GAZETTEER OF INDIA

PUNJAB

HOSHIARPUR

PUNJAB DISTRICT GAZERTTEERS

 

Contents

 

SN

Subject

1.    

General

2.    

History

3.    

People

4.    

Agriculture And Irrigation

5.    

Industries

6.    

Banking, Trade and Commerce

7.    

Communication

8.    

Miscellaneous

9.    

Economics Trends

10.   

General Administration

11.   

Revenue Administration

12.   

Law and order and Justice

13.   

Other Departments

14.   

Local Self Government

15.   

Education and Culture

16.   

Medical and Public Health Services

17.   

Other Social Services

18.   

Public Life and Voluntary Social Service Organizations

19.   

Places of interest

 

 

FOREWORD

           Since the publication of the second and the last main volume of the Hoshiarpur District in 1904, enormous changes in all walks of life of the people of the district necessitated the revision of the gazetteer.

 

           The present revised volume of the district gazetteer presents a detailed and comprehensive study of the physical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural life of the people of the district.  In addition, it contains information on the functioning of the district administration.  It, therefore, is intended not only to serve as a compendium for the administrators and technical experts engaged in development work in the district, but also for research scholars, and the general reading public.

 

           The volume is, therefore, neither a geographical handbook nor merely a record of revenue, like the previous volumes –but a complete study of the past and present of the Hoshiarpur District.

 

 

                                                                 K. D. Vasudeva

                                                      Financial Commissioner, Revenue,

                                                                                                 Punjab.

CHANDIGARH

March 21,1980.

 

 

PREFACE

 

           The first and the second main volumes of the district gazetteers of Hoshiarpur were published in 1884 and 1904, respectively.  These were primarily written for the British administrators to acquaint them with the district from the viewpoint of a foreign occupying power.  After attainment of independence in 1947, it was realized that the gazetteers published, several decades ago, were obsolete and out-of-date, and hence of not much use to the people of India.  Moreover, the post-independence political, economic, socio-cultural developments and changes necessitated the revision of the old gazetteers.

           Thus, the 1957, the Government of India initiated a scheme under which the scope of a District Gazetteer was made much more comprehensive with detailed headings and contents to cover all walks of life so that it could be useful not only to administrators but also to general readers.  Under this scheme, the present volume of the Hoshiarpur District Gazetteer, the fourth in the series of Punjab District Gazetteers, has been revised and published, the first, second and third ones being those of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Gurdaspur, respectively.

           The Hoshiarpur District has since long been rated as a ‘Backward District’ because of agrarian and industrial backwardness.  But since independence, the impact of vast changes in the social life of the people are large-scale development of agriculture and industry in the district have considerably removed its backwardness.  The impact of all such changes and developments have been discussed at length in the present volume, which was compiled during 1976-78.

           This volume, thus, is intended to be a guide to the administrator and an important reference book of high standard for the public.  This is a work in which all matters of local importance are highlighted.  The study includes all aspects: physical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural.

           In the compilation of this volume, I have received great inspiration and encouragement from the successive Financial Commissioners (Revenue), viz. S.R.S. Talwar, I.A.S, S. Hardev Singh Chhina, I.A.S. and S.K.S. Narang, I.A.S. and also from Shri R.R. Bhardwaj, I.A.S., Dr. Brajendra Singh, I.A.S., Joint Secretaries (Revenue).

           I am highly indebted to Dr. M.S. Randhawa, I.C.S., (Retd), former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, for editing and vetting the draft in respect of its language and contents.  His excellent contribution in this respect merits commendation.

           I acknowledge my sincere thanks to Dr. P. N. Chopra, Editor (Gazetteers), and the officers of the Central Gazetteers Unit, New Delhi, for their valuable advice in context of this gazetteer.  The Unit did an excellent job in scrutinizing the draft of this volume, and made several helpful suggestions with a view to improving the standard and quality of the publication.

           In the compilation of this volume, I have received generous co-operation and assistance from various quarters.  I avail myself of this opportunity to place on record my thanks to all those individuals and institutions, especially the Deputy Commissioner, Hoshiarpur, and the different officers working under him for extending assistance in supplying the requisite information and data.

           My thanks are also due to Dr. Barkat Rai Chopra, my predecessor, under whose inspiration, I, then as Senior Editor, holding quite an independent charge of the Hoshiarpur Team comprising an Editor and two Compilers, could complete this colossal task.

           I am thankful to the staff of the State Gazetteer Unit, especially to Sarvshri Stephen K. Massey, Editor, Rajinder Singh Gandhi, and Joginder Singh Bedi, Subhash Chander Behal, Compilers for their commendable contribution to the preparation of this volume.  I am also thankful to Shri Sureshar Lal Sahi, Draftsman-cum-Artist for the preparation of illustrations and providing excellent photographs of various places of historical interest in the district.  My thanks are also due to Shri Inderjit Sharma, Senior Scale Stenographer, for his excellent contribution in giving shape to the contents of this volume and getting it ready for the press.

