(g) Climate

 

(i)         Climatic Divisions and Seasons

                        The climate of this district is characterised by general dryness (except in the south-west monsoon season), a hot summer and a bracing cold season.  The year may be divided into four seasons.  The period from about the middle of November to February is the cold season.  This is followed by the summer season from March to about the end of June.  The south-west monsoon season commences late in June and continues up to about the middle of September.  The period from mid-September to the middle of November constitutes the post-monsoon or transition season.

 

(ii) Temperature and Humidity

            Temperature - There is no meteorological observatory in the district. The account which follows is, therefore, based on the records of the observations in the neighbouring district of Hoshiarpur where similar climatic conditions prevail.  May and June are generally the hottest months in the year with the mean daily maximum temperature at about 40oC and the mean daily minimum at about 25oc. The heat in the summer season is intense. Maximum temperatures may often go above 47oc on some days.  Scorching dust laden winds which are a fairly common feature in the latter part of the summer season contribute much to the discomfort.  An occasional thunderstorm brings some temporary relief.  With the advance of the monsoon into the district by about the end of June, there is some drop in the day temperature but the nights still continue to be quite warm.  When the rain stops, the weather in the monsoon season remains oppressive on account of the moisture in the air.  After the withdrawal of the monsoon by about mid-September, there is a slight increase in the day temperature.  However the nights become progressively cooler.  The decrease in the temperature is rapid from November.  January is generally the coldest month with mean daily maximum at about 20oand the mean minimum at about 7oc. During the winter season, cold waves affect the district in the wake of passing western disturbances and the minimum temperature drops down occasionally to about a degree below the freezing points of water.  On such occasions, frosts are likely in the district.

            Humidity - Relative humidity is high, averaging about 70 per cent during the monsoon season.  During the rest of the year, the atmosphere is generally dry.  The driest part of the year is the summer season when in the afternoons the relative humidity is as low as 25 per cent.

 

            (iii) Rainfall

            Records of rainfall in the district are available for two stations for periods exceeding 110 years.  The details of the rainfall at these stations and for the district as a whole are given in Tables 1 and 2.  The average annual rainfall in the district is 775.6mm. About 78 percent of the annual normal rainfall in the district is received during the period June to September.  About 13 percent of the normal fainfall is received in the cold season.  the rainfall in the district generally increases from the south-west to the north-east and varies from 743.2mm at Kharar to 80.7.7 mm Rupnagar.  The variation in the annual rainfall in the district is appreciable.  In the 50 years period, 1901 to 1950, the highest annual rainfall amounting to 170 percent of the normal occurred in 1917.  The lowest annual rainfall in the district was less than 80 percent of the normal in 14 years.  Of these fourteen years, there were four occasions of two consecutive years and one of four years when the rainfall was less than 80 percent of the normal.  Considering the annual rainfall at individual stations, two consecutive years of such  rainfall is common and occurred four times at Kharar and twice at Rupnagar.  Four consecutive years of low rainfall occurred once at Rupnagar.  It will be seen from Table 2 that the annual rainfall in the district was between 500 and 1,100 in 45 years out of 5-.

            On an average, there are 41 rainy days (i.e. days with rainfall of 2.5 mm or more) in a year in the district. This number varies from 40 at Kharar to 42 at Rupnagar.

            The heaviest rainfall in 24 hours at any station in the district was 310.4 mm recorded at Rupnagar on 30 July 1951.

            (iv)       Atmospheric Pressure and Winds

            Cloudinees.- The skies are generally moderately to heavily clouded and occasionally overcast during the monsoon season and for brief spells of a day or two in association with the passing western disturbances during the cold season.  The skies are mainly clear or lightly clouded during the rest of the year.

            Winds.-Winds are generally light in the district.  In the post monsoon and cold season, winds are predominantly from the north-west.  In summer, easterly to south-easterly winds also blow on some days.  In the south-west monsoon season, easterlies and south-easterlies predominate, but on many days north-westerly winds blow in the afternoon.

