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For the villages in Iran, see Kharian, Iran.
Kharian is located in Pakistan
Coordinates: 32°48′40″N 73°51′54″E / 32.811°N 73.865°E / 32.811; 73.865Coordinates: 32°48′40″N 73°51′54″E / 32.811°N 73.865°E / 32.811; 73.865
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Gujrat
Elevation 280 m (920 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 30,000
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Calling code 0537

Kharian (Urdu: کھاریاں ‎) (Pronunciation: Khariah) is a city of Gujrat District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Kharian is the capital city of Kharian Tehsil, which administrates all of the numerous surrounding villages and towns of Greater Kharian. Kharian is a city of District Gujrat in Pakistan, situated at Grand Trunk Road, 20 miles from Gujrat and 10 miles from Jhelum. It is a sub-division (tehsil) of Gujrat. Kharian is famous all over Pakistan for two reasons; being a large armybase (cantonment) and its people abroad especially in Norway and Denmark.


Kharian is located almost midway between the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad (about 125 km) and the provincial capital of Punjab, Lahore (about 145 km). The most northern parts of Greater Kharian lie in front of the beautiful foothills of the Himalaya mountains of Azad Kashmir.

Kharian is located on the Grand Trunk Road (colloquially known as the GT road). This is the road which connects Kharian, all the way from Bangladesh, through India across Pakistan and to Afghanistan. It was used during British Rule to transport goods across South Asia. The main railway line also passes through Kharian, thus providing good transportation to the northern and southern parts of Pakistan.

The closest cities to Kharian are gulyana (about 10 miles) Jhelum (about 10 miles) Gujrat (around 20 miles) and Sarai Alamgir.

Since Kharian is located in the land fringed by the Jhelum and Chenab rivers, there is no shortage of irrigation water and the land is very fertile.


According to the ancient Jovhan language, the word Kharian means, "Great Teacher". Legends of the ancient Kharian race also seem to point to them as Great Teachers. They are said to have traveled across much of the galaxy spreading the vast knowledge their race had acquired over many millennia. There is also much scientific evidence to support these legends, which seem to show the ancient Kharian as a Great Society of Thinkers and Teachers.

This city, for political reasons, never developed any industry rather its agriculture is dying down fast. Kharian, out of necessity, developed from a town to a city by itself not owing its development to very influential native people including an ex-president of Pakistan. So far so, during this president's rule these influential people ignored the ruined state of very busy Guliana Road for several years. It is worth mentioning that at the time shopkeepers satirically wrote President Road (Saddar Road) on their shop signs against the address. These factors and practice of nepotism resulted in outsiders being major players in Kharian's politics. History of Kharian is spread over centuries. Between River Jehlum and River Chenab, situated on Chuj Doaba, concealing century old historical mysteries, it is still vibrant. Although time after time, people of Kharian have been coerced to migrate from it several times it had been under destruction because of Wars, but again and again it came to life after destruction. In 1568 “Khari” Gujar on behalf of Delhi, came here to establish this forest in order to take care of animals. This was the time when there was no concept of law and order. Whoever made use of the land by either cultivating it or living on it was considered to be his. Therefore people of that time, to fulfill their needs developed this breathtaking area.

Kharian is named after the Khari clan of Gurjars, who used to rule this area before the advent of Arabs. The Kharian region was an agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Vedic period is characterized by the Indo-Aryan culture, which invaded from Central Asia and settled in the Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled the ancient Punjab region. After overrunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into the present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. Kharian was ruled by the 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 the northern Punjab region. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot its landscape.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Kharian in 1798. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. The entire Punjab region was occupied by the British East India Company by 1845.

The predominantly Muslim population supported the Muslim League and the 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 Kharian.