           Above all, my thanks are due to the Controller, Printing and Stationery, Punjab, Chandigarh; the Controller, Printing and Stationery, U.T., Chandigarh and their staff for extending full co-operation in the printing of his volume.

                                                        BALDEV RAJ SHARMA

                                                      State Editor, Gazetteer, Punjab

CHANDIGARH

December 20,1979

 

 

CHAPTER I

GENERAL

(a)

Introductory

(b)

Topography

(c)

The River System and Water Resources

(d)

Geology

(e)

Flora

(f)

Fauna

(g)

Climate

 

(a)       Introductory

 

           (i)       Origin of the Name of the District. –There are two versions about the foundation of Hoshiarpur town from which the district derives its name.  It is said to have been founded by Hargobind and Ram Chand, Diwans of Muhammad Bin Tughlak (A.D. 1325-1351).  The second version ascribes the foundation of the town to one Hoshiar Khan, a resident of Bajwara (a suburb village of Hoshiarpur), who lived about the same period, and after whom the town was named.

 

           (ii)       Location, General Boundaries, Total Area and Population of the District. –Included in the Jullundur Division of the Punjab, the submontane district of Hoshiarpur is located in the north-east of the State bordering Himachal Pradesh on the east.  It lies between north latitude 30o –59’ and 32o –05’ and between east longitude 75o –29’ and 76o –31’.  The River Beas forms its north-western boundary separating it from Himachal Pradesh in the North and the Gurdaspur District in the west.  The River Satluj, in the south, separates it from Rupnagar District.1

 

1.       Formerly known as Ropar District, the name of the district was changed to Rupnagar District, vide Revenue Department Notification No. 6667-R-4-76/18985, dated the 16th November, 1976.

 

The district is divided into four tahsils; Dasuya comprises its Balachaur, the southern.  The headquarters of the district are at the town of Hoshiarpur, which is 34 km from Jullundur.

           Hoshiarpur, the headquarters of the district administration, is directly connected by road with Pathankot (107 km) in the north, Jullundur (34 km) in the south-west, and Rupnagar (93 km) in the south.  By rail, Hoshiarpur is also directly linked with Jullundur.  All the towns of the district except Garhdiwala and Hariana have railway stations.  Transport facilities are adequately available in all the towns which lie on the bus routes.

           According to the Central Organization, Department of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Government of India, New Delhi, the provisional area of the Hoshiarpur District, as on July 1, 1971, was sq. km. but the Director of Land Records, Punjab, Jullundur, put it as 3,912.36 sq. km. in the same year, i.e. 1971-72.  The Tahsil-wise area of the district, according to the latter source is given below:

 

Tahsil

 

Area(sq. km.)

Hoshiarpur

..

1,344.20

Dasuya

..

1,247.26

Garhshankar

..

811.30

Balachaur

..

509.60

District Hoshiarpur

..

3,912.36

(Source:  District of Land Records, Punjab, Jullundur)

          

According to the 1971 Census, the population of the district was 10,52,153, comprising 5,53,946 males and 4,98,207 females.

          

(iii)      History of the District as an Administrative Unit and the Changes in its component Parts. –The whole of the Jullundur Doab, was annexed by the British after the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1846.  The ceded territories became the districts of Jullundur, Hoshiarpur and Kangra (Himachal Pradesh) under a Commissioner of the Tras-Satluj States at Jullundur.  For two years, the administration was directly under the Supreme Government at Calcutta but in 1848, the Commissioner became subordinate to the resident at Lahore.  In the succeeding wear 1849, when the rest of the Punjab was annexed by the British, the administration of the doab was assimilated to the general system.  The Commissioner’s headquarters were fixed at Jullundur.

           The district as first constituted consisted of five tahsils, Mukerian in the northern corner of the district, including the northern end of the Shiowalik Banga; Hariana and Hoshiarpur from the chintpurni Range to the Jullundur boundary; Una and Garshankar in the southern portion of the district, the watershed of the Shiwaliks forming the boundary between them.  The taluka Jandbari, forming part of the Ambala District, was transferred to this district in 1850.  In 1861, the Hariana Tahsil was abolished, and its western portion, comprising the Tanda Police jurisdiction, was made over to the Mukerian Tahsil, the headquarters of which were transferred to Dasuya.  The hill portions, i.e. those to the east of Shiwalik, of Hariana and Hoshiarpur Tahsil, were transferred to Una, and the rest of the Hariana Tahsil joined to Hoshiarpur, which on the other hand parted with the Mahalpure Thana to Garhshankar.

           Hoshiarpur is one of the districts which was vitally affected in its composition in the wake of the re-organization of the composite Punjab on November, 1, 1996.  Formerly, the district comprised four tahsils viz., Hoshiarpur, Dasuya, Una and Garshankar.  On the re-organization, Una Tahsil of the composite Hoshiarpur District was partly merged into the newly carved Ropar District in Punjab and partly into Kangra District in the Himachal Pradesh, Later in 1970, Balachaur Tahsil, formerly a sub-Tahsil was carved out as a separate entity out of the Garshankar Tahsil.

 

           (iv)      Subdivisions, Tahsils and Thanas –According to 1971 Census the district comprises 1,637 (1,582 inhabited and 55 uninhabited) villages and 9 towns which constitute four tahsils, viz. Hoshiarpur (521 villages), Dasuya (620 villages), Garshankar (302 villages) and Balachaur (194 villages).  All the tahsils except Balachaur have been made subdivisions Hoshiarpur in 1965, Dasuya in 1960, and Garshankar in 1962.  Besides there are three sub-tahsils, viz.  Bhunga in Tahsil Hoshiarpur and Mukerian and Talwara in Tahsil Dasuya.

           The Tahsil-wise list of police stations and police posts in the district is given in Chapter XII ‘Law and Order and Justice’.

 

 

(b)       Topography

 

           Situated in the eastern and north-eastern margins of Punjab, the Hoshiarpur District has a transitional location between the up land plain of Central Punjab and the outer-Himalayan section of Himachal Pradesh.  As compared to other districts of Punjab, Hoshiarpur plays the greatest topographic variety.  The shiwalik Hills which follow a north-west south-west alignment and run almost throughout the length of the district have influenced the disposition of its other physiographic units.  These units are clearly indentifiable on the basis of significant attributes of physical landscape.

           Broadly speaking, the intra-district variations in local relief, slope, topographic texture, arrangement of landform features and surficial material divide the district into four physiographic units, viz., the hilly tract, the foothill plain, the floodplains of the Beas and the Satluj, and the upland plain.

           (i)       The Hilly Tract. –It is traversed by the Katar Dhar (Range) of the Shiwalik hills.  Extending over about 128 km these hills have a width ranging from about 3 to 8 km in the district.  Their highest point is 652 meters which lies on the boundary between GarhshankarTahsil and Una Tahsil (Himachal Pradesh).  From the western slopes of these hills originate numerous hill torrents locally known as khads which, as they traverse the adjoining foothill plain, have badly dissected the land.  The eastern slopes of the hills which mostly stretch outside the district are also washed by small turbulent streams which flow through gorge-like valleys and empty themselves into the swan Nadi flowing further east in the Dun.  The Mansowal section of the Shiwaliks located in the north-eastern corner of the Garshankar Tahsil is different from the rest of the hilly tract in many ways.  Rising above 519.8 metres, the hills here are less dissected and enclose wide flat lands as also relatively gently sloping high ground.  Particularly notable is the gorge of Mansowal stream, the cliff-like banks of which also rise to more  than 30.6 metres above the bed.  The head streams of Mansowal, unlike the streams rolling down the western slopes of the Shiwalik hills, are deeply entrenched.  This section of the Shiwalik hills is district in its structure also, for here hard resistant rocks are exposed at the surface.  In general, the hills are formed of loose, soft unconsolidated conglomerate and ill-compacted sandstone alternating with loams and clays.  Once thickly forested, these hills now stand almost bare and exposed with only scanty vegetation covering in parts.

           (ii)      The Football Plain. –The foothill plain which adjoins the Shiwalik hills on their west ranges from 275 to 428 metres in elevation.  Densely infested with seasonal streams locally known as chos, the foot-hill plain has a badly dissected surface.  This plain is the widest, about 24 km in the Hoshiarpur Tahsil, while towards the north in the Dasuya Tahsil and towards the south in Garshankar, it narrows down.  The chos are closely spaced, on the average at a distance of about one and a half kilometer.  At some places their spacing is even less than 500 metres.  Occasionally, the interfluves are hardly a few hundred metres wide as much land on both sides of the chos is affected by sand-drift.  This fine textured foothill plain is covered with a mixture of sand, gravel and loam in varying proportions.

           (iii)     The Floodplains of the Beas and the Satluj. –Lying in the north-western and southern peripheries of the district respectively, the floodplains of the Beas and the Satluj are Locally known as bet.  They comprise wide strips of alluvial land over which water spreads when the rivers are in spate.  The top soil of the floodplains contains loam, sand and new alluvium.  Within each of the floodplains, a distinction may be made between the ‘active’ floodplains which is regularly flooded and the ‘cover’ floodplains which is inundated only when the river carries enormous discharge of water.

