Thursday, August 5, 2010

Imperial Gazatte of India: Jhang

Physical Aspects
It is district in the Multan division of the Punjab lying between 300 35’ and 32 4 N, and 73 31 E, with an area of 6652 square miles. It is bounded on the north-west by district Shahpur, on the north-east by Shahpur and Gujranwala, on the south-east by Montgomery, on the south by Multan and Muzaffergarh and on the west by Mianwali. It consists of an irregular triangle, artificially constituted for administrative purposes from portion of three separate tracts.
The climate of Jhang is that of the South-West Punjab, the rainless tract comprising Multan, Montgomery, and Dera Ismail Khan, which is said to have the highest mean temperature in India between June and August. The dry air makes the District unusually healthy, except in the canal tracts, where it is malarious and trying to Europeans. The annual rainfall is light, ranging from 8 inches at Shorkot to 11 at Chiniot.
The Districts of Jhang and Montgomery were the scene of Alexander's operations against the Malli in 325 B.C., and Shorkot has been identified by some authorities with one of the towns captured by him during the campaign. After his withdrawal, the country seems to have come successively under the sway of the Mauryas (321-231 B.C.), the Greco-Bactrians {c. 190 b. c), the Indo-Parthians {c. 138 B.C.), and the Kushans or Indo-Scythians {c. A.D. 100-250). About A.D. 500 it was conquered by the White Huns, whose capital of Sakala should, according to recent authorities, be identified with Chiniot or Shahkot, a village in Gujranwala District, or with Sialkot. Their power was short-lived, and at the time of Hiuen Tsiang's visit (a. d. 630) the District was included in the kingdom of Tsehkia, the capital of which was close to Sakala. In the tenth century it was subject to the Brahman kings of Ohind and the Punjab, and under the Mughals it was included in the Subah of Lahore.
In modern times the history of Jhang centres in the tribe of the Sials, who ruled over a large tract between Shahpur and Multan, with little dependence on the imperial court at Delhi, until they finally fell before the power of Ranjit Singh. The Sials are Muhammadans of Rajput descent, whose ancestor, Rai Shankar of Daranagar, migrated early in the thirteenth century from the Gangetic Doab to Jaunpur. His son, Sial, in 1243 left his adopted city for the Punjab, then over- run by Mongol hordes. Such emigrations appear to have occurred frequently at the time, owing to the unsettled state of Northern India. During his wanderings in search of a home, Sial fell in with the famous Muhammadan saint Baba Farld-ud-din Shakarganj, of Pakpattan, whose eloquence converted him to the faith of Islam. He afterwards sojourned for a while at Sialkot, where he built a fort, but finally settled down and married at Sahiwal, in Shahpur District. It must be confessed, however, that his history and that of his descendants bear somewhat the character of eponymous myths. Manik, sixth in descent from Sial, founded the town of Mankera in 1380; and his great-grandson, Mai Khan, built Jhang Sial on the Chenab in 1462. Four years later, Mai Khan presented himself at Lahore, in obedience to a summons, and obtained the territory of Jhang as an hereditary possession, subject to a payment of tribute to the imperial treasury. His family continued to rule at Jhang, with the dynastic quarrels and massacres usual in Indian annals, till the beginning of the last century.
Meanwhile the Sikh power had arisen in the north, and Karam Singh Dulu, a chief of the Bhangi confederacy, had conquered Chiniot. In 1803 Ranjit Singh took the fort there and marched on Jhang, but was bought off by Ahmad Khan, the last of the Sial chieftains, on promise of a yearly tribute, amounting to Rs. 70,000 and a mare. Three years later, however, the Maharaja again invaded Jhang with a large army, and took the fort, after a desperate resistance. Ahmad Khan then fled to Multan, and the Maharaja farmed the territories of Jhang to Sardar Fateh Singh. Shortly afterwards, Ahmad Khan returned with a force given him by Muzaffar Khan, Nawab of Multan, and recovered a large part of his previous dominions, which Ranjit Singh suffered him to retain on payment of the former tribute, as he found himself too busy elsewhere to attack Jhang. After his unsuccessful attempt on Multan in 1810, the Maharaja took Ahmad Khan a prisoner to Lahore, as he suspected him of favoring his enemy, Muzaffar Khan. He afterwards bestowed on him a Jagtr, which descended to his son, Inayat Khan. On the death of the latter, his brother, Ismail Khan, endeavored to obtain succession to the Jagtr, but failed through the opposition of Gulab Singh. In 1847, after the establishment of the British Agency at Lahore, the District came under its charge, and in 1848 Ismail Khan rendered important services against the rebel chiefs, for which he received a small pension. During the Mutiny of 1857, the Sial leader again proved his loyalty by raising a force of cavalry and serving in person on the British side.
The presence of numerous mounds, especially in the south of the District, testifies to the former existence of a large and settled population. The remains which have received most attention are those at Shorkot, consisting of a huge mound of ruins surrounded by a wall of large-sized bricks. Most of the pre-Muhammadan coins that have been found here are of the Indo-Scythian period. The finest building in the District is the Shahi Masjid at Chiniot, built in the reign of Shah Jahan.
The population of the District at the last three enumerations was: (1881) 390,703, (1891) 432,549 and (1901) 1,002,656. It increased by no less than it2 per cent, during the last decade almost entirely owning to the opening of the Chenab Canal and the colonization of the canal tract. The District is divided into six tahsils: Jhang, Chiniot, Shorkot, Lyallpur, Samundri, and Toba Tek Singh. The head-quarters of each are at the place from which it is named. The towns are the municipalities of Jhang- Maghiana, the head-quarters of the District, Chiniot, and Lyallpur. The table on the next page gives the principal statistics of population in 1901.
