From Jatland Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

District map of Jalandhar

Jalandhar (Punjabi: ਜਲੰਧਰ, Hindi: जलंधर), previously known as Jullundur, is an ancient city in Jalandhar District in the state of Punjab, India.


It was the capital of Trigartas (people living in the "land between three rivers": Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) in the times of Mahabharata war. According to Alexander Cunningham[1] Trigartta is the usual Sanskrit name found in the Puranas. 'Hema-Kosha.' writes Jâlandharâs Trigarttâsyuh — "Jalandhara, that is Trigartta."

V. S. Agrawala[2] mentions Vishayas known to Panini which includes - Jalandharayana (जालंधरायण), under Rajanyadi (राजन्यादि) (IV.2.53).

Tahsils in Jalandhar


Jalandhar is located at [show location on an interactive map] 31.33° N 75.58° E[1]. It has an average elevation of 229 metres (751 feet).

The city is located almost 375 km from Delhi, 142 km from Chandigarh and about 90 km from Amritsar.

Origin of name

Jalandhar is named after Jalandhara, a demon king who lived in water as his name suggests Jal (water) and Andhar (in). Others say Jalandhar is derived from the fact that it is located between two rivers Jal and Andhar. During British occupation it was called Jullundur.

In fact we find Andhar as a gotra of Jats, Origin of the which was place called Attock in Sindh.[3] This way the city was founded by Andhar Jats.


As of 2001 India census[2], Jalandhar had a population of 701,223. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Jalandhar has an average literacy rate of 74%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 72%. In Jalandhar, 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.


V. S. Agrawala[4] writes that Ashtadhyayi of Panini mentions janapada Trigarta (त्रिगर्त) (V.3.116) - It is mentioned by Panini as ayudhajivi sangha, and a confederation of six states known as Trigarta-Shashtha. The name Trigarta denotes the region drained by three Rivers: Ravi, Beas & Satluj, and corresponds to the Jalandhar group of states which had retained their geographical identity all these years. It contains Pātānaprastha (=Paithan or Pathankot) situated at the entrance of Kangra Valley. (p.53)

V. S. Agrawala[5] writes that The central portion of the Trigarta formed by the Valley of the Beas was also named Kulūta (same as the Uluka of Sabhaparva (27.5-16), now known as the Kulū. Its ancient capital was at Nagara on the Beas. Maṇḍamatī was perhaps Maṇḍi, lying to south of Kuluta. Panini mentions special mention of Bhārgāyaṇa Gotra in the Trigarta Country (IV.1.111).

The earliest historical mention of Jalandhar occurs in the reign of Kanishka, the Kushan King of northern India in whose time, a council of Buddhist theologians was held near Jalandhar c.100 A.D. to collect and arrange the sacred writings of Buddhism and to bring about reconciliation between its various sects. This makes Jalandhar along with Multan the oldest surviving city of the Punjab region.

The Jalandhar Doab ( the region surrounding the city between Beas and Sutlej rivers) also marked the easternmost territory of the empire of Alexander the great. He erected giant altars in this area to mark the eastern most extent of his empire and also founded a city named Alexandria in the vicinity and left many Macedonian veterans there.

In the 7th Century, when the famous Chinese traveller and pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited Jalandhar in 735 AD during the reign of Harsha Vardhana, the Kingdom of Jalandhara or Trigartta was under the rule of Raja Utito (whom Alexander Cunningham identifies with the Raja Attar Chandra of the Katoch dynasty). The kingdom was said to have extended 167 miles (269 km) from east to west and 133 miles (214 km) from north to south, thus including the hill states of Chamba, Mandi and Suket (Himachal Pradesh) and Satadru or Sirhind in the plains.

Raja Utito was a tributary of Harsh Vardhana, who appear to have continued to rule over the country right up to the 12th century, with occasional interruptions, but their capital was Jalandhar and Kangra formed an important stronghold.

According to the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien, who traveled India between 399 and 411 C.E., there were a great many Viharas of Buddhism in India. In the Jalandhar Doab, there were as many as 50 Viharas of Buddhism. The Buddhist religion was adopted by a large number of people.

