Thursday, 18 January 2018

078 - Haveli Of Hari Singh Nalwa (Gujranwala) & Bhabhrian Aala Mandir

Ever heard about Hari Singh Nalwa? No? That’s not surprising, actually, I expect the same answer from 99% of my Pakistani readers. When I planned about writing something about him, I thought it would be over within a few days. But now after many days, I am still thinking how to introduce this man to my readers. The problem is not lack of material available about him on the internet. Actually, that is more than enough for writing an article. The problem is that almost all of it is written by Sikhs and they eulogize him, in my opinion, with some exaggeration. Anyway, I could not find something by the Muslim writers, his chief victims or by the neutral writers. So I shall try to keep it as much “neutral” as possible for me. In any case, it is just a brief introduction of a man, who played a considerable role in the modern history of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well.

After the collapse of the Mughal power in Punjab in the mid-eighteenth century, the Sikhs rose rapidly and within a few decades occupied most of the areas in central Punjab. In Pakistani Punjab, by the end of the century, Sikhs were strongly established in Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Jhelum, etc. But these areas were not controlled by a single authority. These were ruled by numerous independent Sikh sardars, allied to each other in a kind of confederations, called Misls. There were almost 12 such Misls. In Pakistani Punjab the most important were Bhangi Misls, controlling Lahore besides many other towns, and Sukerchakia Misl. This second one was led by Charat Singh, then his son Mahan Singh and ultimately by his much more famous and successful heir Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh was born in 1780 and succeeded his father when he was only 12 years old. This Misl was based at Gujranwala. In 1799 Ranjit Singh occupied Lahore and proclaimed himself Maharaja, thus, started a new era in Punjab. The subject of this article, Hari Singh Nalwa’s father and grandfather were too, part of Sukerchakia Misl and held a small estate in Gujranwala.  

I had a vague idea about the existence Hari Singh's haveli in Gujranwala. But was not sure about its exact location or what I would find there. To find the answers to these questions I reached Gujranwala on 22 July, 2017. In search of this place of entered the oldest part of the city. Which is now an overcrowded place with narrow streets, lined with shops. The houses are mostly double or triple storey. I had some important clues that the haveli exists in the bazar street, near fish market and nowadays a religious seminary exists there.

Unfortunately I lost the coordinates of the exact location of the haveli, when a few weeks ago I changed my telephone. However, in the map given at the end will give you a fairly accurate idea about its location.  

Beautifully carved wooded arches on the 2nd Floor. (22.07.2017)

Seminary of Hafiz Ghulam Rasul.
Established in Ludhiana: 1840 AD
Established in Gujranwala: 1947 AD

Sahibzada Mubashar Mahmood Naqshbandi (Left) and Sahibzada Shah Sultan of Nali (Right).

Ancestors of Sahibzada Mubashar sahib belonged to Ludhiana, where, in1840, one of them, Hafiz Ghulam Rasul laid down the foundations of a religious seminary and a mosque in 1840. Which according to Sahibzada Mubashir sahib, still exists in the Sabzi Mandi area of Ludhiana. After the creation of Pakistan, they moved here to Gujranwala and the Haveli of Hari Singh was allotted to his late father Maulvi Mahmood Yaseen, who died in 1997 and is buried inside the haveli. 

Sahibzada Mubashar Sahib greeted us warmly and we were also served with tea. Despite being very busy he gave us sufficient time to answer all our questions. He confirmed that there existed a large garden around the haveli, but was not allotted to them. 

A view of the 2nd Floor. (22.07.2017)

There are more newly constructed rooms on the roof of the second floor. Which are used as the residence of sahibzada sahib. So it is a four-storey structure. 

A view of the 2nd Floor. (22.07.2017)

A view of the 2nd Floor. (22.07.2017)

The second floor of the building serves as a seminary and here Sahibzada Mubashar Sahib received his guests and disciples. It has four sides and all the four sides have verandas, supported with beautifully carved wooden arches.

An old wooden door on the second floor. (22.07.2017)

Another well preserved old wooden door on the second floor. (22.07.2017)

After a little chat and tea, Sahibzada Mubashar Sahib asked his special assistant to show us other parts of the Haveli. He took us to the first floor. Parts of this floors are apparently are not much used. There is a tandoor (oven to bake bread) and a big room serves as a langar khana (dining room for the devotees). He showed us many rooms, which are completely in their original condition. Woodwork, including doors, windows, cupboards and ceilings, is excellent and in a good condition. 

