CHAPTER-XIX

PLACES OF INTEREST

 

v     Adampur

v     Alawalpur

v     Banga

v     Jullundur

v     Kartarpur

v     Nakodar

v     Nawanshahar

v     Nurmahal

v     Phillaur

v     Rahon

 

           Situated in the heart of the Punjab, the Jullundur District is of undoubted antiquity. There are a good number of places of historical and religious importance in this area which are described below in alphabetical order :

           Adampur: It is situated on the Jullundur Hoshiarpur road, 16 KM from Jullundur, the tahsil and district headquarter. The railway station of this place is named Khurdpur which is located  on the Jullundur City Hoshiarpur Branch line of the Northern  Railways, 23 KM from Jullundur. Its population was 8105 in 1971, as against 5177 in 1961. It is a Class-III municipality.

           Tradition says that it was founded by Rahi, a Lit Jat, and was originally known Raipur Lit. Subsequently it came into the possession of Bhaun Jats, who sold it to Adam Khan, an Afghan of the Dhogri family, who renamed it after himself, and by locating traders and cultivators greatly improved it.

           There are one college for girls, 2 high schools (one for boys and the other for girls) and a primary school, a health centre (with 10 beds), a veterinary hospital, a post and telegraph office, a telephone exchange, a police station, and a canal rest house. There are also the headquarter of the Punjab Khadi Mandal and attached thereto is a big Khadi Centre. Besides, there is also a private handloom cloth weaving unit.

           A fair, called Santon-ka-mela, is held here for one day, twice a year in January and August.

           Alawalpur: Situated on the Jullundur City Mukerian Pathankot Jammu Tawi line of the Northern Railway, it is 14 KM from Jullundur, the tahsil and district headquarters. It is also linked by road with the Jullundur Pathankot road. Its population was 4732 in 1971 as against 4539 in 1961. It is a Class-III municipality.

           The town is called after Alawal Khan, an Afghan of the Dhogri family, whose father is said to have founded it. In 1807, shortly before the death of Rajab Ali Khan, grandson of Alawal Khan, the jagir, including the town of Alawalpur, was confiscated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who a few years later made Alawalpur over to the Jallawala family. There are the remains of an unfinished mud fort, called Theh Lakhman, and a math of Samir Parbhat, a local saint, in whose honour fairs are held.

           About 21/2 KM from Alawalpur is the tank of Bhikhamsar, at village Muhammadpur, said to have been dug by Bishma Pitamah, the grandfather of the Pandavas.

           In Alawalpur, there are 4 high schools (3 for boys and 1 for girls) and 2 primary schools (one each for boys and girls), a primary health centre, a telephone exchange and a post and telegraph office. The Arya High School, Alawalpur, is one of the oldest educational institutions in the district, said to have been established towards the close of the nineteenth century.

           A fair, known as Jhanda Sahib is held here for one day in September-October. A large number of people from the surrounding areas visit the place on the occasion.

           Banga: Situated on the Jullundur City Jaijon Doaba Line of the Northern Railway, Banga is 12 KM from Nawanshahar, the tahsil head quarters and 46 KM from Jullundur the district headquarters. It is also linked by road with Nawanshahar on the one side and Phagwara (District Kapurthala) on the GT road on the other side. Its population was 11885  in 1971, as against 10212 in 1961. It is a class II municipality.

           It is said to have been founded by Gola, alias Banga, a Man Jat of Paniani (District Hoshiarpur) in A.D. 1963 and to have been called after him. Banga was held by the Chaudhris of Phagwara (District Kapurthala) under Muhammadan rule, who when the Sikhs rose to power were able to resist for a time the attacks of Dharam Singh of Amritsar, who had seized the country to the north west of Banga. Ultimately they succumbed and Dharam Singh’s family remained in possession till deposited by Maharaja Ranjit Singh n 1806.

           There is an historical Gurdwara, known as Charan Kanwal Gurdwara, which is associated with Guru Hargobind.

           There are 2 degree colleges (one for men and the other for women), 4 high schools, 3 primary schools, a civil hospital, a family planning clinic, a veterinary hospital, 2 post & telegraph offices, a telephone exchange, a police station, a Canal Rest House and a Zila Parishad Rest House.

