History

Origin Of Name

The district Gorakhpur takes its name and fame from renowned, ascetic 'Gorakshnath', who was an eminent profounder saint of 'Nath Sampradaya'. A famous shrine 'Gorakhnath' was built in his honour on the same spot where he practised austerities.

History

The ancient Gorakhpur, in addition to modern, comprised the districts of Basti, Deoria, Azamgarh and parts of Nepal tarai. These region, which may be called as Gorakhpur Janpad, had been an important centre of Aryan culture and civilization.

Gorakhpur was a part of the famous kingdom of Koshal, one of sixteen mahajanpadas in 6th Century B.C. The earliest known monarch ruling over this region with his capital at Ayodhya was IKSVAKU, who founded the solar dynasty of Kshatriya. It produced a number of illustratious kings till the accession of Ram, who was the greatest ruler of this dynasty. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana , Gupta and Harsha dynasties. According to tradition, the Tharu king, Mausen of Madan Singh (900-950 A.D.) ruled over Gorakhpur city and the adjoining area.

In medieval period, when the entire northern India lay prostrate before the Muslim ruler, Mohammad Ghori, the Gorakhpur region was not left out. For a longer period it remained under the sway of the muslim rulers, from Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak to Bahadur Shah.Tradition has it that Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296-1316) ordered the conversion of old shrine of Goraksha ( a popular deity ) of Gorakhpur into a mosque. However, on Akbar's reorganisation of the empire, Gorakhpur gave its name to one of the five Sirkars comprising the province of Avadh.

Modern period was marked by the transfer of this region by the Nawab of Avadh to the East India Company in 1801. With this cession, Gorakhpur was raised to the status of a 'DISTRICT. The first collector was Mr. Routledge. In 1829, Gorakhpur was made the headquarters of a Division of the same name, comprising the districts of Gorakhpur, Ghazipur and Azamgarh. Mr. R.M. Biad was first appointed Commissioner.

In 1865, new district Basti was carved out from Gorakhpur. The latter was further split up in 1946 to form new district Deoria. The third division of Gorakhpur led to the creation of district Mahrajganj in 1989.

Cultural & Historical Importance

Gorakhpur has its own cultural and historical importance.

* It belongs to the Great Lord Buddha, founderof Buddhism, who renounced his princely costumes at the confluence of rivers Rapti & Rohini  and proceeded further in the quest of truth in 600 BC.

* It is also associated with Lord Mahavir, 24th tirthankar, founder of Jainism.

* The next event of importance was the association of Gorakhpur with Gorakhnath. The date and place of his birth have not yet been finally settled, but it was  probably in the twelfth century that he flourished. His samadhi at Gorakhpur attracts a large number of pilgrims every year.

* The most significant event in the medieval period, however, was the coming of mystic poet and famous saint Kabir to Maghar. Born  in   Varanasi, his workplace  was Maghar  where most of his beautiful poems were composed. It was here that he gave the message to his countrymen to live in peace and religious harmony. The co-existence of 'Samadhi' and 'Makbara' at his burial place in Maghar attracts a large number of followers.

* Gorakhpur is also identified with the Gita Press, the world famous publisher of the Hindu religious  books. The  most  famous  publication  is   'KALYAN' magazine. All 18 parts of Shree Bhagwat Gita is written on its marble-walls. Other  wall hangings and paintings reveal the events of life of Lord Ram and Krishna. The Gita Press is fore-front in dissemination of religious and spiritual consciousness across the country.

* Gorakhpur rose to great eminence due to the historic 'CHAURI CHAURA' incident of 4th Feb., 1922,  which was  a turning -point  in the  history of India's  freedom  struggle.  Enraged  at the inhuman barbaric atrocities of  the police, the volunteers  burnt down the Chauri-Chaura Police Station,  killing  nineteen  policemen  at the  premises.  With  this  violence,  Mahatma   Gandhi withdrew the Non-Cooperation Movement launched in 1920.

* Another  important event took place at Doharia (In Sahjanwa Tehsil ) on 23rd August,1942. In response to the  famous Quit  India   Movement  of 1942,  a  meeting  was  held to register its protest against  the British  Government at Doharia  but the  latter responded with  unprovoked firing,  killing   nine and  injuring  hundreds. A Shaheed Smarak ,  in their memory, stands there which still today keeps their memory alive.

* The trial of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru  took place in this district in 1940. Here  he was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of 4 years.

* Gorakhpur is also the Head Quarter of Air Force and known for Cobra Squadran.

Chauri Chaura (shaheed smarak)    Doharia (shaheed smarak)    Gautam Buddha
chauri.JPG (49789 bytes)   doharia.JPG (50997 bytes)   buddha2.JPG (30307 bytes)