Saharanpur district

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This article is about the district. For its eponymous headquarters, see Saharanpur.
Saharanpur district
सहारनपुर ज़िला
ضلع سهارنپور
District of Uttar Pradesh
Location of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh
Location of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh
Country India
State Uttar Pradesh
Administrative division Saharanpur
Headquarters Saharanpur
 • Lok Sabha constituencies Saharanpur
 • Total 3,860 km2 (1,490 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 3,464,228
 • Density 900/km2 (2,300/sq mi)
 • Literacy 62.61[1]
Website Official website
Ancient Indian (Bharata) cities.

Saharanpur district (Hindi: ज़िला सहारनपुर, Urdu: ضلع سهارنپور) is the northernmost of the districts of Uttar Pradesh state, India. Bordering the states of Haryana and Uttarakhand, and close to the foothills of Shivalik range, it lies in the northern part of the Doab region. It is primarily an agricultural area.

The district headquarters are Saharanpur city and it belongs to Saharanpur Division. Other principal towns are Behat, Deoband, Gangoh and Rampur Maniharan.


Ancient period[edit]

The entire Saharanpur district is a part the Yamuna-Ganges Doab region. Its physical features have been most conducive to human habitation. Archaeological surveys have provided evidence of the existence of many settlements over the ages. Excavations have been carried out in different parts of the district, such as Ambakheri, Bargaon, Hulas and Naseerpur and in Bahadrabad of Haridwar district. On the basis of artifacts discovered during these excavations, human habitation can be traced as far back as 2000 B.C. Traces of the Indus Valley civilization, and even of earlier cultures, have been found. Archaeologically, Ambakheri, Bargaon, Naseerpur and Hulas were centres of Harappan civilisation. It has witnessed the arrival of Aryans from the present Punjab and the mighty war of Mahabharata in the region of present Muzaffarnagar district; when both were a part of the Kuru (East) Mahajanapada territory and Usinara and Panchala Mahajanapadas were their eastern neighbours. Though the history of the region can be traced to some extent from the days of the Indo-Aryans, a more exact history, the system of administration of the local kings, and the lifestyle of the people will become known only with further exploration.

Medieval period[edit]

Most of the empire building invasions, across the vast swathe of Gangetic plains of India, passed through it. During the reign of Shamsu'd-Din Iltutmish (1211–36), the third and greatest ruler of the Slave Dynasty, the region of present Saharanpur became a part of his Delhi Sultanate.

Muhammad bin Tughluq, the Sultan of Delhi (1325–51), undertook a campaign in the northern Doab to crush the rebellion of Shivalik kings in 1340. According to local traditions and as also stated in reliable British records (like the Imperial Gazette of India 1901), he learned of the presence of a Sufi saint on the banks of the Paondhoi river. After visiting the sage, he ordered that henceforth the region would be known as 'Shah-Harunpur', named after the Sufi Saint, Shah Harun Chishti. It evolved into present Saharanpur. Akbar the Great was the first Mogul ruler to make the region 'Saharanpur-Sarkar', which was a part of the Delhi province; and it provided the impetus to establish the present city of Saharanpur. Sah Ranveer Singh, a Jain nobleman in the Court of Akbar is considered as the founder of the walled city of Saharanpur, which had four gates - Sarai Gate, Mali Gate, Buriya Gate and Lakhi Gate. Nakhasa Bazar, Shah Behlol, Rani Bazar and Lakhi Gate were inhabited localities in this walled city of Saharanpur.

Sikh period[edit]

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur led the Sikh rebellion after the cruel execution of the two younger sons of Guru Gobind Singh. After punishing Wazir Khan, the Nawab of Sirhind and destroying the city, the Sikh army grew in numbers and liberated Eastern Punjab and Haryana from the rule of Mughal Nawabs. Banda Singh was much helped by the Gujjars of the pargana of Saharanpur who had lost patience with the atrocities of Jalal-ud-Din, the governor of Jalalabad. According to Khushwant Singh, “His arrival was a signal for Gujjar herdsmen to rise against the (Afghan) Nawab and Zamindars who had oppressed them for many decades. They declared themselves Nanak Parast (followers of Nanak) and joined their fellow peasants from the Punjab. The local faujdar Ali Hamid Khan and all those who could get away, fled to Delhi. Of those that remained, many men of noble and respectable families received the Sikhs with bullets and arrows but soon fell fighting bravely. Saharanpur was ruthlessly plundered.” After Saharanpur fell the neighbouring towns of Behat and Ambheta, the Pirzadas of Behat who were notorious for their anti-Hindu policies, were slashed to a man. Just as the Monsoons broke, Nanauta was captured by the Sikhs with the massive support of the Gujjars. The Shaikhzadas of the place put up a gallant defence, but before the superior forces of Banda, they could not achieve much and ultimately submitted to him. The town of Nanauta was razed to the ground and since then it has been called Phūṭā Shahar or ‘Ruined Town’. After destroying the Mughal aristocracy, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur distributed the land to the people of the land - Jats and Gujjars. After these distressing events were reported to the Mughal Court, orders were issued to Khan-i Dauran Bahadur, the Governor of Awadh, Muhammad Amln Khan Chin Bahadur, Nawab of Muradabad, Khan-i Khanan Bahadur, the Governor of the district of Allahabad, and Saiyid Abdullah Khan Baraha, that they should proceed to the capital Delhi and, in consultation with Nizamu'l Mulk Asafu'ddaula, set out to punish the Sikhs. A large punitive army was gathered to push back the Sikhs but by that time Banda Singh Bahadur had vanished into the Punjab Hills.

British period[edit]

The last of the invaders were the British, who marched into it from the east and Saharanpur passed into the expanding territories of British East India Company in 1803. It became a very large district under the British, reaching its maximum size when the then Greater Nepal's Dehradun region was added to it after the British-Gurkha War in 1816. The present independent districts of Muzaffarnagar, Haridwar and Dehradun formed a part of Saharanpur district then.

The region of Behat had many riyasats i.e. minor princely/feudal landlord families, like the family of Riyasat Ghana Khandi which was more prominent - this family claims to be descendants of the Padhaan Zamindars of 1745 A.D.

In 1845 Choudhary Rao Wazir-ud-din Khan, the descendant of Raja Ram Singh (who had come from Rajasthan to Saharanpur and converted to Islam settling at Shaikhpur Qadeem) was the great zaminder of Shaikpura Qadeem (saharanpur). Choudhary Rao Wazir-ud-din Khan became a member and voter of the Mughal Court at the Red Fort in Delhi. He was the richest person of the Saharanpur District with 27 thousand bega of land or lord of 57 village's of the district of Saharanpur. The British governor had good relations with Rao Wazir-ud-Din and he bestowed the princely title on him. He died in 1895 at Saharanpur. He had two sons Choudhary Rao Mashooq Ali Khan and Choudhary Rao Ghafoor Muhammad Ali Khan.

Rao Ghafoor Muhammad Ali Khan had seven children out of which his eldest, Rao Maqsood Ali Khan, was noteworthy as a highly educated and spiritual person. He was the one and only one royal man of Saharanpur. He was decorated by the Indian Viceroy Lord Irwin at Dehradun . He died in 1973 at Sheikhpura Qadeem and left behind his four sons: Rao Ghulam Muhi-ud-Din Khan, Rao Zamier Haider Khan, Rao Yaqoob Khan and Rao Ghulam Hafiz.


Saharanpur is located at 29°58′N 77°33′E / 29.97°N 77.55°E / 29.97; 77.55,about 130 kilometres (81 mi) south-southeast from Chandigarh and 170 kilometres (110 mi) north-northeast from Delhi. It has an average elevation of 284 metres (932 ft)

Physical Features[edit]

Saharanpur forms the most northerly position of the land known as the Doab which stretches between the holy rivers of the Ganges and the Yamuna. The Shivalik hills rise above it on the northern frontier. The portion of the Doab in which Saharanpur is situated was probably one of the first region of upper India occupied by the Aryans colonisers as they spread eastward from the Punjab.

