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This article is about the municipality in Punjab, India. For its namesake district, see Gurdaspur district.
Mechanical Block
Mechanical Block
Coordinates: 32°02′00″N 75°24′00″E / 32.0333°N 75.40°E / 32.0333; 75.40Coordinates: 32°02′00″N 75°24′00″E / 32.0333°N 75.40°E / 32.0333; 75.40
Country India
State Punjab
District Gurdaspur
 • Total 1,369 km2 (529 sq mi)
Elevation 241 m (791 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 67,455
 • Density 649/km2 (1,680/sq mi)
 • Official Punjabi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
PIN 143521
Vehicle registration PB 06

Gurdaspur (Punjabi: ਗੁਰਦਾਸਪੁਰ) is a city in the state of Punjab, situated in the northwest part of the Republic of India, between the rivers Beas and Raavi 10 km from the international border between India and Pakistan. It houses the administrative headquarters of Gurdaspur District and is in the geographical center of the district, being situated on the Amritsar – Jammu National Highway, 36 km from Pathankot and 32 km from Batala. Head offices of all district departments are located in this city.

Gurdaspur city was named after Mahant Guriya das ji.[1] The Emperor Akbar was crowned at Kalanaur, which is 26 km from the city. Behrampur town, where the Maqbara (mausoleum) of Bairam Khan is situated, is 10 km away. Dinanagar town, which was the capital of the kingdom of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, is 12 km away, and the woolen mill situated at Dhariwal, well known to Indians, is also 12 km from the city.


According to the 2011 India census,[2] Gurdaspur has a population of 2,299,026, of which males and females were 1,212,995 and 1,086,031, respectively. There was an increase of 9.30 percent in population as compared to 2001. In the previous 2001 census of India, Gurdaspur District had recorded an increase of 19.74 percent to its population as compared to 1991.

The average literacy rate of Gurdaspur in 2011 was 81.10 percent, compared to 73.80 percent in 2001. The male and female literacy rates were 85.90 and 75.70, respectively. For 2001 census, same figures stood at 79.80 and 67.10. Total literate population was 1,668,339, of which males and females were 928,264 and 740,075, respectively. Sex ratio is about 895 females per 1000 males. Population Density is 649 per square km. [2]


Gurdaspur, a major city of Punjab, was founded by Guriyaji Mahant in the 17th century. The place forms the northernmost part of the state. Resting within Jalandhar division and flanked by the rivers Beas and Ravi, it shares its boundary with districts of Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Amritsar and Pathankot.

Guriyaji laid the foundation of the city on the land that he had bought from the Jats. Almost no evidence of the ancient history of the place is available, so not much is known about it. For a long period, it was under the rule of the Shahi dynasty. A ruler named Jasrath Khokhar was defeated by Malik Sikander. With the fall of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the supremacy of the Sikh gurus. The place is linked to many eminent Sikh Gurus like Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Hargobind and Guru Nanak Dev. Maharaja Ranjit Singh made it one of his strongholds. After partition, a major portion of the city was ceded to India.

Seven kilometers from the city in the western direction is Gurdas Nangal, a holy place linked with the heroic battle of Banda Bahadur with Mughal armies. A gurudwara is present here whose entrance has an inscription describing the famous battle. It lies at 10 kilometers from the destination; it was where a great massacre of Sikhs took place in the year 1746 AD.

During the Misl period, Gurdaspur remained the centre of activity of Kanheya Misl and Ramgharia Misl. Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered Ramgharia Misl in 1808 and Kanheya Misl in 1811, so it became a part of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s empire.

The British East India Company annexed Punjab on 29 March 1849, after the second Anglo-Sikh war of 1839-49. After annexation, a need arose for recognition of districts for administrative purpose. As a result, Gurdaspur district was formed on 1 May 1852. The district of Adinanagar was renamed to Gurdaspur. So, from a tiny village, Gurdaspur became a district headquarters.

The mutiny of 1857 also affected Gurdaspur. The mutineers from Sialkot proceeded towards Gurdaspur. The British forces intercepted these mutineers at Trimmo Patan and defeated them in the battle of Trimmo Patan (12–16 July 1857). The prisoners were hanged in Bole Wala Bagh, situated behind Government College Gurdaspur.

