Panjab:

Bahawalpur:

cholistan:

Places Of Interest In Cholistan:

Derawar Fort: Derawar Fort is located 48 Km from Dera Nawab Sahib. It is still in a good condition. The rampart walls are intact and still guarded by the personal guards of the Amir of Bahawalpur. The tombs of the ex-rulers of Bahawalpur and their families are located in this fort. The tombs have nice glazed blue tile work. Prior permission of the senior Amir of Bahawalpur is required to enter the fort.

Shrines of Channan Pir: The Shrine of Channan Pir is located 45 Km from Derawar Fort. Channan Pir was a disciple of Makhdoom Jahanian Jahangasht. The annual Urs is held at the beginning of March. A colourful fair known as 'Mela Channan Pir' is held here. Devotees gather on the night of full moon to offer "Fateha" at the tomb of the saint.

Handicrafts:

The Punjab Small Industries Corporation has established a Craft Development Centre for Cholistan Area, outside Farid Gate, Bahawalpur from where handicrafts manufactured in Cholistan can be purchased.

Flassi: It is a place of 4-ft x 7-ft size, made of camel hair and cotton yarn. It is used for wall hanging, as a decoration piece and a carpet.

Gindi of Rilli: It is made of small pieces of different colours of cotton cloth and needle work. It can be used as wall hanging, bed covers, carpets and blankets etc.

Changaries: Like big plaques, these are made of palm leaves in different bright colours with beautiful patterns and geometric designs. These are used for keeping the 'Chapatis' (bread) and also as a wall decoration.

Khalti: It is like a purse embroidered on top with multi-coloured threads.

Aar Work: It is an attractive kind of embroidery work done on Duppata, Kurta and Chaddar etc.

Khewra Salt Mines:

The main centre of mining is Khewra in the Salt Range where the world's largest salt mines are located. Khewra salt mines are 154 kms away from Rawalpindi. The route is Mandra-Dudyal-Chakwal-Bhaun-Choa Saidan Shah-Khewra. A longer route is through Kallar Kahar-Katas. The nearest hotel accommodation is at TDCP resort Kallar Kahar. For permit to visit the mines and to book the accommodation at the PMDC Rest House at Khewra, you may contact their office in Islamabad at Plot No.13, H-9 (Manager Salt Tel: 250928-30) through PTDC Tourist Information Centres in Rawalpindi or Islamabad, at least 4 days in advance.

 


Brief History of Lahore
Lahore:



Lahore is the 2nd largest city in Pakistan with a population more than 13 millions after Karachi. The traditional capital of Punjab for a thousand years, it had been the cultural center of Northern India extending from Peshawar to New Delhi. It is a very famous saying in Pakista "One who hasn't seen Lahore has yet not born". The people of Lahore, when they want to emphasize the uniqueness of their town say "Lahore is Lahore". Lahore is the city of poets, artists and the center of film industry. It has the largest number of educational institutions in the country and some of the finest gardens in the continent. Apart from being the cultural and academic centre of the country, Lahore is the showcase for Mughal architecture in Pakistan. For more than 200 years, beginning from about 1524 AD, Lahore was a thriving cultural centre of the great Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperors beautified Lahore, with palaces, gardens and mosques.
Lahore Pic

The original citadel city is situated one mile to the south of the river Ravi, and some 23 miles from the eastern border of the Punjab district. The walls of the city, when they were still standing, gave it a shape of a parallelogram. The total area inside the walls encompassed roughly 461 acres of land. The city is slightly elevated above the plain, and has a high ridge within it, running East and West on its northern side. The whole of this elevated ground is composed of the accumulated debris of many centuries.

The origins of Lahore are shrouded in the mists of antiquity but Lahore is undoubtedly ancient. Legend has it that it was founded about 4,000 years ago by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Reminiscence of its hoary past are the remains of a subterranean temple attributed to Rama, in the northern part of the Royal Fort. Historically, it has been proved that Lahore is at least 2,000 years old. Hieun-tasng, the famous Chinese pilgrim has given a vivid description of Lahore which he visited in the early parts of the 7th century AD. Lying on the main trade and invasion routes to South Asia, Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes. Muslim rule began here when Qutub-ud-Din Aibak was crowned in Lahore in 1206 and thus became the first Muslim Sultan of the sub-continent. It waxed and waned in importance during the Sultanate. However, it touched the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule from 1524 to 1762. The Mughals, who were famous as builders, gave Lahore some of its finest architectural monuments, many of which are extinct today.

It was Akbar's capital for 14 years from 1584 to 1598. He built the massive Lahore Fort into burnt bricks on the foundations of a previous fort and enclosed the city within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates. Jahangir and Shah Jahan (Shah Jahan was born in Lahore) extended the fort, built palaces and tombs, and laid out gardens. Jahangir loved the city and he and his wife Noor Jahan are buried at Shahdara. The last of the great Mughals, Aurangzeb (1658-1707), gave Lahore its most famous monument, the great Badshahi Masjid (Royal Mosque) and the Alamgiri gateway to the fort.

During the 18th century, as Mughal power dwindled, there were constant invasions by the likes of Nadir Shah and Ahmed Shah Abdali. Lahore was a suba, (a province of the Empire), governed by provincial rulers with their own court. These governors managed as best they could though for much of the time it must have been a rather thankless task to even attempt. The 1740s were years of chaos and between 1745 and 1756 there were nine changes of governors. Invasions and chaos in local government allowed bands of warring Sikhs to gain control in some areas. Lahore ended up being ruled by a triumvirate of Sikhs of dubious distinction for about 30 years before Maharaja Ranjit Singh came to power in 1799 and finally managed to bring order for 40 odd years. He tried to bring back a glimmer of Mughal glory by renovating some of the monuments while adding some of his own. Because of scarcity of building material, marble and semi-precious stones were appropriated from the existing buildings to be used in the Sikh projects all over the empire.Maha Raja Ranjeet singh was a local ruler who was born in Gujranwala a city of Punjab in 1780s the rest mostly were the invaders.
Lahore Fort The British, following their invasion of Lahore in 1849, added many buildings in "Mughal-Gothic" style as well as some shady bungalows and gardens. Early on, the British tended to build workaday structures in sites like the Fort, though later they did start to make an effort to preserve some ancient buildings. The Lahore Cantonment, the British residential district of wide, tree-lined streets and white bungalows set in large, shaded gardens, is the prettiest cantonment in Pakistan. Since Independence in 1947, Lahore has expanded rapidly as the capital of Pakistani Punjab.

Today, Lahore can be best described as a city that is just so wonderful, so very fabulous, that every nook and corner of the city speaks of a certain vibrance, a certain zeal, a spirit of life, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Perhaps it is the maturity of the city, which manifests itself in the various parts of Lahore. It is present in the monuments, in the bazaars, in the old buildings lining the Mall, or in the vast expanses of the sports grounds in the Cantonment. But most vividly, this great Lahori spirit is visible in the people of Lahore, the Zinda dilan-e-Lahore (The Zealous of Lahore).


Lahore is a city of culture, of history, of an unrivaled charm that sets it apart from every other city on earth. It seems that great Lahori spirit has invaded and saturated this city over the centuries, to the effect that Lahore today is not just a city, not just a place in one corner of this planet, but a whole universe in itself; what to say of similarities to other Mughal cities...the average Lahori is that same old Mughal prince of bygone ages, one only has to get to know him. There is an old saying, that in every Lahori, there is a Mughal prince.

