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Rawalpindi District

Coordinates: 33°20′N 73°15′E / 33.333°N 73.250°E / 33.333; 73.250
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Rawalpindi District
ضِلع راولپِنڈى
Map of Punjab with Rawalpindi District highlighted Rawalpindi is located in the north of Punjab.
Map of Punjab with Rawalpindi District highlighted
Rawalpindi is located in the north of Punjab.
Coordinates: 33°20′N 73°15′E / 33.333°N 73.250°E / 33.333; 73.250
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
Number of Tehsils5
 • TypeDivisional Administration
 • Commissioner RawalpindiEngineer Aamir Khattak (BPS-20 PAS)
 • District Police Officer (DPO)Khalid Mehmood Hamdani (BPS-19 PSP)
 • District Health OfficerN/A
 • Total4,547 km2 (1,756 sq mi)
Highest elevation
1,800 m (5,900 ft)
Lowest elevation
300 m (1,100 ft)
 • Total5,050,068
 • Density1,100/km2 (2,900/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5 (PKT)
National Assembly Seats (2018)Total 6

  •   PML(N) (0)
  •   PTI (6)
  •   PPP (1)
Punjab Assembly Seats (2018)Total (15)


Rawalpindi District (Punjabi and Urdu: ضِلع راولپِنڈى) is a district located in the northernmost part of the Punjab province of Pakistan. Parts of the district form part of the Islamabad Rawalpindi metropolitan area. Rawalpindi city is the district capital.

The district has an area of 5,286 km2 (2,041 sq mi). Originally, its area was 6,192 km2 (2,391 sq mi) until the 1960s when Islamabad Capital Territory was carved out of the district, giving away an area of 906 km2 (350 sq mi).[citation needed] It is situated on the southern slopes of the north-western extremities of the Himalayas, including large mountain tracts with rich valleys traversed by mountain rivers. The chief rivers are the Indus and the Jhelum, and it is noted for its milder climate and abundant rainfall due to its proximity to the foothills.[2]


Ancient history[edit]

Mankiala Stupa 27 kilometres (17 mi) from Rawalpindi city

In ancient times the whole or the greater part of the area between the Indus and the Jhelum seems to have belonged to a Naga tribe called Takshakas, who gave their name to the city of Takshasila. Known as Taxila by the Greek historians, the location of the ancient city has been identified to be in the ruins of Shahdheri in the north-west corner of the District.

At the time of Alexander's invasion Taxila was described by Arrian as a flourishing city, known more for its tourism. Taxila having too weak army, locals of the city had immediately surrendered to Greek army without a battle; adds that the neighbouring country was crowded with inhabitants and was very fertile; and Pliny speaks of it as a famous city situated in a district called Amanda. The invasion of Demetrius in 195 B.C. brought the Punjab under the Graeco-Bactrian kings. Later they were superseded by the Sakas, who ruled at Taxila with the title of Satrap. At the time of Hiuen Tsiang (Chinese explorer), the city was a dependency of Kashmir.[3]

Mughal era[edit]

Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi passed through the District after his defeat of Anand Pal and capture of Ohind. The first mention of the Gakhars occurs in the memoirs of Babar, who gives an interesting account of the capture of their capital, Paralah. It was strongly situated in the hills, and was defended with great bravery by its chief Hati Khan, who escaped from one gate as the Mughal army marched in at the other. Hati Khan died by poison in 1525 ; his cousin and murderer Sultan Sarang then submitted to Babar, who conferred on him the area of Potwar. From that time on the Gakhar chieftains remained firm allies of the Mughal dynasty, and provided significant aid to the Mughal in their struggle against the house of Sher Shah. Salim Shah attempted in vain to subdue their country.

