The Department of Archaeology & Museums, Haryana is a premier department came into existence in the shape of a cell under the Control of Education department in the year 1969 and as an independent department in the year 1972 with a small staff and meager budget. The nature of functioning of this department is technical.
It conducts archaeological excavation and explorations, protection and conservation of Proto-historical, medieval and historical monuments ites and remains from the research point of view on the one hand and publishes research reports of excavated sites and explorations of the districts, booklets, folders etc and organizes exhibitions including other museum activities and prepares replicas of ancient sculptures for sale to acquaint researchers and general public with their rich ancient heritage on the other.
The functions and activities of the department are regulated under the following State and Central Acts and Rules framed therein:-
- The Punjab ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act-1964 (State Act)
- The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act 1972 (Central Act)
- The Indian Treasures Trove Act- 1878(Central Act)
- The Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act-1958(Central Act)
The budget provision for the year 2016-2017 of this department is Rs. 1 Crore 7 Lakh 60 Thousand on Non-Plan and Rs. 25 Crore 17 Lakh 30 Thousand on plan side under the following plan scheme:-
- Archaeological Excavation/ Exploration programme.
- Protection/ preservation and Development of Ancient Monuments/ sites.
- Publication/ Publicity programs- Information Technology
- Preparation of Plaster Casts Ancient sculptures/ antiquities.
- Setting up of Zonal Museum.
- Setting up of State Archaeological Museum.
The Department has declared 30 monuments/sites as State Protected Monument/Sites. It also has five zonal museums namely – Jayanti Archaeological Museum, Jind; Museum in Jahaj Kothi, Hisar; Guru Tegbahadur Samarak Museum, Barh Khalsa, Rai, Sonepat; Guru Govind Singh Marshal Art Museum at Kapalmochan, Yamuna Nagar; Deen Bandhu Sir Chhotu Ram Samark Museum, Rohtak and one Site Museum at Bhima Devi Temple, Pinjore. These Museums and Monuments/Sites are being maintained under “The Punjab Ancient Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1964.”
Site Museum & Interpretation Centre at Village Rakhi-Garhi, District Hisar, will be setup by the Department. For this purpose 5 acres 2 kanal and 10 marla land has already been transferred by the village Panchayat, Rakhi-Khas (District Hisar) to the Department. The lay-out plan of Museum & Interpretation Centre has received from Chief Architect Haryana. Hon’ble C.M has launched the construction of Site Museum and Interpretation Centre at Rakhi Garhi on 01.03.2016. This Site Museum –cum- Interpretation Centre at Rakhigarhi displaying all the artifacts relating to Harappan Civilization discovered in various sites in Haryana over the years
Swami Omanand Sarswati Puratatva Sangrahalya at Gurukul Jhajjar will also be constructed by Govt. on the land donated by Gurukul, Jhajjar in which rare antiquities and the priceless artifacts of the collection of Gurukul Jhajjar will be displayed.
Historical Background of Haryana
Haryana is the region where, along the banks of the River Saraswati, the Vedic Civilization began and matured. It was here that the Vedas were written, as the Aryans chanted their sacred Mantras. Replete with myths and legends, Haryana's 5000-year-old history is steeped in glory. Mahabharat knows Haryana as Bahudhhanyaka, land of plentiful grains and Bahudhana, the land of immense riches. The word Haryana, occurs in a 1328 AD Sanskrit inscription kept in the Delhi Museum, which refers to the Haryana region as The heaven on earth.
Excavations and Explorations of various archeological sites in Haryana, like Naurangabad and Mittathal in Bhiwani, Kunal in Fatehabad, Agroha near Hissar, Rakhi Garhi (Rakhigarhi) in Jind, Sites in Rukhi (Rohtak) and Banawali in Sirsa have evidence of pre-Harappan and Harappan culture. Findings of ceramics, terracotta objects, sculptures and ornaments from different sites at Pehowa, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Panchkula, Satkumbha and Panipat have proved its historicity.
Haryana has been the scene of many wars because of it being "The Gateway of North India". As years rolled by, successive streams of Huns, Turks and the Afghans invaded India and decisive battles were fought on this land. After the downfall of the Gupta empire in the middle of 6th century AD north India was again split into several kingdoms. The Huns established their supremacy over the Punjab. It was after this period that one of the greatest King of ancient India, Harshvardhan began his rule. He became the King of Thanesar (Kurukshetra) in 606 AD, and later went on to rule the most of north India. In the 14th century, the Tomar kings led an army through this region to Delhi.
Later the Mughal, Babur, defeated the Lodhis in the first battle of Panipat in the year 1526. Another decisive battle was fought in Panipat in 1556, establishing the reign of the Mughals for centuries to come. Taking advantage of Humayun's death, Hemu had marched to Agra and Delhi and occupied it without difficulty. In response, Bairam Khan (Akbar's guardian) marched towards Delhi. Both the armies clashed in the second battle of Panipat. Hemu was in a winning position when a stray arrow struck him in the eye. He fell unconscious causing panic among his troops. The tide of the battle turned and the Mughals won the battle. Towards the middle of the 18th century, the Marathas had control over Haryana. The intrusion of Ahmed Shah Durrani in India, culminated in the third battle of Panipat in 1761. Marathas' defeat in this battle marked the end of their ascendancy and the decline of the Mughal Empire, leading to the advent of the British rule.