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Sirhind Through The Ages - Book By Dr. Fauja Singh

Publisher: Punjabi-University-Patiala
Authors: Dr. Fauja Singh
Page: 154
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: SHE205
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Introduction To 'Sirhind Through The Ages' By Dr. Fauja Singh 

In the pursuit of historical research in Indiia we have no arrived at a point, where any further progress in this direction is to a very large extent contigent upon advancement in our knowledge of local history. Local history here stands not only for regional history, such as history of Punjab, Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra etc.,  It also stands for the history of individual towns, villages educational institutions, manufacturing units, temples, mosques and Khanqahs. The bits of new knowledge yielded by microscopic picture having in its purview the historical canvas of the entire country. It is a matter of gratification that historians of India  are now fully seized of the matter and already several organizations have been set up with firm commitment to research in local history. Notable among these research bodies is our department of Punjab Historical Studies which during its brief existence of nine years I as got nearly forty publication to its credit.
 
Work on individual historic towns and cities is one of the many research projects undertaken by us. A few years back such a work, our first, was brought out on the city of Patiala. The present work on Sirhind is second in the series. God willing this will be followed, one after another, by similar attempts on Ropar, Samana, Sunam, Bathinda and other such towns lying with in the jurisdiction of our university. 
 
There are few towns in India and certainly very few in the Punjab, which present a more entrancing, as also more chequered, than the city of Sirhind. A place of great strategic import, Sirhind (Sairindh in the Ancient Period, Sehrind in the early Medieval Period and Sirhind in the later Medieval Period and the Modern Period) served as a base of operations in the struggles for power fought successively between the Hindushahis and the Ghaznavids, the Chauhans and the Ghorids, the lodhis and the Khokhars, the Mughals and the Afghans, the Sikhs and the Mughals, and the Sikhs and the Durranis. Whether the fighting was to be done somewhere in the narrow strip of territory forming the link between the Punjab on the one side and Delhi and the Yamuna-Ganga doab on the other, or operations were intended somewhere in the Shivalak Hills or in the plain-belt around Ludhiana, Malerkotla and Jullundur, the great utility of Sirhind as a military base was never lost sight of. The main reason for that, apart from its geographical location, was that it had excellent road  connections. The most important of these roads were those which linked it with Delhi, Lahore, Kangra, Saharanpur, and dipalpur. Probably, this factor was the main reason that this city was usually selected at the headquarters of either a whole state, or an administrative unit thereof.
 
But the history of Sirhind is not merely noted for the momentous role it has played. Antiquity and continuity are its other important hallmarks. The origin of the place dates back to remote times and its shrouded in obscurity. While traces of the earlier stages of its existance are available, Sirhind acquired prominence only in the seventh century when it became the capital of the Satadru Kingdom, Again  under the later Hindushahi rulers the place was elevated to the exalted status of a state capital. From the eleventh to the beginning of the thirteenth century the city occupied the position of a major frontier defence post. This position, however, changed with the establishment of Turkish monarchy in North India. Henceforward, the city was reduced to the position of headquarters of a subordinate administrative division and was one of the eight such units west of Delhi. Under  the Khaljis it lost even that modicum of importance though only for a short period because in the time of Firuzshah Tughlaq it regained its place to a certain extent as the seat of administration of a Pargana. This proved in fact the turning of a tide in its fortunes. The Lodhis who came to power in the fourteenth century converted it into a major citadel of their power, a sort  of springboard which they used to capture the sovereignty of Delhi.
 
The rising importance of Sirhind passed on to the Mughals as part of their heritage. Under Akbar the process of history was reversed when the Sarkar of Sirhind and both Sunam and Samana were incorporated and subordinate Parganas in the Sarkar of Sirhind. From new onwards right till its final conquest by the Sikhs in 1764 Sirhind remained the seat of  administration of a Sarkar of the Suba of Shahjahanabad. The period from akbar to Aurangzeb is considered the golden period in the history of this city. Never before this period and never after that did the glory of Sirhind reach a higher watermark that the one touched during these years. It was then one of the most  flourishing towns of the Mughal Empire having 360 mosques, tombs, sarais and wells.
 
