Kunjah

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Kunjah
City
Kunjah is located in Pakistan
Kunjah
Kunjah
Coordinates: 32°56′57″N 74°8′28″E / 32.94917°N 74.14111°E / 32.94917; 74.14111Coordinates: 32°56′57″N 74°8′28″E / 32.94917°N 74.14111°E / 32.94917; 74.14111
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
Elevation 217 m (712 ft)
Population (1998)
 • Total 30,000
 • Estimate (2008) 50,000
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code 0533
Number of towns 1
Number of Union Councils 1

Kunjah (Urdu/Punjabi: کنجاہ ) is a small town in Pakistan located in Gujrat District in the Punjab Province, the inhabitants are called Kunjahi.

History[edit]

Various accounts date the founding of Kunjah[1] anywhere from the 4th century BCE during the time of Alexander the Great to the 8th century CE. Kunjah is named after a raja named Kunjpal who is also often credited to be the founder of the town. Islam was brought to the region by the Umayyad Caliphate early in the 8th century and soon replaced Buddhism as the dominant religion. Kunjah grew in prominence in the 9th and 10th centuries.

Starting during the Muslim period, Kunjah was considered a strategically important town. Ibrahim Bin Masood used Kunjah as his main base for his attack on neighboring districts. In the Mughal period, King Aurangzeb Alamgir also visited Kunjah,[2][3] and during his stay in Kunjah he built a mosque that is now named after him.

Kunjah prospered during the time of the Sikh Empire. In that period the town was home to a number of gardens, two royal palaces and a royal bathing pool connected by underground tunnels, and a baradari that still stands today.There are many kinds of families specially Arians ( both local and muhajirs), Kashmiri, Korotana, Wraich, Gondal, Khokhar.

Demographics[edit]

Kunjah street map in 2007

According to 1998 Population and Housing Census, population was estimated to be 30,000[4] but now it is estimated to be 35,000, with about 4500 households. The main religion is Sunni Islam, with a small Shi'a and Ahmadiyya minority and a few Christians. There are about 50 mosques.Many residents live abroad, mainly in the UK, Italy, Spain and Greece.

Politics and government[edit]

Kunjah lies in the NA 105 Gujrat-II halqa of Punjab for the national assembly elections. Chaudhry Perwaiz Elahi, has been elected for national assembly seat.[5] Aside from the local government and a regional police station,[6] a police post in the centre of the city[7] the national government is represented by a military signals station and a WAPDA subdivision.

Education[edit]

The government operates seven schools: two primary schools for boys, two high schools for girls and one for boys,[8] a boys higher secondary school and a girls inter-college.[9] There are about 25 private schools. Mainly are Allied, Educator, progressive, zaryab, alfalah, skyway, and Ghazali School.

Economy[edit]

Most economic activity revolves around agriculture. The primary crops are wheat, rice, tobacco and vegetables. Farms are supplied with irrigation from the Upper Jehlum Canal, and tobacco production is supported by two tobacco factories and a research substation.[10] The main bazaar is a regional trade centre consisting of 500 shops.

Culture[edit]

People of Kunjah believed that The famous Sohni among the Sohni Mahiwal folklore came from Kunjah but the intellectual Dr. Qureshi Ahmad Hussain Qiladari had other ideas and he contradicted from this myth.[11] For now Kunjah has a modest type of culture i.e. it is semi-urban type. Both men and women wear shalwar qameez.

Fairs and festivals[edit]

An annual fair is held in Kunjah on 4 August. It is held at the shrine of a cleric Shah Shujah Bukhari so it is also known to be an urs. Other festivals are also held but they are losing their touch nowadays due to the busy lives of the modern days and children getting more interested in the TV films and Computer Games rather than the oldies.

Sports[edit]

Cricket like all the other parts of the country is the game of choice for majority. Along with cricket, indoor games like snooker and billiard are also played. Some other games like chess, badminton and football are also played seasonally.Volleyball is being played in adjacent Villages.

Transport[edit]

Only road transport is available. There is no railway station. The transport is available only in form of wagons and buses. Along with these the cars are available as taxis. The transport is available for Gujrat city and to other small towns surrounding Kunjah.

Notable people from Kunjah[edit]

  • Major Shabbir Sharif Shaheed, holder of the Nishan-e-Haider, Pakistan's highest military award for bravery.[12][13]
  • Muhammad Akram Ghaneemat Kunjahi, writer of Nairang e Ishq;[14] One of the greatest Persian poet history has ever produced. He wrote the famous Persian masnavi in 1685[15] He was born and buried in Kunjah[16]
  • Lt. General Raheel Sharif, brother of Major Shabir Sharif, and currently Army Chief of Staff of Pakistan.
  • Shareef Kunjahi, (1915–2007) was one of the leading writers and poets of Punjabi language. He was among the first faculty members of the Department of Punjabi Language, University of Punjab[17] in 1970s and contributed to Punjabi literature as a poet, prose writer, teacher, research scholar, linguist.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Page no.2-5 on Book. Kiran Kiran Ghaneemat.
  2. ^ Introduction of Kunjah on the Starting Pages of Kiran Kiran Ghaneemat.
  3. ^ He built a mosque here in Kunjah during his stay which is known as the Alamgiri Mosque after his name
  4. ^ Population|http://web.archive.org/web/20071222134939/http://population.wn.com/country/Pakistan/Punjab/Kunjah
  5. ^ "NA 105". Hrcpelectoralwatch.org. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  6. ^ Kunjah Police Station Established In 1919
  7. ^ Police Posts in Gujrat
  8. ^ "Schools and colleges list at pak fellow.com". Pakfellows.com. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  9. ^ HEMIS Colleges in district Gujrat
  10. ^ http://www.ptb.gov.pk/default.php?link=resndev
  11. ^ "Sohni Mahiwal, a romantic legend of Gujrat". Dailytimes.com.pk. 2004-02-15. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  12. ^ History of the Punjab Regiment (1759 - 1981)", by Brig. Syed H.A. Rizvi
  13. ^ Sharif Story
  14. ^ "Ghaneemat". Dli.iiit.ac.in. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  15. ^ "Heritage of Sufism". Oneworld-publications.com. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  16. ^ "Ghaneemat Rest In Kunjah". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  17. ^ Safir Rammah (2007), Sharif Kunjahi – Serving his language