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Bhera

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Bhera

Bhera
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
District Sargodha
Time zone PST (UTC+5)

Bhera (Punjabi,Urdu: بهيره‎), is a city and newly upgraded Tehsil of Sargodha District, Punjab province of Pakistan.

Contents

  • Geography 1
  • Demography 2
  • History 3
    • Attacks on Bhera through history 3.1
    • Bhera in Ferishta's Chronicle 3.2
    • Last Raja of Bhera 3.3
    • British Era 3.4
  • Personalities 4
    • Historical places in the vicinity 4.1
  • Sites of interest 5
    • Sher Shah Suri Mosque 5.1
    • Ancient Hindu and Sikh temples 5.2
    • Old mosques of Khilji and Tughlaq periods 5.3
    • Gates of Bhera 5.4
    • Bugvia Library Bhera 5.5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Geography

It lies on the Jhelum river, at latitude 32.48 N, longitude 72.92. It is located on the mid of Lahore-Islamabad motorway (M2) at the left bank of river Jhelum near Southern Salt Range in Sargodha district. Before independence of Pakistan in 1947, Bhera was located in Shahpur District. Bhera is surrounded by green fields and its importance increased due to Motorway passes near Bhera.During Mughal period, carvans from Central Asia, Kabul, Qandahar and Peshawar used to cross the river to go to Lahore, Delhi and other parts of South Asia, Carvans from Kashmir used to reach Bhera along with the river.

The current site of Bhera built by Sher Shah Suri during his rule in mid of 1500s, Bhera town is divided into small residence area called Mohallah most famous mohallas are Sakhy Pir Azam Shah Sab who was descendant of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakariya, and pious saint of his time he was famous for his generosity to people and entitled "Sakhy" means Generous, the other mohallas are Shah Naseeb Deryai, Hakeeman Wala, Imli Wala, Shesh Mehal, Pirachagan, Sethian wala, Sahnian wala, Khawjgan, Pakistani, Ali Bhatta, Naseerabad, Chah Bohrri wala, peeli kothi and Mohallah Qaziyan wala.

It is located on the Lahore-Islamabad motorway, and connects with Bhera interchange.( before this city was sub-tehsil, now it's tehsil) tehsil Bhera is the historical city of District Sargodha near Khushab. Its population is 100,000 is mainly dominated by Punjabis. Old Bhera is like old Lahore or old Peshawar. Its markets and streets are narrow. There is a circular road around the city. Old Bhera was situated on the right bank of the River Jehlum, on the opposite side new Bhera is located. There are heaps of ruins of old Bhera and remains of its markets and streets can still be seen on the other bank of the River Jehlum.

Demography

Population of Tehsil is 150,000 (2012 estimate) being mainly of Muslims and speaking Punjabi.

History

"Bhera" is a Sanskrit word which means: "a place where there is no fear".

According to the "Ancient Geography of India" by Alexander Cunningham, Bhera was once known as Jobnathnagar.[1]

The Imperial Gazetteer of India records the history of Bhera -

The palace of Sopeithes which the Greek historian Arrian mentions as the place on the Hydaspes is supposed to be at Bhera. The Greeks refer to the Jhelum river as the Hydaspes River where Alexander fought Porus in Battle of the Hydaspes River in 326 BC. It was at this battle that Alexander's famous horse Bucephalus was killed.

The Kukhran Khatris are a group of eleven specific clans of Punjabi Khatris who originally hailed from the town of Bhera in Punjab. Till the time of the independence in 1947 Bhera had a mixed population consisting of majority Muslim with small Hindu and Sikh communities.

The demographic composition of Bhera was significantly altered however at the time of independence as almost the entire Hindu and Sikh Bhirochis migrated to India, some chose to stay back and converted to Islam.

The refugees who came to India settled in Delhi, Punjab and other cities of northern India. Northern Delhi continues to have a colony called Bhera town where a section of these refugees were resettled.

Bhera was also home to the Mohyal tribe who also claim Porus.

