Gujranwala city appears to be 500 years old. The origin of the name Gujranwala is shrouded in the mists of time. The first name of the settlement according to the compilers of the first edition of the district Gazette was khanpur Shansi after an individual of the JAT cast called Khan Shansi who founded 11 villages in the nearby area. For some reason, the Jaat Tribe Gujar occupied the land. They reach such dominance that the town came to be known as Gujranwala. The Compilers of the district Gazetteer Gujranwala date this name to Approximately 300 years, giving us a rough estimate of the middle of the 16th century. Other smaller towns in the vicinity, for example, Sohdara Eminabad Wazirabad and Ghakkar have older antecedents than Gujranwala itself.
Sikh Period: 1762-1849 A.D.
The Sikhs established their Empire in Punjab after the death of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir in 1707. With the death of Aurangzeb, the country saw a series of rapid governmental changes that stressed it into the depths of anarchy. Taking advantage of this certain Charat Singh, who was the head of one of the Sikh Clans, established his stronghold in Gujranwala in 1763. Charat Singh died in 1774 and was succeeded by his son, Mahan Singh, who in turn fathered the most brilliant leader in the history of the Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh. It was this short scattered man, addicted to strong drink, unlettered; blind in one eye who united the Punjab under one flag. His rule stretched from the banks of the Gambian to the Khyber and from Kashmir to Multan. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the most powerful of all the Sikh Rulers and ruled over for complete 40 years. After his death in 1840, the Sikh Empire was divided into small principalities looked after by several Sikh Jagirdars. This weak situation provided a good opportunity to the British of East India Company to put an end to the Sikh stronghold in Punjab in 1849.
British Period: 1849-1947 A.D.
The area was annexed by the British in 1849. The Deputy Commissioner of that time Sir Bernardth Rebuilt the “Sialkoti Gate” , “Lahore Gate” and “Khiyaaly Gate”. A railway line was built along G.T. Road which then was moved 100 yards towards the Eastern Punjab in 1881. That railway line interconnected Gujranwala with other cities of Punjab and made the commercial trade between cities more convenient. British ruled the city until Pakistan’s independence in 1947.
After the distribution of subcontinent India, all the Sikhs and the Hindus migrated to India and the Muslim pilgrims of the Eastern Indian-Punjab moved to Gujranwala.
Gujranwala now is an agricultural marketing center (grains, melons, sugarcane), it is also a commercial and industrial center, manufacturing ceramics,iron safes, copper, brass, and aluminium utensils. The establishment of an industrial park, textile, silk, pipefitting, electric fan, and tannery production increased its importance. Cultivation in the surrounding area is dependent upon canal irrigation. Wheat, cotton, rice, barley, and millet are the chief crops. World ‘s best Quality Rice grows here. In 1951 the city was converted into the capital of the district which Gave rise to the new industries in the city. The Gujranwala hydroelectric project provides power from the Chanab River. There are also rice and sugar mills and glassworks in the locality. City has an International Level Cricket Stadium, Jinnah Stadium also or formerly known as Municipal Stadium. Gujranwala, chamber of commerce & industry came into being. In November 1978, and the first elected executive committee (Majlis-a-Aamla) took the charge of the chamber. In all over Pakistan GCCI is one of those chambers who have their own building. The credit of construction of chamber’s building undoubtedly goes to its founders. Now apart from the chamber office, the Zonal / Circle offices of Habib Bank Limited, United Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited and State Bank of Pakistan are functioning in the building. The city has many hospitals and several colleges affiliated with the University of the Punjab.
Climate / Weather
Gujranwala has a hot semi-arid climate (BSh), according to the Köppen-Geiger system, and changes throughout the year. During summer (June to September), the temperature reaches 36–42 °C (97–108 °F). The coolest months are usually November to February when the temperature can drop to an average of 7 °C (45 °F). The highest precipitation months are usually July and August when the monsoon reaches the Punjab. During the other months, the average rainfall is about 25 millimetres (0.98 in). October to May have little rainfall.
