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Gujrat is located in the north of Punjab
|• District Coordination Officer||Liaquat Ali Chattha|
|• District Police Officer||Rai Ijaz Ahmed|
|• Total||3,192 km2 (1,232 sq mi)|
|• Density||642/km2 (1,660/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||3|
Gujrat (Urdu: ضِلع گُجرات), also known as the District of brave people is a district of Punjab Province in Pakistan. It is an ancient district located in between two famous rivers, the Jhelum and Chenab. 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 Mirpur, on the northwest by the River Jhelum 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 Gujrat is spread over an area of 3,192 square kilometres, and is divided into three tehsils, Gujrat, Kharian, and Sarai Alamgir. There are many historic villages and towns in the district such as Jalalpur Jattan, Chakdina, Karnana, Kunjah and Lalamusa. People of Gujrat are the first who embraced Islam from the northern region of Sub-continent.
According to the Imperial Gazetteer of India: Gujrat was ruled by Hindu kings for thousands of years.
|“||Gujrat town itself is a place of some antiquity, and the district bounds in ancient sites.The district formed part of the kingdom of Porus, who was defeated by Alexander, probably in the Karri plain beyond the Jammu border, in July, 326 B.C. ; but four years later , the Greeks were defeated and the town was conquered by Chandragupta Maurya in the national rising which took place on the death of Alexander. It remained under the Mauryas until shortly after the death of Ashoka in 231, and about forty years later came under the sway of Demetrius the Graeco-Bactrian. The overthrow of the Bactrians by the Parthians in the latter half of the second century brought another change of rulers, and the coins of the Indo-Parthian Maues (c. 120 B. c.), who is known to local tradition as Raja Moga, have been found at Mong. At the end of the first century A. D., ie whole of the Punjab was conquered by the Yueh-chi. For several hundred years nothing is known of the history of the District, except that between 455 and 540 it must have been exposed to the ravages of the White Huns. Dr. Stein holds that the District formed part of the kingdom of Gurjara after Maurya empire till the coming if Islam, which, according to the Rajatarangini, was
invaded between 883 and 902 by Sankara Varman of Kashmir, who defeated its king Alakhana. This may be the Ali Khan to whom tradition ascribed the refounding of GUJRAT.
However the foundation of the capital, Gujrat, according to the Ancient Geography of India:
|“||is ascribed to a king named Bachan Pal of whom nothing more is known ; and its restoration is attributed to Ali Khan a Gujar, whose name is strangely like that of Alakhana, the Raja of Gurjara, who was defeated by Sangkara Varmma King of Rajputs between AD 883 AD 901. The Grandson of Ali Khan Abdullah Ali Khan won the battle against Umesh tiwana in 934 A.D ||”|
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. Ghaznavi and the Gujjars of Gujrat fought together against the rulers of Lahore, Delhi and the rulers of the other states which are now in Haryana, India . The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. Ghaznvi brought highly learned scholars as well as mercenaries with him who were appointed as commanders to control the occupied areas.Miran Syed Yahya of Raniwal Syedan belonging to tribes of Tirmaz near Ghaznvi, was appointed Chief Commander of Muslim fighters at Raniwal fort.The fort has decayed with passage of time.Thousands of non Muslims accepted Islam on his hands. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region. Authentic history commences only in the Lodi period, when Bahlolpur, 23 miles (37 km) north-east of Gujrat, was founded in the reign of Bahlol (1451–89). Khwas Khan, governor of Rohtas, Bihar under Sher Shah Suri, founded Khwaspur near Gujrat. The settlement of the tract was completed by Akbar, who built a fort and compelled the Gujars to settle in it. The tract was then named Gujrat and formed into a separate district. Revenue records have been preserved in the families of the hereditary registrars (kanungos), and these exhibit Gujrat the capital of a district containing 2,592 villages, paying a revenue of 11.6 million. In 1605 the famous Saiyid Abdul Kasim received Gujrat as a tuyul or fief from Akbar. On the decay of the Mughal power, Nadir Shah occupied the Gujrat district..The country also suffered at the same time from invasion of Ahmad Shah Durrani, whose armies frequently crossed and recrossed it. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Gujrat. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule.
After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh Empire invaded and occupied Mandi Bahauddin District. Bhangi Misl was the first of many Sikh bands to invade and plunder the Mughal Lahore and other cities in Punjab. Many visitors to Lahore during this era noted that much of the city was in disrepair and many of its Muslim monuments and Mosques were pillaged and desecrated by the Sikhs. The Sikhs replicated the cruel practices of the earlier Muslim invaders in the following ways. Just like Muslim invaders used to do with Hindu and Sikhs, The land, palaces and houses of Muslim nobility were confiscated by the Sikhs Sardars. Marbles and precious stones were pillaged from Muslim buildings, including Shalimar Gardens, and homes by the Sikhs to build Golden Temple in Amritsar and the other Sikh holy places. Syed Ahmad Barelvi a Muslim nationalist received desperate pleas of help from the persecuted Muslims of the Punjab region. The Muslims were prohibited to call Azan and lands belonging to the waqf endowments which provided financial support to Muslim institutions were confiscated by the Sikhs. Syed Ahmad Barelvi in 1821 with many supporters and spent two years organizing popular and material support for his Punjab campaign. He carefully developed a network of people through the length and breadth of India to collect funds and encourage volunteers, traveling widely throughout India attracting a following among pious Muslims. In December 1826 Sayyid Ahmad and his followers clashed with Sikh troops at Okara but with no decisive result. In a major battle near the town of Balakot in 1831, Sayyid Ahmad and Shah Ismail Shaheed with volunteer Muslims were defeated and martyred by the professional Sikh Army. The Muslims faced restrictions during the Sikh rule. In 1765 Sardar Gujar Singh Bhangi, one of the head of the Bhangi Gujjar Sikh confederacy, crossed the river Chenab, defeated by the Muslim Khatana chief, Abdullah Khatana.
