(iv)      Atmospheric Pressure and Winds

           Cloudiness. –During the monsoon season and for short spells of a day or two in association with passing western disturbances the skies are partly too heavily clouded and occasionally overcast.  During the rest of the year the skies are mostly or lightly clouded.

           Winds. –Winds are generally light with some increase in wind force during the late summer and monsoon seasons.  In the post monsoon and winter seasons, winds are light and variable in direction in the mornings and mainly from the west to north-west in the afternoons.  In April and May, winds are mostly from directions between north-west and northeast.  By June, easterlies and south-easterlies also blow and in the south-west monsoon season winds are more commonly from directions between north-east and south-east.

           Special Weather Phonomena. –Western disturbances affect the district during the cold season causing widespread rain.  Dust storms and thunderstorms occur in the latter part of the summer season.  Thunderstorms also occur in the cold season and rain in the monsoon is often associated with thunder.  Occasional fog occurs in the cold season.

 

TABLE 1

Norms and Extremes of Rainfall in the Hoshiarpur District

Station

Number of years of data

 

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

Setpem-ber

Dasuya

50

a

b

43.4

3.1

43.7

2.9

38.1

2.6

17.8

1.8

17.8

1.3

51.6

3.2

229.9

9.9

236.7

9.2

105.2

4.0

Una (Himachal Pradesh)

50

a

b

51.3

3.2

49.5

3.5

39.9

2.7

19.8

1.8

17.8

1.5

68.8

4.0

310.6

11.9

273.3

11.3

140.7

5.5

Garhshankar

50

a

b

42.2

2.7

38.1

2.9

31.7

2.5

17.3

1.4

16.3

1.4

57.9

4.0

241.1

9.9

212.6

9.1

120.4

4.4

Hoshiarpur

50

a

b

44.2

3.0

44.5

3.0

35.8

2.6

18.5

1.7

16.3

1.4

60.5

3.8

205.7

10.5

239.3

9.4

122.2

4.5

Tanda

39

a

b

30.0

2.1

37.6

2.6

20.6

1.6

10.4

0.9

13.2

0.9

40.6

2.5

217.4

8.3

151.4

6.0

93.2

2.9

Hoshiarpur District

 

a

b

42.2

2.8

42.7

3.0

33.2

2.4

16.8

1.5

16.3

1.3

55.9

3.5

249.9

10.1

222.7

9.0

116.3

4.3

 

           (a)  Normal rainfall in mm

           (b)  Average number of rainy days (days with rain of 2.5 mm or more)

 

TABLE 1

Norms and Extremes of Rainfall in the Hoshiarpur District

Station

 

Number of years of data

 

October

Novem-ber

Decem-ber

Annual

Highest annual rainfall as % of normal and year*

Lowest annual rainfall as % of normal and year*

Heaviest rainfall in 24 hours**

Amount (mm)

Date

Dasuya

..

50

a

b

11.2

0.7

4.3

0.4

25.1

1.6

824.8

40.7

176

(1917)

48

(1934)

278.6

1894

June 19

Una (Himachal Pradesh)

..

50

a

b

14.5

0.9

3.6

0.4

27.4

1.8

1,017.2

48.5

168

(1917)

52

(1918)

276.1

1947

September 26

Garhshankar

..

50

a

b

11.2

0.7

4.3

0.4

21.3

1.7

814.4

41.1

173

(1909)

34

(1918)

284.5

1888

July 10

Hoshiarpur

..

50

a

b

13.5

0.9

6.1

0.5

23.9

1.7

875.5

43.0

230

(1917)

55

(1949)

360.7

1878

August 19

Tanda

..

39

a

b

3.8

0.3

2.0

0.1

15.2

1.1

635.4

29.3

210

(1914)

47

(1918)

186.4

1960

July 12

Hoshiarpur District

..

 

a

b

10.8

0.7

4.1

0.4

22.6

1.6

833.5

40.6

178

(1917)

52

(1918)

 

 

 

(a)  Normal rainfall in mm

           (b)  Average number of rainy days (days with rain of 2.5 mm or more)

*     Based on all available date upto 1970

**   Years of occurrence given in brackets

 

 

TABLE –2

Frequency of Annual Rainfall in the Hoshiarpur District

(Date 1901 –1950)

Range in mm

 

No. of years

Range in mm

 

No. of years

401-500

..

1

910-1000

..

9

501-600

..

6

1001-1100

..

4

601-700

..

9

1101-1200

..

0

701-800

..

8

1201-1300

..

3

810-900

 

7

1301-1400

1401-1500

..

..

2

1

 

 

 

CHAPTER II

HISTORY

 

(a)

Ancient Period

(b)

Medieval Period

(c)

British Rule

 

 

(a)       Ancient Period

 

           Recent excavations at various sites in the district of Hoshiarpur and Rupnagar (Ropar) have revealed that the entire area near the Shiwalik foothills was selected for habitation not only by the early palaeolithicman, but also by those in the protohistoric and historic periods.  The perennial supply of water and patches of good agricultural land and pastures ensured them a living.  It is in these regions that the link between the earlier Stone Age and protohistoric periods-neolithic period may probably be found.  In the explorations, seven early Stone Age sites at Atbarapur, Rehamanpur and Takhni, 30-40 km north of Hoshiarpur at the foot of the Shiwalik Hills, have been discovered where the stone artifacts have been found.  These artifacts include hand-axes, stone implements, chopping-tools and cleavers and can be type-technologically dated to 4,35,000-1,50,000 years1.

 

1.  The Tribune, Chandigarh, August 10,1977.

 

           Besides these excavations, among the archaeological remains in the Hoshiarpur District the remains of temples at Dholbaha, 24km north of Hoshiarpur, and especially the local legends throw much valuable light on the ancient history of this district.

