaries of Panjab and Haryana.

The commission gave its report on 31 May 1966. According to this report the then districts of Hissar, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Rohtak, and Karnal were to be a part of the new state of Haryana. Further the Tehsils of Jind (district Sangrur), Narwana (district Sangrur) Naraingarh, Ambala and Jagadhari of distt Ambala were also included. The commission recommended that Tehsil Kharar (including Chandigarh) should also be a part of Haryana.

Haryana is a state in North India with its capital as Chandigarh. It was carved out of the former state of East Punjab on 1 November 1966 on the basis of language distribution. The name Haryana is found in the works of the 12th century AD Apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar (VS 1189–1230). It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south. The river Yamuna defines its eastern border with Uttar Pradesh. Haryana surrounds the country's capital Delhi on three sides, forming the northern, western and southern borders of Delhi. Consequently, a large area of south Haryana is included in the National Capital Region for purposes of planning for development.

The state was home to prominent sites of the Indus Valley and Vedic Civilizations. Several decisive battles were also fought in the area, which shaped much of the history of India. These include the epic battle of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra mentioned in Hindu mythology (including the recital of the Bhagavad Gita by Krishna), and the three battles of Panipat. Haryana was administered as part of the Punjab province of British India, and was carved out on linguistic lines as India's 17th state in 1966. Haryana is now a leading contributor to the country's production of food grains and milk. Agriculture is the leading occupation for residents of the state with the flat arable land irrigated by submersible pumps and an extensive canal system. Haryana contributed heavily to the Green Revolution that made India self-sufficient in food production in the 1960s.

Haryana is one of the wealthier states of India and had the second highest per capita income in the country at ? 119,158 in the year 2012–13 (See List of Indian states by GDP) and ? 132,089 in the year 2013–14 including the largest number of rural crorepatis in India. Haryana is also one of the most economically developed regions in South Asia and its agricultural and manufacturing industry has experienced sustained growth since the 1970s.

Since 2000, the state has emerged as the largest recipient of investment per capita in India. The city of Gurgaon has rapidly emerged as a major hub for the information technology and automobile industries. Gurgaon is home to Maruti Suzuki, India's largest automobile manufacturer, and Hero MotoCorp, the world's largest manufacturer of two-wheelers. Faridabad, Panchkula, Dharuhera, Bawal, Sonipat, Panipat, Bahadurgarh, Yamuna Nagar and Rewari are industrial hubs, with the Panipat Refinery being the second largest refinery in South Asia. There are long-established steel, plywood, paper and textile industries in the state.

Etymology

The name Haryana may be derived from the Sanskrit words Harin (the Hindu god Vishnu) and ayana (home), meaning "the Abode of God".[8] However, scholars such as Muni Lal, Murli Chand Sharma, HA Phadke and Sukhdev Singh Chib believe that the name comes from a compound of the words Hari (Sanskrit Harit, "green") and Aranya (forest). Dr. Budh Prakash opines that the name may be a corruption of "Abhirayana", as its ancient inhabitants were called "Ahirs"  and ruled Haryana under the Moguls.

Ancient period

Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra

Main articles: Indus Valley Civilization and Vedic Civilization

Rakhigarhi village in the Hisar district is home to the largest and one of the oldest ancient Indus Valley Civilization sites and dated as over 5,000 years old. Evidence of paved roads, a drainage system, a large-scale rainwater collection storage system, terracotta brick and statue production, and skilled metal working (in both bronze and precious metals) have been uncovered. According to archeologists, Rakhigarhi may be the origin of Harappan civilisation, which took place in the Ghaggar basin in Haryana and gradually and slowly moved to the Indus valley. Other notable Indus Valley Civilization sites in the state are Mitathal and Banawali.

The Vedic Civilization flourished on the banks of the now lost Sarasvati River. Several decisive battles were fought in the area, which shaped much of the history of India. These include the epic Battle of Kurukshetra described in the epic Mahabharata (including the recital of the Bhagavad Gita by Krishna) and the three battles of Panipat for Uma Singh of Sarmathla. Before she was born, her parents, King Niranjan Singh and Queen Prakash Rani, annexed Delhi and started ruling from there. Ever since the name "Delhi" was coined, it was praise for Princess Uma Singh.

Medieval period

Raja Har Rai Dev of Neemrana conquered the region of King Harshavardhana and established his capital with Uma Singh's blessings at Thanesar near Kurukshetra in the 7th century. After his death, the kingdom of his clansmen continued to rule over a vast region for some time from Harsha's adopted capital of Kannauj and founded the Gaharwar Kingdom. The region remained strategically important for the rulers of North India even though Thanesar was no more central than Kannauj. Prithviraj Chauhan established forts at Tarori and Hansi in the 12th century. Muhammad Ghori conquered this area in the Second Battle of Tarain. Following his death, the Delhi Sultanate was established that ruled much of north India for several centuries.

