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History of Fazilka

Fazilka a newly form municipality has a vast history. It is a small town of loving and simple people. It is also known as a religious town. Fazilka got its name from Mian Fazil Watoo. Mr. Mian Fazil Watoo has bequeathed the land for the township. And hence later the city was named over him. The area has seen the rule of various parties since ancient times. Maharaja Ranjit Singh was one of the mightiest ruler of the region. British had a deep interest in the area because of its strategic location and economic importance. On 10 December 1885, Fazilka came into existence as municipality in Punjab. In 1884 Fazilka was added as a part of Firozpur district. Later on 27 July 2011, Fazilka was declared a District by Government of Punjab. Fazilka has also seen many hardship during the India and Pakistan partition. Even during 1965 & 1971 Indo-Pak wars the area remained under much stress.

Fazilka Under Sikh Rule (1780-1849)

History of FazilkaMany political parties always eyed upon Fazilka but the rooted rule of East India Company, Srakar-e-Khalsaji and the Govrnment in Afganisthan had always broken their visions. Fazilka is largely inhabited by the tribes. Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) brought different tribal together. In the early Nineteenth century, Sakar-e-Khalsaji ruled the region, the Maharaja made many trips to the left bank of River Sutlej. Bahawlpur state which lied on the right bank of the River Sutlej was reduced by the Lahore government. Bangla was established in 1844 at the site of present Fazilka after 5 years after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh was not only a military commander of excellence, he was one monarch who could read between the lines. Maharaja demanded the regions of Anandpur, Chamkaur, Mouthuwal and Firozpur. The East India Company expectantly waited that Maharaja should grab more and more Subas, so that they could get hold of them at a later date. They were well aware of the deteriorating health of the the Maharaja. Due to its strategic importance of Fazilka, East India Company chose  present Fazilka to keep an eye on the activities of Sarkar-e-Khalsaji, Bikaner, Bahawalpur, Faridkot and other minor principalities.

Fazilka Under British rule

British ruled Punjab for about 98 years (1849 to 1947). British developed communications, transportation and the irrigation facilities in the region as the area had a great strategic and economic value. When Lahore government fell in 1849, British laid the rail track from Ludhiana to Karachi parallel to River Sutlej. British also experimented and developed irrigation facilities for accelerating the agro-industrialisation in the area British kept a keen eye on most powerful Sarkar-e-Khalsji. They kept a record of all the happenings in Lahore Darbar and their agents also visited Amritsar in 1807 and 1827. The Bristish  established a bungalow in todays’ Fazilka to keep an eye on the political happenings in this region. After Maharaja Ranjit Singh died in 1839, the British established and enhance their dominions. After 1849 when two Sikh wars broke in entire Punjab they further strengthened their power here. The British agent Mr. Vans Agnew paid the local land-lord Mian Mohd. Fazil Wattu Lambardar, valued at Rs. 144 and 8 annas from the Panchayat Fund for the land. The new town was named Fazilka its X land lord.

On 10 December 1885, Fazilka came into existence as municipality in Punjab. in 1884 Fazilka was added as a part of Firozpur district. Later on 27 July 2011, Fazilka was declared a District by Government of Punjab. Fazilka is situated very close to Indo-Pak border and hence has seen many hardships during the drawing of Radcliffe line, in 1947. The city was a home to muslims before partitions, who later shifted to Pakistan after the partition. The town also faced many hardships during 1965 & 1971 wars.

Railway Comes To Fazilka

 The railways came to Fazilka in 1898. Bombay Baroda & Central Indian Railways made their journey to Fazilka for profiting on the goods transportation. The town was then known as wool market. A simple and functional railway station was built with platform. The broad gauge (1.676m) tracked arrived after the diamond jubilee of the Queen Victoria (1890). The main purpose of lying the broad gauge was for commercial growth in the form of network of irrigation and rail transportation facility.

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