Also spelled Hisar, Hissar, one of the prime centres of the
Harappan culture in the past is located in the north west of Haryana, on
the Sirhind branch of the western Yamuna Canal. Founded in 1356 AD by
Emperor Feroze Shah Tughlaq, it later became an important Mughal centre.
Depopulated in the 18th century, it was occupied later in the century by
the British adventurer, George Thomas.
The city is surrounded by a wall with four gates and contains the remains of Feroze Shah's fort and palace and several ancient mosques, including the Jahaj, now a Jaina temple. The area has been associated with ancient Vedic tribes such as Bharatas, Purus, Kurus, Mujavatas and Mahavrishas. During medieval times it went through upheavals and conquests, and gained special importance for its strategic location with regard to Delhi .
Hissar also played an important role in the social and political awakening of India. The people of Hissar actively fought against the British. They played a prominent role during the First War of Independence in 1857 AD. All British officials, including the District Collector, were killed during this uprising. The great freedom fighter, Lala Lajpat Rai, spent his formative years in Hissar.
Emperor Akbar made Hissar the headquarters of the district earlier controlled by Feroze Shah. During early 19th century the British took Hissar under their charge along with the rest of Haryana. Hissar is now an important industrial centre of Haryana with many steel and cotton industries.
Feroze Shah's Palace And Fort: Feroze Shah Tughlaq constructed a fort in Hissar and called it Hissar-e-Firoza (fort of Feroze). It is a grand structure complete with a basement and a mosque. Close to the mosque lies a mound, which is believed to house the ruins of the Harappan civilisation.
Lat Ki Masjid: Lat ki Masjid is an outstanding example of the unique amalgam of many different styles. It is one of the most beautiful mosques built by Feroze Shah. It has a distinguishing pillar and a square chamber. Unlike usual mosques, it is L-shaped. It also has a pillar that bears the genealogy of the Tughlaq kings.
Humayun's Mosque: Emperor Humayun also had to build something or the other in Hissar. So he got his fellows to build a masjid at Fatehabad, a stone's throw from main Hissar town.
Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University: The university, also called Haryana Agricultural University is one of the foremost full-fledged educational institutions dedicated solely to agriculture. Besides imparting education to students, it conducts research, which is of tremendous help to farmers in the state.
Jahaz Kothi: Jahaz Kothi was the residence of the famous "George", the Irish who ruled Haryana in 1798 AD. Hissar was his land, and he lived here in a magnificent palace. He got the Mughals to make it for him, and so it has the characteristic Mughal touch to it.
Gujari Mahal: According to a legend, Feroze Shah Tughlaq, during one of his hunting trips, came across a Gujjar girl. The Sultan, enthralled by her beauty, offered to marry her. Although they got married, the girl refused to accompany the Sultan to Delhi, fearing that she may not be treated on a par with his other wives. As she preferred to stay back, the Sultan constructed a palace for her. This palace is now known as 'Gujari Mahal'. This palace is also in ruins, but its 'baradari' (raised platform used for social gatherings) is in comparatively good state and it is made of stone taken from the Hindu palaces and temples that the Mughals destroyed.
Jain Pillar: Outside the fort lies a tiny two-foot high pillar said to belong to the Jains who consider it sacred. The pillar has the distinctive diamond-shaped holy symbol of the Jains.
Ancient Mounds: Three mounds from the Harappan period can be found in Banawali, Kunal and Agroha. The mound in Banawali, 15kms from Fatehabad, reveals a fortified town (2500BC - 1700BC). Its inhabitants lived in brick houses and used clay pottery, beads of semi-precious stones and bangles, worshipping the mother goddess set in terracotta.
The Agroha mound goes back to the 3rd century BC and is where Harappan coins were discovered apart from stone sculptures, terracotta seals, iron and copper implements, shells and a host of other things. However, don't count on seeing one of these; they've being shifted to museums across the country long ago.
Pranpir Badshah's Tomb: Situated inside the Government College, this is where the remains of the spiritual teacher of Sher Bahlol (14th century AD) lie. Pranpir was a great Sufi saint who foretold that Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq would rule Hindustan from Delhi.
How to Get There
Rail: Hissar is a major rail junction.
Road: The city is a major road junction.
Local Transport: metered rickshaws, taxis, and local buses.
Where to Stay
Blue Bird Tourist Complex, Hissar.
Flamingo, Tourist Complex, Hissar.
Black Bird Tourist Complex.
Saras Tourist Complex, Damdama Lake.
Area: 4191 sq. kms.
Climate: Very Cold Winters, Very Hot Summers.
Clothing: Summer: Light Coloured Cotton. ; Winter: Warm Woollens.
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