Editor’s Note: Rare black & white photos of Sialkot dating back to 1880s are in the last portion of this Post.
Sialkot is a district of Gujranwala Division in Punjab Province of Pakistan. The city of Sialkot is the capital of the district. The district is administratively divided into four tehsils (subdivisions); Daska, Pasrur, Samrial and Sialkot.
Sialkot is also the birth place of Allama Muhammad Iqbal. The city is well-known for its industries, such as; surgical goods, sports goods, leather goods & garments, musical instruments, surgical instruments, cutlery, stainless steel utensils, and many other exportable items.
Brief History: The city’s history is about 5000 years old. It was established by Raja Sul and was invaded by Alexander in 327 AD. It was re-constructed by Raja Sálbán in 200 AD. He built the famous Sialkot Fort.
Map of Sialkot
Local Map of Sialkot
Iqbal Manzil, Sialkot. Allama Iqbal was born in this house, located in Kashmiri Mohallah, Sialkot on November 09, 1877 in a Kashmiri family. Iqbal’s father was Sheikh Noor Mohammad and his mother’s name was Imam Bibi. The house is now a national monument with a small library and most of the belongings of Allama Iqbal are preserved and restored as museum open to everyone.
Allama Iqbal’s Poetry at Pakistan-India Border at Sialkot. Look at the interesting display of Allama Iqbal’s poetry by both India and Pakistan at their common border at Sialkot, the birth place of Alama Iqbal.
Aerial View of India Pakistan Border near Sialkot. Photo by 500.
Gate on Indian side at India Pakistan Border near Sialkot. Photo by Pakia.
Sialkot Clock Tower, Saddar Bazar, Sialkot
Sialkot Fort. Sialkot Fort is one of the oldest forts in Pakistan. It is located on a low hill in the centre of the old city. Raja Sálbán, with the services of 10,000 laborers and masons, built the Sialkot Fort in two years (which, at the time, had double walls) for the defence of the city.
At present, few ruins, including a bastion, are all that is left of the Fort. The growing number of encroachments are a blot on its face. The offices of the district government are also located on the premises of the Fort.
Historical Sailkot Fort in 1963. This photo, taken in 1963, shows the historical Sialkot Fort in a good condition. There after the encroachments have destroyed its beauty. It should be declared as a Heritage site and the Archaeology Department of Punjab should restore its original splendor at urgent basis.
Shrine of Imam Ali-ul-Haq (Imam Sahib). The great sufi saint of Sialkot, Imam Ali-ul-Haq, better known as Imam Sahib, lived here during the 13th century AD, during the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlaq. He had converted a majority of the local population to Islam.
Jamia Masjid Abbot Road, Sialkot. Photo by Muhammad Osama.
Sialkot Cathedral. The Holy Trinity Cathedral Church (Sialkot Cathedral) is located on The Mall (Quaid-e-Azam Road) in Sialkot Cantonment . Its first stone was laid on March 1, 1852. The church was consecrated by the Bishop of Madras on January 30, 1857, Sialkot at the time being in the Diocese of Calcutta.
Saint James Catholic Church Sialkot
Terminal Building of Sialkot International Airport. Sialkot International Airport is the first-ever private-sector airport of Pakistan managed by the Sialkot International Airport Limited (SIAL) consortium. It is constructed on Build, Own & Operate (BOO) basis by a public limited company namely Sialkot International Airport Ltd. (SIAL) at a cost of about Rs.4 billion.
The site measuring 1034 acres is located at 16 k.m. to the west of Sialkot and at a 40 minutes drive from Gujrat and Gujranwala cities. The work started on the Project in January 2003. Ground Breaking Ceremony was held on 18th December 2003 by Chief Minister Punjab. The operation of Domestic and International Flights started from November 30, 2007. Official website of SIAL: http://sial.com.pk/home/index
A Jet Bridge (jetway, passenger walkway) at Sialkot International Airport
Air Traffic Control Tower of Sialkot Airport. Photo by Jamshaid.
Terminal Building of Sialkot International Airport
Night view of Sialkot Airport Terminal. Photo by Ijaz Ahmad Mughal.
Inaugural Flight of Emirates Airlines at Sialkot Airport. People gather near the Emirates Airlines Airbus A330-200 at Sialkot Airport after operating airline’s inaugural flight EK-620 arrived from Dubai on November 5, 2013. Photo by INP.
Railway Station, Sialkot
Platform Number 1 at Sialkot Railway Station. Photo by Chic One.
Sailkot Railway Station after Rain
Daewoo Bus Stand at Sialkot. Photo by Muhammad Waris.
An Aerial View of Allama Iqbal Chowk (Drumaan Wala Chowk), Sialkot. Allama Iqbal Chowk was previously called Drumaan Wala Chowk because of drums all around the chowk. Later, drums were replaced by cemented pillars and finally a minaret, with Iqbal’s Shaheen on its top, was built.
Peepal Wala Chowk, Kachehri Road, Sialkot. Photo by Chic One.
The Sailkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Photo by Pakia.
An Old Bungalow in Sialkot. This beautiful building, a marvel in architecture, is in a dilapidated condition. Nobody seems to be interested in preserving this heritage. It will crumble down if necessary repairs and preservation work is not undertaken immediately. But there is a big question, ‘ Who will initiate it?’ May be some well-to=do son of the soil awakens to the challenge.