 

Beas Floodplain

           Following the course of the river, the Beas floodplain in the Hoshiarpur District stretches like a horse-shoe.  It is narrow in the north-east where the Beas just breaks its way through the Shiwaliks but the bet widens in the western section of the Dasuya Tahsil where the entire land between the river and the Black Bein (a stream) lies in the flood-plain.  The floodplain of the Beas in this district is also marked by a number of water pools called chhambs or jhils.  The most extensive of these is the Terkiana Jhil about 6 km long and 1-6 km wide.  The Kalabagh Jhil lies west of Mukerian and has an outlet near Bagroi village.  Similarly, Nahran and Zahura Jhils also lie in the floodplain.  In fact, the whole area from Dasuya-Tanda axis in the east to the Beas river in the west is poorly drained and dotted with jhils.  It may be added that over the year, the actual area covered by the jhils has shrunk both a result of silting up and reclamation of land.  These areas now constitute the rice bowl of the Bist Doab.

 

Satluj Foodplain

           The flood plain of the Satluj falling in the Hoshiarpur District is hardly 16 km long.  In the eastern section the floodplain extends right up to the foothills.  A well-marked scarp or contact slope separates the floodplain from the dissected foothill plain to its north.  The height of this scarp ranges from 1.5 to 7.6 metres although in the adjoining Jullundur District it is as high as 12.2 metres at some places.  From Jamiatgarh to Hoden villages, the scarp is continuous and lies above the convex meanders of the river.  Such scarps have also been identified in the floodplains of the Beas and the Ravi rivers.  Partly tectonic and partly erosional in origin, these scarps mark the limit of the floodplains.  The sudden break in slope at the scarp is attributed to the general tectonic uplift experienced during the Pleistocene and the accelerated erosional activity of the river associated with the termination of the Pleistocene and the beginning of the Hollocene (Recent) age.  The scarp of the Satluj floodplain in the district is not a plane surface but is highly dissected by gullies.  There has also been some lateral recession of the scarp resulting in increasing distance between the scarp and the river bed, and leading to widening of the floodplain along the convex banks.

           (iv)      The Upland Plain. –The upland plain is juxtaposed with the floodplain of the Beas in the Dasuya Tahsil where it is fairly wide, and with the cho-infested foothill plain in the Hoshiarpur and Garhshankar tahsils where it covers only a few square kilometers of land traversed by the lower sections of the chos.  Its elevation ranges between 256 and 275 metres.  In the Dasuya Tahsil, the upland plain covers a relatively high ground and is known as maira signifying the predominance of sand in its soil cover.  It has an extremely gentle gradient occasionally causing bad drainage.

           The physiographic setting of the Hoshiarpur District is, that, characterized by hills along the eastern and north-eastern margins, and intensely dissected foothill plain adjoining the hills, floodplains along the Beas and the Satluj, and an upland plain immediately next to the foothill plain.

 

 

(C)      River System and Water Resources

 

(i)       Main Rivers and Tributaries and Canals

           The district is not traversed by any perennial river.  However, its northern, north-western and southern peripheries are washed by the Beas and the Sutluj rivers, respectively.

           River Beas. –Rising from Beas Kund near Rohtang Pass (Himachal Pradesh), the River Beas debouches from the outer-Himalayan Sola Singhi Range, breaks through the Shiwalik hills and enters the district near Talwara.  After flowing for about 40 km to the north-west, the river suddenly takes a sharp turn to the south from Motla village, and thence forms the boundary between the Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur Districts.  The Beas, like other rivers of Punjab, has been changing its course in the past.  Its shift towards its right is suggested by the occurrence of several jhils or chhambs, a reference to which has already been made.

           Tributaries. –There are two beins (streams) in the district, namely, the western or Black Bein and the eastern or White Bein.  The Black Bein which orginates in the Terkiana Jhil and follows a course almost parallel to the Beas in Dasuya Tahsil and beyond in Kapurthala seems to be occupying an old and abandoned channel of the master stream.  The bein, unlike the seasonal chos, contains water throughout the year.  With banks rising from 1.5 metres to 3 metres, the bein has an entrenched and winding course.  At Pul Pukhta village, it is joined by two streams, on emanating from Nahran Jhil and the other Zahura Jhil.

           The White Bein is formed near Garhshankar after it receives water from Basu Khad rolling down the Shiwalik hills.  This bein runs in a north-westerly direction forming the boundary between Garhshankar and Nawanshahr tahsils.  Both these beins have a small width but are troublesome to cross on account of their depth and soft bed.

           Chos. –Chos demand a special note in the physiography of this district.  Though seasonal, these streams have made a strong impact not only on the physical landscape but also on land utilization, settlement and transport patterns of the district.  The chos have a very high density throughout but they are most numerous in the Hoshiarpur Tahsil.  Each choe is named after some large settlement situated along its course.  The suddenness with which water swells up in the chos during the rainy season is a unique phenomenon.  Equally striking is the abruptness with which water peters out leaving behind thick layers of sand, loam and gravel on both sides of the stream.  The chos originate on the western slopes of the Shiwaliks.  For a few kms the streams do not have any well-defined channel.  But as they leave the hills and enter the foothill plain, their courses become distinct and their channels wide.  After flowing for some distance ranging between 5 to 24 km, each wide choe shrinks into a narrow stream and finally disappears.

