Location in Punjab, India
|Named for||Guriya Ji|
|• Total||2,610 km2 (1,010 sq mi)|
|• Density||880/km2 (2,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
Gurdaspur district is a district in the Majha region of the state of Punjab, situated in the northwest part of the Republic of India. Gurdaspur is the district headquarters. It internationally borders Narowal District of the Pakistani Punjab, the Punjab districts of Amritsar, Pathankot, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur. Two main rivers Beas and Ravi passes through the district. The Mughal emperor Akbar is said to have been enthroned in a garden near Kalanaur, a historically important town in the district. The district is at the foothills of the Himalayas.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Infrastructure
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Religion
- 7 Cities, towns and villages
- 8 Notable people
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Gurdaspur was founded by Guriya Ji in the beginning of 17th century. On his name, this city was named as Gurdaspur. He bought land for Gurdaspur from Jats of Sangi Gotra. It is also established that some people used to live in huts in the old city. Guriya Ji a Sanwal Brahmin of Kaushal Gotra belonged to a village Paniar situated 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The ancestors of Guriya Ji came from Ayodhya long time ago and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two sons Sh. Nawal Rai and Sh. Pala Ji. The descendants of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur Nawal Rai’s son Baba Deep Chand was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Owner Of Treasure) to Baba Deep Chand. The descendants of Baba Deep Chand are known as Mahants.
Little is known about the ancient history of the district except a few antiquities like the rock temples at Mukteshwar Gurdaspur along with its neighbouring districts was the same of the explicits of Alexander, who came up to River Beas in his grand design of world conquest. He fought a grim battle with the Kathaians at Sangala which is located near Fatehgarh in Gurdaspur.
From the latter half of the 10th century up to 1919 A.D. this district was ruled by the Shahi dynasty under Jayapal and Anandpal. Kalanaur in this district was the most important town during the period of Delhi Emperor from the 14th to 16th centuries. It was twice attacked by Jasrath Khokhar, once after his unsuccessful assault on Lahore in 1422 and again in 1428 when Malik Sikander marched to relieve the place and defeated Jasrath AkIar was installed by Bairam Khan on a throne on Feb 1556.[clarification needed] The messonary, a platform which still exists about a kilometre and a half to the east of the town is the actual spot upon which his installation took place.
In the decline and fall of the Mughal supremacy and the rise of the Sikh power this district saw its most stirring scenes. Some of the Sikh Gurus have been closely associated with the district. Guru Nanak, born in 1469 in the Lahore district, married in 1485 with Sulkhani, daughter of Mool Chand, a Khatri of Pakhoke (Dera Baba Nanak) in the Batala Tehsil. There is still a wall known as Jhoolana Mahal which swings in Gurdaspur. The Sikh Guru Hargobind refounded Sri Hargobindpur which had been formerly known by the name of Rahila. Banda Singh Bahadur, the disciple of Guru Gobind Singh used this district as a base to raid the country up to Lahore, the emperor Bahadur Shah conducted an expedition against him in 1711 but with only temporary effect. Banda Bahadar fought his last battle with the Mughal at Gurdas Nangal in the district and was captured. The history of the district then degenerates into an account of their struggles with the rival Ramgarhia Misl and Kanhaiya Misls for supremacy in this part of the Doab, the power of the former was broken in 1808 and of the latter in 1811.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh thus assumed way over the whole district. Dina Nagar, with its pleasant mango gardens and running canal was a favourite summer residence of the lion of the Punjab, who when not elsewhere engaged spent the two hot weather months of May and June here.
During partition of India in 1947 the future of Gurdaspur could not be decided for many days. The majority of population of this district was a 51.14% Muslim majority. Radcliffe Awards of Boundary transferred only Shakargarh Tehsil of Gurdaspur district to Pakistan, and the rest of the district was transferred to India. The Muslim population of the district migrated to Pakistan and refugees, the Hindus and the Sikhs of Sialkot and Tehsil Shakargarh migrated to Gurdaspur after crossing the Ravi Bridge. They settled and spread in Gurdaspur district.
