Brief History: Okara is the capital city of Okara District in the Punjab province. It is also known as Mini Lahore. The name Okara is derived from Okaan, the name of a type of a lush green tree with needle like leaves. The tree’s name gave birth to the word Okaanwali (Land of Okaan) which ultimately became Okara. At Partition one of the two textile mills that Pakistan got was the one at Okara. The mill was known as Sutlej Cotton Mill which was Asia’s biggest textile mill at that time. In 1982, the city became the headquarters of the newly created Okara District. It is famous for its agriculture-based economy and cotton mills. Okara is also famous for its cattle breed known as Sahiwal and a water buffalo breed known as Nili-Ravi.
Pakistan military dairy farms, especially famous for their cheese,are also situated in Okara. These farms were established during British era for the British forces fighting during Second World War. Mitchel’ls Farms also are located in the nearest town, Renala Khurd, in the Okara District.
Okara Railway Station. Photo by Khadim-un-Nabi Rao.
Okara Stadium. Photo by Khadim-un-Nabi Rao.
Okara Press Club
Colourful “Light Tree” at Okara Golf Club. Photo by Jalal’s Photography.
Government College for Boys, Okara. Govt Post Graduate College is the Only Post-graduate College Of the District. It was established in 1958 by upgrading M.B High School College. In 1963, the college was upgraded to the degree level and a separate faculty for women commenced. The Govt nationalized the college in 1973. In 1983, Govt college for women started its classes in separate newly constructed campus.
Hameed Sweets and Bakers, Okara. Photo by Khadim-un-Nabi Rao.
The Probynabad Stud Farm, Okara. The Probynabad Stud Farm (near present day Okara) was owned by Probyns Horse (Unit was renamed as 12th Cavalry in 1903). After the regiment returned form the Second China War in 1860, Lt Col Probyn had setup a regimental stud near Okara which was subsequently named after him. After the Second China War, there was a dispute with the Army Pay Department because the regiment had accidentally been paid twice for their service in China. Pending the result of an inquiry, the extra money was put aside, but after two years no demand was made, the money was used to set up the farm. This farm enjoyed a long excellence in mounts and the first Arab stallion at the stud was Probyn’s own charger, Clear-the-Line. After Partition the farm was taken over by the Pakistan Army.
Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Ltd, Renala Khurd, Distriact Okara. Mitchell’s is Pakistan’s oldest and largest food company. It started its operations in 1933 under the name of Indian Mildura Fruit Farms Ltd. It was founded by Francis J. Mitchell. After the independence of Pakistan, its name was changed to Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Ltd.
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