In 1553 Adam Khan, Sarang's successor, surrendered the rebel prince Kamran to Humayun. Adam Khan was subsequently deposed by Akbar, and his principality given over to his nephew Kamal Khan. During the height of the Mughal empire, the family of Sarang retained its territorial possessions. Its last and Gakhars chief, Mukarrab Khan, ruled over a kingdom which extended from the Chenab to the Indus.[3]

British era[edit]

In 1849 Rawalpindi passed with the rest of the Sikh dominions under British rule; and though tranquillity was disturbed by an insurrection four years later, led by a Gakhar chief with the object of placing a pretended son of Ranjit Singh on the throne, its administration was generally peaceful until the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857. The Dhunds and other tribes of the Murree Hills, incited by Hindustani agents, rose in insurrection, and the authorities received information from a faithful native of a projected attack upon the station of Murree in time to organise measures for defence. The women near the station, who were present in large numbers, were placed in safety, while the Europeans and police were drawn up in a cordon round the station. The rebels arrived expecting no resistance, but were met with organised resistance and were repelled.[3]

The district of Rawalpindi was created during British rule as part of Punjab province. The district obtained its current boundaries in 1904 when Attock District was created as a separate district. According to the 1901 census of India the population in 1901 was 558,699, an increase of 4.7% from 1891.[2] During the period of British rule, Rawalpindi district increased in population and importance.

Administrative division[edit]

Potohar Rawalpindi
Potohar Plateau in Rawalpindi-District

Rawalpindi district is governed by the Rawalpindi District Council, while several regions sub-divided into one Municipal Corporation, two Cantonment Boards and Seven tehsils:

Sr. Tehsil Headquarters Area
1 Taxila Taxila 312 678,062
2 Rawalpindi Rawalpindi 1,682 3,256,641
3 Gujar Khan Gujar Khan 1,457 677,558
4 Kallar Syedan Kallar Syedan 459 217,061
5 Kahuta Kahuta 637 220,746
4,547 5,050,068


In 2017 population of Rawalpindi district was 5,402,380. 2,736,180 were male and 2,665,089 were female. 2,396,672 (44.36%) lived in rural areas and 3,005,708 (55.64%) lived in urban areas.

In the divided district, Rawalpindi district had 816,577 households and a population of 5,050,068. Rawalpindi now has a sex ratio of 975 females per 1000 males and a literacy rate of 82.18% - 87.66% for males and 76.61% for females. 2,826,264 (55.96%) lived in urban areas. 1,162,962 (23.03%) were under 10 years of age.[1]

According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, the population of the district was 3,363,911 of which 53.03% were urban,[4] and is the second-most urbanised district in Punjab. The population was estimated to be 4.5 million in 2010.


Religion in Rawalpindi district (2017)[1]
Religion Percent
Other or not stated

According to the 2017 census Muslims were the overwhelming majority religion in residual Rawalpindi district with 97.89%, while Christians were 2.02% of the population, mainly concentrated in urban areas. Ahmadis and Hindus make up the remainder of the population.[1]

Religious groups in Rawalpindi District (British Punjab province era)
1901[5] 1911[6][7] 1921[8] 1931[9] 1941[10]
Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. % Pop. %
Islam 803,283 86.32% 458,101 83.62% 470,038 82.58% 524,965 82.76% 628,193 80%
Hinduism [a] 86,269 9.27% 48,449 8.84% 57,185 10.05% 59,485 9.38% 82,478 10.5%
Sikhism 32,234 3.46% 31,839 5.81% 31,718 5.57% 41,265 6.51% 64,127 8.17%
Christianity 7,614 0.82% 8,320 1.52% 9,286 1.63% 7,486 1.18% 9,014 1.15%
Jainism 1,068 0.11% 1,028 0.19% 954 0.17% 1,077 0.17% 1,337 0.17%
Zoroastrianism 66 0.01% 64 0.01% 41 0.01% 65 0.01% 67 0.01%
Judaism 1 0% 16 0% 0 0% 5 0% 2 0%
Buddhism 0 0% 10 0% 0 0% 9 0% 13 0%
Others 0 0% 0 0% 2 0% 0 0% 0 0%
Total population 930,535 100% 547,827 100% 569,224 100% 634,357 100% 785,231 100%
Note1: British Punjab province era district borders are not an exact match in the present-day due to various bifurcations to district borders — which since created new districts — throughout the historic Punjab Province region during the post-independence era that have taken into account population increases.