           The legends refer to the district having a direct connection with the dawn of Indian History and, thus, associate several places in the district with the Pandavas, and Sri Pandain, 12.5 km north of Hajipur, which contains a well and a temple.  Dasuya is mentioned in the epic of Mahabharata as the seat of King Virata in whose services the Pandavas remained for thirteen years during their exile.  Even today, Dasuya is called Virat Ki Nagri.  Bham, about 11 km west of Mahalpur, is said to be the place where the Pandavas spent their exile.  Lasara, about 19 km north of Jaijon, also contains a stone temple stated to date back to the time of the pandavas.

           From scattered notices of Kalhana’s Raja Tarangini, the hints gained iron inscriptions, and, above all, from the information left on record by the Chinese pilgrim, Hieun Tsang, it is surmised that the area, now called Hoshiarpur, was dominated by a tribe of Chandrabansi Rajputs who maintained an independent existence for centuries before the Muhammad conquest.  Jullundur was its capital and Kangra was an important Stronghold.  Considerable interest was attached to this tribe, to which its representatives were believed to belong as the petty Rajput kings of Kangra and the neighbouring hills in the early years of the twentieth century.  These princes traced their generalogy from one Susarma Chandra, and asserted that their ancestors owned Multan and took part in the great war of the Mahabharata.  After the war, they lost their country and retired under the leadership of Susarma Chandra to the Jullundur Doab.  In the seventh century, the kingdom is described by Hieun Tsang as extending 167 miles (267 km) from east to west, and 133 miles (213 km) from north to south.  If these dimensions be correct, the kingdom, as General Cunningham points out, probably included, in addition to the plains portion of the Jullundur Doab and the Kangra Hill States, Chambs, Mandi and Suket in the hills and Satadru of Sirhind in the plains.  The country is referred to as Katoch, and Trigartha in the Puranas.  At as unknown date the kingdom broke up into numerous petty principalities, and the Jaswan Rajas, a branch of the Katoch Dynasty, established themselves as the owners of these principalities in the Jaswan Dun.

           Later, the tribe known as Tilabharas, also known as Tilakhalas occupied the area to the south of the Beas near Hoshiarpur and played a significant role in the history of the Punjab 1-A.

 

1-A. Buddha Prakash, Glimpses of Ancient Punjab (Patiala, 1966), p. 35

 

           The district lay beyond the reach of the Macedomina conqueror, Alexander the Great, and is indiscernible in the faint light of the history of that period.  In the Mauryan times, the Jullundur Doab formed part of the Magadhan Empire.  After the dismemberment of the Mauryan Empire, the Indo-Bactrian Greeks invaded, and occupied the Punjab in the second century B.C.

 

(b)       Medieval Period

 

           The precise date of the Muhammadan conquest of the district is unknown.  According to the poet Lalman, Ibrahim of the Ghorian Dynasty, who ruled from A.D. 1059 –1099, penetrated Jullundur, and the plains probably came under the Muhammadan rule on the fall of Jullundur in A.D. 1088.  The hills, however, remained under the Hindu Chieftains.  In 1192, Ajmer and the whole of the Shiwalik Hills, along with the principalities of Ghuram, Hansi, Sarusti, Samana and other tracts, were subjugated by Sultan Muhammad Ghori, who further advanced to Delhi, but the City and its fort were saved by a relation of Khandey Rai, who submitted to the conqueror and paid a handsome tribute to him.  The Sultan returned to Ghazni after entrusting the Government, with Ghuram, as its capital, to his slave, Qutb-ud-din Aibak2.

 

2.           Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Punjab under the Sultans (1000-1526 A.D.) (Delhi) 1968,p. 30.

 

           Abu Bakar (A.D. 1389-1390) –Abu Bakar’s authority remained established at Delhi for some time, but at Samana.  The centurion officers rose against the Governor, Khurshid, a loyal adherent of Abu Bakar and put him to death at Samana.  One of the Amirs, Junid of Samana, assassinated Khurshid and sent his head to Princes Nasir-ud-din Muhammad.  The Prince, who was at Nagarkot, was earnestly solicited to come and assert himself by all the Afgan Amirs.  He was then loitering in the Shiwalik Hills of Kangra to make another attempts to capture the throne of Delhi.  Muhammad, having received the invitation, marched immediately to Samana, passing through Dasuya and Jullundur.  He arrived at from Samana to Delhi with twenty thousand horses which swelled to fifty thousand on the way, but he was deleated by Abu Bakar3.

3.           Ibidi p. 59.

 

           Amir Taimur (A.D. 1398-99) –This area faced a great devastation during the return journey of Taimur from Delhi, when he retreated along the outskirts of the Shiwalik Hills to Jammu  He had heard of Nagarkot and wished to capture it, but did not penetrate so far into the interior of the hills.  The Hindu Rajas gave him a tough light.  He passed through Bajwara and Dasuya in the Hoshiarpur District.  At that time, the Kokhars appear to have been powerful in the district.

           In 1419, the peace of the Punjab was again disturbed by an adventurer, who appeared at Bajwara and pretended to be Sarang Khan, who had expelled Khaizr Khan from Multan in 1396, a little before Taimur’s invasion.  There was a big rising in Bajwara, as many interested people exhorted the ignorant people to join the pretender.  Khizr Khan directed Islam Khan, the Governor of Sirhind, to march against the pretender and to crush the rising.  Islam Khan marched from Sirhind and was joined by Zirak Khan, the Governor of Samana, and by Tughan Rais, the Governor of Jullundur Doab.  The pretender was supported by Khwaja Ali Mazindrani, the Amir of Jath in Sindh.  The pretender advanced from Bajwara to Rupar to meet the combined forces of the Governors of Sirhind, Samana and Jullundur.  Islam Khan inflicted a crushing defeat on the rebels who retreated into the Simla Hills.  The Royalists occupied Rupar.  The pretender was further pursued, but he escaped to the Shiwalik Hills.  Later, Tughan Rais waylaid the pretender and put him to death in February, 1419 and took possession of the wealth which he had amassed4.

