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Chistian Tehsil (Urdu: تحصیل چشتیاں) is an administrative subdivision (tehsil) of Bahawalnagar District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The city of Chishtian is the headquarters of the tehsil which is administratively subdivided into 29 Union Councils.
Chishtian Tehsil t was agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Vedic period is characterized by Indo-Aryan culture that invaded from Central Asia and settled in Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled ancient Punjab region. After overrunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. The Chishtian Tehsil was ruled by Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalites and Shahi kingdoms.
In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin, In 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of Punjab region. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region.
Chishtian city was founded by Sufi saint Shaikh Khawaja Tajuddin Chishti around 1265 CE (574 Hijri, Islamic calendar). The town is called Chishtian because of the of Sufi Chishti Order. He was grandson of Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar of Pakpattan.
Shaikh Khawaja Tajuddin Chishti made this place his abode about seven centuries ago and spread Islam to the local population of area. Later on, he embraced martyrdom and was buried there. He was one of the earliest Muslim saints in the South Asia. Later, about 250 years ago, the great saint of Chishtia silsla (one of the spiritual chains of Sufism). Khawaja Noor Muhammad Maharvi was born in the neighbouring village, Mahar Sharif and was a famous Sufi.
The town of Chistian can also be referred to as Chistian Mandi (Mandi means market in Punjabi) which is one of the oldest markets in the South Asia as it was the only market after Bikaner`s market in India. It is divided between Old Chishtian and New Chistian by a railway track. The town is administered by the municipality of Chishtian who is responsible for the cleanliness and economy as well as of the taxation in the town. It also has a huge park/garden for the residents of the town. It also serves as a major transport route throughout Pakistan.
Two police stations known as the city police station and the sadar police station serve as the law enforcement authorities and are responsible for the law enforcement in the tehsil. It also has a session court which handles most of the local tehsil cases.
The town has a government hospital that provides services for majors and minor surgeries as well as dental care. Along with that there are quite a reasonable amount of private clinics that provide such services apart for major surgeries.
The town also serves as a major destination for tourists from all over Pakistan to pay their tributes at the tomb of Khawaja Noor Muhammad located within old Chishtian.
The town also has a government colleges and schools separate for both boys and girls following the FSc, graduation board of education. Private schools, colleges and nurseries are also available. Education has been on the rise where majority of the students seek admissions to universities in either Lahore, Faisal Abad, Islam Abad and Bahawalpur to pursue their higher education. Trend of education is quite high in comparison to other towns of Bahawalpur.
It serves as a main market for the local farmer of the district to sell their products in the grain market area which is the largest in the tehsils of Bahawalnagar.
Almost all the local banks of Pakistan as well as the building society is found in the town. A little further down on the road from Chishtian to Daranwala the PTV broadcasting unit can also be found which was inaugurated during the reign of the late prime minister Benazir Bhutto`s Pakistan Peoples Party.
The area of Chishtian also has many villages that are full with agricultural lands and provide essentials such as grain and other crops for the entire Pakistan. And a vast area of the region is also covered with the desert as it is in Chishtian tehsil where the Thar desert of India finishes. The border of Rajashthan (India) is roughly about 35 miles from the tehsil at Fort Abbas region and at Chak Raju.