The three battles of Panipat took place near the modern town of Panipat in Haryana. The first battle took place in 1526, where Babur, the ruler of Kabul, defeated Ibrahim Lodi of the Delhi Sultanate, through the use of field artillery.

Rise of Hemu as a Vikramaditya King

Portrait of Hem Chandra Vikramaditya

Hemu is known to be have born in Rewari in the region of south Haryana, in a Hindu family. He started his career as a supplier of merchandise especially cannons, gunpowder, cereals to Sher Shah Suri's army during the 1540s. Gradually, Hemu progressed and held important positions in the Suri administration during Sher Shah's son, Islam Shah's regime (1546–1553), and rose to become Prime Minister and General of the Suri army under Adil Shah. During 1553–56, ruling as de facto king of northern India, Hemu won 22 battles continuously against Afghan rebels and Mughal forces from Punjab to Bengal without losing any to consolidate his empire. After defeating Akbar's army at Agra and Delhi in Battle for Delhi (1556), Hemu acceded to the throne of Delhi on 7 October 1556, declaring 'Hindu Raj' in north India and himself as a Vikramaditya king on the pattern of earlier Vedic Hindu kings in India. Hemu lost his life in the Second Battle of Panipat against Akbar's forces on November the 5th, 1556.

The decline of the Mughal Empire in the early 18th century led to rapid territorial gains for the Maratha Empire, including Haryana. In 1737, Maratha forces under Baji Rao I sacked Delhi, following their victory against the Mughals in the First Battle of Delhi. A treaty signed in 1752 made the Marathas the protector of the Mughal throne at Delhi. Baji Rao's son, Balaji Baji Rao (popularly known as Nana Saheb), further increased the territory under Maratha control by invading Punjab and Peshawar in 1758. This brought the Marathas into direct confrontation with the Durrani empire of Ahmad Shah Abdali, who was based in Kabul. After the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 between the Maratha Empire and the Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Abdali, Marathas lost Punjab, Delhi and Haryana to Ahmad Shah Durrani. Within 10 years, Mahadji Shinde re-established Maratha rule over North India, Haryana region remained under the rule of the Scindhia clan of the Maratha Empire, until in 1803, the British East India Company took control of Gurgaon through the Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon after the Second Anglo-Maratha War.

Rao Tularam and the Indian rebellion of 1857

Rao Tula Ram, a Yadav, was one of the key leaders of the Indian rebellion of 1857, in Haryana, where he is considered a state hero. He is credited with temporarily driving all of the British rule from the region that today is southwest Haryana during the Rebellion and helping rebel forces fighting in the historic city of Delhi with men, money and material. Noted as a good administrator and military commander, after the 1857 uprising ended, he left India, met rulers of Iran and Afghanistan and established contacts with the Tsar of Russia, to seek their help in driving the British from India. His plans were cut short by his death in Kabul.Pran Sukh Yadav along with Jodhpur Legion fought against Britishers at Narnaul.

Formation of Haryana

Haryana state was formed on 1 November 1966. The Indian government set up the Shah Commission under the chairmanship of Justice JC Shah on 23 April 1966 to divide the existing Punjab, India and determine the boundaries of the new state of Haryana after consideration of the languages spoken by the people. The commission delivered its report on 31 May 1966 whereby the then districts of Hisar, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Rohtak and Karnal were to be a part of the new state of Haryana. Further, the tehsils of Jind and Narwana in the Sangrur district along with Naraingarh, Ambala and Jagadhri were to be included.

The commission recommended that the tehsil of Kharad, which includes Chandigarh, the state capital of Punjab, should be a part of Haryana. However, only a small portion of Kharad was given to Haryana. The city of Chandigarh was made a union territory, serving as the capital of both Punjab and Haryana.

Bhagwat Dayal Sharma became first Chief Minister of Haryana.

Geography

Yamuna River near the Haryana Border

Vultures in Haryana's green farms

Blackbuck male and female.

Haryana is a landlocked state in northern India. It is between 27°39' to 30°35' N latitude and between 74°28' and 77°36' E longitude. The altitude of Haryana varies between 700 to 3600 ft (200 metres to 1200 metres) above sea level. An area of 1,553 km2 is covered by forest. Haryana has four main geographical features.

The Yamuna-Ghaggar plain forming the largest part of the state

The Shivalik Hills to the northeast

Semi-desert sandy plain to the southwest

The Aravalli Range in the south

Rivers of Haryana

The Yamuna flows along the state's eastern boundary while the ancient Sarasvati River is said to have flowed from Yamuna Nagar, but has now disappeared.

Haryana's main seasonal river, the Ghaggar rises in the outer Himalayas, between the Yamuna and the Sutlej and enters the state near Pinjore in the Panchkula district. Passing through Ambala and Hissar, it reaches Bikaner in Rajasthan and runs for 460 km (290 mi) before disappearing into the deserts of Rajasthan. Important tributaries include the Chautang and Tangri.