4.                 Ibid, p. 71.

 

           On the death of Taimur, Jasrat escaped from prison, returned home and assumed the leadership of his tribe and set himself up at Sialkot.  Intervening in the civil war in Kashmir between Ali Shah and Shahi Khan, while favouring the latter he gained immensely by his victory.  Being enriched with wealth and equipment and fortified by the friendship of the new King of Kashmir, he conceived of conquering Delhi.  The joining of Tughan Rais, after his defeat at the hands of Khizr Khan’s general, Zirak Khan, further strengthened his hands and emboldened him in his designs.  Availing himself of the opportunity provided by the death of Khizr Khan, he crossed the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj, swooped down upon the Governor of Ludhiana, Rai Kama-ud-Din Firoz Mian, at Talwandi, defeated him and drove him to the east.  Encouraged by that victory, he ravaged the country as far as Rupar and, recrossing the Satluj, laid siege to Jullundur, worsted and imprisoned the Governor, Zirak Khan.  From there, He marched on Sirhind, but the rains delayed his plan of conquest5.

 

5.           Fauja Singh, History of the Punjab, Vol. III (1000-1526 A.D.), (Patiala, 1972), pp 220-21.

 

           Mubarak Shah (A.D. 1421-1434) –In July, 1421, when Mubarak Shah reached Samana, he heard that Jasrat had raised the siege of Sirhind and had returned to Ludhiana.  Mubarak Shah seems to have spent some time here, strengthening his forces and waiting for the rains to give him breathing-space.  When he advanced on Ludhiana in the second half of September, he found that Jasrat had abandoned the City and had crossed to the other side of the river, taking all the boats he could lay his hands on.  For forty days, both the armies remained in camp on the opposite banks of the river.  When the rains ceased a little, Mubarak Shah marched on Qabulpur on his side of the river.  Jasrat naturally crossed the river to reach the opposite bank to keep the enemy in slight.  Now there followed a Strange Sight: the two armies marching the opposite sides of the Satluj, each trying to keep the other in sight.  When the rainy season was over the river became fordable at places.  In October 1421 a wing of the royal army took Jasrat by surprise on his side of the river at Rupar.  As Jasrat was putting his forces in battle array he found that Mubarak Shah had crossed the river a little higher up and was thus threatening his other flank.  He sought safety in slipping through the royal army and crossed the river to reach Jullundur.  From there, he hastened back to his strongest fort at Talwara.  There Mubarak Shah followed him with the help of Raja Bhim of Jammu.  Mubarak Shah captured the fort at Talwara and razed it, but not before Jasrat had escaped farther into the mountains.

           In 1432 Mubarak Shah transferred Julundur and Lahore from the charge of Nusrat Khan to that of Malik Allahabad Kaka Lodi.  When the Gakhar Chief heard of the transfer of Nusrat Khan from Lahore, he once more came out of his retreat from the hills.  He wanted to try his strength once more against the new Governor of Lahore, Malik Allahabad Kaka Lodi; who was yet on the way to Lahore to take over the charge.  Jasrat marched against the new Governor, who was compelled to seek shelter at Kothi situated between Jaijon and Mahalpur, about 16 km to the south of Bajwara in the Hoshiarpur District6.  Mubarak Shah was murdered on the 19th February 1434.

6.           Ibid, pp. 181-192

 

           Bahlol Lodi ascended the throne on 27 Muharram 855 (approx- A.D. 1501).  During this period, the Punjab ceased to be a problem tract for Delhi.  There is no reason to believe that Bahlol Lodi made any changes in the headquarters of the local administrators in the plains.  As before, Samana, Sunak, Hansi, Hissar, Panipat, Karnal, Ludhiana, Jullundur, Lahore, Dipalpur, Bhatinda and Bajwara continued to be the center of local administration, though it is possible that Bahlol Lodi might have combined two or more charges under a trusted commander, without, thus, disturbing the seats of authority7.

7.           Ibid., pp. 98-99

 

           The peace of the Punjab was very much disturbed during 1520-1524 when Babar, the first Mughal Emperor, started his expeditions against Hindustan.  Taking advantage of this confusion, Ibrahim Lodi sent an army against Daulat Khan Lodi.  His army was completely broken up at Bajwara in the Hoshiarpur District and the Sultan had to et an humble pie8.

8.           Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Punjab Under the Great Mughals (1526-1707 A.D.) (Bombay, 1968) p. 14

 

           Babar (A. D. 1525-1530). –In 1525, leaving Shah Mir Hassan and some officers to guard Lahore, Babar moved ahead with his troops with all possible speed and reached Kalanaur, 26 km west of Gurdaspur.  He was anxious to overtake Daulat Khan Lodi and Ghori Khan who were seized with panic and had shut themselves up in the Fort of Malot near Hariana in the Hoshiarpur District.  He ordered Muhammad Ahmedi and Kutlaq Qudam to pursue them and they were strictly instructed to intercept every move into and out of the Fort of Malot, so that the garrison might not escape.  Babar crossed the River Beas opposite Kahnuwan, and encamped at the mouth of the valley of the Shiwalik Hills in which lies the Fort of Malot9.  Babar took the fort and made Daulat Khan prisoner.  Here, Dilawar Khan seems to have joined him.  He was probably hiding in the hills.  Babar marched via Bajwara, Rupar, Sirhind and Sunam.  Daulat Khan, Ali Khan, Ismail Khan and some other leading men were handed over as prisoners to Kita Beg., who set out with the prisoners for the Fort of Malot.  Babar continued to advance on Delhi via Dun and reached Rupar10.

