History

Dera Ghazi Khan , is a geographically central city of Pakistan at the junction of all four provinces of Pakistan. The city is head quarter of Dera Ghazi Khan Division, which consists of the Dera Ghazi Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and Layyah districts. Presently there are four revenue sub-division or tehsils of Dera Ghazi Khan District i.e. Dera Ghazi Khan Tehsil, Taunsa Sharif, Kot Chutta , and a tribal belt/political area spread along with western side of the district.

Foundation of old city

The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Multan region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs/shrines dot the landscape of Punjab region. The city was founded in 1476 on the western bank of the Indus River and named after Nawab Ghazi Khan Mirani, son of Nawab Haji Khan Mirani, a Balochi chieftain, who had declared independence from the Langah Dynasty’s Sultans of Multan. Together with two other Deras, Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Fateh Khan, it gave its name to Derajat. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Dera Ghazi Khan District. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. During the period of British rule, Dera Ghazi Khan district increased in population and importance.

British era and foundation of new city

Derajat eventually came into the possession of the British Raj after the Sikh War in 1849 and was divided into two districts: Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan. General Courtland was appointed as first Deputy Commissioner of this District. Presently there are four revenue sub-division or tehsils of Dera Ghazi Khan District i.e. Dera Ghazi Khan Tehsil, Taunsa Sharif, Kot Chutta , and a tribal belt/political area spread along with western side of the district. Following flash floods in 1908 which partially destroyed the original city, in 1910, the present-day city was established around 10 miles (16 km) away from the old town near Drahma.

The new town was planned in a grid plan, consisting of 66 city blocks with wide roads. Each alternative street join the main street of block to form chowks or town squares for social gatherings, and each block has two such chowks (northern and southern). The town suffered decrease in population due to the move- in 1909, there were 23,731 inhabitants, whereas in 1911 there were 18,446. In the year 1913, the Municipal Committee came into existence. At that time, the area of the town was very small. Physical growth continued and now the area was about 4 square miles (10 km2). During British periods, canals were dug in the region. Dera Ghazi Khan is in the province of Punjab.

The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslims refugees from India settled down in the Dera Ghazi Khan.

Post-independence

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while many Muslims refugees from India settled down in the Dera Ghazi Khan District. Many Hindus and Sikhs from Dera Ghazi Khan settled in Delhi found Derawal Nagar along with the migrants from Dera Ismail Khan.[6] Similarly, Muslims from different parts of India migrated to Pakistan and settled in different cities of Pakistan including Dera Ghazi Khan. This further increased the cultural diversity of Dera Ghazi Khan.

The major growth of the town has taken place since 1947. The town has largely spread to the north and south; it could not expand to the west due to the danger of flooding torrents such as affected the town in 1955. However, growth has also taken place in the eastern side. Almost all of the new developments in north and east of the planned town are haphazardly built. The development in the town from 1947 to 1958 remained slow, due to lack of transportation and communication facilities. Only a boat bridge on the river Indus in winter season and steamer service for summer season linked Dera Ghazi Khan with the rest of the Punjab. The Taunsa Barrage on the river Indus was completed in 1953 and the pace of development has since gained momentum. Keeping in view the rapidly increasing population, district D. G. Khan was further divided in two districts in 1982 i.e. Dera Ghazi Khan District and Rajanpur District. During the last 5 years, 72 industrial units were established. The Ghazi Textile mills are an attempt to establish a heavy industrial complex to raise the economic base of the town.

Climate and geography

Dera Ghazi Khan is located at 30’03″ N and 70’38″ E. The overall climate of the city is dry with little rainfall. The winter is relatively cold and the climate is hot during the remaining part of the year, but it is very hot in summer. The temperature during summer is usually about 115 °F (46 °C), while during winter season the temperature is as low as 40 °F (4 °C). The prevailing wind direction is North-South. Due to the barren mountains of Koh-Suleman (Sulaiman Mountains) and the sandy soil of the area, windstorms are very common in the summer. During summer, the temperatures are generally amongst the highest in Pakistan. Fort Munro, located on the edge of Punjab Province, has relatively cooler weather. In winter, scattered snowfall is also reported in this area.

