Ghakhar Mandi

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Gakhar Mandi
Town
Gakhar Mandi is located in Pakistan
Gakhar Mandi
Gakhar Mandi
Coordinates: 32°18′N 74°9′E / 32.300°N 74.150°E / 32.300; 74.150Coordinates: 32°18′N 74°9′E / 32.300°N 74.150°E / 32.300; 74.150
Region Punjab
District Gujranwala District
Area
 • Total 10 km2 (4 sq mi)
Elevation 223 m (732 ft)
Population
 • Estimate (2008) 130,000
 • Density 1,237/km2 (3,200/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code (055)
Number of Union Councils 3
Website ghakhar.com

Ghakhar Mandi (Urdu: گکھڑ منڈی‎) is a town in the Gujranwala District of Pakistan, located between Wazirabad to the northwest and Gujranwala to the southeast. It is central to 33 villages, and the home of Pakistan's second largest electrical grid.

Ghakhar Mandi is famous for its hand made industry and floor mats. It is also known as s producer of rice, and wheat. It is also home to an historic railway station. Asia's oldest road, the Grand Trunk Road, which was built nearly 500 years ago by Sher Shah Suri passes through the town.

Notable People

Geography[edit]

Ghakhar Mandi is a well populated and developed town in the Gujranwala District. It is the center point of thirty-three villages including: Fateh Garh, Nat Kalan, Ibn Wali, Pir Kot, Aujla Khurd, Chak Aroop Chand, Aujla Kalan, Bhatti Mansoor, Bagrian Khurd, Bagrian Kohna, Punj Grayeen, Joura Mattam, Chak Saan, Chak Daden, Sadhanwali, Sadhanwali Kalan, Dhillam, Dhub Cheema, Chak Pathan, Kot Waris, Kot Anayat Khan, Klair, Kotli Sahian, Joura Sian, Bainka Cheema, Kalo Wali, Adil Garh, Kotli Hussain Wali, Kot Noora, Gharupp Garh, Waiyan Wali, and Rahwali.

Punjabi is the local language of the region, but English and Urdu are also used commonly by businesses and in government offices.

History[edit]

The town's name derives from the Gakhar tribe which is said to have founded Ghakhar Mandi. This tribe lived on the northern bank of the Jehlum River, a region known today as the Pothohar Plateau. The tribe opposed Hindustani foreign rule, especially those from the Pothohar region. The Ghakhars were fierce warriors who fought against many rulers including Sher Shah Suri, who built the Rohtas Fort near the Jhelum River as part of his efforts to stop Ghakhar opposition to his rule. After Sher Shah's death, the Mughal emperor Humayun reorganized his army and negotiated an agreement with the tribe granting them the region ten miles south of Chenab River. This is where the Ghakhars established their state, naming it Ghakhar. The border of this state can be recognized by a border post building which still stands today near the Ghakhar Grid Station.

Ghakhar was attacked and destroyed by many conquerors, but was rebuilt each time. Due to its importance to maintaining the stability of the region, many rulers, including Ranjit Singh, attacked Ghakhar on numerous occasions. For this reason, few preferred to live in the town. Over the years, the region of Ghakhar grew and it now has an area of about 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi). Today, Ghakhar Mandi is located within the Gujranwala district of Pakistan.

Economy[edit]

The economy of Ghakhar Mandi is centered primarily around agriculture, although in recent years it has transformed into a much more industrial town. The most notable industries are the Ittehad Concrete plant, ceramics, marble, carpeting, and furniture. Rural areas surrounding the town produce a wide variety of agricultural goods including wheat and rice, and Ghakhar Mandi is known for having one of the largest rice markets in the Punjab. Ghakhar Mandi also has one of the largest electrical grid stations in Pakistan, supplying electricity to the local area as well as to other major cities.

Ghakhar was once known for its hand-woven rugs called durree. These quality rugs were not only sold all over Pakistan but they were also exported to many other countries. At the pinnacle in the 1980s and 1990s, there were hundreds of hand looms and factories producing these fine rugs. However, there has been a decline in the production of fine carpets during the last decade due to social changes and many other factors.

Education[edit]

The campus of the University of Education is located in the building formerly known as Government College of Elementary Teachers. It offers bachelor and master-level degrees. The Rachna University of Engineering and Technology, a sub campus of UET Lahore, is located at Jaura near Ghakhar Mandi. There is a degree college for boys, as well as a higher secondary school for girls.

There are two government high schools for boys - Government High School No.1 and Government High School No. 2. There is also one government girls' high school. Now, there is a college for masters level in the field of education that is if somebody wants to be a teacher, he or she can study in that college. This college is adjacent to Government High School No. 1.

Notable private schools include: The Educators School,Allied School, Dastgir Ideal School, The Smart School, Hira School, Saint Marry High School, among others.

There is a library called the Siddiqui Memorial Library in the Town Committee building. This library is named after Ahmed Hassan Siddiqui who was a well-reputed educationist in this area. Mr. Siddiqui worked to raise educational standards while he was the headmaster of Government High School No. 2.

References[edit]