Hisar is an ancient and historic town. The town shows evidences of the pre-Harappan habitation from the excavations in Agroha, Banawali and Kunal. The pillar discovered in Hisar fort belongs to Emperor Ashoka (234 A.D.) Coins of the Kushan Kings (1st century A.D) were discovered from these mounds indicating the cities association with the Kushan Empire. Hisar was ruled by the Mauryas, Ashoka and the Yaudheya Kingdoms, respectively.
The Muslim ruler, Firoz Shah Tughlaq established Hisar in 1354 A.D. ‘Hisar’ is an Arabic word which means ‘Fortress’. A wealthy and developed city of Hindus and Jains, Iksar was destroyed to build Hisar on those ruins. The city was water sourced from the waters of the Yamuna River through a canal. It was initially called as Hisar Firoza (also Hisar-e-Firoza) which is now called as Hisar. The fortification was made using the stones from Narsai Hills located close by. The fortification also included a big ditch that was dug surrounding the boundary wall to prevent the invaders. The huge fort had many buildings and a beautiful garden within the premises. The aristocrats and the elite had their houses constructed in the fort. Lime and burnt bricks were used to construct buildings. The city had four gates - the Delhi Gate and Mori Gate to the east, the Nagori Gate to the south and Talaqi Gate to the west.
Hansi was taken over by Khizar Khan who took over the throne of Delhi in 1414 as the first Sultan of Sayyad Dynasty. In 1420 Hisar was given to Mahmud Hassan as a reward for his services towards the Sultan. Hisar was a part of Haryana from 1451-1526 during the rule of the Lodi dynasty. During this reign of Bahlol Lodi, Hisar was given away to Muhabbat Khan.
Hisar was an important center of Ibrahim’s Lodi’s empire. In 1526 when Babur invaded India, before the battle of Panipat, Babur came to know that forces from Hisar were marching towards him. Babur immediately sent his son Humayun, who fought and defeated them. Hisar was given to Humayun as reward for his first success. Hisar continued to remain an important city even during Akbar’s reign (1556-1605) and was made the Revenue Division headquarters (Sirkar). The Mughal princes associated with Hisar consequently became the Mughal Emperors who ruled majestically over the country. Hence, the city began to be known as the Duke of Wellington of Mughal Era. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, Hisar was taken over by the Marathas.
Finally, Hisar was taken over by George Thomas (1756–1802) the great Irish commander. From there it was confiscated by the British in the early 18th century. Since then a lot of administrative changes were made in Hisar. The villages were made a part of Sirsa, Bhiwani, Punjab, Tohana districts. In 1978, Hisar was declared a separate district of Haryana with Hisar city as its district headquarters.
Hisar once again gained popularity in the early 1960 when the Agriculture University was set-up here. The Industrial policy laid by the Government has attracted a large number of industrialists and financers to set up companies and industries in the city gradually leading to the tremendous development of the area.
The region of Hisar was historically ruled by: Kushan Empire, Mauryas, Yaudheya Kingdom, Tughlaq Dynasty, Khizar Khan of the Sayyad Dynasty, Mahmud Hassan, Lodi Dynasty, Mughal Dynasty, Marathas, The British.
Hisar became famous after the Agricultural University was set up in the city.
The famous personalities of Hisar are:
- Sardar Ishri Singh - freedom fighter and social worker
- Sardar Harji Ram - freedom fighter and social worker
- Rai Bahadur Sardar Nau Nihal Singh - honorary magistrate of Hisar pre-Independence
- Dr. Gopi Chand Bhargava - the First Chief Minister of Punjab
- Late O.P. Jindal - former chairperson of Jindal Industries
- Subhash Chandra - Chairman Essel Group (Zee Network)
- Yash Tonk - Bollywood actor
- Manish Joshi Bismil - Famous theatre director
- Chaudhary Jaswant Singh Nain - Surveyor & Loss Accessor of K L Arya DAV Public School