Residence of Sirdar Hari Singh Nalwa
A.D.  1791 - 1837

A view of a room on the first floor. (22.07.2017)

Ceiling of a room on the first floor. (22.07.2017)

Walls of a room on the first floor. (22.07.2017)

A room on the first floor(22.07.2017)

Ceiling of a room. (22.07.2017)

Wooden doors of a room on the first floor. (22.07.2017)

Another door and room. (22.07.2017)

A closer view of a door, shows intricate carvings(22.07.2017)

Beautiful designs on a ceiling(22.07.2017)

Another room on the first floor. (22.07.2017)

Grave of Maulvi Mahmood Yaseen, on the first floor. (22.07.2017)

An interesting discovery was the grave of Maulvi Mahmood Yaseen. It is located on the first floor. We were informed that part of the ground floor were filled with dirt and Maulvi Sahib was buried in one of the rooms of the first floor.

A part of the first floor. (22.07.2017)

View of the by lane, where the entrance to the haveli exists. (22.07.2017)

Old Shops near the haveli. (22.07.2017)

Not far from the haveli of Hari Singh, a temple exists, or better to say its ruins. I have no information about its history but it must be a very big and important temple in its good days. It is called Bhabhrian Aala Mandir (بھابھڑیاں آلا مندر - भाभड़ेां आला मंदिर - ਭਾਭ੍ੜੇਆਂ ਆਲਾ ਮੰਦਿਰ ).

An old Hindu Temple near the haveli(22.07.2017)

Spire of the temple. (22.07.2017)

Old houses near the temple(22.07.2017)

Another view of the temple. (22.07.2017)

A section of temple complex. (22.07.2017)

Main entrance to the temple existed here in the main street. (22.07.2017)

Another view of the temple. (22.07.2017)

Beautifully carved wooden doors. (22.07.2017)

Now something briefly about the subject of this post, Hari Singh Nalwa. His grandfather and father both were part of Sukerchakia Misls and served under the ancestors of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. He was born in Gujranwala, the capital of Sukerchakias, in 1791. His father died in 1798 and his mother raised him. She arranged best kind of education available at the time and he could read Urdu, Persian and Punjabi. He also took great interest in martial arts and excelled in them.  

He met Ranjit Singh first time in 1804 in Lahore. He visited the darbar to settle a property dispute. Ranjit Singh was a capable man and saw the potential in the young boy. He employed Hari Singh in his court as a personal attendant. 

He started his military career as a commander of a detachment in a campaign against Kasur in 1807. Subsequently he participated in 20 or so major battles and earned a great name and fame. He was awarded many jagirs. Some of the campaigns in which he participated were against Sialkot, Attock, Mitha Tiwana, Kashmir, Multan, Attock, Mankera, Nowshera, Peshawar etc. He rose to such a high position that he was made the governor of Kashmir in 1820. 

Perhaps a few would now that the famous city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Haripur, is named after this man. As per Wikipedia, he founded this town in 1822. He also built a fort to protect the city and as a stronghold of his army in the area. The fort still exists in the city, though not in a good condition. Wikipedia gives following details of his other building projects:

He built all the main Sikh forts in the trans-Indus region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Jehangira and Nowshera on the left and right bank respectively of the river Kabul, Sumergarh (or Bala Hisar Fort in the city of Peshawar), for the Sikh Kingdom. In addition, he laid the foundation for the fort of Fatehgarh, at Jamrud (Jamrud Fort). He reinforced Akbar's Attock fort situated on the left bank of the river Indus by building very high bastions at each of the gates. He also built the fort of Uri in Kashmir.

A religious man, Nalwa built Gurdwara Panja Sahib in the town of Hassan Abdal, south-west of Haripur and north-west of Rawalpindi in Pakistan, to commemorate Guru Nanak's journey through that region. He had donated the gold required to cover the dome of the Akal Takht within the Harmandir Sahib complex in Amritsar.

 Hari Singh was made the governor of Peshawar in 1834, which proved to be his last posting. He consolidated the borders with Afghanistan, which was not an easy task. He captured the strategic fort of Jamrud at the mouth of Khyber Pass. This development alarmed Dost Mohammad, the king of Afghanistan. He launched a massive attack to capture the fort and put it under siege. Hari Singh came with a relieving force under his command. In the ensuing battle, though he succeeded in repulsing the attack of Afghans, but died of his wounds. He was cremated in the fort of Jamrud. His death greatly saddened the ageing Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

It is not clear that when exactly the haveli was constructed. But mostly probably by Hari Singh himself in his lifetime. It is an important historical heritage and should be preserved as a tourist attraction. 

