About Sheikhpura

» Historical Background

Though there is no authentic history of Sheikhpura scripted in any book or records but according to knowledge collected from various sources history of Sheikhpura dates back to the age of Mahabharata. It is believed that in the Mahabharata age a demon girl Hidimba lived on the hillocks situated on its Eastern stretch with whom one Pandava brother Bhima married and gave birth to a heroic son ‘Ghatotkach’. Later on this hill was called ‘Girihinda’ after the name of Hindimba or Hidimba. Girihinda village is still situated over there.

According to one belief about six hundred years ago a great suphie saint ‘Hazarat Makhdum Shah Shoeb Rahamatullah Aleh’ had founded the city of Sheikhpura. He settled over here and the dense forests were cleaned and people started settling over here. Later on it became densely populated.

During the Pallava reign also Sheikhpura was one of the chief administrative centres. It is believed that the famous Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri had got the famous ‘Dal Kuan’ constructed over here. Till now ‘Dal Kuan’ and Sheikhpura is believed to be synonymous with each other.

During the mughal period, Sheikhpura got the status of Thana. In the British period Sheikhpura was accorded the status of Big Kotwali and after independence it was given the status of Block. On 14th April 1983 Sheikhpura became a Subdivision and on 31st July 1994 it was upgraded to District status.

Profile of Sheikhpura extracted from Bengal District Gazette on District Monghyr published in 1909 by L.S.S.O'M  

                                 P R  E  F  A  C  E

I desire to express my obligation to Mr.H.F.Samman, I.C.S., Collector of Monghyr, and Mr. P.W. Murphy, I.C.S.,Settlement Officer, Bihar, for their assistance in the compilation of this volume. Much valuable information has also been obtained from the Final Report on the Survey and Settlement of North Monghyr (1905-07) by Mr. H. Coupland, I.C.S.

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 From Pages 245-247

  Sheikhpura ---  A village in the extreme south-west of the Monghyr subdivision wiith a station situated on the South Bihar Railway. Population (1901) 10,135. I is an important centre for the grain trade and for the manufacture of hookah tubes, and contains a District Board bungalow,police station,and dispensary. Sheikhpura has been identified by General Cunninghum with a village visited by the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsiang in the seventh century A.D. Hieun Tsiang after leaving the Gaya district arrived at a large and populous village to the south of the Ganges, which possessed many Brahmanical temples ornamented with fine sculptures. There was also a great stupa built on the spot where Buddha had preached for one night. " Both distance and direction point to the vicinity of Sheikhpura, a position which is confirmed by the subsequent easterly route of the pilgrim,through forests and gorges of mountains." There are very few ancient remains except a fine tank,two mules west of the village,called Mathokar Tal on the bank of which there is a dargah,said to be the tomb of one Mathokar Khan. But as the site is said to have been originally occupied by a temple of Kali, and as the tank is still called Kali Mathokar, the name is probably only a contraction of Math Pokhar, or the temple tank, the full name having been Kali Math Pokhar temple-tank, i.e, the tank of the temple of Kali*.

About three miles to the east, near a place called Pachna there is a pass over the hills called Goalin Khand to which an interesting legend attaches. The emperor Sher Shah, it is said, was always fond of Monghyr because it was there that he obtained an early success which formed a stepping stone in his career. Once when marching to quell a rebellion in
Bengal, he stopped for a week in the fort during the month of Baisakh, the best time of the year for hunting. The governor had made preparations for a hunt in the jungles near the Sheikhpura Hills; and much to the surprise of his courtiers, the emperor, on coming to the line of elephants drawn up, ordered the Mahout to give him the reins. The astonished Mahaout replied that an elephant was guided not by reins but by Ankush, whereupon Sher Shah, jumping down, mounted his horse and rode off. The courtiers were astonished, and while some admired his courage in wishing to control an elephant by reins, others exclaimed his whimsical temper, while others murmured that the jagir of Sasaram could still be smelt through the perfume of the throne of Delhi. In the meantime, the emperor was wandering by himself in disguise, making the acquaintances of his subjects like Harun-Ul-Rashid. Among others he met an old Goalin or Milk-woman of Sheikhpura who watered his horse and gave him the milk to drink and some pulse to eat. While conversing with her, one of his followers Mian Suleman, who had been searching for him, and addressed him as emperor. He asked her what he could do for her to repay her kindness, and she then replied that the best thing he could do was to make a straight road over the hills to save her and the villagers from the tedious track around them. The emperor promised to make a road, and was as good as his words. He would not, however, let it be named after himself but called it Goalin Khand or the milk-woman's road.

*Report: Arch. Surv.Ind, vol XV, page 12-13.

