Archive for History of Gujrat

Gujarat

GUJRAT

Gujrat is a city in Pakistan and is the capital of Gujrat District and the Gujrat Tehsil subdivision in the Punjab Province. A person living in Gujrat is called
Location
Gujrat is situated near the Chenab River, 120 km north of Lahore. Prominent nearby locations include Jhelum, Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The city is surrounded by many villages from which the local labour market is supplied. The major source of livelihood of Gujrat populace is agriculture.
History
Gujrat is an ancient city which was founded by Raja Bachhan Pal in 460 BC, according to General Cunningham, the British historian. Historical consensus is that it existed in the time of Alexander the Great, and that the city’s Raja Porus put up a fierce challenge to Alexander’s invasion at the bank of the Jehlum River. The establishment of Gujrat City was realized early in the 1900 century after the British Empire and in support of regional land lords (e.g, Daswandi Khan of Daswandi Pura).
During the Mughal Empire period, Mughal royalty would travel through the district en-route to Kashmir. When King Jahangir died while he was returning from Kashmir, the news of his death was not released to avoid any unrest in the empire. As such, his abdominal organs were taken out and buried in Gujrat. To this day an annual festival is held commemorating this event, commonly known as the “Festival of Jahangir”.
Two main battles between British and Sikh armies were fought in this district: the Battle of Chillianwala and Battle of Gujrat. Only after winning the battle of Gujrat on 22 February 1849 did the British declare victory in Punjab.
Historic remains
There are many historical buildings and ruins in and around Gujrat. The Grand Trunk Road commonly abbreviated as GT road built by emperor Sher Shah Suri also passes from Gujrat. The road still exists today, along with its period stone wall. The nearby towns of Shadiwal,kalra kalan Tanda, Adowal, Amra Kalan,Kotla,Bangial, Dinga and Kunjah have historical buildings and ruins. The village Kurree Sharif is famous for the shrines of saints and mazar of Malik Jusrus, the forefather of Maliks (Khokhars) of Punjab.
Geography
Gujrat is an ancient district of Pakistan located between two famous rivers, the Jhelum River and the Chenab River. Because of its proximity with the rivers, the land is good for cultivation with rice and sugar cane as main crops. It is bounded on the northeast by Jammu and Kashmir, on the northwest by the Jhelum River which separates it from Jhelum District, on the east and southeast by the Chenab River, separating it from the districts of Gujranwala and Sialkot; and on the west by Mandi Bahauddin District. District Gujrat is spread over an area of 3,192 square kilometres and comprises the three tehsils of Gujrat, Kharian & Sarai Alamgir.
Famous people
”        Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed, a recipient of the Nishan-e-Haider (Pakistan’s highest Military award) during the India-Pakistan war of 1965 was born in Laadhian
”        Major Muhammad Akram, another recipient of the Nishan-e-Haider during the India-Pakistan war of 17th December 1971, was born in Dinga, a village near Gujrat.
”        Major Shabir Sharif was another recipient of the Nishan-e-Haider.
”        Captain Syed Mazhar Hussain Shaheed of the 8th Punjab Regiment
”        Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Arshad Qureshi (S/o the famous Chiragh Ali Hakeem)
”        Fazal Elahi Chaudhry, former President of Pakistan
”        Inayat Hussain Bhatti, singer, actor, producer, director, script writer, social worker, columnist, religious scholar.
Sites of interest
The sunny palace, situated in the center of the city (Pakistan Chowk), is the hub of political activity in Gujrat. The same building has been the residence of Gul Sher and Muqrrabjaved. Over the ages, the building has influenced the political history of the city. The Gujrat Fort, now in shambles, still stands, depicting the declining glory of Mughal architecture. The fort was built by Akbar the Great Mughal Emperor in 1598-99. Morever, the Baradari, built by Raja Ranja Singh, is also a worth visiting place.
Faiz-e-Illahi Manzil(residence of THE famous Chiragh Ali Hakeem Advocate and active member of Muslim league part until 1948) is another historical place, Where father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah resided for a short while.
The mazar’s of Hazart Khawja Gohar-ud-din (jinder sharif), Shah Dulah, Imam Shah.Mazar of Hazrat Mian Mohammad Pinnahat Sheikh PurGujrat. Jungo Shah, Malang Shah of Sook Klan and Mian Inyat Ali are also in Gujrat.
Climate
This district has moderate climate. During peak summer, the daytime temperature shoots up to 45°C, but the hot spells are relatively short due to the proximity of the Azad Kashmir Mountains. During the winter months the minimum temperature may fall below 2°C. The average rainfall on the Kashmir border is over 100 cm; at Kharian it is 75 cm, at Gujrat 67 cm and at Dinga 50 cm.
Culture
District Gujrat produces low temperature pottery and ceramic goods, ‘Hookas’, artistic handicrafts, flower pots, “Changairian” (made from the leaves of palm and date trees), cotton mates, “Dhusse” and woollen shawls.. Sohni Mahiwal is a famous folk tale of the Punjab region. The heroine of the story, named “Sohni” (a Punjabi word, meaning “beautiful”), came from the Gujrat region. She used to meet her lover “Mahinwal” by crossing the Chenab river, sitting on a pitcher. The tale is still told to this day, and is an essential part of Punjabi culture. The anniversary of Kanwan-Wali Sarkar is celebrated with a fair in August every year, usually it rains heavily at this time.
Economy
Gujrat is also known for its clay with which Gujratis have for long produced quality pottery. The city also produces fine furniture. Over last few decades, Gujrat has also attained a name in the export of electric fans. Gujrat is also home to one of the two largest shoe manufacturing companies in Pakistan, namely Service Industries which runs a large shoe factory in the city. There are about 1,059 cottage level and small/medium/large scale industrial units operating in the district. Jalalpur Jattan is a large town of Gujrat , where several small and large textile companies have been established. Rice production and export is another major product of Gujrat. A town called Mangowal (located west of Gujrat) in particular holds over 20 rice mills. There are many other factories engaged in manufacturing of electrical goods, electric motors, shoes and rice cleaning mills. The story of the emergence of the electric fan manufacturing industry in Pakistan started with a few enterprising individuals in the early 1940s, struggled against all odds, and created, without government or foreign help, an efficient industry. There are now over five hundred fan factories in Gujrat, Gujranwala, Lahore and a few other cities. Most are cottage industries, providing employment to a large number of people and accounting, in aggregate, for more than 90 percent of the domestic market.
Education
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan named the region “Khita-e-Younan”, or “Territory resembling ancient Greece”, referring to the education available in the area of Gujrat. Several schools and colleges are located at Gujrat, including the University of Gujrat, a prominent university of the region. Gujrat is also known for its Swedish Technical Institution, meant for high quality middle level, training institution meant for technical fields.
Transport
Gujrat, situated beside the grand trunk road and main rail line, is directly connected with the major cities of the country. The district has 1,019 kilometres of road, it is linked with Gujranwala, Jhelum, and Mandi Bahauddin districts through metalled roads. The main Peshawar – Karachi railway line passes through Gujrat district. The district is linked with Jhelum,Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha and Gujranwala districts through railway network.
Universities and Colleges
”        University of Gujrat
”        Govt. Zaminadar College, Bhimber Road
”        Gujrat College of Commerce, Bhimber Road
”        Swedish Institute of Technology, a technical training institution for low cost basic training in technical fields to students in Gujrat,Pakistan and surrounding areas.

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