But in 1705 a single act of barbarity committed by the Faujdar of Sirhind, Wazir Khan-execution of two innocent sons of Guru Gobind Singh- doomed the fat of the city as nothing else had  done before in its long and chequered career. The revenge which the followers of the great Sikh Guru took in the eighteenth century for this antrocious act was almost unparalleled in the history of mankind. In consequence, the city was devastated out of all recognition. Even then the Sikh prejudices against the place remained deep -seated till very recently.
 
After over two centuries that the city of Sirhind has lain under the shadow of a doom, another turning of the tide in its fortunes is under way. An upward trend is now definitely discernible. Economic factors have combined with cultural and politicals factors to create a favourable  milieu for the present and future prosperity of the place. Old prejudices, too, are now on the way out, so that the Sikhs who were the main hindrance to its progress are now themselves most keen on the acceleration of the process of its development.
 
As will be seen, the purpose of the present work is not to provide an exhaustive study of the subject; rather it has been undertaken with the humble object of furnishing a pioneer study in the form of a monograph to researchers and general readers. After it this study  succeeds in provoking a measure of interest in this subject and other subjects of an allied nature, it s real object have been more than fulfilled.
 
In the end I must offer grateful thanks to the Vice-Chancellor, Sardar Kirpal Singh Narang, for his abiding interest in the promotion of historical research, more particularly in local and regional history. My greatful acknowledgements are also due to my colleagues in the departments of History and Punjab Historical Studies, as also to my friends Shri R.N. Vohra and Dr Ramesh Walia. I am also thankful to Sardar Anup Singh of the University Press and proprietor and staff of the Phulkian Press for their valuable help.
 

 

Table Of Contents For 'Sirhind Through the Ages' By Dr. Fauja Singh                                               

 

1 ORIGIN AND EARLY HISTORY OF SIRHIND R.N VOHRA RAMESH WALIA 1
2 SIRHIND DURING THE SULTANATE PERIOD FAUJA SINGH 7
3 SIRHIND DURING THE MUGHAL PERIOD GURBUX SINGH 20
 

APPENDIX

 

FAUJA SINGH M.S.AHLUWALIA 44
4 NAQSHBANDIS OF SIRHIND M.S.AHLUWALIA 48
5 OTHER SAINTS AND SCHOLARS OF SIRHIND DURING THE MUGHAL PERIOD FAUJA SINGH M.S.AHLUWALIA 64
6 SOME EMINENT MUGHAL ADMINISTRATORS AND HIGH OFFICIALS OF SIRHIND FAUJA SINGH M.S.AHLUWALIA 74
 

TABLE

 

FAUJA SINGH M.S.AHLUWALIA 86
7 SIRHIND IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY GANDA SINGH 91
8 SIRHIND UNDER PATIALA ADMINISTRATION FAUJA SINGH GURSHARAN SINGH 115
 

APPENDIX I

APPENDIX II

GURSHARAN SINGH

"

124

126

9 SIRHIND SINCE 1956 FAUJA SINGH C.L. DATTA 127
10 MONUMENTS OF SIRHIND KIRPAL SINGH FAUJA SINGH 134
 

APPENDIX I

APPENDIX II

APPENDIX III

 

146

150

153

  ILLUSTRATIONS    
1 FIRUZSHAH TUGHLAQ FACING PAGE 16
2 AKBAR THE GREAT          " 32
3 SULTAN AHMAD          " 60
4 BANDA SINGH BAHADUR          " 100
5 JASSA SINGH AHLUWALIA          " 112
6 BABA ALA SINGH          " 116
7 MAHARAJA KARAM SINGH          " 141
  OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS          " 155

 

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