Monday, 27 June 2011

Sirsa, Haryana

Sirsa is a city in Sirsa district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is a town in the westernmost region of the state, bordering Punjab and Rajasthan. Its history dates back to the time of Mahabharata. At one time, the Sarasvati River flowed in this area.

Sirsa is said to be one of the oldest places of North India and its ancient name was Sairishaka, which finds mention in Mahabharata, Panini's Ashatadhayayi and Divyavadan. In Mahabharata, Sairishaka is described as being taken by Nakula in his conquest of the western quarter. It was a flourishing city in the 5th century BC, as it has been mentioned by Panini.

Sirsa seems to be in the administrative division of Hisar Feroza during Firuz Shah's reign. In the time of Akbar, Sirsa was one of the dasturs of Hisar Feroza Sarkar and much of its area lying in the present Sirsa district was covered by Mahals of Fatehabad, Bhattu, Bhangiwal (Darba), Sirsa, Bhatner (or Hanumangarh, Rajasthan) and Paniyana (Rajasthan). With the decline of the Mughal Empire, the track comprising Sirsa district came under the control of Marathas. The whole of Delhi Territory of which the tract formed part was ceded by the Marathas to the British in 1810. Sirsa was part of the outlying district of Delhi territory under the charge of an Assistant to the Resident. In 1819, the Delhi territory was divided into three districts - the Central which included Delhi, The Southern including Rewari, and the North-Western including Panipat, Hansi, Hisar, Sirsa and Rohta. In 1820, the latter was again sub-divided into Northern and Western and Sirsa along with Hansi, Hisar and Bhiwani formed Western district (Haryana district and later known Hisar district).

In 1837, Sirsa and Rania parganas were taken out of Haryana district and along with Guda and Malaut parganas were formed into a separate district called Bhattiana. The pargana of Darba from Hisar district and the small pargana of Rori confiscated from erstwhile princely state of Nabha were transferred to Bhattiana in 1838 and 1847 respectively. In 1844, Wattu pargana running up to Satluj was added in the Bhattiana district. The whole of the Delhi territory along with district of Bhattiana and Hisar was transferred to Punjab in 1858 and the district of Bhattiana was renamed as Sirsa.

In 1861, 42 villages of Tibi tract of Rania pargana were transferred to the then state of Bikaner.

The Sirsa district which comprised three tahsils of Sirsa, Dabwali and Fazilka was abolished in 1884 and Sirsa tahsil (consisting of 199 Villages) and 126 villages of Dabwali tahsil formed one tahsil and the same was merged in the Hisar district and the rest of the portion was transferred to the Firozpur district (Punjab). There was no change till the Independence of the country except that a village was transferred from Sirsa tahsil to the then state of Bikaner in 1906.

The entire area of the district was included in the new state of Haryana on November 1, 1966. In 1968, Sirsa tahsil was bifurcated into Sirsa and Dabwali tahsils. In 1974, three villages of Dabwali tahsil were transferred to Sirsa tahsil. On September 1, 1975, Sirsa and Dabwali tahsils were constituted into a separate Sirsa district with headquarters at Sirsa.

The archaeological Survey of India, during the archaeological exploration of the Ghaggar valley in Sirsa District in 1967-1968, nearly 54 sites, yielding the painted grey, black and Red, Black Slipped, Grey and Red wares and those belonging to Rang Mahal Culture were discovered. No Harappan settlement, however, could be located. Sites yielding Rang Mahal Pottery were found to be situated in close proximity of the Ghaggar.

Among the painted grey ware settlement, a mound locally called Lahranwali Theri near Rania deserves special mention. The painted grey ware types found here mainly comprised dishes and bowls. Pottery of the later periods was also collected from this site.

Besides, two mounds at Sikanderpur from where stone slabs having marks of Iron dowels were found can be ascribed to Rang Mahal Culture. A few more archaeological sites were identified in the district. The more important one's are described below :-

Arnian wali (Tehsil Sirsa) : It is situated 8 km South of Sirsa on Sirsa Bhadra Road. A mound measuring nearly 4 Acres and approximately 10 feet (3.0 m) high lies 400 meters north of the village. It has yielded fragments of pottery of early history and medieval times. Sikander Pur (Tehsil Sirsa) : Located about 12 km East of Sirsa, the village is approached by a link Road from Sirsa - Fatehabad Road. The site, which has two mounds, one km apart, is located about 1.6 km North-East of the villages and is nearly 30 feet (9.1 m) high. Heavy Stone Slabs and a sculpture of Indra, specimens of a temple of early medieval times were found from the site. A sculpture of an "Ekmukha Linga" of Shiva belonging to early medieval times has also been discovered. The specimen represents Shiva both in his human as well as Phallic form. A Sculpture of Indra recovered from the site is fine specimen representing two armed Indra as Dikpala. Another sculpture of Indra with his consort belonging to the early medieval times has also been found. The site has also yielded Rang Mahal and medieval wares.

Suchan (Tehsil Sirsa) : Located about 16 km east of Sirsa, the site has yielded fragments of Pottery of Rang Mahal and early medieval wares.

Mangiana (Tehsil Dabwali) : It is located about 13 km East of Dabwali on Kalanwali-Dabwali Road. The mount, located about a km West of the village, is 15 feet (4.6 m) high. It has yielded fragments of early historic and medieval wares.

Places to see:

Dera Jiwan Nagar 

Dera Baba Sarsai Nath

Gurudwara Guru Gobind Singh, Chormar Khera

Hanuman Temple

Jama Masjid

Dera Sufi Saint Baba Bhuman

Shri Pancheshwari Dham, Khairpur

Ram Dev Mandir 
Saint Baba Bihari Samadhi 
Tomb of Khwaja Pir...........

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