           The junction of the lower and the central section of a choe provides the easiest crossing of the stream.  The metalled road from Rupnagar to Hoshiarpur-Hariana-Gardhiwala and beyond runs through these points and has an alignment almost parallel to the hills.   In view of the havoc which the chos have been causing for a long time, many of them have recently been tamed through channelization of their courses.

           Practically all the chos –108 in numbers originate and terminate within the boundary of the district except a few which cross over to Jullundur and empty themselves into the Black Bein and the White Bein.

           Canals –Apart from the natural drainage features, the Hoshiarpur District is irrigated by the Shah Nahar Canal, and Bist Doab Canal, and its distributaries.

 

(ii)      Underground Water Resources

           The depth of the water below the land surface varies between 1.5 and 7.6 metres and qualitatively it is in general suitable for domestic and irrigational purposes.  The chloride content varies between 12 and 150 parts per million.  The specific conductance ranges from 164 to 830 micromhos/cm at 25 Co.

           Water Table –The depth of the sub-soil water varies in different physiographic units.  In the floodplains, the sub-soil water depth generally ranges between 1.5 to 3 metres but after the rains it often rises to less than 1.5 metres of the surface resulting in waterlogging in parts.  In the upland plain, the sub-soil water is within 3 to 4.5 metres of the surface and permits easy irrigation by wells and tube-wells.  By comparison, the dissected foothill plain has water at about 4.5 to 7.6 metres below the surface.  In the hilly tract the water table is often more than 9 metres deep making drinking water scarce in dry months and severely limiting the possibilities of irrigation.

 

 

(d)       Geology

 

(i)       Geological Formation

           The Upper Shiwaliks and the Quaternary deposits constitute the main geological formations of the area.  The Upper Shiwaliks comprise conglomerate beds, friable sandstone, siltstone and clay beds.  Stray pebbles of granite, limestone and sand stones are also present.  Sand stones are soft and friable.  Lumps of clay and pellets are also met within the sandstone.  At places sand stones show well developed cross-bedding and suggest the possibility of eolian origin.  The sand stones contain a large portion of the mica flakes and concretions of clay.  They are susceptible to weathering as a result of which there is a considerable collection of sand as talus cones.

           Quaternary deposits constitute gravel beds, alluvial fans and river terraces.  They contain sand and clay in varying proportions.  River terraces are seen flanking the present day streams and at some places they occupy the ridges.  Gravel beds constitute an important source of white quartzite fragments.

           Recently ammonite fossils have been encountered in the Shiwalik formations near Garhshankar.

 

(ii)      Mineral Resources

           White quartzite Fragments. –Huge deposits of white quartzite fragments have been located in Garhshankar area of District Hoshiarpur.  Investigations carried out by the State and the Central departments have proved the existence of about 4.53 million tones of white quartzite fragments.

           Calcareous Tufa. –Isolated pockets of calcareous tufa have also been located in the Birampur and Hajipur area of Tahsil Garhshankar.  So far about 1.6 million tones of calcareous tufa deposits have been proved to exist in this area.  The presence of shells of invertebrates confirms it to be of fresh water origin.

           Coal. –Occurrence of coal has been reported in Ramtawali and Dholbaha area of the district.

           Clays. –Besides the above minerals, thin beds of good quality industrial clays have also been found in Shiwaliks formation exposed in Garhshankar area of the district.

           Building Materials. –The boulder and gravel are found in the various ephemeral streams as well as in perennial streams.  These are found around Jaijon, Garhshankar and Talwara area of District Hoshiarpur.

           Sand used as building material is found in the villages, viz. Jadu Janda, Nasrala, Daewal, Sukhiabad (Bhangi Cho), Baupur and Mandial.

           Brick earth is found in huge quantities throughout the district except in the hilly areas and sandy tract.

 

           (iii)     Seismicity. –Hoshiarpur District lies near the foothills of Himalayas.  The great Himalayan boundary fault and several other active tectonic features lie about 100-150 km to the north-east of Hoshiarpur.  A number of earthquakes of slight to moderate intensities and a few of great intensity have been located on this fault system.

           The records show that Hoshiarpur area came under maximum seismic intensity VII on the Modified Mercalli Scale of 19311 during the Kangra earthquake of 4th April 1905.  But considering the location of number of faults in the area and their active seismic status, it is felt that more representative seismic intensity for the area would be between VII and VIII M.M.