Tariq Amir

January 18, 2018.
Doha - Qatar. 

Monday, 1 January 2018

077 - Sahiwal, A Historic Town In District Sargodha

Fortunes of towns and cities، with the passage of time, also change like that of men. There are many towns which were historically much more important and more populous than many big cities of the present time. Sahiwal is one of those cities which were much more important than they are today. It was a big and prosperous town when cities like  Karachi, Faisalabad, and Sargodha even did not exist. Now don't confuse it a with a much bigger city, with the same name on Lahore Faisalabad road. It is a small city, headquarter of a tehsil of the same name,  in district Sargodha. 

Away from any main roads of Punjab, the small town seldom draws any kind of attention on the national level. One reason could be its name, as mentioned above, the other Sahiwal is a much bigger and more famous city. One day I saw a picture of one of the six gates on the google earth. That was the first hint I got about the historic importance of this city. Later on, when I visited this town, I found that there are six gates to enter this city. Now, there are no traces of the wall of this once fortified town can be found but all the six gates exist and are in a reasonably good condition. The names of these six gates are given below and for the locations, kindly check the map at the end:
  1. Lahori Gate
  2. Kashmiri Gate
  3. Jhamti Gate
  4. Kabuli Gate
  5. Multani Gate
  6. Multani Kohna Gate
I am not sure when these gates were originally built. However, the plaques show that they were repaired on several occasion, starting from 1866. Size of the old town, with the perimeter of nearly 2.1 Kms and an area of almost 80 acres, clearly shows that once it was a big centre of population and enjoyed considerable significance. Especially if we keep in mind that a couple of centuries ago, cities used to be much smaller as they are today and population lived much more tightly in walled cities.   

Lahori Gate, Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)
یہ دروازہ بعہد مسٹر جیمز ریڈ صاحب بہادر آئی-سی-ایس- ڈپٹی کمشنر
1936 میں دوبارہ تعمیر ہوا۔ اور مندرجہ ذیل صاحبان نے اس تعمیر میں چندہ دیا۔ 
کیپٹن سردار محمد حیات خان بلوچ پریزیڈنٹ کمیٹی
سیٹھ الہہ دین خواجہ وائس پریزیڈنٹ کمیٹی - بابو دیس راج دواپلیدر ممبر کمیٹی - سردار فتح خان بلوچ ممبر کمیٹی
بھائی بھگوان سنگھ مکڑ ممبرکمیٹی - بابو عبداللہ خان ایکس سٹیشن ماسٹر - پیر حسن شاہ ذیلدار ٹھٹی شہانی

This gate door was reconstructed during the time of Mir James Reade Sahib Bahadur, ICS, Deputy Commissioner. And the following gentlemen contributed to its construction.
Captain Sar Muhammad Hayat Khan Baloch, President of Committee
Seth Allah Din Khwaja, president of the committee - Babu Des Raj _____ member of the committee - Sardar Fateh Khan Baloch, member of the committee - 
Bhai Bhagwan Singh Mukar, member of the committee - Babu Abdullah Khan Ex Station Master - Pir Hassan Shah Zaildar, Thathi Shahani.

Kashmiri Gate, Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.) 

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
کشمیری دروازہ
مغلیہ دور کا فن تعمیر سیلاب کی تباہ کاریوں کی نظر ہوا۔ جس کی سپیشل تعمیر و مرمت
اسسٹنٹ کمشنر جناب صاحبزادہ فیض محمود فیضی صاحب
نے جون 2001ء میں خصوصی دلچسپی لیتے ہوئے فرمائی۔
زیر نگرانی حاجی ذوالفقار علی ایکس چیئر میں تعمیرات بلدیہ ساہیوال
ملک خالد محمود انجینیئر لوکل گورنمنٹ پاکستان
منجانب اعظم ملک چیف آفیسر
رانا عیسی بیانی کنٹریکٹر بلدیہ ساہیوال

"In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate"
Kashmiri Gate
The mughal era structure was destroyed by floods. Its re construction and repair was done by Assistant Commissioner Sahibzada Faiz Mahmood Faizi, by take special interest. 
Under the supervision of Haji Zulfiqar Ali ex Chairman Construction Sahiwal Muncipality.
Malik Khalid Mahmood  engineer Local Government, Pakistan. 
From: Azam Malik Chief Officer 
Tana Essa Bayani Contractor, Sahiwal Municipality. 