Partition of 1947[edit]

During the partition of India in 1947 the future of Gurdaspur could not be decided for many days, as the majority of the population of this district was Muslim with 51.14% Muslim majority. The Radcliffe boundary awards transferred only Shakargarh Tehsil of Gurdaspur district to Pakistan, and the rest of the district was transferred to India. The Muslim population of the district migrated to Pakistan and many refugees, the Hindus and the Sikhs of Sialkot and Tehsil Shakargarh, migrated to Gurdaspur after crossing the Ravi bridge. They settled and spread out over Gurdaspur district. Gurdaspur going to India during Partition soon proved to be advantageous to India since it offered the only viable route to Kashmir, when the Pakistani tribals (Pathans) and Pakistani Army irregulars in disguise invaded Kashmir in 1948.

At the time of partiton, Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, one of the famous Sikh heritage places went to Pakistan.[citation needed]



Gurdaspur's railway station is connected with the nearest station Pathankot and Amritsar. From Gurdaspur there are many trains to Pathankot and Amritsar, and two mail trains: Jammu Tawi (Jammu to Tata Nagar) and Pathankot-Delhi express.

There is a daily train from Dera Baba Nanak to Amritsar.


Gurdaspur is well connected with road network: National Highway 15 (NH 15) is a major National Highway in Western and Northwestern India. NH 15 connects Kandla in Gujarat with Gurdaspur in Punjab. This 1,526 km (948 mi)-long highway passes through Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib, Zira, Kotkapura, Bhatinda, Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Barmer. At Bikaner the National Highway 11 terminates on this Highway.

Of its total length of 1,526 km (948 mi), the National Highway 15 traverses 350 km (220 mi) in Punjab, 906 km (563 mi) in Rajasthan, and 270 km (170 mi) in Gujarat. Also connected Gurdaspur to Jammu through bmial, Kathua, and also connected with NH 1A through Gurdaspur, Mukerian and Gurdaspur Shri Hargobind State Highways.


Gurdaspur has an All India Radio Relay station known as Akashvani Gurdaspur. It broadcasts on FM frequencies.


Gurdaspur has many elementary and secondary level schools and has 13 degree level and engineering colleges.[3] Beant College of Engineering & Technology Gurdaspur is among them, founded by then Chief Minister Beant Singh in 1995. A nationally accredited body by Ministry of Tourism (India) Institute of Hotel Management, Catering & Nutrition is also located in Gurdaspur.[3]

Notable people[edit]

  • Baba Jaimal Singh ji,(1839–1903), popularly called "Baba Ji Maharaj", was a Punjabi Sikh who became a disciple of Soami Shiv Dayal (the Sant Mat saint of Agra and founder of the Radha Soami spiritual movement)
Pandit Lekh Ram (1858 – 6 March 1897)
  • Pandit Lekh Ram was an arya samaji who play role in protecting Hindu Dharma people as well as the cows that were killed in those days
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement
  • Principal Sujan Singh,(of Dera Baba Nanak), Father of Punjabi Short Story(Sahitya Akademy Award 1987 for book 'Shahar te Garan')
  • Teja Singh, ( Village Munanawali)Freedom Fighter. Active in Gurdaspur Conspiracy Case against Britishers
  • Gurbachan Singh Salaria S/O Chaudhary Munshi Ram Salaria (born 29 November 1935; Gurdaspur, Punjab – 1961) is a military war hero, who was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India's highest wartime military award
  • Iqbal Bahu, Pakistani Sufi singer, born in Gurdaspur but migrated to Pakistan after Independence. Awardee of the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz honor by the Government of Pakistan in 2008.
Dev Anand Actor
  • Kanwal Kishore Attri, IPS Retd. Former Director General of Police of Punjab
  • Ambassador Ashok Kumar Attri, IFS, former Ambassador to Denmark, Oman & Zambia.
  • Ashwini Attri, IA&AS, Principal Accountant General of Punjab.
Ashwani Kumar Ex-Minister of Law and Justice
  • Chetan Anand, filmmaker, story & script writer of Bollywood
  • Ustad Alla Rakha, famous Tabla player.
  • Ustad Zakir Hussain, famous Tabla player.


  1. ^ "About District". Retrieved March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Gurdaspur District Population Census 2011, Punjab literacy sex ratio and density". Retrieved March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Education Facilities in District Gurdaspur". Retrieved March 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Nation". Retrieved March 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hockey Olympian Prabhjot Singh to marry on Feb 20". 18 February 2009. Retrieved March 2013. 
  6. ^ "Prabhjot Singh Biography, Prabhjot Singh Bio, Prabhjot Singh Photos, Videos, Wallpapers, News". Retrieved March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Romancing With Life By Dev Anand | India Special". 24 February 2009. Retrieved March 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chester, Lucy P. Borders and Conflict in South Asia: The Radcliffe Boundary Commission and the Partition of Punjab. Manchester UP, 2009.
  •  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Gurdaspur". Encyclopædia Britannica 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Official website