Rahon

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Rahon
city
Punjab
Rahon
Rahon
Location in Punjab, India
Coordinates: 31°03′N 76°07′E / 31.05°N 76.12°E / 31.05; 76.12Coordinates: 31°03′N 76°07′E / 31.05°N 76.12°E / 31.05; 76.12
Country  India
State Punjab
District Nawanshahr
Elevation 250 m (820 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 12,046
Languages
 • Official Punjabi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Rahon is a city and a municipal council in the Nawanshahr district of the Indian state of Punjab.

Geography[edit]

Rahon is located at 31°03′N 76°07′E / 31.05°N 76.12°E / 31.05; 76.12.[1] It has an average elevation of 250 metres (820 feet).Situated on the Jullundur City Jaijon Doaba line of the Northern Railway, Rahon is 7 KM from Nawanshahr, the tahsil/subdivision headquarters, and 65 KM from Jalandhar, the district headquarters. It is also connected by road with Nawashahr (8 KM), Jadla (12 KM), Ludhiana (51 KM), and Phillaur (37 KM), Machhiwara (18 km). Its population was 12,046 in 2001. It is a Class-III municipality.

History[edit]

Rahon is the one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It was also among the 50 most populous cities in the world for many centuries, particularly in the period between 52 B.C.-1750 A.D.. After that period, Rahon began a gradual decline due to epidemics, attacks from foreign invaders, and a reduction in merchant activity when the silk route began to bypass Rahon in favor of Kabul. Rahon had Asia's oldest mandi bazaar (now ruined) situated at the city's Delhi gate. The bazaar was famous for its variety and quality of products, including spices, weapons, apparel, and footwear. Rahon's population also declined due to outbreaks of malaria, the immigration of a large proportion of its Muslim population to Pakistan during partition, and civilian casualties resulting from attacks by outside invaders. Rahon has the oldest Government High School in the Punjab state, which was constructed in 1857. Rahon is said to have been founded in the first century B.C. by Raja Raghab, who called it Raghupur, by which name it continued to be called in correspondence by the Pandits of the city until the twentieth century. After its founding, the city came into the possession of Gujars, who were eventually driven out by the Mahton Rajputs, who in turn succumbed to the Ghorewaha Rajputs, whose conquest of the country is put down as having occurred in the time of Muhammad Ghori (d. 1206 AD).

The ruler Raja Rajpal renamed the town ‘Rahon’, reportedly as tribute to a lady named ‘Raho’. Some contemporaries had written that it was considered unlucky to speak of Rahon by its proper name, in the morning, when fasting. According to them, until breakfast Rahon should be referred to as ‘Zanana shahr’, or ‘Women town’. In the time of Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526 AD), the city was reported to have a population of 145,000 and was a flourishing trading center on the route to Tibet and Central Asia. Local shoemaking attained a high degree of skill and a pair prepared by one Mian Khaki Shah of Rahon is said to still be on exhibit in the museum at Lahore (Pakistan).

Toward the beginning of the Mughal period, the town was occupied by the Ghorewaha Raja of Machhiwara, Rana Udho. He actively assisted Akbar (1556-1605 AD). During his fight for the Delhi throne, he defeated and captured the rebellion leader Bairam Khan. As a reward, the Raja allowed Rana to retain the jagir of Rahon. In Akbar’s time, Rahon was the capital of the Dardhak Mahal and gave its name to one of the two tarafs into which the mahal was divided. In Aurangzeb’s reign (1658-1707 AD) a brick fort was built here. The Rajputs of Rahon were Chaudhris and men of much influence during the period of Muhammadan rule. However, after the Raja of Rahon converted to Islam, he was beheaded and his territories seized by the Rana of Jadla.

In 1710 AD, Rahon was conquered by Banda Bahadur, while on his way to Jalandhar, from Shams Khan, the local Mughal governor. Later, it fell back into the hands of the Mughals. In 1759 AD, Rahon was seized by Dhallewali Confederacy Sikhs led by Tara Singh Gheba, and remained in their possession until Tara Singh's death, when it was added to Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s dominions. However, Pandits continued to dominate local politics. Pandit Sardars ran the city's administration for centuries. After the collapse of the Sikh Empire, the descendants of the Rana of Rahon came to prominence again and the Rana of Rahon, Chaudhry Abdul Rehman Khan of Rahon was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Punjab from the Unionist Party before Indian Independence. Until independence in 1947 the Rana of Rahon and the Rajrana of Jadla controlled most of the estates, while the Muslim Rana of Rahon fled to Pakistan, first moving to Sahiwal and later settling in Rehamnabad Khanqa Dogran. After Partition, Pandit Buta Ram Qasir Jagirdar continued to serve as Municipal Councilor and local leader of Rahon for next two and half decades.

Rahon is an old city and, from its elevated position on an eminence overlooking the low valley of the Satluj, held social, economic, and political significance at various periods in history. This significance stemmed primarily from the city's location along the ancient trade route to Tibet and Central Asia and it began to fade in importance as soon as a new route through Kabul was opened during Mughal times. Further, Rohan's proximity to marshes made it a victim of periodic large-scale outbreaks of malaria. Over time, the city's population declined greatly, falling to 69,000 when the British took over after the First Anglo Sikh War in 1846 and falling further to 6,607 by 1971. After the division of the country in 1947, the Muslim population of Rahon was uprooted to Pakistan, with most settling in Rahwali near Gujranwala and Sanatsinghwala in Faislabad.

Places of interest[edit]

There are several places of historical interest in Rahon.

Gogna Jathere Sati Mata Mandir 

The renowned "Gogna Jathere Sati Mata Mandir" is situated in the heart of Rahon. It was founded by the late Shree Hazari Lal Gogna. Every year, "Jathere Pujan Utsav" is celebrated by global Gognas in the month of March/April.

A public Eye Hospital is located by the right side of Mandir, built by the Mangat Ram Charitable Trust.

Panch Tirthian tank

There is the Panch Tirthian tank which was excavated by Rana Udho as a place of pilgrimage for his five sons who could not proceed on pilgrimage due to their father's illness. There is another tank, called Ramsar, adjoining the samadhs of Tara Singh Gheba and his widow which was constructed by their son Jhanda Singh. There is also an old serai, said to have been built in the reign of Shah Jahan (1627-1658 AD). Another holy place in the town is Suraj Kund which is said to have been built by one Bawa Aughar during the period of Pathan rule. There is also a tomb, built during the rule of the Tughluq dynasty, which is said to contain the ashes of a saint.there is very famous piligrimate of baba ram ratan ji.it is 'chaten samadh'.

Demographics[edit]

In the 2001 Indian census,[2] Rahon had a population of 12,046. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Rahon had an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average of 65.38%: male literacy was 88%, and female literacy was 75%. 11% of the population was under 6 years of age.

Rahon is also the home to the Khosla and Chopra clans of Punjab who are now scattered all across the globe. Both Chopra and Khosla Clan had originated from rahon city.

Industry[edit]

Rahon is a developing industrial town with a large amount of textile, rice mills and other industries in the city, and its jurisdiction area includes the surrounding towns and villages. The best known company in Rahon is Rhythm Textiles, part of the Saluja group, which produces threads and towels for international exports, many of which are sent to beach resort areas in the U.A.E., Russia, Italy, Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, and New Zealand.

Notable Residents[edit]

  • Yash Chopra
  • B.R. Chopra
  • Prem Chopra
  • Mohammed Zahur Khayyam
  • (Late)G D Khosla - Chief Justice of Punjab, and Haryana High Court
  • (Late) Air Chief Marshal Dilbagh Singh, Chief of Indian Air Force.

References[edit]