            Special Weather Phenomena.- The district is scarcely affected by monsoon depressions.  During the period January to March, western disturbances affect the district causing rain often associated with thunder and dusty winds. Rain during the monsoon is more often associated with thunder.  Dust storms occur occasionally in the hot season.  Occasional fog occurs in the cold season.

Frequency of Annual Rainfall in the Rupnagar District

(Data for 1901-1950)

 

Range in mm

No. of years

Range in mm

No. of years

301 – 400

I

901-1000

9

401-500

I

1001-1100

3

501-600

II

1101-1200

1

601-700

6

1201-1300

-

701-800

10

1301-1400

2

801-900

6

..

..

 

(Source: Deputy Director General of Observatories (Climatology and Geophysics), Pune)


Text Box: No. of years of data


January


February


March

April


May


June


July


August


September

October


November 


December 


Annual

Highest annual  rainfall as % of normal and year**

Lowest annual rainfall as % of normal and year**
NORMALS AND Exterms of Rainfall in the Rupnagar District

 

 

Station

 

Heaviest rainfall in 24 hours

 

Amount Date (mm)

 
 


Kharar

50 a

37.6

40.0

24.1

12.2

14.7

61.5

217.7

186.9

113.3

15.2

3.6

16.0

743.2

169

(1917)

47

(1918)

261.6 20Sept. 1885

 

b

2.7

2.9

2.3

1.2

1.4

4.0

9.6

8.8

4.8

0.8

0.4

1.5

40.4

 

 

 

Rupnagar (Ropar)

50a

40.1

40.6

27.9

13.5

17.5

60.2

238.3

217.2

147.3

13.5

4.3

17.3

807.7

175

(1942)

38

(1918)

310.4

30 July 1951

 

b

3.0

3.1

2.2

.3

1.4

4.0

9.9

9.9

4.4

0.3

0.4

1.5

42.4

 

 

 

Rupnagar (District)

a

38.9

40.5

26.0

12.9

16.1

60.9

228.0

202.1

115.3

14.3

3.9

16.7

775.6

170

(1917)

42

(1918)

 

 

b

2.9

3.0

2.3

1.3

1.4

4.0

9.7

9.3

4.8

0.8

0.4

1.5

41.4

 

 

 



 

(Source: Deputy Director General of Observatories (Climatology and Geophysics), Pune)

                        (a)        Normal rainfall in mm

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

                        * Based on data upto 1970

                        ** Years given in brackets


Table  of Annual Rainfall I the Rupnagar District

(Data for 1901-1950)

Range in mm

No. of years

Range in mm

No. of years

301-400

I

901-1000

9

401-500

I

1001-1100

3

501-600

II

1101-1200

1

601-700

6

1201-1300

--

701-800

10

1301-1400

2

801-900

6

….

….

(Source: Deputy Director General of observatories (Climatologh and Geophysics),Pune)

 


 

Chapter-II

Importance of Rupnagar District in Punjab History

 

            Rupnagar District has a unique place in the history of Punjab. Archaeological finds t various place in the district yield evidence of the Indus -valley Civilization as well as of later Aryan culture. In more recent times, crucial events which were to shape the history as it was hallowed by successive Sikh Guru who spent long period here. The single-most important event Sikh history, the birth of the " Khala" in 1699 at Anand, purr (later Anandpur Sahib) was to transform the disciples of Guru Nanak and his successors form pacifists to a race of warriors who challenged the might of Mughal Empire. The district was also the scene of some crucial battles including that of Chapter Chiri near Landran in 1710. Later, a celebrated conference in 1831 between the Governor-General Lord William Bentick and Maharaja Ranjit Singh which re-ordered the relationship between Punjab and the East India. company also took place in Rupnagar. In independent India, the district assumed importance with the setting up of the country's most prestigious hydro-electric projected, viz. Bhakra Dam.

            Rupnagar, Kotla Nihang, Dher Majra and Bara are the location of important archaeological finds. All these places fall in Rupnagar Tahsil. The Hardpan remains in Rupnagar are ascribed to the period between BC 2000 and BC 1500. Earthenware, beads, seals and bangles and idols have been discovered.