Food Street
The description of the pure Lahori spirit conveniently evades the mind, adding to the mysteries of this city. At best, it can be said that this spirit pervades the citadel and the slum alike. The city has known ages of cultural, intellectual, musical, literary and humanistic evolution, which has consequently led to the fermentation and over fermentation of this rich brew we call Lahore. Few cities of the world, if indeed any, can lay claim to such a wonderful past or present.

All this makes Lahore a truly rewarding experience. The buildings, the roads, the trees and the gardens, in fact the very air of Lahore is enough to set the mind spinning in admiration. Many a poet has written about this phenomenon one experiences in the environs of Lahore. When the wind whistles through the tall trees, when the twilight floods the beautiful face of the Fort, when the silent canal lights up to herald the end of another chapter in history, the Ravi is absorbed in harmony, mist fills the ancient streets, and the havelis come alive with strains of classical music, the spirit of Lahore pervades even the hardiest of souls.
In short, We can frankely say Lahore is a "Darling City" for historians & Lahore is Lahore.

 

History Of Multan:
Multan (Urdu: تاريخ مُلتان‎), is a city located in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is one of the oldest cities in South Asia, though the exact age has yet to be determined. Its modern name comes from its old Sanskrit name Mūlasthān.[citation needed] It has seen a lot of warfare because of its location on a major invasion route between South Asia and Central Asia. It is famous for its Sufi shrines.
Early history:
Multan was ruled by the various native empires[1] before the invasion of Alexander the Great. It is said that when Alexander was fighting for the city, a poisoned arrow struck him, making him ill and eventually leading to his death. The exact place where Alexander was hit by the arrow can be seen in the old city premises. It is believed to be the same city as "Maii-us-than", where Alexander's forces stormed the citadel after seeing their king injured and unconscious on the field of battle. Multan was part of the Mauryan and the Gupta empires that ruled much of northern India. In the mid-5th century, the city was attacked by a group of nomads led by Toramana. These nomads were successful in taking the city, but did not stay, and the long-standing Hindu rule over the city was re-established. The noted Chinese traveller Huen Tsang visited Multan in 641.

During the early period, Multan was known as the city of gold for its large and wealthy temples. The Sun temple, Suraj Mandir, was considered one of the largest and wealthiest temples in the entire sub-continent. Numerous historians have written about this extremely large Hindu temple that housed over 6,000 people within it. Other famous sites included the Suraj Kund ("pool of the Sun") and Temple of Prahladapuri. Story of Prahlada from whom the temple took its name.

According to native legends and mythology, Multan was the capital of ancient Trigarta Kingdom at the time of Mahabharta and ruled by Katoch Clan of Kshatriya Rajputs. Prahlada was the son of King Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu held sway over this country and condemned the gods and forbade the paying of homage in their name. Prahlada was recognized as being a very devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment. As Prahlada grows in age, his father Hiranyakashipu becomes upset at his devotion to Vishnu, who he sees as his mortal enemy. Eventually his anger leads him to attempt to kill the boy Prahlada in many ways, but each time Prahlada is protected by Vishnu's mystical power. Finally in disgust Hiranyakashipu points to a particular pillar and asks if his Vishnu is in it? Prahlada answers "He is". Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace, it burst in two and out sprang the god Vishnu in the form of a man-lion form called Narasimha Avatar who laid the King across his knees and ripped his stomach open with his claws. A temple devoted to Narasimha Avatar of Vishnu is built. The temple of Prahladpuri Temple is situated close to the shrine of Bahawal Huk. Currently its roof and surrounding building have been damaged but the pillar is no more. The Idol was shifted from temple to a new place near old fruit market. Now it has been relocated at Haridwar, where it was brought in 1947 by Narayan Das Baba.

Early Muslim era:
In the 7th century, Multan had its first arrival of the Muslim armies. Armies led by Al Muhallab ibn Abi Suffrah launched numerous raids from Persia into India in 664 for inclusion of the area into their empires.

" In the same year Abdool Ruhman Bin Shimur, another Arab Ameer of distinction, marched from Merv to Kabul, where he made converts of upwards of twelve thousand persons. At the same time, also Mohalib Bin Aby-Suffra, proceeding with a detachment from thence, in the direction of India, penetrated as far as Multan: when having plundered the country, he returned to the headquarters of the army at Khorassan, bringing with him many prisoners, who were compelled to become converts to the faith."
However, only a few decades later, Muhammad bin Qasim would come on behalf of the Arabs, and take Multan along with Sindh. His conquest was accompanied by much plundering:

" He then crossed the Biyas, and went towards Multan. Muhammad Bin Qasim destroyed the water-course; upon which the inhabitants, oppressed with thirst, surrendered at discretion. He massacred the men capable of bearing arms, but the children were taken captive, as well as ministers of the temple, to the number of 6,000. The Muslims found there much gold in a chamber ten cubits long by eight broad."
Following bin Qasim's conquest, the city was securely under Muslim rule, although it was in effect an independent state, but around the start of the 11th century, the city was attacked twice by Mahmud of Ghazni who destroyed the Sun Temple and broke its giant Idol. A graphic detail is available in Al-Biruni's writings:

" A famous idol of theirs was that of Multan, dedicated to the sun, and therefore called Aditya. It was of wood and covered with red Cordovan leather; in its two eyes were two red rubies. It is said to have been made in the last Kritayuga. When Muhammad Ibn Alkasim Ibn Almunaibh conquered Multan, he inquired how the town had become so very flourishing and so many treasures had there been accumulated, and then he found out that this idol was the cause, for there came pilgrims from all sides to visit it. Therefore, he thought it best to have the idol where it was, but he hung a piece of cow's flesh on its neck by way of mockery. On the same place a mosque was built. When the Karmatians occupied Multan, Jalam Ibn Shaiban, the usurper, broke the idol into pieces and killed its priests."
Ismailis:
In 965, Multan was conquered by Halam bin Shayban, an Ismaili da'i. Soon after, Multan was attacked by the Ghaznavids, destabilizing the Ismaili state. Mahmud of Ghazna invaded Multan in 1005, conducting a series of campaigns during which some Ismailis were massacred while most later converted to Sunni Hanafi fiqh.

In an effort to gain his allegiance, the Fatimid Ismaili Imam-caliph al-Hakim dispatched an envoy to Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi two years later. This attempt appeared to be unsuccessful and the Ghaznawids continued to attack other Ismaili strongholds in Sindh to suppress any resurgence of the community in the region. In 1032, Mahmud's very own vizier, Hasanak was executed for having accepted a cloak from the Imam-caliph on suspicions that he had become an adherent of the Ismaili fiqh.

Mahmud's purges of the region led several scholars including Stern to believe that the Ghaznawid purges of the region drove out Ismailism from the area, however, recently discovered letters dating to 1083 and 1088 demonstrate continued Ismaili activity in the region, as the Imam-caliph Mustansir dispatched new da'is to replace those who were killed in the attacks.

Like his predecessor, Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad of Ghor first took, in 1178, the Ismaili Multan sultans in northern Sindh, which had regained independence from Ghaznavid rule.[6] Muhammad Ghori as a part of his campaigns to conquer north India, again massacred them.

After Sultan Muhammad Ghori's victories in India, and his establishment of a capital in Delhi, Multan was made a part of his empire. However, the rise of the Mongols would again give it some independence, albeit requiring it to be vigilant against Mongol raids from Central Asia.

The Qarmatians came to Multan in the 10th century and were expelled in 1175 by Sultan Muhammad Ghori.

Mughal Era:
Under the Mughal Empire, Multan enjoyed over 200 years of peace, and became known as Dar al-Aman (Abode of Peace). The Khakwani Nawabs of Multan gave it a lot of financial stability and growth to the local farming sector. It was at this time that Multan was ruled by Nawab Ali Mohammad Khan Khakwani. As governor of Multan, he built the famous Mosque Ali Mohammad Khan in 1757 which remains to this day. Many buildings were constructed in this time, and agricultural production grew rapidly. The Khakwani Nawabs of Multan at this time were paying homage to the Afghan king but due to lack of power in Delhi and Kabul they had free rein and were the de facto absolute rulers of Multan. Multan at that time included areas which are part of Vehari, Bahawalpur, and Dera Ghazi Khan districts. The city escaped the destruction brought upon India by the armies of Nadir Shah. Afterwards it was ruled from Kabul by numerous Afghan dynasties for a while. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Multan region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Maratha and Sikh invaded and occupied Multan.

Maratha Empire:
Maratha conquest of North-west India:
In 1758, the Maratha Empire's general Raghunathrao marched onwards, conquered Lahore and Attock and defeated Timur Shah Durrani, the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Lahore, Multan, Kashmir and other subahs on the eastern side of Attock were under the Maratha rule for the most part. In Punjab and Kashmir, the Marathas plundered the prosperous Mughal cities. Maratha general Bapuji Trimbak was given the charge of guarding Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan from Afghans. Maratha rule in Multan was short-lived as Durrani re-captured the city in November 1759.

Sikh Era:
After Ahmad Shah Durrani's dynasty went into decline, it was ruled locally by the Pashtun Khakwani and Sadozai chieftains. The Sadozais having gained the favour of the king and having the Khakwani Nawab removed. This period saw the rise of Sikh power, who attacked Multan, killeing the Sadozai Nawab, took over the city. The Khakwanis had moved out of the city at that time and lived in small walled cities around main Multan.

The Khokhars and Khatri Muslims occupied Multan intermittently between 1756 to 1763 displacing replacing ruling Sadozai member by Khakwani nawab or his brother, son or even son-in-law, this was most turbulent period in history of Multan resulting administration getting paralyzed and inviting attack from misl from Gujranwal. Jhanda Singh and Ganda Singh attacked again in 1764. However, attempts to take the Multan fort failed and they retreated after collecting several million rupees loot from the ruler Muzaffar Khan Saddozai.

The front view of an old colonial building built during the rule of the British Raj.
In the 19th century, the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh with his capital at Lahore occupied Multan. Sikh armies under General Hari Singh Nalwa defeated the ruler of Multan, Muzaffar Khan Saddozai. The death of Muzaffar Khan was in fact the death of Muslim rule in Multan.

British Era:
However, Sikh rule would not last long, as the British were eventually provoked into checking the Sikh strength in Punjab. After a long and bloody battle, Multan was made part of the British Raj. During this time, Sardar Karan Narain's son became an icon during the British Raj and was awarded titles 'Rai Bahadur' and Knighted 'Sir' by Her Majesty. The British built some rail routes to the city, but its industrial capacity was never fully developed.

Post-independence:
The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Multan. It initially lacked industry, hospitals and universities. Since then, there has been some industrial growth, and the city's population is continually growing. Today, it is one of the country's largest urban centres and remains an important settlement in the Southern Punjab.

 

Murree:
They are a series of wonderful Hill-resorts on the ridge between Murree and Abbottabad and are more attractive than other cities. Murree is a very popular hill station about 50 km north of the capital Islamabad while Abbottabad is a city in NWFP province with a very British atmosphere. However, between them is a wonderful road which has been fully repaired from being the "highway to hell" to being an excellent 2 lane road and protection on the sides. The main tourist stay on this road is the town of Nathia Gali and the resort of Ayubia. Nathia Gali is known as the City of Fog for it can get very foggy here. The usual definition of fog doesn't stand here.
Fog means visibility reduced to 1 km here fog mean visibility reduced to a few feet. Also, this area receives the highest rainfall in Pakistan and it always seems to be raining here (which is very good). But the main beauty of this area isn't high mountains, it's the greenery. Lush green hills and mountains with wonderful pine trees. The wild life of this area is pretty good. There is no place in this area where you won't find monkeys, real free monkeys. They are everywhere, in your hotel lobby windows, in the open barbecue, on the road; just everywhere you cannot miss them. The area is just brilliant with good hotels and all facilities. By the way, it can get pretty cool out here even in the summers so bring something warm.

 

Patriata:
Patriata, New Murree. Patriata, also known as New Murree, is a popular hill resort 15 km from Murree. It is the highest point in the area at an elevation of 6,790 feet(2,070 m). Patriata, having a chair lift and cable car system, is a popular tourist attraction. One can see monkeys in this heavily forested area.

Sialkot:

