jhelum - Jhelum

Jhelum is a city on the right bank of the Jhelum River, which is located in the district of Jhelum in the north of Punjab province, Pakistan. It is the 44th largest city in Pakistan by population. Jhelum is known for providing many soldiers to the British Army before independence, and later to the Pakistan armed forces – due to which it is also known as City of Soldiers or Land of Martyrs and Warriors.

Jhelum is a few miles upstream from the site of the ancient Battle of the Hydaspes between the armies of Alexander and King Porus. Possibly Jhelum City was the capital of Porus’ Kingdom, Paurava. A city called Bucephala was founded nearby to commemorate the death of Alexander’s horse, Bucephalus. Other notable sites nearby include the 16th-century Rohtas Fort, the Tilla Jogian complex of ancient temples, and the 16th-century Grand Trunk Road which passes through the city. According to the 2017 census of Pakistan, the population of Jhelum was 190,425. The name of the city is derived from the words Jal (pure water) and Ham (snow), as the water that flows through the river originates in the Himalayas. There are a number of industries in and around Jhelum city, including a tobacco factory, wood, marble, glass and flour mills.

History

The Rajput, Gujjars, Jats and Ahirs, who now hold the Salt Range and its northern plateau respectively, appear to have been the earliest inhabitants of Jhelum. The next major point in the history of the district was the Battle of the Hydaspes between Alexander and the local ruler, . Abisares (or Abhisara; in Greek Αβισαρης), called Embisarus (Eμ Oβισαρoς) by Diodorus, was an Indian people king of abhira descent beyond the river Hydaspes, whose territory lay in the mountains, sent embassies to Alexander both before and after the conquest of Porus in 326 BC, although inclined to espouse the side of the latter. Alexander not only allowed him to retain his kingdom, but increased it, and on his death appointed his son as his successor. Jhelum was capital of Porus’ kingdom Paurava. The Gakhars appear to represent an early wave of conquerors from the west, and who still inhabit a large tract in the mountain north to tilla range. Gakhars were the dominant race during the early Muslim era and they long continued to retain their independence, both in Jhelum itself and in the neighbouring district of Rawalpindi.

River Jhelum

The River Jhelum is below the bridge beside Jhelum City. The river Jhelum is navigable throughout the district, which forms the south-eastern portion of a rugged Himalayan spur, extending between the Indus and Jhelum to the borders of the Sind Sagar Doab. Its scenery is very picturesque, although not of so wild a character as the mountain region of Rawalpindi to the north, and is lighted up in places by smiling patches of the cultivated valley. The backbone of the district is formed by the Salt Range, a treble line of parallel hills running in three long forks from east to west throughout its whole breadth.

The River Jhelum below the bridge from Sarai Alamgir side - Jhelum
The River Jhelum below the bridge from Sarai Alamgir side

The range rises in bold precipices, broken by gorges, clothed with brushwood and traversed by streams which are at first pure, but soon become impregnated with the saline matter over which they pass. Between the line of hills lies a picturesque table-land, in which the beautiful little lake of Kallar Kahar nestles amongst the minor ridges. North of the Salt Range, the country extends upwards in an elevated plateau, diversified by countless ravines and fissures, until it loses itself in tangled masses of Rawalpindi mountains. In this rugged tract, cultivation is rare and difficult, the soil being choked with saline matter. At the foot of the Salt Range, however, a small strip of level soil lies along the banks of the Jhelum, and is thickly dotted with prosperous villages.

The drainage of the district is determined by a low central watershed running north and south at right angles to the Salt Range. The waters of the western portion find their way into the Sohan, and finally into the Indus; those of the opposite slope collect themselves into small torrents, and empty themselves into the Jhelum.

Geography and Climate

Lying at 32°56′ North latitude and 73°44′ East longitude, Jhelum is located a 1-hour and 30 minutes drive from the Capital of Pakistan Islamabad, and 3 hours drive from the heart of Punjab Lahore. Jhelum is linked with these cities through the National Highway N-5. Several cities are within 1 to 2 hours drive including Gujrat (home to fan manufacturing), Gujranwala, Chakwal and Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.

Must Visit Places in Jhelum

Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort is an extraordinary architecture of the 16th century. A Pushtun ruler Sher Shah Suri built it in 1543. It was built for military purposes to protect the Grand Trunk Road from Mughals and their allies. The fort is now in ruins due to the neglect of the government of Pakistan. It has 12 gates and 68 bastion towers, covered by 4km long walls which are 10 18 meters high. It has a royal mosque decorated with inscriptions of Muslim calligraphy. It is also a good site for tourist who has an interest in history.

Rohtas Fort - Jhelum
Rohtas Fort

Ancient Temples of Tilla Jogian

Tilla Jogian is an ancient site, which remained a holy place of Hindu Religion for 2000 years. It is abandoned after 1947 as the subcontinent divided into two countries. It is a complex of many ancient temples and other monastic buildings, which were established in 1 century BC.

Ancient Temples of Tilla Jogian - Jhelum
Ancient Temples of Tilla Jogian

The Tilla Jogian complex is located on Pakistan’s Potohar plateau, approximately 25 km west of the cities of Jhelum and Dina. The complex is located near the Jhelum River and the Grand Trunk Road – the ancient route which connected Central Asia to India. Tilla Jogian is also near the Rohtas Fort, and the Katas Raj Temples — another important Hindu pilgrimage site with a sacred pond that is said to have been created from the teardrops of the Hindu god Shiva.