City of Wrestlers
Gujranwala is famous as the city of wrestlers. The City and wrestling run neck to neck. It has produced famous wrestlers of the sub-continent, who have proved their skill and strength. This city is proud to attain fame in sub-continent in this behalf with grand titles ever won by any city of the world. Before the independence of Pakistan The Great Gama was the unbeatable champion of Indo-Pak sub continent, but a Gujranwala Wrestler Raheem Sultani wala wrestled twice with the Great Gama and won the title of “Rustum Hind” or “The Lion Of India”.
The famous Wrestlers (grapplers) were: Rahim Bux Phelwan Sultani wala (Rustum Hind), Younus Phelwan (Sitar-e-Pakistan), Acha Phelwan (Sher-e-Pakistan) and many more were there who entitled the city as the “City of Wrestlers” or “Phelwana da shehur “.
Wrestling in Gujranwala nowdays is just official part of History. Still Friendly but often heated competitions (Dungal) are held in throughout Pakistan and Internationally. These matches are attended by thousands of spectators. Both men and boys competed with great excitement and enthusiasm.
Wrestling has always been a famous sport in Indo-Pakistan form several thousand years old. In ancient times, it was trained for combat and self-defence. Archaeological findings, dating back to 3000 B.C., indicated many enduring legends describing the wrestling bouts between gods, between mortals and between gods and mortals. In feudal times, wrestling matches were often fought to the death. Over centuries, Wrestling was gradually modified to become a sport. Safety rules were implemented and dangerous techniques were prohibited. Formal training methods were established. Standardized square earth-filled pits (Akhara), measuring approximately 20 feet by 20 feet for training and competition were introduced.
The Gurz has been a traditional Indo-Pakistani Trophy awarded to Champion Wrestlers (Phelwans) at Wrestling Competition ( Dungals) for over 400 years. The Gurz are handmade and vary in design and size, sometimes made out of silver or gold with inlaid precious stones. The Gurz is a symbol of spirit, strength and skill. The Gurz are still awarded to the best all around competitor, making the Dungals truly a part of the tradition.
General Information about the City
Gujranwala city, northeastern Punjab province, Pakistan. The city is connected by rail and the Grand Trunk Road with Peshawar and Lahore. Gujranwala has a relatively glorious history. City’s oral evidence from a resident and also cites inflection of the word Gujar to support his conclusion ” we , the inhabitant of Gujranwala ” have two sounds of the letter GAF- the soft letter and the hard letter. We pronounced Gujranwala with the soft one .The word Gujar ” milkman ” is pronounced with the hard Gaf and Gujar Jaat with the soft Gaf therefore it is not unreasonable to accept the view that it is from Gujars(milkman) that the city got its name. Gujranwala City is situated on both the sides of the G.T. Road, the longest Road of Pakistan, and is about 67 kms to the north of Lahore. It takes 1 hour to be at the city by any Local Train from Lahore. The new Railway Station was being opened on 15 May 1996 by the Commissioner of Gujranwala Division, It is a Busy Railway Station with 2 stops for Lahore and Peshawar daily. Punjabi is the daily life language, however Urdu and English is extensively used in all official and commercial circles. The Gujranwala District includes many small villages like Kamoke, Eminabad, Ferozwala, Rahwali, Talwandi Ghakkar. City is known as the “City of Wrestlers”. It has produced famous wrestlers of the subcontinent, who have proved their skill and strength. This city is proud to attain fame in subcontinent in this behalf with grand titles ever won by any city of the world. People are fond of food. The Hotels, Restaurants with their “Tikkas” “Chanps” “Kababs” are the favorite places of the people. In order to meet their appetite the Gujranwala fisher department has made Artificial Fish Ponds near Eminabad, which serves as hatchery for fishes for selling them in market. Where they are being Fried or being served with Rice.
Christian minority is living in FrancisAbad Gujranwala, with complete independence of their religion. A number of churches are there. Also a minority of Sikhs are living in Eminabad where they celebrate their annual “Bisaki” Festival.
The city has an International Level Cricket Stadium, Jinnah Stadium formerly known as Municipal Stadium. Many National and International Cricket matches had been held there. Jinnah stadium has a space of 20,000 spectators.