9.           Ibid., p. 15

10.         Ibid., p. 15

 

           Humayun (A. D. 1530-1556) –In 1555, on arriving at Kalanaur in the Gurdaspur District from Lahore, Humayun dispatched a strong body of troops under Bairam Khan and Tardi Beg to attack Nasib Khan the Afghan General, who lay encamped at Panj Bhain near Hariana in the Hoshiarpur District.  Bairam Khan pushed on to Hariana which, after a slight skirm, was surrendered by Nasib Khan and much valuable plunder a well as the families of the Afghans fell into Bairam Khan’s hands.  Bairam Khan marched to Jullundur from Hariana via Sham Chaurasi where the Afghans had taken up position.  The Afghans retreated on his arrival for such was the terror which the Afghans at that time had of the Mughals.  Though thousands in number, when they saw the approach of the Mughals, they instantly turned tail and fled.

           Akbar (A.D. 1556-1605). –On March 10, 1557, Akbar was at Delhi when the news reached that at the instigation of Mulla Abdulla Sultanpuri, Sikandar Sur had descended upon the plains of Jullundur Doab and had started collecting the revenue.  Khizr Khan of the Governor, handing over Lahore to Haji Muhammad Khan set out to        oppose the enemy.  On December 17, 1557, the imperial forces immediately advanced through Jullundur to the Shiwalik Hills and encamped at Dasuya in the Hoshiarpur District and moved farther to Nurpur.  The hill Rajas, who had sided with Sikandar Sur, deserted him and submitted to Akbar.

           After Bairam Khan was defeated by the imperial forces at Gunachaur, he went to Talwara, the capital of Raja Ganesh.  There a great battle was fought between the imperialist and Bairam’s stroops.  Sultan Hussain Jalair, one of the most trusted friends of Bairam Khan, died in the battlefield.  A half-hearted rebel, Bairam driven to dismay and despair at the defeat of his friend.  The royal troops besieged the fortress of Talwar.  Bairam Khan, after a brief resistance, offered to surrender on the condition that he would be assured of safe conduct.  The Emperor offered Bairam Khan the alternatives of service as his companion, or as a Jagirdar of Kalpi and Chanderi, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.  Bairam Khan, therefore, threw himself at the mercy of the Emperor in October 1560 at Hajipur.  The Emperor consoled him with kind words and presented him with his own robe.  At Hariana in the Hoshiarpur District Bairam Khan was pardoned by the Emperor Thereafter, he left for Mecca11.

11.         Ibid., pp. 28-37

 

           At the death of Aurangzeb, in 1707, the Punjab was divided into six Doabs.  Jullundur Doab had 69 Mahals.  In this Doab the important towns, falling in the Hoshiarpur District, were Sham Chaurasi, Tanda, Mukerian and Hoshiarpur12.

12.         Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Punjab Under the Later Mughals, 1707-1759 A.D., (Jullundur, 1972), p. 31

 

           The Sikh Gurus and the District. –With the down fall of the Mughal Empire and the rise of the Sikh power, the district saw its most striring scenes.  The history of the Sikh Gurus in this district mainly revolves round the towns of Kiratpur and Anandpur Sahib which formed part of it before the reorganization of the Punjab in November 1966.

           The first five Gurus of the Sikhs appear to have had no contact with the district.  It was after the birth of Hargobind, the sixth Guru of the Sikhs, in 1595 that this district also became the center of religious and military activity.  The execution of Guru Arjun Dev, father of Guru Hargobind, caused great indignation among the Hindus and the Sikhs of the district.  Guru Hargobind is regarded as the first champion in arms who consolidated his army to save Sikhism from the wrath of the Mughals.  With a view to strengthening his army, the Guru undertook several tours of various places in the Punjab, preaching religion and military resistance.  He also visited Mukerian, from where he recruited able-bodied persons for his army.  In almost all the six battled which the Guru fought against the Mughals, the soldiers in the army from the district played a significant role in achieving victory for the Guru.

           The Guru visualized that the struggle of the Sikhs against the Mughals was not going to end soon.  He, therefore, thought of finding a place which could serve as center from the point of view of military strategy.  In this exigency, he thought of Raja Dharam Chand of Hindu and deputed his eldest son Gurditta, to him.  The Raja immediately agreed to allow him to choose a suitable place.  He selected a site near the borders of the Kahlur State, the present-day Bilaspur (now in Himachal Pradesh).  He built a few houses there and named the place Kirtpur 13, the headquarters of the Guru.

13.         Hari Ram Gupta, History of Sikh Gurus (New Delhi, 1973), pp. 120-21

 

           Guru Hargobind spent the remaining five years of his life at Kirtpur.  There, he was not disturbed by the Mughal Government.  The reason seems to be that the Guru had lost almost all his wordly goods.  He had persuaded a large number of his soldiers to revert to the plough.  Most of the Kangra hill chiefs were in revolt against the Mughal Government and so the attention of the Emperor was directed towards them.  Many Hindus and Musalmans of the neighbourhood were becoming his disciples and were strengthening Sikhism.  Guru Hargobind died at Kiratpur in 1644.

           After the death of Har Kishan, the eighth Guru of the Sikhs, in 166., Tegh Bahadur was installed as the ninth Guru at the age of 43.  Owing to harassment by the Mughals, the Guru was not allowed to live at one place, and he was on the move, administering to the spiritual needs of the people.  He went to Kiratpur –the town founded by his father.  Shortly after that, he proceeded on tour to Dacca and Assam, and after returning to the Punjab, he did not like to stay at Kiratpur on account of rivalries, conspiracies and intrigues.  At a distance of 8 km to the north below the Hill of Naina Devi and close to the village of Makhowal, the Guru purchased a piece of fallow land from the Raja of Bilaspur.  He called it Nanki Chak after his mother.  The portion of the town to the south-east was later named Anandpur.  Here, an event of historic significance took place.