Sialkot is a city situated in the north-east of the Punjab province in Pakistan at the foothills of the snow-covered peaks of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District and, formerly, it has been the winter-capital of the State of Kashmir. The city is about 125 km (78 mi) north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometres from Indian-controlled Jammu. The recorded history of Sialkot covers thousands of years. Sialkot has, since its foundation, changed hands from Hindu, Buddhist, Persian, Greek, Afghan, Turk, Sikh and British rule to that of present-day Pakistan.
Sialkot International Airport
Tel: 0092-52-6633001-4
Fax: 0092-52-6633002-4
Email: info@sial.com.pk
Website: www.sial.com.pk
History:
There are various sources tracing the origins of the city of Sialkot but the authenticity of many of these sources varies. Excavations throughout the area have revealed large amounts of Greek coins, ancient Zoroastrian temples and several Buddhist stupas. The antiquities of Sialkot have also been discussed by Sir Alexander Cunningham in his Archaeological Survey Reports, II, 21, 22, and XIV, 44 to 47.
According to Hindu mythological scriptures, Siálkot is believed to have been founded by Raja Sul or (Shalya), emperor of Madradesa and brother of Madri, second wife of emperor Pandu and mother to Nakul and Sahadeva. He was the uncle of the Pandavas, whose heroic deeds are recorded in the epic Mahabharata. During the Mahabharata period, Siálkot's name was Sakala or Sagala. After the death of Raja Sul, some 5000 years ago, there is a tradition that the dynasty continued for some 1500 years. The seasonal stream, known as the Aik Nala, that still flows through the city, has been mentioned in the Upanishads. In the late Vedic period (c. 1500 - c. 200 B.C.), Sákala (Siálkot) was the capital of the Madras (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad). Sákaladvipa (island of Sákala) was the name of the doáb (land lying between two rivers) between Chandrabhága (Chenab) and Irávati (Ravi). In those early days, Sákala was studded with thick forests and inhabited by a pastoral race called Yahars or Yirs.
According to the Greek historical texts, which bring mention of the city of Sialkot dating back to before 327 BC when the city was known as Sagala, it represented the eastern-most outpost and expansion of the Hellenic Empire created by Alexander the Great which has been cross-correlated to ancient Greek maps of the era and several monuments found in the Sialkot District. The Greek historians state that the city was one of the most productive Silk regions of the Achaemenid Empire. Punjab had earned a reputation of being one of the richest satrapy (province), beside Gandhara, of the then Persian Empire. Sákala or Sagala was the capital, or one of the capitals, of the Indo-Greek Kingdom which broke-away from the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom during the Euthydemid Dynasty, and the residence of Menander I (Milinda) during his reign between 160 and 135 BC. Shun and Dall were two of the most powerful tribes in Sialkot.
The Indo-Greek king, Menander, ruled in Sialkot during the 2nd centuryAccording to Punjabi folk-lore, the early history of Sialkot is closely interwoven with the traditions of Raja (King) Sáliváhan, his son, Raja Rasálu, and his foe, Raja Húdi. A popular belief is that the city was re-founded by Raja Sáliváhan or Sálbán when it became a part of Kashmir under Raja Sama Dutt. Raja Sáliváhan built a fort (Sialkot Fort) and the city and gave the place its present name. He was of Sia caste (a Jat clan of Scythian origins), and it is believed that the word "Sialkot" means the 'Fort of the Sia'. Legend also says that Raja Sáliváhan had two sons: Puran and Rasalu. Puran got punished by his father, Raja Sáliváhan, due to the actions of his wicked stepmother and thrown into a well, still the resort of pilgrims near Sialkot, called "Puran di Khui", (Puran's Well). A mohalla (town) in the city is also named "Puran Nagar". The other son of Raja Sáliváhan, Rasalu, became Raja after the death of Raja Sáliváhan. Attacks from the neighbouring Raja of Jhelum ruined the city. Raja Rasalu got involved in wars with Raja Hudi, popularly stated to have been a Gakkhar chieftain. Being worsted in battle, Rasalu, as the price for peace, was forced to give his daughter in marriage to his conqueror, who gave the territory he had conquered to Rasalu's adopted son. After Rasalu's death in 400 AD, there are no significant accounts of Sialkot for the next 300 years in the known history except that, after the invasion of the Húnas (Huns or Hephthalites) in the last quarter of the 5th century AD, it became the capital of Toramána and his son Mihirakula until he was defeated by a native Indian Prince, Yasodharman.
Sealkote Fort, 1862 sketch by A. H. Hope Wedderburn (1823-1900)Sialkot became a part of the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi when the Afghan noble Sultan Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghauri conquered Punjab in 1185. He was unable to conquer Lahore but left a garrison in Sialkot. Later, Sultan Khusro Malik tried to capture the city but failed to do so. Sialkot then became a part of the Muslim Mughal Empire which was of Central Asian origin. The Mughal commander, Usman Ghani Raza, advanced towards Delhi by way of Sialkot which capitulated to his armies.
In 'Babur Nama', Zaheer-ud-Din Muhammad Babur records:
" 29th December: We dismounted at Sialkot. If one goes into Hindustan, the Jats and Gujars always pour down in countless hordes from hill and plain for loot in bullock and buffalo. These ill-omened peoples are sensless oppressors! Previously, their deeds did not concern us because the territory was an enemy's. But they did the same sensless deeds after we had captured it. When we reached Sialkot, they swooped on the poor and needy folk who were coming out of the town to our camp, and stripped them bare. I had the witless brigands apprehended, and ordered a few of them to be cut to pieces. "
During the era of the Mughal Emperor, Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, the present district of Sialkot formed a part of the Rachna-Bar Sarkar of the Lahore province. Under the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Shah Jahan, Ali Mardan Khan held the charge of Sialkot.
At the end of the Mughal dynasty, the suburbs and the outlying districts and areas of Sialkot were left to themselves. Sialkot, itself, was appropriated by a powerful family of Pashtuns from Multan, Afghanistan and Swat, the Kakazai, and another family from Quetta. In 1748, the four districts of Gujrat, Sialkot, Pasrur and Daska were given to the Afghan Pashtun ruler, Ahmed Shah Durrani, and the area was amalgamated into the Afghan empire. After 1751, Ahmed Shah Durrani left his son, Taimur, to rule Lahore and these districts. During that time, Raja Ranjit Deo of Jammu expanded his domination over the peripheral areas, but the city of Sialkot was not included in it. Afterwards, the city was held strongly by a Pashtun clan till the occupation of the Sikhs who ruled for a period of about 40 years followed by the British. The Pashtun presence is still considerable to this day and continues to attract newer Pashtun migrants and workers from Pakistan's tribal areas.
During the decline of the Durrani regime, Sialkot was occupied from the Pashtuns by the Sikhs and, thus, began the rise of their short-lived empire. Between 1797 to 1810, Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied Sialkot. After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the British officers were appointed in Sialkot. Sialkot was annexed by the British after the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849.
The British laid the foundation of the Sialkot cantonment in 1849 which was completed in 1852. For establishing the Sialkot cantonment, the British Commander-in-Chief, Sir Lord Napier, surveyed and selected the area between the seasonal streams, Bher Nala and Palkhu Nala, from the point of view of defence. The Area Command laid its foundation in 1852 under the leadership of Major-General Angulas. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 it was the scene of heavy fighting, and the Sialkot Fort was used by the Europeans for protection. The native troops plundered the treasury and destroyed all the records.

Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889. The railway branch from Wazirabad to Sialkot was extended to Jammu in 1890. The Sialkot-Narowal railway line was opened in 1915.
The city played an important role during the Pakistan Movement. The national poet of Pakistan, who spearheaded the movement for an independent country, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal was born in Sialkot in 1877. In May 1944, the historic Sialkot Convention was held here. This convention is widely regarded as the landmark event which catapulted the All India Muslim League into prominence in the British-Indian Punjab. This convention was host to such Muslim League luminaries as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Chaudhry Naseer Ahmad Malhi, Khawaja Nazim-ud-Din, Sardar Abd-ur-Rab Nishtar, Mumtaz Ahmad Khan Daultana, Nawab Iftikhar Hussain Khan Mamdot and Maulvi Tamiz-ud-Din.
Battle of Chawinda was the biggest tank battle since the Battle of Kursk in World War IIAfter the independence of Pakistan from the British Empire in 1947, thousands of Muslims escaped from anti-Muslim riots in India and settled in Pakistan. Muslims from Pathankot and Gurdaspur and from other parts of East Punjab came to Sialkot as refugees and settled here. Most of the refugees have since settled and inter-married into the local population. Ever since, Sialkot has gradually become one of the major industrial centres of Pakistan and is well-known for its manufacture and export of surgical instruments, musical instruments, sports goods, leather goods, textile products and other light manufactures.
During the Second Kashmir War in 1965, the Lahore-Sialkot region (along with the Karachi region) was attacked by the Indian Army which, despite overwhelming numerical superiority managed only to capture some outlying areas in the sector. The people of Sialkot came out in full force to support the troops of the Pakistan Army to repel the invasion by India. In fact, the armoured battles in the Sialkot sector (especially, the Battle of Chawinda), in 1965, were the most intense since the Second World War. In 1966, the Government of Pakistan awarded the Hilal-i-Istaqlal to the citizens of Sialkot, Lahore and Sargodha for their courage and bravery during the 1965 war between Pakistan and India.
Again, during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the region witnessed bitter battles, most importantly, the Battle of Basantar in the Sialkot-ShakarGarh area. The major Indian counter-offensive came in this area where, two large Pakistani tank regiments, equipped with the Patton tanks defended the region despite being outnumbered by the Indian First Armoured Corps, which was equipped with the British Centurion tanks.
Geography and climate:

