Gurdaspur was founded by Guriya Ji in the beginning of 17th century. On his name, this city was named as Gurdaspur. He bought land for Gurdaspur from Jats of Sangi Gotra. It is also established that some people used to live in huts in the old city. Guriya Ji a Sanwal Brahmin of Kaushal Gotra belonged to a village Paniar situated 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The ancestors of Guriya Ji came from Ayodhaya long time ago and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two sons Sh.Nawal Rai and Sh.Pala Ji. The descendants of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur Nawal Raiís son Baba Deep Chand was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Owner Of Treasure) to Baba Deep Chand. The descendants of Baba Deep Chand are known as Mahants.
Little is known about the ancient history of the district except a few antiquities like the rock temples at Mukheshwar Gurdaspur along with its neighbouring districts was the same of the explicits of Alexander, who came up to River Beas in his grand design of world conquest. He faught a grim battle with the Kathaians at Sangala which is located near Fatehgarh in Gurdaspur.
From the latter half of the 10th century up to 1919 A.D this district was ruled by the Shahi dynasty under Jayapal and Anandpal. Kalanaur in this district was the most important town during the period of Delhi Emperor from 14th to 16 th century it wastwice attacked by Jasrath Khokhar, once after his un successful assault on Lahore in 1422 and again in 1428 when Malik Sikander marched to relieve the place and defeated Jasrath It was have that Akbar was installed by Bairam Khan on a throne on Feb 1556. The messonary, plat form which still exists about a kilometre and a half to the east of the town is the actual spot upon which his installation took place.
In the decline and fall of the Mughal supermacy and the rise of the Sikh power this district saw, its most stiring scenes. Some of the sikh Gurus have been closely associated with the district. Guru Nanak, born in 1469 in the Lahore district, married in 1485 with Sulkhani, daughter of Mool Chand, a Khatri of Pakhoke (Dera Baba Nanak) in the Batala Tehsil. There is still a wall known as Jhoolana Mahal which swings in Gurdaspur. The Sikh Guru Hargobind refounded Shri Hargobindpur which had been formerly known by the name of Rahila. Banda Bahadur, the disciple of Guru Gobind Singh used this district as a base to raid the country upto Lahore, the emperor Bahadur Shah conducted an expedition against him in 1711 but with only temporary effect. Banda Bahadar fought his last battle with the Mughal at Gurdas Nangal in the district and was captured. The history of the district then degenerates into an account of their restruggles of the rival Ramgarhia and Kanhaya Misals for supermacy in this part of the Doab, the power of the former was broken in 1808 and of the latter in 1811 by
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who thus assumed way over the whole district. Dinanagar, with its pleasant mango gardens and running canal was a favourite summer residence of the lion of the Punjab, who when not elsewhere engaged used spent here the two hot weather months of May and June.
During partition of India in 1947 the future of Gurdaspur could not be decided for many days. As majority of population of this district was Muslim. REDCLIFF Awards of Boundary transferred only Shakargarh Tehsil Of Gurdaspur district to Pakistan, and the rest of the district was transferred to India. Muslim population of the district migrated to Pakistan and refugees, the Hindus and the Sikhs of Sialkot and Tehsil Shakargarh migrated to Gurdaspur after crossing the Ravi bridge. They settled and spread in Gurdaspur district.
Total area of the district is 2610 Sq.Km. It Consist of 11 blocks; Gurdaspur ,Dhariwal, Kalanaur, Dorangla, Kahnuwan, Dinanagar ,Batala, Qadian, Shri Hargobindpur, Fatehgar Churian & Dera Baba Nanak.
The Gurdaspur district is the northern most district of Punjab state. It falls in the Jalandhar division and is sandwitched between river Ravi and Beas. The district lies between north-latitude 310-36' and 320-34' and east longitude 740-56' and 750-24' and shares common boundaries with Pathankot district in the north, Beas River in the north-east, Hoshiarpur district in the south-east, Kapurthala district in the south, Amritsar district in the south west and Pakistan in the north west.
All the Tehsils of the district namely Gurdaspur,Batala and Dera Baba Nanak are plain and similar to the rest of the Punjab plains in structure. The land scape of the district has varied topography comprising undulating plan, the flood plains of the Ravi and the Beas and the up land plain.
To its south lies an area of about 128 sq.kms which is highly dissected and is an undulating plain. Its elevation ranges from about 305 to 381 metres above sea level. It is travessed by a number of choas and has an undulating topography.
The flood plains of the Ravi and the Beas are separated from the up land plain by sharp river cut bluffs. They are low lying, with slightly uneven topography. Sand dominates in the soil structure of the flood plains, but it diminishes in both quantity and courseness in the upland plain.The up land plain covers a large part of the district particularly .Its elevation ranges from about 305 mertres above sea level in the north-east to about 213 metres above sea level in the south west, with a gentle gradient of about 1 metre in 1.6 km. This is the most important physiographic unit in the district.
