Rohtak district

Rohtak district

Area1668.47 km²
Population940,000 (2001)
Population density563.5/km² (2001)
Literacy74.56% (2001)
Urbanization35% (2001)

Rohtak (Hindi: रोहतक) is a district in Haryana, India. It is located in the southeast of Haryana & northwest of Delhi, bounded by Jind and Sonipat districts to the north, Jhajjar and Sonipat districts to the east and Hissar, Sirsa and Bhiwani districts to the west.
Rohtak town is district headquarters.

Rohtak is home to the current chief minister of Haryana, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Quilla Road is an upmarket place near the old walled city, where people come from all parts of the city and surrounding towns. The city has a major Punjabi touch on account of a large population of Punjabi community migrated from Pakistan at the time of Partition in August 1947. 60% of population consists of Punjabi community and remaining 40% consists of jats, rajputs, brahmins, and other communities. A large number of business establishments belonging to members of many communities flourish in the city.


The antiquity of the region goes back to the pre-Vedic Chalcolithic/Bronze age. The ancient remains of the villages and towns related to the last phase of Indus Civilisation, going back to at least 4000 years, can still be seen around the region, particularly at Farmana near Mahem and Lahot near Dhansa border. After the fall of the Indus towns, the village settlements of the Late Harappa Tradition survived until the middle of the second millennium BC in its decadent phase.

The advent of a new cultural tradition around 1500 BC most probably from the North-West of the subcontinent and beyond displaced the preceding Chalcolihthic/lndus survivors from the Gandhara region of Pakistan to Bihar. It manifested into at least three related regional cultures, the Gandhara Grave culture (c. 1500-500 BC), the Painted Grey Ware (PGW) culture (c.1100- 500 BC) and the Black Slipped Ware (BSW) culture (c.800-600 BC). The peasant-pastoral PGW culture was distinguished by the use of iron, horse and cattle and a thin grey coloured and painted pottery. It spread from Sutlej to the Ganga and particularly along the Saraswati valley in northern plains. Its discovery from Hastinapur, Panipat, Pehova, Kurukshetra, Mathura. Indraprastha or Delhi excited the imagination of the traditional archaeologists to associate the culture with the Mahabharat heroes. However, the geographical distribution, chronology and the cultural milieu of the PGW culture can be well compared with the culture of the Vedic (later phase) literature or Aryans. The discovery of the PGW culture from the lowest levels of Khokhrakot at Rohtak attests the intrusion of the Vedic people at Rohtak in the later Vedic period. The semi-agricultural and pastoral Aryans of the Rig Veda had by now taken to settled Janapadas and developed agrarian economy assisted by relevant iron technology and social organisation comprising the Varna System. It is about this period that the Gana Rajyas (tribal republics) or chiefdoms came into existence. The political struggle for domination ensued and the more successful established city states or the Mahajanapadas in the 7th century BC. It is from now onwards that the history of India growingly becomes the history of the struggle of centripetal and centrifugal forces. Magadhan empire emerged successful in establishing almost a pan-Indian hegemony under the Nandas and the Mauryas and gave impetus to the rise of regional cities.

The Rohtak tract saw the growth of Second Urbanisation in the early historic times in the 4th century BC as evidenced by the excavations at Khokhra Kot mound near the town. The discovery of Ashokan pillars at Topra in North Haryana and at Hissar and Fatehabad attests the expansion of the Mauryan Empire in our region. The period was marked by the popularity of Prakrit language, the spread of Buddhism, the beginning of brick architecture, coinage and the Brahmi alphabets (a new script). After the collapse of the Mauryan empire the region saw the resurgence of the Tribal republic of the Yaudheyas to be subdued again by the invading Indo- Greeks, Sakas and Kushanas before the beginning of the Christian era. The Kushana rule integrated North India with Central Asia. The period saw the growth of urbanisation to higher peaks by boosting trade with Central and Western Asia and Europe. The assimilation of a variety of foreign elements enriched the Culture of India. The early historical period was also distinguished by the prevalence of slavery, caste system, decline in the status of women and untouchables under the sanction of the state and the Dharma Shastras.

The disintegration of the Kushana empire in the 3rd century AD again led to the rise of the Yaudheyas (tribal republic) at Rohtak as attested by the discovery of their seals and coin mounds. They were, however, subjugated by another Magadhan empire of the Guptas in the 4th century AD. Soon after, the urban centres decayed gradually giving way to the rise of feudal society and culture, agrarian economy, decentralisation of power and a new hierarchical social order. The town of Rohtak also decayed. The invasion by the Hunas, indicated anarchic conditions of the times.

The early centuries of the Christian era saw the rise of the cults of Kartikeya. Shiva and Vishnu. This was a great era of cultural fusion when the foreign invaders like the Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas and the Hunas were assimilated. Stupas, pillars and sculptures, decorated bricks of temples and seals bear testimony to the beautiful art tradition of the region—wrestling and lute playing with drums were the popular pastime of the people.

The latter half of the 6th century AD saw the rise of the Puspabhutis or Vardhanas as the rulers of Shrikanth kingdom of Thanesar. Prabhakar Vardhan was a powerful king and ousted the Huna power from the region. Rohtak formed part of the Thanesar kingdom and later of the Kanauj empire of Harsha Vardhana, the Pushpabhuti prince of Thanesar. Anarchic conditions again set in the region with the death of Harsha. Peace was established by Gurjar Pratiharas of Ujjain (who are believed to be foreigners). They conquered North India in the 9th century and ruled from Kanauj. The Tomaras of Delhi, the Samantas of the Pratiharas, asserted their independence in the 10th century and ruled over Haryana including Rohtak. Subsequently the area saw itself ruled by the Mamluks, Lodis, Mughals etc. until it was won over by the Sinsinwar dynasty of Bharatpur in the later half of eighteenth century under Maharaja SurajMal and his son Jawahar Singh. Ultimately a weakened royal household of the sinsinwar(or sansanwal) royal household saw the Area come under first the Marathas , then a European mercenary, again the Maratha and subsequently the predominance of the Britishers who contd to rule it until independence with portions of it being awarded intermittantly to the JatSikh king of Jind or his subordinate Jamindars/Jagirdars.GURUDWARA BANGLA SAHIB (Rohtak) This Gurdwara is dedicated to the Ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib Ji. He came here in 1675 while going from Jind to Delhi. He stayed at this place for a few days.


The economy of the district is primarily agriculture i.e. agrarian economy. About 42.19% of the total workers are engaged in agriculture and allied activities, 7.68% in cottage and household industries and the rest are engaged in other activities.


Out of total geographical area of the district, 83% is under cultivation. The main crops are wheat, gram, sugarcane and bajra. There is no perennial river in the district. Underground water level is relatively high. The district is faced with the problem of brackish water and waterlogging in many parts of the district. The sub soil water depth various from 4 to 40 feet. As Harayana was once part of Punjab there is a Sikh majority in Rohtak 60% and the rest are Hindus and christans.

Art and cultural heritage

The art and architectural heritage of the town is in utter neglect. Till a decade ago the old city alleys and Railway Road had about 50 havelis (mansions) built in traditional architectural styles. Many stone facades with beautiful carvings and motifs were stripped from the walls and sold to heritage traders for paltry sums. In fact, the Muslim masons did all the decorative work in stone and fabricated woodcrafted door sets in these havelis. The rise of commerce and paucity of space forced the owners to demolish the fine old structures for building shopping complexes. There is no policy with the State Government or City Fathers to protect the heritage of the city. In spite of a local chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) functioning in the district, not much could be done because most heritage properties are in private ownership and INTACH's local chapter does not have funds or the infrastructure to carry out listing and conservation work. However, Mr. Ranbir Singh, a cultural historian and Co-convenor of State Chapter of INTACH, functioning from Rohtak, in the last 25 years has documented extensively the art and architectural heritage not only of the Rohtak District but also the entire Haryana on his own. He has a large collection of brilliant photographs of the heritage properties besides documenting history of the heritage value buildings, historical villages and towns of the district.

The famous 12th century Asthal Bohar Monastery has also been modernized by its Mahant Chand Nath. The oldest shrine at this place was built above the Smadh of Sidh Baba Chaurangi Nath (Bhagat Pooran Mall son of Raja Shalivan of Sialkot, now in Pakistan) under which also lies the grave of Sidh Baba Masth Nath who lived in the mid-eighteenth century AD. The shrine of Sidh Baba Tota Nath, in this campus, has beautiful frecoes painted in the early nineteenth century and done in Rajput style. Some of these, near the dome have their colors chipped off and are fading unless restored. The present Mahant is just indifferent to the preservation of these fine frescoes, very important for art historians. Sometime ago, the beautifully carved stone facade of the Digambar Jain Mandir in Barra Bazar was stripped off and sold just for Rs.1 lakh. It was a precious piece of art. Several havelis situated in the old city and Railway road are giving way to modern buildings thus depriving the city of its traditional and beautiful character.

Many large villages around Rohtak city could boast of many fine buildings that had decorative elements and traditional architecture. Now, these are in bad condition and crumbling.


Rohtak has almost 22 colleges within the city, offering different courses. For each caste and religion, rohtak has an education society. Maharishi Dayanand University is the only university in the city. Rohtak has Post Graduate Institute for Medical services(PGIMS), a famous medical institute in south Haryana. Rohtak has four Engineering colleges and two politechnics for technical education.Best college of Engineering of haryana is in rohtak(VCE Rohtak)which is also called REC(Rohtak Engineering college).


Rohtak is home to Maharishi Dayanand University, Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences,University Institute Of Engg. & Technology, University Campus and a variety of private schools and Colleges. Rohtak has given many great leaders such as Sir Chhotu Ram. Eight graduation colleges and seven engineering colleges makes it education city of Haryana. Tilyar lake is a beautiful tourist spot to visit. There are many famous schools like G.D Royal School Delhi Public School, Mast Nath Public School, D.A.V School, "Shiksha Bharti School", Model School, J.H.M.A.S. School (Jat High School), Vaish School, Jain School, MDN Public school.


Rohtak is well connected by Rail and Road network to neighboring cities and states and its located on the N.H. -10, which is just 60 km away from National Capital, "Delhi". Direct trains are available going in north to Pathankot, Jammu, Sri Ganganagar, in east to Farukhabad, Gorakhpur and Howrah, in south direction to Chennai Kanya kumari, Mangalore, and in west to Hisar, Sirsa, and Bhatinda.

Buses from Rohtak are plying to Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal, J&K, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh.


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