Shahabad Markanda

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Shahabad Markanda
शाहाबाद मारकंडा (Hindi)
Nickname(s): Shahabad, Shahbad, Shabad (Hindi: शाहाबाद, शाहबाद, शबाद ;respectively)
Shahabad Markanda is located in Haryana
Shahabad Markanda
Shahabad Markanda
Location in Haryana, India
Coordinates: 30°10′N 76°52′E / 30.16°N 76.87°E / 30.16; 76.87Coordinates: 30°10′N 76°52′E / 30.16°N 76.87°E / 30.16; 76.87
Country  India
State Haryana
District Kurukshetra
Population (2011)
 • Total 50,345
 • Official Hindi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 136135
Telephone code 01744

Shahabad Markanda is a town and a Municipal Committee in Kurukshetra district in the Indian state of Haryana. It is situated on the left bank of the Markanda River, 20 km south of Ambala Cantonment. The other names of the town are Shahabad (Hindi: शाहाबाद), Shahbad (Hindi: शाहबाद) or Shabad (Hindi: शबाद).


The town was founded after the Battle of Tarain (Taraori) in 1192 by a general of Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Gauri. Historically it was a Muslim majority town, with references made to a fort during Mughal times, and raids as well as sacking of the fort by Banda Singh Bahadur. It was pillaged by Babur for having rendered assistance to Ibrahim Lodhi. Significantly it also has a historic gurdwara of those times and many temples including ‘Shri Markandeshwar Mahadev Shiv Mandir’, ‘Balasundri Mandir’, ‘Durga Mandir’. After partition most of the Muslims left, and Punjabi's, Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan were resettled here.

Shahabad is an old town with a glorious historical background. After the victory over Prithviraj Chauhan, Muhammad Gauri donated 52000 Bigha of land to his commander Qutb-ud-din Aibak. Mughal emperors Babur & Humayun also stayed here for some time. During the medieval period it had a fortified Sarai used by imperial officers and troops moving between Delhi and the Northern Provinces. It also had a resident garrison to guard the highway.

Banda Singh Bahadur reduced and plundered Shahabad in 1709. Later, after the conquest of Sirhind by the Dal Khalsa in January 1764, the Sikhs started occupying territory, Nishananvali misl, under Dasaundha Singh and Sangat Singh, took possession of a long and narrow stretch of land south of the Sutlej, extending from Singhanvala in Firozpore district up to Shahabad with Ambala as the headquarters. The territory of Shahabad and Ismailabad fell to Sardar Mehar Singh. Several attempts were made by the Afghans to dislodge the Sikhs, but they were repulsed every time.[1]

It was during this period, between 1770 and 1780, that a magnificent old mosque, said to have been built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630, was converted into a gurdwara. The only major change was the demolition of its minarets. The gurdwara was named Mastgarh, this designation being commonly used for gurdwaras converted from mosques. Bhai Prem Singh of Hazur Sahib was appointed the first granthi. Gurdwara Mastgarh is on a high ground in the northeastern part of the town. The original prayer hall, under a high dome is used as the divan hall. The “Guru Granth Sahib” is seated in the centre in front of the mihrab. Bullet marks on the exterior surface of the domes and the walls still bear witness to the turbulence the country went through in the eighteenth century. The gurdwara is affiliated to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee which administers it through a local committee.

Shahabad was divided by the Sikhs into 7 patlis. The Sardars of Shahabad exercised administrative powers in the earlier days of the British regime but they were deprived of these powers by the British in 1850.

A market known as Kahan Chand Mandi was constructed in 1923 on the outskirts of the town but it did not flourish and now serves as a residential colony. A new market known as Partap Mandi was constructed in the 1960s. The town has several hospitals, restaurants, schools and colleges. There is also a municipal library in the town having some Hindi and English books and newspapers. Any resident of the town can become member of the library to avail its facility.

Presently “Shri Markandeshwar Mahadev Shiv Mandir” commonly known as “Markandeya Mandir” is being managed by Shri Markandeshwar Mahadev Shiv Mandir Sabha, Shahabad Markanda- a registered body under Society Registration Act 1860. This society is first ever society in Haryana which is fully accountable to the people of the area. And the officials of the society feel proud to give true account of income and expenditure to the people. A notice board depicting actual income and expenditure of every month has been placed in front of the gate of the temple. Beside this every year society produced their signed account to the people on the holy occasion of 'Maha Shivaratri'. Chief Minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced Sub Divisional Status for Shahabad Markanda on 9 May 2011.

Historical Trivia[edit]

In 1710 famous sikh warrior Banda Singh Bahadur captured Shahabad. On 22 May 1791 Baghel Singh and 'Karam Singh Nirmala' of Nishanwalia Misal recaptured Shahabad by killing Kiledaar Khalil Khan along with 700 Mughal soldiers. The Sikh also captured two cannons here. Commissioner of Karnal Major C. R. Buck in 1854 allotted shops to the traders. The market was named as Larkingunj. Presently it is known as Gurmandi.