 

1.           Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale of 1931

 

           Studies made in U.S.A. and other advanced countries show that seismicintensity VIII M.M. corresponds to horizontal seismic acceleration range of 51-350 cm/sec2 depending upon the soil or an average acceleration of 172 cm/sec2 on consolidated foundations.  Similarly seismic intensity VII M.M. corresponds to horizontal seismic acceleration range of 18-140 cm/sec2 depending upon the soil or an average acceleration 67 cm/sec2 on consolidated foundations.

           Considering the above it is felt that for important civil engineering structure based on consolidated foundations, a provision of horizontal seismic acceleration of 10% of gravity (.10g) may be made.

 

(e)       Floura (Botany)

 

           The principal trees common all over the districts are; Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Phulahi (Acacia Modesta), tahli or shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), siris (Albizia lebbeck), bakain or drek (Melia azedarach), ber (Ziziphus mauritiana), and Mulberry (Morus alba).  These are utilized for the manufacture of agricultural implements and in house building.  The people have found that groves of trees are profitable, and numerous fine groves of shisham, which grows quickly and has hard wood, have been planted on the borders of chos where the land, though unculturable, has good soil beneath the sand.  Other trees are the aisam (Terminalia alata) –a good sized tree wood of fair quality: leaves used for fodder; the alis or amaltas (Cassia fistula) –the bark is used for tanning; the fruit is a strong purgative; has beautiful pendant yellow flowers in spring; the amla  or aola (Emblica officinalis) –fruit sold and used for pickles; the bahera (Terminalia bellerica) –fruit used as medicine, and leaves as fodder for milch cattle; the banna (Vitex negundo) –a good shrub to plant on the banks of streams; likes a moist soil: the branches made into baskets; grows both in hills and plains; the bar or bor (Ficus bengalensis); weeping willow (Salix babylonica) –also common both in hills and plains on banks of streams; the ber (Ziziphus mauritiana), which is one of the most profitable trees, as the wood is hard, the fruit much liked, and the roots and shade of the tree do not damage crops growing close to it.  Lac also is easily propagated on this tree; the bihul (Grewia optiva) –wood is elastic and tough, bark yields a coarse fibre, used for making ropes etc.; the bil (Aegle marmelos) –a thorny tree with a large fruit, which is used as a drug: the leaves are offered by Hindus at the shirne of Shiva; the chil (Pinus roxburghil) –grows in various parts of the Shiwaliks, especially in the northern end, but is most common in the Sola Singhi, notably in the Lohara and Panjal forests.  The wood is used for building, but is not very burable: charcoal in great quantity is made from it; the dhaman (Grewia elastica) –a strong tough wood, used for banghy poles; leaves also used for fodder; the dheu (Artocarpus heterophyllus) –jack fruit tree; the leaves are used for fodder, and pickles made from the fruit; the gauhin (Premna litifoila) –a small tree, of no use except for firewood; the gullar (Ficus racemosa), the pilkhan (Ficus virens), the trimbul (Ficus auriculate), and the phaguri (Ficus palmate) are various species of fig; the fruit is eaten, but the wood is not of much use; the harar or halela (Terminalia chebula) –the fruit is valuable; it is used for dyeing and as a drug; it is the myrobalan of commerce; grows principally in the north of the Shiwaliks and in parts of the Panjal and Dharui talukas ; the hirak (Diospyros cordifolia); the jablota (Jatropha curcas) –the wood is useless; the fruit a powerful purgative; the jaman (Syzygium cumini) ; the kakkar (Pistacia khinjuk) –a fine grained yellowish wood, useful for cabinets; the kamal or kyamal (Lannea coromandelica) –wood used for door frames; the kamila (Mallotus philippenisis) –the red powder from the fruit is used as a dye; the kangu (Flacourtia indica) –wood principally used for making combs; the karal or kachnar (Bauhinia variegata) –has pretty blossoms; leaves useful for fooder; the khair (Acacia catechu) –the wood is hard and tough, and white ants are said to dislike it; the khirni (Manilkara hexandra) –a few are found near Hoshiarpur; they are umbra geous; the fruit is sold in the bazaars; the kinnu (Diospyros exsculpta) though these trees are common in the Shiwaliks very few with the ebony heart, which is so much prized are found; the lasura (Cordia dichotoma) –the wood is not of much use but the leaves are used for foader and trenchers, and the fruit is eaten; the maulsari (Mimusops elengi); the mowa (Madhuca indica) –wood used for building, an oil is extracted from the seed and a spirituous liquor from the flower; the nagadaun (Staphylea emodi) –a few specimens found in the Chintpurni Range, a stick of it kept by any one is supposed to drive away snakes, hence the name; the nim (Azadirachta indica) –the leaves are used medicinally; the palah, chhachra, or dhak (Butea monosperma) –the leaves are considered good fodder for cattle, especially to improve the milk of buffaloes; they are also largely used as manure, and for keeping land under young sugarcane cool during May and June; the patajan (Drypetes roxburgii) –wood used for building and agricultural purposes and leaves for fodder; the papal (Ficus religiosa); the rajain (Holoptelea integrifolia) –not a common tree; the sal (Shorea robusta) –found in Lohara and Dharui; has a straight trunk and is used for scantlings; the saler or siali (Pueraria tuberosa) –a climber common in the hills; the yam-like roots are eaten, and the leaves considered good fodder; the simbal  or cotton tree (Bombax ceiba) –wood not much used; leaves useful for fodder, and the cotton for stuffing pillows; the sohanjana (Moringa oleifera); the tamarisk or farash (Tamarix aphylla); pilchi or jhau (Tamarix troupli) is also very common in alluvial river lands; the twings make good baskets; the tun (Toona ciliata) –grows best in the hills; wood very good for building and furniture.

