Ambala has claims of being one of the historical famous districts of the state of Haryana. During the British colonial rule A.C. Cunningham and C. Rodgers explored this city and later B.B. Lal and many others also explored it. The earliest inhabitants of this region were the primitive people using stone tools belonging to lower Paleolithic age. This region was also included in the kingdom of Pandava and their successors. The Edicts of Ashoka and the Stupas at Singh and Chaneti add the further importance to this place. There are other interesting acts related to the city of Ambala. Some of the historians are of the view that Ambala owes its name to King Singh while others believe it was named after the Goddess Amba whose shrine is one of the most important features of the city.
Some believe that the district was named Ambala after the name of its founder, Amb Rajput. Some are of the view that the city was named after the goddess AMBA, who was the eldest daughter of King of Kashi in the Hindu epic of the Mahabharata, whose temple is located in the city. Ambala was originally called by the name of `Ambwala`, the significance of the term `Amb` being mango it was also known as the city of mangoes.
History of Ambala before British troops formed Cantonment
Ambala had witnessed considerable action even before the British troops formed the Cantonment here. At the turn of the 18th century, Ambala was administered by an independent Sikh chief. "Maharaja Ranjit Singh in his pursuit to extend his empire seized Ambala from Rani Daya Kaur, widow of Sardar Gurbaksh Singh. The confiscated estate of his lady ws made over to the chief of Kaithal and Ambala was made over to Ganda Singh Safi under whose command 5000 cavalry and infantry was placed, " a report prepared by the Regional Repository states.
Tributes were exacted from the sons of Sadar Karam Singh of Shahbad and the chief of Thanesar. As a corollary to the treaty of Amritsar on April 25, 1809, the Government established a British agency at Ludhiana. In April 1810, Sir David Ochterlony was appointed as an Agent to the Governor General at Ludhiana. In October 1815, the office was transferred from Ludhiana
to Karnal. In November 1821, the Government suggested the transfer of the office of Agency from Karnal to Ambala. The transfer was sanctioned on March 20, 1822 and the office transferred to Ambala.
Ambala division came into existence in the middle of 18th century. Ambala was made the Headquarters of a district and a division. Ambala remained the headquarters of Ambala, Shimla
, Ludhiana districts. In 1884, the Ambala division was transferred to Delhi division. It was only in 1911, when the Capital was shifted to Delhi, the Ambala division was revived, the regional repository report states.