Different industries are working in various fields. Cotton, woolen textile, rice mills, vegetable oil mils, industrial machinery, fan manufacturing, motor industry, washing machine industry of wooden work, electric goods, poultry feed, soap, ball point rubber tire and tube, metal utensils, melamine utensils, cutlery, kitchen ware, ceramics tiles, sanitary wares, sanitary fittings and steel pipe industry are included. Utensils of Gujranwala are famous all over Country. The major exports of the city are Rice, textiles, carpets, transformer, garments, goods of glass, electric fans, sanitary fittings, surgical equipment, hosiery, leather products, metal utensils, auto parts sanitary wares and fittings.
The GCCI (Gujranwala Chamber of Commerce and Industries) promotes, aid, develop, stimulate and protect the economic interest of Pakistan general and of those engaged in industry, agriculture, commerce, trade, banking and insurance, in particular. The GCCI communicates with the chambers of commerce & industry or public bodies within or outside Pakistan concerts and promotes measures for the protection of trade, commerce and manufacturers and the labor engaged therein and to remove mutual hardships. GCCI collects and circulates statistics and other information relating to the commercial, industrial, agricultural and financial interest of the businessman and industrialists.
The GEPCO (Gujranwala Electric Power Company) supplies electrical power to commercial and residential sectors.
Gujranwala is situated along the historic Grand Trunk Road that connects Peshawar to Islamabad and Lahore. The Grand Trunk Road also provides access to the Afghan border via the Khyber Pass, with onward connections to Kabul and Central Asia via the Salang Pass. The Karakoram Highway provides access between Islamabad and western China, and an alternate route to Central Asia via Kashgar, China. Gujranwala is connected to Lahore by Sialkot-Lahore Motorway. The motorway passes east of the Grand Trunk Road, and terminates near the Sialkot International Airport. Plans for the motorway’s extension farther north to Kharian near Gujrat City were announced in late 2017.
Gujranwala railway station serves as a stop along Pakistan’s 1,687 kilometres (1,048 mi)-long Main Line-1 railway that connects the city to the port city of Karachi to Peshawar. The entire Main Line-1 railway track between Karachi and Peshawar is to be overhauled at a cost of $3.65 billion for the first phase of the project, with completion by 2021. Upgrading of the railway line will permit train travel at speeds of 160 kilometres per hour, versus the average 60 to 105 km per hour speed currently possible on the existing track.
Gujranwala has no airport of its own. The city is instead served by airports in nearby cities, including the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore that offers non-stop flights to Europe, Canada, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Gujranwala is also serviced by the nearby Sialkot International Airport – Pakistan’s first privately owned commercial airport. Built-in 2007, the airport offers non-stop service to the Middle East, as well as domestic locations.
Gujranwala city’s adult literacy rate in 2008 was 73%, which rose to 87% in the 15-24 age group throughout Gujranwala District, including rural areas. The city is also home to the Gujranwala Theological Seminary which was established in Sialkot in 1877, and moved to Gujranwala in 1912. The Army Aviation School of the Pakistan Air Force was moved to Gujranwala in 1987 from Dhamial. Many institutes are established for higher education such as:
- University of Sargodha, Gujranwala Campus
- University of Central Punjab, Gujranwala Campus
- GIFT University, Gujranwala
- University of the Punjab, Gujranwala Campus
Must Visit Places in Gujranwala
Gurdwara Rori Sahib, Eminabad, Gujranwala
Gurdwara Rori Sahib is a gurdwara which is located in Eminabad, Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan. It was built during the reign of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.
Ranjeet Singh Haveli
It’s the origination of a well known Sikh Emperor ”Maharaja Ranjeet Singh” who ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early 50% of the nineteenth century. This structure is approximately 236 Years Old Situated in Corner of Machli Mandi. Because of the absence of government intrigue the structure is in poor condition.
Darziyan Vali Kothi
On College Road, this building is known for its excellent design and nobody realizes who assemble it, yet when you are crossing school street I should state this miracle pulls in you towards itself.
Toomri Temple, Gujranwala
Gujranwala is an old city, thus it has a lot of legacy locale historical places in Gujranwala to visit. Toomri Temple is one of those spots. This is a mandir of Baba Sai Das who was a symbol of master Vishnu. Before parcel individuals use to sort out huge social fairs here and the spot holds incredible centrality in Hindu folklore.
