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 Suraj Kund Mandir (History)

The history of Sunam goes back to the Vedic period, when its name was Surajpur. The Saraswati River is believed to have flowed by it.The modern town was built within the walls of an old fort into which its inhabitants were driven to take refuge.

It is divided into two parts, one in the citadel of the fort and the other on the lowland around it. Though now of little importance, Sunam has played a significant part in the history of the Punjab after the Muhammadan invasion; Al-Baruni mentions it as a famous place in his book 'Kitab-ul-Hind', 1050 AD. 'Sunam' in Sanskrit means auspicious name, but some say that it was named after Sona, a Gujari, who guided Muhammad of Ghor to conquer the fort of Bathinda and Asked him to give Sunam as her reward. Others accept a derivation from Sunam, which in Aravic means the hump of a camel. When Qutb-un-Din Aibak saw that the place had this shape he named it Sunam, but this etymology is untenable, as the town is said to have assumed its present shape only after Taimurís invasion (AD 1398). Sunam was held by Hindu Rajas till conquered by Muhammad of Ghor.

Sultan Shams-ud-Din Altmash gave it to his page Sher Khan in Jagir. Ghais-ud-Din balban gave it to Timar Khan, with Samana, (now in Patiala District), on the death of his cousin Sher Khan, and subsequently conferred it on his own son Bughra Khan. Under Muhammad Shah Tughlaq, its dependent tribe revolted. Firoz Shah brought a canal through Sirhind and Mansurpur to the town in 1360, and in 1398 Taimur attacked it. It is an ancient site, and by digging 40 of 50 feet deep, statues, big bricks and bones are found. In the time of Akbar, it was a Pargana of Sirhind. During Muslim rule, Sunam was a centre of politics like Samana and Sirhind (now in Patiala District).

Baba Ala Singh, the founder of the erstwhile Patiala State, had won this town from Muslim rulers. Akbarís courtier Abul Fazal has recorded in his Ain-i-Akbar ri that Emperor Akbar often came to Sunam on hunting expeditions.



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