The seasonal Markanda River is a stream, which in ancient times was known as the Aruna. It originates from the lower Sivalik Hills and enters Haryana west of Ambala. During monsoons, this stream swells into a raging torrent notorious for its devastating power. The surplus water is carried on to the Sanisa Lake where the Markanda joins the Saraswati and later the Ghaggar. Shahbad Markanda town is situated on its bank.

Mentioned in the epic Shatapatha Brahmana as the Drishadwati, the Sahibi River originates in the Jaipur district in Rajasthan. However, before seismic activities some 7,500 years ago in the Aravalli Hills, the river brought water from as far as the Ajmer district. Gathering volume from about a hundred tributaries in Rajasthan and the Mewat areas, it reaches voluminous proportions, forming a broad stream around Alwar and Patan. Further flowing via Rewari District and Dharuhera, it reaches Jhajjar then splits into two smaller streams, finally reaching the outskirts of Delhi and flowing into the Najafgarh Lake that flows into the Yamuna through the Najafgarh drain. Recently,[when?] hardly any water flows in Sahibi as most of the water is impounded in small check dams upstream in the Alwar district of Rajasthan and the Masani barrage in Rewari district, built on this river on NH 8 (Delhi-Jaipur highway).

Three other rivulets in and around the Mewat hills, the Indori, Dohan and Kasavati all flow from East to West and once were tributories of the Drishadwati/Saraswati rivers.

Places to visit in Haryana

Badkhal lake

Badkhal Lake is situated in the state of Haryana, which which is a very historically significant state in India. Right from the Battle of Kurukshetra (near Panipat) in the Mahabharata, Haryana occupies a strategic location in Indian history. Haryana, besides being popular tourist destination, is also a thoroughfare to several picturesque locations that are scattered over the northern reaches of the Indian subcontinent. Badkhal Lake is one of the weekend getaways frequented by the travel loving denizens of the Indian capital. Lakes provide a plethora of options like boating, swimming and angling.

Badkhal Lake is located in the Faridabad district of Haryana, just a stone's throw (35 Km.) from New Delhi. Its picturesque setting and the indolent waters provide ample relaxation to the weary overworked suburbanites.

Star monument

The enchanting Star Monument is a treasure to the state of Haryana. Situated in Dinaud at a distance of 12 kms from Bhiwani, the monument is built on the tomb where Param Sant Huzur Tara Chand Ji Maharaj lies in eternal peace. The building is shaped in the form of a star after the name of Maharaj Ji. The holy tomb or Samadhi in the Radhaswami Satsang Bhawan Complex measures 101 feet from the base which itself stands on a raised platform of 6 feet.

The Star Monument is a hexagonal pyramid shaped structure where three alternative sides are in white marble, the other three being made of blue Italian glass that are completely weather resistant. The wonder lies in the fact that the building doesn't have pillars or columns to support it. Stars twinkle on the three walls of the Samadhi and inside. A statue of Maharaj Ji stands near the western wall. Six paintings portraying the life of Maharaj Ji adorn the six corners of the Samadhi. Traditional techniques are used for ventilation.

Saras

Haryana, the Gateway to north India is a charming state whose exuberant citizens love to rejoice in colorful festivities. The popular tourist hub swarms with myriads of tourists seeking a break from the humdrum of a concrete jungle. Saras complex is an eminent resort where aficionados of Haryana love returning to.

The quaint resort is located in the urban and happening Gurgaon District, a stone's throw away from the nation's capital city, New Delhi. The estate sprawls across acres of lush greenery and overlooks the breathtaking backdrop of the jungle-clad Aravalli ridges. Surrounding the hills a picturesque sylvan lake glitters like a mirage of quicksilver in the oasis of idyllic green and augments the scenic rhapsody.

Patel Park in Ambala Cantt

Patel Park is located in Ambala sub-district of Haryana and is situated at just 1 km from the center in Ambala Cantonment area. It situates itself at 30°21'29" North latitude and 76°51'8" East longitude. Patel Park is a wonderful place amidst the bustling city. The huge expanse of greenery is quite unusual to such an old city, but Patel Park has been able to function as a place to 'breathe a heart full' in the Ambala city. Large trees line the beautiful park which provides the very necessary open space. The park is a favorite among people of all ages. For the children it serves as their adored play ground. The old people find it a great place for serene morning walks and a beautiful evening gathering. The nearby 'Shiv Ji Temple' is an added attraction for those visiting the park.

Sohna

The natural beauty of Haryana, a charming blend of the suburban pasture and the urban skyscrapers is a popular tourist destination. The Gateway to the north is teeming with hotels, resorts and a variety of accommodation; out of which the Sohna Hills resort deserves special mention.

The pretty as a picture health resort at Sohna Hills is a popular tourist haunt. The resort is perched high on the Aravalli ridges and overlooks the stunning backdrop of the sylvan Damdama Lake, that gleams like a jewel in a brass setting under the slanting rays of the bright overhead afternoon sun. The charming sight of the sparkling lake water transforming from a gold-amber hue at dusk to a shimmering aquamarine haze in the dazzling afternoons is a sight to behold.