Muhammadans form 68 per cent, of the total population, Hindus 24 per cent., and Sikhs 7 per cent. The density is only i5o-7 persons per square mile, which is considerably below the average (209) for the British Punjab. The language of the nomad tribes who originally inhabited the Bar is called Jangli, a form of Western Punjabi. Every variety of Punjabi is represented among the colonists.
The most numerous tribe is that of the Jats, who number 231,000, or 23 per cent, of the total population. Next to them in numerical strength come the Rajputs, numbering 90,000, and then the Arains with 62,000. Other important agricultural tribes are the Balochs (29,000), Khokhars (24,000), and Kambohs (11,000). The Saiyids number 10,000. The Aroras (68,000) are the strongest of the com- mercial classes, the Khattrls returning 21,000. The Brahmans number 9,000. Of the artisan classes, the Julahas (weavers, 40,000), Kumhars (potters, 32,000), Mochis (shoemakers and leather-workers, 29,000), Chamars (shoemakers and leather-workers, 23,000), Tarkhans (carpenters, 23,000), and Lobars (blacksmiths, 10,000) are the most important; and of the menials, the Chuhras and Musallis (sweepers and scavengers, 105,000), Machhis (fishermen, bakers, and water-carriers, 21,000), Nais (barbers, 13,000), and Dhobis (washermen, 10,000). Other castes worth mentioning in view of their numerical strength are the Mirasis (village minstrels, 16,000) and Fakirs (mendicants, 13,000). About 49 per cent, of the people are supported by agriculture.
The Church Missionary Society began work in the District in 1899, and has two stations, at Gojra and Toba Tek Singh. A considerable number of native Christians are scattered through the villages of the colony. At the last Census (190 1) the number of Christians in the colony was 8,672. The Church Missionary Society owns two villages: Montgomerywala, the larger, where there is a native church, with a population of 1,021; and Batemanabad, with a population of 337. The Roman Catholics hold the villages of Khushpur, founded in 1899 (population, 1,084), and Francispur, founded in 1904. The American Reformed Presbyterians have a mission at Lyallpur established in 1894, and they were followed by the American United Presbyterians in 1896. A few Salvationists are settled at Lyallpur and the neighboring villages.
The soil is an alluvial loam, more or less mixed with sand; but agricultural conditions depend not on distinctions of soil, but on the facilities afforded for irrigation, and less than one per cent, of the cultivation is unirrigated. At the same time the District, while not dependent on the rainfall, benefits largely by seasonable rain, which enables cultivation to be extended by supplementing the supply available from irrigation, and also secures an abundant supply of fodder.
More than half the area of the District, or 3,531 square miles, is the property of Government. Of this area, nearly two-thirds is leased to crown tenants in the Chenab Colony, and a large portion of the remainder will soon be commanded by the Jhelum Canal and leased to tenants. The Thai alone will thus remain uncultivated. Nearly all the proprietary villages are held by communities of small peasant owners. The area in square miles under each of the principal food- grains in 1903-4 was: wheat, 1,333; great millet, 170; and maize, 143. The principal non-food crop is cotton (354). Oilseeds covered 188 square miles.
The construction of the Chenab Canal has entirely revolutionized the agricultural conditions of the uplands between the Chenab and Ravi, and the Jhelum Canal is doing the same for the Bar north of the Jhelum. Thus the District, once one of the most sterile and thinly populated, is now one of the first in the Punjab, in both cultivation and population. The experimental farm at Lyallpur, established in 1901, is chiefly utilized for the study of Punjab crops, and their improvement by cross-fertilization and selection ; but it has hardly been in existence long enough to produce any result as regards the quality of the crops generally grown in the District. In spite of the important part played by wells in the cultivation of the lowlands, loans for their construction are not popular. Twelve lakhs were advanced under the Land Improvement Loans Act during the five years ending 1 901 ; but these advances were taken almost entirely by incoming colonists, to pay expenses due from them to Government under a system which has now been given up.
Before the introduction of canal-irrigation, the population of the Bar was largely pastoral. The breed of cattle, however, was never greatly esteemed, and the large numbers now required for agricultural purposes are purchased from outside the District. Cattle fairs are held at Jhang and Lyallpur. The District is famous for its horses, and a good deal of horse-breeding is carried on. The Remount department keeps nine and the District board seven horse stallions, and the District contains more than 1,000 branded mares. Ten donkey stallions are kept by the Remount department and four by the District board. Important horse fairs are held at Lyallpur and Jhang. A large number of camels are bred, and many of the colonists are bound by the conditions of their grants to furnish camels for transport work when required. Sheep and goats are kept in large numbers.
Of the total area cultivated in 1903-4, 2,799 square miles were irrigated, 453 square miles being supplied from wells, 23 from wells and canals, 2,319 from canals, and 4 from streams and tanks. In addition, 154 square miles, or 5 per cent, of the cultivated area, are subject to inundation from the rivers. The great mainstay of the District is the Chenab Canal. The greater part of the country irrigated by this canal was originally Government waste, and now forms part of the Chenab Colony, which occupies nearly half the total area of the District. In the colony canal-irrigation is but little supplemented by wells, and the old wells in the canal tract have mostly fallen into disuse. The District contains 15,980 masonry wells, chiefly found in the riverain lands, all worked with Persian wheels by cattle, besides 332 lever wells, water-lifts, and unbricked wells.
