Kotla Arab Ali Khan
|Kotla Arab Ali Khan|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
Kotla Arab Ali Khan (Urdu: کوٹلہ ارب علی خان, also known as Kotla-Kakrali or Kotla) is a small town based on market/bazaar. The town is located at 32°51'05N 74°04'20E and is situated near the border with Azad Kashmir and Punjab, Pakistan. Kotla Arab Ali Khan is the Union Council of Tehsile Kharian located in the Gujrat District of Pakistan. The town is located 35 km away from the district capital Gujrat and Bhimber Azad Kashmir is just 12 km away from Kotla. Kotla Arab Ali Khan consists of three main areas, these are:
- Kotla Mandi
- Purana Kotla
Langrial Chowk, Bhimber Road and Bunder and murarian chowk are also well known places.
The history of Kotla begins with mainly old Hindu civilization and the legends of the Hindu mythology. Raja Dogra was the first who ruled this area from Jammu. After his death there were several Rajas who ruled this area. One of them was Raja Sohbat who built a Kotla which is a fort or walled city. Sohbat married with Rani Gujjars a semi-nomadic Gujjar people living along the hill slopes of Kotla. In those days there were four sects of people Raja, Jat, Gujar and Malik-Awan living near Kotla. With advent of Arabs and Afghans into south east Asia and in particular the Indus valley the name of Kotla was amended to reflect the Islamic influence, cultural and recognition of its change from Hindu past to Islamic future. History records show that Baba Pir-e-Shah Ghazi or 'Damrian Wali Sarkar' Mian Mohammed Baksh, Malik Sultan, Lodhi Khan and many more good people were instrumental in influencing the cultural and religious landscape. It's people are literate specially sir.younis tahir (main bazar) family is most educated family in kotla main bazar and in purana kotla. Malik Nisar ahmed gardawar(Late) such a brave man was also belong to a village ropairy 7KM away from kotla arab ali khan.
The history of Kotla dates back to the Maurya Dynasty. In mid sixties while excavating for the foundations for the haveli of late Syed Zaheer Uddin Saheb, a plaque was discovered,which was sent to Lahore Museum for deciphering. It was then found the plaque was named after Samuder Gupta Maurya. The legendary "BADSHAHY SARAK" passes just a mile West of this town. This Badshahi Sarak was used by Mughal Emperors for going to Srinagar in Kashmir Valley and this SARAK (ROAD)is still in use, but is now an asphalt paved road. Legend has it that one year Akbar-e-Azam was travelling on his way to Srinagar made a transit stop at Kotla. He inquired from the local population if he could do anything for them. The locals requested for their safety from the Dogra bandits and marauders who would ride in from East (Jammu) area and rob the locals of their livelihood.The Emperor appointed one of his troop commanders named ARAB ALI KHAN, and ordered him to station at Kotla. The commander built a wall on the North Eastern side of the town. The safety wall in those days India was called KOT, thus a small wall a KOTLA, and town got a name of KOTLA ARAB ALI KHAN. Nobody knows the original name of this town before its name KOTLA ARAB ALI KHAN.
The importance of Kotla is due to main markets/hospitals/Schools/Colleges and its location. Roads which connect people of surrounding villages to the district. Kotla is mostly a commercial area and people of surrounding villages come here for shopping, business, trading and educational purposes. Almost every facility needed for life is available in the town.
The weather of this area/region is extreme, especially the summer season.its weather is best in summer but it is situated near the kashmir so the cold winds blow from kashmir to here so in winter its weather is cold and electricity will shut off for some people but in some cases some people have been provided with very good quality systems which can give a few hours after the electricity has gone.
There are many primary, middle, high schools, colleges for boys and girls which include private and government institutions. The literacy rate of boys is not good as compared to girls, its main reason is that people send their sons to foreign countries to earn and financially support their families, rather than getting higher education. If overseas education is not an option then for higher education students mainly opt for Lahore or Islamabad. Among private institutions are Kotla Colleg of commerce & Education by Ch Shafqaat Adalat (M Phil Scholar), Allied Schools by Malik Nadeem Ashiq Awan, Pakistan Educational Academy, Kotla (PEAK), Iqbal Academy run by Malik Mukhtar, Quid Cambridge by Amar Usman, Quaid-e-Azam Academy by Ch. Ashfaq and some new modern institutions are also in the process of being opened. One of such institute is Dare-Arqam school in Kotla, opened in 2011.
Most of the people are farmers by profession. Now people are leaving this profession and are looking for alternative source of livelihood. Most people of this region are also settled in foreign countries. People abroad are supportive of their families and relatives financially.
- Sahan Kalan
There are many villages in the area surrounding Kotla, including Hassan P Khair Katto
- Sadwal Kalan
- Pindi Khokhran
- Pindi Awan
- Mian Chohan
- Bhattian Chibban
- Aadam Chuhan
- Saido langar
Famous Punjabi folk singer and world class performer Mohammed Alam Lohar and his sons most notably Arif Lohar who recently performed at Canegie Hall, New York, belong to a nearby village of Achh. Both of them have performed world over and acclaimed by the publications like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times for their mesmerizing talent. Famous urdu Poet Ameen Asim belong near Village Sadwal Kalan. Another big name related to this area is Jawad Malik(17. 09. 91). He is known for his deep poetry and songs in Urdu and Norwegian. One of his most famous poems have been translated to over 60 languages in the world. The other main personality of this area is Imran Sajjad.
Renowned scholar ''''Dr. Sughra Sadaf' originally belongs to the village 'Singla/Sarsala' located about two miles North of Kotla. Also well known scientist Malik Khadim Hussain and his brother Professor Malik Talib Hussain belong to village Paharay just about 100 meters from Kotla. Former Chief Justice Punjab High Court, Chaudhry Mohammed Ilyas also belongs to Village Loharan Chak,located a mile North West of Kotla. Kotla proper has produced people like ''''Dr. Bashir Ahmed Saheb'''', 'Dr. Nasim Bashir Ahmed''''''', '''''''Colonel Raje Bashir Ahmed','''''''Public Prosecutor Raja Latif'Najor Parvez Akhtar Pasha, ''''Group Captain Saadat Ali,'Colonel Masud Ahmed, ''''Dr. Sameed Ahmed Mustafa Khatana,MD''''. 'Wing Commander (late) Ghulam Haidar''''