Arranged in the core of the city, among the horde of thousands of peeps this notable clock tower is available, amidst the business center you can observe its excellence.
It’s fundamentally the passageway to most seasoned bazaars of the city, the commercial centers give you a bit of old city that was worked by Ranjeet Singh, a number of shops are available there generally hardware, garments’, ceramics.
The city of Goga Phelwan, the all India-Pakistan wrestling expert, has an instructional hub (Akhaaara) in the Sherawala Bagh after that number of various Akhaaaras are available here, Gujranwala is known for its Phelwans, on the off chance that you are in Gujranwala you don’t wanna miss the well known akharaa battles. It is including Gujranwala famous places list.
No trip to Gujranwala can be complete without visiting at least one of its many enticing restaurants.during our research, we saw each and every eatery place of Gujranwala. Gujranwala is the foremost name in kabab & barbecue, the latter being one of the most unique aspect of this city.
- Food Street ‘ A small food street with the name of Liberty Market is also established in Gujranwala. A renowned restaurant like Hot Grill restaurant, Quick Pizza Hut and Fry Master are providing high services. After Shebaz Tikka Shop it’s the busiest food area in Gujranwala.
- Shelton Hotel besides these traditional spots, Shelton Hotel has been providing % different types of cuisine since 1987 in Gujranwala, and also providing banquet and other hotel services.
- Royal Garden In 2002, Royal Garden Hotel started its operations in Gujranwala. This restaurant also provides variety of cuisine along with restaurant services.
- Marian Hotel Marian hotel was brought a great change in traditional and continental cuisine in Oct. 2006, This restaurant also provides the same services as Royal Garden Hotel does but it has created different through its environment which is modern but with a traditional artistic touch.
- Hotel Global Village Hotel Global Village is also a great name in traditional and continental cuisine. It has facilities of restaurant as well as Marriage Hall along with a beautiful Marriage Lawn. Hotel Global Village situated near Rahwali Cantt opposite DC Colony, a famous modern housing colony at G T road N5.
- Fast Junk Food Many small restaurant have also started there operations in Gujranwala in last five years. Among those restaurants famous names are Salva Restaurant, Chanab Rutt, Usmania Restaurant, etc., there are also many fast food outlets in fried chicken such as HFC, AFC and in pizza KIng Pizzaetc, whose branches are spread all over the city.
- Picking Picking is new addition in cuisine market of gujranwala, and other sea food specialist are Sardar Restaurant and Meraj Deen have been serving their Chinese stuff to their loyal customers. Their Pakistani continental also grabbing market share.
- Ghanni kay Pai Ganni kay pai once in a lifetime u should eat, from across the Pakistan, families come to eat here
- Shabaz Tika you ‘ll find variety of dishes, including grilled foods, Batair, Tikka, Chiray (sparrow), rice dishes, curry, and everyone’s favorite, desserts here.we visited this place with Trade development authorities of Pakistan’s directors, its menu offers a combination of continental food, local cuisine and dessert. The focus being the main entrées on the desi menu; curries, kebabs, barbecue dishes, naans chicken dishes. The upside is the manner in which the waiters dealt with it once the complaint made its way to their very distracted ears: eager to solve the issue at hand, the waiter presented us with a light shade ala napkin. Points down for the lack of elegance but the round went to the house for good service.
- Allah Rakha (at Sialkot Darwaza) is famous for its chicken karahi & seekh kabab (ground beef grilled on skewers marinated with aromatic herbs and succulent spices), grilled goat chops, and dal fry with fresh cilantro and green peppers.
- Briyani Express is new addition to Gujranwala traditional food, when we started research it was first place where we went. Rice was fluffy and tempting blended with saucy chicken. However, its standards have decreased a lot especially in Lahore. There is usually no sitting place and the sometimes the rice do not have enough masala in it and are usually non-spicy.
- Baba Fareed Burger (BFB). As we know that Gujranwalians are extremely fond of eating. Most people says that they live just for eating. If you visit Gujranwala then you must go to BFB. BFB is one of the busiest restaurant in Gujranwala. It has a lot of variety in the menu. The most famous dish is Nan Shami. It’s served with Raita and Salad. It was just started with a 200 square feet shop. Now it’s extended to thousands of square feet.