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Fazilka is a city and a municipal council in Firozpur district in the state of Punjabmarker, Indiamarker.

Name and history

The 164 year old historic town of Fazilka in the District Ferozepur, also known as Bangla (the first political officer stationed in this area was Mr.Vans Agnew. He built a bungalow near the horse-shoe lake at Badha and the place came to be known as bangla,a new name given to the new establishment by the people) It is located in southwestern Punjab (INDIA), about 325 km west of Punjab State Capital Chandigarhmarker, 85 km south-west of the district headquarters, Ferozepurmarker and 200 km south of Amritsarmarker. Fazilka is near the India-Pakistan border which is 11 km away. It is situated on the rice growing and cotton rich belt of the state and is one of the major rice exporting centers in India. Before partition, the town was the biggest wool market in undivided Punjab.

Tosha Sweets


Fazilka's origin dates back to AD 1844. It was established by Mr. Vans Agnew and was christened after the original owner of the land, Mian Fazil Watoo.A payment of Rs 144 and annas eight was paid to his descendants in 1877 from panchayat fund and named the place after Mian Fazil Watoo(Lambardar)as FAZILKA. Being at the border, Fazilka also had to bear the brunt of India-Pakistan partition in 1947 and the two Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971. After the death of Mr Agnew Mr Oliver of East India Company took over as station in charge at Fazilka.

Major landmarks

1. Municipality was formed in 1885, vide Punjab Government notification no. 486, dated 10 December 1885. The town was added to the Ferozepur district on the reduction of Sirsa district to which Fazilka was attached in 1884.

2. In 1936, A beautiful Clock Tower was built at the centre of the town, which is now a landmark.It was built in the memory of Ram Narain Periwal.

Fazilka and Layallpur Clock TowersBoth the clock towers were placed at the city center connected by four /eight markets roads in Fazilka and Lyallpur (Now known as Faislabad) respectively. Bird's-eye view of both the clock tower looks like the Union Jack i.e. national flag of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Both the cities Fazilka and Lyallpur came into existence between 1840-1880. Historical evidance says both city centre were designed by Captain Poham Young, to imitate the Union Flag with eight/four roads radiating from a large clock tower in the centre to main separate markets. Layallpur Clock Tower was built by the British Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, Sir Charles James Lyall for whom it was originally named Lyallpur. Fazilka Clock Tower was built in the memory of famous philanthropist of Fazilka Late Mr. Ram Narayan Periwal by Rai Sahab Madan Gopal Periwal & Shopat Rai Periwal. Fazilka clock tower is the tallest clock tower in the North India (Height appox.). Fazilka Clock Tower was made by a contractor Sh. Narain Singh in supervision of Mohd. Abdul Kareem, Lala Karam Chand, Seth Jass Raj. It was inaugurated by Mr. M.R.Sachdev, ESQ, ICS, the then Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur on June 6, 1939 in the presence of Sheepseks Asquire ICS DC Jalandhar and Rai Sahab Lala Vidyadhar PCS SDO Fazilka. The tower was designed by Architect S.D.Wasan. Both Fazilka and Faislabad Clock towers were inaugurated on the same day. Previously it was maintained by Periwal Trust but afret 1991 it is being looked after by Municipal Council, Fazilka

Here it is important to note that Fazilka Clock Tower is the first of its kind of Brick Masonry multistoried Building in built in Punjab. (est. 1939). Picture of Fazilka Clock Tower is placed in Picture gallery of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chandigarh

3. In 1940, A philanthropist Munshi Ram Aggarwal instituted M.R. college for the education of the youngsters of the region. Now it has been taken over by the Punjab Government, named M.R. Govt. College.

4. In 1947, the population of the town has been 50% Hindus and Sikhs and 50% Muslims before partition of the country.The Muslim population migrated to Pakistan and the Hindu and Sikh refugees from Pakpattan, Haveli, Okara, Montgomery(renamed Sahiwal), Arifwala, Basirpurmarker, Bahawalpur came to this town in caravans.

5. Asafwala 1971 Indo-Pak War Memorial: This was inaugurated by Late President of India Giani Zail Singh. This monument is a tribute to all Indian army soldiers who laid down their lives to save our City. This is under 4 JATT Regiment who played important role in 1971 Indo-Pak War.

Fazilka TV Tower, a 304.8 metres tall free-standing lattice tower.

Economy

The economy of the Fazilka is based on agriculture. Before partition it was a major wool market. Traders used to export wool to British Isle (Liverpool) via Karachi and Sindh port.In 2007, Wool production decreased to about 1/10th or less of the production before partition. The area around this town grows high quality cereals (wheat, rice and others). When there is a food shortage in other provinces in India and in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, the supply for food grains are from this region. A hybrid variety of citrus fruit known as 'Kino' is grown in this region. The surrounding areas also produce guava.Now Fazilka is a major cotton, wheat and paddy producing area.

Fazilka's Punjabi Tilla Jutti
The heritage cottage industries like woven strings (Waan) fabricated from Sarkanda grass acquired from the bank of river Sutlej has enabled the intensive labour but low profit cottage industries to prosper.

Education

Graduate level courses are available at M.R. Govt. College. Some private institutes give opportunities for diploma and degree level computer courses.courses are also available for B.Ed.There is one Industrial Training Institute which provide vocational courses.Some private institutes also provide vocational courses. There is no Engineering college at Fazilka.