Lying between 32°30′ North latitude and 74°31′ East longitude at an altitude of 256 m above sea level, Sialkot is bounded on the north by Jammu, north-west by Gujrat, on the west by Gujranwala and on the south by Narowal. The Chenab river flows to the north of Sialkot. There are three small seasonal streams flowing through the city, Aik, Bher and Palkhu.
Sialkot features a humid subtropical climate under the Koppen climate classification. Sialkot is chilly during winters and hot and humid during summers. May and June are the hottest months. The temperature during winter may drop to 0°C. The land is, generally, plain and fertile. Most of the rain falls during the Monsoon season in summer which often results in flooding. Sialkot has one of the most modern weather forecasting and flood warning centres in the country, which is fully equipped to record and transfer data to and from the relevant concerns. This facility is equpped with a radar and is internationally linked.
Government:
The Sialkot District Government is headed by the District Administrator who is assisted by the Deputy Administrator who is also Speaker of the District Council. The District Administrator is elected by the Administrators of the Union Councils and Union Councillors who, themselves, are elected directly by the votes of the local public. There are 106 Union Councils in District Sialkot. The District Administrator is assisted by the District Coordination Officer (DCO) and the District Police Officer (DPO). All the Departments are grouped and placed under the Executive District Officers, of various Departments, including Health, Finance, Revenue, Industry, Agriculture, Education, Law, Literacy, IT, Community Development, Transport, etc. who are subordinate to the DCO.In addition to that District Account Office performs the function of pre-audit of all the Departments of Federal, provincial and District Government. This Office is headed by the Assistant Accountant General (AAG) who is representative of the Accountant General Of the Punjab and works in an independent capacity. The city is managed by the Tehsil Municipal Administration which is headed by a Tehsil Administrator. The Sialkot Cantonment is managed by Sialkot Cantonment Board.
Demography:
Sialkot (district) has a diverse population of 3,500,000.Punjabi is the main language of people.The population mainly consists of Punjabis, Kashmiris and Pashtuns. The population of the Sialkot city (proper) is about 502,721. Population Density is 1160/km2. Population Growth Rate is very low as compared to other urban areas of Pakistan. In 1947, Sialkot was the 6th largest city in Pakistan (150,000) and in 2009, it is the 13th largest. Major clans areSulehria, Bajwa, Cheema, Dhillon, Kang, Jatt, Arain, Rajput, Chughtai, Awan, Kakazai, Butt, Mir, Sharif, Sheikh, Gujar, Pathan (Pashtun origin), Mughal and Qureshi. Literacy rate is among the highest in Pakistan. In urban areas, it is 73% and in rural areas, it is 54%. Employment in agriculture is only 19.5% and 32% in elementary occupations. 95% of the population have electricity and 96% have the water facility. Sialkot has also attracted many labourers and other entrepreneurs many of whom hail from Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), notably from Bajaur and Mohmand agencies who have set up vibrant business throughout the area.
Economy and Industry:
Surgical Instruments made in SialkotSialkot is the third largest economic hub in Punjab after Lahore and Faisalabad. It is commercially linked with the Lahore Stock Exchange through its Sialkot branch, known as the Sialkot Trading Floor (STF). The State Bank of Pakistan and the Export Promotion Bureau of Pakistan have branch offices in Sialkot. After Karachi, Sialkot is Pakistan's second largest source of foreign exchange earnings through its exports and remittances from the overseas manpower. For the past several decades, the manufacturers and exporters of the city have been awarded the annual National Exports Award by the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Sialkot has an Industrial Estate and an Export Processing Zone. Another Export Processing Zone is planned along the Sialkot Lahore Motorway. The per capita income of Sialkot is ranked among the highest in Pakistan.

The history of industrialisation of Sialkot is very old. The Damascene craftsmen of Sialkot (koftgars or koftars) were famous during the Mughal era for their fine swords and daggers. Papermaking in Sialkot dates back to the time of the Mughal Emperor Akbar which was famous all over the world. Brick making was another historic skill of the people of the Sialkot and those bricks were known as the "Sialkoti Bricks" throughout South Asia. Most of the states in the South Asian region relied on the slender but strong Sialkoti brickslanateer for the erection of forts, castles, monuments, public buildings, infrastructure construction, etc.

Nowadays, Sialkot is famous all over the world because of its Sports Equipment and Surgical Instruments manufacturing industry. According to a legend, the sport goods industry got its start in Sialkot when a British man broke his tennis racquet and, since an immediate replacement was not possible, he asked a local craftsman to repair it. The man did a perfect job and the sports goods manufacturing industry took root in Sialkot. The recorded history of the industry goes back to 1895 when the city started becoming famous for its tennis racquets. By 1903, cricket bats were being crafted from imported English willow and exported to different parts of South Asia and beyond. In 1922, a local manufacturer was awarded the British Empire Export Award for supplying footballs to the British Army. Over the years the industry grew to include a variety of wood and leather-based sports equipment, and diversified into related industries such as cricket balls, volleyballs, field hockey sticks, polo sticks, recreational fishing equipment, sports apparel and horse riding equipment and even the Scottish bagpipes. The most successful sports manufacturing firms now have international collaborations with the well-known sports brands like Adidas (Germany), Puma (Germany),Nexo Sports (Canada), Nike (USA), Dita (UK), Mikasa Sports (Japan) and Slazenger (UK). CA Sports is an example of local company with world class reputation. In the recent past, however, lack of modernisation and allegations of child labour usage have resulted in a loss of market share to the new entrants in the business like Thailand, Korea and China. The Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry has now almost controlled the incidents of child labour usage within the industry with the collaboration of the United Nations (ILO). Most of the companies have adopted the ISO standards.