           Jullundur: Headquarter of the division/district/tahsil of the same name, Jullundur is an important railway junction on the Amritsar Saharanpur Mughal Sarai Main Line of the Northern Railway and is situated on Grand Trunk Road from the international Wagha border with Pakistan to Delhi and onwards. It is directly connected both by rail and road, with Pathankot (116 KM), Hoshiarpur (44 KM), Nawanshahr (68 KM), Nakodar (32 KM), Kapurthala (21 KM) and Amritsar (79 KM). Its population was 296106 in 1971 as against 222569 in 1961. It is a Class-I municipality.

           The places is believed to have emerged out of the sea. This legendary origin of Jullundur is confirmed by some geologists who believe that once upon a time the sea stretched up to Jullundur Doab and the neighbouring Shiwaliks of Hoshiarpur. According to the Padma Purana, the city takes its name from the great Daitya  kind, Jalandhar, the sone of the Ocean.

           The earliest historical mention of Jullundur occurs in the reign of Kanishka when about AD 100 a council of Buddhist theologians met near Jullundur chiefly for the purpose of collecting manuscripts and preparing commentaries on them.

           Jullundur gave rise to the Nath Movement between the eighth and tenth century AD. At the site where the samadh of one of the foremost representatives of the movement, Jogi Jalandhar Nath, once stood was built the existing shrine of Iman Nasir-ud-din Chishti in the fifteenth century.

           Jullundur was when visited by Hiuen Tsang the capital of a considerable state ruled over by Katoch chiefs, the town itself being more than three kilometers in circuit. It was taken by Ibrahim Shah of Ghor, in AD 1179-80 and was a place of considerable importance in the struggle between Jasarath Khokhar and the Muhammadan governors in 1422-42.

           Under the Mughal emperors, Jullundur was always the capital of the northern and most important portion of the Jullundur Doab which then extended to the neighbourhood of Multan, in fact of the whole of the Doab, as it is now constituted. The last Mohammadan governor was Adina Beg, whose intrigues with the Sikhs and Marathas have already been noticed in Chapter-II, History. He died in 1758, having in the previous year allowed Guru Badbhag Singh, of Kartarpur, to burn Jullundur in revenge for the destruction of Kartarpur by Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1756.

           In AD 1766 Jullundur fell into the hands of the Sikh misl of Faizullapuria, then under Khushhal Singh. His son Budh Singh, who succeeded him as head of the misl, built a masonry fort in the city, the site of which is now occupied by the Killa Mohalla while several of the other leaders built forts of unburnt bricks. In 1811, Diwan Mohkam Chand was sent by Maharaja Ranjit Singh to annex the Faizullapuria possession in the Jullundur Doab, and Sardar Budh Singh fled to his protected possessions across the Sutluj. His troops made some resistance, but gave up Jullundur in October. From this time, it was the capital of the possessions of the Lahore State in the Jullundur Doab until annexation to the British dominions after the First Anglo Sikh War 1845-46. It then became the headquarters of the Commissionership of the Trans-Satluj States, afterwards known as the Commissionership of Jullundur.

           The principal outlaying bastis (suburbs) of Jullundur are as under:

           Basti Danishmand an, originally Ibrahimpur, founded by Ansari Sheikhs from Kani Kuram in AD 1606.

           Basti Sheikh Darvesh, popularly called Basti Sheikh, originally Surajabad, founded by Sheikh Darvesh, also an Ansari Sheikh from Kani Kurma in AD 1614.

           Basti Ghuzan, founded in the reign of Shah Jahan by Baraki Pathans of the Ghuz section, disciples of Sheikh Darvesh. They first settled in Jullundur, then in Basti Sheikh. Subsequently, they purchased lands from Lodhi Afghans, Saiyads and Shikhs, and built a bazaar of their own.

           Basti Baba Khel, originally called Babapur, was founded in AD 1620-21 by Baraki Pathans of the Baba Khel section.

           Basti Pirdad is an off shoot of Basti Baba Khel.

           Basti Shah Kulli and Basti Shah Ibrahim are also Baraki settlements of Shah Jahan’s reign.

           Basti Mithu Sahib appears to have been founded a little later than Basti Sheikh Darvesh by Mian Mithu Sahib, a Khalil Mattezai Pathan from the neighbourhood of Peshawar.

           Basti nau, adjoining Basti Shah Kulli, was founded after the Sikh conquest of the region in 1759.

