Hisar district is one of the 21 districts of Haryana state, India. Hisar city serves as the district headquarters. The district is also part of Hisar division, which is headed by a commissioner who is employed by the Indian Administrative Service.
The largest district in Haryana until its 1966 reorganization, some parts of Hisar were transferred to the newly created Jind district. In 1974, Tehsil Bhiwani and Loharu were transferred to Bhiwani district. Hisar was further bifurcated when Sirsa district was formed. Fatehabad district was later created as well.
Hisar is a divisional headquarters of the Hisar division Divisional Commissioner and also the headquarters of Police Range. It is also a battalion headquarters of B.S.F. 3rd Bn. H.A.P. and commando force. In order to accommodate all of these departments, a five storey District Administrative Complex was built, with the offices transferred in 1980. It adjoins the new Judiciary Complex, which is also made functional. This administrative and judiciary complex is the largest in Haryana; as a district headquarters it may be one of the largest in the country.
It is one of the five cities belonging to Indus Valley Civilization while its name is cited in the history books in the context of Indus civilization and in general knowledge books as the location of Banawali, one of five sheep farms. As of 2011 it is the second most populous of the 21 districts of Haryana, after Faridabad.
Hisar is also known as the steel city because of the Jindal Stainless Steel Factories. It also the largest producer of galvanized iron in India.
Archeological excavations at nearby locations of Rakhigarhi, Siswal, and Lohari Ragho suggest the presence of human habitation from pre-Harappan period. Later, Aryan people settled around Drsadvati River. The Jain literature Uttaradhayana Sutra mentions a town Isukara in the Kuru country which is believed to be the earlier name of Hisar.The kingdom of Hisar, with its capital at Agroha, possibly assisted Chandragupta Maurya in his war against the Greeks.The kingdom was then included in the Mauryan Empire, as evidenced by the discovery of Ashokan pillars in the vicinity of the city. The city later came under the Kushan Empire and the Gupta Empire.In the 12th century, the Chauhan king Prithviraj Chauhan made Hansi, located in the present day Hisar district, his capital and built a fort.It remained a strategic place for Chauhan Empire until Prithviraj was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain by the invading Ghurid ruler Muhammad Ghori.
Hisar was founded in 1354 AD, as ‘Hisar-e-Firoza’ by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, who reigned over the Sultanate of Delhi from 1351 to 1388.He built a walled fort with four gates, the Delhi Gate and Mori Gate to the east, the Nagori Gate to the south, and the Talaqi Gate to the west.The construction of the fort started in 1354 AD and was completed in 1356 AD.In the middle of the fort stood the Firoz Shah Palace. Apart from its several underground apartments, the complex had different buildings such as Baradari, Lat ki Masjid, Diwan-e-Aam, and Shahi Darwaza.Near the palace was the Gujri Mahal built by the emperor for his wife Gujri.The city was named as Hisar-e-Firoza, which means Fort of Firoz in Persian. Timur invaded the city in 1398 AD and his soldiers set fire to the fort.
The city later come under the rule of Sayyid dynasty and Lodi dynasty before Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat.
When Babur invaded India in the 1524–1526, Hisar was part of Ibrahim Lodi’s empire.In the battle of Panipat in 1526, Babur sent prince Humayun, who succeeded in defeating the army of Ibrahim Lodi. Babur handed over the city of Hisar to Humayun as a reward for his success on his first military expedition.In 1540, Hisar came under the control of Sher Shah Suri when he defeated Humayun but Humayun took it back in 1555 and assigned it to Akbar.During Akbar’s reign (1556–1605) Hisar became once more a place of considerable importance.The city remained under the rule of Mughals until 1760.
Hisar was occupied by George Thomas, an Irish adventurer, in 1798. The arrangement continued until 1801, when Thomas was driven out by the Sikh-Maratha-French confederacy.The region came under the rule of British East India Company in 1803 and remained a part until the Indian Rebellion of 1857 when Muhammad Azim and Rao Tula Ram conquered it away for a short period. The company sent forces under General Van Cortlandt, who defeated Azim and Tula Ram on 16 November 1857.Between 1803 and 1879, British constructed a 4,000-km-long Great Hedge of India, for levying the customs duty on salt and sugar, that ran through Hisar and Hansi. Hisar became a municipality in 1867.
The city remained as a major center of the Indian independence movement from the rebellion of 1857 until the independence, as many national leaders visited the city during the movement such as Lala Lajpat Rai in 1886,Subhas Chandra Bose in 1938,and Jawaharlal Nehru in 1946.
After independence, the city became a part of Punjab and later Haryana in 1966.
Hisar is located at 29.09°N 75.43°E in western Haryana. It has an average elevation of 215 m (705 ft) above mean sea level. The region is part of the alluvial Ghaggar-Yamuna plain and its southern and western portions mark a gradual transition to the desert. Ghaggar and Drishadvati Rivers once flowed through the city. According to tectonic map, the district lies on Delhi-Lahore Ridge which is bounded by thrusts and no earthquake of any significance has originated in the zone in the past.Only one instance has been recorded of a famine occurring in the city in 1837–38.
Over the past three centuries Hisar had been the birthplace of individuals including Sardar Ishri Singh, Sardar Harji Ram and Rai Bahadur Sardar Nau Nihal Singh who were honorary magistrates in pre-Independence Hisar. Noteworthy individuals include the Captain Abhimanyu Sindhu – BJP national spokesperson and Minister in Haryana from Narnaul, late Dr. Gopi Chand Bhargava – the First Chief Minister of Punjab, Om Prakash Jindal – former chairperson of Jindal Industries and his wife Savitri Jindal, Subhash Chandra – the Chairman of Essel Group (Zee Network), Yash Tonk – a Bollywood actor, Manish Joshi Bismil – The theatre director, General Vijay Kumar Singh-Former Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh-Army Chief.