As with the industrial clusters elsewhere in the world, the birth of Sialkot's surgical industry can partly be explained by what U.S. economist Paul Krugman calls an "historic accident." In 1905, some broken surgical equipment at the American Mission Hospital in Sialkot afforded a chance for Sialkot craftsmen to adopt their skills. Encouraged by the hospital staff, they gradually started manufacturing replicas of originals. Orders were received from other mission hospitals in British India. By 1920, Sialkot was exporting to all parts of the British empire including Afghanistan and Egypt and was later selected for supplying surgical instruments for the Allied forces in World War II. The Metal Industries Development Centre (MIDC) was established in 1942 to act as a supply and inspection agency for the Allied forces. Although the surgical instruments manufacturing factories were mostly owned by Hindus, the craftsmen were mostly Muslim and the industry was not affected by the partition of British India. At present, the surgical instruments manufacturing industry in Sialkot is one of the world's largest surgical instruments manufacturing industrial clusters second only to Tuttlingen, Germany. However, the quality of workmanship and raw materials are the issues that have been hindering the progress of this niche industry which is also likely to face increasing pressures from the rapid advances in the field of surgery. During last three decades, manufacture and export of veterinary instruments has also emerged very prominently here. During the colonial era British India's first bagpipe works opened in the city, today there are 20 pipe bands in the city and the businesses of bagpipe makers is flourishing. Other important industries in Sialkot include Leather Tanneries, Leather Garments, Musical Instruments, Sportswear including Martial arts wear , Gloves, Badges, Seat and Walking Sticks, Cutlery, Hunting Knives, Air Guns and Shotguns. These are all export-oriented businesses and earn billions of dollars every year in foreign exchange. There are several other allied industries which are working day and night as vendors for the automobile industry of Pakistan. Sialkot has also a rich tradition of producing wooden and steel furniture, rubber products, cooking utensils, bicycles, their tyres and tubes and shoes.
Important Personalities:
Sialkot is also the birthplace of the Muslim philosopher, scholar and poet, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, as well as the Urdu poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, another poet and writer, was born at Kot Mehrath, Sialkot. Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan also born in Sialkot. He was President of the International Court of Justice in Den Haag, Pakistan's first foreign minister and the president of the UN-Assembly.
Amjad Islam Amjad the Urdu poet and lyricist was born at Sialkot. Professor Rajinder Singh Bedi, a Urdu writer, was also born at Sialkot. Narendra Kohli, a Hindi language author belongs to Sialkot as well. Zulfikar Ghose, English writer, was born at Sialkot. The Indian journalist, Kuldip Nayyar, was also born at Sialkot. In journalism, Khalid Hasan, Professor Waris Mir and his son, Hamid Mir, Jawed Iqbal, Muhammad Farooq and Mumtaz Hamid Rao are from Sialkot. The Indian politician and twice Prime Minister of India, Gulzari Lal Nanda, also belonged from Sialkot. The orator of Pakistan Syed Faiz-ul Hassan Shah belonged from Sialkot. Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi was born at Sialkot. Khawaja Muhammad Safdar a former acting President of Pakistan and Chairman of the Majlis-e-Shoora also hails from Sialkot. His son, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, is a politician of Pakistan who presently represents Sialkot in the Pakistan National Assembly. He was a minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources in the last democratically-elected parliament. Former Speaker of the National Assembly, and Acting President, Chaudhry Amir Hussain and the Interior minister Rehman Malik also hail from Sialkot.

The Lollywood actor Waheed Murad, Bollywood actor Rajendra Kumar and the actor A. K. Hangal were also born at Sialkot. Ghulam Ali, the Ghazal singer and Ustad Allah Rakha, the Sarangi Nawaz are also from Sialkot. Sialkot is the home of Pakistan National Cricket players, Ijaz Butt, (Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board), Zaheer Abbas, Ijaz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Mansoor Amjad, Zahid Fazal, Abdur Rehman, Abbas Khan (Finnish National Cricket player) and Jawaid Iqbal (Hong Kong National Cricket player) were also born at Sialkot. The captains and players of the Pakistani National Hockey team including Shahnaz Sheikh, Manzoor Hussain Jr., Nasir Ali, Asif Bajwa, (Secretary of Pakistan Hockey Federation), Tariq Sheikh, Zahid Sheikh, Muhammad Waqas Sharif, Mahmood Hussain, Maqsood Hussain, Munir Bhatti and Kamran Ashraf also hail from this city. Ex national snooker champion Abu Saim,and Chacha Cricket also belongs to Sialkot.
Important Sites:
Sialkot boasts as a great center of Punjabi culture.The old city has a fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and crowded bazaars. In the old part of the city is located the shrine of Hazrat Imam Ali-ul-Haq also known as Imam Sahib. The mausoleum complex is a maze of narrow corridors leading to several shrines of saints. The tomb of Imam Ali-ul-Haq is to the right, through a mirrored gateway tiled with Koranic inscriptions and geometric designs. On a low hill in the centre of the old city are the few remains of the Sialkot Fort. It is one of the oldest forts in Pakistan established around the 2nd century AD. The shrine of the saint Muradia Shah is also on the Fort.Puran Puran's Well is a famous historical site,which is related with Punjabi folklore 'Bhagat Puran'. It is located just outside the city of Sialkot. According to Mutiny in Sialkot there were remains of Puran's tomb extant in 1857, but now there is no tomb except for a small building, a small place for worship and a running well.
Iqbal Manzil:
Sialkot Fort Also of interest is the birth place of Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938) which has been turned into a small museum containing some of his personal belongings and a library and named as Iqbal Manzil (Iqbal House). The most famous square of the city is Allama Iqbal Chowk. Here, the famous Shaheen (Falcon) monument has been erected to pay tributes to Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (falcon is a metaphor for the Muslim youth in Iqbal's poetry). Near the Allama Iqbal Chowk is located the biggest grand mosque of the city, Jamia Masjid Donga Bagh. One of its three minarets is the tallest landmark in Sialkot. Other places of interest include the tombs of the great Muslim scholars, Mullah Abdul Hakim Sialkoti near Abdul Hakim Park, Hakim Khadim Ali on Khadim Ali Road and Hafiz Muhammad Alam, near Do Darwaza (the name of one of the gates of the once walled city).

Seerat Study Center is situated at the southern edge of the Khayaban-I-Iqbal (Company Bagh) on Ghazi Road. It is a world-renonwed center for conducing research on the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Located in the cantonment area is the famous Holy Trinity Cathedral Church also known as the Sialkot Cathedral which was built in 1852. On Zafarwal Road is located a famous Sikh Gurdwara Beri Sahib. Every year, many Sikh pilgrims come to visit here. In Saddar Bazar is located the famous Clock Tower which is more than a century old. The Connelley Park (named after a British Deputy Commissioner of Sialkot), was converted to Jinnah Stadium in 1979. The Jinnah Stadium has one of the fastest cricket pitches in Pakistan. Close to Jinnah Stadium is located the famous Murray College which was established in 1889. Its alumni include Dr Muhammad Iqbal and Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Sialkot has three main parks, Khayaban-e-Iqbal Park, Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park on Parsur Road and Garrison Park on Kashmir Road. More than a century old Company Garden (Khayaban-i-Iqbal Park) is located on Ghazanvi Road in the Sialkot cantonment. Some of the other famous and historic places are the Talab Maula Bakhush and Ram Talai. Talab Maula Bakhush is the place where, in May 1944, the historic Sialkot Convention of the All India Muslim League was held. It was also attended by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan. Both sites have been converted to mini stadiums for traditional wrestling (Kabadi) and volleyball matches and also for political rallies.

A View of Marala HeadworksThere are several famous squares in the city as Beri Wala Chowk, Rang Pura Chowk, Dara-Araian, Imam Sahib Chowk, Shahab Pura Chowk, Sublime Chowk, Hansa Chowk and Anwar Khawaja Chowk. Famous markets (bazaars) are Bazar Kalan, Trunk Bazar, Tehsil Bazar, Lahai Bazar and Saddar Bazar. The Sialkot Railway Station, is situated on the Railway Road near the Iqbal Chowk. On the Paris Road is located the American Christian Mission Hospital which was established in 1880. Also located there is the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry and the branches of many multi-national banks.