            The archaeological finds at various places of Rupnagar District are almost similar to those of Hardpan and Mohenjodaro1 in present day Pakistan. The signs of this ancient civilization has also been found in Rajasthan and Manharashtra. Kalibangan type (Rajasthan) Sherds have also been founds Rupnagar. It clearly indicates that the area of Rupnagar District was a part of the Indus Valley Civilization. The excavations in Rupnagar District have revealed a rich pattern of succeeding civilizations. The main centres of this earliest civilization had a very wide locational range. It extended extended approximately for 1,000 miles (1,600) from Sutkagen Dor near the shores of Arabian Sea, 300 miles (480km) west Karachi to the neighborhood of Rupnagar. This civilization possessed the amenities of a developed city life. The seals available from the various sites of Indus Valley Civilization give ample proof of its dealings with the ancient civilization of Persia, Mespotamia and Egypt.

The Indus Valley Civilization of which Rupnagar District was a part, constitutes indeed the oldest example yet known of systematic town-planning. Broad streets form south to north were crossed by others at right angles, and the blocks thus formed were subdivided by lanes parallel or at right angles to the arterial streets. The houses of these people were of appreciable size with alequate arrangements of sanitation'2,.

During the medieval period, Rupnagar had a strategic position, for the invaders from the north-west. The narrow width or river Satluj made it easy for the invader to cross it and be in the heart of India at one single leap. Even during invasion of Sirhind by Banda Bahadur, the Sikh force from Majha crossed Satluj near Rupnagar. In the low hills of Rupnagar Tahsil near Bardar, there are the remains of what is said to have been Rajput strong hold. It also seems that at Rupngar, Rattan Sing, a local Rajput ruler, opposed Timur who invaded India in A.D 1398 and marched through Rupnagar District during his return journey. During the Sultanate period, Sirhind including the present Rupnagar District was an important administrative unit, Firoz Shah Tuglhaq (A.D 1351-1388) took many steps to improve agriculture. A canal from the Satluj river was dug for irrigating the Sirhind ra including the area of Rupnangr District. During the Mugal period (1526-1763) also, Rupnagar was an important administrative unit in the Sirhind Province. Under Aurangzeb, Wazir Khan was the Faujdar of Sirhind. Zain Khan was the last Moham, madam Faujdar of Sirhind who was dethroned by the Sikhs under the leadership of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia in A.D 1763. Consequently, Hari Singh, a Virk Jat, snatched Rupnagar and its surrounding areas form the Pathan Nawab of Rupnagar. The Britisj usurped Rupnagar from Raja Bhup Singh, the last Sikh ruler of this area in A.D. 1847, for his anti British policy.

            The following description of development of events in northern India in general aims to place the status of the area falling in present day Rupnagar district in the overall historical perspective.

 

Ancient Period

Pre-Historic and Proto-Historic Period- Well- dated historical records are available in India only from the 6th century B.C. The long centuries preceding this beginning of history are known as the pre-historic period. The Paleolithic age is the earliest phase of human occupation in India. It began about 2,50,00 years ago and its people were hunters and food gatherers. They did not known the use of metals, nor could they cultivate land. They used crude stones. Many stone tools and other proofs of this age have been found by archaeologists in the District. It is presumed8 that there was a big lake in the area of Chandigarh in which elephants with long tusks wallowed. This area was infested with rhinoceros and other wild animals were hunted by the old stone ate men who lived in caves.

During the neolithic period4 (new stone age), men acquired the skill of grinding and polishing stone implements. They invented sickles of flint for harvesting crops and axe for cutting trees. The cultivated wheat and barely. They lived in settled village in Kachcha houses. They made baskets and pots for storing food grains.

            There was further development of man during Chalcolithic (Stone Bronze) Age. This period is roughly placed at 2500 b.C. The remains of s settlement of Chalcolithic period were recently excavated in Chandigarh (Sector-17)5. These men used stone and copper implements. The men of this period invented the plough, the wheeled cart, etc. and lived in housed built of mud. They used hand made pottery and wore ornaments of bronze and copper. They domesticated oxen and cultivated wheat and barley. Evidently, these types of settlements must have been existed in Rupnagar District which lies close to the place of the above finds.