Fauna and flora

Along with its many other fauna and flora it has Jerdon’s Babbler. It has also one unconfirmed occurrence of Markhor, the national animal of Pakistan. This specie is called Sulaiman Markhor and is found at high altitudes.

Natural resources

There are iron, gypsum, marble, limestone, cement, precious stones, uranium, coal and petroleum and gas reserves in the district. The Koh-e-Sulaiman constitutes a major part of this area, and is full of natural deposits.

Floods

The area is also vulnerable to floods from the Indus River in the East and from the Rod Koh coming from Sulaiman Mountains in the West. In 1957 flood water entered in the city and almost after 60 years second time in history water entered in the city on 9 September 2012 due to heavy rains in Koh-e-Sulaiman.

Sr.# Name of Hill Torrent Maximum Discharge (Cusecs)
 1 KAURA 77490
 2 VEHOVA 96000
 3 SANGHAR 149200
 4 SORI LUND 98000
 5 WADOR 150000
 6 SAKHI SARWAR 32643
 7 MITHAWAN 78000

Historical and tourist places

Tomb of Hazarat Sultan Sakhi Sarwar   (رحمة الله علیه)

Hazrat Syed Ahmad, also known as Sultan Sakhi Sarwar, Lakh Data, Sakhi Sultan and Lalan Wali Sarkar, was the son of Hazrat Zain ul Abedin, who migrated from Baghdad and settled in Shahkot, near Multan in 13th century. He studied from Syed Muhammad Ishaq, known as Miran Badshah who came from Iran and settled in Lahore during the time of the Tughlaq dynasty and is buried in the courtyard of Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore. Syed Ahmed later went to Dhaunkal, Wazirabad for further education and is also reported to visit Baghdad. Sakhi Sarwar preached Islam in Sodhra, Wazirabad. From Dhounkal; Sakhi Sarwar came to Dera Ghazi Khan and settled in Nagaha, now named after him, Sakhi Sarwar. He died at the age of 53. His shrine was built in Sulaiman Mountains, 35 kilometres from Dera Ghazi Khan city. It is located in a small village named Muqam. Later, Mughal king Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur amended his tomb. It is a unique building of Mughal architecture. Thousands of people from all over South Asia come here on the Annual Celebrations of Birth of Sakhi Sarwar in March every year.

Tomb of Hazrat Muhammad Suleman Taunsvi   (رحمة الله علیه)

Khawaja Shah Muhammad Suleman Taunsvi (Peer Pathan) was a Sufi saint of Chishti Order born to the Jafar Pakhtun tribe of Darug, Loralai District, Balochistan province, in what is now Pakistan. His dargah (shrine or tomb) lies in Tehsil Taunsa Sharif of district Dera Ghazi Khan of Punjab province in Pakistan.  His urs (annual death anniversary) is celebrated at his shrine every year from (5-7) Safar al-Muzaffar, second month of Islamic Calendar.

Tomb of Hazrat Ali Ahmed Qadri   (رحمة الله علیه)  (Darbar Qadiriyya)

Hazrat Ali Ahmed Qadri (1898–1962) was born in 1898 in Kaithal, India.  His father died three years after birth. He was considered to be an in-born wali. He belonged to the Qadiriyya Sufi order from the lineage of 17th-century saint Shah Kamal Qadri Kaithaly. After the independence, he migrated to Pakistan in 1949. Initially, he settled in Kot Qaboola (Arifwala Tehsil, Pakpattan District) and Multan and then finally moved to Dera Ghazi Khan. He died in 1962 and his tomb is in Block 35.