           The town as it grew up to 1947 had the characteristic of its own. It had 12 kots, 12 gates and 12 bastis. The kots were predominantly Hindu while bastis were mostly Muslim. The kots, which also mean Mohallas, were Kot Kishan Chand, Kot Lakhpat Rai, earlier known as Kot Daulat Khan, Kot Sadat Khan, Kot Achhi, Kot Chimbian, Kot Pakshian, Kot Bahadur Khan, Kot Mohaddad Amin now known as Shivraj Garh, Kot Sadiq, Kot Badal Khan, Kot Fazal Karim and Kot Asman Khan. Each kot had its own gate.

           Besides, here were 12 other gates in the city namely Mai Hiran Gate, Balmiki Gate, Neelamahal Gate, Jaura Gate, Khingra Gate, Saidan Gate, Phagwara Gate, Shitla Gate, Khodian Gate, Dehalvi Gate, GateShah Kuli and Lahore Gate. Only a few of these gates have so far survived.

           Jullundur a town of antiquity, and a seat of government several times in the past, regained its lost glory of ancient times in 1947 when following the partition it was made the administrative headquarters of Punjab but lost two soon when the administrative offices were shifted first to Simla and finally to Chandigarh.

           During the reign of Akbar, Jullundur was one of the mint cities, but only copper was coined here. Jullundur was known for copper, brass and bronze utensils which were mostly prepared by hammering, though some mould work was also done. It used to supply utensils to neighbouring areas. Jullundur used to manufacture jar of earth and brass. Besides the wool and cotton weaving industry, the preparation of silk for the loom was in important industry here which has completely vanished.

           The complexion of Jullundur changed after the partition. The Muslims which formed about 60 per cent of the total population migrated to Pakistan and about one and a half time as many Hindus and Sikhs came from Pakistan and settled in Jullundur. All the houses left behind by the Muslims were allotted to them, and many more residential areas were gradually developed. Bhargav Camp, Model Town, Model House, Central Town, Preet Nagar, Old Jawahar Nagar, Subhash Nagar, Lajpat Rai Nagar, Shakti Nagar, New Jawahar Nagar and Adarsh Nagar and several other small residential colonies came up. Chahar Bagh and Pucca Bagh, which are now centrally located, had thin population before 1947. Now these are among the most congested areas of the city.

           The arrival of refugees from West Punjab (Pakistan) injected a new element into Jullundur. The uprooted, to stand on their legs, set up any kind of trade. Most of the industry at Jullundur before 1947 was owned by the Muslims and about 40 per cent of their population was engaged in it. They used to make cocks (taps), hand pump, fittings, locks, sewing machines, and flat irons for pressing clothes. The Hindus were mostly shopkeepers and financers. After the partition the refugees stepped into the places of the Muslims in all spheres of industrial and business activities. As Jullundur was a market of iron and steel, several small industrial units spring up.

           Jullundur grew up as one of the most important industrial towns. It has earned a name at home and abroad in sports goods, pipe fittings, hand tools, rubber goods, leather products, surgical instruments, autoparts, agricultural implements, ball bearings, motor body building, electrical appliances, household appliances and valves and cocks.

           There are 8 arts and science colleges, a college of education, a sports college, a polytechnic, an industrial training institute, 34 high/higher secondary schools, 4 middle schools and 71 primary schools. As regards medical facilities, there are 6 hospitals, 7 maternity and child health centres, 7 dispensaries and 3 family planning clinics. There are also a veterinary hospital, a veterinary dispensary and an artificial insemination centre. Besides there are ahead post office, a central telegraph office, 30 subpost offices including 17 combined post and telegraph offices and an automatic telephone exchange. There are also seven police stations. There are a Circuit House, a PWD Rest House, a Canal Rest House and two Zila Parishad Rest Houses.

           An ancient monument in the city is the temple of Vrinda, wife of Jalandhar, in the Kot Kishan Chand locality. It is now also known as Tulsi Mandir. On one side of the temple is a tank which is said to have been the bathing place of the demon Jalandhar.

           At some distance from the temple of Vrinda is the temple of Gupha, with the image of Annapurna, the goddess of plenty, installed in it. Also near by lies the Brahm Kund and some temples dedicated to Shiva.

           Near the Balmiki Gate is the Shitla Mandir, said to be as old as the city of Jullundur. Within its premises are also two small old temples of Hanuman and Shiva.

