Gujrat is a district of Gujranwala Division in Punjab Province of Pakistan. The city of Gujrat is the capital of the district. It is situated 160 km from Islamabad on the bank of Chenab River on Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road), also known as “Jernaili Sarak”. The district is administratively divided into three tehsils (subdivisions); Gujrat, Kharian and Sarai Alamgir.
Gujrat was a walled city and the Fort was located within the walls. There were four gates to enter in the city. Please read the details of these gates in a subsequent paragraph of this article. Later a Circular Road was built around the walled city.
Gujrat has a unique distinction that three Nishan-e-Haider recipients; Major Raja Aziz Bhatti, Major Muhammmad Akram and Major Shabbir Sharif, hail from this District. Read more about Nishan-e-Haider recipients……..
There are many historical buildings and ruins in and around the historical city of Gujrat. The tombs of Sain Karam Ellahi (Kanwaan Wali Sarkar), Shahdaula Peer and Shah Hussain are also located here. Sohni, heroine of a popular folk story Sohni Mahiwal, also hailed from Gujrat.
The city is well-known for its industries, such as; electric fans, pottery, wooden furniture and shawls, etc.
Brief History: Gujrat was founded by Raja Bachhan Pal Gurjar in 460 BC. The city’s Raja Porus fought bravely with Alexander, the Great at the bank of the Jehlum River. Mughal emperor Jahangir died at Gujrat while returning from Kashmir. The news of his death was kept secret to avoid any rebellion. His abdominal organs were buried in Gujrat. To this day, an annual festival is held commemorating this event, commonly known as “Mela Shah Jahangir”.
Gujrat was controlled by the Sikhs from 1756 to 1846 before it was annexed by British. Two major battles between British and Sikh armies were fought in this district; the Battle of Chillianwala and the Battle of Gujrat.
Official Website of TMA (Tehsil Municipal Administration) Gujrat:
Video of Gujrat City. Please see a short video about Gujrat.
The Gujrat Fort. The Gujrat Fort was constructed in 1587 by the Mughal emperor Akbar. The Fort reflects the beauty of Mughal architecture.
Another View of Gujrat Fort
Gates of Gujrat. In old times, Gujrat city was located within four gates. At night, the gates were closed and nobody was allowed to enter inside the city. The names of these main gates are; the Shah Daula Gate (Shahdaula Darwaza, named after famous saint Kabiruddin Shahdoula Daryai) ) in the East, Dhakki Gate (Dhaki Darwaza) in the West, Sheeshiyan Wala Gate (Shishianwala Darwaza, which was famous for the glass work carved on its roof) in the North and Shah Faisal Gate (Shah Faisal Darwaza. Its old name was Kalri Gate, named after a small village Kalra) in the South. The Sheeshiyan Wala Gate was famous for the glass work carved on its roof. However, Professor Sharif Kunjahi, a local historian, argues that the word “Shishi” is a Scandinavian word for graveyard. Hence, there would have been a graveyard near the gate and the name stuck to it with the passage of time.
Names of two more gates also strike the memory chord namely; Kabli Gate and Timbal Gate. I am not sure whether these are some separate gates or alternate names of some of the gates mentioned above. The learned visitors of this Post are requested to clear this doubt.
Gujrat Railway Station
Welcome to the City of Nishan-e-Haiders, Gujrat
A Village near University of Gujrat: Snow-Covered Kashmir Mountains in the Background. A village near University of Gujrat, Hafiz Hayat Campus. Please note the snow-covered mountains of Kashmir in the distant background. Photo taken from the roof of University of Gujrat on April 7, 2014 by Asfand Yar Masood with his Nikon camera (D 3200 with 200 mm Teli lens).
Zahoor Elahi Stadium (Old Horse Show Ground) Gujrat
Aerial view of Zahoor Elahi Stadium (Old Horse Show Ground) Gujrat
An Aerial View of Old City, Gujrat
Eid Gah Masjid on G.T. Road, Gujrat
An old Photo of Eid Gah, Gujrat
An Ancient Haveli in Kunjah, District Gujrat. This Haveli belonged to a Hindu, Dewan Kirpa Ram, an administrator of Ranjit Singh.
Jinnah Hall, TMA Office, Gujrat
Gujrat Press Club, 1986. Photo courtesy Gujrat: Old memories.
A Pottery Shop in Gujrat
Mazar of Shah Daula Pir in Gujrat
Shrine of Kanwaan Wali Sarkar, Gujrat
Mazar of Shah Hussain Multani in Gujrat. Shah Hussain was a very famous saint of his time. He was a Syed and came to Gujrat from Multan. His tomb is situated in Mohallah Shah Hussain, named after him.
Pakistan Chowk (Near Sheeshaan Wala Darwaza), Gujrat
Aerial View of University of Gujrat. In 2003, the Punjab government, led by then-Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, established University of Gujrat (UOG) on the vacant land adjoining the shrine of saint Hafiz Muhamad Hayat, who lived in the Mughal period.
Another View of University of Gujrat
Nawaz Sharif Medical College, Gujrat. Located in the Main Campus of University of Gujrat. Photo taken by Asfand Yar Masood with Casio EX-Z80.
Buses of University of Gujrat. Buses lined up on a weekend at the main Campus of the University of Gujrat. Photo courtesy University of Gujrat website.
Pakistani flag painted at the wall of University of Gujrat, City Campus
Zamindar College, the Oldest College of Gujrat. The Zamindar Educational Association established a high school in Gujrat in 1921 and Zamindar College in 1937. The college attracted the students from the districts of Attock, Jhelum, Mianwali and Sargodha, as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K). For this reason, Gujrat was declared as the Khita-e-Yunan ((part of Greece) of Punjab.