The District is devoid of true forests; but the Government waste, not included in the colony, which is under the control of the Deputy- Commissioner, is still extensive. The largest area is the Thai desert, in the Sind-Sagar Doab, which covers about 400 square miles. A great deal of tree-planting has been done in the colony.
The only mineral product of any importance is the stone quarried from the Chiniot hills.
The town of Chiniot is famous for its carpentry and wood-carving and ornamental articles of furniture are made of brass inlay and marquetry. Good saddlery and locks are made at Jhang and Maghiana, and a great deal of cotton communications. Cloth is woven throughout the District. Preparing raw cotton for export is a flourishing business; and the District contains 10 cotton-ginning factories, 6 cotton-presses, 5 combined ginning and pressing factories, a combined ginning factory and flour-mill, a combined press and flour-mill, an iron foundry, and a flour-mill. The iron foundry and the flour-mill, which are situated at Lyallpur, were closed in 1904, but the rest of the mills and factories mentioned employed 1,220 hands in that year. They are all situated within the Chenab Colony and also within the new Lyallpur District. Three of the ginning factories and one of the presses are at Chiniot Road, a small town that has sprung up at the railway station nearest Chiniot; and two of the combined ginning and pressing factories and the combined press and flour-mill are at Toba Tek Singh, while the rest are divided between Lyallpur and Gojra.
The town of Lyallpur is one of the chief centres of the wheat trade. in India, and the District exports large quantities of wheat, cotton, oil- seeds, and other agricultural produce. Iron, timber, and piece-goods are the chief articles of import.
The Wazirabad-Khanewal branch of the North-Western Railway runs through the middle of the District, and carries the heavy export of agricultural produce from the Chenab Colony. The Southern Jech Doab Railway, which crosses the Chenab 10 miles above Jhang, joins the former line in the south of the District. It carries the produce of the villages irrigated by the Jhelum Canal, and places the town of Jhang in communication with the main line. The total length of metalled roads is 15 miles and of unmetalled roads 1,795 miles. Of these, 5 miles of metalled and 58 miles of unmetalled roads are under the Public Works department, and the rest are maintained by the District board. The Jhelum is crossed by nine ferries, and the Chenab by nineteen above and below its confluence with the Jhelum, There is but little traffic on these rivers.
There is no record of famine in Jhang District. Although the various droughts which have visited the Punjab in the past must have caused great mortality in cattle, famine on a large scale was impossible owing to the absence of unirrigated cultivation and the sparseness of the population. The construction of the Chenab Canal has now not only made the District able to support a large population in perfect security, but has turned it into the principal granary of the Province.
The District is in charge of a Deputy-Commissioner, aided by three Assistant or Extra- Assistant Commissioners, of whom one is in charge of the District treasury. The District, as now constituted, is divided into three tehsils, each in charge of a tehsildar.
The Deputy-Commissioner as District Magistrate is responsible for criminal justice. Judicial work is under a District Judge, and both officers are supervised by the Divisional Judge of the Shahpur Civil Division, who is also Sessions Judge. There are three Munsifs, two at head-quarters and one at Chiniot, and one honorary magistrate.
Cattle-theft is the commonest form of serious crime.
The Sial chiefs of Jhang appear to have taken a fourth of the produce in kind as their share. In 1831 Sawan Mai's rule over the Multan Province began. His system of combined cash and kind rents enhanced by numerous cesses is described in the article on Multan District. The Kalowal tract, which lay west of the Chenab, was administered by Raja Gulab Singh; and as he exacted as much as he could in the shortest possible time, the development of this part of the District was greatly retarded.
In 1847-8 the first summary settlement was made before annexation. The basis was a reduction of 20 per cent, on the realizations of the Sikhs. At first the revenue was easily paid, but the sharp fall in prices which followed annexation caused great distress, and even desertion of the land. The second summary settlement, made in 1853, resulted in a reduction of 18 per cent. In Kalowal the first assessment had broken down utterly, and was revised in three days by the Com- missioner, Mr. Thornton, who reduced the demand from one lakh to Rs. 75,000 in 185 1. In 1853 he remitted Rs. 12,000 more, and the remaining Rs. 63,000 was easily paid.
In 1855 the regular settlement was begun. Government land was demarcated, a process simplified by the readiness of the people to part with their land and its burdens on any terms. The demand was fixed at 2 lakhs, while Kalowal (now in the Chiniot tehsil, but then a part of Shahpur District) was assessed at Rs. 33,000. Generally speaking, the demand was easily and punctually paid. A revised settlement was carried out between 1874 and 1880, fixed assessments being sanctioned for the flooded lands of the Chenab and Jhelum, and a fluctuating assessment for the Ravi villages, since transferred to Multan District. In certain parts of the District each well was assessed at a fixed sum. The total demand was 3-5 lakhs, an increase of 26 per cent. The rates of last settlement ranged from R. 0-8-0 to Rs. 1-6-4 ^^ ' wet ' land, the ' dry ' rate being R. 0-8-0.
