History of Bijnor

Marathas in BijnorBijnor also pronounced as Bijnaur or Bijnour is a historically important city residing at a distance of 7 km from the sacred River Ganga. Kings and Nawabs ruled the place at various time intervals whose families still reside in Bijnor holding the historic tales of their ancestors. Bijnor is said to be related to the Indian great epic Mahabharata. Rohilla Pashtuns, Marathas, Mughals, Nawab of Oudh and the British East Indian Company ruled the land one after the other till pre Independence. The influence of these rulers still prevails in the arts, crafts, music, garment design, architectural style of the city and people.

Birthplace of King Bharatha


The city holds its pride as it’s the birth place of the greatest Chakraverty of India King Bharata son of Hastinapura King Dushyanta and Queen Sakuntala. King Bharatha spent his early childhood on the Bijnor soil, at the age when he used to play with tiger and lion cubs from the forest asides Bijnor. He left Bijnor after he had an argument with Duryodhan and went to Ganj about 12 km from Bijnor. King Bharatha turned out to be the greatest emperor of India as he conquered and ruled most of the parts of India and under whose kingdom happiness and wealth flourished among the people so to honour King Bharatha’s our nation is called as “Bharat”.

Rohilla Pashtuns in Bijnor


Bijnor was formerly a Hindu state until Emperor Akbar brought it under the Mughal rule. The Mughals ruled Bijnor till the early part of 18th century. Under the Mughal kingdom significance for Hindustani music, Mughal architecture and Mughal culture dominated the city. By the start of 18th century the Rohilla Pashtuns begun to settle down in Uttar Pradesh, these Rohilla Pashtuns were Urdu speaking Muslims from Afgan who called themselves as Rohilkhand. In 1748 the Rohilkhands led by chief Ali Mohammed Khan established independence in Bijnor from the Mughal rule. Ali Mohammed Khan granted the power of northern region under Rohilkhand to Khurshid Ahmed Baig who succeeded in extending the power afar from west of Ganges till Delhi which earned him the title Najib-ud-Daula. Also Najib-ud-daula’s supremacy earned powerful enemies like Marathas against him. The Marathas invaded Bijnor but they couldn’t actually win Najib-ud-Daula until his death. After Najib-ud-Daula’s death the rule passed on to his son Zabita Khan who was defeated by the Marathas. In 1772 the Rohillas made a secret treaty with the Nawab of Oudh to expel the Marathas in return of money. The Nawab of Oudh, however, successful in expelling Marathas and retaining the state back to Rohillas but the Rohillas failed to pay the Nawab of Oudh the agreed sum of money which turned to Nawab against the Rohillas.

Rohilla War


In 1774, the Nawab of Oudh formed a treaty of alliance with the British East India Company formed in Calcutta and requested their assistance to get back his claimed sum from the Rohillas which started the Rohillas war between the Rohilkhand and the Nawab of Oudh with the backup of East India Company. The war result favoured the Nawab of Oudh who took over the power in Bijnor which he surrendered to the East India Company in 1774. Life in Bijnor was miserable under the British rule until 1857 mutiny.

Nawab of Najibabad in Bijnor


Nawab of Najibabad, the grandson of Zabita Khan, over took the power in Bijnor during 1857 mutiny and established the Rohilkhand rule. In Bijnor there existed communal conflicts between the native Hindus and the Rohillas Muslim settlers but still the Nawab of Najibabad retained his power until 1858 despite the communal conflicts. On April 21, 1858 the British East India Company defeated Nawab of Najibabad at Nagina. There upon Bijnor was ruled by the British till the Indian Independence.

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