About District


The present district of Rohtas formed a part of the Magadh Empire since 6th B.C. To 5th Century A.D. under the pre Mauryans. Rohtas District, a historical place, was created in 1972 for the sake of administrative convenience by splitting up the earlier district of SHAHABAD.  Bhojpur & Buxar districts on north, on the south Plamu & Garwah districts, on the east Aurangabad & part of Gaya district and on the west Kaimur district surround Rohtas.

It is, of course, impossible to trace back the history of this region to its earliest origins, but we can trace back it's stream of strong heritage a very long way through the ancient Indian Epics and Puranas. In pre historic days the plateau region of the district has been the abode of aboriginals whose chief representatives now are the Bhars, the Cheers and the Oraons. According to some legends the Kherwars were the original setllers in the hilly tracts near Rohtas. The Oraons also claim that they ruled over the area between Rohtas and Patna. Legendary tradition, as in vogue in the locality, would associate Sasaram with the famous Haihaya King named Sahasrabahu or Sahasrarjuna (i. e. literally “of thousand arms”) or Kartavirya Sahasrajuna, who, it is said was hotly pursued by Parasurama and was ultimately killed here. The followers of Kartavirya Arjuna, it is added, settled down here and founded  the town which was named after the dead king as Sahasrarjuna-pura or Sahasram, the modern name being a corrupt form of the latter name is Sasaram, the headquarter of Rohtas district. The term Sahasram is supposed to have been derived from Shasrabahu and Parsuram. Another legend connects the Rohtas hill to Rohitashwa, son of Raja Harishchandra, a famous king who was known for his piety and truthfulness.

From one of the Ashokan Edicts found engraved on the rock of the hill at Chandan Sahid, close by the modern town, it would appear some habitation or township existed in the locality. This also confirmed the Mauryans conquests of this district in the 7th century. This district came under the control of Harsha rulers of Kannauj. Early in the sixteenth century Sasaram was a Mohammedan town, forming part of the Jaunpur Kingdom and under the control of Hasan Khan Sur, an Afghan adventure and Pathan  chief and the father of the famous Sher Shah of Muslim history of India and he got the   jagir of Sasaram as a reward for his services to Jamal Khan, and the Governor of province during the latter's attachment with the king of Jaunpur. But the Afghan Jagirdar was not able to exercise full control over this subject since the allegiance of the people was very lose and the landlords were particularly independent. In 1529 Babar invaded Bihar, Sher Shah who lost, opposed him. He mentioned about the superstitions of the Hindu with regard to river Karamnasa and also described how he swam across the  river Ganga at Buxar in 1528.

When Babar died, Sher Shah became active again. In 1537 Humayun advanced against him and he seized his fortresses at Chunar and Rohtas Garh. Humayun proceeded to Bengal where he spent six months, while on his return journey to Delhi he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the Sher Shah at Chausa. This victory secured for Sher Shah the imperial throne of Delhi. “The rule of Sur dynasty, which Sher Shah founded, was very short lived. Soon the Mughals reigned the imperial throne of Delhi,after his assassination, Akbar tried to extend his empire and consolidated it. The district of Rohtas was thus included in the empire.” Under Sher Shah the town must have been quite flourishing since a number of Mohammedan monuments of this age still exist in ruins at the place.

The next event of importance which shook the District, was the reign of Raja Chait Singh of Banaras, his kingdom included large part of Shahabad and his control extended up to Buxar. He raised the banner of revolt against the English who had a difficult time. At Chunar and Ghazipur, the English troops suffered defeat and the very foundations of the English power in India was shaken. But, is well known fact that Chait Singh lost eventually.

The victory of East India Company in 1764 at the battle of Buxar gave them control over whole of Bihar and they succeeded in subduing the entire district. The success of the insurgent at Delhi in 1857 caused grave concern to the English inhabitants in this district and revolutionary fervor began to permeate the entire district. The district had a very uneventful role in 1857 when Kunwar Singh revolted against the British Empire in line with the Mutineers of 1857. Most of the heroic details of Kunwar Singh is  concerned with the present district of Bhojpur. However his mutiny had its impact and produced similar up-risings and incidents here and there. The hilly tracts of the district offered natural escape to the fugitives of the Mutiny. During Independence movement the district had a substantiates contribution to the freedom movement of India. The visit  of Mahatma Gandhi in August,1920 and the visit of Vir Sawarkar, founder of Hindu Mahasabha, during the Quit India movement in 1942 to Sasaram had tremendous political effect in arousing the latent feelings of the people and the district continued to play a prominent role in the country's struggle for freedom. After Independence Rohtas remained a part of the Shahabad district but in 1972 Rohtas became a separate District. Shahabad district is also famous for the name of Arrah district.

Rohtas district played a significant role in the history of North-Eastern India. There are several monuments nearby Sasaram, the headquarter of Rohtas district  viz.Akbarpur, Deomarkandey, Rohtas Garh, Shergarh, TaraChandi, Dhuwan Kund, Gupta Dham, Bhaluni Dham and Tombs of Chandan Shaheed, Hasan Khan Sur, Sher Shah, Salim Sah and Alawal Khan. Tomb of Sher Shah build in the middle of the town  is one  of the noblest specimens of Pathan architecture in India, is an imposing structure of stone, standing in the middle of a fine tank and is build towards the middle of sixteenth century. Its height from the floor to the apex of the dome is 101 feet and its total  height above the water is over 150 feet. The octagon forming the tomb has an interior diameter of 75 feet and an exterior diameter of 104 feet. The tomb is the second highest in India  which attracts tourists.

The tomb of Hasan Khan Sur, father of Sher Shah is also located in the town. This tomb is also known as Sukha Roza.

There is a temple of Goddess Tarachandi, Two mile to the south is an inscription of Pratap Dhawal on the rock close to the temple of Chandi Devi. Hindus in large number assemble to worship the goddess.

Dhuwan Kund, located about 36 Km. South-West of this town, is one of the attractive tourist place and it can be developed as beautiful natural site.

Gupta Dham is also an attractive tourist and religious place, situated in the Chenari Block of this district and it can be developed as beautiful natural site. This place is a famous centre of  “Shiva-Aradhana”. Hindus in large number assemble  here  to worship the “Lord Shiva.”

Certain minerals such as lime stone, sulpher and pyrites are found in this  district . This district is also famous for agricultural purposes mainly in the productivity of paddy and wheat crops and also known as “Bowl of rice”(Dhan ka Katora) in the State of Bihar. Rohtas has a fairly good system  of road communication. The Grand Trunk Road traverses within the district. It serves as the main road link between Kolkatta  and Delhi. It has undoubtedly been this high diversity within its boundaries that has so often made Rohtas in the frontier line of Indian civilization.