Colleges and professional institutes
  1. M.R Govt. College
  2. Industrial Training Institute
  3. Jyoti B.Ed College
  4. D.A.V College of Education
  5. Sant Kabir Polytechnic
  6. Art and Craft College
  7. Bhagwan Parshuram Art & Craft I.T.I


Seconday schools
  1. New Gurukul Vidya Mandir Public School
  2. Govt. Modal Senior Seconday School
  3. Atam Vallab Public School
  4. Army School
  5. Smt. Karma Bai, D.A.V School
  6. S.D. Senior Seconday School
  7. D.A.V. Senior Secondary School
  8. Sanskrit Vidhyalaya
  9. S.D. Girls Senior Seconday School
  10. Govt. Girls Senior Seconday School
  11. Islamia School (Before Partition)
  12. Sarv Hitkari Vidya Mandir
  13. D.A.V D.C Modal Senior Seconday School
  14. Govt. Primary School No. 1, 2 and 3
  15. Satsang Elementary Primary School
  16. Jain School
  17. Arya Kanya Putri Pathshala
  18. Chanakya Model School
  19. Holy Heart Day Boarding School
  20. Rainbow Day Boarding Public School
  21. Amrit Model School
  22. Sikh Kanya Putri Pathshala
  23. Holy Child Public School
  24. Sacred Heart Convent School


Fairs and festivals

The Fazilka region observes almost all important major festivals of India, including Diwali, Dushehra, Holi and Gurpurab. Apart from these major festival fazilka is famous the following:

  1. Vijay Diwas Celebration at Asafwala War Memorial on 17 December jointly by Indian Army and War Memorial Trust.


  1. Village Ban Wala Mela.
  2. Village Lakhe Kadayian Wala Mela, Twice in Year. Famous one is 1st date of Desi Month Sawan every years to celebrate the start of monsoon season.
  3. Peer Guraya Mela, Nayi Abadi Fazilka
  4. 15 August and 26 January Celebration at Sadqui Check Post,Indo Pakistan Border, Fazilka
  5. Fazilka Heritage Festival, Mehak Sarhad Di to celebrate and promote art, culture and food of Fazilka region by Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka.
  6. Anand Utsav-Environment Festival of Fazilka by Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka.


Languages/Dialects

The Fazilians have ethnic groups hailing from Southern Punjab, Rajasthan, Malwa, Sahiwal with their own specific dialects. The major dialects include the following:
  • Sahaiwali / Lehndi (spoken by Rai Sikhs, Kambojas and migrants from Sahiwal (Pakistan)
  • Mahajani spoken by migrants from deep Sindh and Southern Punjab
  • Malwai spoken by settlers from erstwhile Faridkot state
  • Bagri spoken by rural settlers fro Haryana
  • Rajasthani spoken by business families from Bikaner and Alwar region
  • Theth Punjabi spoken by migrants from Majha and Doaba
and many others.

Regional dances

Fazilka is known for a style of jhummar dance propagated by the late Baba Pokhar Singh (1916-2002). Pokhar Singh's family had migrated from the Montgomery district of Western Punjab, and they claim to represent the "Ravi" style of jhummar. However, the region they settled in (i.e. Fazilka) had its own style of jhummar (which they refer to as the "Satluj" style). Therefore, at least two regional styles were mixed in every day life, and in his jhummar routine (which was basically the same each time, and which the family and friends still perform today) Pokhar identified several other regional actions.

Modes of transportation

Railways

The first railway line through the town was setup in year 1898 on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the accession of Queen Victoria. Fazilka was connected by railway to McLeodganj (now in Pakistan and renamed Mandi Sadiqganj) on the route to Bahawalnagar and then to Bahawalpur. Fazilka was connected by railway also to Amruka (now in Pakistan) through Chaanwala. The tracks from Fazilka to McLeod Ganj from Fazilka to Chaanwala are now closed, perhaps uprooted.

Fazilka railway station is connected to Ferozepur and Bhatinda junctions of Northern Railways. A new railway line to Abohar is being constructed and will shorten the distance to Bikaner by over 100 km.

Roads

National Highway 10 passes through Fazilka and connects to Delhi via Hissar and Rohtak.State highway Fazilka-Ferozepur.State highway Fazilka-Malout.

Airports

Amritsar International Airport and Ludhiana Domestic Airport serves Fazilka.

Rickshaw

Fazilka has also implemented a public transit system using rickshaws. These rickshaws are now dispatched by telephone by the Fazilka Ecocab Call Centre.

Maps

Map of Fazilka

Demographics and geography

Population history of Fazilka
 India census, Fazilka had a population of 67,424. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Fazilka has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 72%, and female literacy is 62%. In Fazilka, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age. Fazilka has a majority Hindu and Sikh population. The Hindu population makes up 50% and the Sikh population make up 50%. Before partition there were many Muslim villages around 80 in total. Fazilka was hit hard by mobs of jatt Sikh farmers who wanted revenage for the Lahore attack on Sikhs. Fazilka has one of the highest land under cultivation in Punjab
Location: Latitude: 20.25N Longitude: 74.04E

District Ferozepur

State: Punjab (INDIA)

PIN Code: 152123

STD Code: 01638

Urban Population: 70,000 ( Appox.)

Height above mean sea level :177.185 m

Climate Winter (December 21) : 2oC (minimum)

Summer (May 21) : 45oC (maximum)

Potable water: Deep tube wells

Rainfall : 723.9 mm(Annual)

Air pollution : Nil

References


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