Dipalpur

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This article is about the town in Pakistan. For the town in India, see Depalpur, India.
دِيپالپُور
City
Depalpur
دِيپالپُور is located in Pakistan
دِيپالپُور
دِيپالپُور
Coordinates: 30°25′N 73°25′E / 30.41°N 73.42°E / 30.41; 73.42
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Okara
Tehsil Depalpur
Elevation 167 m (548 ft)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code 044
Number of towns 10+
Number of Union councils 3
The bigest tehsil of Pakistan

Depalpur (also written as Depalpur) (Urdu: دِيپالپُور‎), is a city in Okara District of the Punjab and headquarters of Depalpur Tehsil, assumed to be largest tehsil of Pakistan. It is situated 25 kilometres from the district capital Okara on a bank of the Beas River in Bari Doab.[1][2] The Tehsil is notable for being the site of several battles in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and is also associated with the history of the Bhatti clan. Punjabi is the most spoken language in the region. Rao,DAULA,Mian,Arain,Wattoo,Klasson (jatt), Bhatti, Joiya are the main casts.

History[edit]

Depalpur region was agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Vedic period is characterized by Indo-Aryan culture that invaded[citation needed] from Central Asia and settled in Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas 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 Okara 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 northern 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.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Dipalpur. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule[citation needed].

Depalpur city is an ancient city about 2000 years old, The city has been demolished and rebuilt several times during this period. According to the historian Abnashi Chander Das "AC DAS", the original name of this city was Siri Puria or Siri Nagar after the elder brother of Raja Salvahan of Sialkot (who was the explorer of Sialkot) Raja Depa Chand renamed Depalpur after his beloved son Raja Depa. According to AC DAS, That was about 2000 years ago when Aryans entered the Subcontinent[citation needed] they began to live in the land of Pert Sindhu (The Land of Seven Rivers) including River Ravi, Chinab, Satluj, Jhelum, Beas, Indus and Kabul. So the famous civilisation which was developed at that time was Ajodhan (Pakpattan), Qabula and Depalpur. Now the Depalpur is a tehsil of district Okara and it is an older tehsil than Okara. This area also remained the part of Montgomery District before 1982 when Okara became a district. It contains 945 villages.

Ancient history[edit]

Coins from the Saka (Scythian) period found in the area suggest that it was inhabited as early as 100 BC. After Multan, this is assumed to be the oldest continuously occupied site in Pakistan

General Alexander Cunningham writes that the area was mentioned in the works of Ptolemy under several different names. According to local legend, Dipalpur got its name from Raja Dipa Chand when he captured the city.[when?] Dipalpur was the first fortification on the route from the Khyber Pass to Delhi.

Mongols[edit]

Dipalpur gained fame as an outpost that played a significant part in defending the Delhi Sultanate against the Mongol invasions of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

In 1285, Shahid Khan, son of Emperor Balban, was killed in a bloody battle against the Mongols and the famous poet Amir Khusro was taken prisoner. The tomb where Muhammad Tughlaq is interred may still be seen in an isolated part of the city, although it has become rather dilapidated.

Ghazi Malik[edit]

Under Ala-ud-din the town became the headquarters of Ghazi Malik (also known as Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq). Firuz Shah Tughluq made a royal visit to the town in the fourteenth century. Mughal Emperor Akbar made it the headquarters of one of the sarkars (revenue districts) of Multan Province.

Independence[edit]

The town dwindled in importance during the British Raj. The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Dipalpur.

Historical architecture[edit]

In the past, Dipalpur was surrounded by a fortified wall, rising to the height of 25 feet and strengthened by a deep trench. When and by whom this wall was constructed is not known, but it was renovated, repaired and improved during the rule of Firoz Shah Tughluq and later by Abdur Rahim Khan-e-Khanan, who was the governor during the time of Akbar. Firoz Shah Tughluq constructed a grand mosque and palaces. He also excavated a canal from the river Sutlej to irrigate gardens around the town.

Wide and airy tunnels linked the royal residential quarters inside the fort to the adjoining gardens outside. There were 24 burgs (musketry holes) on the fortification wall, 24 mosques, 24 bavlis (ponds) and 24 wells at the town's peak. The trench, ponds and tunnels have been filled in, but in some places the location of the trench can still be defined. Most of the wall has been razed. Two of the four massive gateways with pointed arches also exist though they are badly damaged and their wooden doors have vanished. Later coats of cement have marred the original architecture of the gateways.

Hindu monastery[edit]

Besides doors with decorated latches, Jharokhas, bay windows and cut brick works, the most noticeable feature inside old Dipalpur is the monastery of Lal Jas Raj, a guru much venerated by the local people.

According to the famous legend, Lal Jas Raj was the young son of Raja Dipa Chand, the founder of Dipalpur. He sank into the earth due to a curse by his stepmother Rani Dholran. [clarification needed] Raja Dipa Chand constructed this monastery in the memory of his son. Today, the chamber is dilapidated, the doors are jammed and a stairway is used for storage. The structure itself is crumbling. According to local residents, there used to be a grand annual "mela" held here. It was also used by Hindus as a place to perform the Sardukahr (head-shaving ritual) until the partition, but "nobody comes anymore"[citation needed].

Inn[edit]

Another notable structure in the old section of Dipalpur is a saray (inn) near the monastery of Lal Jas Raj. It was a spacious building with airy rooms on four sides, a big courtyard in the centre and four arched entrances. The inn, like most of the older structures in town, is now in a state of disrepair. It has been divided and subdivided so many times by successive occupants that the original shapes are obscured. Even the verandas have been converted to create rooms.

Saints[edit]

Hujra Shah Muqeem.

Many Muslim saints have come to preach in this area. Hazrat Bahawal Haq commonly known as Bahawal Sher Qalandar came from Baghdad and settled in the village of Patharwall near Dipalpur. The saint constructed a hujra (small living room) and a mosque outside the village. His grandson Hazrat Shah Muqeem continued his mission. The village came to be known as Hujra Shah Muqeem. This is the place mentioned in the famous Punjabi love story Mirza Saheban, although there is no historical evidence that Jati Sahiba (Mirza Sahiba) came here and prayed that "The streets should desert when where my lover Mirza roams about".

The Mughal Emperor Akbar, along with his son Saleem and royal entourage, stayed in Dipalpur when he came to pay homage to Hazrat Farid Ganj Shakar in 1578. Akbar named the corridor Bari Doab by combining the syllables of the names of the two rivers, Beas and Ravi, that bounded the area. Baba Guru Nanak also stayed in Dipalpur for some time. The ruins of a Gurudwara mark the place.

Muslim saint named as Saayi Abdul Razaq stayed in Dipalpur and later on he started his volunteer activity for local people and after his death he was buried in city. Now, his death place is known as Razaqia Darbar.

[3]

References[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 30°40′N 73°39′E / 30.667°N 73.650°E / 30.667; 73.650