Rupnagar was founded in the 11th century and was named after Rup Sen, the son of Raja Rokeshar who was the founder of the place. It was known as Ropar before its name was changed to Rupnagar. The district and the headquarters share the same name.
The town is a significant archaeological site. It is believed that the Harappans formed part of the early civilization as is evident from the recent excavations. They occupied the area upto the upper Satluj around the 3rd millennium BC. The district was formed on November 1, 1966.
Places to visit:
Anandpur Sahib Gurdwara: Gurudwara Keshgarh Sahib is the most important of the shrines present inside the Anandpur Sahib complex. It is built on the birthplace of “Khalsa”. It forms part of the five seats of the Sikh religion. The shrine is found on the Rupnagar-Nangal road. A series of cobbled stones lead to the shrine which is present on the hillock. The central shrine is preceded by a large open marbled quadrangle and Darshani Deorhi. A 200 rooms serai is found adjacent to the shrine.
Gurudwara Parivar Vichhora Sahib: Gurudwara Parivar Vichhora Sahib is 14 kilometers from Rupnagar. The shrine is found close to the canal which is found near the Nagal Sirsa village. A total of 84 steps lead to the main shrine. This place was inhabited by Guru Gobind Singh and his family. He along with his followers left the Fort of Anandpur Sahib and moved to this place. He was attacked by Wazir Khan, the Governor of Sirhind. He was a strong contingent.
Gurudwara Bhatta Sahib: This shrine was built in the fond memory of Guru Gobind Singh. It is found in the village of Kotla Nihang. The Guru was followed by the enemy. He reached this village and sought shelter from the Pathans. He was protected inside a lime-kiln.
Jateshwar Mahadev Temple, Jatwahar: It is an ancient temple. It is also known as Shiv Mandir. It is located in the village of Jatwahr. The temple was built by a local resident of the village Takhatgarh named Jai Dayal Sharma. The new temple, which is 100 years old, was built on an older temple site. The older temple was built in the 10th – 11th century as is evident from the four carved pillars made out of sandstone.
Devotees from all parts of Punjab come and visit this temple. People from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh also visit the temple. Mondays are the most crowded during the sawan months. A fare is held on the occasion of Shivratri every year.
Nangal: Nangal is 60 kilometers away from Rupnagar. It is present on the foothills of the Shiwalik range. It is a famous tourist place as it is surrounded by hills, river and canals. The Bhakra Nangal Dam is constructed on the River Satluj which is an important multi purpose project. It was built in November, 1955. Apart from this, there are other projects too such as the Nangal Dam, Nangal Hydel Channel, Ganguwal and Kotla Power Houses.