           The old Devi Talab has been renovated and, in its centre, a new temple has been built. An old temple of goddess Kali also stands by the side of the Devi Talab.

           A few other places worth mentioning are a Sanyas Ashram (popularly known as Baharian-da-Talab, on the Kapurthala road), Nathandi-Bagichi, Darbar Muhammad Jamal Zahra (in Basti Sheikh) and Baba Jhandianwala (in Basti Nau).

           A big fair is held every year at the Smadh of Baba Sodal, a local child deity, for two days in August-September. A music festival  is held in the memory of Saint Harvallabh every year at Devi Talab in the last week of December. It lasts for four days and is attended by classical singers and musicians of repute from all over the country.

           Mention may also be made here of the shrines of Baba Lakki Shah Pir and Dargah Pir Haji Shah Qutab situated in the Jullundur Cantonment.

           Kartarpur- At a distance of 15 KM by rail and 16 KM by road, from Jullundur, the tahsil and district headquarters, Kartarpur is situated on the Amritsar Saharanpur Mughal Sarai Main Line of the Northern Railway and the Grand Trunk Road which run parallel to each other. Its population was 14644 in 1971, as against 12202 in 1961. It is a Class-II municipality.

           Kartarpur is said to have been founded in AD 593 1(on 21st Magh, 1650 BE) by Guru Arjan Dev (1581-1606 AD) in some waste land granted to him by the Emperor Akbar (1556-1605 AD). There is a legend that, when the Guru desired a dwelling here, a “demon who inhabited the trunk of a tree would not permit any wood to be cut for beams, until the Guru promised that he should not be disturbed, but receive worship for ever at the shrine”. It was perhaps, in consequence of this promise, that the Guru erected a sandalwood post some 50 feet high, which is venerated under the name of Thamji, and for which a fine temple was built with money given by Maharaja Ranjit Singh on his visit to Kartarpur in 1833. Kartarpur was burnt by Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1756. The Kartarpur Guru’s fort and brick tank were built in the famine of 1783 by Guru Gulab Singh. The fort has been recently dismantled and, in its place, a modern type of residence has been built by the present Guru. The original Adi-Granth compiled by Guru Arjan Dev, is preserved here. Here also is Guru Hargobind’s (1606-1645 AD) sword, the Tegha Sahib, and Guru Nanak Dev’s (1469-1539 AD) Fakir’s cap (seli). The Adi-Granth is opened only on the Sankrant, i.e. the first day of a Vikrami month, and shown to the visitors. The Gangsar is a well sunk by Guru Rjan Dev and much frequented by pilgrims as a substitute for the River Ganga. The Damdama Asthan is a platform beneath which are said to lie the bodies of the adherents of Painda Khan, killed by Guru Hargobind’s followers. The Guru of Kartarpur sits here once a year on the day of Baisakhi in the presence of the people, in fulfilment of the prophecy that the children of Guru Hargobind should sit over the bodies of those of Painda Khan. On the occupation of the Jullundur Doab by the British after the First Anglo Sikh War, 1845-46, Kartarpur was selected for the site of a cantonment which was abolished in 1854.

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1.           Kartar Singh, Sikh Itihas (In Punjabi, Published from Amritsar in 1968), Part-I PP             202-203.

The year 1598 Ad ( 1655 BE) given in the Jullundur District Gazetteer 1904, page 290, is wrong.

 

           Close to the Gangsar is the Manji Sahib where Guru Arjan Dev and his son and successor Guru Hargobind used to sit on a manji (cot) and deliver sermons to their disciples. By its side is the Dera Badbhag Singh).

           Besides the above, there are a number of other places of historical and religious importance in the town, viz. Chabachcha Sahib, samadh of Mata Kaulan, Vivah Asthan (place of marriage) of Mata Gujri (wife of Guru Tegh Bahadur), Nankiana Gurdwara built in the memory of Mata Nanaki (wife of Guru Arjan Dev), Ber of Baba Gurditta, Gurdwara Tahli Sahib, and Dera Bhai Bhagtu Ji.

           Kartarpur is well known for woodwork industry. The furniture manufactured here is considered to be of very good quality and is supplied to different places.

           There are a degree college, 3 high/higher secondary schools, an industrial training institute, a primary health centre, a family planning clinic, a veterinary hospital, a post & telegraph office, a telephone exchange, a police station and a PWD rest house.