Shahabad was famous for the manufacturing of scissors and musical instruments. The municipal committee of Shahabad was formed in 1885. The Railway Station and Railway Bridge were built in 1930. The name of Shahabad railway station was Khrindwa station. First restaurant opened in the year 1981 named as Prince Bar & Restaurant. Maharaja Bajinder Singh from Thamber ruled in Shahabad.


Shahabad lies 21 Kilometres south of Ambala on the Ambala - Delhi section of the historical Grand Trunk Road, or GT road as it is locally known. It is some 22 kilometres to the north of Kurukshetra. Shahabad is on the national highway NH-1 and it also has a railway station on the Delhi - Ambala line. It lies on the banks of the River/stream Markanda, a tributary of the Ghaggar, and supposed to be a part of the ancient Vedic Saraswati River basin system. There is a large temple on the banks of the river, which is called Markandeya Mandir, after the name of the famous Maharishi Markandeya.

There is also a road from Panchkula, via Ramgarh and Dosarka, that comes out near Shahabad. There are direct roads to Ladwa and Radaur as well as Yamunanagar from Shahabad. Pipli, near Kurukshetra, Nilokheri and Karnal are the other nearby towns south of Shahabad on the Grand Trunk Road. A historic ancient Shiva Temple is situated in the city. Same is being well managed and maintained by the Shri Markandeshwar Mahadev Shiv Mandir Sabha, Shahabad Markanda which is a registered body under Society Registration Act 1860.


It is a significant market for procurement of agricultural products. The market yard in Shahabad is a major procurement market or Mandi. The area being on a river bank is fertile and is used for paddy as well as wheat and vegetables. Poultry farming also heavily contributes to its economy. The yield is very high, and the belt till Karnal has a large number of rice mills to pick up the high quality grain. Shahabad also has a government sugar mill.


As of the 2011 India census,[2] Shahabad had a population of 50,345. Males constitute 57% of the population and females 43%. Shahabad has an average literacy rate of 87.5%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 86%, and female literacy is 86%. 11% of the population of the town is under 6 years of age.


Government School was established in 1897, ‘Arya Putri Gurukul’ 1909, ‘D.A.V School’ in 1916, ‘Islamiya School’ was converted as ‘Khanewal Khalsa School’. After partition some private schools were also established here. ‘Ramdutt Ka School’, ‘Prince Coaching College’ popularly known as ‘Sardaar Ka School’ (1950-2000) was run by Principal Joginder Singh, ‘National School of Guruji’, ‘Master Teerath Singh Ka School’ played notable role in the field of education here.

In higher education ‘Markanda National College’ and ‘Arya Kanya Mahavidyalya’ are important to note. Contributions of Lala Sita Ram Ji Rahees, Dr. Krishan Gopal Chadha, Lala Bhal Singh Gupta, Lala Kesho Ram were significant in spread of higher education for women and establishing ‘Arya Kanya Mahavidyalya’. ‘Vishwas School’, ‘Satluj Senior Secondary School’ and ‘Chanan Singh Ghumman Memorial College of Education’ run by Principal Dr. R.S. Ghumman are famous for providing quality education. ‘Mata Rukmani Rai Arya Senior Secondary School’, ‘D.A.V Centenary School’, and ‘SGNP School’ are also famous in the area.

A prominent leading literature and scholar of this town is, S. Joginder Singh Principal, who received prestigious Baba Farid Award from Haryana Punjabi Sahitya academy in 2006 for his contribution to Punjabi literature. He has four books in prose to his name titled as, 'Adhi Vaat Da Saath'(1979), 'Je Tu Akal Latif' (2003), 'Manobal Atamvishvas Ate Jitt'(2006) in Panjabi and 'Teer-o-Nashtar'(1998) in Urdu. Principal Joginder Singh is basically a philosopher and an accomplished orator. Two of his Punjabi books and the only book published in Urdu were selected in the category of Best Book Awards by Punjabi and Urdu Sahitya academy respectively.

Late professor RP.Shokh who was an eminent Urdu Shaayar of this town, had written two books- 'Gamja-B-Gamja' (Glance by Glance) and 'Munnkash-Khandhar-Jabien' (Engraved Ruined Forehead) in Urdu. Shokh’s total poetic work has been translated in Hindi by 'Surinder Bansal' an established writer of the town under the title- 'Jindgi Ke Sheeshe Mein' (2001). Surinder Bansal has also translated Anupam Mishar’s Hindi book- 'Aaj Bhi Khere Hain Taalab' in Panjabi named as 'Aaj Vee Khere Han Taalab' (2006).

Dr.Desraj Sapra an Urdu scholar of the town has written two books in Urdu – 'Haryana Ka Urdu Adab'(1985) and 'Urdu Mein Islahe Jubaan Ki Tehreerein'(1994). Another book in Hindi 'Meri Ikkees Kavitayein' written by Surinder Pal Singh was published in 2006. Dr.Narender Pal Singh of Shahabad has recently published a book- 'Lokyaan:Sidhant Te Mulyankan' on the subject relating to the impact of folklore of Punjab and Haryana on each other. Punjabi Sahitya Academy, Haryana has given an award of Rs 21000 to Kulwant Chawla Rafique for his poetic work 'Cheekh Khamoshi Di'. Another writer Jaswant Singh Nalva has published three books titled as 'Ithas Ke Paripeksh Mein Kurukshetra', 'Kamboj Kaum Kaam Kurbaaniyo Ka' and 'Atamkatha'. An Urdu poet of the town Narender Singh Rafique has published-Kiste-A-Khyaal. Another book on Punjabi poetry titled 'Sadhran-Da-Sarmaaya'(Heritage of desires)was published by Dr.Gurmukh Singh Naaz. Darshan Singh has published a story book titled 'Lakeerein' in 2010. Dr. R.S.Ghumman's research work 'Concept of Man and God in Sikhism' was published in 2010.


In the field of hockey, Shahabad has contributed lot of players in men’s hockey. Sanjeev Kumar Dang former Olympian now Serving in Punjab & Sind Bank. There are a lot of other players-- Gurdip Singh Bhuller {customs}, Baldev Singh Attari {railways}, Dr.N.K Sharma Natniol {insurance}, Jatinder Singh {signals}, Dayanand Madan {Police}, Ganshyam Das {signals}, Bhupinder singh Bhindi {Punjab & Sind Bank}. There are lot of other players settled abroad-- Sumandeep Singh, Rana Prubhdeep Singh.

Shahbad has produced a large number of women hockey players. The current National Women's Hockey Team has 12 players from Shahabad. From the last decade Shahabad has produced a large number of women hockey players who have donned Haryana, Railways or Indian team colours. It has got the epithet of Sansarpur --former Indian woman player Bhupinder Kaur {Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala}, Sandeep Kaur {Railways}. She played for World Cup, Asia Cup. She played as a captain of Indian Woman Hockey for 7 years. Current national team representatives from Shahabad are: Nutan, Meenakshi, Rajwinder, Kiran Bala, Rajni Bala, Suman Bala, Balwinder Kaur, Gagandeep Kaur, Gurpreet Kaur, Jasjeet Kaur, Simarjeet Kaur and Surinder Kaur. Narender Singh of Bibipur block, Shahabad, has climbed Mount Everest and created a new record by staying on the hilltop for an hour without oxygen. Narinder Singh created anothor 3 records a) Cycle to recycle started Mt Everest base to Kanyakumari 11906 km Cycling in 63 days. b) Under Water Cycling 100 m in sea of Goa in 2012-13 c) Climbed Mt Elburs i.e. highest peak in Europe 2012. d) Did Cycling from Srinagar(J&K) to Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh 4,890 km in 2004


Jagdish Kalra sacrificed his life for the country during Indo-Pak war in 1965. A park is named in his name and a statue of him is also installed there. 'Patharan Walla Bazaar' of the town was also renamed as 'Jagdish Bazaar'. Khusdev Singh, Gurpreet Kaur and Gurdeep Singh of this town sacrificed their lives by fighting unarmed with the terrorists on 9 April 1988. The armed terrorists had attacked on the residence of the then M.L.A Dr. Harnam Singh. Five Shaurya Chakra were awarded by President Of India to the brave family of Dr.Harnam Singh.

Other Notable Residents[edit]

  • Justice Pravesh Kumar Bhasin, Judge, Delhi High Court [3]

National/ State Awards Holders of Shahabad Markanda[edit]

Squadron Leader Tej Parkash Singh Gill- Vir Chakra

Hockey Coach Baldev Singh- Dronacharya Award

Sandeep Kaur Hanjra- Bheem award winner

Surinder Kaur (Hockey)- Arjuna Award

Jasjeet Handa- Arjuna Award

Sandeep Singh Ex-captain Indian Hockey Team- Arjuna Award

Principal Joginder Singh- Haryana Punjabi Gaurav Puraskar 2008, Baba Sheikh Farid Award 2006

Dr. R.S. Ghumman- Shiksha Ratan, Shiksha Bharti Avantika and Kartavya Murti Award

Bhupinder Kaur, Sanjeev Dang Olympian, Sandeep Kaur- Bhim Award

Surinder Kaur,Gurpreet Kaur, Balwinder Kaur,Simarjeet Kaur, Sumanbala, Jasjeet Kaur, Simarjeet Kaur, Sumanbala, Rajwinder Kaur, Joydeep Kaur ( All Hockey Players)

Kulwant Singh Virk- Krishi Ratan Award

Rajinder Venus – Monarch Award (in Digital photography)

Banu Ram Gupta- Haryana Ratan

Freedom Fighters- Jagir Singh Virk, Narsingh Das Arora, Lala Banu Ram Gupta,Vaidya Shukdev Muni Nagar, Ghanshyam Das, Ajit Singh

Social Services[edit]

Helpers Shahabad Society is providing all possible help to the persons who met an accident in the territory of the city. The social societies of Shahabad include the Rotary Club, The Lions Club and 'Bharat Vikas Parishad'. Dr. Ram Gopal Sharma of the town has donated blood 171 times.


  1. ^ Gian Singh, Giani, Twarikh Guru Khalsa, [Reprint]. PATIALA, 1970
  2. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  3. ^

External links[edit]

Article on hockey in Shahabad [1]