During the currency of this settlement the enormous Government waste between the Chenab and Ravi rivers, known as the Sandal Bar, almost the whole of which is at present included in Jhang District, has come under cultivation by the aid of the Chenab Canal. The present revenue rate in this tract is 8 annas per acre matured. The extension explains the recent enormous rise in the land revenue demand, which was 2 2-3 lakhs in 1903-4, almost the whole of the fluctuating demand being realized from the new cultivation in the Sandal Bar. The ad- ministration of the Government land was under a separate Colonization officer until 1907, but the old proprietary villages of the District came again under settlement in 190 1. It was estimated that an increase of Rs. 1,12,000 would be taken; but this will probably be largely exceeded, owing to extensions of the Chenab Canal and to the introduction of canal-irrigation on the right bank of the Chenab from the Jhelum Canal.
The District contains the three municipalities of Jhang-Maghiana, Chiniot, and Lyallpur, and the three ' notified areas ' of Ahmadpur, Shorkot, and Gojra. Outside these, local affairs are entrusted to the District board. The income of the board, derived mainly from a local rate, was 3 lakhs in 1903-4, and the expenditure 2-5 lakhs. The largest item of expenditure was public works.
The regular police force consists of 834 of all ranks, including 149 municipal police, under a Superintendent, who usually has 3 inspectors under him. The village watchmen number 815. There are 11 police stations, 3 outposts, and 10 road-posts. The District jail at head-quarters has accommodation for 302 prisoners.
The percentage of literate persons in 1901 was 3-6 (6-3 males and 0-3 females), the District standing seventeenth among the twenty-eight Districts of the Province in this respect. The proportion is highest in the Jhang tehsil. The number of pupils under instruction was 2,243 in 1880-1, 4,686 in 1890-r, 6,108 in 1900-1, and 8,275 in 1903-4. In the last year the District possessed 5 secondary, 98 primary (public) schools, and one 'special' school, with 19 advanced and 210 elementary (private) schools. The proportion of girls is unusually large, there being 611 female scholars in the public, and 535 in the private schools. The only high school in the District is at Jhang town. The total expenditure on education in 1903-4 was Rs. 46,000, the greater part of which was met from Local funds and fees. Besides the civil hospital and branch dispensary at Jhang-Maghiana, the District has 12 outlying dispensaries. In 1904 the number of cases treated was 132,374, of whom 2,201 were in-patients, and 6,395 operations were performed. The expenditure was Rs. 24,000, the greater part of which was contributed by Local and municipal funds.
The number of persons successfully vaccinated in 1903-4 was 30,073, representing 30 per 1,000 of the population. Vaccination is compulsory only in the municipality of Jhang-Maghiana.
[D. C. Ibbetson, Jhang District Gazetteer (1883-4) and L. Leslie Jones; Chenab Colony Gazetteer (1905) E. B. Steedman, Jhang Settlement Report (1882).]
Jhang Tehsil. — Tehsil of Jhang District, Punjab, lying between 31° o' and 31° 47' N. and 71" 58'' and 72° 41'' E., with an area, since the formation of Lyallpur District in 1904, of 1,421 square miles. The Jhelum enters the tehsil on the north-west and the Chenab on the north-east, and they meet towards the south. The population in 1901 was 194,454. It contains the town of Jhang-Maghiana (population, 24,382), the head-quarters, and 448 villages. The land revenue and cesses in 1905-6 amounted to Rs. 2, 56,000. The tehsil extends into the Chenab Colony on the east; and a strip of the Sandal Bar, still in its pristine state, lies between the rich villages of this part and the cultivated lowlands on either side of the Chenab. Beyond these, waste alternates with cultivation, due to the farthest extensions of the Jhelum Canal, until the Jhelum lowlands are reached, studded with prosperous villages, situated among palm groves. The western border lies within the sandy desert of the Thai.
Jhang-Maghiana. — Head-quarters of the District and tehsil of Jhang, Punjab, situated in 31° 18'' N. and 72*^ 20'' E., on the Jech Doab extension of the North-Western Railway. Population (1901), 24,382, of whom 12,189 are Hindus and 11,684 Muhammadans. The towns of Jhang and Maghiana lie two miles apart, connected by metalled roads, but form a joint municipality. The Chenab flows at a distance of about three miles to the west ; but in the hot season the Kharora branch of the river runs close past both towns, and with its fine avenue of trees, three miles long, and handsome masonry bathing ghats, adds a peculiar beauty to the neighborhood. The country round is well wooded, and fine gardens abound. An inundation canal leaves the Kharora branch of the Chenab near Jhang, and, passing round Maghiana, empties itself into the same branch after a course of 5 miles. Maghiana lies on the edge of the highlands, overlooking the alluvial valley of the Chenab, while the older town of Jhang occupies the lowlands at its foot. Jhang is said to have been founded in the fifteenth century, and to have been destroyed by the river and refounded in the reign of Aurangzeb. It was taken by Ranjit Singh in 1805. The Government offices and establishments have now been removed to the higher site, and commerce has almost deserted Jhang, which is no longer a place of importance. Jhang-Maghiana was constituted a municipality in 1867. The income during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 46,800, and the expenditure Rs. 44,200. In 1903-4 the income was Rs. 49,700, mainly derived from octroi; and the expenditure was Rs. 50,200. Maghiana has a considerable trade in grain and country cloth, and manufactures leather, soap, locks and other brass-work. There is a civil hospital at Maghiana, and a high school and a dispensary at Jhang.