From pages 205-207

 Husainabad---- A village in the south-west of the Monghyr subdivision,situated three miles south of Sheikhpura . It contains the residence of one of the oldest Muhammadan families of the district,which traces back its descent to Makhdum Sheikh Shams-ud-din, surnamed Faryad Ras Kurraish-ul-Hashmi, a Saiyid of the family of the Prophet Muhammad. According to the family tradition, he was born in Turkey, but having come to India wiith his uncle Kazi Rafi-ud-din, who held the office of  Kazi under the Sultan of Turkey,settled in Oudh and died there in 790 A.H.,i.e., about 1373 A.D. His son Sheikh Manjhan was murdered while on a journey to Bihar, and threupon his widow, with her two  sons Sheikh Mustapha and Sheikh Jumaid settled at Sheikhpura. After the death of Sheikh Mustapha,several of the family migrated to Patna where their descendants still reside; bnut about 1836 A.D. two of the family,Muhammad Yahya Khan and his son-in-law Fida Ali Khan left Patna and returned to the district where they settled at Hussainabad. The present representative of the family are called Nawabs by courtesy,the title having been enjoyed by their ancestors,some of whom were distinguished personages. Two of them Navab Shah Khan and Navab Fida Khan who met their death during Maratha raids,were it is said Waris of the Emperor of Delhi and it is claimed that the office of Wazir was hereditary in the house. The family was granted an altamgha jagir by the Emperor Aurangzeb, and Shah Alam gave Navab Ali Ibrahim Khan a robe of honour,the appointment of Shah Hazari and the title of Amin-ud-daula Aziz-ul-Mulk.

    Ali Ibrahim Khan the most distinguished member of the family, is frequently and prominently referred to in the Sair-ul-Mutakharin, where he is described as "the illustrious and high born Khan,the beneficent,munificent,excellent,learned,sincere and valiant." He appears first to have won the favour of Ali Vardi Khan who invited him to Murshidabad with other persons,distinguished for their birth,rank, learning and talent, and granted him a large pension. Subsequently he ,he became a trusted courtier of the Nawab Mir Kasim Ali Khan to whom he proved a good counsellor. He tried to dissuade him against his disastrous expedition into Nepal and also to prevent his engaging in war with the British. It was he who advised against the Nawab stopping the boat laden with arms on the way to Patna which formed a casus b elli; and later , after the defeat at Udhua Nalah, in vain urged him to release his English prisoners or at least send the women under escort to the British army under Major Adams. After defeat of Mir Kassim at Patna, Ali Ibrahim Khan remained faithful to his master, and there is an amusing tale of his diplomatic conduct when a quarrel took place between  the Nawab and his ally Suja-ud-daula, the Nawab Vizir of Oudh. Mir Kasim Ali , apparently to bring shame on on the latter,assumed the dress of a fakir,and Ali Ibrahim Khan being asked to persuade him to assume his proper dress, appeared before him wearing only a shirt and a pointed cap in place of his usual turban. After this when Shuja-ud-daula imprisoned Mir Kasim Ali, and his followers deserted. Mir Kasim   alone remained royal,showing then as on other occasion, a fidility uncommon in those troubled times.  It is said when asked why he still clung to Mir Kasim in spite on his way in which latter maligned him, his family and dignified answer brought years to the eyes even of the mean-spirited Nawab Vizir.

   After the battle of Buxar, when Mir Kasim fled west-wards, Ali Ibrahim Khan retired to Murshidabad, and thence-forward was largely involved in palace intrigues. He was appointed Deewan to the Nawab Mubarak-ud-daula and subsequently espoused the cause of Muhammad Raza Khan and effected his release from prison.He fell out, however, with the latter and was ruined by a palace intrigue. Subsequntly he was offered  high office by the Nawab, Muni Begum and the Governor General, but declined them all. Later, however,  we find that he accompanied  Warren Hastings when he went to Banaras in 1781, and that after the repression of the rising of Chait Singh, Warren Hastings granted him a khilat,confirmed the title of Amin-ud-daula Azizul-Mulk, which had been granted to him by Shah Alam and made him Judge of Benaras.  Further details of his life will be found in the Sair-ul-Muta-kharin,which gives an amusing account of his character and ways of his knack of making extempore verses, of the taste and elegance with which he he wore his clothes and turban,of the amenity of his manners and of his successes as a lover.

   The brother of this noble man was Ali Kasim,of whom there is little to record,except that,when in 1781 Warren Hastings made his well known visit to Benaras with Ali Ibrahim Khan to bring Chait Singh to reason,Ali Kasim Khan met them at Monghyr,entertained them on a lavish scale, and accompanied them to Patna. His son Mohammad Yahya khan, moved from
Patna to Hussainabad and the next head of the family was his nephew and son-in-law Fida Ali Khan. The latter earned the thanks of Government for furnishing information regarding the movement of rebels in the Mutiny of 1857, while his son Nawab Ali Khan was made a Khan Bahadur, and granted a certificate in recognition of his conduct as an enlightened and loyal zamindar and of the service he rendered in the famine of 1874. 

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