Government College for Women, Fawara Chowk, Gujrat. Govt. College for Women Gujrat was established by “Zamindar College Association” for the women education in 1949 in Kidaar Nath Building (کیداد ناتھ بلڈنگ) at Fawara Chowk. Begum Suriya Saleem (ex secretary of Miss Fatima Jinnah) was the first principal of the college. In 1952, Government took the college under its control. Now this college is also working as Girls campus of University of Gujrat (UOG). The old Jail, just across the road, has also been converted into stadium for the college.
Govt Girls Inter College, Marghazar Colony, Gujrat, 1988. Photo courtesy Gujrat: Old memories.
Aerial view of Fawara Chowk, Gujrat. The white building of Govt. College for Women (located in Kidaar Nath Building) and overhead pedestrian bridge is visible in the photo.
Another Photo of Fawara Chowk, Gujrat
Ram Pyari Mahal (Palace), Circular Road, Gujrat. Ram Pyari Mahal (Palace) is a majestic building in Gujrat. It is a combination of Greek and Roman architecture. It has more than 40 rooms and four basements.
Ram Pyari was the second wife of Sundar Das Chopra, a contractor of Dingah town (55 km from Gujrat city), who got constructed this building for his beloved wife in 1918. Chopra died in 1920 while Ram Pyari died in 1967 in Mumbai, India. The road that passes by the building was previously known as Ram Pyari Road, but later it was renamed as Circular Road.
The family of Ram Pyari migrated to India during the Partition in 1947. The building was used as a hostel of Govt College for Women Gujrat and later, it was handed over to the Punjab Archaeology Department for its renovation for converting it into a museum.
“Cheema Manzil”, Kutchery Road, Gujrat. This building was constructed by a Hindu resident on Kutchery Road Gujrat between 1900 and 1910. It was a single storied building when purchased by a famous lawyer Ch. Muhammad Hassan Cheema in 1920s. Later, some major changes/additions were made with excellent woodwork. The building was named as “Bait-ul-Hassan” (The House of Hasan) but it was widely known as “Cheema Manzil”. The building was sold by its owners in 1992 and a few years back it was demolished and converted into commercial shops. Photo contributed by Ahmed Pervaiz Cheema.
An Old Building near Shahdula Chowk, Gujrat
Old Building of the Punjab Provincial Cooperative bank Ltd at Ram Talaee Road, Gujrat
Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Hospital, Gujrat
Government Swedish Pakistani College of Technology, Gujrat
Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Gharib Pura, Gujrat. Photo by Naseer Ahmad.
Government Mission High School for Girls, Gujrat
Government Zamindar High School, Gujrat. This high school was established by the Zamindar Educational Association at Bhimbar Road Gujrat in 1921.
Government Comprehensive School, Gujrat
OPF Public School, Gujrat
District Courts Complex, Gujrat
Airport (Airfield) of Gujrat
Railway Bridge on River Chenab, Gujrat
Road Bridge on River Chenab, near Gujrat
Mian Jee Restaurant on GT Road between Lala Musa and Kharian. It is a stop over for travelers, located almost midway between Lahore and Islamabad. It’s original specialty was Daal cooked in Desi Ghee. It was initially a modest hotel. Another elegant restaurant (shown in the photo) was constructed much later. Photo taken and contributed by Lt Col (R) Shahid Nazir, an old Aviator.
A View of Kharian Cantonment
A Church at Kharian Cantt, Gujrat
A Street in Gujrat in 1940s
Show Room of Industrial Co-operative Societies, Gujrat, 1940
Another Photo of Show Room of Industrial Co-operative Societies, Gujrat, 1940
A Train at Lala Musa Railway Station, District Gujrat, 1932
Ladies Mission Home, Gujrat, in 1910. The Women’s Association for Foreign Missions sent their first missionary, Miss E. S. Paterson, to Gujrat in 1888. Unfortunately she had to return home after two years due to ill health. Misses Helen and Mary Mackichan and Miss Hannah Stephenson continued to run the mission with its emphasis on female education and work. Miss Russell, M.B. was responsible for establishing a thriving medical branch and the Dow Memorial Hospital, funded by the Misses Dow of Montreal in memory of their mother, was opened in Gujrat in 1899.
Notable Persons from Gujrat
- Ch. Zahoor Elahi, Politician
- Moonis Elahi, Politician
- Ch. Shafaat Hussain, Politician
- Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Politician, Speaker National Assembly
- Anwar Masood, Poet
- Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan, Barrister, Politician
- Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar,Former Minister for Defense
- Ch. Muhammad Jaffar Iqbal, Politician
- Ch. Pervaiz Elahi, former Chief Minister of Punjab & Federal Minister
- Ch. Shujat Hussain, former Prime Minister of Pakistan
- Fakhar Zaman, Poet & scholar
- Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, President of Pakistan 1972–1977
- Mian Imran Masood, former MPA of Gujrat and Minister of Education Punjab
- Mian Muhammad Afzal Hayat, former Chief Minister of Punjab and ambassador
- Nawabzada Gazanfar Ali Gul, former Federal Minister of Pakistan
- Orya Maqbool Jan, Writer, poet
- Qamar Zaman Kaira, Politician
- Gen Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff
- Maj Raja Aziz Bhatti, Nishan-e-Haider (1965 Indo-Pak War)
- Maj Shabbir Sharif, Nishan-e-Haider (1971 Indo-Pak War)
- Maj Muhammad Akram, Nishan-e-Haider (1971 Indo-Pak War)
- Sharif Kunjahi, Punjabi poet
- Alam Lohar, Punjabi folk singer
- Arif Lohar, Folk singer
- Sabiha Khanum, Actress
- Ejaz Durrani, Actor
- Nisho, Actress
- Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Folk singer, Actor
- Shagufta Ejaz, Actress
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