Chronology of Chiniot

(Saeed Mashaal Bhatti)

1003 Jevan Tanda was ruler of the state of Chiniot

1206 Jakh was Governor of the region

1290 Urkali was ruler of Multan

1296 Nusrat Khan was governor of Multan

1298 Alla-ud-din Khilji first time measurement of the land of sub-continent

1298 Qatlakh Khawja attacked the area and massacre of people

1307 Fight between Sardar Tartak and Sultan Taghluq Baig

1326 fort was constructed in Chiniot by Sultan Muhammad Taghlaq

1389 Sardar Mughali ruler of Chiniot attacked state of Khushab

1391 ‘Chani’ attacked the city and set the city on fire

1398 Mughal Sardar Tartar attacked the city during the rule of ‘Chani’

1400 The tradition of displaying Tazia as a replica of the Imam's shrine was introduced to India by Amir Timur

1430 Mirza Shahrukh attacked the area during the regime of Sultan Shah Lodhi

1519 Babar marched through Attock and crossed the Soan on his way to Khushab, Bhera and Chiniot.

1526 Younas Ali governor of Lahore ruled the area

1540 Kamran Mirza Governor of Lahore ruled the city

1605 Birth of Nawab Wazir Khan

1609 Birth of Nawab Sa’adullah khan in Patraki a near by town

1634 Mosque Wazir Khan was built by Aleem-ud-din Insari, Nawab Wazir khan

1641 Death of Nawab Wazir khan due to , buried in Akbarabad

1646 Construction of Badshahi Mosque in the city

1655 Masons of the town are said to have been employed during the construction of Taj Mahal Agra and Golden Temple Amritsar. An architectural masterpiece Shahi Mosque Chiniot, built during Shah Jehan era by Nawab Saad Ullah Khan in 1655 resembles the Shahi Mosque ...Masons of the town are said to have been employed during the construction of Taj Mahal Agra and Golden Temple Amritsar

1655 Death of Nawab Sa’adullah Khan due to

1671 Main Khan died in 1671 during the reign of Aurangzeb and was buried inside this baradari. Since he hailed from Chiniot in Punjab, and Chiniot was famous for having black stone, he used the same black stone in all of his constructions. At the time of its ...Main Khan during the reign of Aurangzeb and was buried inside this baradari.

1762 Hari Singh He also led his expeditions to Chiniot and Jhang. In 1762, he attacked Kot Khwaja Saeed, two miles from Lahore, where Khwaja Ubaid, the Afghan Governor of Lahore, had kept his large magazine containing ordance, arms and munitions of war, the whole of which was ...hari singhalso led his expeditions to Chiniot and Jhang

1765 On his way back home, Hari Singh reduced Jharig, Chiniot and Sialkot

1772 Lalian was found by Hafiz Muhammad Sadeeq Lali

1782 Desu Singh marched to reduce Chiniot and had many skirmishes with the Sukarchakia chief, Mahan Singh

1803 Ranjit Singh marched against that fort and captured it

1852 Village and Chack Demarcation in Chiniot

1855 The regular settlement was begun. Government land was demarcated, a process simplified by the readiness of the people to part with their land

1856 Chiniot was given status of Tehsil (District Jhang and Multan Division)

1860 Registration of the land (incomplete)

1868 Total Population of Tehsil Chiniot was 1, 09, 472 souls according to census

1868 Population of town of Chiniot was 11, 477 souls according to census

1870 Police station was established in the city

1870 Municipality Welfare Committee (3rd class)

1871 First census in Punjab

1875 Population of town of Chiniot was 11,999 souls according to census

1877 Chiniot Railway / Road Bridge constructed by Britishers

1878 Total Cultivated area of Tehsil was 73, 753 actrs

1878 Establishment of Dispensary (1st class) in Chiniot

1879 Railway track was laid down in the area from Salarwala to Eidalwala

1880 Establishment of telegraph office in Chiniot and Aminpur Bungalow

1880 Registration of the land in Chiniot

1881 2nd census in the Punjab by Lord Rippon

1881 Population of tehsil Chiniot was 128, 241 souls according to census

1882 Total Population 1, 28, 241 according to Census

1886 Instances of Assistant-Surgeon Jai Sing, in a very interesting contribution w^hich he made in March 1886 to the Indian Medical Gazette, states that the disease is most prevalent in the lowest lying and dampest part of the inundated tract. The people on the higher level suffer ...incitances local development of goitre in the town of Chiniot

1887 Municipal committee (1st class) was established

1889 The movement – named for its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (located in the Indian Punjab) – broke away from mainstream Islam in 1889. The slogans, etched out in the flowing Urdu script, call on Muslims to 'Kill Ahmadi non-believers'. Rabwah, a town of ...It is on the peeling, yellow-plastered walls of Chiniot that the first signs of the hatred directed against the Ahmadi community appear.

1892 Excavation of Lower Chenab (Jhang Branch) from Head Khanki

1896 Excavation of Upper Chenab (Karana Canal) from Head Faqirian

1898 First weekly Al-munir was launched by Ghulan Hussain Joya

1901 Construction of Green Palace by Abdul Raheem Wohra

1901 Population of tehsil Chiniot was 200, 676 souls according to census

1901 Population of town of Chiniot was 15, 685 souls according to census

1904 A portion of the tahsil was incorporated in the new District of Lyallpur

1904 Kashmir Palace was constructed by Hussain Khan Durrani

1908 Excavation of santo-wali canal (distributary of Lower Chenab)

1924 Foundation of Umer Hayat Palace was laid down

1927 Chiniot station was Established and once a big attraction for furniture traders and commuters because of trains' cheap fare and less travelling time.

