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History of Kaithal

Basically myths say that King Yudhistra established Kaithal during Mahabharta era. The history of Kaithal word is also found in Ancient History. All Historians believe that name of Kaithal is derived from Kapisthala. Kapisthala means the place of Monkeys. A great number of Monkeys were found here. According to Purana the hero of ‘Wanar Sena’ lord Hanuman was also born in Kaithal. The great ‘Tilla of Anjani’ is also situated here which is named after his mother Anjani.

The local people assassinated Razia Begum, the daughter of Eltutmus alongwith her husband on Nov. 13, 1240. The Tomb of Rajia Begam is still found here. Sikh Guru Har Ray honored the then King Bhai Desu Singh as the symbol of Bhagat after then the administrator of Kaithal were called as Bhai and till 1843 B.C. Bhai Udey Singh ruled over Kaithal and proved as the last King. Bhai Udey Singh died on 14 March 1843. Peoples of Kaithal took active part in ‘freedom struggle’ in 1857.

The famous Chinese Pilgrim Hunstang and Fiahan visited Kaithal alongwith Kurukshetra. The Splendour of Kaithal was on its top during the reign of Hursha. In Ancient Times the Gujjars, Chandela, Khillgis, Tuglakas, Bloochs and Ajgans ruled over India. The people have a significant struggling role during the reign of Pathanas and Mughals. The famous Mughal intruder Changej Khan came to India but many Maugals resided in India instead of going back. During the time many Sayaids made their houses in Kaithal and soon became the centre of Mushlim scholars and councilors.

The Tomb of Rajia Sultana is still found in Kaithal. But due to the ignorance of people it has come to ruins. The Sultan of Khillaji Dynsty, Badsaha Ullaudin ruled over Kaithal before coming to Sultan of Delhi. In 1938 Nadir Shah ruled over Kaithal after the battle of Panipat since 1756 to 1761 as the king of Afgan. Still there is a village Patti Afgan situated on Gulha-Cheeka Road.

The Sikh rulers known as Bhai ruled over Kaithal from 1763 B.C. to 1843 B.C. Bhai Gubhaks Singh founded his empire. His successor Bhai Desa Singh founded this empire by snatching it from the clutches of Afgans. His son Bhai Lal Singh surrendered before British and accepted their supremacy. His eldest son Partap Singh became the ruler after his death in 1818 B.C. In 1818 his brother Bhai Udey Singh took over the throne. He ruled till 1843 without failure. The monuments of buildings built by him are still found here and the letter by written by him

in Pharsi are still safe in museum in Patiala. The splendour of kaithal was on the top during his reign. Famous poet Bhai Santokh singh was the poet in his court. His famous work included Nanak Prakash, Atam Puran, and Guru partap Suraj. He wrote at least one lac Salokas during his lifetime which still exists. He also translated Balmiki Ramayana and created Great Kirti (Guru Partap Suraj). The importance of Kaithal is shown in Balmiki Ramayana as under:-

Kaithal’s ancient show-case

Vedas are the most ancient scriptures not only of the Aryans but all the human race . These treasure-troves of knowledge are the oldest source to seek information about the old history, living standards, behavioral attitude and aptitude of all humanity. It will be a very joyful journey to get knowledge about their writing period and place , To gain information about rivers , rivulets, village’s herbs and flora-fauna of that period is a natural reason to become awful. Moreover, it will provide pleasure to know about this magnanimous heritage of the ancestors of ‘Brahmavarta’ To fix the writing-period of the hymns of Rigveda, different Ideologists have propounded different theories. Dr. Mazmudar says that Rigveda was written 1200 Vi. Pu. i.e. 3200 years ago. But no Indian scholar agrees. Pt. Balkrishna Dixit, a famous astrologer, says on the basis of Shatpatha Brahmana that it was written 3500 Vi. Pu. Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak accepts its writing age 6000-4000 Vi. Pu. Quoting “Rigvedic India” by Dr. Avinashchander Dass, Dr. Baldev Upadhyaya in his work “Vedic Sahitya aur Samskriti opines” on the basis of geographical and archaeological happenings, Rigveda and the origin of the culture of that time should be at least 25,000 years B.C. Late Shri Dr. Vishnu Shridhar Vakankar has accepted his theory in his research articles.

Generally it can be said that the writing period of Rigveda is not that old as western scholars think. It is very true on the basis of rock edicts and engravings that the origin of pre-Harappan and Saraswata civilisations happened before ten thousand years. Kaithal was an important town on the flowing-path of river Saraswati. So, its situation-period can be logically construed before ten thousand years. In this context, it must be kept in mind that the situation of “Apaya” river, a sub-river of Saraswati has been referred in the third Mandala of Rigveda 3/23/4.

