KARNAL / करनाल

Karnal is a district of Haryana. The district headquarters is Karnal town. It is one of the oldest districts in Haryana state, existing since the inception of the state on 1st November 1966. Kurukshetra, Kaithal and Panipat District were part of Karnal District before they received the status of separate districts. It was also a district in the erstwhile Punjab State.

Karnal District lies on the western bank of the river Yamuna, which forms its eastern boundary and separates Haryana from Uttar Pradesh. Karnal District, including Panipat, lies between 29 09' 50" and 29 50' North and 76 31' 15" and 77 12' 45" East; its height above sea level is around 240 meters. The district has an area of 1,967 km² and its population is 8,85,000. Karnal District is bordered by Kurukshetra District on its north-west, Jind & Kaithal Districts on its west, Panipat District on its south and Uttar Pradesh state on the east.

The district is a part of the Indus-Ganges plain and has a well-spread network of western Yamuna canals. Its geographical area has been divided into three agroclimatic regions: Khadar, Bhangar and Nardak belt. Khadar starts from the Indri-Karnal road one mile away from Karnal covering the area between the Yamuna river and National Highway 1 up to Patti-Kalyana village. Bhangar area starts from west of Khadar area covering Gharaunda development block. The Nardak area lies in Nissing, Nilokheri and Assandh development block. However, its water is saline and not fit for irrigation.

Kalander Shah's tomb is situated just outside the town. The grave is made of marble and decorated with sculpture. The tomb was built by Ghias-ud-din, Emperor of Delhi, to the memory of Bo-Ali-Qualander Shah, a famous Muslim Savant and Sage, who influenced the thinking of his age and was very widely revered by all communities. Within the enclosure are mosque and a reservoir with fountains built by Emperor Alamgir and outside a Kettle Drum balcony.

A temple dedicated to a goddess exists on the bank of a large tank. A Shiva temple believed to have been built by Mubark Khan also exists there. An old Indian gun, some 8 feet long made of bars of iron bound together by iron hoops, and with its namke of ganj shikan or fort breaker cast on it stood in the fort but was later on removed and destroyed.

This is a big old massive tower and can be seen from a distance of several miles as it is 100 feet in height. The tower is surrounded by a large ornamental cross. The church itself named after St.James, was dismantled with the shifting of the Cantonment to Ambala in 1841 A.D.

Constructed by Bhara Mal, it is presently occupied by the office of the Deputy Assistant Director General (Medical Store), Govt. of India. There is a Dargah Nuri at village Newal on Karnal- Kunjpura road. This Dargah was built in memory of Hazrat Sufi Shah Alama Nur Mohd. of.Delhi, and is managed by Managing Committee, village Newal.

Situated at a distance of 19 kilometers from Nilokheri, is a small village known as Sitamai. There is an old shrine of Sita Mai built in the ordinary form of a Hindu temple. It is made of bricks, but the feature is the elaborate ornamentation which covers the whole shrine, the pattern of which is formed by deep lines in the individual bricks which seems to have been made before the bricks were burnt, so that the forms they were to take must have been separately fixed for each brick. A large part of the shrine was pulled down and thrown into the tank by some Muslim Emperor but the bricks have been put together without any regard to the original pattern. The shrine is said to mark the spot where the earth swallowed Sita in answer to her appeal in proof of her purity.

Kunjpura, situated at a distance of six miles north east of Karnal was founded by a Pathan named Nijabat Khan, who had migrated from Kandhar and served as Risaldar under Wazir Khawaja Nasiruddin of Radaur, with headquarters at Taraori. He got the biswedari of Kunjpura from a Zamindar of Bidauli, in reward for his military assistance. After a clash with Rajputs, he settled at Kunjpura and built a fort in 1729 A.D. The fort was first called Nijabatnagar. On the incursion of Nadir Shah, Nijabat Khan supplied him with provisions and tendered his obeissance. The Marthatta Bhao plundered Kunjpura and killed Nijabat khan in 1758 A.D. Ahmed Shah repulsed the Marhattas and entrusted Kunjpura to Daler Khan, Nijabat Khan's eldest son. The family in due course expanded their territorial jurisdiction to a major portion of Indri pargana. The palace of the Nawab now houses the Sainik School, Kunjpura. Kunjpura village now has a population of 5;811, a grain market and a High School. It has a Notified Area Committee.

The village of historic interest is eleven miles north of Karnal. Prince Azam of Aurangzeb was born here and the place was renamed as Azamabad. Aurangzeb constructed a wall around the town, a mosque and a tank which exist to this day. The village being on the main highway of the Moghul times, also has a serai. The old royal serai appears to have been used by the Sikhs as a fort, now lying in a dilapidated condition. Because of the railway station nearby, the place has developed as an important assembling market chiefly for paddy grown in the surrounding area, and has some rice husking mills. Basmati rice grown here is the finest in the country and is exported to foreign countries.

Indri Pargana was first included in Kaithal district but was transferred to karnal district in 1862. Some of its villages had, however, formed part of the Ladwa state ruled by a Sikh Raja Gurdit Singh. It consisted of 36 jagirs out of which 12 major ones included those of Shamgarh, Saga, Sikri, Barthal etc. In ancient times Indri (then known as Indergarh) was an independent fortress, " Shish Mahal" the ruins of which still stand today. The place is mythologically connected with the episode of Nihalde and Sultan, the two immortal lovers, their love having consummated in marriage but ended in tragedy. The palace contains ruins of a Naulakha Bagh which is reported to have once had nine lakh varieties of plants.

Sainik School Kunjpura, stands majestically sprawled on 275 Acres, amidst nature’s beauty in the land of ‘Mahabharat’ where Lord Krishna discoursed and enlightened ‘arjuna’ with the knowledge of ‘Geeta’.The school, which is about 10 Kms away from the heart of Karnal City. The huge building was earlier the ‘sanctum sanctorium’ of the prestigious ‘Punjab Police Academy’. Sainik School Kunjpura came into being on the 24th of July, 1961, at the behest of the then Defence Minister of the country, Shri V.K. Krishna Menon who took personal interest in its inception and up bringing. He then handed over the ‘reins of command’ and put at the helm of affairs of Sainik School Kunjpura, a very able administrator, Col. E.J. Simeon who nurtured it for seven long years as its ‘Founder Principal’.

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