States of India
Haryana State Information
Capital : Chandigarh
Language: Haryanvi, Hindi, English
Introduction to Haryana
The small state of Haryana was founded in 1966 when the former state of Punjab
was divided into Haryana and the modern Punjab. It is both the oldest and most
modern of places. Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh
surround the state. The state was a major contributor to the “Harit Kranti”, the
green revolution and is a good blend of traditional and modern cultures.
Geography of Haryana
Located in the Northern part of India, Haryana is bound by Uttar Pradesh in the
east, Punjab in the west, Himachal Pradesh in the north and Rajasthan in the
South. The national capital territory of Delhi is next to Haryana. Haryana is
situated between the latitude 30.30° North and longitude 74.60° East. Most of
Haryana is in the plains with the Aravali mountain range starting its westward
journey from here. The Yamuna is the only major river that passes through this
small state, which is one of the greenest in the country. There is a very good
network of canals throughout the state, giving it the much-needed impetus for
agriculture, the mainstay of Haryana’s economy.
Brief History of Haryana
By Manu, the lawgiver in Indian mythology, designated Haryana as Brahmavart from
where the Brahmanical religion and social system grew up and spread outwards to
the rest of the country. In a sense, therefore, one can say that much of the
Hindu religion and society was formed on the flat, dry plains of the present-day
Haryana. In the epic of the Mahabharata, it was at Kurukshetra, during a battle
between that Kaurava and Pandava princes that Lord Krishna delivered one of his
most important messages through the celestial sermon-the Geeta. With Delhi as
the prize awaiting generations of invaders, Haryana served as a sort of a
geographical corridor. Over the centuries, waves of invaders poured across the
plains of Haryana, sometimes fighting battles there. At the end of the 14th
century, Timur led an army through the state towards Delhi. In 1526, the
invading Mughals defeated the armies of the ruling Lodi dynasty at the Battle of
Panipat and 30 years later, in 1556, the Mughals won yet another decisive battle
there. By the mid-18th century, the Marathas were in control of Haryana, an era
that was brought to an end after the Afghans under Ahmed Shah Abdali defeated
the Maratha forces in the third battle of Panipat in 1761.
Government of Haryana
Chaudhary Bhupinder Singh Hooda is the current Chief Minister of Haryana. Hooda
is well known for leading various farmer movements in Haryana. He is a member of
the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana. Hooda is member of Indian National
Congress and has served as the president of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee
from 1996 to 2001.He has been a member of Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) for four
terms; 1991, 1996, 1998, 2004; as well as the leader of opposition in Haryana's
Legislative Assembly from 2001 to 2004.
Districts of Haryana
Haryana has 19 districts: Ambala, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Fatehabad, Gurgaon,
Hissar, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Mahendergarh, Panchkula,
Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak, Sirsa, Sonepat & Yamuna Nagar.
Economy of Haryana
The location factor i.e. nearness to the National Capital Territory of Delhi and
the abundance of resources has helped the state to achieve the status of a
leading industrialized state in India. The principle minerals produced in the
state are kaolin, limestone, lime kankar, saltpetre, tin and tungsten.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of the state. Rice, wheat,
jowar, bajra, maize, barley, pulses, sugarcane, cotton, oil seeds and potato are
the major crops of the state.
Haryana Travel Information
Haryana has several places of tourism importance. Just around the corner from
south Delhi, a mere eight-kilometre drive away lies Surajkund with its large sun
pool and amphitheatre. Built during the 10th century AD by Raja Suraj Pal of the
Tomar dynasty, Surajkund combines proximity to the national capital with many
amenities and comforts in an ambience that is typically rural and far away from
the trappings of the urban centers. Also within an easy motoring distance from
New Delhi is the Badkhal Lake. Here, the Aravali hills are on the fringe and the
lake offers special opportunities for water sports such as canoeing, kayaking or
just a simple boat ride. In addition, there is a luxury yacht for those
interested. But the real attraction of Badkhal Lake are its serene waters around
which small cottages have been built at an elevation, thus affording the
occupants a splendid view of the lake alive with the activity of birds during
the winter months.
Farther a field, yet well connected to Delhi and on the National Highway No 1,
is another manmade lake, named after Karna, one of the heroes of the epic
Mahabharat. Having been carved out of a marshy area, the Karna Lake offers all
the advantages of a designer complex with charming cottages overlooking a
landscaped garden and tall eucalyptus trees planted to act as a barricade
against the noise of the highway. Other trees and the emerald waters of the lake
become the home for the pied crested kingfishers, darters, ducks and geese
during the winter months.
Haryana is proud of its many lake retreats besides Badkhal and Karna. There is
the Tilyar Lake at Rohtak, 70 kilometres away from Delhi, with facilities like
boating and kayaking. In a different direction and located 64 kilometres from
Delhi on the old highway to Alwar, is the Damdama Lake with cottages built on
higher ground and mirrored in the calm waters of the lake. A camping complex for
the adventurous is also there and facilities for sports such as rock climbing on
the surrounding Aravali ranges, canoeing, kayaking, cycling and trekking are all
available. Not far from the Damdama Lake is Sohna, named thus after traces of
gold were found in the nearby waters in the old times. Sohna has become quite
popular due to the annual Vintage Car Rally that takes place in February.
Motorists drive the 56 kilometres from Delhi and come to rest and picnic here,
half way away from the venue of the rally. If one wants to get away from Delhi
towards the shadow of the mountains, there are the Yadavindra Gardens at
Pinjore, just 22 kilometres from Chandigarh. Here, a historic building belonging
to the 17th century is set in a Mughal garden, with a waterway surrounded by
green lawns. A later addition to this beautiful spot is a Japanese garden.
Kurukshetra in Haryana is the name given to an area covering 48 kosas (an Indian
unit of measuring land) where 860 places of pilgrimage related to the
Mahabharata exist today. The important sites are the Brahma Sarovar, Sannihit
Sarovar, Gurudwara Sadbhiti, Thaneswar Tirtha, and Rajghat. Near Kurukshetra,
Thaneswar is a sacred town for Hindus because Lord Shiva in the form of the
lingam (phallic representation of Shiva) was first worshipped here. Also
situated here is the tomb of Sheikh Chilli Jalal. It is a fascinating monument,
octagonal in shape, crowned with a dome of white marble and surrounded by a
white marble courtyard. Also worth a visit are the Chini Masjid and Pathar
Masjid, two outstanding Islamic monuments.
The Surajkund Crafts Mela is the largest crafts fair in India, is celebrated in
the month of February for fifteen days and a good time to see the crafts and
culture of the state.
Rivers of Haryana
Haryana has no perennial rivers. The important rivers are Yamuna, the Saraswati
and the Ghaggar. Several small streams flows through the state they are the
Markanda, the Sahibi and Indori. Yamuna is the most important river in the
state. It has its source in the hills at Kalesar and is the source of irrigation
for large tracts in the districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Hissar and
Rohtak through the western Yamuna canals. The river Saraswati begins in the
large depression at Kalawar in the north of the Mustafabad Pargana of Jagadhri.
The Ghaggar rises in the outer Himalayan ranges between the Yamuna and the
Education in Haryana
Haryana has a large network of schools, colleges and universities. During
2001-02, there were 11,013 primary schools, 1,918 middle schools, 3,023 high
schools and 1,301 senior secondary schools in the state. Haryana Board of School
Education conducts public examinations at middle, matriculation, and senior
secondary levels twice a year. The Haryana government provides free education to
women up to graduation level. There are four universities in the state.