The north and the north east of the district are surrounded by the Shivalik hills which separate it from the Dehradun district in the recently created state of Uttranchal. The river Yamuna forms its boundary in the west,separating it from the Karnal and Yamunanagar districts of Haryana. In the east lies the district of Haridwar which was part of the district of Saharanpur until 1989, and in the south lies the district of Muzafarnagar. At the time of the British Rule District Muzafarnagar was also a part of the district of Saharanpur. The district is rectangular in shape and lies between 29 degrees 34 minutes 45 seconds and 30 degrees 21 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and 77 degrees 9 minutes and 78 degrees 14 minutes 45 seconds east longitude. Its total area is 3860 square kilometers.

The main characteristics of the district can be divided into four parts.

1. The Shivalik Hill Tract
2. The Bhabar Land
3. Bangar Land
4. Khadar Land (Yamuna, Hindon) 5. chilkana sarsawa highway Important Rivers

The Yamuna
The Solani
The Hindon
The Ratmau
The Nagdev

All the rivers of the district flow into either the Yamuna or the Ganges.


Saharanpur has a tropical climate because of the proximity of the Himalayan region across this Northern district. It is a sub humid region especially the upper Ganges plain areas. Saharanpur records an average temperature around 23.3 degrees during the course of the year. June is the hottest recorded month while January is the coldest one. Humidity is higher in the western area as compared to the eastern region.

Economy and Trade[edit]

The district is part of a fertile belt. A well-developed irrigation system of Gangetic-canals and tube-wells supports a thriving agricultural economy of multiple crops and bumper yields. In addition to farming of major food grain crops like wheat, rice etc., cash crops like sugar cane and potatoes etc. are cultivated on a wide scale. Fruit orchards and horticulture are also important for local and export markets. Even though Dehradun is more famous for basmati rice, a lot of it is grown in the Saharanpur area.

From the view point of industries and trade the region has great importance. The district has several agro-based industries: paper, tobacco, wood-work etc. A multinational cigarette manufacturing company, the Indian Tobacco Company (ITC Limited), is located in Saharanpur. The region produces agro-based and industrial goods which are sent to the various parts of the country. The trade flourishes and can be divided into three categories: A. Food - Grains, Vegetables and Fruits. Milk and milk products. B. Agro Based Industries - The most important industries are Sugar, Gur, (Cotton) Textile and Cigarettes. C. Industrial Goods- Paper, Sugarcane, Hosiery Material & Wood Carving.

Besides exporting goods from here the region also imports Coal, Iron–ore, Cement, Salt, Petroleum Products, Fertilizers, Oil-Seeds and Leather from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi and Bihar.[2]


According to the 2011 census the Saharanpur district had a population of 3,464,228,[3] roughly equal to the nation of Panama[4] or the US state of Connecticut.[5] This gives it a ranking of 92nd in India (out of a total of 640).[3] The district has a population density of 939 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,430 /sq mi) .[3] Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 19.59%.[3] Saharanpur has a sex ratio of 887 females for every 1000 males,[3] and a literacy rate of 72.03%.[3]


Culturally, Saharanpur district is similar to the rest of western Uttar Pradesh. It is home to the Paper and Pulp Technology Institute which is affiliated to the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (formerly Roorkee University) and Central Pulp and Paper Research Institute (Ministry of pulp and paper industry).

In the year 2012, the Government of Uttar Pradesh through a notification passed by the Legislature and assented by the Governor of Uttar Pradesh empowered NICE Society to establish a State University in a small town Gangoh of District Saharanpur by the name, Shobhit University, Uttar Pradesh under section 2 (f) of the University Grant Commission Act, 1956. Several colleges in the district, affiliated to the Meerut University, also conduct university level courses in a number of important science and arts subjects.

A project is now underway (as of 2009), to establish a medical college in Saharanpur: The Master Kanshi Ram Allopathic Government College.


  1. ^ "District-specific Literates and Literacy Rates, 2001". Registrar General, India, Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 2010-10-10. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d e f "District Census 2011". 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  4. ^ US Directorate of Intelligence. "Country Comparison:Population". Retrieved 2011-10-01. "Panama 3,460,462 July 2011 est." 
  5. ^ "2010 Resident Population Data". U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-09-30. "Connecticut 3,574,097" 

Coordinates: 29°54′N 77°41′E / 29.900°N 77.683°E / 29.900; 77.683