 

Indus Valley Civilization

            The remains of a rich and well-developed civilization have been brought light by the archaeologists in Rupnagar District. The recent excavations carried out at Rupnagar, Kotla Nihang, Dher Majra, Bara, Salaura and other places in the district have revealed many things regarding the existence of antrict have revealed many things regarding the existence of ancient civilization, known as Indus Valley Civilization. The excavations and explorations conducted at Rupnagar indicate that the first civilized folk to settle her were the Harappans, who apprently reached the upper Satluj towards the close the their millennium B.C. (Approximately 2000 B.C). Proceeding from the Indus basin, they established their towns and villages along their riverine courser of journey. The sample traces are found in the Bikaner desert along the dried -up beds of the Sarasvati and the Drishadvati. The remains of this vivilizaion have been found on the upper Satluj, not only at Rupnagar but also at other places in the neighborhood. Many Harappan settlements have been discovered in the neighborhood of Rupnagar. It appears that the fertile neighborhood produced ample food. The river and Shiwalik Hills would have provided a picturesque setting and these natural barriers would have afforded protection from the raiders. It is further apparent that on arrival at Rupnagar, the Harappans firt built their houses mainly with sun-baked bricksm river pebbles and kankar stones using mud as mortar6.

A short description of some of the important Harapparn sites excavated in Rupnagar District is given below:

 

Kotla Nihang: The proto historic site of kotla Nihang was discovered in 1929. The late M.S. Vats, the excavator of Harapa laid four trial trenches at Kotla Nihang, 3 km south east of Rupnagar, and with the finds recovered there demonstrated the parity of antiquities from Kotla Nihang with those of Harappa. The value of this discovery according to him lay in extending the zone of harappan civilization to the Doab between the Satluj and Yamuna. Kotla Nihang was regarded, however, only as an outpost of Harappa culture till the fifties.

 

Dher Majra: The site of Bikhun or Dher Majra 8 km, north-east of Rupnagar, had come to the notice of the Archaeological Survey of India through the uncommon interest of a barely literate, but trained Excavation Foreman, Munshi Sadar Din. in 1951, Olaf Pruefer laid four trenches at Dher4 Majra, lying on the arm of monsoon rivulet, known as Kanahan Nadi, which together with the Sirsa joins the Satluj about 5 km north-west of Rupnagar, According to Pruefer, his excavation yielded not only remmamts of Harappa culture "but also remains of the number of post-Harappan phases entirely unsuspected in this region."

 

Rupnagar: An extensive mount at Rupnagar on the bank of Satluj River near Kotla Nihang was excavated by Dr. Y.D. Sharma, during 1952-55. While the lower phase represented a late phase of the amture Harappan culture, the upper phase revealed the existence of new ceramic traditions there. The typical Indus goblet with painted bottom is almost conspicuous by its absence in the upper levels, through it is sometimes found in the lower levels. The Harappan remains in Rupnagar are ascribed to the period between BC 2000 and BC 1500. They include earthern-ware, beads, seals and bangles, etc. besides a cemetery.

Bara: A mound at Bara, about 8 km south of Rupnagar, reveals the accumulations, of the late Harappan times. The excavations have indicated that the Harappan were in occupation of Bara even after they had deserted Rupnagar. The Harappans seem to have come here in different waves. This explains why new ceramic traditions co-existed with some of the old ones.

            During the construcions work in the year 1969 of a cycle stand near the Central Library in Sector-17, a late Harappan site was discovered at Chandigarh also. It turned out to be a cemetery. The pottery excavated herein generally red-sliped and consists of dishes-on-stand, storage jars, perforated jars, goblets, carinated handis, etc. The other finds from the site comprised stone saddle querns, bangles, faience ear-rings crnelian beads and terracota toy car wheel1.

