Location of Sargodha district in West Punjab
|• Commissioner Sargodha Division||Rai Ijaz Zaigham|
|• District Coordination Officer||Tariq Mahmood Khan|
|• District Police Officer||Raja Basharat Mahmood|
|• Total||5,864 km2 (2,264 sq mi)|
|Time zone||PST (UTC+5)|
|Number of Tehsils||7|
Sargodha District (Urdu: ضِلع سرگودها), is a district of Punjab, Pakistan. The capital of the district is Sargodha. It is an agricultural district, wheat, rice, and sugarcane being its main crops. The Sargodha district and region is also famous for citrus fruit; kino is a newly developed variety. The district has an area of 5,864 km2.
|Tehsil||Population||No. of Unions|
|Bhera||100,000 (2012 estimate)|
As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, the following are the demographics of the Sargodha district, by spoken language:
Inhabitants of Sargodha District speak a great variety of Punjabi dialects: which are
- Shapuri (Main dialect of the district)
- Majhi or standard (in cities)
- Puthohari (Northern borders)
- Jhangvi (southern borders)
Other Languages include:
- Urdu is mother tongue of few people but being national language is spoken and understood by most of the population.
- English is also understood and spoken by the educated elite.
The population of Sarghoda grew rapidly with the arrival of Muslim refugees from northern India, fleeing from the religious violence that followed the partition of India and the independence of Pakistan in 1947. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan the district had a population of 2,665,979 of which 27.96% lived in urban settlements. The predominant ethnic population in the Sargodha District is Punjabi with small communities of Ranghars, Muhajirs and Pashtuns. The people of Sarghoda district are Muslims, with an overwhelming Sunni majority.
There are several theories as to the origins of the name. It may be derived from the Sanskrit "svargadhaama," meaning "heavenly abode." Others suggest that the name Sargodha is derived from that of a Hindu local, Godha.
Also it is believed that there was an old pond in the middle of the town where an old Hindu monk or sadhu (godha) used to live. The Hindi word for pond is "ser". Since the town had a modest population, people would refer the place as sergodha, the place where that famous Sadhu resided next to the pond.
The Sargodha District was an agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Vedic period is characterized by Indo-Aryan culture that invaded from Central Asia and settled in Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled ancient Punjab region. After overrunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. The Sargodha was ruled by Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalites and Shahi kingdoms.
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. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to conversions patronized by Muslim kings effected both forcefully and by missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region,
Just over a century ago, there was a well owned by a Hindu named Goodha, the well was known as "Gool Khuuh" (round well), and travellers used it as a resting place. There is a market at the place where Gool Khuuh used to exist and a grand mosque above the market and it is known as "Goal Chowk", which is the center of downtown Sargodha today.
Sargodha was a small town at the beginning of the British Empire but, due to its geographical location, the British Royal Air Force built an airport there. It took on greater importance after the independence of Pakistan for the Pakistan Air Force. Shahpur, which is now a tehsil of Sargodha District, was the district at that time. Most parts of the tehsil Sillanwali and Kirana Hills region were part of Jhang district and were included later during the British Raj in the Sargodha district. 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 Sargodha District.
The 1965 war with India on September 6, 1965 meant the city was a prime target for India, due to the city close proximity with the neighbouring rival. The citizens of Sargodha supported the Pakistan Army against the advancing of the Indian Army into Pakistan. In 1966, recognising this bravery, the Government of Pakistan awarded the city of Sargodha as well as Sialkot and Lahore with the award of Hilal-E-Istaqlal.
The city also has a Pakistan Air Force base within its city. The PAF Base Sargodha now known as PAF Base Mushaf, named after the late Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir, a former Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force. The strategic location of the base has allowed the Air Force to carry out experimental work within the city. Until divisions were abolished as part of government reforms in 2000, Sargodha was divisional headquarters of Sargodha Division. Sargodha division was composed of the following districts:
- Radio Pakistan Sargodha (FM Band),Club Road Sargodha.
- FM Sunrise (96 MHz) Most popular, also plays Indian and western music, Aziz Bhatti Town Sargodha
- Pakistan Television Islamabad centre terrestrial transmissions at VHF and UHF band routed from Sakesar rebroadcast centre.
- District Wise – Sargodha[dead link]
- Tehsils & Unions in the District of Sargodha – Government of Pakistan. Nrb.gov.pk. Retrieved on 2012-07-01.
- 1998 Census figures. pportal.punjab.gov.pk
- Urban Resource Centre. urckarachi.org
- Portrait of Pakistan. Ferozsons. Retrieved 2007-12-31. "The district derives its name for the headquarters town of Sargodha, which is a combination of "Sar" and "Godha". "Sar" is a Hindi word which denotes a water..."
- Pakistan tourism directory. Holiday Weekly. Retrieved 2007-12-31. "Sargodha is a colony town established in 1903, but its origins are older. Sargodha is a combination of the words "Sar" meaning a pond and "Godha"..."