Khewra Salt Mine

Khewra salt mine is located in the subdivision Pind Dadan Khan of Jhelum. It can be accessed via M2 Motorway through Lillah Interchange. It is also called the Mayo Salt Mine, which is the second-largest salt mine after the Sifto salt mine in Canada. It is believed that it was discovered by the troops of Alexander in 320BC during his Indian Campaign but the trading of salt was started in Mughal Rule. Nearly 300,000 people visit the mine yearly. It is one of the major tourist spots for tourists. It produces pink salt, which is famous in the whole world. Visitors visit the mine by using the services of Salt Mine Railways. It is a beautiful spot consisting of various pools of salty water inside the mine, a mosque was built using multi-coloured bricks of salt, a replica of the Great Wall of China and there are other models too. There is a small hospital inside the mine for people with respiratory diseases.

Khewra Salt Mine - Jhelum
Khewra Salt Mine

Khewra Salt Mine is the largest in Pakistan and the second largest in the world. Salt Mines are part of about 300 km long mountain range called the Salt Range. Khewra salt mine has 18 working levels and 40 km of tunnels. At places, rock salt is 99% pure. It is a major tourist attraction which attracts a huge number of visitors every year. Its history dates back to its discovery by Alexander’s troops in 320 BC. It is believed that the horses of Alexander army were licking stones from this mountain range. Seeing all this, a soldier himself tried one and found that the rocks were quite salty.

Entrance to the mine - Jhelum
Entrance to the mine

For tourists a kind of museum is created inside the mines, using artistic carvings of salt stones. The structure of the small Badshahi Mosque with minaret looks fabulous. Other structures include a model of the Great Wall of China, the Mall road of Murree, Lahore’s Shimla hill, and the Minar-e-Pakistan. All of these structures are built with colourful salt bricks. There are several small ponds of thick salty water in the mine, created by seeping water from the top of the mountain. In the mines, there is also an asthma clinic offering salt therapies.

A small Masjid made of salt bricks inside the Khewra salt mine complex - Jhelum
A small Masjid made of salt bricks inside the Khewra salt mine complex

Lehri Nature Park

Lehri Nature Park is situated in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan. The park is almost 90 kilometres on GT Road in the hilly Pothohar region from Islamabad and almost 40 kilometers from Jhelum City. It is 10 kilometres from GT Road. The park has lodgings for the night. It is named after the Union Council of the village Lehri. Lehri village is approx 10miles from the park. The residents of Lehri village are mainly the descendants of the Gakhar tribe of the Pothohar region in Pakistan. It is spread over 17,000 acres and is covered with phulai , sanatha and wild olive.

Lehri Nature Park - Jhelum
Lehri Nature Park

Alexender’s Monument

It is blended with Greek architecture built by the Government of Pakistan and the Embassy of Greece. The nearest town is called Jallalpur Sharif in the Pind Dadan Khan subdivision of Jhelum. Alexander’s horse Bucephalus, died during the Indian Campaign and Alexander buried his horse there and founded a city Bucephala in the name of his horse to commemorate the horse.

Alexenders Monument jhelum - Jhelum
Alexender’s Monument, Jhelum
Ancient graveyard of Alexanders period. - Jhelum
Ancient graveyard of Alexander’s period.

St. John’s Church, Jhelum

St. John’s Church is an Anglican church, now under the Church of Pakistan, located in Jhelum cantonment, Pakistan, besides the river Jhelum. It was built in 1860 and is a landmark of the city. It is a Protestant church and was in use during the British colonial period. For forty years it remained closed but has been renovated and reopened.

St. Johns Church Jhelum Pakistan - Jhelum
St. John’s Church, Jhelum

Mangla Dam Water Reservoir

The Mangla Dam is a multipurpose dam situated on the Jhelum River in the Mirpur District of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. It is the sixth-largest dam in the world. The village of Mangla, which sits at the mouth of the dam, serves as its namesake. In November 1961, the project’s selected contractors were revealed; it was announced that Binnie & Partners, a British engineering firm, was going to serve as the lead designers, engineers, and inspectors for the construction of the dam (led by Geoffrey Binnie). The project was undertaken by a consortium known as the Mangla Dam Contractors, which consisted of eight American construction firms sponsored by the Guy F. Atkinson Company based in South San Francisco, California. It is a part of Jhelum.

Mangla Dam Water Reservoir - Jhelum
Mangla Dam Water Reservoir
Mangala Dam from the top of Ramkot fortress - Jhelum
Mangala Dam from the top of Ramkot fortress

Jhelum Railway Station

Jhelum Railway Station - Jhelum
Jhelum Railway Station

Zamir Jaffri Cricket Stadium, Jhelum

Zamir Jaffri Cricket Stadium is a cricket stadium in Jhelum, Pakistan. It is named after Jhelumi poet Syed Zamir Jafri. It was a local district-level stadium, but now the Pakistan Cricket Board has upraised it for regional level events. Six extra cricket pitches have been constructed.

Cricket Stadium Jhelum - Jhelum
Cricket Stadium Jhelum

CMH Mosque or DIV Headquarters Mosque

CMH Mosque or DIV Headquarters Mosque or simply DIV Masjid - Jhelum

 

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