During the construction of water wells in 1013 hijri, the people of Kharian shifted near those reservoirs from ‘Tabba’. Old coins and crockery are found even today while fields are ploughed in Tabba which are preserved as ornaments in our homes today. Beautiful rocks were used for the construction of the smaller reservoir which is also known as the eastern reservoir. The preservation of this reservoir was also undertaken by the ministry of culture and heritage. Unfortunately though, the ministry failed to live up to its commitment despite the fact that their board was engraved upon this reservoir to date. However the condition of this reservoir is still good and its edifice still stands today but the ministry seems adamant in its destruction by not paying heed to its renovation. The dates of the construction of this reservoir were engraved upon stone which was later kept in the museum. During the 1960s the zamindars started immigrating to Europe in search of better living standards followed by kammees in the 1970s, majority of who embarked to Europe and Arab countries. This resulted in narrowing a big economic gulf between these two classes and in abandoning kammees' professions thus leaving a skills vacuum. People from villages around Kharian at some extent, for a short term, filled this vacuum but the news of the available opportunities (also demand for goods and services of large army population in cantonment) spread far away areas of Pakistan and people not only started settling in Kharian but also brought their relatives and friends. Nowadays its diverse population routes back to as far as northern areas of Pakistan who are active citizens of Kharian. The current population of the city reflects this strongly and its majority runs their own businesses or works for these. Obviously increase in population resulted in increasing the area of the city. At one time there were small numbers of community areas called mohallas, which included Mohallah Banni, Mohallah GT Road, Main Bazaar, Mohallah Thhathhee, Mohallah Sattar Pura, Mohallah Nia Aara, Mohallah Parbat, Guliana Road and Butcher Khana. Nowadays surrounding small villages like Thhupala, Biddar, Pindi Haqeeqa and Dillo are part of Kharian.


The population of Kharian in 2012 is estimated to be over 30,000. The native people of Kharian are usually multilingual, the languages being Punjabi (native language), Urdu (National language of Pakistan) and English (Official language of Pakistan) as well.

Overseas Pakistani citizens of Kharian origin[edit]

Most Overseas Pakistani people of Norway and Denmark originate from villages and towns around Kharian (greater Kharian). These overseas Pakistani families, left Pakistan in the 1960s and 1970s as immigrant workers.

People of Pakistani descent in Norway and Denmark are very well-settled and exhibit a high level of political participation in their new homeland, compared to all other non-western immigrant groups.[1] Also in the educational sector they are doing very well, with almost 10% of the medical students in Oslo of Pakistani heritage.[2] The figure is significant as Pakistani Norwegians only constitute 3.67% of Oslo's population.

List of notable people of Greater Kharian[edit]

The People of Greater Kharian have a rich history of giving rise to many notable personalities of Pakistan and South Asia, which, among others, include:

  • Muhammad Alam Lohar, (1928 - July 3, 1979), (Punjabi, Urdu: محمد عالم لوہار), (Punjabi in Gurmukhi: ਆਲਮ ਲੋਹਾਰ), was one of the most prominent Punjabi folk music singers.
  • Major Raja Aziz Bhatti Shaheed (1928 - September 10, 1965) (Punjabi, Urdu: عزیز بهٹی) , was an Army's Staff officer, who received Pakistan's highest award for valor (Nishan-e-Haider)
  • Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry (Punjabi, Urdu: فضل الہی چودہری;) , (January 1, 1904 - June 2, 1982) was the fifth President of Pakistan from August 14, 1973 until his resignation on September 16, 1978.

Kharian Cantonment[edit]

Kharian Cantonment (Punjabi, Urdu: کھاریاں ﮐﻴﻨٹ) or Kharian Cantt., is one of the largest cantonment (Army Base) of Pakistan. It was built in the late 1950s with the support of USA as part of the mutual military alliance, and as an assistance to Pakistan. Its construction was supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was built according to U.S standards.

During the development of the cantonment, the many villages at the construction site, were relocated by government, and land was given to these in substitute. Mosques and graveyards still remained, and can even be seen today, inside the army area.

In 1956, it was planned and construction was initiated. International companies like Gammon and Caterpillar, participated in building the Garrison. One of the market places inside cantt. area is named after that company, where they stayed during construction.

