History in Sialkot

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A Major Hand of Sialkot Saga Sports

A Major Hand of Sialkot Saga Sports

Sialkot History

Sialkot History There are various sources tracing the origins of the city of Sialkot but the authenticity of many of these sources varies. The less-reliable historical sources about the origins of the city have been derived from oral traditions based on ancient local beliefs which, most historians concur, are full of inaccuracies, concocted legends and erroneous facts. These are, nonetheless, stated her. More reliable and validated historical references relating to the city date back to 327 BCE in which it has been stated that the city is of Persian and/or Greek origin. 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.

Vedic Era Other references to Sialkot are mentioned in ancient scriptures and oral traditions, these state that Siálkot is believed to have been founded by Raja Sul or Sálá, the uncle of the Pandavas , whose heroic deeds are recorded in the epic Mahábhárta . After his death, 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.E.), 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.

Persian-Greek Era According to the Greek historical texts which bring mention of the city of Sialkot dating back to 327 BCE 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 the several monuments found in the Sialkot district . The Greek historians state that the city was one of the most productive and the wealthiest regions of the Achaemenid Empire . The Punjab had earned a reputation as being the richest satrapy (province) 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 BCE. Shun and Dall were two of the most powerful tribes in Sialkot . Then the country was flooded and remained one vast uninhabited region for about 1000 years.

Scythian-Hun Era According to Punjabi folk-lore, the early history of Sialkot is closely interwoven with the traditions of Raja 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 King 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 the to actions of a 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 Jehlum 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 .

In 790 AD, Raja Nairut, supported by the Yousafzai Pashtun tribe, attacked and demolished the city. There is again no mention of Sialkot in the historical texts for a fairly long period after that except that it remained a part of Jammu under the rule of Raja Braham Deo.

Muslim-Mughal Era Sialkot became a part of the Muslim Sultanate of Delhi when Shahab-ud-Din Muhammad Ghauri conquered Punjab in 1185 AD. 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 of India . The Mughal commander, Usman Ghani Raza, advanced towards Delhi by way of Sialkot which capitulated to his armies. 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 .

Afghan-Pashtun Era 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 Kandahar , the Kakazai and another family from Kabul , and the sub-mountainous tracts were in the hands of Raja Ranjit Deo of Jammu . In 1748, the four districts of Gujrat , Sialkot, Pasrur and Daska were given to the Afghan 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 family from Kandahar till the occupation of the Sikhs who ruled for a period of about 40 years followed by the British.

Sikh-British Era During the decline of the Durrani regime, Sialkot was occupied from the Pashtuns by the Sikhs who had received considerable financial, military and economic assistance from the British in order to push the Afghan 's further west. Between 1797 to 1810, Raja Ranjit Singh occupied the Sialkot district. After the death of Raja Ranjit Singh, the British officers were appointed in Sialkot . Sialkot was annexed by the British after the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849. During the Mutiny 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.

Pakistan Movement Era The city played an important role during the Pakistan Movement . The national poet of Pakistan who spearheaded the movement for an independent country, Allama Iqbal was born in Sialkot . 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 of Mamdot and Maulvi Tamiz-ud-Din.

Modern Era After the independence of Pakistan from British rule in 1947, thousands of Muslims from Pathankot and other parts of the Gurdaspur district and East Punjab came to Sialkot as refugees and settled here. Earlier, the Muslim residents of Gurdaspur had believed that their district, with an overwhelming Muslim majority, was to be allocated to Pakistan . However, at the time of the partition of India , the British, in a highly controversial decision, allocated the district to India , allegedly to grant it access to the land route to the princely state of Kashmir . Most of these refugees have since settled and intermarried 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. It people have built on their tradition of being hard working, entrepreneurial and progressive.

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