Jalandhar Travel Guide

Jalandhar , is a city in Jalandhar District in the state of Punjab, India. In Hindu mythology, Jalandhara was the eponymous kingdom of a devil in Satyuga. It was also known as Prasthala at the time of Mahabharta and it was also known as Jullundur in British times.

history

Jalandhar along with Multan is the oldest surviving city of the Trigarta Empire (Punjab region) of Katoch Rulers, with reference in history as far back as A.D. 100.[2] The Jalandhar Doab (the region surrounding the city between Beas and Sutlej rivers) also marked the eastern most territory of the empire of Alexander the Great. He erected giant altars in this area to mark the eastern most extent of his empire and also founded a city named Alexandria in the vicinity and left many Macedonian veterans there.

In the 7th Century, when the famous Chinese traveller and pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited India during the reign of Harsha Vardhana, the Kingdom of Jalandhara or Trigartta was under the rule of Raja Utito (whom Alexender Cunningham identifies with the Rajput Raja Attar Chand of the Katoch dynasty). The kingdom was said to have extended 167 miles (269 km) from east to west and 133 miles (214 km) from north to south, thus including the hill states of Chamba, Mandi and Suket (Himachal Pradesh) and Satadru or Sirhind in the plains. The city proper of Jalandhar was, when visited by Hiuen Tsiang, a large city, miles in circuit, and functioned as the capital of a Rajput kingdom.[3] Raja Utito was a tributary of Harsh Vardhana. The Rajput Rajas appear to have continued to rule over the country right up to the 12th century, with occasional interruptions, but their capital was Jalandhar and Kangra formed an important stronghold.

According to the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien, who traveled India between 399 and 411 C.E., there were a great many Viharas of Buddhism in India. In the Jalandhar Doab, there were as many as 50 Viharas of Buddhism. The Buddhist religion was adopted by a large number of people. As per some historians and scholars the fourth Buddhist Council out of total six Buddhist Councils took place in Jalandhar in the first century AD during the reign of King Kanishka. The fourth council of Mahayana Buddhism took place here, and placed Buddha as a God at the council[4].

Jalandhar became the seat of Nath movement from 8th to 10th century AD, one of its greatest saint was Jalandhar Nath, whose samadhi later became the site of the existing shrine of Imam Nasir-ud-din Chishti in the fifteenth century[5]. From the later half of the tenth century up to AD 1019, the district was included in the Shahi Kingdom of the Punjab and Jalandhar was an important city in the region. In about 1188 it fell to the control of Ibrahim Shah of Ghor.[2] Under the Mughals Jalandhar was the capital of a sarkar.[3]

In 1758 Maharaja Ghamand Chand of the Katoch dynasty was made the (first ever Rajput) Nizam of Jalandhar by the Durranis. Many Rajputs lived in and around the surrounding areas of Jalandhar before the partition in 1947. With the partition of the country, many like the Rawal Rajputs went to settle in the Pakistan side of the Punjab, whilst some went to other countries.

Jalandhar was burnt by the Sikhs in 1757[citation needed] and captured by the Faizullahpuria confederacy in 1766. Ranjit Singh annexed it in 1811, and in 1846 Jalandhar became the headquarters of the territory acquired by the British after the first First Anglo-Sikh Wars.[3] During British rule Jalandhar became the headquarters, of the Division and District of the same name. According to the 1901 census, the population of the town was 67,535 of whom 14,715 were Hindus, 40,081 Muslim, 901 Sikhs, and 1,543 Christians.[3] In 1947 with the independence and partition of India the Muslim population left for Pakistan while Hindus and Sikhs arrived from the other direction.