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History

Hisar city, previously spelled as Hissar, is the administrative headquarters of Hisar district in the state of Haryana, in northwestern India. Hisar is located at 29°5’5” north latitude and 75°45’55” east longitude on the Sirhind branch of the Western Yamuna Canal. It is situated 164 kilometre northwest of Delhi on the National Highway NH-10. According to V.S. Agarwala, Aisukari or Isukara, a beautiful and prosperous city of Kuru Janapada referred to by Paniniin Ashtadhyavi, was the ancient name of Hisar.

However, the antiquity of the area can be established on the basis of the discovery of pre-historic and historical sites at a number of places in the district. some of the most prominent sites are Banawali, Rakhigarhi, Seeswal, Agroha and Hansi. The earliest settlers in the district were pre-Harappans who, in the first half of the 3rd millennium B.C. are supposed to have migrated to Banawali from north Rajasthan Marauding Muslim invaders and rulers of Delhi destroyed these Hindu and Jain temples. After destroying these temples, Firoz Shah Tughlaq, used the rubble from these temples and built a fort at Iksaru and renamed the town after himself as 'Hissar-e-Firoza' meaning 'Fort of Firoz'. Evidence of these destroyed temples can be still be seen in the material used in the Islamic fort at Hissar as some of the material has beautiful Hindu and Jain motifs, carvings, etc.

Indus Valley Civilizations (2500BC - 1200BC)

It was in these lands that the very first evidence of the presence of man was discovered with the excavation of Agroha, Banawali and Kunal in Hissar district. All of these were the pre-Harappan settlements, bringing for us the very first images of prehistoric times. The pillar in the Hisar fort belonging to the time of Emperor Ashoka (234 BC) was originally from Agroha. The discovery of coins of the Kushan period in Hissar tells tales of ancient history of India. The Sarasvati river used to flow through Iksaru (ancient name of Hissar) area during those times - now site is in the Fatehabad district.

The antiquity of the district is established on the basis of the discovery of the Pre-Harappan, the Late-Harappan and the Painted Grey Ware pottery at various places from the district and the mention of its tirthas in the Puranas corroborates it.

The district was first occupied by a pre-Harappan Chalcolithic agricultural community whose pottery has been recovered from a number of places such as Anta, Morkhi, Beri Khera (tahsil Safidon); Balu, Hatho, Rani Ran (Bata), Pahlwan, Dhakal (tahsil Narwana); Birbaraban, Barsana, Pauli, Karsola (tahsil Jind), etc. It is not yet possible to state from where these people had moved here or to throw much light on their socio-economic life. However, on the basis of the evidence of the nearby pre-Harappan sites like Mitathal (Bhiwani district), Siswal, Banwali and Rakhigarhi (Hisar district), it may be stated that these people possibly lived in mud brick and thatched roof houses, used wheel-made pottery, terracotta and copper objects.

Ritauli, Birbaraban, Pauli (Jind tahsil), and Balu (Narwana tahsil) have yielded pottery of the mature Harappan culture.

Further the existence of the classical Harappan site of Rakhigarhi(Hisar District) about 15 km from Jind suggests the existence of such sites, but in the absence of excavations, it is not possible to go beyond this surmise. After the Harappans, the region was inhabited by the late-Harappans (1700 BC – 1300 BC) whose pottery has been recovered from many places in the district. No Late-Harappans site has so far been excavated in the district, but on the basis of the evidence from the adjoining areas like Mitahal (Bhiwani district), Bhagwanpur and Mirzpur (near Raja Karna Ka Kila, Kurukshetra District), etc. It appears that the people representing this culture lived in mud bricks houses, used oval ovens and thick sturdy red-ware, well levigated and burnt. The discovery of painted and incised terracotta figurines, possibly indicates their belief in animal worship.

