(First Edition 1984)















































v     Introductory

v     Topography

v     River System and Water Resources

v     Geology

v     Flora

v     Fauna

v     Climate



(a)       Introductory


(i)       Origin of the Name of the Kapurthala District:

           The district derives its name from the Kapurthala Town which is its headquarters and was formerly the capital of the princely State of the same name.  The town is said to have been founded in the early part of the eleventh century in the time of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni by Rana Kapur, a scion of the ruling Rajput house of Jaisalmer (Rajasthan).

(ii)      Location, General Boundaries, Total Area and Population of the District-Included in the Jalandhar Division of the Punjab, the Kapurthala District is split in two non contiguous parts about 32 KM apart-Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi tahsils forming one part and the Phagwara Tahsil the other. The former lie between north latitute 310-07’ and 310-39’ and east 740-57’ and 750-36’, while the Phagwara tahsil lies between north latitute 310-10’ and 310-22’ and east longitute 750-40’ and 750-55’. The main part comprising Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi tahsils is about 72 km long and its breadth varies from about 11.2 to 32 km at different places, bounded partly in the north and wholly in the west by the Beas River which separates it in the north from the Gurdaspur District and in the west from the Amritsar District.  The Satluj River separates it in the south from Firozpur District, but it is mainly bounded in the south by the Jalandhar District.  In the east, it is bounded by the Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur Districts and in the north partly by the Hoshiarpur District.  Phagwara Tehsil is surrounded on all sides by the Jalandhar District except in the north-east where it adjoins the Hoshiarpur District.  Like the Jalandhar District, Kapurthala District lies between the Satluj and the Beas rivers and is known as Bist Doab.

           The district is divided into three tehsils, viz. Kapurthala, comprising its northern portion, Sultanpur Lodhi, the southern and Phagwara, the eastern.  The headquarters of the district are at the town of Kapurthala which is directly connected both by rail and road with Jalandhar in the east and Sultanpur Lodhi in the south.  All the three towns of the district are on railway lines.


           The tehsil-wise area of the district for the year 1981-82 is given below:


Area (sq. km.)



Sultanpur Lodhi




    District Kapurthala



(Source :         Director of Land Records, Punjab, Jalandhar)

           According to the 1981 Census, the population of the district was 5,45,249 comprising 2,87,286 males and 2,57,963 females.

(iii)     History of the District as an Administrative Unit and the Changes  in its Component Parts:

           Prior to the partition of the country in 1947, Kapurthala was a princely state of five tehsils, viz. Kapurthala, Sultanpur Lodhi, Phagwara, Dhilwan and Bholath.  The last named included the niabat of Bhunga.

           The state was in political relations with the Punjab Government through the Commissioner of Jalandhar Division prior to the establishment of the Punjab States Agency in 1921 when it was placed in direct relations with the Government of India through the Agent to the Governor General, Punjab States.

           The East Punjab States, viz. Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Kalsia, Faridkot, Kapurthala and Malerkotla were united on 20 August 1948, to form the new State viz. Patiala and East Punjab States Union or PEPSU for short.  In 1948, Bholath and Sultanpur Lodhi tehsils were merged with the Kapurthala Tehsil and Bhunga Sub-tehsil with Phagwara Tehsil.  The territories of the princely state broadly came to form the new Kapurthala District.

           The administration of the Kapurthala District again underwent a change when on 26 January 1950, when India was declared a Republic.  Under the Provinces and States (Absorption of Enclaves) Order, 1950, twenty four villages of the erstwhile Bhunga Sub-tehsil which formed a part of the Phagwara Tehsil and 4 bastis (Basti Nau, Basti Sheikh, Basti Kotla and Basti Kot Sadiq) of the Kapurthala Tehsil were transferred to the Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar districts, respectively.  Sultanpur Lodhi was made a sub-tehsil in 1950.  On the merger of the erstwhile PEPSU with the state of Punjab on 1 November 1956, the district was placed under Jalandhar division for administrative convenience. In 1970, Sultanpur Lodhi and Bholath were made a tehsil and sub-tehsil, respectively.

(iv)      Subdivisions, Tehsils and Police Stations:

           As per 1981 Census, the district comprised 602 inhabited villages and 8 towns, which constituted three tehsils/subdivisions, viz.  Kapurthala (323 villages), Sultanpur Lodhi (174 villages) and Phagwara (105 villages).  All the three tehsils, i.e. Kapurthala. Sultanpur Lodhi and Phagwara were made subdivisions in 1965, 1970 and 1958, respectively.  Besides, there is one sub-tehsil, viz. Bholath, in tehsil Kapurthala.

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

(b)       Topography

           Kapurthala District consists of two detached pieces of territory, but both are parts of the Bist-Doab plain area enclosed by the Beas and Satluj rivers.  Though the district does not display as much of a varies topographic outlook as the adjoining Hoshiarpur District does, yet it is not completely devoid of interesting physical features when its terrain is examined closely in detail.  On the basis of local differences in slop, topographic texture and surface material, the district can be divided into two main physiographic units, viz. the Beas lowlands and the upland plain, which are described below:

(i)       The Beas Lowlands:

           They cover the north-western and southern peripheries of the district along the Beas River down to the Satluj in the south.  The Beas lowlands, locally known as the bet (floodplain), are characterized by poor drainage.  There are low embankments and wide strips of alluvial land over which water spreads when the river is flooded.  The topsoil of the flood-plain contains loam, sand and new alluvium.  During the floods, the top-soil is renewed.  Thus, the floodplain is fertile and conducive for the kharif and rabi crops.  The Beas lowlands may be subdivided into : (2) the active floodplain which is regularly flooded and , (b) the cover floodplain which is affected only when the river carries an enormous discharge of water.

           The active floodplain is a narrow belt along the Beas which varies in breadth and can be easily identified on a large-scale map.  The boundary of the active floodplain is slightly to the north of the rural settlements which display longitudinal arrangement all along the river.  Beyond this boundary up to the Beas, there are no settlements and the strip of land only consists of sand, loam and low-lying embankments usually longitudinal in appearance.  This belt of the active floodplain varies in breadth being narrower in the north and south than in the middle where it is as wide as 4 km from Khizarpur to Fazlabad and Dhaliwal Bet.

           The cover floodplain is the area lying between the upland plain.  It is roughly between the active floodplain and the west or Black Bein and is dotted by a number of water pools locally known as jhils or chhambs.  Although the actual area of the jhils has been covered by sand, yet some depressions can still be located in villages of  Begowal, Khiranwali, Ratta Kadim, Gopipur, Dulowal, etc.

(ii)      The Upland Plain:

           The second important physiographic unit is the upland plain.  This covers the area beyond Sultanpur Lodhi and Kapurthala and the whole of Phagwara Tehsil.  It is also infested with chhambs and low dunes/mounds not exceeding 3 metres in the Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi upland plain.  The Phagwara Tehsil has some of the distinct jhils such as at Hadiabad (now merged in Phagwara Town),  Darweshpind, Uchapind and Khalwara.  This area again has some low-lying dunes/mounds which vary in height from 1.5 to 6 metres.  The Phagwara portion of the upland plain is cut across by the east or white Bein and to the north of this lies an area locally called Sirowal.  There is waterlogging here on account of the seasonal choking of chos most of which terminate near the boundary between Phagwara Tehsil and Hoshiarpur District.

(c)              River System and Water Resources

(i)       Main Rivers and Tributaries and Canals:

           The Kapurthala District is drained by the Beas and the Satluj, the west or Black Bein and the east or White Bein.  But its major portion which comprises Sultanpur Lodhi and Kapurthala tehsils is drained by the Beas and the Satluj only forms the southern boundary of the district and does not play any significant part in the drainage of the area.

Beas River:

           The Beas while making its way in a south-westerly direction on entering the plains, from its source near the Rohtang Pass in the Pir Panjal Range of the Lesser Himalaya, marks the western boundary of the Kapurthala District.  Here it flows in big curves and enters the district about 3 km north of village Mand Dogranwala in tehsil Kapurthala.  It takes a smooth turn to the west when it makes its entrance and flows for a distance of 13 km.  Throughout its course in this district, there are a number of small streams which break away from the main course of the river and Rewaj-i-am-join it at varying points.  This gives a braided appearance to the Beas with several pockets of sand.  After the first turn to the west, it flow almost straight for some distance until it takes a second turn to the west from near Charangewala to Jhugian Araian for about 8 km.  This reach is liable to continual change owing to the shifting of the river-bed.  It can be concluded here that there are two distinct bends in the Beas when it moves along the Kapurthala District boundary and these are to the west of the mainstream.  This shows that the Beas has been shifting its bed to the west.  This is also evident from the many elongated chhambs or jhils and sand bars.  Another striking feature is a high river-bluff along the western side of the Beas, at places rising to a height of 27 metres.


           There are two beins (streams) in the district, viz. the west or Black Bein and the east or White Bein.  The Black Bein enters the Kapurthala District in two streams from Dasuya Tehsil of the Hoshiarpur District.  One of these which joins to form the Black Bein after a short distance, comes from Ranipind (Hoshiarpur District)  and the other enters the district slightly to the east of the first near Talwandi Dadian (Hoshiarpur District).  The streams mentioned above join to form the Black Bein a little south of Awan.  This Bein keeps taking small and sharp bends and in this process breaks up into several smaller sub-streams.  In addition to the bends, both the Black and the White Beins have deep valleys varying in depth from 1.5 to 3 metres.  The valley of the Black Bein is more than 3 metres deep near Busoswal and Bhawanipur Villages in Sultanpur Lodhi and Kapurthala Tehsils, respectively.  Some of the villages which are located at these junctions are Bholath, Beja and Bhawanipur.  There are several seasonal streams which can be associated with the Beas and the Black Bein, the main being kalna which lies in between the Bein and the Beas.  The Black Bein, joins the Beas River at the confluences of the Satluj and Beas.

           The Black Bein and the Beas River flow almost parallel.  This suggests that the Bein runs in old course of the Beas and the main river has shifted to the west.  This is distinctly apparent from a large number of longitudinal jhils and dry river-beds between the present Beas and the Black Bein.

           The east or White Bein which has its beginning in the Garhshankar Tehsil of Hoshiarpur District enters Phagwara Tehsil at Malikpur.  After flowing for about 13 km through the Phagwara Tehsil, it enters Jalandhar District at village Ucha.  It is joined by a number of small water-courses, and taking a south-westerly direction it empties itself into the Satluj.  There are two seasonal streams one just to the south of the White Bein, called the Kail Nala and the other to the north of it.  The area to the north of the Bein is swampy and there are some jhils or chhambs in the surrounding areas as well.


           Apart from the natural drainage features mentioned above, the district is irrigated by the distributaries of the Bist Doab Canal.

(ii)      Underground Water Resources:

           Groundwater occurs both under confined and unconfined conditions.

           The saturated granular material in the deeper zones comprises medium to coarse sand.  The water in the deeper zones occurs under confined conditions.  The water-table varies, in general, between 5 and 10 metres.  It generally ranges between 2 and 5 metres below ground level along the Satluj and the Beas.  In a narrow strip varying in width from 3 to 10 km along the Beas on the eastern side, the water-table lies from 5 to 7 metres below ground level.  A shallow ground water belt along the Beas extends from Mukerian to Dasuya (Hoshiarpur District), Kapurthala and Sultanpur Lodhi to the confluence of the Satluj and Beas.  The water-table in winter is generally less than 3 metres in this belt.  In some of the areas such as around Sultanpur Lodhi, and Gidarpindi (Jalandhar District), it varies from a few centimeters to about 1.6 metres below ground level almost throughout the year.  During floods, most of the wells in the area either overflow or are submerged by flood water.

           In the south-eastern part of the district, the water-table lies at a depth varying between 10 to 20 metres.  In general, the hydraulic gradient is in the south-western direction towards the confluence of the Satluj and the Beas.  The quality of formation water both in the shallow zone and in the deeper zones is suitable for municipal and irrigation purposes.  The chloride content is 10 parts per million.

(d)       Geology

(i)       Geological Formation:

           The area around Kapurthala is underlain by the Indo-Gafgetic alluvium which consists of silt, clay, kanker, sand, gravel and pebbles.  The subsurface geology of the area as revealed by water-well borings indicates that fine to coarse grained sand predominates down to a depth of about 92 m.  A persistent clay bed is met with between the depth range of 160 m and 175 m.

(ii)      Mineral Resources:

           As regards mineral wealth, certain minor minerals are found in the district in the western and south-western parts.  Building materials such as boulders, pebbles, shingles and sands are found west of Sultanpur Lodhi around the confluence of Satluj with Beas.  Brick clays used for making hard burn brick are found at many localities, especially around shallow water depressions.

           Geophysical surveys and drilling were conducted by the Oil and Natural Gas Commission in certain parts of the district for locating suitable structures and traps for oil and gas.  However, the investigation has not so far revealed the presence of gas or oil.

(iii)     Seismicity:

           Kapurthala District lies in a region which is liable to slight to moderate damage due to earthquakes.  The Great Himalayan Boundary fault zone, which runs from Kashmir to Assam and has been the scene of some of the great Indian earthquakes, lies to the north of this district.  Besides, it has occasionally experienced fringe effects of earthquakes originating in the Karakoram and Hindukush region.

           The records show that Kapurthala and the surrounding areas came under seismic intensity VIII on the Modified Mercalli Scale of 1931  during the Kangra earthquake of 4 April 1905.  But considering the active seismic status of the Himalayan boundary fault system and seismo-tectonic study of the region, recurrence of an earthquake of intensity up to VIII M. M. cannot be ruled out in future.  This fact is corroborated by the seismic zoning map of India prepared under the auspices of India Standards Institution where Kapurthala District has been placed in zone IV corresponding to which intensity VIII M. M. is likely in future earthquakes.  This intensity, therefore, can be taken as optimum for designing engineering structures in the district.

(e)       Flora  (Botany)

           According to the revised survey of the forest types of India by Sir Harry G. Champion and Sh. S. K. Seth, the vegetation of the district falls under the sub-group “5-B-Northern tropical dry deciduous forests” (Type 5-B/C-2, i.e. Northern dry mixed deciduous forests and sub-groups), “6-B Northern tropical thorn forests” (Type 6-B/C-I Northern tropical desert thorn forests).  The existing vegetation comprises mainly of shisham or tali (Dalbergia sissoo), kikar/babul (Acacia arabica), mesquite (Prosopic juliflora), Eucalyptus hybrid (Mysore-sgum), mango (Mangifera indical) mulberry (Morus alba), jaman (Syzygium cumini), siris (Albizzia lebbeck), neem (Azadirachta indica) and drek (Melis azedarach).  However, there is also a sprinkling of other species like bar or borh (Ficus bengalensis), papal (Ficus religiosa), dhak palah or chhachra (Butea monosperma), Khazur (date) and ber (Ziziphus mauritiana).

           Shisham provides valuable timber for furniture whereas kikar—wood is used for manufacturing various agricultural implements, and its barks is used for tanning leather.  The requirements of the tannery at Kapurthala are fully met by the local areas.  Eucalyptus is used for paper pulp.  Other species like mango, jaman, mulberry, drek, etc., are used for making packing cases, plywood and sports goods.  Nelumbo Nucifera (Syn. Nelubium, speciosum) is also common in low-lying areas where water stagnates, but these herbs do not grow on extensive  areas which could be exploited on a  commercial scale.  The dhak or chhachra whose flowers are used as a dye, and the leaves stiched for making dunas or containers for sweetmeats, etc. is also found.  Ak (Calotropis procera) grows here and there in waste lands.  Akra (Ipomoea crassicaulis) was initially grown as a hedge plant but has now run wild.


1.           Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale of 1931:


VIII        Damage slight in specially designed structures; considerable in ordinary substantial buildings with partial collapge; great in poorly built structures. Panel walls thrown out of frame structure. Fall of chimneys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, walls. Heavy furniture overturned . Sand and mud ejected in small amounts. Changes in well water. Disturbs persons driving motor cars.

              (Source: Director General of Observatories, New Delhi)


           The following are the more common among the grasses: Sarkanda (Saccharum bengalense, syn. saccharu munja) is found scattered all over the district along rail, road and canal strips and also in other waste lands.  It is widely used for thatching purposes, for providing raw material to the ban-making industry, paper pulp, and as fodder.  Kahi (Saccharum spontaneum) is generally found in sandy and waste-land areas particularly along  the river bank. It is used for thatches, chicks and, when unripe, as fodder for cattle. Dibh (Typha elephantine) is generally gound in swampy areas along the cancal strips of river side. It is used for thatching and mat making purposes. Khabal (Cynodon dactylon) general grows along khals under lightshade and is relished by cattle. Besides the above, other plants found along the river side consist mostly of Jhau (Tamarix dioica). Its branches are used for making baskets and broom sticks (rarkas). There is another grass called dila (Scirpus sp.) which is harmful for agricultural crops and forest nurseries.


(f) Fauna (Zoology)


The Punjab Wild Life Preservation Act, 1959 and its rules aim at the protection and preservation of wild life. The Wile Life Protection Act, 1972, has been enforced in the State of Punjab with effect from 1 April 1975, and affords protection to wild animals and birds. For this purpose strict vigilance is being kept by wild life staff under the supervision of an Inspector of  wild life posted at the district level.  The people are also being educated by publicity through posters, lectures, the press, radio and appeals from Governor, Chief Minister and Forest Minister, Punjab to preserve wild life.

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

(1)       Fish:   The different varieties of fish available in the district are: Catla catla (catla or thaila), Channa marulius (saul), Channa punctatus (daulla), Channa striatus (karrar), Cirrhinus mrigala (mirgal or naraini), Cirrhinus reba (sunni), Heteropneustes fossilis (lakhi or seengdi),  Labeo rohita (rohu dhambra), Labeo bata (bata), Mystus seenghala (singhari or shingari), Notopterus chitala (parri), Notopterus notopterus (moh), Rita rita (khagga), Wallago attu (malli), etc.

(2)       Reptiles:        Tortoise (kachhua) and small crocodiles (magar mach) are found in the Beas and small streams or ponds.  Goh, karait and many varieties of cobras are also found in the district.

(3)       Birds:            The birds found in the district are of two types, viz. resident birds, and which visit the area in winter.  The details of these birds is given below:                 

Resident Birds:         House crow, Indian large cormorant, little cormorant, Indian shag, Indian darter or snake bird, large Indian parakeets, rose-ringed parakeets, shikra, sparrow-hawk, red-headed merlin, Indian common night jar, green pigeon, blue rock pigeon, rufous turtle dove, ring dove, spotted dove, common peafowl, bush quail, Indian button quail, common quail, rain quail, black partridge, grey partridge, common coot, purple moorhen, lapwing pee-wit, wood cock, common or faintailed snipe, weaver bird, red munia, Indian robin, shama, koel, spotted munia, field king fisher, small blue king fisher, common sparrow, vulture, painted shipe, flower pecker, town eagle and black-winged kite.

Migratory Birds:       Comb duck or nutta, various pecies of goose, demosile crane, ruddy sheldrake, gadwall, wigeon, common teal, pintail, shoveller, poachard or sun bird, white eyed poachard, tufted poachard, large whistling teal, cotton teal and mallard.  These birds visit the river areas and chhambs in winter season.

(4)       Mammals:     The mammals found in the district are: jungle cat, large Indian civet, common Indian mongoose, Indian jackal, fruit bat, Indian porcupine squirrel, rats and mice, wild boar, black buck, hog dear, and common Indian hare.  Barking deer, spotted deer, black buck, hog deer, wild boar and common peafowl are getting extinct in the district.

(g)       Climate

(i)       Climatic Divisions and Seasons and Their Durations:

           The climate of the Kapurthala District is characterized by dryness (except in the brief monsoon season, a very hot summer and bracing winter.  The year may be divided into four seasons.  The cold season from about the middle of November to the early part of March is followed by the hot season which lasts till about the end of June.  July, August and the first half of September constitute the south-west monsoon season.  The period from mid-September to about the middle of November may be termed the post-monsoon or transitional period.

(ii)      Temperature and Humidity:


The meteorological observatory at Kapurthala started functioning recently.  hence the description which follows is based on the records of the observatories in the neighbouring districts where there are similar climatic conditions.  After February, there is a steady increase in temperatures.  June is generally the hottest month with the mean daily maximum at about 41° C and the mean daily minimum at about 27° C.  Hot scorching dust-laden westerly winds blow during the summer and on individual days the day temperature may reach even about 45° C.  With the onset of the south-west monsoon in the district by about the beginning of July, there is an appreciable drop in the day temperature.  The nights, however, are as warm as during summer.  On account of the increased moisture in the monsoon air, the weather is often sultry and uncomfortable even during the monsoon season in between the rains.  After the monsoon by about the mid-September, there is a rapid drop in the temperature, especially during night.  January is usually the coldest month with the mean daily maximum temperature at about 19° C and the mean daily minimum temperature at about 6° C.  Cold waves affect the district in the wake of passing western disturbances in winter when the minimum temperature drops down to about a degree or so below freezing point.


Relative humidity is generally high in the southwest monsoon season.  In the rest of the year, the air is dry the driest part of the year being the summer season.

(iii)     Rainfall:       

Records of rainfall in the district are available for only two stations, 13 years for Kapurthala and 19 years for Phagwara.  The details of the rainfall at these stations and for the district as a whole are given in the Table on page 12.  The average annual rainfall in the district if 695.6 mm.  The rain fall generally increases from the south-west towards the north-east.  About 70 per cent of the annual rainfall in received during the monsoon months, i.e. July to September-July being the wettest month.  There is also some rainfall during the period from December to March in association with passing western disturbances and this amounts to about 12 per cent of the annual rainfall.  The variation in the rainfall from year to year is large.  From the available data for the brief 19 year period, from 1952 to 1970, the highest annual rainfall which occurred in 1955 amounts to 140 per cent of the average, while the lowest annual rainfall less than 80 per cent of the normal occurred only once.

           On an annual average, there are about 33 rainy days, i.e. days with rainfall of 2.5 mm or more.

           The heaviest rainfall in 24 hours recorded at any station in the district was 339.1 mm at Kapurthala  on 5 October 1955.

(iv)      Atmospheric Pressure and Winds:


The skies are generally moderately to heavily clouded during the monsoon season and for brief spells of a day or two during the cold season in association with passing western disturbances.  During the rest of the year, the skies are mostly clear or slightly clouded.


Winds are generally light.  During the south-west monsoon season, these blow generally from directions between south-east and north-east, but on many days in the afternoons, westerly to north-westerly winds also blow.  In the rest of the year, westerly to north-westerly winds predominate except in the latter half of the summer season when easterlies and south-easterlies blow on some days.

Special Weather Phenomena:       

During the cold season, western disturbances affect the weather all over the district.  Thunder-storms occur in association with these.  Thunder storms and dust storms occur off and on during the hot season.  Rain during the monsoon is often associated with thunder.


Normals  and  extreames  of  Rainfall  in  the  Kapurthala  District






No. of years of data















Heaviest rainfall in 24 hours*


















































































































(a)              Normal rainfall in mm.

(b)             Average number of rainy days (days with rain of 2.5 mm or more

*         Based on all available data up to 1970






v     Ancient Period

v     Medieval Period

v     Modern Period


(a)       Ancient Period

The ancient history of the Kapurthala District—formerly a Princely State—can be traced as the time of Panini, the celebrated grammarian (6th century B. C.), whose Sutras contain what are probably the earliest reference to the people inhabiting the territory lying between the rivers Satluj and Beas.

From the middle of the 6th century B. C. up to A. D., 1150 the Bist Doab Jalandhar, which included the territories of the present districts of Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur, was dominated by three tribes, viz. Tilakhalas, Trigarttas and Yaudheyas. An appropriate mention of each of these tribes is made as under:

(1)       Tilakhalas.—This tribe in Panini’s Astadhayayi is described as one of the six parts (avayavas) of the main tribe ‘Salvas’ who were important people of ancient India. The earliest mention of the Salvas as tribe is found in the Gopatha Bramana where they appear in connection with the Matsya. According to the Mahabharata, Salva country was situated near Kurukshetra and was the kingdom of the father of Satyavan, husband of Savitri. This tribe was headed by king Salva who through Tilakhalas, Udumbaras, Madarkaras,Yugandharas, Bhulingas, and Saradattas, i.e. six branches of the Salva tribe, ruled over the entire northern country. The Tilakhala tribe, which for centuries together, dominated the territory forming the present district of Kapurthala, was the most powerful and had completed control over the territory under study. The Tilakhala men lived on agricultural lands—agriculture being their only sources of income. Fa –Hien, the Chinese pilgrim, who visited India at the beginning of the 5th century A. D. relates that the Tilakhala men were warlike people and that they had great political insight. he further says that they worshipped Hindu gods and goddesses and always fought in favour of Hindu rulers of the times. The territory under the Tilakhalas was also visited by another Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang in the 7th century A. D., who describes another as a rich soil which yielded regular crops and had rich vegetation.

The Tlakhalas fought bravely in the Kurukshetra War, lent their support to the army of Daryodhana against the Pandavas—but were ultimately defeated on account of the other side being too strong.

(2)       Trigarttas:

As described in the Mahabharata, Trigarttas were a Punjab tribe. Trigarttas and the kingdom of Jalandhar are termed as synonymous in Hemachandra’s Abhidhanacintamani. Kalhana’s Rajatarangini also refers to this tribe as inhabiting a region not far from Kashmir. The territory comprising the present district of Kapurthala formed apart of the Trigartta. Trigartta is interpreted to be the land watered by the three rivers—the Ravi, the Beas, and the Satluj.

In the Mahabharata, Trigarttas and Yaudheyas are explained as associated Ksatriya tribal, depending mainly on arms and having contiguous territories. These tribes, during the great Kurukshetra war, rallied on the side of Duryodhana. Two Trigartta heroes, famous as Samsaptakas, played an important role in the War. The Trigarttas along with the Tilakhalas, Ambasthas and other tribes, were included in the army of Bhisma. In the course of the War, the Trigarttas had a hard fight with Nakula, the fourth Pandava, while on another occasion their king Susarma fought a stiff battle with the Kashmiras, Malavas, Sivis, Yaudheyas, Ambasthas, and other tribes including Tlakhalas were totally defeated, and they all paid homage to Yudhisthira.

Not very much is known of the authentic political history of trigartta, but it seems certain that from about A. D. 700 to 1150, the territory of the Bist Doab Jalandhar (including that of the present Kapurthala District) was practically a dependency of one or other of the Kashmir dynasties. From the Rajatarangini, for instance, we learn that Karkota Sankaravarman, king of Kashmir, (c. 883—902 A. D.), set out on a series of expeditions to recover the lost possessions of his father Avantivarman. Then Prithvichandra, king of Trigartta, who had previously given his son Bhavachandra as a hostage, came towards Sankaravarman to do homage; but fearing capture, fled far away. Kalhana’s account does not prove that trigartta was actually conquered. Stein is probably right that no material success was achieved by Sankaravarman. The Trigratta country is said to have acknowledged the supremacy of the king of Kashmir during the reign of King Ananta of the line of Abhinava (A. D. 63—1028). About the economy and religion of the Trigrattas, Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hein Tsang, who visited the kingdom of Jalandhar in the 5th century A. D. and 7th century A. D. respectively, relate that the Trigrattas dependent upon agriculture and believed in Brahmanism.

(3)       Yaudheyas:

The Yaudheyas were also a republican tribe of the Punjab, who had associated with Trigrattas and Tilakhalas and also had contiguous territory with the latter. The historical tradition of the tribe goes back still farther than 6th century B.C. In the Puranas, it has been mentioned that this tribe descended from Usinara. According to Pargiter, King Usinara established the Yaudheyas, Ambasthas, Navarastra, and the city of Krimla, all on the eastern border of the Punjab. In the Mahabharta, the Yaudheyas are mentioned as having been defeated by Arjuna, along with the Malavas and Trigarttas.

           It may be added here that the territory between the rivers Satluj and Beas remained beyond the reach of the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great, who invaded Punjab in 326 B. C. and returned from the bank of the River Beas, perhaps out of fear of the might of the Tilakhalas, Trigarttas and the Yaudheyas.

           From the above account of the three tribes, viz. Tilakhalas, Trigarttas and Yaudheyas, it is clear that the whole territory lying between the Ravi, Beas and Satluj was, in ancient times, dominated by these tribes who had support of the rulers of Kashmir.  These tribes were routed by the Muslim invasions which actually were reinforced in the end of the twelfth century  A. D., although these commenced in A. D. 1008 with the rise of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni and the fall of the Shahi kingdom of Anangpal.


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