           A big festival is held at Kartarpur on the occasion of Baisakhi (April 13) when a large number of persons from the surrounding areas visit the place.

           Nakodar: Headquarters of the tahsil/subdivision of the same name, Nakodar falls on the Jullundur City Nakodar line and the Lohian Khas Nakodar Ludhiana line of the Northern Railway. It is a railway junction, 32 KM from Jullundur City, 47 KM from Ludhiana and 32 Km from Lohian Khas. It is also connected directly by road with Jullundur (24 KM), Phillaur (34 KM), Sultanpur (40 KM) and Kapurthala (35 KM). A road also connects Nakodar with Jagraon through a ferry on the River Satluj. Its population was 18156 in 1971, as against 14452 in 1961. It is a Class-II municipality.

           The town is said by one account to have been originally held by Kambohs. Another tradition makes an Afghan, Nakodar Khan, the founder. Another account says that, when Manj Rajputs crossed the Satluj, Malik Nekdar Khan popularly known as Baba Malik, a brother of Rai Izzat (who took Talwan) founded Nakodar. His shrine still exists inside the town. The word Nakodar is a corrupted form of the Persian words neki dar which mean ‘gate of goodness or virtue’. A fourth account makes it founded by the Nikudari legion (ming or hawarah) of the Mughals.2

 2.          Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LXI, p.298

          

           Nakodar is mentioned in the Ain-I-Akbari as occupied by Main, apparently a mistake for Manj Rajputs, and undoubtedly formed one subdivision of their territory. They were ousted early during the Sikh period by Sardar Tara Singh Gheba who built a fort and made the town the centre of a considerable ilaka. Maharaja Ranjit Singh seized in 1816. On the introduction of the British Rule after the First Anglo sikh War, 1845-46, a cantonment was located here, which was abolished in 1854. Barkley notes that tradition says Nakodar was founded in the bed of a river, which is not impossible, keeping in view its situation.

           Outside the town, there are two fine Muhammadan tombs situated close together. These are maintained as protected monuments by the Archaeological Department. One of these tombs was built in AD 1612 in the beginning of the reign of Jahangir (AD 1605-1627 AD) and the other in 1657 AD towards the close of the reign of Shah Jahan (1627-1658 AD). The former is octagonal outside and square in side unlike the later which is octagonal inside and square outside. Both the tombs are ornamented on the outside with various patterns in glazed tiles.

           The tomb built in 1612 AD is that of Muhammad Momin Hussaini, alias Hafizak, a tamburah player, one of the musicians in the service of Khan Khanan. The tile of Hafizak shows that he was accustomed to play from memory. His proficiency as a musician attracted pupils and so he is remembered only by his title of ustad the ‘teacher of master’3.

           The other tomb, built in AD 1657 is that of Haji Jamal, a pupil of Muhammad Momin Hussaini4. It contains three graves inside and another grave outside on the platform. The grave on the platform is said by a curious local tradition to be that of a thief killed while escaping from the tomb, while another thief and his dog are said to be buried within.

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3.        Archeological Survey of India Reports pp. 59-62.

4.        Ibid.

 

           On the west of the tombs is a gateway said to have been built in AD 1667. There is another smaller gateway on the east, now in ruins. To the north is a tank, the bricks of which were largely used in the building of Nakodar Cantonment; on one side of it is a summer house, now used as the Sub Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate’s Court. Beyond the tank is a baradari containing the shrine of Bahadur Khan who died during the reign of Jahangir; and also an old mosque which is now in dilapidated condition.

           About 8 KM from Nakodar, on the Nakodar Kapurthala road, is situated the Dakhni Serai near village Jahangir. It is an old serari5 built by Emperor Shah Jahan (1627-1658 AD). The style of the serai is Muhammadan of the late Mughal period. The interior surfaces of the gateways are covered with brilliant tile work of the mosaic class.

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5.           It is said that previously there was a fort built by Emperor Jhangir (AD 1605-    1627) after whom the villages also named Jhangir. This fort was later on          converted into a serai by Shah Jahan.

 

           There are 3 degree collges, 3 high/higher secondary schools (2 for boys and 1 for girls), 3 primary schools, an industrial training institute, an artisan training centre, a Khadi Mandal, a Civil Hospital, a veterinary hospital, three sub post offices and a combined post & telegraph office, a telephone exchange, a police station and a PWD rest house.

