The name of the district Sirsa is derived from its
headquarters, Sirsa. It is said to be one of the oldest places of North
India and its ancient name was Sairishaka, which finds mention in
'Mahabharata', Panini's 'Ashatadhayayi' and 'Divyavadan'. In Mahabharata,
Sairishaka is described as being taken by Nakul in his conquest of the
western quarter. It must have been a flourishing city in the 5th century
BC, as Panini has mentioned it.
The Origin of Name
There are a number of legends about the origin of the name of the town. As mentioned earlier, its ancient name was Sairishaka and from that it seems to have been corrupted to Sirsa. According to local belief, an unknown king named Saras founded the town in 7th century AD and built a fort. The material remains of an ancient fort can still be seen in the southeast of the present town. It is about 5 kilometers in circuit.
Another story states the name has its origin from the sacred river Saraswati, which once flowed near it. During medieval period, the town was known as Sarsuti. It has been mentioned as Sarsuti by a number of medieval historians.
The derivation of name Sirsa is also attributed to the abundance of 'siris' trees, Albizia lebbock (Benth) in the neighborhood of Sirsa, which seems quite plausible for it finds some corroboration also in Panini and his commentary. In ancient period, Sirsa was also known as 'Sirsapattan'.
Ram Dev Mandir: Ram Dev, a saint of Rajasthan and Bagar, is worshipped in the district. Though there are many temples of Ram Dev, but the one at Kagdana in Sirsa Tehsil is the biggest. A large number of devotees pay their obeisance in the temple.
Dera Jiwan Nagar: Located 30 kms west of Sirsa, it is an important centre of Namdhari sect. Earlier known as Chichal, the village was named Jiwan Nagar after Jeewan Kaur, mother of late Pratap Singh, a Namdhari Saint. A large number of followers of Namdhari Sect came from Shekhupura, Sialkot and Gujranwala districts after the participation and settled here.
Hanuman Temple: The temple is situated at a distance of 2 kms in the west of the city. People from all walks of life visit this temple every Tuesday.
Gurudwara Guru Gobind Singh, Chormar Khera: Located 36 kms from Sirsa, the Gurudwara, said to be associated with Guru Gobind Singh, who stayed here for a night is held in high esteem. It is spread over an area of 8 acres and has a tank with separate enclosure for ladies. There is a small museum and a library.
Dera Baba Sarsai Nath: Located outside Hissar Gate, the construction of the temple is assigned to the 13th Century. Sarsai Nath, a saint of Nath sect, built it. An inscription of Bhoja, the Pratihara Ruler was found at Sirsa. It records that Nilkantha, a saint of Pashupati sect constructed a temple of Yogisvara (Shiva) made of burnt bricks and thick slabs of stones with a golden 'Shikhra'.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan visited the Dera Baba Sarsai Nath for blessings for his ailing son. The emperor built a dome and donated land to the temple. A document in Arabic, in possession of Dera authorities testifies Shah Jahan's visit to the temple. The Dera has the temples of Shiva and Durga.
Saint Baba Bihari Samadhi: The Samadhi is situated in the western part of Sirsa city in a beautiful 'Vatika'. Nearby, there is a temple where a 'bhandara' is held every year on 1st January.
Tomb of Khwaja Pir: The Tomb is said to have been built in the 13th century, in the memory of Khwaja Abdul Shankar. He was one of those who accompanied Muhammed Ghauri to India and resided here. A mosque was built adjoining the tomb later during the 16th century. However, no remains of any tomb or mosque can be found there now. Guru Nanak Dev is said to have stayed here for 40 days at the tomb alongwith his disciples Bala and Madana.
Jama Masjid: Located in the town, it was built towards the close of the 19th century. It has two high minarets, which overlooked the town.
Where to Stay
Surkhab: A restaurant of Haryana Tourism Corporation, with bar facilities, located 259 Kms from Delhi. It sprawls over an area of 2 acres on Delhi-Dabwali Road.
Dera Sacha Sauda: Located on the Begu Road, Dera is housed in a spacious building having 600 Rooms, A Hall and a big ground. There are arrangements for free kitchen (Langar). No offerings are accepted and expenses are met from the income of the land attached to it. A large number of devotees join the birth anniversary and death anniversary celebrations in April and November respectively.
Kala Teetar: It is located 325 kms from Delhi on Delhi-Ganga Nagar Road in an area of 8.5 acres. It is situated on the intersection of Rajasthan Canal and Bhakra Canal near Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan border.
Shikra, Asa Khera.
North Latitude: 29° 14 and 30° 0.
East Longitudes: 74° 29 and 75° 18.
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