From the later half of the tenth century up to AD 1019, the district was included in the Shahi Kingdom of the Punjab and Jalandhar was an important city in the region.

In 1750 A.D Maharaja Ghamand Chandra of the Katoch dynasty was made the (first ever Rajput) Nizam of Jalandhar by the Durranis. Many Rajputs lived in and around the surrounding areas of Jalandhar before the partition in 1947. With the partition of the country, many like the Rawal Rajputs went to settle in the Pakistan side of the Punjab, whilst some went to other countries.

In Rajatarangini

Rajatarangini[6] mentions that....when asked by Simhadeva, he shewed some indications of performing what he promised to Sujji. When Sujji reached Jalandhara, on the evening previous to the morning on which he was to go to Bhikshachara, a messenger came to him from Somapala. Advised by Jyashthapala, but prohibited by Bhāgika, Sujji relied on the words of the messenger and did not join the enemy. [VIII(i), p.145]

Visit by Xuanzang in 635 AD

Alexander Cunningham[7] writes that Since the occupation of the plains by the Muhammadans, the ancient kingdom of Jalandhara has been confined almost entirely to its hill territories, which were generally known by the name of Kangra, after its most celebrated fortress. The district is also called Katoch, the meaning of which is unknown, and

[p.137]: Trigartta,1 which is the usual Sanskrit name found in the Puranas, and in the native chronicle of Kashmir.

In the seventh century Jalandhara is described by the Chinese pilgrim2 as about 1000 li, or 167 miles in length from east to west, and 800 li, or 133 miles in breadth from north to south. If these dimensions are even approximately correct, Jalandhar must then have included the state of Chamba on the north, with Mandi and Sukhet on the east, and Satadru on the south-east. As the last is the only district to the east of the Satlej, which is included in N. India, I infer that it must have belonged to the kingdom of Jalandhar. With the addition of these districts the size of the province will agree very well with the dimensions assigned to it by the Chinese pilgrim.

At the time of Hwen Thsang's visit, Jalandhar itself was the capital, which he describes as from 12 to 13 li, or upwards of 2 miles in circuit. Its antiquity is undoubted, as it is mentioned by Ptolemy as Kulindrine, or Ktulindrine, which should probably be corrected to Sulindrine, as the K and Σ are frequently interchanged in Greek manuscripts. According to the Padma Purana,3 the city of Jalandhara was the capital of the great Daitya king Jalandhara, who became so powerful by virtue of his austerities as to be invincible. At last, however, he was overcome by Siva, through a disgraceful fraud, and his body was devoured by the yoginis or female demons. But the conclusion of the legend is differently given in the

1 ' Hema-Koaha.' Jâlandharâs Trigarttâsyuh — " Jalandhara, that is Trigartta."

2 Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' ii. 202.

3 Uttara Khanda of the Padma Purana. Kennedy's ' Hindu Mythology,' p. 456.

[p.138]: local Purana,1 which states that he was overwhelmed and crushed to death by a mass of mountains which Siva placed upon him. Flames then sprang out of his mouth, which was under Jwala-mukhi ; his back was under the upper part of the Doab, which is still called Jalandhara-pitha, or Jalandhar-pith, by the people ; and his feet were under the lower part of the Doab at Multan. Akbar partially adopted this version of the legend when he named the different Doabs after the enclosing rivers, by calling the land between the Satlej and Bias the Doab-i-Bist Jalandhar or Bit Jalandhar, instead of the Sab Doab, which it should have been if he had placed the initial of the eastern river first, as he did in the names of the Bari and Chaj Doabs.