دروازہ کشمیر بعہد کپتان دیوس صاحب بہادر تیار ہوا 1865
The Kashmir Gate was constructed in the days of Captain Davis Sahib Bahadur. 1865

IN 1934
مسٹر جیمز ریڈ صاحب ڈپٹی کمشنر بہادر کے عہد میں دوبارہ تیارہوا
سردار فتح خان بلوچ پریزیڈنٹ 

Lahori Gate is currently the busiest area of the town because it is situated towards the main Sargodha -Jhang road. We too, first of all, reached here. The scene was chaotic and traffic was jammed, due to the over crowded bazaar. The under-construction ring road was also making the situation worse. For a moment we too got stuck in this mayhem, but extricated ourselves soon and parked our car nearby and decided to hire a chingchi (a kind of three wheeler) to take us around. This decision proved to be right. 

At Jhamti Gate, we met a young man Syed Hassan Ali, he took great interest in our activity and offered all his cooperation to show us around. He proved to be more enthusiastic in exploring the town. First of all, he showed us his own house, ownership of which he shares with a brother and one or two cousins. He lives alone with his ailing mother. This house originally belonged to a Hindu or Sikh family. Syed Hassan Ali's family migrated also from Pharal, district Karnal, in Haryana in 1947. This house has very beautiful facade, especially the main door and three windows above it and two jharokas on the right and the left of the door give a beautiful look. 

A view of the old town near Jhamti Gate. (17.07.2017.)

Jhmati Gate, Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

یاداشت مرمت دروازہ جھمٹی 1940
بہ عہد
مسٹر امیں الدین صاحب ۔ آئی۔سی۔ایس۔ ڈپٹی کمشنر بہادر
سردار عبدالرحمن خان بلوچ پرونشل درباعر، ذیلدار، نمبردرا، میونسپل کمنشنر
نے اپنے خرچ پر پتھر ہذا نصب کرایا۔
المرقوم رائے صاحب چودھری رادھا کشن پریزیڈنٹ مینونسپل کمیٹی ساہیوال۔
Memorial to the repair of Jhamti Gtate
In the time of
Mr Amin ud Din Sahib. C.S.P. Deputy Commissioner Bahadur
Sardar Abdul Rahman Khan Baloch; provincial courtier, Zaildar, Nambadar, Municipal Commissioner, bore the expenses of this plaque.
Rai Sahib Bahadur Chaudhry Radha Kishan President Municipal Committee, Sahiwal

بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
جھمٹی دروازہ
مغلیہ دور کا فن تعمیر سیلاب کی تباہ کاریوں کی نظر ہوا۔ جس کی سپیشل تعمیر و مرمت
اسسٹنٹ کمشنر جناب صاحبزادہ فیض محمود فیضی صاحب
نے جون 2001ء میں خصوصی دلچسپی لیتے ہوئے فرمائی۔
زیر نگرانی حاجی ذوالفقار علی ایکس چیئر مین تعمیرات بلدیہ ساہیوال
ملک خالد محمود انجینیئر لوکل گورنمنٹ پاکستان
منجانب اعظم ملک چیف آفیسر
رانا عیسی بیانی کنٹریکٹر بلدیہ ساہیوال

"In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate".
Jhamti Gate
The Mughal era structure was destroyed by floods. Its reconstruction and repair was done by Assistant Commissioner Sahibzada Faiz Mahmood Faizi, by taking special interest. 
Under the supervision of Haji Zulfiqar Ali ex-Chairman Construction Sahiwal Municipality.
Malik Khalid Mahmood  engineer Local Government, Pakistan. 
From: Azam Malik Chief Officer 
Tana Essa Bayani Contractor, Sahiwal Municipality. 

Inside view of the Jhamti Gate. (17.07.2017.)

A typical narrow lane in Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

A beautiful wooden door of an old house. (17.07.2017.)

A jharoka overlooking the street. (17.07.2017.)

Another Jharoka on the right side. (17.07.2017.)

Inner view of the same house. (17.07.2017.)

A room on the ground floor. (17.07.2017.)

A room on the first floor. (17.07.2017.)

A view of the first floor. (17.07.2017.)

Old shops in Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

As can be well imagined the pre partition population of the town was religiously diverse and a considerable part of the population was Hindus and Sikhs. We saw a gurdwara, which has now totally collapsed and there is nothing but partial ruins and heaps of debris. However, the door is intact, though in a bad condition. Fortunately three plaques in Gurmukhi are still can be seen above the door, which give some information about this gurdwara. The following tables show the demographics of the Sahiwal town, and Shahpur Tehsil and District, of which Sahiwal was a part.  

