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Sirhind-Fatehgarh
Sirhind-Fatehgarh
Location of Sirhind-Fatehgarh
in Punjab and India
Coordinates 30°22′N 76°14′E / 30.37°N 76.23°E / 30.37; 76.23
Country  India
State Punjab
District(s) Fatehgarh Sahib
Population 50,788 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Sirhind-Fatehgarh is a city and a municipal council in Fatehgarh Sahib district in the Indian state of Punjab. It is often simply called Sirhind[1].

Contents

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[2] Sirhind-Fategarh had a population of 50,788. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Sirhind-Fatehgarh has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 67%. In Sirhind-Fatehgarh, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Etymology

According to popular notion, the present name of the city, Sirhind, comes from ‘Sar-i hind’, meaning the Frontier of Hind, as Mughal invaders saw it as the ‘gateway to Hindustan’[3]. Though, a 5th century AD tribe 'Sairindhas Aryans, which inhabited this area, might have also lead to its present name [4]

History

Sirhind has been known as a small township from the beginning of the Christian era. Varahamihira (505 – 587) in his Sanskrit treatise, Brihat Samhita, mentions the city as 'Satudar Desh', later it was inhabited by a tribe of 'Sairindhas Aryans, leading to its present name [4].

According to Huan Tsang, the Chinese traveller who visited India during the seventh century, Sirhind was the capital of the district of Shitotulo, or Shatadru (the present day River Sutlej) [5].

In 1012, it became the capital of the 'Hindushahi' dynasty and remained so till the end of the 12th century, when it was taken over by the Chauhans [6]. Later during the rule of Prithvi Raj Chauhan (1168-1192), the last Rajput ruler of Delhi, it became his military outpost.

It further rose in glory during the Mughal Empire, when it became its provincial capital, controlling the Lahore-Delhi Highway, the Grand Trunk Road. Many European travellers describe its splendours, and it also developed into a center of cultural activity[7]. Sirhind was known for the dozens of saints, scholars, poets, historians, calligraphers and scribes who lived there. A large number of buildings survive from this period, including the fort named 'Aam Khas Bhag'; it is said that in its heyday, the city had 360 mosques, gardens, tombs, caravansarais and wells. It has also been home to 16th century saint of the Naqshbandi order, ‘Ahmad Sirhindi’ (~1564-1624), whose mausoleum, the Rauza Sharif is situated in Sirhind [3]. Consequently, this small Indian city is also famous in the territories of the former Ottoman Empire, particularly in Turkey, as Serhend.

Beginning with the first decade of the eighteenth century, with the Mughal hegemony on the wane, Sirhind was plundered repeatedly by the Sikhs, Marathas and Afghans. An important event in the history of the city, was the live entombment of the two sons of the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Gobind Singh on 12 December 1705, by the Governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan [8], the place is the today commemorated by Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib, 5 km. north of the Sirhind.[9] This action further soured relations between the Sikhs and the Mughal and the city faced many attacks.

Finally it was completely destroyed in February 1761 in an [10] attack by the Sikhs, lead by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, who had already captured Lahore in 1758 [11], and now extended his territory to Taran Taran. The conquest of Sirhind followed the defeat of the Mughal governor in a pitched battle.

Further reading

  • Subhash Parihar, History and Architectural Remains of Sirhind, 2006, Aryan Books International. ISBN 8173053111.

References

  1. ^ District at a glance - Sirhind-Fategarh
  2. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20040616075334/http://www.censusindia.net/results/town.php?stad=A&state5=999. Retrieved 2008-11-01.  
  3. ^ a b Memories of a town known as Sirhind The Sunday Tribune, April 15 2007.
  4. ^ a b District at a glance Sirhind at fatehgarhsahib.nic.in.
  5. ^ Huan-Tsang
  6. ^ [1] - Punjab Government Website
  7. ^ Subhash Parihar. Sirhind : The Greatest Mughal City on Delhi-Lahore Highway. ISBN 8173053111.  
  8. ^ Sirhind Tourist Circuits & Cities of Punjab at punjabgovt.nic.in.
  9. ^ [2] - Sikh Tourism Website
  10. ^ Maharaja Ranjit Singh Situation in Punjab, Sikh confederations and Afghanis at sikh-history.
  11. ^ Overview of Punjab History Sirhind at punjabgovt.nic.in.

See also

History of Sirhind

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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