During British Rule the district of Gurdaspur was a subdivision of Lahore Division, the district itself was administratively subdivided into four tehsils: Gurdaspur, Batala, Shakargarh and Pathankot. According to the 1881 census the population of the district was 823,695 this had risen by over 100,000 to 943,922 in the 1891 census. However the 1901 census recorded a fall in population – 940,334, this was largely due to emigration – some 44,000 settlers settling in Chenab colony. According to the 1901 census there were 463,371 Muslims (49%), 380,636 Hindus (over 40%) and 91,756 (10%) Sikhs. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad who founded the Ahmadiyya movement had followers here.
On 27 July 2011 a part of district is carved out to form a new district Pathankot, which was earlier part of Gurdaspur. Pathankot district now comprises two sub-divisions of Pathankot and Dharkalan along with two sub-tehsils namely Narot Jaimal Singh and Bamial.
The Gurdaspur district is the northernmost district of Punjab state. It falls in the Jalandhar division and is sandwiched between rivers Ravi and Beas. The district lies between north-latitude 310-36' and 320-34' and east longitude 740-56' and 750-24' and shares common boundaries with Pathankot district in the north, Beas River in the north-east, Hoshiarpur district in the south-east, Kapurthala district in the south, Amritsar district in the south-west and Pakistan in the north-west.
All the Tehsils of the district namely Gurdaspur, Batala and Dera Baba Nanak are plain and similar to the rest of the Punjab plains in structure. The landscape of the district has varied topography comprising undulating plan, the flood plains of the Ravi and the Beas and the upland plain.
To its south lies an area of about 128 km2 which is highly dissected and is an undulating plain. Its elevation ranges from about 305 to 381 metres above sea level. It is traversed by a number of choas and has an undulating topography.
The flood plains of the Ravi and the Beas are separated from the upland plain by sharp river-cut bluffs. They are low lying, with slightly uneven topography. Sand dominates in the soil structure of the flood plains, but it diminishes in both quantity and coarseness in the upland plain. The upland plain covers a large part of the district particularly. Its elevation ranges from about 305 metres above sea level in the north-east to about 213 metres above sea level in the south-west, with a gentle gradient of about 1 metre in 1.6 km. This is the most important physiographic unit in the district.
There are mainly two seasons i.e. summer and winter. The summer season falls between the months of April to July and the winter November to March. In summer season the temperature touches 44 °C and sometimes higher. June is the hottest month and January is the coldest one. Mostly the rain falls in the month of July. The winter rains are experienced during January and February. Dust storms occurs in the month of May and June.
The south-west monsoon generally arrives in the first week of July and continues up to the end of August. Seventy percent of the rainfall occurs during this period.
The changes in ecology system are inevitable, consequences of development process. The denudation of forests due to increasing population, urbanisation industrialization have accelerated the process of environmental degradation in the district. Therefore, preservation of the ecology is one of the most important goals of the district planning.
The vegetation varies in the district depending on the soil, topography and elevation. In the plain, large scale of afforestation has been under taken by the forest department. Where water facilities are available, Shisham, mulberry, eucalyptus and poplar are being planted. In the Kallar area, kikar prosopis and eucalyptus has been planted. Besides mango and mulberry, other fruit trees cuiltivated in the district include orange, Kinnow lemon tree and others.
The ground water in this region is suitable for irrigational and domestic uses. The sub soil water depth ranges from 5 to 8 metres in most part of the district. Due to Dhusi bandh and stepped floods the water table has gone very low.
The soils are loamy with a clay content below 10 percent. They contain small quantities of lime but the magnesium content is high. They are well supplied in potash and phosphoric acid but the quantities available are low. The agriculture is dependent to a large extent on the nature of its soils which in turn, is influenced materially by climatic factors. The soil of the district is quite alluvial and fertile.