            The pottery of Harappan people is also admirable. Although the proportion of Bara pottery at Kotla Nihand is considerably higher than that of Harappa potter at Bara, it is not really abundant. At present, it is difficult to spell out exactly the nature of Bara-Harapa relationship at Kotla Nihang. It appears, however, that shortly after the Harappans occupied Kotla Nihang, they were joined by the Baras. The Harappans established themselves on the western side. In the Punjab, the Bara and Harappa people have been reported so far only in the Satluj Valley and not on other main rivers. The Bara culture exists at the base of the entire explored Satluj stretch including its tributaries.

Burials of Indus Valley People:-       The excavations at Mehnjodaro have unearthed as 37 skeletons or parts thereof.  But their find-spots to do not suggest any orderly burial.  A  cemetery of the Harappen period was also unearthed at Rupnagar.  It lay to the west of the main habitation.  On an average, each burial pit measured 8 feet by 3  and was 2 feet deep.  The bodies were laid, their heads pointing towards north, with earthenware placed around them.  The bodies seem  to have been bedecked with ornaments before they were lowered into their graves.  The funerary articles found in the pits include beads, bangles of faience an copper rings.  One of the skeletons still had a copper ring on the middle finger of its right hand.  Another skeleton had a faience bangle on its left wrist.

            During  the construction work in Sector-17,  Harppan cemetery has been dug  out at Chandigarh.  Of the 9 burial pits unearthed there, 8 had one skeleton each intended in them.  The ninth pit contained two skeletons.  Barring one skeleton, all others were laid in north-south orientation with their heads pointing towards the north.  The funerary goods including pottery and personal ornaments8.

            The people of the Indus Valley Civilization had built grand cities and had a highly developed cultural life.  Cotton and wollen fabrics very common use, ornaments were worn by both men and women, beautiful pottery was produced and the sculptor's technique was well developed.  The carpenter, the mason, the blacksmith, the goldsmith, the jeweler, the stone cutter and  the ivory workers had a flourishing trade.  A large number of the terra –coats represent cattle, normally humped bulls although the short-horn and the buffalo also occur.  Strangely,  cows are never represented.  A large number of seals and tables found from various sites, have introduced examples of the pictographic script which still constitutes one of the major mysteries of the Indus Civilization.  It ha not as yet been deciphered9.

            The people the Indus Valley Civilization followed some organised religion. Religious association of bathing or purificatory importance of water is to be traced to the peoplesof  Moenjodaro and Harappa as can be inferred from the discovery of the Great Bath.  The tradition of the sacred tree, pipal, goes back to the them.  In historic Buddhism, it came to be venerated as the holy Bodhi tree.  The beginnings of making images of sacred character may also be traced to Indus Civilization; numerous images of female figurines, obviously of religious nature have been found in the Indus ruins.  Many examples of linga* and Yoni*  have been found in the  Indus antiquities,  Some animals such as the lion, elephant, bull and rhinoceros, seem to have had religious or symbolic significance among the citizens of Mohenjodaro and Harappa.  The bull is frequently and realistically portrayed on seal10.  It has also been established tht the people of Indus Valley Civilization use to workship the Mother Goddess and Pashupati (Shiva).

            From the excavations and exploration of the sites  of Indus Valley people, it is apparent that these people had achieved  a remarkable degree of proficiency  in sanitation and town planning.  These ancient people had the amenities of a developed city life.

 

Vedic Period

            After the Indus Valley Civilization, Rigvedic11 culture flourished in the Rupnagar District.  The importance of Anandpur Sahib lies not only in the cultural revolution brought about by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, but it goes back t the period of Rigveda. About 1500 B.C, when the Aryans came in India, they first settled in Northern India and called this place Sapt Sindhu.  A few Rishies settled near the Satluj River. It is also said the Rigveda was written on the bank of Satluj.  They named this place Braha Varta, i.e. the land of gods.

            It may be inferred that the present area of Rupnagar District was ruled by Trigartas and Kunindas in the later Vedic Period.  In the time of Panini, (500 B.C.) the State of Tigarta included the districts of Jalandhar, Hoshiapur and Kangra (Kutta country).  In general, it denoted the region watered by the three rivers Ravi, Beas and Satluj.  The Kings of this janapada were at this time constantly at war with the rulers of the neighboring States.  The five Trigarta brothers, who sides in the  great battle with the  Kauravas, were known in particular for their famous pledge near to retreat from the field and also to prevent the flight of  others, they came to be known as the samsaptaka brothers, and true to their pledged they stuck to their positions in the beetle and died heroic death.

