history of the town Gurdaspur, the district headquarter,dates
back to early seventeenth century. The town was named after
Guriaji who bought the village and named after himself. Guriaji
was a Sanwal Brahmin, who once lived in Paniar, a village five
miles to the north of Gurdaspur. Guriaji had two sons - Shri
Naval Rai and Shri Palaji. Shri Naval Rai's son Sahib Deep Chand
was a contemporary of sixth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Gurdaspur is also connected with the activities of Banda Bahadur
who was captured by the Mughal from the fortress of Gurdas
Nangal in the month of December, 1715.
Gurdaspur town was made the District Headquarter on 1st May,
1852 of newly formed Gurdaspur District (first named Adinanagar
District). Gurdaspur is situated slightly on the north of
latitude 32 Degree N and longitude 75 Degree E. Climatically it
has all the peculiarities of sub mountainous tract, bracing
winter, mild summer and annual rainfall of 35". Gurdaspur is
directly connected both by rail and road with Pathankot in the
North-East and Amritsar in the South-West from which it is 36
Kms. and 72 Kms. respectively. It falls on the
Amritsar-Batala-Pathankot section of the Ferozepur Division of
Northern Railway and also the Amritsar-Batala-Pathankot road,
both of which run all through side by side. Gurdaspur has 'A'
class municipal committee and according to census of 1991, the
population of the town is 54733 & is spread over 10.85 sq.km.
district of Gurdaspur came into existence in April 1849,after
annexation of Punjab by the British. Mr.C.B.Saunders was
directed to form a new district which should include two-thirds
of Bari Doab-North of Amritsar. This district which covered the
head of Upper Bari Doab had an area of 1826 sq. miles in the
early twentieth century, with its four Tehsils of Pathankot,
Gurdaspur, Batala and Shakargarh.
district was created in 1849 with its headquarters first at
Dinanagar and then at Batala. Gurdaspur was made the District
Headquarters on 1st May, 1852. In 1859, Gurdaspur alongwith
Sialkot was placed in the new Division of Sialkot. But in 1884,
Gurdaspur alongwith Amritsar again become a part of the Lahore
Division. Mr.H.P.Fane was the first Deputy Commissioner of
Gurdaspur. The fate of Gurdaspur hung in balance for many days
during the partition of 1947.
territory of Gurdaspur District was a Muslim majority area and
according to the notional division, it was to be a part of
Pakistan. Mr.Mushtaq Ahmed Cheema was the Deputy Commissioner of
Gurdaspur from 14th August,1947 to 17th August 1947. But Cyrill
Redcliffe, the Chairman of Boundary Commission awarded the
District minus Shakargarh Tehsil to India. Almost entire hilly
region of Gurdaspur including the famous hill resort of
Dalhousie was given to Himachal Pradesh as a result of re-organisation
of Punjab in 1966. Two new Tehsils of Dera Baba Nanak and Dhar
Kalan were created in 1995 and 1996 respectively.
District Gurdaspur now consists of five Tehsils and is spread
over on area of 3570 sq.kms. According to the census of 1991,
the population of Gurdaspur District is 17,57,808. The climate
of Gurdaspur District is more temperate than in the Central
Punjab, and the district benefits largely by its proximity to
the hills to which it owes not only much of its normally
constant rainfalls but also the cool breezes which even in the
hottest months frequently blow down from the upper ranges. The
backward district of Gurdaspur which has literacy rate of about
62% was adopted for total literacy campaign during the year
which is a border district of the state, has played a
significant role in the defense of the country. Batala and
Dhariwal are important industrial centers known respectively for
the manufacture of machine tools and woolen products. Dera Baba
Nanak and Sri Hagobindpur have great religious sanctity and
Pathankot - a great tourist transit center has a number of
picnic spots nearby.