|Elevation||242 m (794 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Malerkotla is a city and a municipal council in Sangrur district in the Indian state of Punjab. It was the seat of the eponymous princely state during the British Raj. The state acceded unto the union of India in 1947 and was merged with other nearby princely states to create the Patiala and East Punjab States' Union (PEPSU).
When that political entity was reorganised in 1956, the territories of the erstwhile state of Malerkotla became part of Punjab. It is located on the Sangrur-Ludhiana State Highway (no. 11) and lies on the secondary Ludhiana-Delhi railway line. It is about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Ludhiana and 35 kilometres (22 mi) from Sangrur in Sangrur district.
Malerkotla, a Muslim majority state was established in 1454 A.D. by Sheikh Sadruddin-i-Jahan from Afghanistan, and was ruled by his Sherwani descendents. The State of Malerkotla was established in 1600 A.D. It is noteworthy that during the 1947 riots when Punjab was in flames, the State of Malerkotla did not witness a single incident of violence; through it all, it remained a lone island of peace.
The roots of communal harmony date back to 1705, when Sahibzada Fateh Singh and Sahibzada Zorawar Singh, 9 and 7 year old sons of 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, were ordered to be bricked alive by the governor of Sirhind, Wazir Khan, his close relative, Sher Mohammed Khan, Nawab of Malerkotla, who was present in the court, lodged vehement protest against this inhuman act and said it is against the glorious tenets of Quran and Islam. Wazir Khan nevertheless had the Sahibzadas tortured and bricked into a section of wall while still alive. At this the noble Nawab of Malerkotla walked out of the court in protest. Guru Gobind Singh on learning this kind and humanitarian approach and blessed the Nawab of Malerkotla with his Hukamnama, Kirpan etc. In recognition of this act, the State of Malerkotla did not witness a single incident of violence during partition.
During the partition of India, the Ruling Family of Sheikh Sadr-ud-Din Sherwani migrated to Pakistan and living mostly in Model Town, Lahore, Muzzafargarh, Khangarh. Though many also contribute this peace to the presence of the shrine of 'Baba Haidar Sheikh', the Sufi saint, who founded the town of Malerkotla more than 500 years ago.
As per provisional data of 2011 census Malerkotla urban agglomeration had a population of 135,330, out of which males were 71,401 and females were 63,923. The literacy rate was 70.25 per cent. Malerkotla is 55% Muslim majority with mixed population of about 75,000 Muslims and 50,000 Hindus and Sikhs. Malerkotla is the only Muslim majority city in Punjab.
To facilitate the oriental scholars, Punjabi University, Patiala, decided to establish an Institute of higher learning in this field in the 'Urdu Town of Punjab' i.e. Malerkotla named after one of the founders of Malerkotla Estate, Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan. The Nawab Sher Mohd. Khan Institute of Advanced Studies in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, provides the facilities of higher research in the area of Urdu/Persian Languages and Literature up to the level of PhD. Besides regular classes of M.A. (Persian), Certificate courses (Urdu, Persian and Arabic), MSc.(IT)2 year, MSc.(IT)Lateral entry, PGDCA (1 year) and CCA (6 months) certificate in computer application, Computer Courses are also being run.
Today Malerkotla is the only place in Indian Punjab that has a majority Muslim population. 55% percent of the residents of Malerkotla are Muslims with sufficient Sikh and Hindu population. Due to the Muslim majority in Malerkotla Urdu is taught alongside Punjabi in schools.
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