            Kunindas ruled in the neighbourhood of Trigartas.  They are also mentioned by Panni. From provenance of their coins, it appears that the narrow strip of land t the foot of the Shiwalik Hills between the upper Yamuna and the Satluj and the territory between the upper course of the Beas and the Satluj was the hone of these people.  It appears that in the time of Panini, the majority of State in the areas which is now Punjab were non-monarchical12.

Historical Period

            Early History of India upto A.D. 1206 Buddhism and Jainism- The religious authority of the Vedic Brahmanas, unquestioned in ancient times, was geatly undermined by the emergence of Jainism and Buddhism which introduced moral ideals and principles of social justice unheard of in Vedic times. Both these new religions succeeded to a considerable extent in liberating the classes and masses of Indian society from the yoke of priestly authority.  These faiths opened the doors of spriritual culture and religious perfection to men and women of all castes and vocations.

 

            Buddhism* had among its followers the great Emperor Ashoka, indisputably the greatest figure in ancient Indian history.  With Ashoka's efforts, the religion spread far and wide. It is believed that during the later period of his life, Buddha came to this area known as Uttar patha (north-west of India, probably west of Pehowa near Ambala) to preach his gospel.  However, Buddhism spread in what is today Punjab by the errorts of Ashoka who ruled from B.C. 272-232. Buddhism continued to flourish in the Punjab throughout the rule of the Mauryas.  After the decline of the Mauryan empire, Pusyamitra, the founder of the Sunga dynasty who ruled probably from B.C. 185-149, is known to have persecuted Buddhists in the north.  Pusyamitra is reported to have burnt and destroyedBudhist monasteries and killedtheir monks as far as Sakala (Sialkot in Pakistan) in the Punjab.

            Impact of the Persian andGreek Invasions.- Though the Persian empire covered only the regions to the west of the Indus, its impact on the history of the Punjab was tremendous.  The way of thought embodied in its institutions created a revolution in Indian political philosophy through the growth of an authoritarian theory of State. Persian influence can be traced in many features of the imperial system of India as it developed under the Mauryas.  The Achacmenians acted as a bridge between India and the west and thereby sidened the horizons of the people.

            Before the invasion of Alexander in B.C. 326, the whole of north-western India was divided into petty States some of which were monarchical and others republican.  There were always quarrels among these pettily States, hence they could not offer any united resistance to Alexander.  Some of them even welcome the invader. Some rulers like Poros and Abhisaras and tribes like the Kathians, the Malli, the Wxydrakai and the Brahmanas of Sindh put up stubborn resistance.  But this uncoordinated assistance was no match for a disciplined and united army led by one of the greates generals of the ancient world. One by one all these states were defeated by Alexander and he became the master of the major parts of the Punjab and Sindh.

            It is beyond doubt that the area of Rupnagar District was not disturbed either by Persian or Greek invasion. However these invasion did exercise their infuence in various parts of the country including present day Rupnagar Distt. The persian and greek invasion brought India in contact with the countries of the west Asia. New script and literature in new language came to be known to India.

 

            Maurya Dynasty:- The adventure of the Maurya Dynasty marks for historian a passage from darkness to light. If  Aristotle inspired Alexander to establish the Greek Empire Chanakya (Kautilya) of India inspired young Chander gupta  Maurya to free Punjab from foreign yoke and established a powerful empire in India. The defeat of states in India but the Persians and Greek was a clear signal for the small states to unite under one banner. Moreover the political situation in India after the invasion of Alexander was favorable to pire in India> Undoubtedly, the  Rupnagar Distt. of todau was a part of the empire of Chander gupta  Maurya who is often considers as the first historical empire of India. Chander gupta  Maurya is a witness to the happening of the time . He gave his observation is book called ' Indika' written in the fourth century B.C

            Under the Mauryans the era as known as modern Punjab was included in the larger province of Gandhar whose capital was at Takahila (now in Pakistan)which was a flourishing center of education, governor  of this region during the times of Bindusar (in the third century B.C.) the son of Chander Gupta Maurya. Patali-Putra (Patna) was the capital of the Maurya Empire.

