Gujranwala District

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Punjab Dist Gujranwala.svg

Gujranwala District (Urdu: ضلع گوجرانوالہ) is a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The city of Gujranwala is the capital.

History[change | change source]

Gujranwala (Urdu: گوجرانوالہ), the capital of Gujranwala District, is a city in the northeast of the Punjab province in Pakistan. It borders the districts of Sialkot, to the north and east, Shiekhupura, to the south, Hafizabad, to the west and south, and Gujrat district to the west, on the other side of the Chenab river. The district is in the ancient region of Punjab, known as Sandal Bar, between the rivers of Chenab and Ravi.

The village of Asarur which has been identified as the location of Taki, an ancient town, visited by the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsiang contains immense ruins of Buddhist origin. After the time of Tsiang little is known about Gujranwala til the Islamic conquest, of the Sandal Bar region, by this time however Taki had fallen into oblivion.

The Jats dominated the present day district of Gujranwala, with the Jat clans of Chatha's, Tarar's, and Waraich, who were in majority. The Chatha Jats who converted to Islam, managed to carve out their own independent territory along the river Chenab, while the Tarar Jats, who also had accepted Islam, were also already chieftains of this Vast area of Gujranwala, also the Dhothar Jatts, who inhabited vast areas, controlling villages, in Gujranwala District, The Dhothar Jatts, were very victorious and brave, they defeated all the Jatts Clans of Gujranwala area. The Tarar Jat clans who had maintained their original vedic religion until the time of Akbar, the Mughal ruler of Hindustan. According to the local legend of the Tarar Jats, It was this King, who sent a military expedition against the Tarar Jats, of Gujranwala, The Tarar Jat State was all destroyed, Kaulo Tarar, the head of the Tarar Jat tribe, in Gujranwala, was killed, His wife was pregnant, at that time fled to the Jungles of his area, where she took refuge, she met a Fakir, who said that she was destined to bear a son and would be well, who advised her to bring him up in the true faith, he was named Mohammed Mirza, who was brought up as a good and strict Muslim. With the passage of time the Tarar Jat clans, descendants of Kaulo Tarar grew in numbers, and their Possessions increased. There are seventy two, Tarar Jat villages, in Gujranwala district, along the Chenab river. The district flourished during Mughal rule, from the days of Akbar. wells were scattered over the whole country, and villages lay thickly dotted about the southern plateau, now a barren waste of grass land and scrub jungle. Their remains may still be found in the wildest and most solitary reaches of the Bar. Under Daud Bandagi Kirmani (1513-1575), a Muslim Saint from Multan Province, managed to Convert large masses of Jat clans of only Sandal Bar region, to Islam, of Gujranwala which were Virk, Waraich, Tarar, Maan, waseer, Dhothar, Cheema, Sandhu, Sahi, Bajwa, Chatha, Hanjra, Goraya, Ghumman, and Basra. The Hindu Rajput clans that converted to Islam, under Daud Bandagi Kirmani, were Bhatti, Joiya, Chauhan, Wattu, Khokhar, Awan, their population in 1931, was 15,607, (67%). While the Jat Muslims, numbered in 1931, 172,924, (81%). The Jat Sikh population, in 1931, was, 213,389, (17%). And the Hindu Jatts, in 1931 5,126, (2%).

According to 1931 Census of Gujranwala District, Dhotar, Deo, Virk, Dhillon, Pannun, Aulakh, Kahlon, were Largely Sikh, While Chatha, Cheema, Bajwa, Ghumman, Sandhu, Tarar, Randhawa, Buttar, Hanjra, Waraich, were largely Muslim.

The southern area of Gujranwala district is known as the Virkyat region or Virk territory, were the Virk Jats held their territory, independently. The Chatha Jats never got on with the Sikh Sardars, there were wars all the time. until the reign of Sher-e-Panjab. Before the arrival of Sikhs, into Gujranwala area, it was mainly held by local Muslim tribes, while Gujranwala, Garjakh, Qila Mian Singh, Botala Jhanda Singh, Butala Sham Singh, Eminabad, Kamoke, Qila Didar Singh, Ruriala, Mari Thakran, Ladhe Wala Waraich, Wazirabad, Dhounkal, Wadala Cheema, Mughal Chak were the only, that were under local Sikh Rule. In 1738, Panah Bhatti, a very powerful, Chieftain, had the whole of western Punjab, from Hasan Abdal, Attock, to the banks of the River Ravi, at his mercy, Gujranwala area, was to under his influence, but was defeated, by the Muslim Mughal Governors, of Lahore. Panah Bhatti, was captured and killed.

Sardar Amir Singh, was a very old Sikh Chieftain of Gujranwala, belonging to the Waraich Jat Clan. He had two son Gurbakhsh Singh and Dal Singh, and a Daughter named Mai Desan (d. 1778), Mai Desan in 1756, was married to Sardar Charat Singh Sukerchakia (d. 1770), who was from Amritsar District of Punjab, crossed the river Ravi, with a large Sikh army, and Occupied Gujranwala, establishing his independent State. Mai Desan, gave birth to Sardar Mahan Singh Sukerchakia (d. 1792), who expanded his territories, and fought against the Chatha Jats, who he defeated. He married Mata Raj Kaur, the daughter of Rajah Gajpat Singh, a Sidhu Jatt, ruler of Jind Sikh State, in about 1777, who later gave birth to Maharajah Ranjit Singh Sher-e-Panjab in 1780, in Gujranwala Haveli (Mansion), the biggest and tallest building in Gujranwala and fortified, at that time, where the great Sikh Chieftains lived. From 1792-1801, Gujranwala remained the capital of Ranjit Singh, until he captured Lahore in 1799, from Sardar Chet Singh Bhangi, a weak Sikh Chieftain of Lahore. Sardar Hari Singh Nalua (1791-1837), was also born in Gujranwala, to Sardar Gurdial Singh, and Mata Dharam Kaur, a Uppal Khatri, who was also the commander and general of the Sikh army during the Sikh times, family was originally from Amritsar. He has been credited for having rebuilt the present city of Gujranwala.