The royal family of Jalandhara and Kangra is one of the oldest in India, and their genealogy from the time of the founder, Susarma Chandra, appears to me to have a much stronger claim to our belief than any one of the long strings of names now shown by the more powerful families of Rajputana. All the different scions of this house claim to be of Somavansi descent ; and they assert that their ancestors held the district of Multan and fought in the Great War on the side of Duryodhan against the five Pandu brothers. After the war they lost their country, and retired under the leadership of Susarma Chandra to the Jalandhar Doab, where they established themselves, and built the stronghold of Kangra. The expedition of Alexander terminated on the banks of the Hyphasis, or Bias ; but he received the submission of Phegelas2 or

1 Jalaudhara Purana.

2 Diodorus, xvii. 51, " Phegaeus." Curtius, ix. 1, 3, " Phegelae erat gontis proximae rex."

[p.139]: Phegaeus, the king of the district, beyond the river, that is of the Jalandhar Doab. Towards the end of the fifth century, the kingdom of Trigartta was presented to Pravaresa by the Raja of Kashmir.1

In the seventh century, the Chinese pilgrim, Hwen Thsang, was courteously entertained for a whole month by Raja U-ti-to, or Udita,2 whom I would identify with Adima of the genealogical lists. One hundred and sixty years later, in an inscription dated A.D. 804, the Raja of Jalandhara is named Jaya Chandra, who is the Jaya Malla Chandra of the lists, the seventh in descent from Adima. Lastly, Avanta, king of Kashmir, from A.D. 1028 to 1081, married two daughters of Indu Chandra, 3 Raja of Jalandhara, who is the Indra Chandra of the genealogical lists of Kangra. These instances are sufficient to show that Jalandhara existed as an independent State for many centuries before the Muhammadan conquest.

The smaller chiefships of Guler, Jaswal, Datarpur, and Siba, are offshoots from the parent stem of Kangra. The independence of Guler, or Haripur, was established by Hari Chandra, about A.D. 1400, when he yielded Kangra to his younger brother, Karmma Chandra. The date of the foundation of the other principalities is unknown, but I believe that they were always tributary to the parent state until the time of the Muhammadans, when the capture of Kangra by Mahmud of Ghazni afforded them an opportunity of asserting their independence.

The French traveller Thevenot,4 in his account of the dominions of the Emperor of Delhi, mentions

1 'Raja Tarangini,' iii. 100. 2 Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' i. 261. 3 ' Raja Tarangini,' vii. 150. 4 ' Travels,' part iii. c. 37.

[p.140]: that " there are many Rajas who own not the authority of the Great Mogul." But the territories of these Rajas must have been far in the interior of the hills, as we know that the chiefs of all the outer hills were subjected by the Mogul emperors. Thevenot specially mentions the province of " Ayoud, or Haoud" as containing " the most northern countries that belong to the Great Mogul, as Caucares, Bankish, Nagarcut, Siba, and others."

The Caucares must be the Gakars who hold the lower hills to the west of the Jhelam. Terry1 calls them Kakares, and their principal cities Dekalee and Furhola (or Dangali and Pharwala). The Bankish are the Banchish of Terry,2 I whose " chief city, called Bishur (Peshawar) lyeth east (read west) somewhat southerly from Chishmere, from which it is divided by the river Indus." Nagarcut is Kangra or Nagarkot, which is mentioned under the same name by Abu Rihan,3 who was present at its capture by Mahmud of Ghazni. Siba is not as we might suppose, the small state in the neighbourhood of Kangra, but a district on the Ganges, of which the chief city, according to Terry, was " Hardware (or Haridwara), where the river Ganges, passing through or amongst large rocks, makes presently after a pretty full current." From these accounts it is clear that the whole of the states in the lower hills, from Peshawar on the west to the Ganges on the east, were subject to the emperor of Delhi. Regarding the general name of Ayoud, or Haoud, which Thevenot applies to them, I can only conjecture that it may be some corrupt form of Himavat, or Himwat, --- 1 ' Voyage to East India,' p. 88. 2 Ibid., p. 81 : London, 1655. 3 ' Fragments Arabes, etc.,' 149.

[p.141]: one of the well-known names of the Hmalaya mountains, which the Greeks have preserved under the two different forms of Emddos and Iiiidus.

Jat Gotras

According to B S Dhillon the population of Jat clans in Jalandhar district is as under[8]:

Notable persons

External Links


  1. The Ancient Geography of India,p.136-137
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.499
  3. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998
  4. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.53
  5. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.54
  6. Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (i),p.145
  7. The Ancient Geography of India,p.136-141
  8. History and study of the Jats, By Professor B.S Dhillon. ISBN-10: 1895603021 or ISBN-13: 978-1895603026. p.127

Back to Places /Punjab