           Sher Afghan Khan, the Viceroy in Kashmir, started killing Kashmiri Hindus who would not embrace Islam.  The Pandits asked for a respite of six months to make up their minds about their conversion to Islam.  The time limit was granted and when it was about to end, they were in a fix.  They al approached Guru Tegh Bahadur who was then at Anandpur, and related to him their tale of woe.  The Guru told them to go in a body to Delhi and make the following representation to Aurangzeb: “Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru is the protector of the Hindu faith and religion.  First make him a Musalman and then all the Hindus, including ourselves, will, of our own accord, adopt the faith”.

           At this representation, the royal summons was dispatched to the Guru at Anandpur and he went to Delhi under guard.  There he was arrested as a public enemy.  He was tried as unbeliever.  He was, beheaded on November 11, 1675 and his headless body was taken away by a Labana Sikh, Lakhi Shah and cremated it at the place where now stands Gurdwara Rakab Ganj at Delhi.  His head was stolen by a faithful Sikh, Bhai Jaita, who carried it to Anandpur Sahib, where it was cremated and now Gurdwara Sis-Ganj stands at this place.

           The execution of Guru Tegh Bahadur was the most serious event that strained the relations between the Sikhs and the Mughals to the breaking point.  It set the hearts ablaze not only of the Sikhs but of all the Hindus.  They now believed that any attempt at reconciliation with the Mughal Government was impossible.  It was realized that the people themselves must find their own salvation against the cruel and corrupt Government.  This task was taken up by Guru Gobind Singh, son of Guru Tegh Bahadur.  His succession ceremony was performed at a place at Anandpur, called Damdama Sahib14.

14.         Ibid, pp. 132, 144.

 

           Like Guru Tegh Bahadur, his son Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last of the Sikh Gurus, maintained active contract with the district on account of the religio-political role assumed by him.  His lifelong exertions to fulfil the twofold mission –to avenge the death of his father and to rid the people of the tyranny of the Muslim rule –had obliged him to confine his activities to the comparatively inaccessible area along the Shiwaliks.  To facilitate his military campaigns and afford him a safer place, he had made Anandpur,

the newly founded fortified town, his headquarters.  It is here that in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa to fight against the tyranny of the Mughals.

 

           The Creation of the Khalsa, 1699. –At the behest of the Guru, thousands of people congregated on the hill of Anandpur, where now Gurdwara Keshgarh Sahib stands.  The Guru made the most stirring speech on saving religion which was in great peril, and about his divine mission.  The Guru explained that in order to safeguard their spiritual and temporal rights, the people should not depend on fate.  They should individually feel any national wrong done and collectively organize means to withstand it.  The Guru then initiated five Sikhs, namely Daya Ram, a Khatri of the village of Dall in the Lahore District, Dharam Das, a Jat of the village of Jatwara in the Saharanpur District, Sahib Chand, a barber of the village of Nangal Shahidan in the Hoshiarpur District, Himmat Chand, Kahar of Sangatpura in the Patiala District and Mohkam Chand Chhimba, of Buriya in the Ambala District.  All these five Sikhs had responded to the call of the Guru for a supreme sacrifice he demanded, i.e., their heads.  The Guru baptized them by making them drink from a common bowl the Amrit (the nectar of immotality) he had prepared by dissolving lumps of sugar (patase) in water and sanctifying the sweetened water by stirring it with a double-edged sword (khanda), reciting at the same time five banis (compositions) from the Adi Granth and the Dasam Granth.  By so doing, he converted them into singhs (lions) from men of ordinary caliber and designated them as Panj Pyare (the Five beloved ones.)  After administering to them the baptism of steel, he stood before the five Beloved ones in a spirit of utter humility and requested them to baptize him as he had baptized them.  On that day Gobind Rai became Guru Gobind Singh.  Such an example of a Guru’s becoming the disciple of his own disciples is unprecedented in world history and makes Guru Gobind Singh one of the greatest figures, of whom the world is rightly proud.  The tenth Guru transformed a section of the lifeless Hindu society into brave and fearless soldiers, called the Khalsa.  He created the Khalsa not for any territorial gains, but to protect helpless people to defend themselves against the onslaughts of fanaticism and tyranny of the worst kind.  The Guru’s Khalsa consisted of three Shudras, one high-caste Hindu and one Jat.  Now a Singh was supposed to wear five K’s, i.e., kesh or long hair, kangha or comb, kirpan or sword, kara or steel bangle and kachha or a pair of short drawers15.  The Guru fought eight battles against the Mughals at Anandpur Sahib in the pre-and post-Khalsa period.

15.         Ibid., pp. 180-85

 

           The exploits of Banda Bahadur. –On being commissioned by Guru Gobind Singh from the Deccan to the Punjab in 1708 to punish those who had persecuted the Sikhs and executed his father and innocent children, Banda Bahadur used the Jullundur Doab as a base from which he led expeditions against the Mughal forces.  The Jullundur Doab remained a center of his exploits till 1711.  As Banda carried on his activities in the Punjab, he received some newly converted Sikhs from the village of Unarsa in Jalalabad, who complained against the persecutions of the Hindus by Jalal Khan, the founder and Faujdar of Jalalabad.  Banda marched forthwith towards Jalalabad, capturing on his way, Saharanpur, and killing the Peerzadas of Behat for their anti-Hindu activities.  Messengers were sent to Jalal Khan to release some Sikhs whom he had imprisoned.  The messengers were badly insulted, and this attitude of Jalal Khan enraged Banda, who ordered the siege of Jalalabad.  However, the heavy rains, the inundation from the Jamuna River, and the urgent calls for help from the Jullundur Doab obliged him to abandon the siege, and he ordered a retreat.

           As Sirhind and been captured, and Banda was carrying his activities far and wide, the Sikhs in the Jullundur Doab felt that their day of deliverance had arrived.  They ousted the Muslim officials and in their place appointed the Sikhs, and sent a parvana to Shamas Khan the Faujdar of the Jullundur Doab, to effect certain reforms and hand over his treasures personally to the Khalsa.  The Faujdar appealed to the Muslims of the Doab for a jehad against these infidels, and about one lakh Muslim, collected and marched towards Sultanpur, the capital of the Doab where about seventy-five thousand Sikhs had collected.  An urgent call at this juncture was sent to Banda in the Gangetic Doab and he soon joined them.  The Sikhs retired to Rahon.  The Muslims chased them, and the Sikhs were besieged.  But in the darkness of the night, they escaped, and the next morning, seeing that Shamas Khan had retired to his capital, they attacked the Muslims in the fort suddenly and after a bloody battle, they drove them out on October 12, 1710.  Consequently, Jullundur and Hoshiarpur were captured by the Sikhs without much effort and they became now masters of the Jullundur Doab16.

16.         G.S. Chhabra.  The Advanced Study in History of the Punjab, Vol I (Jullundur, 1960), pp. 330-31.

 

           In February-March, 1711, Banda Bahadur began to extend his influence in other parts of the Punjab.  After over-running the towns of Raipur and Bahrampur and subjugating the parganas of Kalanaur and Batala in the Gurdaspur District, Banda Bahadur wanted to advance upon Lahore, but as he was chased by the Imperial Generals, Muhammad Amin Khan and Rustam Dil Khan at close quarters and the Emperor himself was not fr off, camping at Hoshiarpur on 9th June, 1711, he crossed the Ravi into the Rachna Doab and went towards the hills beyond the reach of his pursuers.  On his way to Lahore, it is from the Hoshiarpur District that the Emperor crossed the River Beas on 23rd June, 1711.

 

Persecution of the Sikhs

           The first news of the victories of the Sikhs reached Emperor Bahadur Shah on May 30, 1710.  A peace was forthwith made with the Rajputs and attention was turned towards disturbances in the Punjab.  While at Sonepat on October 26, 1710, the army received a letter from Shams-ud-Din Khan, Faujdar of the Jullundur doab, intimating that he had defeated the Sikhs on October 12, 1710.  On October 30, 1710, at the next stage, Saria Kanwar, Rustam Dil Khan reported to the Emperor that on 26th October, Feroze Khan Mewati had fought against the Sikhs between Indri and Karnal.  Before these successes were obtained the road from Delhi had been blocked for many months.  Bayzid Khan, an Afghan of Qasur near Lahore, and the then Faujdar of the Jammu Hill Country, was on his march up-country with a retenue of several thousand men.  On reaching Panipat, his further progress was stopped by the Sikhs.  But with the advance of Feroze Khan the, Faujdar of the Jammu Hill Country, was on his march up-country with a retenue of several thousand men.  On reaching Panipat, his further progress was stopped by the Sikhs.  But with the advance of Feroze Khan, Faujdar of Sirhind, he drove the Sikhs away.  He was also assisted by his nephew, Sahms-ud-Din, Faujdar of he Jullundur

Doab, who advanced from Bajwara, in the Hoshiarpur District as far as Sirhind.  The Sikhs were driven towards Sirhind in disorder.  There, they took refuge in a fort, and were besieged.

           On June, 11, 1711, Hamid Khan Bahadur returned to the headquarters, then at Hoshiarpur, and then at the same time it was reported that Isa Khan Mian, the Deputy Faujdar of Bist Jullundur, had inflicted a severe defeat on the Sikhs.  In these operations against the Sikhs, great excesses were committed.

           The Sikhs continued to create chaos in the Punjab after the death of Emperor Bahadur Shah at Lahore in 1712.  Yahya Khan, the Governor of Lahore (1745-1747) continued the persecution of the Sikhs.  He confirmed Lakhpat Rai in his post of Diwan, Lakhpat Rai became a sword enemy of the Sikhs.  His brother Jaspat Rai, the Faujdar of Emenabad, in the Gujaranwala District, was his staunch supporter.

           Adina Beg. –In 1730, the depredations of the Sikhs increased, because the invasions of Nadir Shah had disorganized the Government.  This gave rise to the prominence of Adine Beg.  He was made Governor of Baharampur by Zakriya Khan.  Governor of Punjab (1726-1745) and subsequently placed incharge of the Jullundur Doab.  He held this post as Governor of the Jullundur Doab during the tenure of the office at Lahore of Yahya Khan and Shah Nawaz Khan, sons of Zakriya Khan.  He remained at this post throughout the reigns of Muhammad Shah, Ahmad Shah (1748-1754) and Alamgir II (1754-1759).  On the invitation of Shah Nawaz Khan in 1747, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India, but was repulsed in the following year near Sirhind and was driven across the Indus.

           The con ciliatory policy of Diwan Kaura Mal brought respite to the Sikhs for a short period, during which they recouped their strength and consolidated their organization.  They attracted the oppressed peasantry and the down-trodden menials.  The number of the baptized Khalsa increased, and they enlisted themselves under their different leaders.  At the same time, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia moved into the vacuum created in the central Punjab by the Mughal-Afghan conflict.  He defeated Adina Beg at Hoshiarpur and arrived in triumph at Amritsar in time to celebrate the Baisakhi fair17.

