History

Sri Ganganagar (Hindi: श्रीगंगानगर; Punjabi: ਸ੍ਰੀਗੰਗਾਨਗਰ) is a planned city and the northern-most city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, situated near borders of Rajasthan and Punjab states and the international border of India and Pakistan. It is named after Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner.

 

Ganganagar occupies an important place among the districts of Rajasthan. Recent researches have thrown light on its rich historical past. In the ancient times, two rivers hallowed in Vedic hymns viz. Saraswati (modern Ghaggar or Hakra) and Drishadvati, flowed through this territory. Excavations undertaken at Kalibanga and Rangmahal etc. situated on the bank of the dry-beds of these rivers have proved that the Indus valley civilization had extended up to this place and it was inhabited by the people akin to those who had flourished at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The rivers, however, dried up in course of time and as a result of this natural calamity the region became inhospitable and desolate.

Maharaj Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur
Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur

For some centuries this area remained the cradle of the Yaudheyas who were divided into a number of republican tribes. During the medieval times, the historic fort Bhatner was known for its strength and strategic position. The fifteenth century witnessed the rise of the Rathore principality of Bikaner. For centuries this area remained barren and uninviting. It was only after the advent of the Gang Canal in 1927 that this ancient land witnessed a mighty transformation. Its sandy wastes were converted into rich agricultural land producing variety of crops and thereby heralding a new era of prosperity in the district. This process has been further accelerated after the construction of Bhakra and Indira Gandhi canals and the district has thus become the granary of Rajasthan.

          The history of Sri Ganganagar is common with the history of Bikaner. Rao Bika, the son of Rao Jodha who was the founder of Jodhpur, established Bikaner in 1488. Rao Bika was succeeded by Rao Loonkaran who ruled over the state of Bikaner. Jar Singh, the son of Loonkaran, fought many battles in order to extend the boundaries of the Bikaner state. The Bikaner state was formed in the 15th century due to the courageous efforts of the dauntless Rajput rulers. The territory of modern Sri Ganganagar district has been a part of the princely state of Bikaner. Along with the other parts of Bikaner state, the area under the Nizamat of Sri Ganganagar went into the making of the state of Rajasthan. Following minor changes, the area became district Sri Ganganagar on 30th March, 1949.