Haryana (Hindi: हरियाणा, Punjabi: ਹਰਿਆਣਾ) is a state in India. Historically, it has been a part of the Kuru region in North India. The name Haryana is found mentioned in the 12th century AD by the apabhramsha writer Vibudh Shridhar (VS 1189-1230). It is bordered by Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, and by Rajasthan to the west and south. The river Yamuna defines its eastern border with Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Haryana also surrounds Delhi on three sides, forming the northern, western and southern borders of Delhi. Consequently, a large area of Haryana is included in the National Capital Region. The capital of the state is Chandigarh which is administered as a union territory and is also the capital of Punjab. The name Haryana means the Abode of God from Sanskrit Hari (the Hindu God Vishnu) and ayana (home), although it may also refer to the lush green landscape of the state (from Sanskrit harit meaning green).
Haryana was the cradle of the Indus Valley and Vedic Civilizations, both flourishing on the banks of the now lost Sarasvati River. Several decisive battles were fought in the area, which shaped much of the history of India. These include the epic battle of Mahabharata at Kurukshetra (including the recital of the Bhagavad Gita by Krishna), and the three battles of Panipat. Haryana was administered as part of the Punjab province of British India, and was carved out on linguistic lines as India’s 17th state in 1966. Haryana is now a leading contributor to the country’s production of foodgrain and milk. Agriculture is the leading occupation for the residents of the state, the flat arable land irrigated by submersible pumps and an extensive canal system. Haryana contributed heavily to the Green Revolution that made India self-sufficient in food production in the 1960s.
Haryana is one of the wealthiest states of India and has the third highest per capita income in the country at Rs. 67,891, including the largest number of rural crorepatis in India. Haryana is also one of the most economically developed regions in South Asia and its agricultural and manufacturing industry has experienced sustained growth since 1970s. Haryana is India’s largest manufacturer of passenger cars, two-wheelers, and tractors. Since 2000, the state has emerged as the largest recipient of investment per capita in India. The city of Gurgaon has rapidly emerged as a major hub for the information technology and automobile industries. Gurgaon is home to Maruti Udyog Limited, India’s largest automobile manufacturer, and Hero Honda Limited, the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers. Yamunanagar, Panipat, Panchkula and Faridabad are also industrial hubs, with the Panipat Refinery being the second largest refinery in South Asia. There are also long established steel, plywood, paper and textile industries in the state.
Major ethnic group in Haryana is of Jat people and Yaduvanshi Ahirs. Other ethnic groups are of Kambojs, Gujjars, Agarwals, Rors, Brahmins, Rajputs, Punjabis and Sainis. Hindus are majority in Haryana and are about 90% of the population, Sikhs 6.2%, Muslims 4.05% and Christians 0.10%.
RIVERS OF HARYANA
The river Yamuna flows along its eastern boundary. The ancient Sarasvati River is said to have flowed from Yamunanagar, but it has now disappeared.
The river Ghaggar is Haryana’s main seasonal river. The Ghaggar rises in the outer Himalayas, between the Yamuna and the Sutlej and enters Haryana near Pinjore, Panchkula district. Passing through Ambala and Hissar, it reaches Bikaner in Rajasthan and runs a course of 290 miles before disappearing into the deserts of Rajasthan.
The Markanda river’s ancient name was Aruna. A seasonal stream like the Ghaggar, it originates from the lower Sivalik Hills and enters Haryana near Ambala. During monsoons, this stream swells into a raging torrent notorious for its devastating power. The surplus water is carried on to the Sanisa lake where the Markanda joins the Sarasvati.
An important tributary is the Tangri. The Sahibi originates in the Mewat hills near Jitgarh and Manoharpur in Rajasthan. Gathering volume from about a hundred tributaries, it reaches voluminous proportions, forming a broad stream around Alwar and Patan. On reaching Rohtak it branches off into two smaller streams, finally reaching the outskirts of Delhi and flowing into the Yamuna. There are three other rivulets in and around the Mewat hills – Indori, Dohan and Kasavati and they all flow northwards from the south.
The climate of Haryana is similar to other states of India lying in the northern plains. It is very hot in summer (up to a high of 50 deg Celsius) and cold in winters (down to a low of 1 deg Celsius). The hottest months are May and June and the coldest being December and January. Rainfall is varied, with the Shivalik Hills region being the wettest and the Aravali Hills region being the driest. About 80% of the rainfall occurs in the monsoon season (July–September) and sometimes causes local flooding.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Thorny, dry, deciduous forest and thorny shrubs can be found all over the state. During the monsoon, a carpet of grass covers the hills. Mulberry, eucalyptus, pine, kikar, shisham and babul are some of the trees found here. The species of fauna found in the state of Haryana include black buck, nilgai, panther, fox, mongoose, jackal and wild dog. More than 300 species of birds are found here.
The population of Haryana, according to the 2001 census, is 21,144,000, with 11,364,000 males and 9,781,000 females. The population density is 477 people/km2. Haryana, along with neighbouring Punjab, has a skewed sex ratio at 861, with many more men than women. Selective abortion of female fetuses has a very high provenance, reflecting a widespread preference for the male child.
Haryana’s majority ethnic groups include the Jats, Ahirs and Sainis. Other ethnic groups include the Kambojs, Gujjars, Meenas, Banias, Brahmins, Rajputs, Rors, Dalits, Meos and Punjabis.
Hindus are a majority in Haryana and are about 90% of the population, Sikhs 6.2%, Muslims 4.05% (mainly Meos) and Christians 0.10%. Hindus make up about 18,655,925 of the population, Sikhs 1,170,662, Muslims 1,222,196, Jains 57,167, Christians 27,185, and Buddhists 7,140.Muslims are mainly in the Mewat district and Yamunanagar district, while Sikhs are mostly in the districts adjoining Punjab, Hisar, Sirsa, Jind, Fatehabad, Kaithal, Kurukshetra, Ambala, and Panchkula. Agriculture and related industries have been the backbone of the local economy. These days the state is seeing a massive influx of immigrants from across the nation, primarily from Bihar, Bengal, Uttrakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal.