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Jalandhar (Punjabi: ਜਲੰਧਰ) is a district in the Indian state of Punjab and also the name of an ancient capital city in this District. It was the capital of Trigarttas (people living in the "land between three rivers": Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) in the times of Mahabharata war. It has an urban population of almost a million, and another million live in the rural areas outside the city. The city is located almost 375 kms from Delhi, and about 90 kms from Amritsar. Jalandhar is named after Jaldhar, a demon king who lived in water as his name suggests (Jal=water, dhar=in). It was the capital of Punjab until 1953, when it was replaced by Chandigarh. Others say Jalandhar is derived from the fact that it is located between two rivers JAL (water) & ANDHAR (inside). During British occupation it was called Jullundur.
In ancient time, the district or Kingdom of Jalandhar comprised the whole of the Upper Doabas from the Ravi to the Satluj. According to the Padama Purana, as quoted by General Conningham the country takes its name from the great Daitya King Danava Jalandhara the son of the Ganga by Ocean.
The earliest historical mention of Jalandhar occurs in the region of Kanishka, the Kushan King of northern India in whose time a council of Buddhists theologians was held near Jalandhar about 100 AD to collect and arrange the sacred writings of Buddhism and to bring about reconciliation between its various sects. This makes Jalandhar along with Multan the oldest surviving city of the Punjab region.
In the 7th Century, when the famous Chinese traveller and pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited India during the reign of Harsha Vardhana, the Kingdom of Jalandhar or Trigartta under Raja Utito (Whom Alexender Cunningham identifies with the Rajput Raja Attar Chandra). It was said to have extended 167 miles (269 km) from east to west and 133 miles (214 km) from north to south, thus including the hill states of Chamba, Mandi and Suket (Himachal Pardesh) and Satadru or Sirhind in the plains. Raja Utito was a tributary of Harsh Vardhana. The Rajput Rajas appear to have continued to rule over the country right upto the 12th century, interrupted some time or the other, but their capital was Jalandhar and Kangra formed an important stronghold. According to Chinese pilgrim Fahien, who traveled India in the seventh century AD, there were so many Vihars of Buddhism in India. In the Jalandhar District, there were as many as 50 Vihars of Buddhism. The Budhist religion was adopted by a large number of people.
From the later half of the tenth century up to 1019, the district was included in the Shahi Kingdom of the Punjab and Jalandhar was an important city in the region.
|Districts of Punjab|
▐ Amritsar (District) ▐ Barnala ▐ Bathinda ▐ Firozpur ▐ Faridkot ▐ Fatehgarh ▐ Gurdaspur ▐ Hoshiarpur ▐ Jalandhar ▐ Kapurthala ▐ Ludhiana ▐ Mansa ▐ Moga ▐ Muktsar ▐ Nawanshahr ▐ Patiala ▐ Rupnagar ▐ Mohali ▐ Sangrur (District) ▐ Tarn Taran ▐