1928 Construction of bungalow of Irrigation Department on canals

1932 Construction of two-storeyed bridge on river Chenab

1933 The Marh-Chiniot main drain and Rechna Extension drain were constructed as outfalls

1934 Railway track was laid down which connects city with Sargodha

1942 Austerlitia Bank (changed to Allied Bank in 1972)

1948 National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) was established

1948 Excise and Taxation Office was established

1948 Rabwah (Chack Dhagian) was found near the river Chenab

1952 66/Kv electricity line was installed

1954 He founded his own seminary Jamia Arabiya in Chiniot

1955 Telephone was introduced in the region

1955 The Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank was established

1956 Allama Mashraqi had addressed a public meeting under the auspices of the Islam League in Chiniot

1959 Establishment of Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB)

1959 United Bank Limited (UBL) was established

1960 Civil Hospital was established by upgrading the dispensary

1960 Chiniot Tehsil was affiliated with Sargodha Division

1966 Zarae Taraqiyati Bank (ZTB) was established

1968 Sui Gas pipe-line was installed in Chenabnagar

1976 introduction of Sui Gas in Chiniot city

1978 Post office was established in Chiniot

1978 Establishment of WAPDA office in the city (Division Status)

1978 Iqbal Rice Mill was established

1979 Civil Hospital was shifted in new building

1981 Total Population was 6, 94, 080 souls according to census

1981 Income and Wealth Tax Office was established

1982 Chiniot Tehsil was included in Faisalabad division

1983 Office of Mining and Minerals Department was established

1991 Establishment of Bank of Punjab (BoP)

1995 Establishment of PTCL office (Division status)

1998 Total Population was 9, 65, 124 souls according to census

1998 Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA) structure was introduced

1998 Chiniot-Jhang road was constructed

1999 Rabwah (Chack Dhagian) was renamed as Chenabnagar

2006 In one incident, the government of Punjab Province banned a nearly-century-old newspaper, the Daily Al-Fazal, which was published by members of the Ahmadi sect and raided its office in Chenabnagar, Chiniot District, Punjab, on September 10, 2006. Chenab Nagar ...In one incident, the government of Punjab Province banned a nearly-century-old newspaper, the Daily Al-Fazal, which was published by members of the Ahmadi sect

2009 Feb 2, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has formally announced the upgradation of Chiniot tehsil as the 36th district of the province

A city on the Bank of Chenab: Chiniot


Chiniot - the name is enough to start the furniture lovers, travelers and cautiously curious dreaming. Antiquity is the first message of the town. And, international quality furniture “made in Chiniot” is collectors delight with potentials for marketing all over the world.

On the bank of River Chenab in area called Sandal Bar, Chiniot town is an exotic place in the foot of series of hillocks that seem to be man made rather than evidence of old mountains. Chiniot is located at Latitude: 31.7200 and Longitude: 72.9789. The population of Chiniot, Pakistan is 201781 according to the Geo Names geographical database. The average elevation of Chiniot, Pakistan is 179 meters.

The town is very ancient. It was inhabited before the time when Alexander of Macedon came in the South Asia and was principal city during the rule of White Huns. Chinese explorer Hiuen Tsiang visited it. Alberuni has mentioned in Kitabul-Hind that Chiniot was one of the there most important places in this part of the world.

Chiniot suffered much from the Durrani inroads during the last half of the eighteenth century and also during the troubles of I848 because it remained the scene of constant fierce struggle among the leaders of local factions. As per the local legend, portion of the wall, surviving in situ, had been built during Hellenic period. The veracity of the wall’s association with Alexander the great is yet to be proven though. But the sit does give evidence of its distant past.

During the Mughal era, Chiniot produced many intelligent personalities and talented artisans who occupied positions in the Mughal courts, Nawab Saad Ullah Khan and Nawab Wazir Khan held the post of Prime Minister of India and the Governor of Lahore respectively during the rule of King Shah Jehan.

Artisans of Chiniot have instinctive good taste and they have achieved a distinctive excellence in woodwork. Masons of the town are said to have been employed during the construction of Taj Mahal at Agra and Golden Temple at Amritsar. Special type of furniture with brightly lacquered woodcarving is made in Chiniot and is famous all over the world.

What this internationally acclaimed craft of the town needs is an institutional patronization and extensive efforts for international marketing? Made in Chiniot furniture is already being shipped to different countries but so far there are very little marketing efforts being made for this purpose. It can be a potent source of earning foreign exchange if attention is paid to and earnest efforts are made. Sadly, the trained incompetents responsible for export promotion do not see this and the unique potentials are not being taped yet. The first exhibition of Chinioti furniture in Islamabad last year was attended by large number of people from all walks of life. Particularly foreigners appreciated the furniture for its style, solidity and the cost.

Apart from furniture, there are more attractions for any visitor to this off the beaten track tranquil town. A towering architectural masterpiece Shahi Mosque, which was built during rule of Mughal King Shah Jehan by Nawab Saad Ullah Khan in 1655, is still functional. It resembles the Shahi Mosque Delhi that was also built under the supervision of Nawab Saad Ullah Khan. After the invasions of British, the city lost its old glory and importance. However, the historical buildings and their ruins are scattered in and around the city, reflect its wonderful past.

Another such building is the Umar Hayat Palace commonly known as the Gulzar Mahal. Attracting local and foreign tourist, it is known for its beauty and legendary tales attached to it. The palace is said to have been built by Sheikh Umar Hayat, a rich merchant whose family originally migrated to Chiniot from India.

Legend has it that in a village fair at Panda Haitian, Umar Hayat fell in love with a performer girl and married. She bore him a son and a daughter. Umar Hayat grew particularly fond of his son whom he named Gulzar - a rose garden or a sign of happiness. It was for his son that Umar Hayat decided to construct a wonderful palace and name after him. Umar Hayat could not see the palace completed and later his son Gulzar died mysteriously in the palace in the early hours of his marriage night.

A different tale reveals that the construction of the palace was a result of rivalry between Umar Hayat and Elahi Baksh - a famous artisan of the time. The latter taunted the Umar Hayat by saying that his artistic abilities were superior to all the wealth in the world. Infuriated, Umar Hayat counter claimed that his money would last long enough to buy all the possible feats skilled artisans could offer.

