Sites & cities that bear the name of Thanesar


Today in : India
First trace of activity : ca. 5th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Thaneswar, Sthanishvara

Description : Thanesar (sometimes called Thaneswar and, archaically, Sthanishvara) is a historic town and an important Hindu pilgrimage centre on the banks of the Saraswati River in the state of Haryana in northern India. It is located in Kurukshetra district, approximately 160 km northwest of Delhi. Kurukshetra's urban area now merges with Thanesar. Prabhakarvardhana was a ruler of Thanesar in the early seventh-century CE and was succeeded by his sons, Rajyavardhana and Harsha. The name Thanesar is derived from its name in Sanskrit, Sthanishvara which means Place/Abode of God. (Sthana-Place/region, Ishvara-Lord). The present town of Thanesar is located on an ancient mound. The mound 1 km long and 750 m wide known as "Harsh ka Tila" (Mound of Harsha), west of Sheikh Chilli's Tomb complex in Thanesar. It has ruins of structures built during the reign of Harsha, 7th century CE. Amongst the archaeological finds from the mound include Painted Grey Ware shards in the pre-Kushana levels and Red Polished Ware from post Gupta period. In the post-Gupta period, the ancient city of Sthanishvara was the capital of the Vardhana dynasty, which ruled over a major part of North India during the late-6th and early-7th centuries. Prabhakarvardhana, fourth king of Vardhana dynasty and successor Adityavardhana, had his capital at Thanesar. After his death in 606 CE, his eldest son, Rajyavardhana, ascended the throne. Not long after, Rajyavardhana was murdered by a rival, which led to Harsha ascending to the throne at age 16. In the following years, he conquered much of North India, extended till Kamarupa, and eventually made Kannauj (in present Uttar Pradesh state) his capital, and ruled till 647 CE. His biography Harshacharita ("Deeds of Harsha") written by Sanskrit poet Banabhatta, describes his association with Thanesar, besides mentioning the defence wall, a moat and the palace with a two-storied Dhavalagriha (white mansion). The town was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1011. During Mughal era, the Battle of Thanesar also known as Battle of the Ascetics took place in summer of 1567, between Mughal Emperor Akbar and Rajputs near Thanesar on the banks of the Sarsawati Ghaggar River. Thanesar is listed in the Ain-i-Akbari as a pargana under the sarkar of Sirhind, producing a revenue of 7,850,803 dams for the imperial treasury and supplying a force of 1500 infantry and 50 cavalry. It had a brick fort at the time. For much of the 18th century, Thanesar was under the suzerainty of the Maratha Empire, who collected revenue from the local rulers.

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