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Mahendragarh District

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About the Mahendragarh district

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Brief About Mahendragarh District

Ancient Period

Mahendragarh was earlier known as 'Kanaud' because of its association with Kanaudia group of Brahmans1. During the middle of the nineteenth century, it came to be known as Mahendragarh. How it was known in earlier periods is not known. Possibly it may have formed a part of the Kurujangala2, a territorial designation known to traditional literature.

Although the nomenclature of the district is not very old, the antiquity of the area it covered can be stretched to earlier periods also. The Archaeological explorations conducted in the region have brought to light late- Harappan sites specially from its Rewari tahsil3. This type of evidence along with Painted Grey Ware, Northern Black Polished Ware and Early Historical Ware is gathered from the adjoining districts of Bhiwani and Gurgaon4. In the absence of archaeological excavations in the district nothing more can be added to what has been stated above. So far not a single PGW site has come to light in the district, perhaps suggesting the north-eastward migrations of the Aryans from the banks of the Saraswati and the Drisadvati possibly due to the drying up of their courses. Most of the sites explored in the district belong to the late-medieval period. The district, it may further be pointed out, might possibly have remained outside the main stream of Aryan culture and hence has not been specifically mentioned in the traditional literature as an independent territorial unit. In the absence of evidence it also becomes extremely difficult to trace the successive stages in the historical growth of the region. However, it has been suggested that some of the present streams of the district may be identified with those mentioned in early Vedic literature5. The southeastern Rasa (a stream mentioned in the Rigveda6 has been recognised with the Sahibi which passes through the region7, and the Dohan

Medieval Period
After the death of Shihab-ud-din Ghuri, one of his generals, Qutb-ud-din Aibak, laid the foundations of the Turkish rule in India in 1206. The territory now comprising the Mahendragarh district though formed a part of his newly founded kingdom, yet he appears to have exercised no effective control over it. Except for creating an administrative agency to collect land revenue effectively, he did not interfere in the internal affairs of the villages. Aibak's successor litutmish is, however, reported to have made some far reaching changes which had great impact on the administration. He divided the kingdom into several Iqtas : the present district was parcelled into lqtas, namely, Narnaul and Rewari.4 An officer called Mukti controlled the total affairs of each lqta under the direct supervision and control of the Sultan.

This arrangement continued upto 1290, when after the deposition of the last of the Mamiuk rulers, Shamsuddin, the district came under the control of the Khaljiis. The new masters exercised greater and far more strict control over the district than their predecessors. Their economic hold was coercive. As a result, the suffering people grew restive. But the strong hand of the rulers made them ineffective. The situation changed, however, after Ala-ud-Din Khalji's death (1316). The people raised their heads against the oppressive rule. There was some relief for sometime but they were again brought under the same type of rule by the Tugluqs who replaced the Khalijis. The same old story of oppression and exploitation was repeated during the reigns of the first two Tughluqs-Ghias and Muhammad, but Firuz (1351-88) who came after them gave some solace to the suffering masses by reducing taxes and giving other reliefs.

Modern Period

In 1750's like this Raos of Rewari, Raja Madho Singh of Jaipur seized a sizeable territory in the district around Narnaul and Kanaud.7 He placed the territory under the care of Balwant Singh. In the mid-decade the district passed under the sway of the Marathas. The Raos of Rewari, as noted above, opposed them fora while but ultimately accepted the Maratha over lordship. The Rajput chief accepted this position without any opposition. Maratha over lordship, of the district proved short-lived, however, as situation elsewhere compelled them to leave this territory in 1755.8