Population Of Sahiwal Town (1941)

Population Of Shahpur Tehsil (1941)
Population Of Shahpur District (1941)
An old, abandoned, gurdwara in Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

੧ ਓ
੧੦੧ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ
ਭਾ. ਕਾਂਸ਼ੀ ਰਾਮ ਛੋਡਾ ਨੇ
ਅਪਨੇ ਵੀਰ ਭਾ. ਦੀਵਾਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ
ਦੀ ਯਾਦਗਾਰ ਵਿਚ
ਭਾਦਰੋਂ ੨੦ ਸੰ: ੨੦੦੦

اِک اونکار
101 سیوا کرائی
بھائی کانشی رام چھوڈا نے
اپنے ویر بھائی دیوان سنگھ جی
دی یادگار وِچ
بھادروں 20 سمت 2000 [1943ء]

Ek Onkar
Rs 101 offered in service by Bhai Kanshi Ram Chhoda
in memory of his brother Bhai Diwan Singh Ji.
Bhadron 20, Samvat 2000. (1943 AD)

੧ ਓ
ਮੇਰਾ ਮੁਝ ਮੇਂ ਕਿਛ ਨਹੀ ਜੋ ਕਿਛ ਹੈ ਸੋ ਤੇਰਾ
ਤੇਰਾ ਤੁਝ ਕੋ ਸੋੰਪ੍ਤੇ ਕਿਆ ਲਾਗੇ ਮੇਰਾ
੮੦੦ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ
ਸ੍ਰ: ਕੋੜ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਖੋਰਾਣਾ ਨੇ
ਸ੍ਰ: ਮੇਹਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਖੋਰਾਣਾ ਸਪੁਤ੍ਰ
ਸ੍ਰ: ਸੇਵਾ ਸਿੰਘ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਯਾਦਗਾਰ 
ਵਿਚ ਭਾਦਰੋ ਸੰ. ੨੦੦੦

اِک اونکار
میرا مجھ میں کچھ نہیں جو کچھ ہے سو تیرا
تیرا مجھ کو سونپ دے کیا لاگے میرا
800 روپے سیوا کرائی
بھائی کوڑ سنگھ جی کھرانا نے
سردار مہر سنگھ کھُرانا سپُتر
بھائی سیوا سنگھ جی دی یادگار
وچ بھادروں سمت 2000 [1943ء]

Ek Onkar
There is nothing in myself that is mine, whatever there is its yours
Offered to your what belongs to you, what does it cost me!

Rs 800 were offered by Sardar Kor Singh ji Korana, 
Sardar Mehr Singh Khorana sons of
 Sardar Sewa Singh ji, in his memory.
Bhadron, Samvat 2000 (1943 AD) 

੧ ਓ
੫੧ ਸੇਵਾ ਕਰਾਈ
ਭਾ: ਸਜਨ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਤਿਨਾਮ ਸਿੰਘ
(ਮੁਡਾਰੇ ਵਾਲੇ)
ਅਸੁ ੧ ਸੰ: ੨੦੦੦

اِک اونکار
51 روپے سیوا کرائی
بھائی سجن سنگھ ستنام سنگھ 
[سُبھارے والے]
اسُو 1 سمت 2000 [1943ء]

Ek Onkar 
Rs 51 were offered by 
Bhai Sajan Singh Satnam Singh
(of Mubhara)
Assu 1, Samvat 2000 (1943 AD)

Main entrance of the gurdwara. (17.07.2017.)

Ruins of the gurdwara. (17.07.2017.)

Our guide also took us through labyrinthine streets of this old town, to show us a very old tomb of a saint. Its caretaker informed us that the tomb is about three hundred years old. The building of the tomb also indicates its considerable age. This is mazar of Pir Abdul Rasul Shah Khagga and Pir Sheikh Mansoor Shah Khagga.  

  Mausoleum of Pir Abdul Rasul Shah Khagga. (17.07.2017.)

Mausoleum of Pir Abdul Rasul Shah Khagga. (17.07.2017.)

An old house in Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

A wooden door of the house. (17.07.2017.)

A balcony in an old house. (17.07.2017.)

A beautiful balcony. (17.07.2017.)

A beautiful, intricately carved wooded door. (17.07.2017.)

Another view of the door. (17.07.2017.)

Another well preserved wooden door. (17.07.2017.)

A beautiful struccture, probably to keep a lamp. (17.07.2017.)

Another well-preserved wooden door. (17.07.2017.)

As you can see above, the town is full of old houses, with wooden doors, windows and balconies. Many of them are definitely of a great cultural and architectural value. They need more attention for their preservation. Some government of private organization should come forward for their restoration and preservation. Otherwise, we may lose them soon. 

