July 19, 2024, 1:28 am

Haldwani ~ Gateway to Kumaon



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Haldwani History

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Few historians mention that in 14th century, a local ruler, Gyan Chand of Chand Dynasty, visited Delhi Sultanate and received the regions of Bhabhar- Terai up to the Ganga as a grant from then Sultan. Later, the Mughals tried to take over the hills, but their attempts received set back due to the difficult terrain.

In 1856, Sir Henry Ramsay took over as the Commissioner of Kumaon. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, it was briefly seized by the rebels of Rohilkhand, soon martial law was declared in the region by Sir Henry Ramsay, and by 1858, the region was cleared of the rebels.

Later, Ramsay connected Nainital with Kathgodam by road in 1882. In 1883-84, the railway track was laid between Bareilly and Kathgodam. The first train arrived at Haldwani from Lucknow on April 24, 1884. Later, the railway line was extended to Kathgodam.

In 1901, with a population of 6,624, Haldwani was the headquarters of the Bhabhar region of Nainital District, in the United Province, and it also used to become the winter headquarters of the officers of the Kumaun Division and of Nainital District. The Arya Samaj Bhavan was built in 1901 and Sanatan Dharm Sabha in 1902. The Tehsil office was opened here in 1899, when it became the tehsil headquarters of the Bhabhar, one of four division of Nainital district, and included 4 towns and 511 villages; and had a combined population of 93,445 (1901), spread over 1,279 sq. miles. Though before the formation of Nainital district in 1891, it was part of the Kumaon District, which was later called Almora district.

In 1904, it was consitituted as a 'notified area' and in 1907 Haldwani got the status of town area.

Gora Padao, 4 km south of Haldwani was named after a British camp/post at that location in the mid 1800s, Gora being a slang for the British.

Haldwani-Kathgodam Municipal Council was established on September 21, 1942. Currently it is the second largest Municipal Council in the state of Uttarakhand after Haridwar.

Haldwani: Commerce Hub of Kumaun Haldwani and Kathgodam were two different townships in the past but now it has amalgamated in one unit. Kathgodam means a depot of wood. In the days gone by from Kumaon region timber was collected and stacked at this place and then transported away. Haldwani word was derived from Haldu (a tree = Adina Codifolia) and Bani meaning a small forest. Up till recently Haldwani had huge amount of Haldu trees having yellow colored wood. Meter gauge railway line was built in 1892 by Rohilkhand and Kumaon Railways which was later taken over, by Oudh and Tirhut Railways. Recently all the railways were nationalized and it came under North Eastern Railways. The tracks have since been changed and are now having broad gauge line from May 1994.

Haldwani was established in 1834 by some English gentleman locally famous in those days as 'Rail Sahib' before that it was forest of Haldu trees. Most probably Rail Sahib was Mr. Trail himself. Whatsoever population one can dream of was somewhere near Kota Haldu according to some books. Kota Haldu is not traceable now; probably it it present Mota Haldu. First pucca masonry house was built in the year 1850 and first Ram Lila ground was acquired in 1984 by Sri Debi Dutt Joshi. Haldwani became notified area in 1904 and later on declared a municipal board.

Kathgodam was previously known as 'Bamori Ghati'. It was named as Kathgodam on 24th April 1884 after it was made the terminal station of Rohilkhand and Kumaon Railways. This is one of the rail terminuses for Kumaon hills situated in the foothill of the Himalayas the other being at Tanakpur. Direct and daily service in the foothill of the Himalayas and other being at Tanakpur. Direct and daily service is available to Howrah via Lucknow and Gorakhpur and Delhi via Rampur and Moradabad.

Subsequently, there is a reasonable settlement from plains, and North West India post 1947. Sikhs, Punjabis, and principally people from across Kumaon Hills are major inhabitants of Haldwani, who all have contributed significantly creating a unique historical charm of Haldwani.


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