Bishamberdass & Sons Furniture House Sailkot Cantonment
Sony TV Centre Sialkot. Photo by goharMirza97.
Chic One Chicken Shop, Abbot Road, Sialkot. A modern chicken shop on Abbot Road. Photo by Chic One.
Jinnah Stadium – Conelley Park. The Connelley Park (named after a British Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot) was converted to Jinnah Stadium (by another Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot, Mr. Waqar Ahmed) in 1979.
Garrison Park (Now Fatima Jinnah Park) Sialkot
Entrance of Fatima Jinnah Park, Sialkot
Fatima Jinnah Park (Formerly Garrison Park) Sialkot
An Old Milestone at Quaid-e-Azam Road, Sialkot
A Post Office at Sialkot
McDonald’s at Sialkot Cantt
Sindbad at Sialkot Cantt
Scotch Mission High School (Now Government Christian High School), Sialkot. Scotch Mission School Sialkot was established in 1857 by the Church of Scotland Mission. It was initially a middle school which was upgraded to secondary level in 1864. In 1889 Scotch Mission College was established in the same premises. When the building of Murray College was built, the college was shifted in the new building on 27th October 1909.
Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal joined Scotch Mission School in 1883. He passed his middle standard exam in 1891, Entrance/matriculation exam in 1893 and intermediate exam in 1895.
Revolutionary Poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz joined this school in 1917 and passed his Matriculation in 1927. In 1969 Mission ceased its activities in Pakistan and school’s name was changed to Christian High School instead of Scotch Mission High School. In 1972 the school was nationalized as per Government policy.
Scotch Mission High School, Kanak Mandi, Sialkot (School of Allama Iqbal). In 1969 school’s name was changed to Christian High School. In 1972 the school was nationalized and it got the new name Government Christian High School.
Murray College, Sialkot. Murray College, the alma mater of Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, was started in 1868 as Scotch Mission High School situated in Kanak Mandi. It was upgraded to an Intermediate College in 1889 in the same school building. Allama Iqbal joined the said school in 1883 in class one and matriculated in 1893. He was enrolled as an Intermediate student on May 5,1893.
For 20 years, classes were met in the same building and by almost the same staff. The first Intermediate class (11th class) was started with only eleven boys. The teaching staff including the principal Rev. Dr J.W. Younqson consisted of only four members, Maulvi Mir Hasan, Mr Narinjan Das and Sardar Harnam Singh. Of these, Maulvi Mir Hasan; the recipient of the title Shams ul Ulema; Dr Iqbal’s teacher and mentor, served the school and the college for a record period of sixty years.
The college moved to its present premises in 1909 and its name was changed to Murray College. It was necessitated by a legacy left by Captain John Murray for the college.
In 1956, the college was given nationalistic touch and Professor R.C. Thomas (a reputed teacher of Botany and Zoology) was appointed as the first national principal. He retired in 1964. His successor, Dr F.S. Khair Ullah was an all time popular teacher of Poetry and Drama. He was a gifted orator, editor, writer, satirist and humorist. He retired soon after the nationalization of the college in 1972.
Stamp Issued on Centenary of Murray College. Pakistan Post issued a stamp in 1989 on the centenary (100 years) of Murray College, Sialkot.
Church in Murray College, Sialkot
Islamia College, Sialkot. Islamia College, Sialkot is the second oldest college in Sialkot, established in 1951. It is now known as Government Jinnah Islamia College.
Cadet College Sialkot. Cadet College Sialkot was established in 1998. Spread over an area of 25 acres, it is the first ever Cadet College established in the private sector. It is located on Daska-Sambrial Road near village Kotli Noonan, approximately 20 Km west of Sialkot. It was founded by Lt Col (R) Sultan Sikander Ghumman, an Army Aviation helicopter pilot and an ex student of Cadet College Petaro. His elder brother Lt Gen (R) Israr Ghumman, an Armored Corps officer, is the Chairman Board of Governors of this college. Official website: Cadet College Sialkot
Govt Muslim High School Sialkot
The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot. The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot was established in 1856. It was the first Catholic school in the Punjab and second in British India after Agra.
Govt Comprehensive School, Sialkot
Islam Medical College, Sialkot. Islam Medical College and Teaching hospital is located on Pasrur Road.
Allama Iqbal Hospital, Sialkot. This hospital is located on Commissioner Road, Sialkot. Photo by Chic One.
Punjab College, Sialkot
Islam Central Hospital, Sialkot
Night View of Chen One at Sialkot Cantt
SME Bank, Sialkot
Surgical Association, Sialkot
Marala Headworks, Sialkot. Photo by Ijaz Ahmad Mughal.
British Cavalry barrack at Sialkot Cantonment, 1910s
A Postcard shows Pir Shohda Tomb near M.J. School, Sialkot, 1910
An English Couple on a Drive in Sialkot, 1905. An English couple, Ella and Dawson, driving their Humber car in Sialkot in March 1905. Photo by fly ‘n figs.
Boer Prisoners playing Football at Sialkot, 1902. A drawing shows Boer Prisoners playing football with their keepers at Sialkot.
A view of Sialkot city from the top of Sialkot Fort, 1900s
A British Family at their Bungalow in Sialkot, 1900s
Sitting Room of an English man’s Bungalow at Sialkot, 1883-86
British Army Carabiniers at Sialkot, 1882. Carabiniers are Cavalry soldiers armed with carbines, a short version of musket.
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