A Hindu temple in main bazar. (17.07.2017.)

The main bazaar of Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

A Hindu Temple inside the Multani Kohna Gate. (17.07.2017.)

Another view of the temple. (17.07.2017.)

An old house, near Multani Kohna Gate. (17.07.2017.)

A two side balcony of a house. (17.07.2017.)

Multani Kohna Gate. (17.07.2017.)

دروازہ ملتانی کونہ [کہنہ]
بہ عہد مسٹر کے۔وی۔ایف، مارٹن صاحب بہادر آئی۔سی۔ایس ڈپٹی کمشنر
بہ تحریک و کوشش خیرخواہ سرکار و پبلک خاکساران
رادھا کشن چاولہ و عبدالرحمن خان بلوچ ممبران کمیٹی ساہی وال
1938 میں تعمیر ہوا۔

Multani Kohna Gate
In the time of K.V.F. Martin Sahib Bahadur I.C.S. Deputy Commissioner
At the initiative and efforts of the well wishers of the government and the public, _________
Radha Kishan Chawla & Abdul Rahman Baloch members of the committee, Sahiwal
was constructed in 1938 AD.
Multani Gate. (17.07.2017.)

دروازہ ملتانی
بہ عہد مسٹر جیمز ریڈ صاحب بہادر آئی۔سی۔ایس
ڈپٹی کمشنر سال 1937 میں مرمت کرائی گئی۔

Multani Gate
In the time of Mr James Read Sahib Bahadur I.C.S.
Deputy Commissioner got it repaired in the year 1937.

اس دروازہ کے نصف حصہ کی تعمیر
رائے صاحب چودھری رادھا کشن 
آنریری مجسٹریٹ و آنریری سب جج و ممبر کمیٹی
نے بطور یادگار 1937ء میں کروائی۔

Half of this gate was constructed by
Rai Sahib Chaudhry Radha Kishan
Honourary Magistrate, Honourary Sub Judge, member of the committee
in the year 1937, as a memorial.

اس دروازہ کے نصف حصہ کی تعمیر
سردار عبدالرحمان خان بلوچ
ذیلدار و ممبر کمیٹی نے بطور یادگار
1937ء میں کروائی۔ 

Half of this gate was constructed by
Sardar Abdul Rahman Khan Baloch
Zaildar and member of the committee
in the year 1937, as a memorial.

دروازہ کابلی بعہد کپتان ڈیوس صاحب بہادر تیار ہوا 1866ء

Kabuli Gate constructed in the time of Captain Davis Sahib Bahadur in 1866 AD. 

Probably inside view of Multani Kohna Gate. (17.07.2017.)

Inside view of the Multani Gate. (17.07.2017.)

An old double storey house. (17.07.2017.)

The entrance of the above mentioned house. (17.07.2017.)

A Hindu Temple in the city. (17.07.2017.)

On the south west edge of the city is a beautiful old style building. It is Dera or guest house of the MNA of Sahiwal area, Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan. The condition of the building is good from inside, but it needs some repair from outside. 
Dera of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, MNA NA68. (17.07.2017.)

Dera of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, MNA NA68. (17.07.2017.)

یا اللہ 
یا محمد               یا علی
عجیب بلکہ غریب
1354 ھ

Ya Allah
Ya Muhammad                 Ya Ali  
Strange Even Wonderful 
1354 AH. (1935 AD)

[According to the Abjad Aadad the term "Ajeeb Balkeh Ghareeb" gives the date of construction as 1354 AH]   

Dera of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, MNA NA68. (17.07.2017.)

Dera of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, MNA NA68. (17.07.2017.)

Dera of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, MNA NA68. (17.07.2017.)

Dera of Sardar Shafqat Hayat Khan, MNA NA68. (17.07.2017.)

We saw three small Hindu temples inside the old town. Those all are small. However, just outside the town, to the west, a big temple exists or properly existed. As there is nothing left except a ruin. The condition of the temple speaks a volume about the performance of our evacuee property board. 

A big Hindu temple outside Multani Kohna Gate. (17.07.2017.)

The main structure of the temple. (17.07.2017.)

A side view of the temple complex. (17.07.2017.)

Umair Riaz (left) and our friend Syed Hassan Ali. (17.07.2017.)

Buffaloes relaxing under a tree, at the outskirt of Sahiwal. (17.07.2017.)

A little outside the town, on Jhang road, a small mosque is situated. It is known as the mosque of Sher Shah Suri. I am not sure when it was built, but its architecture from outside and inside indicates its long past. 