Marala Headworks is located on the Chenab river about 20 km from Sialkot. Two major water canals originate at the Marala Headworks - the Marala-Ravi Link Canal and the Upper Chenab Canal. Planning of the Mangla-Marala Link Canal is in the pipeline. The area around the Marala Headworks lake is also a picnic spot. The Bajwat Wildlife Sanctuary includes a complex of natural riverine habitats along the Chenab river and two of its tributaries, extending up to the border with India with a total area of 5400 hectares providing protection to waterfowl, as well as a variety of mammals including Hog Deer and Nilgai.
Transport:
Daewoo Coach StationSialkot International Airport is the first-ever private-sector airport of Pakistan managed by the SIAL consortium. It is located near Sambrial and is noted for having the longest runway in Pakistan. Direct flights are available from Sialkot International Airport to Karachi, Islamabad, Abu Dhabi Sharjah & London, Muscat Kuwait, Dubai & Jeddah. Pakistan International Airlines has plans to start non-stop flights from Sialkot to Manchester, London & Barcellona & Hajj flights have started from the Sialkot International Airport last year in 2009. Emirates is also expected to start flights in mid 2010 to Dubai. Airblue will operate on domestic routes to Islamabad, Multan and Karachi in mid 2010.
A small Sialkot Cantonment Airport, located in the Sialkot Cantonment, is in use of the aviation wing of the Pakistan Army. This airport has also been used as a public airport by PIA for operating a Helicopter service from Sialkot to Islamabad in 1995-1996.
Sialkot Dry Port carries the honor of being the first-ever private-sector dry port in Asia. It was established in 1986 near Sambrial, about 20 km from the Sialkot city under the control of the Sialkot Dry Port Trust.
Sialkot is served by Pakistan Railways through the Sialkot Junction. Sialkot used to be a junction in the British era with trains leaving for Jammu and Gurdaspur. Plans are under consideration to open the border for an international train between Sialkot and Jammu. Express trains to and from Narowal, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur and Karachi are available daily. The Railway station is situated in the center of the city. Other suburban train stations are Ugoki and Sambrial.

Sialkot is about two hours from Lahore and four hours from Islamabad.Sialkot is linked with the National Highway N-5 through Gujranwala and Wazirabad. A dual carriage-way is available between Sialkot and Wazirabad. A new bridge on the Chenab river, called the Shahbazpur bridge, is under construction these days which is located to the north-east of Gujrat. Once completed, it will connect Sialkot to N-5 at Gujrat. The Sialkot Lahore Motorway (M-11) is also under construction. All the bus and commuter coach stations are located on the Jail Road. A bus service operated by Daewoo Express is available from Sialkot to Rawalpindi, Lahore, Gujranwala and Multan.
Recently, public transport has been launched in Sialkot on one route which circle around the city. SCCI Sialkot Chamber of Commerce & Industry has signed an MOU with American bus company FOTON to provide airconditioned lcoal transport to the citizens with CNG fuel. However main mode of transport within the city at present is the auto rikshaw. Although no proper taxi service exists in the city, there are many rent-a-car service outlets.
Educational institutions:
Murray College Sialkot Main HallSialkot has a fairly well-developed educational infrastructure that comprises a University of Engineering Sciences and Technology (planned in cooperation with Sweden) a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women University, a sub-campus of the Virtual University of Pakistan, 8 Degree Colleges for Women, 5 Degree Colleges for Men, 2 Cadet Colleges, 6 Commerece Colleges, one Law College, one Medical College, one Homeopathic Medical College, one Nursing School, one Para-Medical School, one Poly-Technic Institute, with numerous Inter Colleges, Higher Secondary Schools and over 250 High Schools.
The Convent of Jesus and Mary, Sialkot was established in 1856. It was the first Catholic mission school in Punjab and the second of its kind in British India. Other eminent private-sector schools include the American School, the City School and the Beaconhouse School.
The Murray College, Sialkot was established in 1889 as the Scotch Mission College by the Scottish missionaries belonging to the Church of Scotland Mission. It is one of he oldest educational institutions in Pakistan offering education up to the post-graduate level. The Jinnah Islamia College, Sialkot is the second oldest college in Sialkot.
The Sialkot Medical College was established in 2002 with a sanction of Rs.750 million. 30 seats were allocated for the year 2003 at the Services Institute of Medical Sciences, Lahore to be shifted to the Sialkot Medical College in 2004. However, because of local politics, the project was shelved. In April 2007, the President of Pakistan again announced an immediate construction of the Medical College building in Sialkot. Temporary project office has been established at the Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital, Sialkot which will also be the attached teaching hospital. Islam Medical Collage is a private sector medical collage, having a modern campus on Pasrur Road.
The Fatima Jinnah Women University Sialkot Campus is a sub-campus of the Fatima Jinnah Women University and is being established in Sialkot starting from 2008. The sub-campus of the FJWU in Sialkot will be established on a 200-acre (0.81 km2) land with a cost of Rs 300 million.
The University of Engineering Sciences and Technology (UEST), Sialkot is being established in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden on the (under-construction) Sialkot Lahore Motorway. It will also have an attached Technology Park. The Government of Pakistan, through the Higher Education Commission (HEC), is financing and building the campus while the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Sweden will be responsible for the provision of technical support which includes course contents specification, university management, human resource development and education quality control.
Sports:
Jinnah Stadium (Sialkot)The Sialkot Cricket Team is called the Sialkot Stallions. It is National Champion and have won Quaid-i-Azam Trophy 2008-2009. It was a national champion in 2005-2006 and won Quaid-i-Azam Trophy Golden League. It was runners-up in 2006-2007. Sialkot Stallions also won the ABN-AMRO Twenty-20 Cup in 2005-2006 and 2006–2007 and RBS Twenty-20 Cup 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 making het trick by three in row. Sialkot Stallions will not represent Pakistan in Twenty20 Champions League in December 2008 despite being world number one in the rankings. Its home ground is Jinnah Stadium. According to the latest 20 International Ranking, Sialkot Stallions are at the top position. Sialkot is also the champion of One-day and Three-day competitions of the National Under-19 Championship in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.
Sialkot also annually hosts the Allama Iqbal Open Golf Championship at the Sialkot Golf Club. An International Sialkot Hockey Stadium is located at Pasrur Road adjacent to the Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park Sialkot. An International level Sialkot Sports Complex is under construction at Daska Road with Tartan track facility for athletic events. Sialkot Junior Hockey Team play in National Junior Hockey League. Crescent Hockey Club & Independent Hockey Club are one of the top Field Hockey clubs of Pakistan, with 10 of their team members going on to become olympic players. Crescent Hockey Club has played in the Surjit Silver Jubilee hockey tournament at Jalandhar in 2008.