The cantonment has a lot of facilities, among which are a hospitable services mess/club to provide a location for social activities, an elegant mosque and a beautiful park. There is also a busy shopping area, a well equipped military hospital (CMH Kharian) and two degree colleges, one each for girls and boys.

Kharian Cantt. is also a center for education, both national and international-level schools and colleges are available, within the premises of Garrison.

Welfare organizations[edit]

  • Al Khidmat Foundation
  • Al Madina Welfare Society
  • Anjuman Talba-e-Islam (ATI)
  • Pasban Welfare Foundation


  • CMH Medical College, Kharian Cantt. (proposed)
  • F.G. College Kharian Cantt. (for men)
  • F.G. College Kharian Cantt. (for women)
  • F.G.Boys Public School Kharian Cantt
  • F.G.Boys High School Kharian Cantt
  • F.G Girls Public School Kharian Cantt
  • Govt. Degree College for Boys, Kharian City
  • Govt. Asghar Ali degree College for Women, Kharian City
  • Govt. Instt. of Commerce, GT Road near THQ Hospital, Kharian
  • Govt. Vocational Training Institute for Women, Main Bazaar, Kharian
  • Govt. Institute of Technical Training, G.T. Road, Kharian
  • The City School. G.T Road Kharian
  • Army Public School & College, Kharian Cantt
  • Garrison Academy, Kharian Cantt (GAK)
  • Garrison Academy College, Kharian Cantt.
  • Oriental Institute of Technology, Akram Tower G.T. Road, Kharian City.[3]
  • Rosebelt College of Management Sciences & Information Technology, Kharian
  • Roots School System, GT Road Cantt.
  • Islamic Asian College Of Commerce Kharian
  • Kharain College of Commerce, Kharian
  • Govt. Taleem-Ul-Islam High School, Kharian city
  • Beaconhouse School System (Pakistan), Kharian Cantt.
  • Govt. High School, Kharian City (for boys)
  • Govt. High school # 01, Kharian City (for girls)
  • Govt. High school # 02, Kharian City (for girls)
  • Pakistan Overseas Higher Secondary school
  • New Jinnah Public School Chak Sajawal
  • AlFalah Education House Chak Sajawal
  • Dukhtaran e Millat Higher Secondary school
  • Dar-e-Arqam School, Kharian
  • Sufah Public School, Kharian
  • Dar-us-salam High School Kharian
  • Ayesha Public High School Kharian
  • Iqra Public School Kharian
  • Cambridge Standard School kharian
  • Bloomfield hall school, kharian cantt
  • Nisa Girls College G.T.Road Kharian
  • Punjab College G.T.Road Kharian
  • Superior Group of Colleges, Kharian
  • Iqbal Public Scchool, Bega Mehrojpur


Being present on GT Road (N5 ) and main railways line of Pakistan, Kharian is considered as a well connected city. A highways connects it to Mandi Bahauddin via Dinga and Rasul and is known as Dinga road. Another highway, Gulyana Road/Jalalpure Jattan road connects it to Jalalpure Jattan, Bhimber AJK and many other cities and is considered to be a part of Defence road network. Another road connects Kharian to Mohrdi Sharif. Kharian has a famous private transport terminal by the name of "Shahzad Travels" which provide road transport to all important cities of Pakistan. There are two important railways stations in Kharian ,i.e., City and Cantt. Pakistan Military has an air strip in Kharian Cantt.


Kharian is a midway stopover between Lahore and Rawalpindi/Islamabad on GT Road(N5) and that is why is home to many restaurants like Usmania, Skyways, TDCP, U-Mart, Rahat Bakers, Cakes and Bakes, etc.

Kharian has its own FM radio channel while there are many parks and sports stadiums in city and cantt. GT Road and Nia Bazar, Anarkali Bazar, Sadar Bazar, Cantt are hubs of national and international fashion brands.

Nearby villages and towns[edit]

View of a typical village in Kharian
Fields at a local village


  1. ^ Goli & Rezaei 2005, p. 24
  2. ^ Dagens Medisin: - Studenter med holdninger
  3. ^