Gurdaspur

Gurdaspur is a city in the state of Punjab, situated in the North-West part of the Republic of India. It is located in the center of and is the administrative head of Gurdaspur District. It was the location of a fort (later turned into a Brahmin monastery) which was famous for the siege it sustained in 1712 from the Mughals.

 
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History

It is historically important in connection with the rise of the Sikh Confederacy. In the latter part of the 18th Century, the whole of the Punjab was distributed among the Sikh chiefs who triumphed over the Imperial Mughal governors. In the course of a few years, however, Maharaja Ranjit Singh acquired all the territory which those chiefs had held. Pathankot and the neighboring villages in the plain, together with the whole of the hill portion of the district, formed part of the area ceded by the Sikhs to the British after the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1845. In 1862, after receiving one or two additions, the district was brought into its present shape. In 1901 the population was 940,334, showing a slight decrease, compared with an increase of 15% in the previous decade.

Gurdaspur was founded by Sahib Deep Chand and was named after his grandfather Guriya in the beginning of 17th century. In his honour, this city was named Gurdaspur. He bought land for Gurdaspur from the Jats of the Sangi Gotra. Guriya, a Sanwal Brahmin of the Kaushal Gotra came from Paniar, a village situated 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The ancestors of Guriya had come from Ayodhya and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two sons Nawal Rai and Pala. The descendants of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur and Nawal Rai’s son Baba Deep Chand was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Owner Of Treasure) to Baba Deep Chand. The descendants of Baba Deep Chand are called Mahants

Gurdaspur was the last bastion of Banda Bahadur. Banda Bahadur's legend lives on in the poem "Bandabir", by the Indian Nobel prize winner Rabindranath Tagore. The poem, written in the Bengali language, has been translated into English, since

Geography

Gurdaspur is located at 32°02′N 75°31′E / 32.03, 75.52[2]. It has an average elevation of 242 metres (793 ft). The district comprises an area of 1889 km². It is bounded on the north by the Jammu region, of Jammu & Kashmir. Chamba, on the east by Kangra district and the Beas River, on the south by Amritsar district, and on the west by Sialkot, and occupies the submontane portion of the Ban Doab, or tract between the Beas and the Ravi River. The district includes sanatorium of Dalhousie mountain which stands 7687 ft. above sea-level. This station, which has a large fluctuating population during the warmer months, crowns the most westerly shoulder of a snowy range, the Dhauladhar, between which and the plain two minor ranges intervene. Below the hills stretches an undulating plateau covered with abundant timber, made green by a copious rainfall, and watered by the streams of the Ban Doab, which, diverted by dams and embankments, now empty their waters into the Beas directly, in order that their channels may not interfere with the Ban Doab canal. The district contains several large Jheels or swampy lakes, and is famous for its snipe-shooting. Pathankot is another town from which one has to pass to enter Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh state.

Places of Interest

Fish Park - located near Civil Lines

One place to visit is Fish Park when visiting Gurdaspur. It is located near Civil Lines, a cluster of homes in the city. It is not uncommon to see locals exercising and spending time at Fish Park during evening and morning hours.

Fish Park once was an area of overgrown grass and weeds, and a pond was situated in the center. At the pond, one was able to purchase food for the fish and feed it to the fish in it. This was approximately ten to eleven years ago. A massive re-designing process took place a few years later, and that made Fish Park what it is today. Although there are no longer "fish" in the park, the center of the park has a statue of a fish, hence the name. The park is now well-manicured and well-kept by the city. It is a popular place to go to in the evening, where one may purchase snacks like popcorn, a kulfi, and freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Kabootri Darwaza - part of the old Gurdaspur Bazaar

Here one can find sweet-meat shops, enjoy Puri, Chhole and Lassi at its best, and every kind of sweet ranging from fresh hot Jalebis to pure Khoya Barfi.

Historically, Gurdaspur has its own importance. The great Mughal Emperor Akbar's Coronation site (Takhti-Akbari) is located in Kalanaur. Kalanaur is a small town located around 30km away from Gurdaspur.

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