Gazetteer of Haryana

    The word “Gazetteer” is of Greek origin called ‘Gaza’ meaning a treasury of news. It is generally understood to signify a geographical index or geographical dictionary or a guide book of important places and people. But, with the passage of time, its range has vastly widened and it has come to mean a veritable voyage of discovery and a mine of knowledge concerning numerous dimensions of human life and of the country or region they inhabit. In the west during the 6th century AD, the Magnum Opus of Stephen of Byzantium Empire and Doomsday Book compiled for William, the conquerors are normally cited as earliest gazetteer forms.

    India, a country of traditions, provided more systematic works of this nature. Gazettee literature in India as elsewhere, begin with travellers. Examples of such literature in India are the accounts of Megasthenese, Fa-Hien, Hiuen Tsang, Fa-Hien, Hiuen Tsang, Al-Biruni, Ibn Battuta and others. Kautilya’s Arthashast also provides valuable statistical information about India in the Mauryan Age. None of these works can however strictly be regarded as Gazetteer. The nearest approach to a Gazetteer in the modern sense is Abul Fazl’s Ain-i-Akbari. This book is of outstanding works which are normally counted to resemble the spirit and elements of Gazetteers. But the system of modern Gazetteer literature arose in Europe under the intellectual ferment brought about by the renaissance and industrial evolution. Germany and France led the way in this respect. The colonial British administration in India took up military, revenue and statistical survey to help and stabilize its position in the country.

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