           It s well know for the manufacture of durries and khadi goods.

           Nawanshahar: Headquarters of tahsil/subdivision of the same name Nawanshahar falls on the Jullundur City-Jaijon Doaba line of the Northern Railway. It is a railway junction, 58 KM from Jullundur City. It is directly connected by road with Garhshankar (14 KM), Rupnagar (48 KM), Rahon (8 KM), Phillaur (45 KM) and Phagwara (37 KM). Its population was 17527 in 1971 as against 14097 in 1961. It is a Class-II municipality.

           Nawanshahar is said to have been built by Nausher Khan, an Afghan, in the time of Ala-ud-din Khilji ( 1295-1316 AD), by the side of a lake. Another version is that the city got its name Nawanshahar which means a new city, because people from the ancient city of Rahon shifted to this place which was far removed from the ravages of the River Sutluj. There is a baradari which was built by Muhammad Sadik, who was an Umat Khatri, of Pasrur in the Sialkot District (Pakistan) and while a Hindu was called Bikhari Mal. He settle at Nawashahr and got involved in a quarrel with the Bhuchar Khatris of this place in the course of which two of the latter were killed. Bikhari  Mal was summoned to Delhi, and found it convenient to turn Muhammadan on which he assumed the name of Muhammad Sadik. He was given a jagir, and continued his quarrel with the Bhuchars who obtained assistance from the Rajputs of Saroya in Garhshankar Tahsil (Hoshiarpur District), and in a fight that ensued Muhammad Sadik was slain. His grave still exists here. Afterwards Tara Singh Gheba took Nawashahr and built a fort of which the remains no longer exist. The Gaur Brahmins of the place were of some importance in the latter Sikh times as connected with Raja Tej Singh.

           There are 2 degree colleges (one for men and the other for women), a B.Ed college, 8 high/higher secondary schools (5 for boys and 3 for girls), 3 primary schools, two industrial training institutes (one for boys and the other for girls), a civil hospital, a maternity and child health centre, a dispensary, a veterinary hospital, 2 post & telegraph offices and one extra departmental sub office, a telephone exchange, a police station and a police post, a canal rest house and a Panchayat samiti rest house. There is also a co-operative sugar mill.

           Nurmahal- Situated on the Lohian Khas Nakodar Ludhiana Line of the Northern Railway, Nurmahal is 20 KM from Phillaur, the tahsil/subdivision headquarter and 13 KM from Nakodar. It is also connected with Phillaur and Nakodar by road which runs parallel to the railway line. The town is also directly connected by road with Jullundur (33 KM),is the district headquarter. Its population was 8135 in 1971 as against 6905 in 1961. It is a Class-II municipality.

           Lying on the old imperial road from Delhi to Lahore, Nurmahal is built on the site of an ancient town, as is testified by the large size of the bricks that have been dug up as well as by numerous coins found there. Sir Alexander Cunningham obtained one punch marked silver coin one copper piece of the satrap Rajubul and one of Mahipal of  Delhi. The bricks are finger marked by three concentric semi circles with a dot in the centre. Nurmahal is said to have been built on the site of a town, called Kot Kalur or Kot Kahlur, which, according to Barkley, was a place of importance and is said to have been ruined about AD 1300 “ by the oppression of the government of the day, the Hindus deserting it, and separate villages of Muhammadans taking the place of the old mohallas (wards)”. But Cunningham thinks that this in an error due to misreading of the words ba-khitah phalor in the inscription over the western gateway of the serai.

           The modern town is due to the fosterning care of Nur Jahan (after whom it is named), the consort of Emeror Jahangir (1605-1627 AD), and who is said to have been brought up here. She had the imperial seari 6constructed between 1619 and 1621 AD and settled numerous families in her new town. “In 1738-39 Nadir Shah exacted a ransom of three lakhs of rupees” from Nurmahal which seriously injured its prosperity. “In 1756-57 Ahmad Shah demanded a like sum and the people being unable to pay he ordered them to be slaughtered and plundered, and burnt the town”7. Almost immediately afterwards the Punjab became independent of Delhi, and Nurmahal was seized by the Ahluwalia Sikhs and was held for the Kapurthala Chief by Sirdar Kaur Singh and his descendants. It would seem as if before this the Talwan Rajputs had taken possession of the town. They subsequently, on the final invasion of Ahmad Shah recovered the serai, the siege and recapture of which by the Sikhs has been described in Chapter-II ‘History’. The west gateway of this building was restored at public expense during the British rule towards the close of the nineteenth century. It is a remarkable specimen of oriental architecture.