The district consists of three kinds of soils viz, Riarki, Bangar and Bet. The area of Dhariwal Ghuman, Qadian, Harchowal and Sri Hargobindpur is called Riarki. The western side of Kahnuwan lake up to Aliwal canal is called Bangar and the area between the rivers of Beas and Ravi is known as Bet. Near about 300 villages of the district fall in Bet Area. The cultivable waste land is fallow or covered with bushes or jungle which may not be put to any use. Lands under that ching grass bamboo, bushes, tree crops etc. which are not included under forests have been considered as cultivable waste. As for example, all growing lands which are permanent pastures, meadows, grazing lands within the forests, etc.
The foundry sand is found from Dharamkot near Batala. The deposits are located 6.5 km west of Batala. Exposed on both sides of Batala-Dera Baba Nanak road, the Dharmkot sand is a natural moulding sand, containing about 20% of clay. Another deposit which is about 4 metres thick, occurs at about 6 km from Batala on the Batala Qadian road. The sand gives a yellowish tinge on the surface but is reddish brown at about 1 metre depth.
The sand deposits are also found at Bhagwanpur about 15 km. west of Batala on Dera Baba Nanak road and about 10 km from Gurdaspur on the Gurdaspur Naushera road (20 percent clay).
Saltpetre occurs in the district at the villages of Thikriwala, Pandori in tehsil Gurdaspur and Dhawan, Chataurgarh and Badowal in tehsil Batala. It is a source of potassium nitrate which can be used for making crackers and gunpowder, in match and sugar industry and as fertilizer.
River system and power resources
The Beas and Ravi are the two main rivers which flow through the district, both of which originate near the Rohitang Pass in the adjoining state of Himachal Pradesh. Like other rivers of the Punjab the water of the Beas and the Ravi fluctuate from season to season and from year to year. This fluctuating discharge of the rivers does not permit their navigational use depending upon the rainfall.
There are number of local swampy depressions popularly known as chhambs. The largest of there is the Kahnuwan Chhamb which stretches along the Beas river in Gurdaspur tehsil. Another swampy depression is the Keshopur Chhamb but this Chhamb along with other erst while chhambs of Dhan Rai, Narod Budiulzama, Paniar, Bucha Nangal and Naranwali, have practically been reclaimed now.
The district possesses a fairly dense network of canals of the Upper Bari Doab Canal system which irrigates most of the area of the district. Its main branches are Lahore branch, Kasur branch and the Sabhraon branch. The Ravi Beas link which was completed around 1954, diverts part of the Ravi water into the Chakki khad which is a tributary of the Beas.
Government and politics
Sub Tehsils (Total : 8)
|Sr. No.||Sub Tehsil Name|
|8.||Naushera Majha Singh|
C.D. Blocks (Total : 11)
|Sr. No.||Block Name|
|8.||Dera Baba Nanak|
|Sr. No.||Municipal Name|
|6.||Dera Baba Nanak|
|Sr. No.||Improvement Trusts|
According to the 2011 census Gurdaspur district has a population of 2,299,026, roughly equal to the nation of Latvia or the US state of New Mexico. This gives it a ranking of 196th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 649 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,680/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 9.3%. Gurdaspur has a sex ratio of 895 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 79.95%.
Cities, towns and villages
Some of the more famous cities, towns and villages in Gurdaspur district:
Dina Nagar town is situated about 14 l, North-East of Gurdaspur. It was founded by Adinabeg in 1730, on the bank of Hasli or Shah Nahar as his residence and cantonment. He seems to have exercised his government from this town.
Dina Nagar was a favourite summer resort of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Dina Nagar was one centre where Maharaja Ranjit Singh usually held his Durbar during the summer. It was the summer capital of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He spent the two months of May and June every year at Dina Nagar. It was at Dina Nagar that in May 1838 he received the MACNAGHTEN mission which negotiated the proposed alliance for placing Shah – Shuja on the throne of Kabul.
After annexation of Punjab to the British territory on 29 March 1849, a new district of Adinanagar was constituted with Dina Nagar as its headquarters. Gurdaspur Tehsil, a greater portion of Batala Tehsil and 181 villages of Pathankot Tehsil were included in the Adinanagar district. In July 1849 the civil and Military escorts were transferred to Batala as Dina Nagar was thought unhealthy and in 1852 it became part of Gurdaspur district. The Rowlatt ACT passed in March 1919 invested the Government with extraordinary powers to suppress any kind of political agitation. A complete hartal was observed in Dina Nagar along with Gurdaspur, Pathankot and Batala.