Technical education and management studies are provided by Maharshi Dayanand
University at Rohtak, Kurukshetra University at Kurukshetra and Guru Jambheshwar
University at Hisar. Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University at
Hisar is one of the biggest agricultural universities in Asia. It is engaged in
education, research and development related to agriculture. The National Dairy
Research Institute at Karnal provides education in the field of dairy science.
It has been upgraded to the level of a Deemed University. There are medical
colleges in Rohtak and Agroha.
Food of Haryana
Haryana, an agricultural state, has retained its simplicity in cuisine. One can
try a glass of lassi or chaaj (buttermilk) followed by angakda, small thick
rotis made of barley (jau) floor cooked directly on fire. Butter made at home,
onions or a pungent red chili, onion, and garlic chutney often accompany the
angakda. Haryanvi cuisine is simple, wholesome and full of the goodness of the
land. One common favourite that binds the entire state together is milk. The
people of Haryana have great fondness for milk and milk products and these form
an essential part of the their diet.
Arts & Culture of Haryana
The people of the Harappan Civilisation were the first to inhabit this land
around 4,500 years ago. Later, Aryans-one of the great nomadic tribe from
Central Asia-started migrating from their native place to two different
destinations, i.e. Europe in the west and the Indian subcontinent in the east.
The land of Punjab and Haryana were the places where they settled down first and
called the land Panchal (land of five rivers) because of the presence of the
mighty Indus and its tributaries. The present inhabitants of Haryana are the
descendents of the same Aryan race.
In Haryana, crafts have never been a major pre-occupation as the women too
normally work in the fields alongside the men. Consequently, the crafts of the
state are simple. Most crafts have not evolved into art forms and remain rooted
to their original usage.
Haryana boasts of a robust handloom tradition, especially
in Panipat. Panipat is famous as a center for rugs and upholstery fabric and is
a major textile town of India. Thick fabrics are a specialty of Haryana, as the
climatic conditions do not allow the use of fine threads in normal looms.
Haryana’s interesting handicrafts include woven furniture, artistic pottery and
There are two types of woven furniture - modhas (round
stools) and chairs made of sarkande (a reed) from Faroukhnagar; and pidhis from
Sonepat, which are essentially wooden stools with seats woven in cotton thread
or sutli. Pottery in Haryana ranges from simple pots meant for daily use to
artistic decorative pieces. Pitchers made with clay from Jhajjar in Rohtak
district are greatly valued as the clay gives a sweet taste to the water stored
in the pitcher.
Dance & Music of Haryana
Haryana has a wealth of folk dances, which are usually
performed at weddings, births, festivals, and, of course, during the
all-important harvest festivals. A dance called Ghoomar is especially popular in
the western parts of the state and only girls participate in this dance. It is
performed at festivals such as Holi, Gangaur Puja and Teej and depicts the girls
carrying the thalis of offerings to the temple for their Puja. The girls sing
while they dance in a swirling movement and as the tempo of the music increases,
the girls form pairs and swirl faster and faster.
Festivals of Haryana
Besides all the other festivals common to the rest of the
country, Haryana celebrates Lohri with deep religious fervour. It is celebrated
on the 13th of January every year. Bonfires are made into which sugarcane,
parched rice, sesame seeds and monkey nuts are put as offerings to the fire and
the blessings of the goddess of Lohri are invoked.
The Harvest festival (in April) of Baisakhi in Haryana is
an experience of a lifetime. Both in Haryana and Punjab, farmers start
harvesting with great jubilation. It is one of the liveliest celebrations and
involves dance, music and feasting.
Costumes of Haryana
The people of Haryana love bright colours, especially at
festival time, and the dresses of the dances are often dazzling with lots of
tinsel. Typically, women wear a calf-length ghagra made from at least 20 meters
of fabric; a short kurti on top; a chundri that covers their head and glitters
with tinsel; and lots of chunky silver jewellery. The men are almost as brightly
attired with their dhotis and kurtas, and contrasting coloured sashes and, of
course, vivid pink and read turbans.
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