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6.           The actual work of construction of the serai at Nurmahal was done under the superintendence of Zakariya Khan, the Nazim of the       Subah of Jullundur, during  the reign of Jahangir. (Archaeological Survey of India Reports Vol. XIV pp. 63-65).

7.           Barkley’s notes. The same writer has been given a legend of  Nurmahal in Punjab Notes and Queries for January 1885 (No. 376).

 

           The serai is maintained as a protected monument by the Archaeology Department.

           On the other side of the town from the serai is the tomb of Fateh Ali Shah built in AD 1660-61.

           There are a degree collage for women, 3 high schools (2 for boys and one for girls), a civil dispensary, a veterinary hospital, a post & telegraph office, a police station and PWD rest house. There is also a free Ayurvedic hospital run by Swami Mansa Ram Mission, Nurmahal. The mission also organizes every year camps where eye operations are performed free of charge.

           Phillaur-  Headquarters of the tahsil/subdivision of the same name, Phillaur is a railway junction on the Mughal Sarai Saharanpur Amritsar main line (14 KM from Ludhian and 43 KM from Jullundur) and the Ludhiana Nakodar Lohian Khas Branch Line (33 KM from Nakodar). It is also situated on the Grand Trunk  Road, on the north bank of the River Satluj, 14 KM from Ludhiana and 47 KM from Jullundur. The railway main line and the Grand Trunk Road from Ludhiana to Jullundur run parallel to each other. Phillaur is also connected by road with Nawashahr (45KM) and Nakodar (34 KM). Its population was 11543 in 1971, as against 11058 in 1961. It is a Class-II municipality.

           Phillaur owes its origin to a Sanghera Jat, Phul who called the town after himself, ‘Phulnagar’. Subsequently, the Naru Rajputs, under Rai Shahr, whose territory extended from Nau to Selkiana, occupied it and when his son, Rai Rattan Pal abandoned Mau and Settled at Phillaur, the Jats left. The Rajputs also, at some period unknown, deserted the place. The modern town dates from the time of Shah Jahan (1627-1958 AD), at which time the site, then covered with ruins, was reoccupied having been selected for the erection of a serai on the Imperial line of road from Delhi to Lahore8. Of its earlier history nothing of interest is recorded. On the rise of the Sikhs to power, the place was seized by one Sudh Singh, Kakarah who made it the capital of a considerable estate. The family became extinct in 1807, and the place then fell into the hands of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who recognized its importance as a frontier town commanding the most frequented ferry of the Satluj.

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8.           A brass seal was found on the parade ground near the fort having on  one side the inscription “Muhammad Bahadur Shahzada Bedar Bakhat, 1115. Ali       Quli Khan fidvi, 48, the other side being plain.

 

           Under his governor Mokham Chand, a strong force of troops was usually stationed at Phillaur and between 1809 and 1812 the serai was converted into a fort by the addition of a fausse-braye ditch and bastions, in consequence of the British occupation of Ludhiana. The architect is said to have been an Italian engineer. In 1846, when the Sikh garrison was withdrawn after the battle of Aliwal (January 28, 1846), Chaudhri Kutb-ud-Din of Phillaur secured the keys of the fort, preserved it from plunder, and gave it up to Colonel Mackeson and Brigadier Wheeler when the British troops entered the Doab. The Chaudhri was granted a pension of Rs. 300 per annum for his services. In the same year after the battle of Aliwal a British cantonment was formed in the neighbourhood of the fort which continued to be occupied by native troops until 1857, when the detachment stationed there rebelled. The fort itself became an important artillery arsenal and magazine.The cantonment was not reoccupied after the great uprising. The artillery and magazine were withdrawn in 1863 from the fort and a detachment of Native Infantry left as garrison. In 1891  this was withdrawn and the fort was handed over to the Police Department; and it is now occupied by the Police Training College (formerly Police Training School, established on January 1, 1892, it was raised to a college in April 1967) and the Finger Print Bureau (established in August 1894). The former is the biggest and the oldest institution of its type in the country.