Bhera is a historical city. Mahmud of Ghazni In his attack on Waihind (Peshawar) in 1001-3, is reported to have captured the Hindu Shahi King Jayapala and fifteen of his principal chiefs and relations some of whom like Sukhpal, were made Musalmans. At Bhera a great many inhabitants, except those who embraced Islam, were put to the sword.

In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin, In 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of Punjab region. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region.

Old Bhera was destroyed in 1545 because of the disputes among the Pashtun forces, and was rebuilt at the present location, that is the left bank of the River Jhelum. Sher Shah Suri was the founder of the new city. When he visited the old city, he was distressed upon seeing the destroyed areas. He camped at the left bank of river Jehlum, near Qaimnath's hut, and constructed the first building there. He also constructed the Shahi Jamia Mosque in the new city, which rivals the Shahi Jamia Mosques of Delhi, Agra and Lahore in beauty. Sher Shah Suri made a road, along which he built an "Eidgah" and water tanks for the passengers.

1300 years ago, many Muslim saints passed by Bhera which became famous in the whole of Asia. Businessmen and scholars arrived first and then many Afghan and Central Asian conquerors such as Mahmud Ghazni, Shahab ud Din Ghori, Mughal Babur and Ahmed Shah Abdali attacked or passed through the city in their campaigns.

Along with other things, peacocks were also presented to Hazrat Suleman. The people of this area were well educated. The people of other cities and countries had been learning Tib, etc. from here. Alexander the great after conquering Iran and passing through the Hindu Kush, reached the Punjab and came to the River Biyas and then turned back from there. Bhera earned a great status during the Mughal rule. Mughal emperor Zaheer-ud-din Babur mentioned this town in his famous book, Tuzk-e-Babri. The town had to face destruction when Sher Shah Suri (1540–1545) defeated Humayun and the Pathan forces took their revenge on the then pro-Mughal town of Bhera.

In the recent past centuries, Bhera was an important trading outpost on the road to Kabul, and boasted of a taksal (mint) during the rule of Ranjit Singh. The city was known for its knife and cutlery craftsmen, who made fighting daggers (Pesh-kabz) as well as hunting knives and table cutlery, often fitted with handles of serpentine (false jade) or horn.[3] Sir Robert Baden-Powell described the process by which craftsmen manufactured gem-quality serpentine aka false jade from ores obtained from Afghanistan: "The sang-i-yesham (ore) is cut by means of an iron saw, and water mixed with red sand and pounded (with) kurand (corundum). It is polished by application to the san (polishing wheel), wetted with water only, then by being kept wet with water, and rubbed with a piece of wati (smooth pottery fragment), and lastly by rubbing very finely pounded burnt sang-i-yesham on it. This last process must be done very thoroughly."[3]

Bhera declined in importance due to the gradual shifting of the course of the Jhelum river, due to which the town lost its access to trade as the result of its location on the banks of the river.

Captain Devas came to Bhera and with the help of the local architect Dhanchand Kohli rebuilt eight Gates of the city facing different directions. These were named Multani Gate, Lahori Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Kabuli Gate, Peeranwala Gate, Chinioti Gate, Loharanwala Gate and Hajji Gulab Gate. Only four gates have survived to date, Peeranwala Gate, Hajji Gulab Gate, Loharanwala Gate and Kabuli Gate which too are in a state of disrepair now. During the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar, Bhera regained its former glory and was one of the 40 cities of Mughal India having a royal mint for minting gold and silver coins.

Ghaznavi, Ghauri and Ahmad Shah Abdali also passed through Bhera while attacking the subcontinent. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Sargodha District. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. After the Sikh Raj (1790 to 1849), the British occupied Bhera till independence in 1947. The town of Bhera used to have a boundary wall and eight gates. Unfortunately, there is no official or public awareness about this great city of the past. During the period of British rule, Bhera including Sargodha District increased in population and importance.

Bhera was also called Wheat center and market of Mehndi. Camels were used as a means of transportation before the train and bus. There were many inns where businessmen and travellers stayed. Bhera was a great centre of industries. Knives and swords were made craft-fully. Wood work from here was famous all over the Indian sub continent. One of the carved door from Bhera city exists even today in the Museum of Lahore. In the city there are many beautiful buildings in Mohala Khawajgan, Ansari and Sheesh Mehol. Aurangzeb Alamgeer constructed a mosque near Chinioti Gate Markzi Mosque Mohala Sheikhanwal's Mosque and Chinese tomb near Kabuli gate. At first, Bhera was situated on a circular road, but as the population n 1004 CE

  • Changiz Khan[4]
  • Babar holds it to ransom in 1519[4]
  • Ahmad Shah Durani attacks in 1757[4]

New City Bhera is now in progress to settle at the junction of Bhera-Bhalwal Rd and Bhera Jhawarian Rd.

Attacks on Bhera through history

Bhera has also been attacked by a series of invaders including

Bhera in Ferishta's Chronicle

Farishta records[5]

that after attacking Ajoodhun now Pakpattan.

Dera seems here to be a derivative of Bhera as it is close to Pakpattan and the lake close by Kallar Kahar lake and the people Khukhrain.

Last Raja of Bhera

The last chief or Raja of Bhera was Diwan Bahadur Jawahir Mal.[6] a Khukhrain. The Diwan Family originally came from Peshawar and tradition ascribes the abolition the jazia in Peshawar to his influence.

British Era

E. Pop. (1901) 18,680. It is the terminus of a branch of the North-Western Railway. It is an important centre of trade, with manufactures of cotton goods, metal-work, carving. Bhera was founded about 1540 on its present site, but it took the place of a city on the opposite bank of the river, of far greater antiquity, which was destroyed at this period.

Personalities

Dr Sikandar Sultan Raja, Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) /DMG, present posting Additional Secretary Cabinet Division, previous postings , Assistant Commissioner Islamabad, Additional Deputy Commissioner Rawalpindi, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, DG Excise & Taxation Punjab, Secretary Communication & Works Punjab, Secretary Services Punjab, Secretary Local Government Punjab, Director General Immigration & Passport Islamabad and Chief Secretary Gilgit Baltistan. He is widely known as an extremely honest and hardworking officer. He is attributed as playing a pivotal role in the making of the Bhera-Malkwal road which has helped in increasing the livelihood of the people of Bhera and he has even gotten approval for natural gas to be installed in(Chantt) Bhera which God willingly should be done within the next year. Belonging to an illustrious family with his elder brother and father both in the army, his father in law an esteemed and highly respected CSP officer and his wife a customs officer herself yet he has never let anything get to his head and has always worked for the betterment of the people of Pakistan. His elder son is currently pursuing his further studies in Economics and Political science and once done he plans on working tirelessly for the betterment of the people of this region and making Bhera a beacon of prosperity. Dr. Sikandar's Education : BSc, MBBS, LLB. Educational Institutions : Govt High School Bhera, Cadet College Hasanabdal and King Edward Medical College Lahore.(Ref:History of Bhera by Babar Bhervi,Prominent Abdalians on the internet, history of cadet college hasanabdal, civil bureaucracy of Federal and Punjab Govt.) 
  • DR Ikram Ullah Lali assistant professor sargodha university

Hakeem Noor-ud-Din first caliph of Ahmadiyya and was a renowned physician, and was also a scholar of Arabic and Hebrew,mostly people of Bhera dislike him due to religion prospectives.

* Major General Khalid Bashir Sheikh,(HI(M),TBT) ex- DG ISPR,DG BUDGET(Pak Army),Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority,Member Punjab Public service Commission.
  • Khawaja Abdul Majid, 1882-1942 - ICS, Khan Bahadur. Deputy Commissioner distt. Karnal, and Director land records jhang.
  • Khan Bahadur Sheikh Amir Ali(DSP)
  • Dr Mohammad Khalid Mawla Bakhsh, (Royal Advisor, KSA)
*Asjad Imtiaz Ali Sheikh,(Chief Engineering Advisor/Chairman Federal Flood Commission,Chairman PANCID and PANCOLD,ex- Director IESC0
*Saad Imtiaz Ali Sheikh,(Ex deputy Director Islamabad Police Academy,Director FIA,DIG  PSP)
*Sheikh Imtiaz ali(SP,PSP)

* Sheikh Abid Imtiaz Ali(DIG,PSP)
*Sheikh Muhammad Sammiullah(Ex. chairman prime minister Inspection Commission,Formerly Secretary,Council of Islamic Ideology 

Historical places in the vicinity

Salt Range

  • Salt Range Temples, Pakistan

Sites of interest

Sher Shah Suri Mosque

Due to military and administrative importance of Bhera, Sher Shah Suri (1540–1545) constructed a grand mosque at Bhera, outside the wall city along the road. The style and structure closely resembles Mughal architecture. During Sikh regime 1799, the grand mosque was used as a stable by Sikhs. The mosque was rebuilt by the efforts of Mufti Ahmad Uddin Bugvi in 1858. The mosque consists of 3 large dombs, one central and two on sides. Small bricks have been used in the construction. Present establishment comprises upon Quran Hall, Hadith Hall, Boarding house, Central water pool & two minarets. Bugvia family is responsible for the management and maintenance of the mosque since 1858. The first official custodian was Ahmad Uddin Bugvi.

Ancient Hindu and Sikh temples

Although the Bhera lost its Hindu/Sikh population in the great exodus of 1947 several Hindu temples are still standing in Bhera. A temple near the Train Station, one temple near the Lahori Gate, and the third one near the Jhelum river. One beautiful Sikh Gurdawara building is located in the centre of the city.

Old mosques of Khilji and Tughlaq periods

There are a few other historical mosques belonging to the Tughlaq, Khiljian and other eras. These Old mosques of emperor Khilji an Afghan Dynasty and Tughlaq a clan of Turkish origin can be visited during the visit of the walled town. Due to unskilled local masons and lack of awareness, these mosques have lost their original shape. Shrine Of Muslim Saint "Hazrat Miran Shah Sahib".

Hazrat Meeran sahib was a saint of the area who worked for the transmission of Islam. His shrine is located in the western part of the town near river Jehlum. Peoples from different parts of the country visit his shrine in the month of March to give him homage.

Another old mosque located in the centre of the town is known as the " Tallian Wali Masjid ". It is reputed to have been built by a Hindu converted to Islam, by the name of Sita Talla.

Gates of Bhera

There was a wall and eight gates of the city. Names of the gates are Lahori, Chinioti, Multani, Kashmiri, Kabli, Peeran Wala, Loharan Wala & Haji Gulab. Names of five gates denotes the cities from which Bhera was connected with link roads.

Bugvia Library Bhera

Bugvia Library is located in the grand Sher Shah Suri Mosque. It was established by the scholars of Bugvia family. There is a huge collection of books on different subjects of Islam. Mostly are in Arabic, Persian, Urdu. A large number of hand written manuscripts are also available. This library is a useful source of reference for students, scholars and researchers for last about 200 years.

References

  1. ^ Ancient Geography of India, Page 130 – Alexander Cunningham
  2. ^ a b Imperial Gazetteer of India v22 page 214
  3. ^ a b Watt, Sir George, The Commercial Products of India, London: John Murray Publishers (1908), p. 561
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Imperial Gazetteer of India v2 page 213
  5. ^ Farishta Vo1 Page 80 Translation by John Briggs
  6. ^ The Punjab Chiefs " by authors W.L.Conran and H.D Craik and published by Sang-E-Meel publications of Lahore Pakistan Page 197

External links

  • Bhera – The Town that Time forgot Part 1
  • Bhera Medical Store
  • Excavation of Bhera leads to presence of artifacts
  • Sargodha, Pakistan Atlas-Style Relief Map
  • Jobnath Official Website'

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