In 1846 Gujrat came under the supervision of British officials, when a settlement of land revenue was effected under order from the provisional government at Lahore. Two years later, the District was the scene of some of the battles which decided the even of the second Sikh War. While the siege of Multan still dragged slowly on, Sher Singh established himself at Ramnagar on the Gujrawala side of the Chenab, 22 miles (35 km) below Gujrat, leaving the main body of his army on the northern bank. Here he awaited the attack of the British, who attempted unsuccessfully to drive him across the river, on November 22, 1848. Lord Gough withdrew from the assault with heavy loss ; but sending round a strong detachment under Sir Joseph Thackwell by the Wazirabad ferry, he turned the flank of the enemy, and won the battle of Sadullapur. Sher Singh retired northward, and took up a strong position between the Jhelum and the Pabb Hills. The bloody battle of Chilianwala followed (January 13, 1849) a victory as costly as a defeat. On February 6 Sher Singh again eluded Lord Gough's vigilance, and marched southwards to make a dash upon Lahore; but the British pressed him close in the rear and, on February 22, he turned to offer battle at Gujrat. The decisive engagement which ensued broke irretrievably the power of the Sikh. The Punjab lay at the feet of the conquerors, and passed by annexation under British rule. Muslim Gujjars and Sikh Jutt fought in 1845,after that Muslim Gujjars defeat Sikh and became the lord of Gujrat again. In 1857,Gujjar rulers of Gujrat fought against the British Army, and Gujrat has a reward that it is the only city by northern-west side that British Army had not won that area.
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 Gujrat district. Most of the refugees have since settled and inter-married into the local population. Ever since, Sialkot has become one of the major industrial centres of Pakistan and is well known for its manufacture and export of surgical instruments, musical instruments, sports goods, leather goods, textile products and other light manufactures.. Since independence Gujrat has become one of the major industrial and commercial centres of Pakistan. There are over 5,000 cottage-level and small- to large-scale industrial units operating in the district. Rice production and export is another major product of Gujrat. There are many other factories engaged in manufacturing of electrical goods, electric motors and rice cleaning mills. 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.
Language and demography
As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, Punjabi dialects spoken in the district are:
- Majhi or Standard (majority)
- Potohari (Few people near jhelum district)
- Shah puri dialect (Few people speak this dialect)
Other Languages include:
- Urdu being national language is spoken and understood.
- English is also understood and spoken by the sizable educated people.
According to the 1998 census of Pakistan the total population of Gujrat district was 2,048,008 of which 1,026,000 are males and 1,022,000 are females, with a population density of 642 persons per square kilometre. Over 25.62% of the population was recorded as being urban.
Tribes and clans
Gujjars are the majority tribe in the Gujrat district, especially toward the northern and western part of the district, bordering Jhelum and Mandi Bahawaldin respectively. Jats are in majority close to Gujrat city and areas bordering Vazirabad.
Climate and ecology
This district has moderate climate, which is hot in summer and cold in winter. During peak summer, the day temperature shoots up to 50 °C, but the hot spells are comparatively shorter due to proximity of Azad Kashmir Mountains. The winter months are very pleasant and the minimum temperature may fall below 2 °C. The average rainfall on the Kashmir border is over 1000 mm, at Kharian it is 750 mm, at Gujrat 670 mm, and at Dinga 500 mm.
The district is administratively subdivided into three tehsils, these are:
A university UOG was established in 2003, just near the Govt College for Girls. The main campus of the University is called Hafiz Hayat Campus. Hafiz Hayat is an ancient legend for the Gujrat city. At the same time there are two more Govt Colleges in the city but to complete the hunger for knowledge there are so many private colleges. These colleges cover some special subjects for each. As the population of the city was increasing day by day so there was great need for Elementary, Middle and High Schools too. As the Govt had not a lot of resources to cover this whole need, so private schools started to born. But having Govt and Private institutions in the same city doesn't mean that the standard of education is low. But a competition can be seen between them which encourages the students as well as the teachers to go beyond the limits of theoretical studies. So students can learn more not just by understanding the material but also by practicing it.
There are many other Government and private Education institutions, taking good care of the educational needs in not only Gujrat city but also many those students, from surrounding villages and towns including Lalamusa, Kharian, Wazirabad, Jalalpur Jattan, Kunjah, Karianwala, Kotla and many more...A few very famous educational institutes are as under:
1- Govt. Zamindar Degree College, Bhimber Road. 2- Govt. Zamindar Science Degree College, GT Road. 3- Govt. Pak-Swedish Institute of Technology, GT Road 4- Vertex School Of management (Kashmir Plaza, Ramlai Road) ACCA Institute. 5- Lahore Grammer School, Bhimber Road. 6- Bloomfield Hall School, Jinnah Road & Model Town. 7- Fauji Foundathion Model High School . 8- Al Falah College of Commerce Gujrat, Kacheri Road, Gujrat