River System & Power Resources
The Beas and Ravi are the two main rivers which flow through the district, both of which originate near the Rohitang pass in the adjoining state of Himachal Pradesh.Like other rivers of the punjab the water of the Beas and the Ravi fluctuate from season to season and from year to year. This fluctuating discharge of the rivers does not permit their navigational use depends upon the rainfall.
There are number of local swampy depression popularly known as Chhambs. The largest of there is the Kahnuwan Chhamb which stretches along the Beas river in Gurdaspur tehsil. Another swampy depression is the Keshopur Chhamb but this Chhamb alongwith other erst while chhambs of Dhan Rai, Narod Budiulzama, Paniar, Bucha Nangal and Naranwali, have practically been reclaimed now.
The district possesses a fairly dense network of canals of the Upper Bari Doab Canal system which irrigates most of the area of the district. Its main branches are Lahore branch, Kasur branch and the Sabhraon branch. The Ravi Beas link which was completed around 1954, diverts part of the Ravi water into the Chakki khad which is a tributary of the Beas.
Ranjit Sagar Dam : 600 MW with Punjab share of 452 MW Ranjit Sagar Dam is one of the latest multipurpose river valley projects under construction on river Ravi about 24 Kms. upstream of Madhopur Head Works. This project mainly comprises of 160 m high dam ,600 MW Power Plant with four units of 150 MW capacity each.
There are mainly two seasons i.e. summer and winter. The summer season falls between the months of April to July and the winter November to March. In summer season the temperature touches 440C or even sometimes crosses it. June is the hottest month and January is the coldest one. Mostly the rain falls in the month of July. The winter rains are experienced during January and February. The dust storm occurs in the month of May and June.
The south-west monsoon generally arrives in the first week of July and continue up to the end of August. 70% of the rainfall occurs during this period.
The changes in ecology system are inevitable, consequences of development process. The denudation of forests due to increasing population, urbanisation industrialization have accelerated the process of environmental degradation in the district. Therefore preservation of the ecology is one of the most important goals of the district planning.
The vegetation varies in the district depending on the soil, topography and elevation. In the Plain, large scale of afforestation has been under taken by the forest department. Where water facilities are available, Shisham, mulberry, eucalyptus and poplar are being planted. In the Kallar area, kikar prosopis and eucalyptus has been planted. Besides mango and mulberry, other fruit trees cuiltivated in the district include orange, Kinnow Lemon tree etc.
The ground water in this region is suitable for irrigational and domestic uses.The sub soil water depth ranges from 5 to 8 metres in most part of the district. Due to Dhusi bandh and stepped floods the water table has gone very low.
The soils are loamy with a clay content below 10 percent. They contain small quantities of lime but the magnesia content is high. They are well supplied in potash and phosphoric acid but the quantities available are low. The agriculture is dependent to a large extent on the nature of its soils which in turn, is influenced materially by climatic factors.
The soil of the district is quite alluvial and fertile.
The district consists of three kinds of soils viz, Riarki, Bangar and Bet. The area of Dhariwal Ghuman, Qadian, Harchowal and Sri Hargobindpur is called Riarki. The western side of Kahnuwan lake up to Aliwal canal is called Bangar and the area between the rivers of Beas and Ravi is known as Bet. Near about 300 villages of the district fall in Bet Area. The cultivable waste land is fallow or covered with bushes or jungle which may not be put to any use . Lands under that ching grass bamboo, bushes, tree crops etc. which are not included under forests have been considered as cultivable waste. As for example, all growing lands which are permanent pastures, meadows, grazing lands within the forests etc.
The foundry sand is found from Dharamkot near Batala. The deposits are located 6.5 kms west of Batala. Exposed on both sides of Batala-Dera Baba Nanak road, the Dharmkot sand is a natural moulding sand, containing about 20% of clay. Another deposit which is about 4 metres thick, occurs at about 6 km from Batala on the Batala Qadian road. The sand gives a yellowish tinge on the surface but is reddish brown at about 1 metre depth.
The sand deposits are also found at Bhagwanpur about 15 km. west of Batala on Dera Baba Nanak road and about 10 km from Gurdaspur on the Gurdaspur Naushera road (20 percent clay).
The salt petre occurs in the district at the villages of Thikriwala, Pandori in thesil Gurdaspur and Dhawan, Chataurgarh and Badowal in tehsil Batala. It is a source of Potassium nitrate which can be used for making crackers and Gunpowder, in match and sugar industry and as fertilizer.