 

Specifications

           Everybody runs outdoors.  Damage negligible in buildings of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well built ordinary structures; considerable in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken.  Notices by persons driving motor-cars.

 

(Source  :Director-General of Observation, New Delhi).

 

           The common shrubs are; the garna (Carissa spinarum) –a thorny bush, especially common in the hills; the fruit is eaten and the bush cut and largely used for hedging; the mendar (Dodonaea viscose) –very common in the Shiwaliks, the wood is used for firewood; the plant injures other vegetation, and where it is most prolific the hills contain scarcely any other shrubs; the basuti (Adhatoda vasica) –a common shrub in both hills and plains, the leaves are used as manure; the ak (Calotropis procera) –grows in poor soil, and is of no use.

           The principal grasses are the bamboo (Dendrocaqlamus strictus) and Bambusa bambos.  Three kinds of bamboo are growm-magar, a very thick kind; bans, and nal, thinner varieties.  The bans grows in the Government forests of Karnpur and Bindraban (Tahsil Dasuya) and the nal are the kinds most commonly used for the various purposes to which the bamboo is put; the kharkana (Saccharum bengalense) –most useful plant, the leaves (khar) are used for thatching; the sheath of the stalk (munj) for ropes, the stalk (khar) for chiks, Chairs, sofas, stools, etc., while the tapering tops of the steam form what is called sirki, a kind of thin thatching: the young shoots which grow from the stumps in spring are eaten by cattle: kahi (Saccharum spontaneum) –the leaves of this are also used for thatching and pens cut from the steam the khabal (Cynodon dactylon) –the best grass for fodder; the bagar (Dichanthium annulatum) –useful for making ropes; the bui-a fine grass, growing in poor sandy soil, and not eaten by cattle; the boru (Sorghum halepense) –good for fodder; the dib or bulrush (Typha angustata) –the leaves are used for mats; the nara (Arundo donax) –the steams are made into hukka tubes, chiks and baskets.  This reed, when planted along the edges of chos, often prevents the cutting away of the banks; its roots bind the soil where it grows, and quickly spread.

 

(f)       Fauna (Zoology)

           The fauna of the district presents no peculiar features.  Hare, partridges, prgeons and doves are found in the fields and jungles throughout the district.  Wild boar and hog deer are found in the areas near River Beas.  In Shiwalik area, barking deer, spotted deer and sambhar are also found.

           The Punjab Wild Life Preservation Act, 1959, and the rules framed there under aim at the protection and preservation of wild life.  The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, has been enforced in the State of Punjab with effect from April 1, 1975, which affords protection to the wild animals and birds.  For this purpose, strict vigilance is being kept by the wild life staff under the supervision of an Inspector posted at the district level.  The people are also being educated through the media of press, platform, radio, etc., on the utility, usefulness and preservation of wild life.

           Special mention may be made of Pinjra Pol –a mini hospital for birds at Hoshiarpur, where injured birds are healed, fed and eventually given back their freedom to fly about.  Located in the vincinity of chah Khazanchian and Bazar Sarafan, it is run by the local S.S. Jain Sabha in tune with the ideals and doctrines of Jainism.1

 

1The Tribune, Chandigarh, dated May 12, 1976.

 

           The different zoological types found in the districts are detailed below:

           (1)       Fishes –The different varieties of fish available in the district are: Labeo rohita (rohu), Catla Catla (theil), Cirrhinus mrigala (mori), Labeo calbesu (kalouch), Tor putitora (mohsir), Heteropneustes fossilis (singhi), Wallago attu (mulee), Mystus seenghala (singhara), Notopterus chitola (pari), Channa marulius (saul), etc.

           (2)       Amphibians (Frogs and Toads). –The amphibians found in the district include bull frog, shipping frog, and paddy field frog, and marshy toad, Anderson’s toad and common Indian toad.