 

17.         Bakhshish Singh Nijjar, Punjab Under the Later Mughals, 1707-1759 A.D., (Jullundur, 1972), pp. 136-37.

 

           In 1755-56, with the return of Abdali, Adina Beg lost his Governorship of the Jullundur Doab.  In 1758, with the assistance of the Sikhs he recovered the Governorship and defeated a force sent from Lahore, to drive him out.  He was, however, compelled to retire on the approach of Wazir Jahan Khan in person.  The Sikhs under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia were now strong enough to drive the Afghans out of Lahore and tried to get rid of Adina Beg.  Adina Beg retaliate by calling in the Marathas, who, with the assistance of Adina Beg, drove out Taimur Shah from Lahore and put in their allay as the Governor of the Punjab.  The Majha Sikhs now turned against him but were defeated by his troops; but in the same year, 1758, in which Adina Beg rose to the maximum of power he was seized with colic and died at Khanpur, a village near Hoshiarpur, and was buried there.

           The death of Adina Beg boosted the power of the Sikhs, and they soon spread over the country.

           Sikh Mis’s and Maharaja Ranjit Singh. –The repeated invasions of Ahmed Shah Abdali had not only exposed the hollowness of the Mughal Empire, but had given the Sikh misls the long-awaited chance of proclaiming their independence and assumption of political power in whatever territory they could lay their hands on.  Ahmad Shah Abdali realized that they would occupy the north-western region as soon as his hold became weak.  On the withdrawal of the Afghan holds from the north-western region of the country, the tract was divided among the Sikh leaders of various groups who were organized as misls or confederacies.  These misls continued to fight against one another all through troubled times in the eighteenth century until Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the leader of the Sukarchakia misls, appeared on the scene.

           The history of the Hoshiarpur District, during the period 1739 –1811, degenerates into an account of the struggles of the rival Ahluwalia, Ramgarh  and Kanhaya misls for supremacy in the Jullundur Doab.  These misls were closely associated with the district.

 

AHLUWALIAS

           Ahluwalias, under the leadership of Jassa Singh, played a significant role in the history of the Hoshiarpur District, when India was attacked by Nadir Shah in 1739, he spread terror in the country, and carried away an enormous amount of money as his booty.  While Nadir Shah was returning to his country, his rear was plundered at several places by the Sikhs.  The Ahluwalia Chief, Sardar Jassa Singh, played an important part in relieving Nadir Shah of his spoils.  Shortly afterwards, Jassa Singh built the Fort of Dalewal on the bank of the Ravi, and in 1743, he attacked and carried away a large treasure which was being carried by the Mughals from Emenabad to Lahore.  Zakriya Khan, the Lahore Viceroy, was shocked when he received the news, and he ordered Adina Beg, the Faujdar of the Jullundur Doab, to march against the Sikhs and punish the Ahluwalia Sardar.  Jassa Singh, however, fled to the Satluj, while barbarous persecution against the Sikhs continued.  Hundreds of them were captured and brought to Lahore and were tortured to death at Shahidganj.  In the meanwhile, Jassa Singh appeared on the Satluj, punished the Muslim officers and captured an extensive territory.  In 1747, he attacked Kasur.  Just at that time, Ahmed Shah Abdali appeared in the Punjab and the Sikhs suffered heavily at his hands in the neighbourhood of Sirhind.  After the Durrani chief retired from the Punjab, Jassa Singh fell upon Gurdit Mal, the deputy of the new Lahore Governor, Muin-ul-Mulk, near Hoshiarpur.

           The Lahore Government started persecuting the Sikhs once again.  In 1753, Aziz Khan was sent at the head of a large force, but routed by Jassa Singh.  In 1755, the Ahluwalia Sardar defeated Adina Bet at Kadr, and wrested from him the territory of Fatehabad.  Just about this time, the Sardar slew Umed Khan, Commander of the Lahore troops, in a battle.  Shortly after that, he defeated Aziz Khan, who had been sent by Adina Beg.

           During the third battle of Panipat in 1761, when Ahmed Shah Abdali was fighting the Marathas and there was a complete political breakdown at Lahore, the Sikhs under Jassa Singh get yet another opportunity to spread their plundering activities over the whole province, and to occupy the different territories, Sirhind was sacked once again, and the Sikhs occupied Dogar and Nypal in the Firozpur District, and Jagraon and Kot Isa Khan on the left side of the Satluj, together with Hoshiarpur.

           When Ahmed Shah Abdali retired from India, after defeating the Marathas at Panipat; he made Khwaja Obed Governor of Lahore.  Jassa Singh attacked Lahore and subdued the Governor.

           In 1778, the Afghan invasions were stopped and the Muslim authority in the Punjab was destroyed.  Delhi was inconfusion; the Sikhs who had parceled out the major portion of the Punjab among twelve of their divisions called the misls.  They now started fighting among themselves.  There was a clash between the Ahluwalia and the Ramgarhia misls.  In 1776, the Ahluwalia Chief invited the Sukarchakias, the Kanhayas and the Bhangis to his assistance, Jassa Singh Ramgarhia was defeated and fled to Hariana in the Hoshiarpur District, leaving this possessions north of the Satluj into the hands of the allies.  Jassa Singh Ahluwalia died in 178318.

 

18.         G.S. Chhabra, The Advanced Study in History of the Punjab, Vol. I (Jullundur, 1960), pp. 467 –69.

 

RAMGARHIAS

           When Muin-ul-Mulk died in 1753, the Punjab was thrown into utter disorder.  Jassa Singh Ramgarhia took an advantage of the situation, and rebuilt the fort of Ram Rauni of Amritsar.  Under Taimur, the Durran Governor of Lahore, the fort was destroyed again.  But when Taimur was expelled from the Punjab by the combined forces of the Sikhs, Marathas and Adina Beg the fort was once again built and Jassa Singh played, again, a significant role in it.

           The confusion that followed the death of Muin-ul-Mulk offered the best opportunity to the Sikhs to expand their territorial acquisitions.  Jassa Singh also took an advantage, and joined his ally, Jai Singh Kanhaya.  After the death of Adina Beg in 1758, the Sikhs spread once again over the whole of the Punjab.  Jassa Singh, with the help of the Kanhayas, occupied several places in the districts of Amritsar and Hoshiarpur.  After this, Jassa Singh added to his possessions some territories in the neighbourhood of Hoshiarpur.  Parganahs of Maniwal, Urmar Tanda, Sarih and Maini in the Jullundur Doab were occupied.

