HARYANA has named after its ancient inhabitants Abhirayana that got changed to Ahirayana over a period and to present day HARYANA. Similarly The name 'Abhira' stemed from Abhira or the fearless, the honour they earned after the Battle of the Mahabharata. In the 1st AD, invading Scythians and Kushans forced Ahirs out of their land to lower Rajasthan in the Aravali Region, near East of Inderparasth.
HARYANA was the outermost location of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization with centers of Rakhigarhi and Banawali. The most extensive center, Rakhigarhi, is now a village in Hisar District. The site is over 5,000 years old. Evidence of paved roads, large rainwater collection, terracotta brick, statue production, drainage system, storage system, and skilled metal working (in both bronze and precious metals) has been uncovered.
The Vedic Civilization flourished on the banks of the lost Saraswati river. Several battles were fought in the area, which shaped the history of India. These include the epic Battle of Kurukshetra described in the Mahabharata (including the recital of the Bhagavad Gita by Krishna) and the three battles of Panipat.
In HARYANA, king Harshavardhana established his capital at Thanesar near Kurukshetra in the 7th century AD. After his death, the kingdom of his clansmen, the Pratiharas ruled over a vast region for quite a while from Harsha's adopted capital of Kannauj. The region was strategically important for the rulers of North India even though Thanesar was no more as central as Kannauj. Prithviraj Chauhan established forts at Tarori and Hansi in the 12th century. Muhammad Ghori conquered this area in the Second Battle of Tarain. After his death, the Delhi Sultanate was established, that ruled much of India for several centuries. The earliest reference to 'Hariana' occurs in a Sanskrit inscription dated 1328 AD kept in Delhi Museum, which refers to this region as The heaven on earth, indicating that it was fertile and relatively peaceful at that time. Firoz Shah Tughlaq established a fort at Hisar in 1354 to further fortify the region, and also constructed canals or rajwahas as they were referred to in the Indo-Persian history.
The three famous battles of Panipat took place near the modern town of Panipat. The first battle took place in 1526, where Babur, the ruler of Kabul defeated Ibrahim Lodi of the Delhi Sultanate, through the use of field artillery. In the second battle of Panipat (November 5, 1556), Akbar's forces defeated the Hindu king Hem Chandra Vikramaditya also called Hemu, who belonged to Rewari in HARYANA and who had won 22 battles during 1553-1556 before acceeding to Delhi throne. The Third Battle of Panipat was fought in 1761 between the Afghan warlord Ahmad Shah Abdali and the Marathas under Sadashivrao Bhau of Pune. Ahmad Shah won decisively, on January 13, 1761.
The Second Anglo-Sikh War of 1848 to 1849 resulted in the Battle of Gujrat on 21 February 1849, at which the British defeated the Sikhs. As a result of this, on 2 April 1849 they declared Punjab as a new province of British India. This included most of HARYANA, while the rest were ruled by the princely states of Loharu, Nabha, Jind and Patiala. During the Indian rebellion of 1857, several leaders from this region, including Rao Tula Ram, participated actively. People of HARYANA took an active part in the Indian Independence movement. Many battles were fought by the rulers of the states and by the farmers also, sometimes defeating the British army. Some most important fights were at Sirsa, Sonipat, Rohtak and Hissar. In Sirsa the famous battle of Chormar was fought. Later, leaders like Sir Chhotu Ram played an important role in the politics of the Punjab province. Rao Tula Ram was one of the important leaders of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
HARYANA state was formed on 1 November, 1966, on the recommendation of the Sardar Hukam Singh Parliamentary Committee. The formation of this committee was announced in the Parliament on 23 September 1965. On 23 April, 1966, acting on the recommendation of the Hukam Singh Committee, the Indian government set up the Shah Commission under the chairmanship of Justice J. C. Shah, to divide and set up the boundaries of Punjab and Haryana giving consideration to the language spoken by the people. The commission gave its report on 31 May, 1966. According to this report the then districts of Hissar, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon, Rohtak, and Karnal were to be a part of the new state of HARYANA. Further, the Tehsils of Jind (district Sangrur), Narwana (district Sangrur), Naraingarh, Ambala and Jagadhari were also to be included. The commission recommended that Tehsil Kharar (including Chandigarh) should be a part of HARYANA.
The city of Chandigarh, and a Punjabi speaking area of district Rupnagar were made a union territory serving as the capital of both PUNJAB and HARYANA. According to the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, Chandigarh was to be transferred to the state of Punjab in 1986, but the transfer was delayed and it has not been executed so far.