Loharu (also known as Luharu) is a city, municipal committee and assembly constituency in the Bhiwani district of the Indian state of Haryana. It is the administrative headquarters of one of the four administrative sub-divisions of the district and covers 119 villages. It is also a railway junction station.
Location in Haryana, India
|Coordinates: 28.4032°N 75.9856°E|
|Elevation||262 m (860 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|ISO 3166 code||IN-HR|
The city's main commercial hub is its Anaaj Mandi, which was built by Sir Aminuddin Ahmed Khan in the year 1937. The Mandi is unique in design as it contains both residential and commercial premises for the merchants around a large central open space. It consists of 104 shops or 52 'Jodas' (couplet) as it was popularly called. The tax-free Mandi in its prime gathered goods from far and near for trade and contributed considerably to the prosperity in the region.
Another attraction of the town is the bi-annual Camel fair held in the months of January and July. The Camels come from Rajasthan and other areas of Haryana, making it a colourful and festive venue. The present economy is based on agriculture and trade.
Loharu was the seat of the eponymous princely state of Shekhawati during the British Raj, Thakur rule was established in 1870; and an important reminiscence of that is the Loharu fort, now a key tourist destination.
Rao Shekha, a Shekhawat rajput (sub-branch of Kachwaha or Kushwaha), was the founder of Shekhawati, who originally divided Shekhawati into 33 Thikana (also called a Pargana), each styled as Thakur with at least a 'kuccha' mud fort, some of which were fortified further with stone. After him, additional thikanas were granted to the descendants of subsequent generations.
- Tosham Shekhavati Thikana, was granted as a thikana by Shekhawati ruler Maharaja Mukund Singh in 1870 to Kunwar Abhaya Singh, the son of Maharaja Raj Singh II.
- Mahendragarh Thikana, was granted as a thikana by Shekhawati ruler Maharaja Mukund Singh in 1868 to Kunwar Sheonath Singh I, the son of Maharaja Raj Singh II.
- Madhogarh Thikana and Madhogarh Fort were founded by Madho Singh I in the first half of the 18th century, when he placed the area under the control of Balwant Singh. The fort is named after Madho Singh I; "Madhogarh" literally means "the fort of Madho".
- Loharu Thikana, Loharu was founded as 33rd Thikana in the year 1588 A.D by the Thakur Narhar Das, a direct decedent of Rao Shekha. Loharu was then a small village with a 'kuccha' mud fort and stayed as such until 1800 A.D. During This period two important battles were fought here. The first war in 1671 A.D, during the time of Aurangzeb, was fought between Thakur Madan Singh and the Mughal Governor of Hisar for Refusing to pay the Land Revenue. The other was fought between the then Thakur Kirat Singh and Thakur Baghwan Das Singh of Khetri who claimed Loharu as part of Khetri. Thakur Baghwan Das Singh was killed in this battle outside the Loharu fort and a Chhatri was built as a samadhi in his honour at the place where he was cremated, which is located about 1 km from the Fort. The Loharu pargana thereafter passed on to the direct rule of Shekhawati and subsequently became the paragana under the State of Shekhawati ruled by Kunwar Arjun Singh (Son of Maharaja Raj Singh II) from 1870. The Thikana of Loharu was then granted to Kunwar Arjun Singh in 1870 when he received the town of Loharu from the British East India Company as well as from Shekhawati ruler Maharaja Mukund Singh as a reward for his services against the Jat rulers of Bharatpur. Around 1755, this area was brought under the Maratha Empire by Maharaja Khande Rao Holkar of Indore in 1792. Maratha Maharaj Mahadaji Shinde (Scindia) of Gwalior had conquered Rania, Fatehabad and Sirsa from Bhatti Rajput Muslims. Haryana came under Maratha Empire. Mahad ji divided Haryana in four territories: Delhi (Mughal emperor Shah Alam II, his family and areas surrounding Delhi), Panipat (Kernal, Sonepat, Kurukshetra and Ambala), Hisar (Hisar, Sirsa, Fatehabad, parts of Rohtak), Mewat (Gurugaon, Rewari, Narnaul, Mahendragarh). Daulat Rao Scindia ceded Haryana on 30 December 1803 under the Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon to British East India Company's Company rule in India. Ahmad Baksh Khan was given the territory of Loharu by British for his services against Maratha. Daulat Rao Scindia ceded Haryana on 30 December 1803 under the Treaty of Surji-Anjangaon to British East India Company's Company rule in India. Shekhawat Thakurs of Loharu are:
- Kunwar Arjun Singh (1870–1896)
- Rajkunwar Silahaditya Singh (1896–1926)
- Rajkunwar Vikramaditya Singh (1926–1956)
- Rajkunwar Nagaditya Singh (1956–1988)
- Shri Sahib Ranaditya Singh (1988–present)
After the Independence of India in 1947, the state acceded unto the Union of India in 1948. Many of the ruling family and the city's Muslim inhabitants re-settled in Lahore, Pakistan. However, the Thakur and his direct descendants stayed on, in India.