           As the contest for occupation of territories between the misls developed, and as almost all the neighbouring territories were occupied by one or another among them the Ramgarhia Chief now diverted his attention towards the hill territories. He made Raja Ghumand Chand, the ruler of Kangra, his tributary; Prithvi Singh, the ruler of Nurpur, and Raj Singh the ruler of Chamba, accepted his overlordship.  Jassa Singh Ramgarhia occupied Datarpur and Hajipur in Tahsil Dasuya.  Now his possessions included almost the whole of the hill country between the Ravi and the Beas, and the vast territories of the Jullundur Doab in the plains19*.

19.         Ibid, pp. 484 –86.

 

           In 1796, Sada Kaur, whose husband, Gurbaksh Singh Kanhaya, had been killed in a battle with Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, attacked the Ramgarhia Chief at Maini in the Hoshiarpur District, with the aid of Ranjit Singh, her son-in-law.  Being hard pressed, Jassa Singh entreated Baba Sahib Singh Bedi to intercede on his behalf, but Sada Kaur was obdurate and did not listen to the advice of the holy man.  It is said that the Baba cursed her.  At any rate, what happened was no less than a miracle.  In a few days, the River Beas was flooded and all the baggage of Sada Kaur and his son-in-law was carried away and it was with difficulty that they themselves escaped the onslaughts of misfortune.  Jassa Singh Ramgrhia ruled in peace thereafter till 1803, when he died.

 

KANAHAYAS

           The founder of this misl was Jai Singh, son of a poor Sandhu Jat, named Khushali, a native of Kanha, a village about 24 km from Lahore.  The village of Kanha gave the misl its name.  In 1763, Jai Singh Kanhaya joined the leaders of the Ahluwalia, Bhangi, and Ramgarhia, misls in siege and plunder of Kasur.  He was present at the siege of Jammu and took part in the conspiracy hatched for the assassination of Jhanda Singh Bhangi.  Having removed one formidable rival, Jai Singh conspired in collusion with Jassa Singh Ahluwalisa to remove Jassa Singh Ramgarhia, against whom the Ahluwalia Chief had a score of his own to settle.  The Ramgarhia Chief was driven to the wastes of Hansi and Hissar, and Jai Singh became paramount in the Punjab.

           Next, he marched to Sirhind and took part in the great battle in which Zain Khan, the Governor of Sirhind, was defeated and slain and the City was captured by the Sikhs.  After that he took Garota, Hajipur, Nurpur, Datarpur and Saipah, getting tribute from the Rajas of the Hill States.  He also seized Mukerian, in reducing the Awan rulers of the place to subject after a desperate struggle and great slaughter.

           In the war between Sansar Chand of Kangra and Jai Singh, Sansar Chand occupied a large territory of Jai Singh including Mukerian and Hajipur.  He also attacked the Fort of Atalgarh which was however bravely defended by a slave girl of Jai Singh and Sansar Chand had to raise the siege.  The war however continued for a long time till ultimately Sada Kaur an ambitious and artful lady approached Maha Singh, the rising star for the restoration of friendship between the Kanhayas and the Sukarchakias, Sada Kaur’s only daughter Mehtab Kaur has betrothed to Maha Singh’s infant son.  Ranjit Singh.  And thus being strengthened Sansar Chand was approached by the Kanahyas for a compromise.  An arbitrator was appointed by Sansar Chand.  The former recommended the restoration of Kot-Kangra and Mukerian and Hajipur to Jai Singh.  Sansar Chand also entered into an agreement to help the Kanhayas against the Ramgarhias in the case of a war20.

20.         Ibid, pp. 491 -92

 

The power of the Ramgarhia misl was broken in 1808 and of the Kanhaya misl in 1811 by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.  The Hoshiarpur District was not intimately connected with the life of the Maharaja, except that during his campaigns against the Jullundur Doab and Kangra, some places in the district were affected.

           After having conquered Daska and Chiniot (Pakistan) in 1799, the Maharaja marched into the Jullundur Doab, plundering and making annexations.  He proceeded to Phagwara (in the Doab), which was held by a rich widow of one Chuhar Mal.  He forced her to retire to Hardwar and occupied her territory, which was bestowed upon Fateh Singh Ahluwalia.  In 1803, his target was Sansar Chand of Kangra who had been trying to occupy the Jullundur Doab.  Ranjit Singh expelled him from Hoshiarpur and Bajwara and checked his designs on Jullundur.

           To dominate the Hill States between the Satluj and the Ravi, it was essential that the Maharaja should occupy Kangra.  Previous attempts of Sansar Chand, the ruler of Kangra, to occupy Hoshiarpur having failed, he attacked Kahlur, the Chief of which appealed to Nepal and thus Sansar Chand was sandwiched, between the Gurkhas and the Sikhs.  The Gurkhas defeated Sansar Chand at Mahal Mori in 1806.  Sansar Chand was now forced to make an appeal for help to the Maharaja, who demanded the Fort of Kangra in return.  Sansar Chand did not agree to meet the demand, Ranjit Singh deputed his famous General Mohkam Chand to have a dialogue with Sansar Chand.  Mohkam Chand referred the whole case to the Maharaja, but the latter refused to agree to the scheme.  In the meantime, in connection with the mission of Metcalfe to Ranjit Singh, a delicate situation developed in the Anglo-Sikh relations, to forestall which, Mohkam Chand was recalled by the Maharaja21.

             

21.         G. S.  Chhabra,  The Advanced History of the Punjab,  Vol. II. (Ludhiana,  1962),   pp. 37-43.

 

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