A mosque, known as Sher Shah Suri Mosque. (17.07.2017.)

Another view of the Sher Shah Suri Mosque. (17.07.2017.)

Mehrab of the mosque. (17.07.2017.)

Dome of the mosque. (17.07.2017.)

A side view of the main hall of the mosque. (17.07.2017.)

Now something about the history or Sahiwal and its surrounding areas. 

Shiwal was already paying tribute to Ranjit Singh since 1804, which though nominal, in the beginning, was raised to Rs 12,000/- a year. When Fateh Khan, the chief of Sahiwal, was unable to pay this amount, Ranjit Singh marched in force against this small state. Ranjit Singh, camped at Mangowal, 25 kms north of Sahiwal, and invited the Sardar for a meeting. However, he not fully trusting him, sent his son Langar Khan with “handsome” offerings to the Sikh Sardar. Ranjit Singh received him graciously and then sent him back with “rich” gifts and assurance of continued friendship for his father. Now he changed his direction and marched towards Khushab, which was under the rule of Jafar Khan. The city fell after a siege of eight days. In the meantime, Fateh Khan had fallen in the trap laid by Ranjit Singh and had dismissed his forces to their homes. Ranjit Singh was fully aware of the situation and sensing his opportunity, fell upon Sahiwal and captured the city in a surprise attack. Fateh Khan was taken to Lahore as a prisoner and the state was given to the heir apparent, Kharak Singh. So in a single stroke Ranjit Singh captured two states. The small estate of Syeds of Shahpur also fell at the same time. In the following year talukas of Farooka and Kalowal were also added to the rapidly rising kingdom of Ranjit Singh, along with some territories of the Sials Chiefs of Jhang.  Tiwanas of Mitha Tiwana lasted a little longer until 1816. 

For the subsequent fate of the Sardar Fateh Khan, read the following excerpt from the Gazetteer:

…… Sardar Fateh Khan of Sahiwal, who was left a prisoner at Lahore. In accordance with the usual custom, Ranjit Singh after a while released his prisoner, giving him a jagir first in Jhang and then in Ahmadabad, near Pind Dadan Khan, stipulating, however, that Fateh Khan was to remain at Court. But after a life of independence, the Biloch chief was ill fitted to play the courtier, his proud spirit chafed at the confinement, and like the Tiwana Malik, he was tempted to strike a blow for independence. He applied to the Nawab of Mankera for assistance. The request was favourably entertained, and the two chiefs, with their combined forces, actually started to attempt the recovery of Sahiwal. But fear of the consequences to himself of failure, overcame the Nawab’s desire to assist his fellow clansman, and abandoning Fateh Khan to his fate, he precipitately retracted to his stronghold of Mankera. Fateh Khan, seeing that he had committed himself beyond power of recall, and that now he had nothing to hope from Ranjit Singh, fled to Multan and soon after took refuge in Bahawalpur, where he died in 1819.
Langar Khan, the son of the deceased chief, a lad of fourteen years of age, was left a pensioner on the bounty of the Nawab, and remained in Bahawalpur till 1822, when Ranjit Singh hearing, while on a visit at Multan, that Fateh Khan was dead, sent for Langar Khan, and gave him a jagir of two thousand rupees a year with a personal allowance of three rupees a day. The jagir was afterwards (in 1938) increased to three thousand rupees, and the allowance to five rupees a day.
The Gazetteer of 1883-84, gives the following description of the town of Sahiwal:
The town of Sahiwal lies in north latitude 38 ͦ 58' and east longitude 72 ͦ 22' and contains a population of 8,880 souls. It was formerly the head-quarters of a fiscal sub-division; it is one of the chief commercial towns of the district. It is not well built, and is completely surrounded by a kacha wall with six gates, of which the Lahori to the east and Kashmiri to the north are the principal. The town is badly situated on a raised piece of ground, around which the surface drainage of the country for many miles round collects. It is said that the Sahiwal was founded by Gul Bahlak, one of the ancestors of the Biloch Chiefs of this place, and was so named after “Sai” of the Jhammat caste, who was the manager of the property. The municipality of Sahiwal was first constituted in 1867. It is a municipality of the 3rd class. The committee consists of eleven members, with the Deputy Commissioner as its President. Sahiwal carries on a brisk trade with Multan and Sakhar in cotton, grain and ghi, and its banya traders also carry on a large agricultural banking business, and are gradually but surely acquiring the land in the neighbourhood. It is also the centre of the barilla (sajji) trade for surrounding bar tract.

It appears that around the turn of the 19th century the town of Sahiwal went into a decline, as the following census figures show. I took these figures from the Gazzetteer of the Shahpur District 1917.  
Change %
Shahpur Town
Shahpur Civil Lines

But elsewhere, two severe plagues in the years 1904 and 1907 and three years in the same two decades, of high fever are mentioned.  Apparently these caused more deaths in towns as compare to rural areas. For example in 1892, cholera and fever caused 890 deaths in Sahiwal, in the total inhabitants of 9,210. Despite these epidemics the overall population of the district increased.  

The Gazetteer of 1917 gives further details about the family of the chiefs of Sahiwal:
Sardar Langar Khan was succeeded by his eldest son, Muhammad Hayat Khan, and he again by his brother, Sardar Mubarak Khan, who died much embarrassed by debt. The present head of the family is Sardar Muhammad Chiragh Khan, who was for a time Darogha of canals under the Deputy Commissioner, and is a zaildar, a nominate member of the District Board, President of the Municipal Committee, and member of the local bench of Honorary Magistrates, in all of which capacities he has done good work. He and his brother Fateh Khan, and uncle Lashkar Khan, hold a perpetual jagir in five villages of value of Rs 3,837, and the two former own a large area of land in Girot, Sahiwal and other estates. The outstanding debts of Sardar Mubarak Khan were paid off by means of a loan from the Kalra estate, but the family are bad managers, and have applied to be taken under the Court of Wards.

As can be easily imagined, that though the population of the district was overwhelmingly Muslim, Hindus and Sikhs also lived at that time in considerable number. The following table shows the percentage of different religions.

Census of
Percentage Of Total Population Returned As

The Gazetteer of The Shahpur District, describes the town in the following words:
The town of Sahiwal lies in north latitude 31 ͦ 58' and east longitude 72 ͦ 22' and contains a population of 7,658 souls. It was formerly the head-quarters of a fiscal sub-division; it is one of the chief commercial towns of the district. It is not well built, and is completely surrounded by a kacha wall with six gates, of which the Lahori to the east and the Kashmiri to the north are the principal. The town is badly situated on a raised piece of ground, around which the surface drainage of the country for many miles round collects. The heavy rains of 1892 caused a severe epidemic of fever and in that year the death-rate was 97 per thousand per annum. A drainage scheme is badly wanted. It is said that Sahiwal was  founded by Gul Bahlak, one of the ancestors of the Biloch Chiefs of this place, and was so named after “Sai” of the Jhammat caste, who was the manager of the property. At one time Sahiwal did a brisk trade with Multan and Sukkur in cotton, grain, and ghi, and was also a centre of the barilla industry, but since the advent of the Jech Doab Railway, the market of the Sillanwali and Sargodha, 17 and 28 miles away, have absorbed nearly all the produce that once came to Sahiwal. The population has decreased from 9,210 at settlement, and this is due partly to the departure of shopkeepers and others to the rival marts, and partly due to the lack of sanitation; plague was severe in 1904 and 1907. The only manufactures for which Sahiwal is noted are hardware and turnery in ivory and wood and lacquered work. The municipality of Sahiwal was first constituted in 1867, it is of the second class with three nominated and six elected members, the President being usually the Tahsiladar. The public buildings are schools for boys and girls, a dispensary, a veterinary hospital, a sarai with rest house attached, a town hall and a police station. 
The municipal income has risen from Rs. 7,750 to Rs. 15,000 owing to the raising of octroi rates, and the narrowing of octroi limits. Up till recently the entire revenue estate was included in the municipal boundary, with the result that the Alienation of Land Act did not apply: this has now been rectified, and it is to be hoped that the original Jhammat and Biloch owners will be successful in retaining such of their lands as are left to them.
There is a bench of two Honarary Magistrates , and an honorary Civil Judge. 
Names of the members of the Sahiwal Municipal Committee:
      1.     Pir Firoz Din Shah
2.     Sayad Fazal Hussain
3.     Lala Narsingh Das Wasdeo
4.     Lala Chetan Das
5.     Mian Muhammad Hussain
6.     Sardar Muhammad Chiragh Khan, President
7.     Malik Gur Sahai
8.     Maulvi Shams-ud-Din
9.     Chaudhri Radha Kishan
In addition to the above mentioned two Gazetteers, no other work on Sahiwal or the surrounding areas is available to me. I invite my readers to make their contributions to improve this article and find more information on this subject.

 Tariq Amir

January 1, 2018.
Doha - Qatar.