Gurdaspur district (Punjabi: ਗੁਰਦਸਪੂਰ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ) 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. The current member of Parliament for Gurdaspur is Vinod Khanna. As of 2011 it is the third most populous district of Punjab (out of 22), after Ludhiana and Amritsar and Batala is the largest city in the district which hold 31 percent of total district population.
History 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, Shakargarhand 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. In 1947 as part of the partition of India – Punjab was divided between Pakistan and India, Shakargarh Tehsil became part of Sialkot District which was part of the West Punjab province of Pakistanwhilst the rest of the district, retaining the name Gurdaspur, became part of India’s East Punjab state. The division of the district was followed by a population transfer between the two nations, with Muslims leaving for Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs arriving. On 27 July 2011 a part of district is carved out to form a new district Pathankot, which was earlier a 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.
LocationThe 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.
TopographyAll 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.
ClimateThere 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.
RainfallThe 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.
EcologyThe 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.
HydrologyThe 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.
SoilsThe 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.
MineralsThe 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 resourcesThe 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.
|Total Length of roads||3956.00 km.|
|Link Roads||2556.00 km|
|Plan roads||939.00 km|
|National Highways||124.00 km|
|State highways||45.57 km|
Government and politics
|Sr. No.||Subdivision /Tehsil||Inhabited Villages||Uninhabited Villages||Area(km2)||Population||Density Per km2|
|3.||Dera Baba Nanak||131||6||305||115,660||379|
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|
PopulationAccording 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 81.1%.
Religion in Gurdaspur