            Ashoka (BC 272-232) who succeeded Bindusar, was undoubtedly the most-llustrious emperor of ancient India. His empire extended right from Afghanistan to Mysore in South India. He adopted the law of piety instead of the law of force. The Kalinga war (B C 265) Proved a turning Point in the career of Ashoka and Produced results of far reaching consequences in the history of India and of the whole eastern world.  After this war he embraced Huddhism.  Ashoka is credited with having created a remarkable welfare state, promoting facilities for health, welfare, recreation and tourism.  In keeping with Buddha's teachings, slaughter of animals and birdes for sports was prohibited.  He also established hospitals and roads and also planted trees alongside the roads.

            The weak descendants of Ashoka led to the political disintegration and decay of the Mauryan empire.  With the fall of the Mauryans, the Indian polity for the times being lost its unity.  The command of one single politial authority was no longer obeyed over a large part of India.  Hordes of foreign barbarians poured through the north-western gates of the country and established a powerful kingdom in Gandhara.  Pushyamitra (BC 185-149) who was the general of the last of the imperial Mauryas, grabbed political power from the Mauryans.  Pushyamitra exercised control as far as Jalandhar and Sialkot (Pakistan) in the Punjab. Evidently, the present area of Rupenagar District was ruled by Pushyamitra who reigned for thirty-six years.

            The chaos and confusion which resulted in the dismemberment of the mighty empire invited fresh foreign aggressions. The Greeks of Syria and Bactria renewed warlike activities. At first Bactria (BC 200-190) reduced to submission a considerable portion of Afghanistan, the Punjab and Sind. Menander was another ruler who ruled over Punjab in the second century BC. His coins have been found from Kabul to Mathura, on the Yamuna. The Graeco-Bactrian kingdom was subverted in the year B.C. 127, but its offshoots continued to reign over the Pun-jab, the valley of the Indus and Kabul, to the commencement of the fist century B.C., as is proved by the discovery of coins of Greek mintage with Aryan inscriptions on the reverse. It evidently leads to a conclusion that the presentl area of Rupnagar District was a part of the Graeco-Bactrian Kingdom. By the fist century A.D., all vestige of Greek rule seems to have disappeared from the Punjab as well as the borderland.

            The foreign conquerors who supplanted the Greeks in north-west India belonged to three main groups, viz. Saka, Parthian and Kushans. Kanishka (A.D. 120-160) was a great Kushan king to whom is attributed the foundation of the Saka calendar beginning A.D. 78.

            According to Hiuen Tsang, the great empire over which kanishka exercied his sways had its capital at Peshawar Epigraphic evidence point to the inclusion within his dominions of the wide expanse of territory from Gandhar to Oudh and baneres Inscription and coins bear eloquent testimony of the king's zeal for the religion of the Budha. Kushan kings of the first and second century AD evidently maintainedactive trade communication with the Roman empire Kabul and neighboring territories. The gold from Rome began to flow into our country.

 

            In course of the time the central Asiatic Scythian tribes were absorbed in Punjab. This period witnessed a great docio-cultural Change. As a result of social intercourse between the area now Punjab and other parts of the world during this period and incessant flow of ideas and objects enhanced the mental horizon of the people. In the Punjab where the Greek had setteled in considerable number, their influence was great and the architecture of the country owned its first impulse to Grecian art.

            The Gupta Dynasty (AD.320-490) King samundra Gupta (AD330-380) was an outstanding ruler of this dynasty. He succeeded in wiping out the scythians and established very powerful empire. His successor Chandra Gupta II (AD. 375-413) was an ideal ruler of Gupta line.

            The period of the Gupta emperor and their successors saw the gradual disappearance of non-monarchical states. The diving character of kingship received wide acceptance. The Gupta age is usually regarded as an era of Brahmanic revival. It is also called the golden age because of all round programs during that period. There was tremendous progress in the field of art, literature and science.  Kalidas, the greatest of ancient Sanskrit poets also lived during Gupta period. In domain of science, the Gupta period produced the celebrated astronomers, Aryabhata and Varahamihira.  It is beyond doubt that the present area of Rupnagar District was part of the mighty Gupta empire.

            Fahein, a Chinese pilgrim, who visited during the Gutpa period, also gives a picture of India of those times.  His general observations indicate that the Gupta empire at the beginning of the fifth century was well governed.  The government let the people live their own lives without needles interference, was temperate in the repression of crime, and tolerant in mater of religion.  Literature, art and science flourished to a degree.  Ordinary and gradual changes in religion were effected without persecution.  

            In the latter half of the 6th century arose the great king-dom of Thanesar under the Vardhanas.  Harshvardhana was an important king of this dynasty.  During his times, the great Chinese traveller, Hieun Tsang visited India.  He speaks highly of the ancient town of Sirhind.  According to him, the town was the capital of the State of Satadru which was 2001 1i or 333 miles in circuit with a large river forming its western boundary. The numismatic evidence also supports this view that Sirhind was certainly a flourishing town in A.D. 900 and that it was most probably in existence as early as the reign of Kanishka at the beginning of the Christian era.  From the above description it is evident that the present area of Rupnagar District was a part of the Satadru State with Sirhind as its Capital.  Subsequently, however, the independence for the Satadru State was lost and it became part of  a vast kingdom called Trigut, of which Jalandhar was the capital.  Other important territories included in it were Hoshiarpur, Mandi and Chamba.  In the beginning of the ninth century, Jai chandra was ruling over this kingdom.

 

            During the invastions of Sutlan Mahmud of Ghazni (A.D.1000-1030), the area of Rupnagar District along with the adjoining areas was  under the Hindushahi dynasty.  The Hindushahi Raja Jaipal was successful in building up a vast empire extending from Sirhind to Lamghan with Bathinda its capital.  After establishing its firm sway over Afghanistan, the new Turkish regime entered into armed clashes with Hindushahi Jaipal of the Punjab.  The struggle between the two powers lasted several decades.  In or about A.D. 991, Jaipal organised a confederacy of Hindu Kings, to ward off the growing Muslim menace, but failed in his endeavour.  However, Trilochan Pal of this dynasty who ruled from A.D. 1012 to 1021 restored some of the prestige of the dynasty.  He shifted his capital from Bathinda to Sirhind.  Thus Sirhind acquired the honour of being the capital and first city of the Hindushahis.

            But the Hindushahi rulers could not stand against the incessant invasions of Mahmud Ghazanvi who made as many as seventeen attacks on India.  Ghaznavi's path lay through Punjab and this part of our country was laid waste by the hordes of plunderers.  The Hindu Kingdom of Shahiya which ruled Punjab at that time was completely extinguished13.

            From such conditions of chaos created by the continuous onslaughts of the Mohammadan invaders and especially those of  Mahmud of Ghazanavi, the Rajputs rose to power after the fall of the Hindushahis in the Punjab. The Chauhans first ruled in Ajmer but it appeared that by A.D. 1164 they had occupied Delhi aswell as the entire tract of territory lying between it and the Satluj.  Sirhind and Bathinda contiuted the two most important military stations on the north western frontier of the Rajput Kingdom.  Hence the present area of Rupnagar District up to the Satluj was under the Chauhan Rajputs.  In 1192, Shihabuddin Muhammad Ghori (A.D. 1186-1206) defeated and killed Prithviraj Chauhan, the last illustrious king of this dynasty.  As a result of this, not only Sirhind but also the entire territory up to Delhi passed under control of the Turks.  With the defeat of Prithvi Raj Chauhan at the hands of Muhammad Ghori in A.D. 1192 at Tarain, Punjab entered a new chapter of History, during which the Hindus had to face subjugation, intimidation, humiliation and hardship.  At times the persecution led to total destruction of villages.

 

 

 

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