The result of the challenge was the creation of Gulzar Manzil. The construction of the palace started in 1923 and Umar Hayat lavishly spent his wealth. According to one account, the supervision of the construction was assigned to Syed Hassan Shah who gathered famous artisans and carried out day and night work for ten years. Elahi Baksh and Rahim Baksh did the wood carving, for which the palace is known. Both were masters of the art. The Punjab District Gazetteers reads: “The house built by Sheikh Umar Hayat is a sort of wonder.” The imposing building is a work of art. The woodwork, the stucco work, inlay of bricks, use of marbles and floral design in the roof, stairways and balconies are living memories of the glories of the Mughal period. Very elaborate and extensive woodwork in the palace speak of the craftsmanship of the artisans who perfected it beyond amazing limits. One has to possess a sensibility shaped in granite not to be moved after seeing the woodwork even today.

The palace originally had six stories including a basement. Two of the upper stories decayed and had to be demolished in 1978. Remains of the building are in the care and custody of Auqaf. Presently it is in public use and houses a library section and a small museum.

Chiniot, a market town in the expanses of Punjab bears a prosperous look. Chiniot has every thing necessary for development - hard working and talented people, fertile land, water, communication infrastructure and clean healthy environment. The furniture industry can be converted into important source of earning though efficient ‘marketing mix’. Given chance Chiniot can be a nice and rich little city of the future.

Umer Hayat Palace Chiniot

This palace is a tremendous piece of art of the people of Chiniot. Some people call it as the “Taj Mahal” of Chiniot. Like Taj Mahal, this palace also reminds us the fact that this world is not reliable. The walls, rooms and the courtyards of this palace are a proof of mirages and there we find a reality.

The proprietor of this palace, Umar Hayat was an ordinary person of the “Khoja” caste who came and settled here in Chiniot during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. But he was bestowed him with so much wealth which made him distinguished than others. The source of his wealth is also a secret because no one has given any authentic information about his source of income. Some people say that he was a successful trader and in his life he always earned profit. But some people also say that he was a gambler. He was also fond of race and he earned a lot of money in this way. Now people do not think about the source of income of a person, but in those days it was a social rule that a person would not on the basis of his wealth but on the basis of his honest and respected occupation or source of income. Umar Hayat earned a lot of wealth but he could gain a respectable status in the society.

He often used to regret that neither his wealth could be used for any good purpose nor it could be given to needy as alms so that it would become a source of God favor and kindness for him. Once some persons of the administration of “Anjuman-e-Islamia” made a contact with Umar Hayat and requested for donation. When Umar Hayat informed about the origin of his wealth, they went away saying that they had only need the wealth which is earned in a right way. Umar Hayat was a man of strange kind. He used to sit in the gate of his mansion wearing bracelet of gold and silk garments, but he could not manage how to spend his wealth. One say a famous carpenter of Chiniot, Elahi Bux passed from there and laughed at the strange condition of Umar Hayat. This laughing was a like a whip for Umar Hayat. He asked Elahi Bux that he was just an orinary and why was he feeling so proud? In reply, Elahi Bux said that he had the wealth of art, which is stronger than any other power. It was another attack on the pride of Umar Hayat. He made Elahi Bux annoyed and asked, “Your art is nothing before my wealth. If you are so much proud of your art, I challenge you. I will show the power of my wealth and you will show the power of your art.” Elahi Bux became agreed as it had become a matter of respect of life for him. In this way the construction of this great building started.

The construction was started in 1923 A.D. The only son of the Umar Hayat, Gulzar Muhammad was still in the lap of his mother when the construction of this palace was started for his residence. No one knew that Gulzar Muhammad will be buried in the same castle without having any kind of pleasure of youth. Syed Hassan Shah was appointed as the supervisor. According to some tales, it is said that he was Hassan Shah who was the real cause for the construction of this palace. He tried his best to find the best artisans of Chiniot to build this tremendous building. Umar Hayat seldom used to come here and made fun of the hard working and straddle of the artisans. Particularly, he made fun of Elahi Bux Pirgha. Pigha was the caste of Elahi Bux. Still there are many families of “Pirgha” caste in Chiniot. Whenever Umar Hayat came there, he tried to demonstrate his wealth. He offered that if a person only fixed a single brick, he would pay him the wages for the whole day work. Behind his this offer, he just wanted to earn name by offering huge amounts to different people. Umar Hayat became immortal because of the construction of this wonder, but the persons who made hard struggle to construct this building are losing their identity. The most important characters are of Elahi Bux Pirgha and Raheem Bux Pirgha. Both were cousine and there was no one in Chiniot who would compete with them in “carving” on wood. “Mian Allah Ditta” was the name of the father of Elahi Bux Pirgha. This family gave a new and novel touch to the field of wood-carving in Chiniot. It is the same family who started to construct “Tazia”. The famous taziae of “Shadi Malang” and “Rangraze” was prepared by Elahi Bux Pirgha and Raheem Bux. We can get a proof of their intelligence and mastery in the field of wood-carving that all the designed made in the Umar Hayat Mahal (Palace) were the creation of their own mind. Because in those days there no design-books or models.
Elahi Bux Pirgha was not only expert only in wood-carving but he was jack of all trades. Their children are still working and making the name of their forefathers more famous. The work of brick-fixing was performed by “Mistri Ahmad Din” who worked with the cooperation of many laborers and workers of “Rajaan” (the name of a locality in Chiniot). Stucco-work was the fruit of the hard work of the famous masons of Jalandher, “Mistri Niaz Ahmad Jalandhri” and “Mistri Ghulgm Ali Jalandhri”. The halls of “Jamia Mosque Garha” and Islamia College, Chiniot were also constructed by Mistri Niaz Ahmad Jalandhri”. Wall-painting was performed by a famous painter John Muhammad. His relatives may be found in Kamangraan locality. Besides John Muhammad, his nephew, Ghulam Mohauddin also worked here who also took part in the renovation of Wazir Khan Mosque. Besides these famous artisans and masons, there were hundred of many other laborers who made the dream of Umar Hayat true. But, these days, no one knows them. It’s a tragedy that we remember the tremendous monuments and buildings but we forget those who are its real creators.
If we divide the time by days and nights, we can say that the Umar Hayat Mahal (Palace) was built in ten years. There are different tales and stories about the starting and ending dates of the Umar Hayat Mahal (Palace) and are different to each other. But one thing is authentic that in 1928 A.D, its structure and outer designing had been completed because in the gazetteer of District Jhang of 1929 A.D. it is stated:
“House built by Sheikh Umar Hayat is a sort of local wonder as it cost more than 2 lakhs of rupees and rises high above all other buildings.”