           (3)       Reptiles. –Snakes are found all over the district, but more especially in the hills.  The most common of these are the dreaded kharapa (cobra), snakhchor (Ophiophagus elaps) and karaait (Bangarus Coeruleus).  Sometimes crocodiles are reported in the River Beas.  Lizards, turtles and tortoises are also found in the district.

           (4)       Birds. –The birds commonly found in the district are of two types, viz., resident birds and migratory birds (which visit the area in winter), as given below:

           Resident Birds. –Himalayan jungle crow, house crow, common peafowl, common red jungle fowl, bush quail, India button quail, common quail, black breasted quail, black partridge, hill partridges, gray partridge, chakor (partridge), common coot, black-winged kite, parrot, night jar (chapaki), etc.

           Migratory Birds. –Comb Duck, various species of goose, demosile crane, ruddy sheldrake, gadwall, wigeon, common teal, pintail, shoveller, sun bird, white-eyed poachard, large whistling teal, mallard, etc.  These birds visit the riverine, ponds and chhambs in winter.

           (5)       Mammals. –Those found in the district are: jungle cat, large Indian civet, common Indian mongoose, Indian wolf, Indian jackal, nilgai (blue bull), fruit bat, Indian porcupine, squirrel, rates and mice, wild boar, black buck, barking deer, spotted dear, hog deer sambhar and common Indian hare.  Among these, barking deer, spotted deer, hog deer, black duck, wild boar, common peafowl are getting extinct in the district.

 

 

(g)       Climate1

           (i)       Climate Divisions and Seasons and Their Duration

           The climate of this submountane district with a hilly terrain in the major part is on the whole somewhat milder than that of the adjoining districts to the south.  But in the valleys and the terrain strip to the south-west of the Shiwalik Range it is more like that of the plains of the Punjab.  The cold season is from November to March.  The period from April to June is the hot season.  The south-west monsoon season is from about the beginning of July to the first week of September.  The succeeding period lasting till the beginning of November is the post-monsoon or transition period.

 

1.           Material supplied by the Deputy Director General of Observatories (Climatology and Geophysics), Poona.

 

(ii)      Temperature and Humidity

           Temperature. –There is no meteorological observatory in the district.  The description which follows is mainly based on the records of the observatories in the neighbouring districts.  After about the middle of March temperatures begin to rise steadily till June which is usually the hottest month of the year with the mean daily maximum temperature at about 39o C and the mean daily minimum about 24o C.  In May and June, the maximum temperature may be on individual days exceed 45o C.  With the advance of the south-west monsoon over the district early in July the day temperatures decrease appreciable while the nights arge nearly as warm as the nights in the summer season.  With the increase in the moisture in the air during the south-west monsoon season the weather is often sultry in between the rains.  After about the middle of September temperatures begins to decrease, the fall in night temperature being more rapid.  January is the coldest month of the year with the mean daily maximum temperature at about 19o C and the mean daily minimum at about 5o C.  In the wake of passing western disturbances in the winter season cold waves affect the district and the minimum temperature may go down to a degree or two below the freezing point of water, and frosts may occur.

           Humidity. –In the south-west monsoon season the humidities are high.  In the rest of the year the air is comparatively driver.  The driest part of the year is the summer season when in the afternoons the relative humidities are less than 25 per cent.

           (iii)     Rainfall

           Records of rainfall in the district are available for 5 stations, for a sufficiently long periods.  The details of the rainfall at these stations and for the district as a whole are given in tables 1 and 2.  The average annual rainfall in the district is 833.5 mm About 77 per cent of the annual rainfall in the district is received during the short monsoon season-July to September.  Rainfall amounting to about 17 per cent of the normal is received during the cold season in association  with passing western disturbances.  The rainfall in the district in general, increases from the south-west towards the north-east and varies from 635.4 mm at Tanda to 1017.2 mm at Una (Himachal Pradesh).  The variation in the rainfall from year to year in the district is appreciable.  During the 50-years period, 1901 to 1950, the highest annual rainfall amounting to 178 per cent of the normal occurred in 1917 while the very next year had to lowest annual rainfall which was only 52 per cent of the normal.  The annual rainfall in the district was less than 80 per cent of the normal in 12 years in this 50-year period.  Two consecutive years of rainfall less than 80 per cent of the normal occurred thrice.  Considering the rainfall at individual stations 3 and 4 consecutive years of such low rainfall occurred once at Garhshankar and Tanda, respectively.  It will be seen from table 2 that the annual rainfall in the district was between 600 and 1,100 mm (i.e. within about 30 per cent of the annual) in 37 year out of 50.

           On an average there are 41 rainy days (i.e. days with rainfall of 2.5 mm or more) in a year in the district.  This number varies from 29 at Tanda to 49 at Una (Himachal Pradesh).

           The heaviest rainfall in 24 hours recorded at any station in the district was 360.7 mm at Hoshiarpur on August 19, 1878.

 

Contents        Next