History Ain-e-Akbari, written by Abul Fazal in the 16th century during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, refers to it as Maya (Mayapur), known as Hardwar on the banks of Ganges, as seven sacred cities of Hindus. It is said that during his travels and
also while at home, Mughal Emperor, Akbar drank water from the Ganges River, which he called ‘the water of immortality’. Special people were stationed at Haridwar to dispatch water, in sealed jars, to wherever he was stationed. During the Mughal period, there was a mint for Akbar’s copper coinage at Haridwar. It is said that Raja Man Singh of Amber, laid that foundation of the present day city of Haridwar and also renovated the ghats at Har-ki-parri. After his death, his ashes are also said to have been immersed at Brahma Kund by Mughal emperor Akbar himself. Thomas Coryat, an English traveler, who visited the city in the reign of Emperor Jahangir (1596–1627), mentions it as ‘Haridwara’, the capital of Shiva. Something that is not well known today, that in an ancient custom detailed family genealogies of Hindu families for the past several generations are kept by professional Hindu Brahmin Pundits, popularly known as Pandas, at the Hindu holy city of Haridwar in hand written registers passed down to them over generations by their Pundit ancestors which are classified according to original districts and villages of ones ancestors, with special designated Pundit families
being in charge of designated district registers, even for cases where ancestral districts and villages that have been left behind in Pakistan after Partition of India with Hindus having to migrate to India. In several cases present day decedents are now Sikhs and many maybe Muslims or even Christians. It is not uncommon for one to find details of up to, or even more than, ones seven past generations in these genealogy registers kept by the Pandas of Haridwar. For centuries when Hindu ancestors visited the holy town of Haridwar for any purpose which may have mostly been for pilgrimage or cremation of their dead or for immersion of ashes and bones of their kin after cremation into the waters of the holy river Ganges as required by Hindu religious custom, it has been an ancient custom to go to the Pundit who is in charge of ones family register and update the family’s genealogical family tree with details of all marriages, births and deaths from ones extended joint family. Haridwar came under the rule of the Maurya Empire (322– 185 BCE), and later under the Kushan Empire (1st–3rd centuries). First modern era written evidence of Haridwar JANUARY 2017 | WWW.WISHESH.COM
Published on Jan 2, 2017
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