In 1920 non cooperation movement was started by Gandhi Ji due to alliance with Khilafat leader Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy and Rowllat Act. The people all over the country responded to the call of Gandhi Ji. The Government made every effort to stop the movement and a large number of persons courted imprisonment. A durbar was held at Dina Nagar to discuss the situation created by Gandhi Ji by H. Harcourt, the Deputy Commissioner.
Swami Sawtantra Nand founded Dayanand Math in 1938 – an institution which became a centre of learning and Ayurveda. In the course of time Adinanagar has been known for its Loi, Shawl and wood industries. A number of conduit pipe manufacturing units have been set up here after 1947. Dina Nagar is spread over 14.36 km2.
Batala is the eighth largest city of Punjab and biggest city in district Gurdaspur district, City was founded in about 1465, during the reign of Bahlol Lodhi BY "Rai Ram Deo" a Bhatti Rajput, on a piece of land granted by Tatar Khan governor of Lahore. Akbar gave it in Jagir to Shamsher Khan his foster brother, who greatly improved and beautified the place and outside it built the magnificent tank still in perfect repair. Under the Sikh commonwealth, Batala was held first by Ramgarhias, and after their expulsion by Kanhaya confederacy. On their return from exit the Ramgarhia chief recovered the town, which they retained till the rise of Ranjit Singh. After the annexation of Punjab by Britishers in 1849 Batala was made headquarters of a District, subsequently transferred to Gurdaspur.
Batala became the centre of number of iron manufacturing units when ironsmiths of Sialkot shifted here in large numbers. Batala is now known for its iron smelting units and manufactures a large variety of machine tools and lathes.The Batala was also known for brass utensil making centre in Punjab .But as the steel took place of brass this industry ruined and hundred of workers became unemployed.There is need to help those workers to start their works. The area of Batala city is over 33.75 km2.
The principal objects of antiquarian interest are the tank, the massive tomb of Shamsher Khan, and a handsome building known as Anarkali erected by Sher Singh, son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who held Batala in Jagir.There is a prachin mahakali mandir Known as kaliduara. It is one of the famous Temple of batala. There is also another Temple Achaleshwer, Which is Famous for Shiv Temple and it is ancient old.
Gurdaspur was founded by Guriya Ji in the beginning of 17th century. On his name, this city was named as Gurdaspur. He bought land for Gurdaspur from Jats of Sangi Gotra. It is also established that some people used to live in huts in the old city. Guriya Ji a Sanwal Brahmin of Kaushal Gotra belonged to a village Paniar situated 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The ancestors of Guriya Ji came from Ayodhaya long time ago and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two sons Sh. Nawal Rai and Sh. Pala Ji. The descendants of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur Nawal Rai’s son Baba Deep Chand was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is believed that guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Owner Of Treasure) to Baba Deep Chand. The descendants of Baba Deep Chand are known as Mahants. It was during the time of Baba Deep Chand that Gurdaspur started developing as a village.
The history of Gurdaspur is also associated with Banda Bahadur’s activities. Banda Bahadur built many fortresses in Gurdaspur One of his fortress site stands today’s Central Jail Gurdaspur.
During misl period Gurdaspur remained centre of activity of Kanaiya Misl and Ramgharia Misl. Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered Ramgharia misl in 1808 and Kanyia misl in 1811, so it became a part of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s empire.
After second Anglo-Sikh war 1839–49 British East India company annexed Punjab on 29 March 1849. After annexation need arose for recognition of districts for administrative purpose. As a result, Gurdaspur district was formed on 1 May 1852. The district of Adinanagar was renamed as Gurdaspur. So from a tiny village Gurdaspur became a district headquarters.
The mutinee of 1857 also affected Gurdaspur. The mutineers from Sialkot proceeded towards Gurdaspur. The British forces intercepted these mutineers at Trimmo Patan and defeated them in the battle of Trimmo Patan (12–16 July 1857). The prisoners were hanged in Bole Wala Bagh situated behind Government College Gurdaspur.
During partition of India in 1947 the future of Gurdaspur could not be decided for many days. As majority of population of this district was Muslim. REDCLIFF Awards of Boundary transferred only Shakargarh Tehsil Of Gurdaspur district to Pakistan, and the rest of the district was transferred to India. Muslim population of the district migrated to Pakistan and refugees, the Hindus and the Sikhs of Sialkot and Tehsil Shakargarh migrated to Gurdaspur after crossing the Ravi bridge. They settled and spread in Gurdaspur district. Gurdaspur is spread over 10.85 km2. area.
Kalanaur, a historical town of Gurdaspur District, is situated towards the west of Gurdaspur at a distance of 25 kilometres on the bank of Kiran Rivulet which originates from The Chhamb of Behrampur and flows in a zig-zag serpentine path and merges into the Ravi river after covering a distance of 36 miles in Amritsar District.
Kalanaur was a famous place in ancient Hindu period. According to Mohammad Latif (a historian ) it was founded by a Noor Tribe of Rajputs who probably migrated from South India. According to Imperial Gazetteer of India it was founded by two Muslim brothers Kala and Noor.
The city was a centre of art, cottage industries and trade. According to one proverbial saying before partition of India, it was said
"A person who has not seen Lahore should see Kalanaur "
Many historical events are associated with this ancient town. The town being situated on high mound suggests that the town got demolished many times, and it was rebuilt again and again. Feroz – Shah – Tuglaq (1352–88 AD) came here for hunting in 1353 and built here a beautiful palace on the bank of Kiran rivulet.
During the reign of Sayyad Mubarak Shah (1421–35 AD) Kalanaur was under the powerful Khokhar Tribe. From 14th to 16th century Kalanaur was a famous city of this region.
Kalanaur is also famous for heroic activities of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur who built a well where nowadays Gurudwara Banda Bahadur is situated.
During Misl period Kanaya Misl occupied Kalanaur under Sardar Haqeeqat Singh Kanaya. His son Jaimal Sing extended his territory up to Fatehgarh Churian and shifted his residence there. Jaimal Singh’s daughter Chand Kaur was married to Prince KHARAK SINGH in 1812 AD, (son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh). When Maharaja Ranjit Singh annexed this region into his kingdom, the Taulaka of Kalanaur was given to Prince Kharak Singh. In 1847 this taulaka of Kalanaur was given to Diwan Dina Nath as Jagir. It was annexed to British Empire after the death of Dina Nath on 1857.
When Gurdaspur became a district on 1 May 1852 Kalanaur became an important city of the district.
Dera Baba Nanak
Dera Baba Nanak is situated 45 kilometers west of Gurdaspur. This place is associated with Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The two famous Gurudwaras at Dera Baba Nanak are Sri Darbar Sahib and Sri Chola Sahib. Dera Baba Nanak, one of the most sacred places of the Sikhs, is situated on the banks of river Ravi. Guru Nanak Dev, the first Sikh Guru, settled and died near the village Pakhoke, opposite to the present town and named it Kartarpur. The Bedis, descendants of Guru Nanak Dev Ji built a new town and named it Dera Baba Nanak after their great ancestor. The town has a number of Sikh gurudwaras. Pilgrims come to this holy town in large numbers. Dera Baba Nanak was made the headquarters of newly created Tehsil of Dera Baba Nanak.
Gurudwara Sri Darbar Sahib was built in commemoration of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Nanak Dev Ji came here after his first Udasi (tour) on December 1515 AD to see the members of his family. His wife Mata Sulakhni and His two sons Baba Sri Chand and Baba Lakhmi Chand had come to stay here in their maternal home at Pakho-Ke-Randhawa, near Dera Baba Nanak, where Lala Mool Raj, father-in-law of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, was working as Patwari. At that time this village was situated across the river Ravi.
Sri-Hargobindpur is situated about 45 kilometres south of Gurdaspur city. It is situated on the high bank of river Beas. This area was formerly known as "Rohila". "Guru Arjun Dev ji" the fifth Guru of Sikhs founded the town of Sri-Hargobindpur in 1595 AD in memory of his son Hargobind’s birth in that year, as the child was the only son born to the Guru Arjan Dev ji after many prayers. Guru Arjan Dev ji named this town as Sri-Gobindpur but due to Chandu Shah’s conspiracy this town became the property of Bhagwan Das Khatri a money lender who out of hatred was called Kirar.
In 1621 AD there arose a conflict between Guru Hargobind ji and Bhagwan Das Khatri the money lender over some barren land. Guru Hargobind Ji wanted to construct some building there but Bhagwan Dass resisted the construction. At the head of number of ruffians, he attacked Guru Ji’s camp. In the fight Bhagwan Das was killed. His son Ratan Chand and Chandu Shah’s son Karam Chand made a common cause of grievance. They approached Faujdar of Jalandhar, Abdul Khan. Abdul Khan despatched a large contingent of troops against Guru Hargobind Ji. A pitched battle was fought on Rohila Ghat on the bank of the river Beas for two days. All the five generals along with the son of faujdar of Jalandhar and a large number of Mughal army were killed. On Guru Hargobind ji’s side Bhai Jattu Ji, Kaliana Ji, Nano Ji, Pirga Ji, Mathura Ji, Paras Ram Ji with many Sikhs were martyred.
Guru Hargobind Ji started the construction of this new town. He built here a Dharamshala and a Mosque and fortified new town of Sri-Hargobindpur with a wall and gates outside the city. One gate still exists there.
The new three storied Gurudwara Damdama Sahib which is under construction now is situated one Kilometer west of Sri-Hargobindpur. It is the site where Guru Hargobind Ji held a diwan and had rest after winning the battle of Rohila. So this Gurudwara is called Dam-Dama-Sahib, Sri HarGobindpur. A long bridge constructed over river Beas connects this town with Hoshiarpur district and Jullundhar district.
Qadian is situated 18 kilometers east of Batala city. The town can also be approached from Gurdaspur Via Kahnuwan-Kot-Todarmal which becomes a distance of 26 kilometers.
It is considered that Qadian was established in 1530 AD. Mirza Hadi Beg was the first Qazi(city Magistrate) of this area. Because of this, the town became to be known as Qazi. Mirza Hadi Beg was a religious scholar dedicated to Islam. Therefore, he named the new town Islampur Qazi. With the passage of time, it changed to Qazi Maji then to Qadi and eventually to its natural transformation to be known as Qadian.
It was in 1834 AD during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that the estate consisting of Qadian and five adjoining villages were given to Mirza Ghulam Murtaza, father of the Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
At that time, Qadian had no significance in the area at all with population of a few hundred people and only a sandy track pitted with pot holes connected the town with Batala. People were totally ignorant and uneducated. There was total lack of urban amenities and facilities.
A remote and unknown town, Qadian emerged as a centre of religious learning in 1889, when Mirza Ghulam Ahmad established the Ahmadiyya Community. Qadian remained the administrative headquarters and capital of the Ahmadiyya Caliphate until the partition of India in 1947 when much of the community migrated to Pakistan. The community is well known for its peaceful approach towards other communities and its humanitarian work.
Qadian is very dear to Ahmadis all over the world, but their unity was upset during the communal disturbance in 1947. Nobody wanted to leave Qadian, although Khalifatul Masih II was forced to migrate to Pakistan in 1947 and established a new headquarters at Rabwah. 313 People were selected for the security of the religious places in Qadian. They did not leave the country and protected Qadian. These 313 people are called Darwesh of Qadian. So this religious body, registered in India, got these buildings. Now the college building is given on rent to the Sikh National College Qadian and there is a Civil Hospital in the building of Noor Hospital. A new building is made for Noor Hospital by Ahmadiyya Community in 2008.
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- Satinder Satti(anchor-singer)
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Latvia 2,204,708 July 2011 est.
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New Mexico – 2,059,179
- "Gurdaspur District Religion Data - Census 2011". www.census2011.co.in. Retrieved 29 March 2018.