Rohilkhand (Hindi: रुहेलखण्ड, Urdu: روہیل کھنڈ) is a region of northwestern Uttar Pradesh state of India. [ [ Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition: Rohilkhand] ] [ [ Rohilkhand] 1911] .

Rohilkhand lies on the upper Ganges alluvial plain and has an area of about 25,000 km² (10,000 square miles). It is bounded by the Ganges River on the south and the west by Uttarakhand and Nepal on the north, and by the Awadh region to the east. The region is named for the Rohilla tribe, and was known as "Madhyadesh" in the Hindu epic "Mahabharata". [ [ Encyclopædia Britannica Online: Rohilkhand] ] .


The area was made famous by the previous settlement of Rohillas, who were Pathan highlanders of the Yusufzai tribe who were awarded the "Katehr" region in northern India by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir to suppress Rajput uprisings. Later it gained fame as Rohilkhand due to large settlements of Rohilla Pathans. "Roh" means mountains and in Pashto "Rohilla" means "mountaineer". After the mutiny, the Rohilla were uprooted by the British and were relocated to Burma and back to their native regions of Afghanistan. They have all resettled to Pakistan where they are referred to as Mohajir. [ Rohilla] 1911.] . Rohillas were distingiushed from local people by their tall stature, fair complexation, and by their separate language and culture. They used to speak Pashto among each other but gradually lost their language. [ [ Pashto Language & Identity Formation:] Contemporary South Asia, July 1995, Vol 4, Issue 2, p151,20] Today, the Afghan proper refer to themselves as "Ban-i-Afghan" or "Ban-i-Isrial" to differentiate themselves form other South Asian claimants of "Pathan" who speak Urdu (Mohajir).cite web|url =| title = Pathan|publisher = Lucknow for Jesus|accessdate = 2007-02-17] Rohilkhand was invaded by the Marathas after Panipat war.

The Rohillas requested military help from the Nawab of Oudh in exchange for money. After the defeat of the Marathas, the Rohillas refused to pay. In the Rohilla War of 1773-4 the Rohillas were defeated.

The Rohillas started guerilla warfare against the British occupation of Rohilkhand. [ [ Guyana: The Afghan Muslims of Guyana and Suriname] ] The Rohillas were hunted down and slaughtered mercilessly by the British and were scattered in the countryside and settled in many small towns. Later British transferred Rohilkhand to British empire in 1774.

Further reading

* "History of the Rohilla Afghans", by Charles Hamilton, 1787.
* "Hastings and the Rohilla War" by Sir J. Strachey, Oxford, 1892.


External links

* [ M.J.P. Rohilkhand University, Bareilly]
* [ A Cyber Joint for Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University Alumni]
* [ The Nuttall Encyclopædia: Rohilkhand]

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