ROHTAK

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» North India
» Haryana
Location : Southeast Haryana
Ancient Name : Rohitaka, Rohtasgar
Main Attractions : Gaokaran Lake, Khokar Fort
Main Languages/Dialect: Hindi, English, Haryanvi

The Political Capital of Haryana
Rohtak, one of the historical and progressive districts of Haryana lies to the southeast of the state. With the district headquarters situated at Rohtak town, it is identified with Rohitika, mentioned in the Mahabharata. Other smaller towns are Meham, Sampla, Kalanaur and Hasangarh. It is situated on the Delhi -Ferozepur railway line, 44 miles Northwest of Delhi and 150 miles South of Chandigarh. An ancient road carried the trade of the Ganga valley to Taxila, passing through Rohitaka to Sakala. Gurgaon districts on the South, Union Territory of Delhi & Sonipat district on the east and Hissar & Bhiwani district on the west side bind Rohtak to the headquarters of the Rohtak tehsil and Rohtak district

Estimated to be at least 26,65,000 years old, 'Rohtak' is said to be a corruption of Rohtasgarh, a name still applied to the ruined Khokrakot sites of two cities, one lying north of Rohtak town, and the other about 4 kms to the east. In 1824, Rohtak was made separate district and Gohana, Kharkhoda, Beri, Meham and Rohtak Tehsils were included in it. In 1841 AD, some area of this district was given to Panipat and rest of the area upto Meham was put under Delhi.

The Legend
It is a common belief that the town of Rohtak was founded by Kartikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva, who went around the whole place on his vehicle, the peacock. Even today, one can see the famous ride painted on walls all over the town.

Another story says that Rohtak was named after Raja Rohtas, under whose reign the city was possibly built. It is also claimed that the town derives its name from the Roherra tree, called Rohtika in Sanskrit. It is said that the town was build by clearing a forest of Rohtika trees, and hence the name 'Rohtak'.

Yet another version connects Rohtak with Rohitaka, mentioned in the Mahabharata. It was quite possibly the capital of Bahudhanyaka. In the Vinaya of the Mulasarvasti-vadins, Jivaka is shown as undertaking a journey from Taxila to Bhadramkara, Udumbra, Rohitaka and Mathura in the Ganga Doab. Deriving its name from the ancient Rohitaka or Rohtasgarh, Rohtak is mentioned in the Mahabharata. Apparently Nakula, a Pandava prince, fought the Yaudheyas on this ground.

The Archaeological Findings
The ruins of the ancient town are found at Khokrakot or Rohtasgarh. Some experts hold that the town is probably as old as the Indus Valley Civilization. Some minor finds at Khokrakot are typical of the Indus Valley sites. Clay moulds of coins discovered here have thrown an important light on the process of casting coins in ancient India.

The existence of the town during the rule of the Kushanas is testified by the recent recovery of a Kushana pillar, decorated with carvings of winged lions and riders. An example of a lion of the 1st or 2nd century AD, it resembles the lion in the British museum at London, famous for its inscriptions. The riders on it are similar to the riders on elephants at Karle Cave and figures at the Sanchi gateway. It is a significant example of the sculptural art of Haryana towards the beginning of the Christian era.

The coin moulds of the later Yaudheyas of the 3rd/4th century AD have been discovered by the Archaeological Survey of India in large numbers here. Of the same and subsequent dates are several clay seals. A Gupta terracotta plaque and a head of a later date have also been discovered. The town continued to flourish till the 10th century AD, as coins of Samanta Deva, the Hindu king of Kabul, have been found here. The town is said to have been rebuilt in the time of Prithviraj Chauhan.

Over its arch is an inscription of Ala-ud-Din Khilji, dating back to 1308. There is an old and mythical tank with ghats on three sides, known as Gaokaran tank. Its complex includes Shiva, Devi and Hanuman temples in addition to a park and a baradari.

TOURIST DESTINATIONS

Khokar Fort: The Kokar Fort, which was once an imposing fortress, now stands in ruins.

Jama Masjid: The Jama Masjid in Meham has now been turned into a gurudwara for the Sikhs in true secular fashion.

Other Mosques: The town has a number of old mosques, some of which remind us of elegant Muslim structures. Dini Mosque or Adina Mosque is the oldest among these. At the north end of this mosque was a 'tehkhana' (underground cell).

Goakaran Tank: An old, mythical tank called Goakaran tank is a complex of structures with ghats on three sides and includes temples of Lord Shiva, Devi and Hanuman, in addition to a Dharamshala and a park close at hand.

Bhindawas Lake: Bhindawas Lake, officially a wildlife sanctuary since 1985 is home for thousands of birds. Spread out over an area of over 1,000 acres, Bhindawas is the largest wetland of Haryana, 80 kms from Delhi. The lake covers 12 kms of land, which was used for crop cultivation before it was flooded.

Rohtak also boasts of a medical college and a university. Besides being a district headquarter and one of the largest towns in the state, Rohtak has a huge lake, which makes it another tourist spot.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

How to Get There
Rail: A well-developed network connects the place to the rest of the country.
Road: Rohtak is well connected to the National Highway and is accessible by good motorable roads.

Where to Stay
Myna Tourist Complex.
Naorang Tourist Complex, Meham.
Tilyar Lake Tourist Complex.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Total Villages: 146.
Total Area: 1708 sq. kms.
Dist. Population: 7,76,966
City Population: 2,16,096
North Latitude: 28 54'.
East Longitude: 76 35'.


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