           Near the railway godown, on the other side of the GT Road, are a baradari and thakardwara, erected by Diwan Mohkam Chand, and a samadh containing his ashes.

           There are 2 higher secondary schools (one for boys and the other for girls), 2 primary schools, a civil hospital, an Employees’ State Insurance, dispensary, a family planning clinic, a veterinary hospital,  2 combined post & telegraph offices and one sub post office, a telephone exchange, a police station, a PWD rest house and a Zila Parishad rest house.

           A Sarvodya Mela is held on the right bank of the River Satluj on 12th February every year to commemorate the immersion ceremony of Mahatma Gandhi’s ashes.

           Rahon- Situated on the Jullundur City Jaijon Doaba line of the Northern Railway, Rahon is 7 KM from Nawashahr, the tahsil/subdivision headquarters, and 65 KM from Jullundur, the district headquarters. It is also connected by road with Nawashahr (8 KM), Jadla (12 KM), Ludhiana (51 KM), and Phillaur (37 KM). Its population was 6607 in 1971 as against 6316 in 1961. It is a Class-III municipality.

           It is said to have been founded about 2000 years ago by Raja Raghab, who called it Raghupur, by which name it continued to be called in correspondence by the Pandits of the place till early in the present century. After that it came into the possession of Gujars, who were driven out by the Mahtons, who in their turn succumbed to the Ghorewaha Rajputs, whose conquest of the country is put down as having occurred in the time of Muhammad Ghori (d. 1206 AD). Their leader Rana Rajpal, renamed the town ‘Rahon’, after a certain lady called ‘Raho’. In support of this derivation may be quoted the opinion entertained by some that, it is unlucky to speak of this town by its proper name, in the morning, when fasting. Till breakfast it is called ‘Zanana shahr’, or ‘Women town”. In the time of Ibrahim Lodhi (1517-1526 AD), the town is reported to have a population of 145000 and was a flourishing trading center on the route to Tibet and Central Asian Countries. The art of shoe making attained a high degree of skill and a pair prepared by one Mian Khaki Shah of Rahon is said to be still lying in the museum at Lahore (Pakistan). Towards the beginning of the Mughal period, the town was occupied by the Raja of Machhiwara, Rana Udho. He actively assisted Akbar (1556-1605 AD). During his fight for the Delhi throne and defeated and captured the rebellious Bairam Khan.  As a reward, the Raja allowed to retain the jagir of Rahon. In Akbar’s time, Rahon was the capital of the Dardhak Mahal and gave its name to one of the two tarafs into which the Mahal  was divided. In Aurangzeb’s reign (1658-1707 AD) a brick fort was built here. The Rajputs of Rahon were Chaudhris and men of much influence during the Muhammdan rule. In AD 1759, Rahon was seized by Tara Singh Gheba, the head of the Dhallewali Confederacy, and remained in his possession till his death, when it was added to Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s dominions. It is evidently a very old town and, from its commanding situation on an eminence overlooking the low valley of the Satluj, must have been a place of importance. Rahon’s importance was primarily due to its location on the ancient trade route to Tibet and Central Asia and it began to fall in importance as soon as a new route through Kabul was opened during the Mughal times. Its proximity to big marsh made it a victim of periodic out breaks of malaria in an epidemic form. Consequently, its population has greatly declined. It wa said to be 69000 when the British took over the place after the First Anglo Sikh War in 1846 and it was 6607 in 1971.

           There are several places of historical interest in Rahon. There is the Panch Tirthian tank which was got excavated by Rana Udho as a place of pilgrimate for his five sons who could not proceed on pilgrimage due to the illness of his father. The samadh of Rana Udho also exists at Rahon. There is another tank, called Ramsar, adjoining the samadhs of Tara Singh Gheba and his brave widow which was constructed by their son Jhanda Singh. There is also an old serai, said to have been built in the reign of Shah Jahan (1627-1658 AD). Another holy place in the town is Suraj Kund which is said to have been built by one Bawa Aughar during the period of Pathana rule. There is also a tomb, built during the rule of the Tughluq dynasty, which is said to contain the ashes of a saint.

           There is a Government High Court which is said to be the oldest school in the State. It has a log book beginning from 1855. Besides, there are a Government Middle School for Girls and a Government Primary School. There are a civil dispensary, a veterinary hospital, a post and telegraph office and a police post.

 

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