But the work of wood-carving and wall-painting in inner side were continued. Even in 1935 A.D. when Umar Hayat died, this work was still uncompleted. We can get its proof from the window of main gate, which is still uncompleted. It means that after spending so much amount and struggle, the artisans did not lose heart. Elahi Bux Pirgha got over the confliction of wealth and art. With the death of Umar Hayat, the pride of his wealth also finished.
At the time of death of Umar Hayat, his son Gulzar Muhammad was thirteen of fourteen years old. He and his mother got a huge amount of wealth and property in heritage. But, there were also the shadows of misfortune hovering on the pleasures of these mother and son. The wodow of Umar Hayat, Fatima Bibi belonged to Pindi Bhattian (a town near Chiniot). She was not of a famous family and that’s why the family of Umar Hayat did not like their marriage. His wealth sowed a seed of jealousy and envy in their heart. She had to face a lot of difficulties after the death of her husband, but this brave and courageous woman did not lose heart and remained busy in the training and education of her only son. Gulzar Muhammad was the center of all her thoughts, wishes and pleasures. The poor and needy persons of Chiniot remember her as a kind and generous woman. There are many hand-pumps and well in the city which were erected and built on her order. When Gulzar Muhammad came of age, Fatima Bibi decided to celebrate the marriage ceremony of Gulzar Muhammad in order to regain the pleasures of Umar Hayat Mahal (Palace). The rituals of marriage were fully enjoyed by all and sundry. The whole city was happy because of this marriage ceremony. There is no more example of such a tremendous marriage ceremony in the history of Chiniot. Fatima Bibi opened her coffers for the arrangement of the marriage. All the needy and poor were given large amount of wealth. It was announced that anyone who would watch the smoke, rising from the hearths, think oneself invited into this party. But the fate had made other decisions. Fate had replaced happiness and the pleasures of marriage for sadness and death. And the whole happy marriage ceremony turned into a terrible accident. The flowers of his marriage bed turned into the flowers of his coffin. On the very morning of his “walima”, when Gulzar Muhammad entered into the bathroom to take bath, he could not come out alive. It was his last step which led him towards death. The gas of the coals which were fired to heat up the water could not be exhausted because of the problem in exhausting system. The bathroom filled with this poisonous gas and Muhammad Gulzar died because of suffocation. Some people think that his enemies killed him by poison because, before going to bathroom, his wife gave him a betel-leaf which Muhammad Gulzar spat after a short time and its signs were found on the door of the bathroom. But none could find the reality. The death of Muhammad Gulzar is still a mystery. Poor Fatima had lost all the wealth of her life. Now the sadness was hovering upon the Umar Hayat Mahal and the whole city was sad at the death of Gulzar Muhammad. The people who came to enjoy the party of the marriage of Gulzar Muhammad were now offering his last prayer.
Despite the fact that all the relatives disliked but Fatima decided to bury his son in the same house. Life did not let him to live here but death became a source for his living in this house forever. The reason behind this decision was that Miss. Fatima Did not wants the great Umer Hayat palace to be occupied by their relatives who ever hate and felt jealousy for Umaer Hayat and because this palace was built for Gulzar Muhammad so she wanted to make it his lasting residence. Miss Fatima could not maintain herself after this dreadful accident and died few months after her son’s death. She was also buried in the side of her son in the same palace because of her will. Young widow of Gulzar Muhammad had already gone, so all the relatives of Umar Hayat distributed his wealth and property among themselves. They left this grand palace thinking it ominous
Chronology of Umer Hayat Palace
1892 Birth of Umer Hayat Wohra
1920 Birth of son (Muhammad Gulzar) of Umer Hayat
1923 Foundation stone of Umer Hayat Palace was laid down
1928 Construction of Umer Hayat Palace was completed
1935 Death of Umer Hayat, founder of the palace
1938 Marriage ceremony of Muhammad Gulzar was taken palace
1938 Death of Muhammad Gulzar on the next day of his marriage
1939 Fatima, wife of Umer Hayat died
1940 Anjuman Islamia tried to establish an academic institution but could not word
1948 Orphanage was established by Muhammad Amin Sehgal in Umer Hayat palace
1950 Orphanage shifted to its new building vacating the palace
1970 Local government of Chiniot demolished two upper stories of the palace
1990 Library was established and taken in official confinement
1990 Reconstruction of the palace taken place
1991 Inauguration of research and cultural center in Umer Hayat Palace