Haryana is where Brahma, the Hindu god of creation, is said to have propitiated the elements, to create the universe. Haryana is the land of the Mahabharata, where cousins clashed in the epic battle of Kurukshetra. Haryana is the land of the Gita, the well-known Indian treatise on life, duty and death. The region of Haryana is mentioned as Brahmavarta in the Manusmruti, and the name Haryana evokes memories of mythology and history. On the banks of the river Saraswati, the rishis (sages) in their yogic trance perceived the hymns of the Vedas. Epigraphic evidence indicates that Haryana was part of the Maurya Empire in the third century BCE, and that a string of empires controlled the city after, including rulers from the Kushan, the Gupta, and the Harsha empires. The region has been the centre of many hard fought battles as the Huns, Turks, Mughals and several smaller invaders used it as a gateway to north India. In 1192 the region became part of the Delhi sultanate and remained so until 1526, when the city was seized by Mughals. With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the seventeenth century, the region was claimed alternately by the Marathas and the Sikhs, and the British East India Company took control in 1803. In 1858 the region became part of the new province of Punjab and began to be overshadowed by a shift of power to Lahore in the Sikh-dominated, northern area. Several Hindu saints and Sikh gurus have also traversed the land of Haryana, spreading their message of universal love and brotherhood. Haryana, like Punjab, is a land where two religions, Hinduism and Sikhism, are accorded equal importance by the people. Its similarities with Punjab go beyond religion however, as the two states share crafts and styles of craftsmanship. Haryana state came into existence on 1st November, 1966.