About 1000 B.C., with the advent of the painted Grey Ware people, generally associated with the Aryans, a new era dawned upon this district. The people representing this new culture settled on the banks of the holy rivers Sarasvati and Drishadvati, and the region came to be known as the holy land of Kurukshetra. Thus the district of Jind formed the southern boundary of Kurukshetra is indicated by a later cultural development in the form of Yakshas or Dvarapalas at Ram Rai (Jind tahsil) and Barta (Narwana tahsil). The sacred Drishadavati ,in fact, passed through some places like Hat, Assan, Brah, Jind, Dhundwa and Ramrai. The mention of various tirthas of the district in the Mahabharta and the Puranas points to the continuance of activities of the Aryans, The region came under the sway of the Vedic Bharatas, Purus and the Kurus and was included in the kingdom of the Pandavas under whom it touched the hight of glory. King Parikshit, grandson of the Pandavas had his second capital at Asandivat (Asandh in Karnal district), very close to the Jind district. Parikshit, however, lost his life in the struggle against the Nagas of Taxila. This defeat, later avenged by his son Janamejaya, is symbolised in the epic tradition of the snake sacrifice which possibly took place at Sarpi Darvi of Safidon.

Iron Age: under Hindu Karavas and later under Dhillon Jat Rulers of Inderprastha (Delhi) (1200 BC to 180 BC)

Main articles: Dhillon and Kuru Kingdom Hissar has historically remained under the rulers of Delhi. During mahabharata period (8th-6th centuries BC), the region between the triangle of Thaneshwar, Hissar and Hastinapur was distinguished by three different names: (1) Kuru-Jangala covering Rohtak, Hansi & Hissar; (2) Kuru-rashtra proper between the Ganges and Yamuna with its capital at Hastinapura and (3) the Kuru-kshetra comprising Thaneshwar, Kaithal and Karnal. Hissar area was ruled by Kuru tribe of Mahabharta fame, who belonged to Bharatas tribe whose tribal name is used as official Hindi name for the Republic of India. Kings of Kuru belonged to the Puru–Bharata family. The Kuru-Puru connection is suggested by Rigveda (10.33.4) which attests Kuru-Sravana as the descendant of famous Puru king Trasadasyu. (4.38.1, 7.19.3). It is also mentioned that during the reign of the fourth generation of Yudhisthra, Hastinapur was destroyed due to changes in the course of the River Ganga (or Ganges). Prince Dhillon was son of Loh Sen,, grand son of Karna and great-grand son of Kunti of Mahabharata fame. According to Satyarth Prakash (1875) of Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Raja Dhilu (King Dihlu) founded ancient Delhi (Dhillika) in 800 BC and ruled there from 800 BC to 283 BC (about 450 years). It is from the name of Dhillon that we have the word Dhilli or Delhi. According to Radhe Lal, who quotes 'Waqiate-panch Hazarsala, 800 years before Christ, 13 rulers of Dhillon jat gotra - ruled for about 450 years from 800 BC to 283 BC.

After the devastation of the crops by locusts and the destruction of their capital Hastinapura by the Ganga floods, the Kurus migrated to Kausambi. Consequently, their former realm was parcelled into small principalities of which was one Isukara (Hisar) ruled by a minor Kuru family. The Jain Uttaradhayana Sutra [4] mentions a town Isukara in the Kuru country. Panini mentions quite a few towns of the region-Aisukari, Taushayana and Roni which have been identified with Hisar, Tohana and Rori respectively. Since according to the Puranas,[5] the Kuru Janapada was included in the Nanda empire, the area covered by the district seems to have also formed a part of it. Agroha seems to have come to prominence about the time of Alexander's invasion. Variously known as Agrodaka, Agodaka, Aggalapura, Agara and Agallassoi it was inhabited by a powerful people mustering an army of 48,000 foot and 3,000 horses.[6] It is likely that these republican people might possibly have assisted Chandragupta Maurya in his war against the Greeks. They were included in the Maurayan empire, as the discovery of Ashokan pillars at Hisar and Fatehabad would suggest. The pillars were most probably brought from some near by place of antiquity like Agroha or Hansi and the epigraphs effaced and replaced by Firoz Shah's own genealogy.

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