History

ANCIENT PERIOD

The early history of the region covered by the present district of Hamirpur may be traced back to the Palaeolithic age as evidenced by the discovery of choppers, hand axes and pebble cores. According to the Pauranic tradition the earliest known Aryan people who settled in this region, lying between the Yamuna and the Vindhyas, were known as Chedis. The Chedi kingdom was known as tone of the16 most important kingdom of that period in Mahabharat. The Mahabharata describes the Chedis as being blessed with knowledge of the eternal law of righteousness. King Shishupal, ruled this kingdom and killed by Krishna. It is said that its chivalrous Kshatriya,, acting on the advice of Krishna, humiliated their enemies by making them prisoners and gave joy to their friends.

After some period this region was ruled by Mauray's and Shungas. The district came under the domination of Kanishka (78-120 A.D.). After him the history of the district is shrouded in obscurity till about the middle of the third century A.D. when Vindhyasakti (255-275 A.D.) rose to power who was founder of the Vakataka dynasty. It seems that the district partly came under the Vakataka sway and partly under the Bharsivas, a branch of the Nagas, whose sphere of influence extended at that time from Gwalior and Mathura in the West to probably Varanasi and Mirzapur in the east Gupta dynasty also ruled this region from the mid of 4th century and continued till the beginning of the 6th century.

The country ruled by the Chandels from the beginning of 9th century , was organised into a bhukti (province), called Jejakbhukti. Jejakbhukti coincides with modern Bundelkhand comprising this district.

In the eleventh century the town of Hamirpur, which gave its name of the district, was founded by one Hamira Deva, a Kalachuri Rajput, who came there from Alwar and took shelter with one Bunda, an Ahir. Bunda's name still survives in the neighbouring village of Budanpur, where remains of an ancient Khera are found. Having no male issue, Hamira Deva adopted his daughter's son Ram Singh, who married with the daughter of a Rajput of Amlar in Banda district. He was offered, in marriage, the eastern portion of pargana Maudaha as dowry. The remains of the fort built by Hamira Deva are still found in Hamirpur.

MEDIEVAL PERIOD

For some period this region was ruled by Bundelas. During Akbar's reign (1556-1605), the district of Hamirpur was divided between two suba. The parganas of Mahoba, Mulkira, Maudaha and Sumerpur and considerable portion of other territory were comprised in the three mahals (revenue paying pargana) of Maudaha, Khandela and Mahobha within the sirkar of Kalinjar and subah of Allahabad. The remainder of the district was distributed over the mahals of Rath., Khandaut, Kharela and Hamirpur and belonged to the sirkar of Kalpi in the subah of Agra. Even its submission to the Mughal authority some part of this district seem to have remained under the Bundelas. During Aurangzab's reign, Chhatra Sal, a principal leader of the Bundelas commenced operations against Aurangzab in 1671 and expended his power over the whole of the country east of the Dhasan, river, completing his conquest with the capture of the celebrated fortress of Kalinger on about 1680. His forces overran the tract now comprising the present district Hamirpur.

MODERN PERIOD

In 1721, Muhammad Khan Bangash, famous as Nawab Farrukhabad, was appointed governor of Allahabad. Fighting obstinate engangements with the entrenched Bundelas and facing continuous harassment at their hands with considerable loss of men and equipments, it was not until the end of 1728 that the whole Hamirpur district had come into the Nawab's possession, and was virtually being reduced to complete order when in March 1729, the sudden advent of the Marathas,Peshwa Baji Rao, into this region turned Muhammand Khan's course of victory into defeat.

Raja Chhatra Sal, restored to his possessions, by Maratha aid and realizing that without their assistance and protection his power would be lost as it had been acquired, decided to make the Marathas interested in its preservation. Shortly before his death,he drew up a will, by which he bequeathed one-third of his dominions to the Peshwa Baji Rao, on the condition that his heirs and successors should be maintained by the Marathas in possession of the rest. The one-third of his dominions, Jaitpur Raj, which comprised most of the district was given to his second son,Jagat Raj.

Most of the tract covered by the present district was ceded to the East India Company by the treaty of Bassein on December 31st 1802. The captured of Kalpi by the British the same year effectually confirmed the British occupation of Bundelkhad. Hamirpur was then included in the newly formed district of Bundelkhand and remained a part of it till March, 1819 , when two district were formed. One including Hamirpur to the north was called Northern Bundelkhand or Kalpi, and that to the south Banda. In 1821, the headquarter of the former from Kalpi shifted to Hamirpur. In 1823, Hamirpur was formed as independent district. The later history of the district upto 1857 is chiefly concerned with the difficulties of fiscal administration.

The 20th century began with the growth of nationalism in the whole of India and Hamirpur was no exception. The youth of the district were restless. During the anti-partition agitation of 1905, the district did not lag behind in holding public meetings, organizing strikes and protests .

The non-co-operation movement too started in August, 1920 spread in the District rapidly. A campaign was launched in the district for using indigenous goods, especially Khadi. The people were exhorted to leave government services, boycott the courts, and even children were asked not to go to English and government schools. The distribution of the well-known pamphlets Bundelkhand Keshri and Pukar in the district marked a turning point as they created a revolutionary stir among the masses.

The district participated in the elections of 1937 which were conducted under the Government of India Act of 1935, in order to organize various activities of the Congress in the district Jawaharlal Nehru and Abul Kalam Azad visited Maudha in 1937. With the outbreak of the second World War in 1939, however, the Congress ministries resigned on the issue of India's forced participation in it.

On the occasion of celebration of Silver Jubilee year of Independence in 1973, 323 persons of district, who had taken part in India's freedom struggle were granted tamra patras placing on record the part played by them in the country's freedom struggle.

(Source : District Gazetter)