CHAPTER -2 MEDIEVAL HISTORY OF HARYANA
The earliest reference to `Haryana’ occurs in a Sanskrit inscription dated AD 1328 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 medieval period of Haryana state, was a period of many battles e.g., Tarain or Taraori and three battles of Panipat which took place near the modern town of Panipat in Haryana. These three battles of Panipat took place in the year 1526, 1556 and 1761 AD, respectively.
The Tomara Dynasty
After the decline of Pratihara rule, Tomara dynasty was established by the 10th century. Anangapala, the Tomara ruler, built Delhi city in the 11th century and made Haryana his capital. During the 11th century, they had to face the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni and his descendants.
Invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni
Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Thanesar Haryana in 1009 CE and in 1014 CE. According to Al-Biruni, the temples of Thanesar had many sculptures of bronze, made deities, which had wheels, holding in their hands. These sculptures were known as ‘Chakra Swami’. During the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni, these temples and sculptures were destroyed. During the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni, Thanesar was under the control of Tomara ruler, Jaypal.
Al-Biruni mentioned in his book ‘Kitab-ul-Hind’, that Thanesar was the important centre for Hindus. In 1037 CE, Masud, the son of Mahmud of Ghazni, also invaded Hansi and defeated the Tomara ruler, Kumarapala Dev. Thus, he captured the whole Haryana along with Thanesar-Kurukshetra region.
In 1043 CE, Mawdud, the son of Masud of Ghazni, invaded Haryana. But, Kumarapala Dev, the Tomara ruler, defeated him with the help of other rulers. In 1043 CE, a consolidated Union of Kumarapala Dev, Chauhan, Parmar and Kalachuris invaded the Ghaznavid Empire and defeated its army. According to ‘Dwasrai Epic’ of Jain writer, Hemchandra, the war between Chauhan and Tomaras ended with the capture of Vigrahraj, the Chauhan ruler Delhi and Hansi regions.
Invasion of Muhammad Ghor
During the 12th century, Chauhan or Chahamanas rulers defeated the Tomara rulers and established their rule over Delhi and Haryana. These rulers fought many wars with their neighbouring states and also faced Muslim invasions like Ghurids. Prithviraj Chauhan established forts at Taraori and Hansi in the 12th century.
First Battle of Tarain
THE SULTANATE DYNASTY:
- This dynasty was founded by Mohammad Ghori, but its real foundation was laid by Qutb-ud-din Aibak.
- This was the first dynasty which ruled over Delhi Sultanate in AD 1192 after defeating Prithviraj Chauhan of Chauhan dynasty at the Second Battle of Tarain in AD 1192.
- With the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan at Tarain in AD 1192, at the hands of Ghori, a new chapter opened in the history of Haryana, which affected the future of the whole country.
THE KHILJI DYNASTY:
- The Khilji dynasty was the second Muslim dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. The slave rulers laid a firm foundation to the Delhi Sultanate.
- Naturally, Muslims from territories bordering to Western-Northern India migrated to join other Muslim settlers. The first ruler of this dynasty was Jalal-ud-din Firoz Khilji.
Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq:
- He was the third ruler of the Tughlaq dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. In particular, an incident in the village of Gohana in Haryana was recorded in the Insha-e-Mahry (another historical record written by Amud-din-Abdullah, bin Mahru).
Timur Lung Invasion on Haryana:
- Timur’s invasion affected Haryana vitally as he raised to the ground a large part of the region, spreading terror and devastation. He was, however, not allowed to go unchallenged and the martial communities of the area, the Jats, Rajputs and the Ahirs deified him at several places. Timur remained on the soil of Haryana for nearly one month. During this period, he had to fight the people of this region constantly and regularly, almost twice a day.
Foreign Invasions and Wars in Haryana:
- Haryana being close to the capital suffered the most during this period. Apart from the repeated disorders due to frequent changes of dynasties till the coming of the Mughals on the scene. The invasion of Timur Lung towards the end of the 14th century played havoc with the imperial city of Delhi and the surrounding area. The region suffered similarly during the 18th Century, when Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded the country. It is not an accident that all decisive battles, which changed the fate of India were fought in Haryana, at Panipat.
First Battle of Panipat:
- The First Battle of Panipat was fought between the last ruler of Lodhi dynasty, Ibrahim Lodhi and the ruler of Kabul, Babur in 1526. By 1525, Babur had captured the whole of Punjab and then he proceeded towards Delhi. The history of the First Battle of Panipat was an important milestone that was to change the very face of history in India. After capturing Punjab, Babur proceeded towards Delhi to meet Ibrahim Lodhi but Ibrahim Lodhi’s army was much bigger and he had war elephants. Babur defeated the army with organisation and skilled dissemble historic Battle of Panipat took place on 21st April, 1526 at the place called Panipat, which is located in modern day Haryana. This place has been the site of many important battles in the history of India.
Second Battle of Panipat:
- After the death of Humayun in AD 1556, his 13-year-old son, Akbar ascended the throne under the guardianship of Bairam Khan. At the time of Akbar’s accession to the throne, the Mughal rule was confined to Kabul, Kandahar and parts of Punjab and Delhi. On 14th February, 1556, in a garden at Kalanaur, Akbar was enthroned as emperor. Hemu (Hemchandra) was a military chief of the Afghan King Mohammad Adil Shah, who had established himself at Chunar and was seeking to expel the Mughals from India. Taking advantage of Humayun’s death, Hemu marched to Agra and Delhi in October and occupied it without difficulty and became the ruler under the title, Raja Vikramaditya.
Jahangir and Shah Jahan Period:
- Things were comparatively quiet during the reigns of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. This was a period of relative peace in Haryana. This period also saw the constructive works for public welfare, such as roads and wells.