Ranjit Singh, brought all the independent Muslim states of Gujranwala, under his rule. During the later Sikh rule, the Hindu's of Gujranwala, played a great role, in those days. Maharajah Ranjit Singh, having, great tolerance, built many Durgahs of Sufi Saints, such as Mastan Shah, near Gujranwala, according to the local legends of Gujranwalia's. Who is said to have met the maharajah during his childhood. He Visited Dhounkal village, near Wazirabad city, in Gujranwala, where the shrine of mystical Sakhi Sarwar stands.

It has been recorded that a small number of the total Sikh population, of Gujranwala district, were from Eastern Punjab, who started settling in Gujranwala, during the occupation of the area, by the Sikh chief, Charat Singh. Sardar Jhanda Singh, also in between 1760-1799, migrated to Gujranwala, where he established his own Authority, and later founded the village of Botala Jhanda Singh. Other Sikh Sardars such as the Maan Jatt Sikh Sardars of Mughal Chak, and the Waraich Jatt Sikh Sardars of Ruriala in Gujranwala, were also from Amritsar District. Most of the Lahore Sikh royal family members, were from mainly Gujranwala, Sialkot, and some from Amritsar district. There are hundreds of old Islamic Tombs, Forts, Canals, Villages, Gurdwaras, Temples, Mansions, old Villages, Mosques, Baradari's and city walls, which are in ruins, scattered throughout Gujranwala countryside.

The second Anglo Sikh Wars were fought in 1848-49, between the Sikh Empire and British East India Company. were fought at Ram Nagar, also in Gujranwala, where it was Sikh Victory. In 1847, the district had come under British influence. two year later it was under British rule in 1849.

In 1947, Gujranwala District, was awarded to Pakistan, because of Muslims being a majority forming about 75%, while the Sikhs were 10% and the Hindus were about 15%. Plunder, masses of Looting, Force Conversion, Genocide, destruction, and rioting took place in Gujranwala, during 1947, August time. It has been recorded that Sikhs, also protected their villages, in Gujranwala, along with the Hindus, and many died fighting, against the Muslim looters. All the Sikh and Hindu population, left for Eastern Punjab. While the Muhajir Muslims, from the Indian States of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Delhi, in en masse, migrated to Pakistan, a good number of them settled in the Gujranwala region. Today Gujranwala, has the largest population, along with other districts, The Tribes of Gujranwala, are mainly Jats, Rajputs, and the Muhajirs.

List of some famous villages in Gujranwala District[change | change source]

  • Alipur Chattha
  • Ahmad Nagar Chattha
  • Amin Pur Saidan
  • Aujla Kalan
  • Badokhi Sekhwan
  • Banka Cheema
  • Bhai Ke Aulakh
  • Bharoki Cheema
  • Bhatti Mansoor
  • Bhoman Bathh
  • Bhuppra Goraya
  • Budha Goraya
  • Chahal Kalan
  • Chak Gill
  • Chak Roop Chand
  • Chak Sadu Virkan
  • Chak Waraich
  • Chalaki Virkan
  • Dehla Chattha
  • Dadwali Sharif
  • Dapai Mehtab Singh
  • Dargahiwala
  • Dhariwal
  • Dhindsa
  • Dhounkal
  • Fazal Pura
  • Garhjakh
  • Ghaya Wala Cheema
  • Gill Wala
  • Gondalan Wala
  • Hameedpur Kalan
  • Hazrat Kalianwala Sharif
  • Hardo Saharan
  • Jaffar Kot
  • Jalalpur Chattha
  • Jam Wala Chattha
  • Jukhyan Chattha
  • Kalaske Cheema
  • Khewaywali
  • Kot Amar Singh
  • Kot Inayat Khan
  • Kotli Nawab
  • Ladhe Wala Cheema
  • Ladhewala Waraich
  • Langian Wali
  • Maan
  • Madrassa Chattha
  • Maju Chak
  • Manchar Chattha
  • Mandyala Waraich
  • Mangoke Virkan
  • Manzoorabad
  • Mari Khurd
  • Matta Virkan
  • Mattu Bhai Ke
  • Mokhal Sandhua
  • Mughal Chak
  • Muraliwala
  • Nathoke
  • Noinke Sandhua
  • Pathanwali
  • Phaloki Cheema
  • Pindori Kalan
  • Pipnakha
  • Qila Mian Singh
  • Radyala Waraich
  • Ramdas
  • Sado Goraya
  • Saharan Chattha
  • Salhoke Chattha
  • Shera Kot
  • Sohian
  • Talwandi Khajoor Wali
  • Thakar Ke Waraich
  • Thatha Gulab
  • Thatha Hayer
  • Tokrian
  • Tung Kalan
  • Ugo Bhinder
  • Ugo Chak
  • Verpal Chattha
  • Wadala Cheema
  • Wandala Virkan
  • Nokhar
  • Kot Kesho

Administration[change | change source]

The district is composed of 4 tehsils: