Women’s Organizations

Women’s organizations in the past were very few. They mainly confined their activities to the providing of opportunities for women to learn sewing, knitting, embroidering and the like and they get medical facilities at the  time of child birth. Of the women’s organizations  in the District, those worth mentioning are given below:

Arya Mahila Propkarni Sabha (Regd.), Abohar

Formed in 1951 by some enthusiastic lady social workers, the Sabha was registered in the same year. It helps the poor children in their education by paying their fees and supplying them with books and clothes. Many poor and old men and women are provided with free ration and clothes. Any sick person, who cannot afford to spend money on the treatment of his illness, is helped by the Sabha in the form of medical aid and medicines. The Sabha maintains a library for the use of women. It also runs a craft school, in which grown-up girls and women learn cutting, sewing  by hand and with the sewing-machine, hand and machine embroidery, tilla work, silma work, etc. The Sabha has built a big hall, with four rooms, which are used for prayers and running the craft classes.

The main source of income of the Sabha is monthly or annual subscriptions from the public in cash and kind.

 

Nari Shilp Niketan, Firozpur City

Started in 19466, this institution is run by a body of lady social workers of the city. It is a registered body and is run under the patronage of the All-India Women Conference.

The institution helps the poor and destitute women, widows and discarded women and girls by giving the training in different arts and crafts, e.g. hand and machine  embroidery, carpet-making, soap making, durrie-making, hosiery, knitting by hand and with hand-driven machines. About a hundred girls and women receive training every year in the subjects of their choice. The trained hands are also provided with order work to enable them to earn their livelihood.

Other Organizations

There are also a few other organizations functioning in smaller fields but doing useful work in their own spheres. Of these, mention may be made of the following :

Arya Anathalaya, Firozpur Cantonment

Originally started in 1877, its foundation-stone was laid by the founded of the Arya Smaj, Sawmi Dayanand. It is affiliated to the Arya Pradeshik Sabha, Delhi, and the Arya Up-Pradeshik Sabha, Jalandhar.

The institute gives shelter to orphans (both boys and girls) and fatherless children, if the mothers are unable to maintain them, at the discretion of the Arya Pradeshik Sabha. It looks after and bring s up the orphans. It imparts to them the highest education (academic or technical), provided they have the requisite aptitude for it.  The boys leave the institute when they are able to earn their livelihood. The girls are married  off by the institute after they have passed their Higher Secondary Examination.

The institute also runs a charitable dispensary for the public, a primary school for both inmates of the institute and other children, and a middle school for girls.

Organizations of National or International Repute

Besides the above, there are a number of other organizations of national or international repute. They are established elsewhere, but have their branches in the District.

Lions Club, Firozpur :- The Lion Club, Firozpur, was formed on 3 November 1974, with an initial strength of 30 members possession the zeal to do something for the down troddens, put their heads together to think of the ways and to create means for their uplift.

The main function of the Club are the welfare and service activities in the field of public-health education and other fields, to take active interest in the civil, culture, social and moral welfare of the community , to promote principles of good government and good citizenship; to promote high ethical standard in commerce, industry, professions, public works and private endeavors.

The Lions Club has been in service to humanity without any thought to race, creed, relation, nationality, etc. It helps the attaints in the local hospitals in every way possible, through medicines to the civil hospital. Its aim is to give facilities to the poor, with a view to solving the difficulties experienced by the relatives of the patients admitted in the Civil Hospital, Firozpur. In 1976-77, a huge shed for the relatives for the relatives of the patients was constructed on the premises of the Civil Hospital, Firozpur. A shed for passengers has also been constructed on the Firozpur-Muktsar Road on the National Hotel crossing.

It celebrates Raksha Bandan every year with the destitute inmates of Arya Anathalya, Firozpur Cantonment. On this occasion, stationery, toilet articles and medicines are given to the orphanage. Besides, it celebrates, important festivals, such as Dussehra, Dewali and Lohri and gifts are given to the children of the poor. The Independence Day is celebrated every year at the Village of Rajoke at the Indo-Pakistan Border. A medical camp is also organized on the occasion.

Leo Club, Firozpur :-  The Leo Club Firozpur is part and parcel of the Lions Club, Firozpur. Its members are about 45, mostly students, who work independently and help the Lions Club in various activities. Its members are rendering useful service to the citizens of Firozpur by organizing different competitions for the school-going children and by inspiring  young talent to come forward.

The Indian Red Cross Society (District Branch), Firozpur

The Firozpur District Red Cross Branch was formed on 7 September 1915 under the Presidentship of B.N. Bosworth Smith, I.C.S., Deputy Commissioner, Firozpur, during the World War 1, with a view to alleviating distress and suffering and to help the sick and the wounded in time of peace and war. This was the  first District Branch formed in the Punjab. It steadily did humanitarian work for the welfare of the soldiers during the World War I, during floods, epidemics and also during the World War II and continued its activities till the partition of the country in 1947.

The Punjab State Red Cross Branch was established at Simla in 1948. From about the middle of the sixties, the activities of the Red Cross were intensified in the District. The aims and objects of the society are : hospital welfare; community health and sanitation, giving relief to the sick, suffering and wounded persons; the relief to soldiers, sailors , airmen and other military personnel; maternity and child welfare; assistance to the junior Red Cross  activities; the blood-transfusion  service, training of doctors, lady health visitors, midwives, nurses, nurse dais, etc; disaster and emergency relief of all kind; family-planning activities; and assistance to St. John Ambulance Association and charitable institutions approved by the Indian Red Cross Society.

The main sources of income of the Society are collection through sale of the luck-bag tickets, membership subscriptions, contributions, donations, rent-from shops, etc.

The main activities of the Red Cross Society are detailed below :

Maternity and Child Welfare :- The District Red Cross Branch, Firozpur, is running a health centre at Zira with 3 sub-centres at Talwandi Bahi, Talwandi Mangekhan and Basti Machhianwala. The Health Centre, Zira, has trained a number of dais, who attend to labour cases. A good  number of labour cases are also supervised by the lady health visitors. Sometime back, a large number of trained-dai centres were established in the rural areas of the District but, later on, their number was reduced as the trained dais became available in most the villages. In 1980, there were 10 trained-dai centres functioning.

Ambulance Training :- The District St. John Ambulance Association, Firozpur, imparts training in ambulance, first-aid, home-nursing, etc. During 1980, the number of persons, trained in the District in first-aid and home-nursing was 3,014 (1,496 males and 1,518 females) and 872 (110 males and 762 females) respectively.  Emergency Training Camps are also held. In them apart from first-aid and home nursing, training is also given to the campers in rescue and fire-fighting. The District Branch maintains two ambulance cars for the convenience of the public.

Hospitals :- This organization is making strenuous efforts to extend medical facilities to the people. With this view, one phase of a 25-bed hospital under 1/3 scheme of Government of India at Mudki has been completed. Similarly, both phases except some finishing work of the hospital under the scheme at Bhinder Kalan have also been completed. The  25 bed hospital under this scheme at the Village of Killinawala is under construction. Besides, a medical cum-community Welfare Centre has been started in Basti Ram Lal  of the Village of Masteke.

Hospital Welfare :-     There in one Hospital Welfare Section, consisting of 60 members functioning at Firozpur under the District Red Cross, Branch. Their members visit the hospitals and distribute medicines, fruits, etc. to the patients.

 

Welfare of Soldiers :-  Besides entertaining the Jawans with light re-freshments at railway stations, gift parcels, containing woollen garments and sweets are sent to the Jawans of the Indian Army, posted on the border during was time, Moreover, sewing machines are given to the families of  disabled or killed soldiers and tricycles are also  given to some handicapped persons of the District.

Rotary Club, Firozpur

 

The Club at Firozpur was formed in 1952. In 1979-80, it had more than 29 members.

The Rotary programme is to encourage and foster the ‘ideal of service’, as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster : the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for  service; high ethical standard in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society; the application of the “Ideal of Service” by every Rotarian to his personal, business and community life; the advancement of international understanding, good will, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men united in the ‘Ideal of Service’.

Rotary is world fellowship of business and professional executives who accept the ‘Ideal of Service’ as the basis for success and happiness in business and community life. In Rotary, thoughtfulness of others is regarded as the basis of the service, and helpfulness to others at its expression. Together, they constitute the Rotary “Ideal of Service”.

 

 

CHAPTER  XIX

 

PLACES  OF   INTEREST

 

The Firozpur District lies in the South-West of the Punjab. Broadly speaking, it is bounded on the north-east by the Satluj River, which separates it from the  districts of Jalandhar and Kapurthala; on the north-west and west by the united stream of the Satluj and the Beas, which separates it from the Amritsar District in the north and Pakistan in the west. There are quite a good number of places of historical and religious interest in the District. The important places have been described below in alphabetical order.

 

Abohar :-  Situated at a distance of 32 km from Fazilka, the tehsil headquarters, and 56 km from Muktsar, Abohar is linked by road with Fazlika, Muktsar, Bathinda, Ganganagar (Rajasthan), Hanumangarh (Rajasthan) and Dabwali (Haryana). It lied on the Hindumalkote  Bathinda section of the Northern Railway and is 28 km from Hindu-malkote and 73 km from Bathinda. Its population was on 1,477 in 1858, 20,056 in  1891, 9,492 in 1911, 25,476 in 1951, 46,863 in 1961, 58,925 in 1971 and 86,334 in 1981.

 

The town of Abohar is said to have been founded by one Abheraj Bhatti during the twelfth century and was called Abhegarh after his name Abohar is an ancient town mentioned by Ibn Batuta a travleer from Egypt about A.D. 1341 as the first town in Hindustan,  on the way from  Multan to Delhi. These exists remains of a large fort which must have been at one time of considerable strength, and the villagers have a tradition that many centuries ago it was held by a Rajput Raja, Abram Chand. They tell that his horses were on day carried off in a raid  (dhaar) made by the Saiyads of Uchan towards Multan, and as he had no son, his daughter, dressed as a man, went after the raiders, armed with a sword, a gun and a bow and arrows, and after exploits with the raiders brought back the spoil of uchan which consisted chiefly of horses. The Saiyads of Uchan, being holy men, endeavored to get back their property by threatening to curse the spoilders, and, forming a mela or cursing committee, they came and sat dharna, as it were, on the sand-ridge eat of Abohar. But the Raja held out so long that women of the Saiyads at Uchan got tired of waiting for the return of their husbands, and  came in a body to look for them. When  the Saiyads on the ridge saw their wives approching, they called down curses on all around, and they themselves and their wives and the inhabitants of the town all died on the spot. The pakka tomb of the women in the cemetery, and that of the holy men (pit) on the sand-ridge exist unto this day ‘to witness if I lie’.  This place is known as Panj Pir. A fair lasting for two days is held here in July-August every year and a large number of people visits this place. People also visit it on every Thursday to pay their homage.

In the beginning of the nineteenth century, Abohar was uninhabited, and the whole country around was a desert prairie.  About 1828, a body of Musalman herdsmen, headed by Amra Sukhera from Bigar near Fatehabad, came and settled here. At that time , the only established  villages in the neighbourhood were Bhatner, Gudda, Malaut, Salem Shah and Gaurdyana to the west, and to the south-west for several hundred miles there was not a village. Soon after the Sikhs began to  extend their authority sou thwards, and the Sukheras had a lease granted  them in 1828 by the Sikh Bhai of Kaithal authorizing them to settle at  Abohar. At first, the three Sikh Chief of Arnauli, Jhumba and  Kaithal had each a third share in this territory, and each had a separate fort and force at Abohar, where  they were constantly quarrelling about their respective rights. Jhumba’s share came into the hands of Patiala, under whom the large pakka well was made. In 1838, the tract came under the British rule, and Captain Thoresby granted leases to Amra and other Musalman residents of the village of all the unoccupied land in the  neighbourhood, which then amounted to over 300 squared miles (777 sq km). According to tradition, which probably exaggerates, there were then 1,400 houses in Abohar, and a lakh and quarter of cattle grazed in  the prairie land attached to it, and produced daily 60 maunds (22.38 quintals) of ghee, which was then the chief article of trade. But when the  prairie waste was gradually brought under the plough and new colonies were established in the  country around, many of the Abohar traders left it for smaller village or migrated to the new Fazilka town which was much more advantageously situated for the rising grain trade, and soon eclipsed Abohar.

Abohar is a class 1 municipality. There are D.A.V. College, Gopi Chand Arya Mahila College and D.A.V. College of Education, 1 higher secondary school for boys, 13 high schools (8 for boys and 5 for girls), 5 middle Schools (4 for boys and 1 for girls) and 15 primary schools. Besides, there is a Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya. There are two libraries, viz. Municipal Library and Hindi Sahitya Sadan Library. There are also the Nehru Municipal Stadium and the Abohar Club.

 

There are four Government hospitals/dispensaries, viz. Nehru Civil Hospital, Maternity Hospital, T.B. Clinic, E.S.I. Dispensary and two private dispensaries, viz. Sewa Samiti Ayurvedic Dispensary and Gita Mandir Free Dispensary; and Daulat Rai T.B. Clinic (Chest) Besides, there are a government family welfare clinic and a maternity and child-health centre at Abohar.

There are three rest-house, viz. Canal Rest-House, Railway-Officer Rest House and Market Committee Rest –House; and three dharamshalas, viz. Tantia Wali Dharmshala, Sharda Trust Dharmshala and Arorbans Dharmshala. There are a police-station and sadar than. Besides, there are a post and telegraph office, 5 sub-post offices, a micro wave station  and a telephone exchange.

There are 2 cotton mills, viz. Shree Bhiwani Cotton Mills and Industries, Ltd.; Jagjit Cotton Ginning and Pressing Factory, besides Advance Oil-Mills at Abohar in the large-scale sector.

Abohar is the biggest market for cotton in India and is also important for other agricultural produce. It has also been styled  as the California of India, with large areas of land around the town put under circus plantations. The Regional Fruit Research Station at Abohar is carrying on research on citrus, dates and grapes, and distributes young plants of tried varieties.

Bazidpur :-  The village of Bazidpur is situated 7 km from the Firozpur Cantonment on the Firozpur-Moga road. It population was 2,461 in 1971 in contrast with 1,875 in 1961.

            There is a historical gurudwara, known as Gurudawar Gurusar, built in the memory of Guru Gobind Singh. It is said that the Guru rested at this place on his way to the village of Rupana after the battle of Muktsar. The Jand-tree to which the Guru tied his horse, still exists. The building of the Gurdwara and the sarowar (tank) were built by the erstwhile rulers of the Faridkot State. A big fair is held here on Basant Panchmi (9-8 February) ever year when a large number of people from far and wide visit the place. A mela is also held here on every Amavas. Langar is served to the visitors.

Fazlika:  -  Headquarters of the tehsil/subdivisions of Fazlika are connected both by rail and road. It is a junction and terminus railway station of the Rewari-Bathinda-Fazlika Section of the metre-gauge line of the Northern Railway. It is also connected by the Fazilka-Firozpur Cantonment section of the broad-gauge line of the Northern Railway. By rail, Fazlika is 80 km from Kot Kapura, 428 km from Rewari and 99 km from Firozpur cantonment. By road, it is 87 km  from Firozpur. 56 km from Malaut, 34 km from Abohar and 15 km from the international Sulemanki border with Pakistan. Its population was 3,406 in 1868, 6,651 in 1881, 10985 in 1911, 25935 in 1951, 32015 in 1961, 36,281 in 1971 and 43,548 in 1981.

 

When in 1844, the tract of country on the Satluj was ceded by Bahawalpur, there was no village where Fazilka now stands, but Vans Agnew, the first officer stationed there, built himself a bungalow, in which the office of the Subdivisional Officer (Civil), Fazilka, is now located. From that bungalow, the place became known as Bangla, a name still given to the town and tehsil by the people. Two years later, Oliver established  a few shops there, and gave the place the name of Fazilka from Fazil, one  of early Wattu settlers. Its favrouable position near  the Satluj enabled it to engross almost the whole of the export trade from the great  desert tract towards Sind (now in Pakistan), and made it very soon a flourishing market. A most destructive flood visited Fazlika in 1908 and practically the whole of the town collapsed and had to be rebuilt.

It is a class Ii municipality. There are a degree college (M.R. College), 3 high schools for boys and 1 higher secondary school for girls; 3 middle schools (2 for boys and 1 for girls) and 12 primary schools. There are two libraries, viz. the Sunam Rai Municipal Library and the Sadhu Ashram Library. There are three rest-houses, viz. the P.W.D. Rest-House, the Canal Rest-House and the Market Committee Rest-House, the Canal Rest-House and Market Committee Rest-House, besides  one serai, viz. Aggarwal Ashram. There are a civil hospital, a maternity and child-health centre; 4 private Ayurvedic dispensaries; a veterinary hospital; a police-station and sadar police-station; and a post and telegraph office, 2 sub-post offices and  a telephone exchange. There are three separate parks for men, women and children, situated adjacent to one another. There is a centrally located clock tower.

Before the partition of the country in 1947, Fazlika was the biggest wool market in India, but thereafter the trade has been hit very hard, with a major portion of the supply area going to Pakistan and the Bikaner Town gradually attracting the raw wool produced in Rajasthan. Other products, for which the town is known, are baan, moorhas and sirkis.

Ferozeshah :-   About 16 km from Firozpur (the tehsil headquarters) on the Moga-Firozpur road lies the village of Ferozeshah, the scene of the memorable battle fought on 21 December 1845 during the First Anglo-Sikh War (1845-46). Its population was 1,793 in 1951, 19,55 in 1961 and 1,923 in 1971.

The battle of Ferozeshah was fought on 21 and 27 December 1845 under Sir Henary and Sir Hugh Cough. The Sikh Camp was most formidably entrenched, and it was only captured after two days hard fighting. The British triumph was complete, but the loss of the victors was heavy 2,000 killed and wounded. Thirty-seven officers were slain, and double that number were  injured. The loss of the Sikhs was computed at 8,000; seventy-three guns were captured. This battle occurred only three days after Mudki, an engagement so furiously contested, and so exhausting to the British troops engaged that the Commander-in-Chief had grave doubts whether to fight so soon. The Sikh Army was estimated at 50,000 men and 100 guns, whereas the British force numbered only 5,000. the Governor-General, before the battle, handed his watch and star to his son’s care, showing that he was determined to be victorious,  or die in the struggle. Prince Waldemar of Prussia and his staff, Counts Grueben and Orioli,  and Dr. Hoffmeister, were present at  the battle. The latter was unfortunate killed by a grapeshot. Prince Waldemar left the field at the urgent request of the Governor-General, who was unwilling that a foreign prince should be further exposed to the risks of warfare.

To commemorate the event, a memorial was erected in 1869. It is in the nature of a cenotaph, a triangular pillar of masonry, some 80 feet high.

In 1976, the Punjab Government set up the Anglo-Sikh War Memorial at Ferozeshah in the memory of the Sikh warriors who laid down their lives in the Anglo-Sikh Wars. It is situated  near the Village of Ghall Khurd on the Moga-Firozpur road near the bridge of Rajasthan Feeder at a distance of 20 km from Firozpur. The memorial has a majestic  building and is spread over 2.5 kanals (1,042 square metres). It contains a museum, in which the paintings made by great artists, and war weapons, such as janzails, matchlock guns, flintlock guns, barrel guns, jamuras, swords, daggers and shields along with zaraie-baktar are displayed.

The present Village of Ferozeshah is raised on the debris (theh) of the old village. Almost all the houses re pucca. In 1970-71, this village was included in the Model Village Scheme which aims at giving impetus to development work and creating better living conditions in the villages. Under the scheme, the paving of streets and the construction of drains in the village have been completed.  Arrangements for protected water-supply  have also been made.

There are a Government high school (co-education), a middle school for girls, a primary school, a primary health centre; a family welfare clinic. a sub-post office and a canal rest-house.

Firozpur Cantonment :- The population of the Firozpur Cantonment was 15,861, in 1868, 26,158 in 1911, 38,784 in 1951, 46,327 in 1961, 41,571 and 44,678 in 1981. The following monuments in the locally are worth mentioning.

 

The Saragarhi Memorial

 

Built in the shape of gurudwara in a beautifully laid-out park, on the Firozpur-Lahore road, this monument was erected in the memory of the 21 men of the 36th Sikh Regiment of the Punjab Infantry who fell in the heroic defence of the Fort of Saragarhi on 12 September 1897 and in the gallant sortie from Fort Gulistan on 13 September 1797 in Baluchistan. Every year on 12 September  thousands of people gather at this place for paying tributes to the heroes.  This memorial service on the day serves as  reunion of ex-servicemen.

The Burki Monument

Situated close to the Saragarhi Memorial, this monument was raised in the memory of the jawans and officers killed during the capture of Burki (Pakistan) by the Indian Army on 10 September 1963 during the Indo-Pakistan Conflict o 1965. The town of Burki is situated on the main road from Lahore to Patti.

Firozpur Cantonment :   (a class 1 cantonment) is managed by the Cantonment Board. There are the D.A.V. College for Women; the Guru Nanak College (co-educational), 3 higher secondary schools (2 for boys and1 for girls), 3 high schools (2 for boys and 1 for girls), 1 middle school for boys and 7 primary schools. There are a library and two reading rooms, viz. the Badri Parshad Library, the Cantonment Board Reading Room, and the Information Centre of the Public Relations Department, Punjab. There are 4 hospitals, and 2 dispensaries, viz. the Cantonment General Hospital, the Police Hospital, the Frances Newton Hospital, the Railway Hospital, the Canal Dispensary and a subsidized dispensary. Thee are 4 rest-houses, viz. the Canal Rest-House, the Electricity Board Rest-House, Sainik Rest-House and Railway Officers Rest-House, besides 4 serais. The administrative offices of the District are mostly situated in the Cantonment area. There are a police-station, besides a police-post.

Firozpur City :- Situated quite close to the Indo-Pakistan boarder, it is well connected by rail and road. Four km from the Firozpur Cantonment, the Firozpur City is on the Fazlika-Firozpur Cantonment line of the Northern Railway. By road, it is connected with Fazilka (87 km), Abohar (121 km) Malaut (81 km), Kot Kapura (41 km), Ludhiana (121 km) and Kot Ise Khan (50 km). Its population was 20,592 in 1868, 24,678 in 1911, 40,703 in 1951, 47,060, 51,090 in 1971 and 61,162 in 1981.

Firozpur was founded, according to one tradition, about 1360 by Firoz Shah Tughlak (Empror of Delhi, A.D. 1351-1387), who had a passion for founding cities. It is also stated  that Firozpur was founded by one of the Bhatti Chiefs, named Firoz Khan, but the first is widely accepted.

In the time of Akbar, according to the Ain-Akbari, the Satluj flowed east of Firozpur, instead of west, as at present; the District then formed a portion of the Multan Subah. That it was  originally a place of great size is demonstrated by the extensive ruins. The old for must at one time  have been a place of  considerable strength. It formed  an irregular building, one hundred yards long and about forty yards broad, formerly surrounded by a ditch, ten feet wide and ten feet deep. Before the British government made necessary alterations during the third  quarter of the nineteenth century. It is described as a picturesque building. In November 1838, Lord Auckland, the Governor-General of India, held a grand review at Firozpur, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh, with his generals was  present, and witnessed the maneuvers of about 15,000 troops. This  was previous to the first Afghan campaign, when the various regiments  were on their march to that country. The mimic warfare and display of British discipline and tactics greatly impressed the ruler of the Punjab.

The town was in a declining state at the time of the British Annexation. According to a census taken by Sir Henary Lawrence, in 1838, the population was 2,732; and in 1841, chiefly through the exertions of  Sir Henary Lawrence, had risen to 4,841. The market-place towards the east of the old fort was built by him, and the main bazaar was also  completed  under his directions; the oldest street in the town being the one, now called Purana Bazaar. Under the British, Firozpur was the Chief arsenal for  northern India, well stored with  munitions of war, and, therefore, a place of considerable importance.

The town once used to be surrounded by a wall, of which the ten gates, viz. the Delhi Gate, the Mori Gate, the Baghdadi Gate (formerly known as the Ludhiana Gate), the Zira Gate, the Makhu Gate, the  Bansanwala Gate, the Amritsari Gate, the Kasuri Gate, the Multani Gate and the Magazine Gate, still exist. The old town itself is divided into two parts by the main bazaar, which runs from the Delhi Gate in the south to the Bansawala Gate in the north. A metalled circular road girdles the town.

The old fort of the City is now no more, but some traces of it are still left; the tomb of a Muhammadan saint, called Nur Shah Vali, situated on an eminence opposite the old tehsil building, indicates its site. Rani-ka-talab, called after Sardarni Lachman Kaur, once the ruler of Firozpur, is now dry. On  one side of the tank, there are the smadhs of Sardarni Lachman Kaur (died issuless in December 1835) and her husband Sardar Dhanna Singh (died in 1819).

The memorial of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev is situated on the right bank of the Satluj River. Its foundation stone was laid on 23 March, 1965. This is that hollowed spot where the chopped-up bodies of the hero-martyrs were secretly cremated at the dead of night , after their having been executed on 23 March 1931 in the Central Jail, Lahore, by the British Government. Outside the memorial, the smadh of the Punjab Raj Mata (mother of martyr Bhagat Singh) has been erected.

Firozpur has a class 1 municipality. There are three colleges, viz. the Dev Samaj College for Women and the R.S.D College (for boys), both up to M.A. cases, and the Dev Samaj College of Education for women; 8 Higher Secondary schools (4 each for boys and girls); 3 middle schools (2 for boys and 1 for girls) and 14 primary schools. There are three libraries and one reading-room, viz. the Municipal Library (near the Fire Brigade Station), the Municipal Library (in Tankanwali Basti), the Gandhi Library and the Jaswant Reading Room. There are 4 hospitals, viz. the Civil Hospital, the T.B. Clinic, the Central Jail Hospital the Mobile Eye Hospital, and two urban family-welfare units. Besides, there is an Ayurvedic institution. There are also a veterinary hospital, a head post and telegraph office and 6 sub-post offices. There are a Panchayat Bhawan, two serais and six janjghars (places for marriage-parties to stay). Besides, there are a police-station, a sadar thana and police-post/outposts.

Guru Har Sahai :- Situated on the Firozpur-Fazlika section of the Northern Railway, Guru Har Sahai is 39 km from Firozpur (the tehsil headquarters) and 50 km from Fazlilka. It is also connected by road with both of these places. Its population was 3,128 in 1951, 4,293 in 1961, 4,601 in 1971 and 7,684 in 1981.

It is a class III municipality. There are two high schools, one each or boys and girls, and 5 primary schools. There is a municipal library. There is a missionary hospital for women, known as the Dr. D.L. Ferris Hospital. It also attends on outdoor male patients. Besides, there are a primary health centre and an urban family-welfare centre. There are a veterinary dispensary, a police station, a post and telegraph office and  telephone exchange. There are also a municipal park and a water-works.

It is an important market for paddy, wheat and chilies. the market-place is well laid out and cemented. There are many rice-shellers and rice-hullers.

At the two temples, dedicated to two virgins, known as Mata Jajol and Mata hansewali, fairs are held twice a year.

The original two temples, dedicated to two virgins, known as Mata Jajol and Mata Hanswali, fairs are held twice a year.

The original village of Guru Har Sahai is contiguous to the town where , in the Pathi Mala Temple, pothi (book) and mala (rosary) of Guru Nanak Dev, and a stone in which the image of Guru Nanak Dev is stated to be visible , used to be shown to the public by the family of the local descendants of the Gurus. Out of these objects, the pothi is said to have been lost in 1970.

            Jalalabad :-  It is connected both by rail and road. By, it is connected with Firozpur and Fazlika the tehsil headquarters from which places it is 53 km and 33 km respectively. By road, it is connected with Firozpur, Fazlika and Muktsar, from which places it is 54 km, 33 km and 28 km respectively. Its population was 6,283 in 1951, 7,723 in 1961, 11,032 in 1971 and 16,639 in 1981.

The town has a class II municipality. There are a Government high school for boys and another for girls and 5 primary schools.  Besides, there are a Government basic training school and a municipal library. There are a civil hospital, a maternity and child welfare health centre, a police-station, a post and telegraph office, a telephone exchange and a veterinary hospital. The town has also a park for children and 2 serais.

Rice and wheat are the main agricultural commodities of the area. There are a number of rice-shellers in the town. As cattle fair is held here annually in January.

Kot Ise Khan :- Situated on the crossing of the Moga-Zira road and the Dharamkot-Zira road, Kot Ise Khan is 16 km from Moga, 14 km from Zira (the tehsil headquarters) and 8 km from Dharmkot. A separate road, 13 km in length, links it with Fatehgarh Panjtor. Its population was 1,654 in 1951, 2,760 in 1961 and 3,353 in 1971.

The place is named after Nawab Isa Khan of this ilaka, a descendant of Net Ahmad Khan, a Panwar Rajput, who got the title of Nawab from Emperor Akbar in appreciation of a feat of strength shown by him at the imperial court.

The Firozpur District Gazetteer :-1915, refers on pages 47 to two inscriptions, dated respectively 170 and 193 (of what era, it is not certain) at Kot Isa Khan. The former, on a marble slab, recording the building of the mosque by one Ali Mahomed, now not existing. The later is on a beam in the town gate, but seems to have originally belonged to some part of the old palace, as it is a prayer in verse for the  protection of the elapse. Aurang Shah is given as the name of ruler, whereas the poet’s name Gurditta Mall.

There are a Government High School for boys, a Government High School for Girls and a Government Primary School, a primary health centre, a family welfare clinic and  a veterinary dispensary and  a post and telegraph office. There is also an Arya Smaj dharmshala.

The chief agricultural products marketed here are wheat and paddy.

Mudki :- Thirty-two km south-east of the tehsil headquarters at Firozpur, the village of Mudki is also connected by road with Faridkot, Bagha Puranan and Zira. Its population was 2,808 in 1951, 3,235 in 1961 and 4,058 in 1971.

The village of Mudki is chiefly remarkable on account of the famous battle in its vicinity on 18 December 1845, during the First-Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-46. The battle of Mudki was the first action that took place between the Sikhs and the British. The  Sikh army numbered 30,000, with  forty guns and the British force about 10,000 under the Governor General, Sir Henary Hardins, and the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Hugh Gough; but the Sikhs were repulsed and driven from position to position, with the loss  of seventeen pieces of artillery. the victory cost the British 50 officers and 850 rank and file killed and wounded, 500 of whom were Europeans. Many are buried in the Firozpur Cemetery.

Among the slain was Sir Robert Sale, the gallant defender of Jalalabad in Afghanistan in the First Afghan War, Sir John Mc Caskill, the victor of Istalif, was also shot dead while gallantly leading his division. Almost all officers attached to the Governor-General as aides-de-camp were either killed of wounded.

In commemoration of this hard-won victory, the British erected a pillar in 1870. Situated at a few kilometres from the village of Mudki this pillar is in  a better state of preservation than the pillars at the Ferozeshah and Sobraon battle fields.  Originally, the pillar was surrounded by a wall, which now does not exist.

There are  high school for boys, a middle school for girls, a primary school and  a hospital.