Population decrease between 1901 and 1911 census due to creation of Attock district in 1904 by taking Talagang Tehsil from Jhelum District and Pindi Gheb, Fateh Jang and Attock Tehsils from Rawalpindi District.


At the time of the 1998 census of Pakistan, the following were the demographics of the Rawalpindi district, by first language:[11]

Languages of Rawalpindi district (2017)

  Punjabi (67.15%)
  Pashto (11.51%)
  Urdu (10.64%)
  'Others' (4.22%)
  Hindko (3.25%)
  Kashmiri (1.89%)
  Others (1.34%)

At the time of the 2017 Census of Pakistan, 67.15% of the population spoke Punjabi, 11.51% Pashto, 10.64% Urdu, 3.25% Hindko and 1.89% Kashmiri as their first language. 4.22% of the population spoke languages classified as 'Others'.[1]


According to the 2015 census, Rawalpindi was ranked number one district of Pakistan in terms of education and school infrastructure facilities. According to official 2014 Public Schools Census data, district Rawalpindi had a total of 1,230 primary, 316 middle, 365 secondary and 40 higher secondary schools.[12] Out of these public sector schools, 911 are male schools while 1,040 are for girls. There were 4,279 teachers teaching at primary level while 3,129, 6,516 and 1,155 teachers are teaching at middle, secondary and higher secondary level, respectively. Out of these teachers, 9,788 are female while 5,291 are male. 24% of the Class 2 students could not read a story in Urdu, 26% could not read a sentence in English and 46% of Class 5 students could not do two digit divisions. 8% of the students dropped out of the school at the primary level.[13]


The principal crops were wheat, barley, maize, millets, and pulses. The district was traversed by the main line of the North-Western railway, crossing the Indus at Attock and also by a branch towards the Indus at Kushalgarh.[2]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "District Wise Results / Tables (Census - 2017)". www.pbscensus.gov.pk. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
  2. ^ a b c Rawalpindi - Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  3. ^ a b c Rawalpindi District - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 264.
  4. ^ 1998 Census details Archived 2006-05-13 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Census of India 1901. [Vol. 17A]. Imperial tables, I-VIII, X-XV, XVII and XVIII for the Punjab, with the native states under the political control of the Punjab Government, and for the North-west Frontier Province". 1901. p. 34. JSTOR saoa.crl.25363739. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Census of India 1911. Vol. 14, Punjab. Pt. 2, Tables". 1911. p. 27. JSTOR saoa.crl.25393788. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  7. ^ Kaul, Harikishan (1911). "Census Of India 1911 Punjab Vol XIV Part II". p. 27. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  8. ^ "Census of India 1921. Vol. 15, Punjab and Delhi. Pt. 2, Tables". 1921. p. 29. JSTOR saoa.crl.25430165. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  9. ^ "Census of India 1931. Vol. 17, Punjab. Pt. 2, Tables". 1931. p. 277. JSTOR saoa.crl.25793242. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  10. ^ "Census of India, 1941. Vol. 6, Punjab". 1941. p. 42. JSTOR saoa.crl.28215541. Retrieved 23 March 2024.
  11. ^ 1998 District Census report of Rawalpindi. Census publication. Vol. 23. Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan. 1999. p. 44.
  12. ^ "Rawalpindi School Census Data". School Education Department. Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Rawalpindi, Punjab". Alif Ailaan. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  14. ^ Najaf Shah
  15. ^ "Profile - Lt. Col (R) Muhammad Shabbir Awan". Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  1. ^ 1931-1941: Including Ad-Dharmis