Haryana is a state in northwest India neighbouring with states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the north, Rajasthan to the west and south. The river Yamuna acts as the eastern boundary between Haryana and the states of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh. Seasonal rivers like Ghaggar River, Markanda, Tangri, Sahibi etc pass through the state. Population is about 21,083,000 and it covers an area of 44,212 sq km. Chandigarh is the capital of Haryana, which is also the capital of the state of Punjab and itself being an union territory. The population of Haryana, according to the 2011 census, is 25,353,081. The population density is 573.4 people/km2. Haryana, along with neighboring Punjab, has a skewed sex ratio at 861, with many more men than women.
Haryana is situated in the north between 27 deg 37' to 30 deg 35' latitude and between 74 deg 28' to 77 deg 36' longitude. The altitude of Haryana varies between 700 to 900 ft above sea level. The state is divided into four divisions for administrative purpose - Ambala, Rohtak, Gurgaon and Hissar. There are 21 districts, 47 sub-divisions, 67 tehsils, 45 sub-tehsils and 116 blocks. Haryana has a total of 81 cities and towns and 6,759 villages. Haryana has four main geographical features. 1) Shivalik Hills 2) Yamuna - Ghaggar (Saraswati) plain 3) Semi-desert sandy plain, and 4) Aravalli Range.
Haryana was created on November 1, 1966, when the state of Punjab was split. The mostly Hindu and Hindi-speaking eastern portion became Haryana, while mostly Sikh and Punjabi-speaking western portion remained as Punjab. Haryana, with an almost 4000 year old history, is the cradle of Vedic and Hindu civilization. It was here 3000 years ago that Lord Krishna preached Gita at the start of the battle of Mahabharat. Before the Mahabharat war, a battle of ten kings took place in the Kurukshetra region in the Saraswati valley. Mahabharat (900 BC) mentions Haryana as Bahudhhanyaka, 'land of plentiful grains' and Bahudhana, 'land of immense riches'. The word 'Hariana' occurs in a Sanskrit inscription dated 1328 AD kept in Delhi Museum which refers to this region as "The heaven on earth". It was here that the Aryan culture took birth and matured.
Excavations in places like Naurangabad, and Mittathal in Bhiwani, Kunal in Fatehbad, Agroha near Hissar, Rakhigarhi in Jind, Rukhi in Rohtak and Banawali in Sirsa have unearthed evidence of pre-Harappan and Harappan culture. Findings of pottery, sculpture and jewellery in sites at Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Tilpat and Panipat have proved the historicity of the Mahabharat war. These places are mentioned in the Mahabharat as Prithudaka (Pehowa), Tilprastha (Tilput), Panprastha (Panipat) and Sonprastha (Sonipat).
The region has been the scene of many a war because of its being ‘A Gateway to North India’. As years rolled by, successive streams of the Huns, the Turks and the Tughlaqs invaded India and decisive battles were fought on this land. At the end of the 14 century, Tamur led an army through this area to Delhi. Later, the Mughals defeated the Lodhis in the historic battle of Panipat in the year 1526. Another decisive battle was fought in the year 1556 at this very site, establishing the supremacy of the Mughals for centuries to come. Towards the middle of the 18th century, the Marathas had established their sway over Haryana. The intrusion of Ahmed Shah Durrani into India, culminating Maratha ascendancy and the rapid decline of the Mughal empire, leading ultimately to the advent of the British rule.
THaryana is a beneficiary of the multi-purpose project in Sutlej and Beas sharing benefits with Punjab and Rajasthan. Major irrigation projects are western Yamuna Canal System, Bhakra Canal System and Gurgaon Canal System. Haryana has raised water from lower levels to higher and drier slopes through JLN canal project. It is a new endeavour that gave practical shape to lift irrigation for the first time in India.