  1. Page 87
  2.  Vedic Saraswati Nadi Shodha Abhiyana-Page 8.

As per the verse this rainy-seasonal river is one mile away in east from Manusa sanctum, which is close to `Maheshwara Deva’in Asthipura. It is quite important to be noted that the situation of “Apaya” river, one mile away from “Manusa sanctum”, near Kaithal is very true because near west of Kaithal, the location of “Apaya” and Apaga and Manusa Tirtha has been recognised by `Mahabharata’ and `Vamana Purana’ both respectively.

  1.  In Ist Mandala also reference of `Apana’ and `Manusha’ comes.
  2. Drisadvatyama manusha apayayama saraswatyam sevadagne didiha.

In this part of hymn, Vedic saint establishes “Agni” (Fire) in `Manusa’ sanctum situated on the bank of `Apaya’, so `Kapisthala’ writing place of Kathasamhita, Kaithal or its nearest area, exists here only. It is a proven fact that “Samkhya Darshana” (Philosophical Samkhya thought) propounded by Saint Kapila was also authored here.

  1.  Mahabharata-Chapter 83, Vanaparva.
  2. Rigveda-1/23/4.

An indication can be given that ‘Taittiriya Samhita’ and “Taittiriya Upanishad” were also written in Titram village near Kaithal. Scholars say that this Samhita was written 4000-6000 years B.C.. Therefore, its compilation period is 6000 years B.C. Then Taittiriya Akanyaka and Taittiriya Upanishad were compiled 2000 years B.C. In this connection, a reference to Kathasamhita is also must. In Puranas, Kathaka people are famous with the name of `Madhyadeshiya or Madhyama’. It means that Kathaka>Katha>Katha/people were residing at Madhyadesha. But scholars express the possibility that Kathaka people, having ambition to reside in Anavristi or Brahmavasta started to live in the area of Kaithal-Pehowa-Kurukshetra, which is called today as Kithana or Kathayana. In Puranas we find the reference of “Shri Tirtha” situated on the sub-rivulet of Saraswati near village Kasan in Kaithal. The residences of Brahaman community belonging to Katha gotra (sub-caste) can be found in abundance in the nearby or adjacent areas. According to great grammarian Patanjali, the reading-teaching of Kathasamhita was prevalent in every village. “Grame Grame kathakam Kalapakam cha prochyate” – Mahabhasaya 4/3/101 Panini says that its writing was done by the Brahmans of Kapisthala gotra. Durgacharya in his Nirukta Commentary contemplates that the authors of this Samhita are Kapisthala Vashistha-Aham cha Kapisthalo Vasisthaha-Nirukta tika 4/4. Several scholars are of the view that possibly this name was of a particular place. This samhita was edited by Dr. Keith. His approximation is that Kapisthala village represents modern Kaithal village, situated in Kurukshetra, at a very small distance of river Saraswati. Kashika and Varahmihira also refer about this village in Brihata Samhita 14/4. Therefore, it will be more genuine and logical to say that Taittiriya Brahmana and Katha Samhita was produced in Kaithal only.

  1. Dr. Baldev Upadhyaya – Vedic Sahitya and Samskriti – pages 132-133.

Let us assure that the time – winning works – Taittiriya katha and Kapisthala -Katha Samhitas the scribing place of Katha Samhita, Taittiriya upanisada and Kathopanisada, propounding the principles of Samkhya philosophy, were authored in Kapisthala>Kapisthala>Kaithal existing on the banks of river Saraswati. From the age-old culture of this area, the Indian Hindu culture is totally influenced.


Kaithal in Puranas

Till now we have described the antiquity of Kaithal from the material available in Vedic Samskrita literature but its aniquity has been described widely in other literature also. The author of Mahabharata and Shri Mad Bhagvat Purana, Maharsi Vedavyasa has widely written about antiquity of Kaithal and its nearby many pious and religious places :

“Kapilasya cha Kedaram samasadya sudurlabham !
Antardhanama avapnoti tapsa dagdhakilvisaha !!”
( Kedara of Kapila is unattainable.After meditation there all sins are destroyed and man attains the internal hidden knowledge).

Vaman Purana says :

“Kapisthaleti vikhyatam sarvapatakanashanam yasmina sthitaha swayam devovridha kedara samgjijitaha” (2)
(The destroyer of all devililsh deeds, famous Kapisthala sanctum is here because Lord Vridhakedara himself resides.)
It must be understood that Vridhakedara sanctum has become Vidkyara on the basis of philological principle of “mukhasukha” (easy to speak).

  1. Mahabharata, Vanapurana, Chapter-83/74.
  2. Vaman Purana Chapt er 36/24.

Furthermore, Durgacharya, the commentator of Nirukta, recognizes himself also a Kapisthala Vasistha i.e. a resident of Kapisthala, belonging to Vasistha gotra (Sub-Caste).

From Vedic age to Mahabharata and Vamana Purana Kaithal’s ancient existence is a reality. Kaithal is as old as a vedic reer.