The ancient history of Azamgarh suggests that it was partly ruled by Kosala and Malla kingdoms. The city's name dates back to 1665 AD when Azam Khan founded this city from the ruins of Ailwal and Phulwaria. Azam Khan was the son of Vikramjit, whose ancestors were Gautam Rajputs of Mehnagar. By the end of the 16th century, one of the Gautam Rajputs got Azamgarh incorporated with the Mughal Empire in Delhi and was awarded a part of the land. Thus his descendants became the rajas or kings of this region. Later, in 1832, Mohhabat Khan formed the district of Azamgarh and was popularly known as Raja of Azamgarh. The prosperity of the city was at its peak during his rule. In late 1800 to 1947, when India was fighting the British for its freedom, Azamgarh was an important part of many visits and speeches by Mahatma Gandhi. The city also played an important role in the first battle of independence, in 1857. After India became independent, nearly 472 ‘Azamgarhis' were felicitated with copper medals, given to them or their family members, for their contribution in the freedom struggle, in the year 1973.
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