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Formation of Jalandhar Division

After the first Anglo-Sikh war, Maharaja Dalip Singh was compelled to cede a part of his territory which had earlier formed part of his empire. Article III of First Treaty of Lahore said, "Maharaja cedes to the Hon'able Company in perpetual sovereignty, all his forts, territories and rights in the Doab or Country, bill and plain, situated between the rivers Beas and Sutlej. Thus the whole of Jalandhar passed into the hands of the Britishers by the treaty of Lahore on March 9, 1846. Sir John Lawrence was made the first Commissioner of the ceded territory.

Bosworth Smith writes, "John Lawrence lost no time in buckling down to his work.. It was on March 1,1846 that he received his appointment from the Governor-General at Umritsar(Amritsar), and by the 30th of the same month the Governor-General was paying him a return visit at Jullundur, where he had already got well on with the most difficult task of the ruler of a newly annexed province, the settlement of its revenue."

To begin with the districts of (1)Jalandhar (2)Hoshiarpur (3)Ludhiana (4) Ferozepur and (5) Kangra constituted this Division. After the partition of India(especially Punjab) in 1947, Amritsar District and a greater part of Gurdaspur were transferred to India and these were added to Jalandhar Division.

In 1956, after the merger of PEPSU into Punjab, the District of Kapurthala was also added to Jalandhar Division. When the reorganisation of Punjab took place on 1st November,1966 and Himachal and Haryana were carved out as the new States, whole of Kangra, some parts of Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur Districts went over to Himachal. Thus in 1973, District of Ludhiana was transferred to Patiala Division. Jalandhar Division was left with the existing five Districts namely Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur.Presently, Jalandhar comprises of seven districts namely Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur,Tarn Taran and Pathankot.

Description of Jalandhar Division in 1908

The Imperial Gazetteer of India, Provincial Series, Punjab Vol.I. Edition 1908 gives the following description of this Division in 1908. This account remained true upto 1947. "Jullundur Division(Jalandhar)-A Division of the Punjab, stretches from the borders of Tibet on the North East across the valleys of the Upper Beas and the Sutlej to the borders of the Bikaner desert on the South West. It lies between 240 52' and 320 59'N and 730 52 and 780 42'E. The Commissioner's headquarters are at the town of Jullundur. The division comprises all varieties of scene and soil, from the tumbled masses of the Outer Himalayas, in Kulu and Kangra, to the fertile plains of Jullundur or the arid tracts of Ferozepur". The area was 19,410 square miles and the density of population 222 persons per square mile, as compared with 209 for the province (Punjab) as a whole. The total population in 1901 stood as 43,06,662 and it generated a total land revenue and ceases to the tune of Rs.71,58,000.

The Division contained 6,415 villages and 37 towns of which the following had a population exceeding 20,000. Jullundur 67,735, Ferozepur(49,341) and Ludhiana (48,649). Besides the administrative charge of these British Districts, the Commissioner had political control over the Native States, which are shown below, with their area and population.

State Area in Square miles Population in 1901
Kapurthala 630 3,14,351
Mandi 1,200 1,74,045
Maler Kotla 167 77,506
Suket 420 54,676
Faridkot 642 1,24,912
Total 3059 7,45,490

The total population of these Native States increased from 6,20,203 in 1881 to 7,09,811 in 1891 and 7,45,490 in 1901. The density of the population was 244 persons per square mile. The States contained 1,053 villages and 12 towns of which Malerkotla(21,122) alone exceeded 20,000 persons.

Ludhiana, Ferozepur and Jalandhar were the only towns of commercial importance, while Kangra and Jawala Mukhi were famous for their religious associations.

Modern Jalandhar Division

After the partition of country , the boundaries of the Division have been reorganised many a times. Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts were transferred to the Jalandhar Division at the time of independence. Kapurthala district was added to the Jalandhar Division when Pepsu was merged with Punjab. However the District of Ludhiana was taken out and merged with Patiala Division in 1973. Thus from the old Jalandhar Division emerged the modern division which now comprises the following seven Districts:

  1. Jalandhar District. It has been in this Division since 1846

  2. Hoshiarpur District. This district has also been in Jalandhar Division since 1846 except for minor territorial changes.

  3. Amritsar District. Upto August 1947, it was in Lahore Division, but it was transferred to this Division after partition of the Country.

  4. Gurdaspur District. It was also in Lahore Division upto August 1947. With some changes in the extent of its limits, it was transferred to Jalandhar Division on August 17, 1947 after the announcement of Radcliffe Award.

  5. Kapurthala District. It was under the rulers of Ahluwalia family till the formation of PEPSU. It was transferred to Jalandhar Division on 1st November 1956 when Pepsu was merged with the State of Punjab.

  6. Nawanshahr District - It has been carved out of Jalandhar District in the year September,1997 and in 2013 it was transfered to Ropar Division

  7. Tarn Taran District - It was created in 2006 by carving out area from Amritsar District.

  8. Pathankot - It was created in 2011 by carving out area from Gurdaspur District.