Sobraon Battlefield :-Sobraon is a small village (in the Patti Tehsil of the District Amritsar) on the right bank of the Satluj near the Harike Ferry. 24 km north of Zira and 40 km north-east of Firozpur, and near the confluence of the Beas and Satluj. it was opposite this village on  the left bank of the Satluj that the famous battle of 10 February 1846,  named after Sobraon, was fought under the Commader-in-Chief, Sir Hugh Gough. This battle brought the First Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-46 to a close, and led to the occupation of Lahore by a British force. This  scene of engagement falls in Zira Tehsil of the Firozpur District.

            The British had the adrous task of attacking 30,000 Sikhs and seventy pieces of cannon, in a position covered with most formidable entrenchments, -- they might even be termed fortifications in contrast with Ferozeshah—constructed by a Spanish engineer, on the left or east bank of the Satluj, guarding the Harike Ford. The Sikh rear rested on the  Village of Sobraon, connected by a bridge of boars, where a large force was kept in reserve, with artillery commanding and flanking the field works. The scene of the engagement was on the left of bank of the Satluj, or on the Firozpur side. The battle has been designated  as a grand artillery concert, as in the previous engagements, the British were particularly weak, not only in respect of the number of cannon, but also in respect of the supply  of ammunition for the batteries  in position. Even at Sobraon, after three hours, rapid firing, the reserve ammunition was nearly exhausted. Few Indian battles were so keenly contested. The Sikhs held their earth works with the utmost tenacity, until cut to piece almost to a main; very few succeeded in escaping across the river. After the sappers had made openings in the enterenchments, the 3rd Dragoons charged, galloped over and cut down the obstinate defenders of batteries and field-works, and with weight of three divisions of infantry and every available  field gun, victory finally declared for the British after the varying fortune throughout the fight. An officer engaged writes. “The British pierce on every side and precipitated the Sikhs in masses over their bridge. the Satluj, having suddenly risen seven inches, was hardly fordable, and owing to one of the boats from the centre of the bridge being let loose, so entirely cutting off the passage said to have been done by order of one of the Sikhs Sardars, the late Raja Tej Singh, either with the view of preventing the victors from following, or with the design of cutting off all hopes  or retreat from the Sikhs, and forcing them to fight the enemy were driven into the stream, where they suffered terrible carnage from the British Horse Artillery. Hundreds fell under this cannonade, and  thousands were drowned in attempting the  perilous passage. The  awful slaughter, confusion, and dismay were such as would have excited  compassion in the hearts of their generous conquerors, if the Khalas  troops had not in the earlier part of the action supplied their gallantry  by killing and barbarously mongling every wounded soldier, whom in  the vicissitudes of attack, the fortune of war left at their mercy. The river was covered with dead and dying, the mass of corpses actually proving a barrier in the  middle of the stream.

            Sixty-seven Sikhs guns and upwards of 2,000 camel swivel guns, called Zamburaha, were captured by the British, as well as numerous standards. The battle lasted from dawn to noon. the gallant Sir Rober Dick, who had been through the Peninsular campaign fell in the attack on the entrenched camp.

            In the battle of Sobraon, 15 European Officer were killed and 101 wounded; 2,383 of all ranks were killed and wounded . The Sikhs loss was estimated at 12,000 to 15,000.

            The British Army after the battle crossed the river by a bridge of boats opposite Firozpur, occupied Kasur, and marched on Lahore.

            In Commemoration of their victory in this battle, the British erected in 1868 a pillar near the Village of Roda in the tehsil Zira.

            Zira  :-  Headquarters of the tehsil, subdivision of the same name, Zira is connected by  road with Talwandi Bhi (15km), Firozpur (36 km), Makhu (15 km), Dharamkot (22 km), and Moga (24 km). Its population was 2,702 in 1853, 3,492 in 1881, 4,378 in 1911, 6389 in 1951, 8,118 in 1961, 9,264 in 1971 and 19,581 in 1981 

It is a class II municipality. There are a Government college (co-educational), 2 Government high schools (one each for boys and girls) and 4 primary schools. Besides, there are a municipal library and a reading-room, a community park, the Association Club, a civil hospital, a maternity and child-health centre, a veterinary hospital, a police-station and a police post, a post and telegraph office and a sub-post office, a telephone exchange and a Panchayat samiti rest house and Serai Sawan Mal

The Jain Temple at Zira is worth mentioning. Built in 1890, this temple is 105 feet high, with three storeys. Its second part was constructed later in 1913-14. The paintings on the wall depict the life of Jain tirthankras. The temple is named after the 23rd tirthankra,  Shri Parsavnath I. The main idol is believed to be one of the most sacred and ancient ones and was brought from Palitana Sidhgri in Gurjrat. Some of the brass murtis(statues ) are more than twelve hundred years old.

            Zira is a good market for paddy and wheat. There are a number of rice-shellers at this place.

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