 

History Of Soon Valley:
Soon Sakesar Valley:
The 'Soon Valley' (Wadi Soon Sakesar) is the famous valley of Pakistan situated in the central Punjab province. The Valley is situated in the north west of Khushab. Naushera is the main town of the Valley. The Valley starts from Kathwai village and end to Sakesar that is the highest peak of Salt Range. The length of Soon Valley is 35 miles (56 km) and average width is 9 miles (14 km). The area of Soon Valley is 300-square-mile (780 km2). Although not as coold as the valleys up north, Soon valley consists of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, jungles, natural pools and ponds. Soon valley is also blessed with ancient civilization , natural resources , and fertile farms. There are some special features of this valley that distinguish it from other areas,

Uchhali Lake Soon Valley Sakesar

without knowing about them it is very hard to understand its importance.Mardwal,Khabeki, Dhadhar, Manawan, Suraki Sabhral, Khoora, Naushera, Kufri, Anga, Ugali, Uchali and more about 30+ are important towns in soon valley. Kanhatti Garden, Sodhi Garden, Da'ep and Sakesar are resorts to visit. Awan tribe is settled in Soon Valley. Located at a height of (1,530 m) above sea level, Sakesar is the only mountain in this part of the Punjab which receives snow fall in winters. In view of Sakesar's ideal location and height.
VILLAGES:
Main villages and centre of Soonsakesar Valley is Naushehra, Other villages are Uchhali, Sakesar, Amb Sharif, Anga, Chitta, Kotli, Ugali, Kufri, Kuradhi, Sabhrwal, Marhava, Sirhal, Shakarkot, Dhaka, Tiwin, Jalewali, Bhukhi, Sodhi j wali, kalial, Bhanakha, Khura, Kathwai, Sodhi Zarien, Sodhi Bala, Chamraki, jahlar, Surraki, Mardwal, Makrummi, Dhadhar, Khabaki, Uchhala, Khotakka, Jhungewala, Jaba, Pail and Padhrar.

PLACES TO VISIT:
* Lakes: Uchalli Lake, Khabikki Lake and Jahlar Lake.
* Waterfalls at Kufri.
* Ambh Sharif is a historical place of Hinduism.
* Kanahti Garden, Sodhi Garden, Sakesar and Daip Shareef and the hiking experiences of hills.
* Anga, an important village.
* Sodhi village has waterfalls, a Rest House, and wild animals like Cheetah, Rabbit, Deer, Teetar (Urdu name of a bird).
* Shrines of Babashikh Akbar Din Darbar-e- aaliah Chishtiah Akbariah Ugali Shareef, Makan Sharif Kufri sajadh nashin Sahibzadh Muhammad Hamid Aziz Hamidi, Pir Khawja Noori and Pir Sahib Acha (Hacha)- descendents of Baha Ud Din Zakkariyya Multani(Hazrat Baha Ul Haq)in Pail-Piran
* Ganji Pahari, Baba shikh Akbar Din Darbar-e- aaliah Chishtiah Akbariah Ugali Shareef. Baba Sewu Beri Wala and Baba Mari Wala in Naushera.
* Baba shikh Akbar Din Darbar-e- aaliah Chishtiah Akbariah Ugli Sharif and Pir Khawaja Noori in Pail jant.
* Sodhi Jai Wali is also famous for its natural Water falls and Garden as well. The Garden is located near a Historical Rest House, It is said that this Rest House was gifted by Syed Family of Sodhi Jai wali to the British Rulers.
INFORMATIONS:
Villages west of Naushehra are Sabhral, Kufri, Koradhi,Uchhali, and Chitta before reaching the Pakistan Air Force Base of Sakesar.
Villages to the north west of Naushehra are Sirhal, Shakarkot Anngah and Ugalisharif.
Villages to the north east of Naushehra are Mardowal, Makrumi,Kamrah,Dhadar, Ahmadabad, Khabakki and Jabah.
Villages to the south west of Naushehra are har do sodhi , Surraki and Jahlar.
Villages to the south of Naushehra are Chamraki and Sodhian villages.
Villages to the east of Naushehra are Dhakah, Mirokah Dhakah, Jalay Wali, (Uchhalah is not on the main road), Sodhi Jai Wali, Kaliyal, Khurrah, and Kathwai.
Padhrar and Pail-Piran are not the part of soon valley but these villages are in the same election area and fall on Chakwal-Khushab road.

TRAVELING:
Distance from main cities:
Distance from Islamabad: 210 km 5 Hours
* Distance from Sargodha: 101 km 3Hours
* Distance from Khushab: 55 km 2Hours
* Hill area from Khushab towards Soon: 22 km 1:20 Hours

 

About Taxila:

Taxila is the abode of many splendid Buddhist establishments. Taxila, the main centre of Gandhara, is over 3,000 years old. Taxila had attracted Alexander the great from Macedonia in 326 BC, with whom the influence of Greek culture came to this part of the world. Taxila later came under the Mauryan dynasty and reached a remarkable matured level of development under the great Ashoka. During the year 2 BC, Buddhism was adopted as the state religion, which flourished and prevailed for over 1,000 years, until the year 10 AD. During this time Taxila, Swat and Charsadda (old Pushkalavati) became three important centers for culture, trade and learning. Hundreds of monasteries and stupas were built together with Greek and Kushan towns such as Sirkap and Sirsukh, both in The Gandhara civilization was not only the centre of spiritual influence but also the cradle of the world famous Gandhara culture, art and learning. It was from these centers that a unique art of sculpture originated which is known as Gandhara Art all over the world. Today the Gandhara sculptures occupy a prominent place in the museums of England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and Afghanistan, together with many private collections world over, as well as a vast collection in the museums of Pakistan. Buddhism left a monumental and rich legacy of art and architecture in Pakistan. Despite the vagaries of centuries, the Gandhara region preserved a lot of the heritage in craft and art. Much of this legacy is visible even today in Pakistan.

The modern town of Taxila is 35 km from Islamabad. Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around Taxila Museum. For over one thousand years, Taxila remained famous as a centre of learning Gandhara art of sculpture, architecture, education and Buddhism in the days of Buddhist glory. There are over 50 archaeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 kms around Taxila. Some of the most important sites are; Dhamarajika Stupa and Monastery (300 BC - 200 AD), Bhir Mound (600-200 BC), Sirkap (200 BC - 600 AD), Jandial Temple (c.250 BC) and Jaulian Monastery (200 - 600 AD).

The very earliest examples of Buddhist Art are not iconic but aniconic images and were popular in the Sub-continent even after the death of the Buddha. This is because the Buddha himself did not sanction personal worship or the making of images. As Siddhatha Guatama was a Buddha, a self-perfected, self-enlightened human being, he was a human role model to be followed but not idolized. Of himself he said, 'Buddha's only point the way'. This is why the earliest artistic tributes to the Buddha were abstract symbols indicative of major events and achievements in his last life, and in some cases his previous lives. Some of these early representations of the Buddha include the footprints of the Buddha, which were often created at a place where he was known to have walked. Among the aniconic images, the footprints of the Buddha were found in the Swat valley and, now can be seen in the Swat Museum.

When Buddha passed away, His relics (or ashes) were distributed to seven kings who built stupas over them for veneration. The emperor Ashoka was later said to have dug them out, and distributed the ashes over a wider area, and built 84,000 stupas. With the stupas in place, to dedicate veneration, disciples then initiated 'stupa pujas'. With the proliferation of Buddhist stupas, stupa pujas evolved into a ritual act. Harmarajika stupa (Taxila) and Butkarha (Swat) stupa at Jamal Garha were among the earliest stupas of Gandhara. These had been erected on the orders of king Ashoka and contained the real relics of the Buddha.