Historical region of North India
An old Painting of the dargah of ruler of Rohilkhand, Sardar Hafiz Rahmat Khan
Location Uttar Pradesh
State established: 1690 AC
Language Urdu, English
Dynasties Panchalas (Mahabharatha era)
Mughals (1526–1736)
Rohillas (1736–1858)
Historical capitals Bareilly, Badayun
Separated sube Bareilly, Rampur, Rudrapur, Champawat, Pilibhit, Khutar, Shahjahanpur Budaun Kakrala
Regions of Uttar Pradesh

Rohilkhand (Urdu: روہیل کھنڈ‎, Hindi: रोहिलखंड) is a region of northwestern Uttar Pradesh state of India, named after the Rohilla Afghan tribes. The region was known as Madhyapradesh in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.[1]

Rohilkhand lies on the upper Ganges alluvial plain and has an area of about 25,000 km²/10,000 square miles (in and around the City of Bareilly). It is bounded by the Ganges River on the south and the west by Uttarakhand and Nepal on the north, and by the Awadh region to the east. It include cities of Bareilly, Moradabad, Rampur, Bijnore, Pilibhit, Shahjahanpur, Budaun


  • History 1
  • Rulers 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The area was made famous by the previous settlement of Rohillas, who were Pathan highlanders of the Yusufzai tribe who were awarded the Katehr region in northern India by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir to suppress Rajput uprisings. Later it gained fame as Rohilkhand due to large settlements of Rohilla Pathans in the City of Bareilly and Rampur. Roh means mountains and in Pashto Rohilla means mountaineer.[2] Today, the Afghan proper refer to themselves as Ban-i-Afghan or Ban-i-Isrial to differentiate themselves from the Indian Pathan.[3] Rohilkhand was invaded by the Marathas after Panipat war.

The first invasion of Maratha on Rohillakhand took place on 1751–1752, The Marathas were requested by Safdarjung, the Nawab of Oudh, in 1752 to help him defeat Afghani Rohilla. The Maratha force left Poona and defeated Afghan Rohilla in 1752, capturing the whole of Rohilkhand. Rohilla were defeated badly and their whole area was Ransacked by Maratha, Later the Maratha resold Rohillakhand to Zabita Khan.[4][4][5]

In 1772, Marathas, led by Mahadji Sindhia defeated Zabita Khan of Rohillkhand and the fort of Pathargarh was completely looted by the Marathas in the form of horses, elephants, guns and other valuable things, which the Rohillas had looted at Panipat, they also destroyed Najib-ul-Daula's grave, scattering the bones all around.[6] After plundering Rohillakhand Maratha proceed towards Oudh sensing the same fate as Rohilla, Nawab made frantic calls to British troops in Bengal, British company knew that Nawab of Oudh didn't possess any danger for British company whereas Maratha will try to invade Bengal and Bihar after overrunning Oudh, British company despatch 20,000 British troops on the order of then Viceroy of British India, British wanted to free Rohillakhand from Maratha and give it to Nawab, The two army face came to came in Ram Ghat but the sudden demise of then Peshwa and the civil war in Poona to choose the next Peshwa forced Maratha to retreat, Rohilla decided not to pay because there was no war between the two states, further British made Oudh a Buffer state in order to protect it from Maratha and from here on British troops start protecting Oudh. The subsidy of one British brigade to provide protection to Nawab and Oudh from Maratha was decided to be Rs 2,10,000.[7]

In 1737, the country round Farrukhabad was in the hands of an Afghan jagirdar, Kaiam Khan Bangash. The province, known now as Rohilkhand and then as Kuttahir, was in the occupation of a band of Afghan mercenary soldiers known as Rohels or Rohillas, from "Roh", the Pushtu or Afghan word for mountain. About 1673 two brothers, Shah Alam and Hussein Khan, left their native hills and obtained some petty office under the Mughals. Shah Alam's grandson, Ali Mahomed, a man of resource and courage and quite devoid of scruple, was eventually appointed governor of Sirhind. Taking advantage of the invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali, he added in 1748 to the lands already acquired by him those formerly owned by officers absent on field service. In this way he acquired the whole of Kuttahir and changed its name to Rohilkhand.


Rohilkhand was under the rule of Rohillas with their capital in City of Bareilly until the Rohilla War of 1774–75. The Rohillas were defeated and driven from their former capital of Bareilly by the Nawab of Oudh with the assistance of the East India Company's troops. The state of Rampur was then established under the Nawab of Oudh.

Name Reign Began Reign Ended
Ali Mohammed Khan 1719 15 September 1748
Faizullah Khan 15 September 1748 24 July 1793
Hafiz Rahmat Khan – Regent 15 September 1748 23 April 1774
Muhammad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 July 1793 11 August 1793
Ghulam Muhammad Khan Bahadur 11 August 1793 24 October 1794
Ahmad Ali Khan Bahadur 24 October 1794 5 July 1840
Nasrullah Khan – Regent 24 October 1794 1811
Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur 5 July 1840 1 April 1855
Yusef Ali Khan Bahadur 1 April 1855 21 April 1865
Kalb Ali Khan Bahadur 21 April 1865 23 March 1887
Muhammad Mushtaq Ali Khan Bahadur 23 March 1887 25 February 1889
Hamid Ali Khan Bahadur 25 February 1889 20 June 1930
Muhammad Said Khan Bahadur 5 July 1840 1 April 1855
Regent 25 February 1889 4 April 1894
Raza Ali Khan Bahadur 20 June 1930 6 March 1966
Murtaza Ali Khan Bahadur – Nawabat abolished in 1971 6 March 1966 8 February 1982

See also


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica Online: Rohilkhand
  2. ^ Rohilla  .
  3. ^ "Pathan". Isa-Masih in Lucknow. Retrieved 2007-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b Agrawal, Ashvini. Studies In Mughal History. 
  5. ^ Playne, Somerset; Solomon, R. V.; Bond, J. W.; Wright, Arnold. Indian States: A Biographical, Historical, and Administrative Survey. 
  6. ^ Rathod, N. G. The Great Maratha: Mahadaji Scindia. 
  7. ^ Chaurasia, Radhey Shyam (1947). History of Modern India: 1707 A.D. to Upto 2000 A.D.