About Gujranwala

Gujranwala is a city and capital of Gujranwala Division located in Punjab, Pakistan. It is also known as "City of Wrestlers" and is quite famous for its food. The city is Pakistan's 5th most-populous metropolitan area, as well as 5th most populous city proper. Founded in the 18th century, Gujranwala is a relatively modern town compared to the many nearby millennia-old cities of northern Punjab. The city served as the capital of the Sukerchakia Misl state between 1763 and 1799, and is the birthplace of the founder of the Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Gujranwala is now Pakistan's third largest industrial centre after Karachi and Faisalabad, and contributes 5% of Pakistan's national GDP. The city is part of a network of large urban centres in north-east Punjab province that forms one of Pakistan's mostly highly industrialized regions. Along with the nearby cities of Sialkot and Gujrat, Gujranwala forms part of the so-called "Golden Triangle" of industrial cities with export-oriented economies


The exact origins of Gujranwala are unclear. Unlike the ancient nearby cities of Lahore, Sialkot, and Eminabad, Gujranwala is a relatively modern city. It may have been established as a village in the middle of the 16th century. Locals traditionally believe that Gujranwala's original name was Khanpur Shansi, though recent scholarship suggests that the village was possibly Serai Gujran instead - a village once located near what is now Gujranwala's Khiyali Gate that was mentioned by several sources during the 18th century invasion of Ahmad Shah Abdali


In 1707, with the death of the last great Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Mughal power began to rapidly weaken especially following Nader Shah's invasion in 1739 and then completely dissipated from the Punjab region due to the invasions of Ahmad Shah Abdali who raided Punjab many times between 1747 and 1772 causing much devastation and chaos.

Abdalis control over the region began to weaken in the latter part of the 18th century with the rise of the Sikh Misls (independent chieftainships usually consisting of the chief’s kinsmen) who overran Punjab.Charat Singh, ruler of the Sukerchakia Misl, established himself in a fort which he had built in the area of Gujranwala between 1756 and 1758.



Following the Independence of Pakistan and the aftermath of the Partition of British India in 1947, Gujranwala was site of some of the worst rioting in Punjab. Large swathes of Hindu and Sikh localities were attacked or destroyed. Rioters in the city gained notoriety for attacks, with the city's Muslim Lohar (blacksmiths) particularly carrying out brutal attacks. In retaliation for attacks against a trainload of refugees by Sikh rioters at Amritsar railway station on 22 September that resulted in the deaths of 3,000 Muslims over the course of three hours, rioters from Gujranwala attacked a trainload of Hindus and Sikhs fleeing towards India on 23 September, killing 340 refugees in the nearby town of Kamoke. Partition riots in Gujranwala resulted in systematic violence against the city's minorities, and may constitute an act of ethnic cleansing by modern standards.Gujranwala became home to Muslim refugees who were fleeing from the widespread anti-Muslim pogroms that depopulated eastern Punjab in India of almost its entire Muslim population. Refugees in Gujranwala were mainly those who had fled from the cities of Amritsar, Patiala, and Ludhiana in what had become the Indian state of East Punjab.