- Haryana being close to imperial capital (Delhi) felt the full impact of Aurangzeb repression. After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the empire which Babur and Akbar had built and Jahangir and Shah Jahan nurtured, crumbled to pieces. The two foreign invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali further added to the confusion.
End of Mughal Period:
- During the period of Mohammad Shah (AD 1719-1748), India suffered from the invasion of Nadir Shah. By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had ravaged the Mughal provinces from the Deccan to Bengal and internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the Mughal Empire’s administrative and economic systems. In 1739, a weakened Mughal Empire was defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nadir Shah. Mughal power was severely limited. The last emperor, Bahadur Shah II had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad.
Battle of Karnal:
- On 24th February,1739, battle between the forces of Nadir Shah, an Iranian adventurer and Mohammad Shah, the Mughal emperor took place at Karnal, Haryana; the Mughals suffered a decisive defeat. Nadir Shah had become the ruler of Persia by deposing the king in 1732. The alleged violation of promises by Mohammad Shah and the ill treatment of his envoys by the Delhi court, served as the alleged cause for his invasion. Nadir Shah marched to Delhi and massacred its inhabitants on 11th March. Nadir Shah left Delhi on 5th May with plunder, including the famous Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan and the Koh-e-noor diamond. The Mughal Empire never recovered from this blow to its prestige.
Origin of Marathas
- On 15th October, 1754 AD the Mughal Emperor Alamgir gave out Kurukshetra, the holy place of Haryana, to Marathas by expressing his gratitude towards Marathas. In 1761 AD, Third Battle of Panipat took place between Ahmad Shah Abdali (Afghan) and Marathas in which Marathas were defeated.
Third Battle of Panipat:
- Towards the middle of the 18th century, Marathas, under the leadership of the Peshwas had established their sway over Haryana and most of North India. The intrusion of the Afghan, Ahmad Shah Abdali into India, culminated in the Third Battle of Panipat on 14th January, 1761. Ahmad Shah defeated the Marathas and this marked the end of the Maratha ascendancy.
Mahadji Scindia :
- Mahadji Scindia was a Maratha ruler of the state of Gwalior in Central India. Jayappa Shinde, the head of the Shinde family, was murdered in his own house and was succeeded by his son Jankoji. In 1761, the Shindes joined the Peshwa’s army led by Sadashivrao Bhau against the Afghan forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali at the Third Battle of Panipat. After sometime, the brave Maratha controlled all over Haryana.
- To rule in a better way, Mahadji divided all Pradesh into four parts (i) Delhi district (ii) Sonipat district (iii) Hisar (IV) Mewat district
Relation with Marathas:
- In the due course of time, Appa Kandi Rao offered the area of Jhajjar, Beri, Mandothi, Patoda to George Thomas. Feeling happy at his military services, Marathas offered the area of Panipat, Sonipat and Karnal to him.
- Intoxicated with the increasing power, he declared himself independent of Scindias. With the aim to establish his independent rule in the whole Haryana, Thomas changed his capital from Jhajjar to Hansi.
Invasion of Nadir Shah
- On 24th February, 1739, a battle between the forces of Nadir Shah, an Iranian adventurer and Mohammad Shah ‘Rangila, the Mughal emperor took place at Karnal, Haryana in which the Mughals suffered a decisive defeat.
- Nadir Shah became the ruler of Persia by deposing the king in 1732. The violation by Mohammad Shah and the ill-treatment of his representatives by the Delhi court, served as the cause for his invasion. Nadir Shah marched to Delhi and massacred its inhabitants on 11th March. Nadir Shah left Delhi on 5th May with plunder, including the famous Peacock Throne of Shah Jahan and the Koh-i-noor diamond. The Mughal Empire never recovered from destruction.
George Thomas and Haryana State
- George Thomas was an Irish mercenary. He is also known as Jahazi Sahib’ in Haryana. He joined the military force of Begum Samru of Sardhana (Meerut) in 1787 AD and married her daughter. In 1793, he worked for Apa Khande Rao, a Maratha Chieftain under Maharaja Mahadaji Scindia of Gwalior state. He was then given the responsibility of Mewat province.
- He established a military force and forcibly collected taxes from rebellious farmers of Mewat. To give out salaries to his army, he plundered the villages of Gurugram and Badshahpur which were the estates of Begum Samru. He also plundered Bahadurgarh and Jhajjar in 1794 AD. With the aim to establish his independent rule in the whole Haryana, Thomas changed his capital from Jhajjar to Hansi.
- In March 1799 AD, the Battle of Narnaund took place between Sikhs and George Thomas near Narnaund village, which is situated between Hansi and Jind areas. This battle was ended by a treaty. George Thomas was finally defeated and captured by Scindias army under General Pierre Cuillier-Peron. He died on 22nd August, 1802.
History of Land Settlement and Land Tax in Haryana
- Raja Todarmal, the Finance Minister of Akbar, was the first to introduce a new system of revenue collection and agriculture tax in Haryana, which is known as ‘Dahshala System’. Agricultural land based on rainfall was known as ‘Barani’ and agricultural land based on irrigation was known as Chahi (irrigated by wells). One-sixth part of produce was taken as a land tax from the farmers who were under the British Rule. One-fourth part of produce was taken as a land tax by the Nawabs and Feudalist (Jagirdaar) from the farmers who were under Princely States.
- During the periods of droughts and famines, the land tax was put off in the areas under British rule. Sometimes a part of a complete land tax was refused. Haryana was the first state of India where no land tax was levied on the produce on Barani field (agricultural field based on rainfall). Land tax was collected after every six months from farmers in canal irrigated areas.