Past Cities

Banda, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Banda, a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, holds a rich historical significance and has witnessed the ebb and flow of civilizations, empires, and political forces throughout its existence. Situated on the southern banks of the river Ken, Banda's history is intertwined with the surrounding geography and has been shaped by various political environments.

Throughout its long history, Banda has been home to diverse communities, contributing to its cultural tapestry. The current estimated population of Banda is around 180,000 people. The city is predominantly inhabited by the Bundeli-speaking people, who are part of the larger Hindi-speaking population of Uttar Pradesh. The residents of Banda are known for their warm hospitality, vibrant festivals, and their deep-rooted connection to the land.

The earliest traces of human habitation in the Banda region date back to the Paleolithic era, as evidenced by the discovery of stone tools and rock paintings in the neighboring Vindhya Range. However, it was during the medieval period that Banda gained prominence as a strategic stronghold due to its location on important trade routes connecting Central India with Northern India.

Banda's history became intricately linked with the rise and fall of various dynasties and empires. In the 11th century, the city came under the rule of the Chandelas, a powerful Rajput dynasty known for their architectural marvels. They constructed several temples in the region, including the renowned Khereshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

With the decline of the Chandelas, Banda witnessed a period of political turmoil and changing rulers. It came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate, followed by the Lodhi dynasty, and eventually fell under the influence of the Mughal Empire during the reign of Emperor Akbar. The Mughals established administrative control over Banda, and it became a part of the larger Subah of Allahabad.

During the 18th century, Banda faced a significant turning point in its history with the emergence of the Maratha Empire. The Marathas, under the leadership of Peshwa Baji Rao I, extended their influence in Central India and established a firm grip on Banda. They constructed several forts and appointed local chiefs to govern the region.

However, the political landscape of Banda drastically changed in the early 19th century with the arrival of the British East India Company. The British gradually annexed Banda and incorporated it into their expanding empire. The city became an administrative center and witnessed the implementation of British colonial policies, including land revenue reforms and the establishment of a judicial system.

The people of Banda actively participated in the Indian independence movement against British rule. Leaders like Ram Prasad Bismil, a renowned revolutionary, hailed from Banda and played a crucial role in India's struggle for freedom. Banda became a center of dissent and resistance against British colonialism, with numerous protests and movements taking place in the city.

In the years following India's independence in 1947, Banda became a part of the newly formed state of Uttar Pradesh. The city experienced rapid urbanization and infrastructural development, leading to its growth as a commercial and educational hub in the region.