The 'Paragana' under the State of Shekhawati ruled by Thakur Arjun Singh in the year 1870. It was from this year onwards that 'PUKKA' construction of mud Fort and village started.
Over the years of construction come to include an interesting blend of Architecture. The South-Wing of the Fort contained the 'DARBAR' and the 'SHEESH-MAHAL' or the ROOM OF THE MIRRORS which has MUGHAL/RAJPUT style details. The central part of the South-Wing contained a large Victorian Style Audience Chamber and Banquet Hall. The right side of South-Wing consisted of the 'JAMANA' Mahal along with the kitchens. The left side of the South-Wing were purely Mughal architecture and contained the 'SNANGHAR'(Baths). The east-wing at the time and was distinct from the 'Shekhawati Haveli 'Style.
The Fort was in the hands of subsequent Thakurs of Loharu till 1971 when the Late Thakur Rajkumar Nagaditya Singh sold it to the Government of Haryana. Since these buildings were not lived in, all the constructions of the North-Wing and West-Wing had collapsed as was part of the east-wing. Only the South-Wing of the fort containing the 'ROSHAN-MANJIL' survives and that too in a very dilapidated State.
Higher and Technical education
There are a number of institutions of higher education located in the Loharu area. The Keystone Group of Institutions, an AICTE approved institution offering BTech and MBA courses from Rajasthan Technical University, is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the Loharu station. Loharu is 30 kilometres (19 mi). from Birla Institute Of Technology and Science, (Pilani, Rajasthan). It is also home to Rani Jhansi Laxmi Bai Govt Polytechnic, located on the Loharu-Bhiwani road and the government P.G College on Bhiwani road, there is a women PG collage in loharu, located in main Market, these offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses and is affiliated to M.D.U, Rohtak.
Loharu is a railway station junction on Rewari-Mahendragarh-Sadulpur and Loharu- Sikar- Jaipur railway route. It was a metre gauge track that was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge in 2009. The metre gauge railway line from Loharu junction to Sikar junction, Ringas junction and Jaipur has been converted into broad gauge in the year 2014. It is also connected with many major cities of Haryana via road routes.
- Genealogy of the Diwan of Loharu Queensland University
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 922. .
- Bhiwani district Haryana Official website.
- Introduction Bhiwani district Official website.
- Loharu Town The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 16, p. 170.
- "Gazetteer of Mahandragarh 1988" (PDF). Haryana Revenue Department. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
- Loharu State The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 16, p. 169.
- Chapter 5: My Loharu Connection Archived 30 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Battle Within, by Brigadier Mirza Hamid Hussain, Pakistan Army 33. 1970. ISBN 969-407-286-7 -.(ebook)
- The State of Loharu Indian States: A Biographical, Historical, and Administrative Survey, by Somerset Playne, R. V. Solomon, J. W. Bond, Arnold Wright. Asian Educational Services, 2006. ISBN 81-206-1965-X.Page 691.
- Khandan-e-Loharu Ke Shura (Loharu Family Biography), by Hamid Sultan Ahmad. New Delhi, Ghalib Institute, 1981. (Ghalib Institute Catalogue)
- Murder of Mr. Fraser, and Execution of the Nawab Shams-ud-din – Page 86 Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official, by W.H. Sleeman, Vincent A. Smith, Published by Asian Educational Services, 1996. ISBN 81-206-1013-X. (ebook)
- Chapter 5: My Loharu Connection The Battle Within, by Brigadier Mirza Hamid Hussain, Pakistan Army 33. 1970. ISBN 969-407-286-7 -.(ebook)
- The Yusufi Dynasty at RoyalArk.net