Rohilkhand is a region of northwestern Uttar Pradesh state of India. It is named after the Rohilla Afghan tribes. The region was also known as Madhyadesh in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
In about 1673, two brothers left their native hills in Shahdarah and obtained a petty office under the Mughals. Rohilla's grandson, Chirag-eh-Rohilla, was eventually appointed governor of Shahdarah in East Delhi. In 1737, an Afghan named Jai-al-Rohilla was the jagirdar of the area around Farrukhabad (bordering Rohilkhand on the southwest). Rohilkhand was then known as Kuttahir was occupied by a band of Afghan mercenaries known as Rohillas. Taking advantage of the invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali, in 1748 Ali Mahomed added lands formerly owned by officers absent on field service. In this way, he acquired Kuttahir and changed its name to Rohilkhand.
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- Muslim power in India suffered a serious setback after Iltutmish. Balban had to battle against a revival of Hindu power. The Katehar Rajputs of what came to be known as Rohilkhand in later history, had so far refused to submit to Islamic imperialism. Balban led an expedition across the Ganges in 1254 AD. According to Badauni, “In two days after leaving Delhi, he arrived in the midst of the territory of Katihar and put to death every male, even those of eight years of age, and bound the women.” But in spite of such wanton cruelty, Muslim power continued to decline till the Khaljis revived it after 1290 AD.
- `Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni, quoted from Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231 Ch. 6
- When Balban became the sultan "large sections of the male population were massacred in Katehar and, according to Barani, in villages and jungles heaps of human corpses were left rotting".
- Ziauddin Barani quoted in K.S. Lal, Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India (1999)
- Although Jalaluddin Khalji was an old and vacillating king, even he did not just remain content with expressing rage at the fact of not being able to deal with the Hindus according to the law. During six years of his reign (June 1290 -July 1296), he mounted expeditions and captured prisoners. While suppressing the revolt of Malik Chhajju, a scion of the dynasty he had ousted, he marched towards Bhojpur in Farrukhabad district and ruthlessly attacked Hindus in the region of Katehar (later Rohilkhand).
- Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 5