Tomb of Ghazi Khan

The tomb of Nawab Ghazi Khan Mirrani, locally called as handeera in Saraiki, was built in the beginning of 15th century. This seems like the tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam in Multan. It is located in the Mulla Quaid Shah Graveyard. Its main gate is from eastern side and two small doors are in side of north and south. In it there are 11 graves, which are of the family of Nawab Ghazi Khan Mirrani. Every side of the tomb is 13 feet (4.0 m) and 3 inches (76 mm) from inside and there are conical minarets from the outside. Its circular distance from the earth is 17 feet (5.2 m) and half. The half diameter of the conical minarets remains 34 inches (860 mm) on the highest of 19 feet (5.8 m). There are 28 ladders from northern side in the internal side. The graveyard was built up around the tomb of Nawab Ghazi Khan Mirrani. This is the oldest building in the city. The tomb condition is continuously deteriorating and many social activists are raising voice to preserve this heritage.[19]

Taunsa Barrage

Taunsa Barrage is also the location of one of the notable structures on the Indus River called Taunsa Barrage, located about 70 kilometres north of Dera Ghazi Khan city.  It is a best visiting place and lot of families make trip to this tourist spot. It was designated a Ramsar site on 22 March 1996. The Taunsa Barrage was completed in 1958, and it has been identified as the barrage with the highest priority for rehabilitation. It requires urgent measures to avoid severe economic and social impacts on the lives of millions of poor farmers through interruption of irrigation on two million acres (8,000 km²) and drinking water in the rural areas of southern Punjab, benefiting several million farmers. In 2003, the World Bank approved a $123 million loan to Pakistan to rehabilitate the Taunsa Barrage on the River Indus whose structure had been damaged owing to soil erosion and old-age. The project was designed to ensure irrigation of the cultivated lands in the area of the Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan Tehsil canals, and through the Taunsa-Panjnad Link Canal that supplements the water supply to Panjnad headworks canals.

Ghazi Ghat

Ghazi Ghat is one of the notable structures on the Indus River, located 10 kilometres east of Dera Ghazi Khan city. It is a very beautiful village of southern part of Punjab province. Mostly baloch tribes live in this village. Some famous tribes include Bozdar (Bakhri), Chandia, Kori, Guramani and Surani. It is a best visiting place and lot of families make trip to this tourist spot. A lot of people from Multan visit this picturesque spot.There are lot of fresh river fish stalls where scores of people come to eat this delicious dish.There is a nice view of Indus River from here. Boat riding is available for rent.There is also a petrol station and a very nice and famous hotel here.

Fort Munro

Fort Munro, locally in Balochi language it is called “Nimroo”. It is a hill station in Dera Ghazi Khan which lies on the Quetta Road at 80 km west ward from Dera Ghazi Khan city in the Sulaiman Mountains Range. According to renowned research Scholar Dr. Ghulam Qasim Mujahid Baloch: “the hill station was named during the British forward policy era in 1880 on the name of Colonel Munro the commissioner Derajaat and Layyah Division. The old Balochi name of this place was “loh larhi (the iron rock) and “Anari Molh” (the peak of pomegranates). The famous Balochi poet of Rind Era Mir Mando visited this top and narrated the classical Balochi “Fairy Poem” which is included in the “popular poetry of the Baloches” written by famous orientalist Mr. Longworth Dames the Deputy commissioner of Dere Ghazi Khan. A lake at Fort Munro on the name of Mr. Longworth Dames still exists as: “Dames Lake”(Ref: “Biaz e Dera” University College of Education (Government Elementary College) Dera Ghazi Khan, 2005, PP.176–188). The Fort Munro is away from dusty and hot climate of Multan and D.G.Khan. It is blessed with clean and cool weather. It is 6,470 feet above sea level and attracts many people for short stays during the summer. Many school trips and families use to go for recreation. In summer when the temperature reaches 48 °C (118 °F) in south Punjab, the temperature remains at 20 °C (68 °F).

Pir Zinda near DG Khan Cement Factory

It is located near D. G. Khan Cement Factory some 40 km from the city. It is believed that a Sufi saint lived and preached here in Suri nala (Rod Koh). Its nearest village is Sahar. There is small mazar of Pir Zinda Sahib. Many people come here during the Urs of Pir Zinda . Beside this mazar is its speciality, which is hot water chashma. Warm and salty water constantly comes from the ground, due to pressure. There are lot of mineral and Sulfur rich warm water ponds and springs (chashmas). People normally take bath from these ponds, in the belief that they cure disease. These warm waters have minimum temperature of 35 °C (95 °F) and are rich in salts and minerals, especially sulphur that is anti itching and effective in eliminating skin diseases. These are called thermal and medical baths. Many people come here for their refreshment and the hope of recovery from different diseases and sickness. The road conditions around this place are very poor.

Tribal area and Sulaiman Mountains

The Sulaiman Mountains, or the Kesai Mountains, are a major geological feature of southeastern Afghanistan (Zabul, most of Loya Paktia and northeastern Kandahar Province) and Pakistan (South Waziristan and most of northern Balochistan and Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts of Punjab). The Sulaiman Mountains form the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau where the Indus River separates it from the Subcontinent. Bordering the Sulaiman Range to the north are the arid highlands of the Hindu Kush, where more than 50 percent of the lands lie above 2,000 meters.

Famous mosques

  • Jamia Masjid is the biggest Masjid of the city. It was constructed in year 1916. There is a large pool in the Masjid which is used for making ablution. It has a big hall whose length is 100 feet (30 m) and width is 45 feet (14 m), in which 3,000 people can say their prayer at one time. Its courtyard is also wide, and can fit 10,000 men in. The minarets of the Masjid are 85 feet (26 m) high, in which there are 100 ladders.
  • Shah Bagh Mosque was the first Mosque in which people performed their first Jumma Namaz after the destruction of the old Dera Ghazi Khan when the people of Dera Ghazi Khan shifted in the new city. It is named after the Imam of the time. It is in Block No. 7.
  • Maulvi Fazl-e-Haq Masjid is also one of the oldest and big mosques in the city.
  • Eidgah near the Nizamabad is one of the oldest one while another Eidgah is near the Company Park.
  • Imambargah Haidrea Imam Bargah Haidrea is oldest Imambargah of the city.
  • Canal Colony Mosque(Located in DGKhan Medical College) is also a well known mosque.

Parks of the city

  • Nawaz Sharif Park is at Quetta road near Virtaul University Campus with a beautiful scenery and covering vast area. Its exact location is between the grid station and the cricket stadium. Its main gate is on Dera-Gadai road in front of the Model Town.
  • D.C. Garden has an area of 81 canals and 3 marlas. Divisional Public School and Wild Life Park was also the part of D.C. Garden. Although it is an administrative and residential area, it has natural greenery. Dera Ghazi Khan administration has made the Dera Ghazi Khan officers’ club inside the D.C. Garden, where the officers play games such as squash, badminton, and tennis. Government employees, advocates, politicians, journalists and local people are also members of this club.
  • Company Bagh is called the second garden of the city. The East Indian Company made the company bagh in every district. This is known as company bagh. Its area is 162 canals and 12 Marlas. In 1948 a friends’ club was made in this area. Company Bagh is used to play football, hockey, volleyball, badminton and table tennis, amongst other games
  • Ghazi Park is a decent sized theme park, and is the largest theme park in the city. It is located at the North-West outskirts of Dera Ghazi Khan. Exhibitions are arranged through part of the year since 1999, which attract many more visitors than on other days when there are usually only a handful. The exhibitions are held between February and March.
  • The Bank of Indus River is a peaceful picnic point for the people of Dera Ghazi Khan. From here the view of the river is beautiful. It is also known as the name of Ghazi Ghaat. Ghazi Ghaat welcomes the people coming to Dera Ghazi Khan from the eastern side. There is a boat renting service available at the river.
  • Wild Life Park Dera Ghazi Khan has recently been re-developeding. It is a good place for recreation. It has many types of animals and birds. It is commonly called Dera Ghazi Khan Zoo. The Wild Life Park is government funded and free to visit.
  • D.G.Khan and Kachi Canal is becoming a peaceful picnic point for the people of Dera Ghazi Khan. From here the view of both canals is beautiful. It is very near to city at and can access via airport road.It welcomes the people coming from Fort Munro, Sakhi Sarwer and Balochistan to Dera Ghazi Khan.

Churchyard

It is situated in the northern side of the Canal colony, residential colony in front of the Central Jail Dera Ghazi Khan. It has the walls on its four sides. This churchyard could not spread because of Christian minority in the local area. This was constructed in 1910.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>