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About Ludhiana

Ludhiana (also Ludhyana) (Punjabi: ਲੁਧਿਆਣਾ) is a city and a municipal corporation in Ludhiana district in the Indian state of Punjab. It is the largest city in the state, with an estimated population of 1,398,467 in 2010. The population increases substantially during the crop harvesting season due to immigration of laborers from states like Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Delhi. It has an area of about 310 km². The city stands on the Sutlej River's old bank, 13 km south of its present course. It is a major industrial center of northern India. Ludhiana is located 100 km west from state capital Chandigarh on NH 95 and is centrally located on National Highway 1 from Indian capital New Delhi to Amritsar, and is well connected to New Delhi by road, frequent train service and by air.

History
This translation from Urdu of a passage of Gulām Sarvar Lāhaurī's (alias Bute Shah) Tarīḵẖ-i maḵẖzan-i Panjāb (History of the Punjab), written in the mid-19th century, is given in the Gazetteer for the Ludhiana District 1888-89: It was originally known as Lodi-Ana (The Lodi's Place) during the Lodi Dynasty under which the city was created. "In the reign of Sikandar, son of Bahlol Lodi, the people about Ludhiana were oppressed by the plundering Baluchis, and applied to the Emperor for assistance. Sikandar, in answer to their prayer, sent two of his Lodi chiefs, by name Yusaf Khan and Nihang Khan, with an army. These chiefs fixed on the present site of the Ludhiana city, which was then a village called Mir Hota. Nihang Khan remained at Mir Hota as the Emperor's Lieutenant; and called the place Ludhiana. He was succeeded by his son a grandson. The latter, Jalal Khan, built the fort of Ludhiana out of the bricks found at Sunet. He saved the town from invaders and treated all its citizen equally. His two sons partitioned the country round about Ludhiana, which was then lying in waste, amongst the people of the town, and distributed them in villages. In the time of Jalal Khan's grandsons, Alu Khan and Khizr Khan, the Lodi dynasty was overthrown by Babar; and the Lodis of Ludhiana sunk to the position of ordinary subjects of the Mughal empire. They are said to have lived close to the fort for many generations, but all traces of them have now disappeared, and even the tombs of Nihang and his immediate descendants have been lost sight of, although they are said to have been standing some years ago."

The Lodi dynasty lost control of the throne of Delhi in 1526. The Mughals established a strong government at Sirhind, which itself was a sarkar (division) of the Delhi subah (province), and attached Ludhiana as a mahal or parganah. The century and a half following the death of Akbar (a Mughal emperor) in 1605 was dominated by the rise of Sikhism as a power, and the decline of the Mughal empire. By this time the Mughal empire was tottering to its fall, and various local powers began to assert their independence. The Rais of Raikot who until then had held a considerable tract of land around Ludhiana in lease from the emperors were some of the first to assert their independence. Raja Ala Singh of Patiala, the representative of the crumbling Delhi Sultanate and Rai Kalha II were the principal actors contenders for power in the region. "Rai Kalha III,who appears to have been a ruler of very great ability, extended his power up to Ludhiana. He established independent power over the whole of the Jagraon(the place of the Rais)and the greater part of Ludhiana Tahsils, and a large portion of the Ferozepur District."Khan Bahadur Rai Inayat Khan of Raikot(the custodian of Guru Gobind Singh ji's Ganga Sagar) was the Chief of Rai family at the time of partition of India 1947. Hatur, Chakar, Talwandi Rai in 1478 AD,Halwara and Raikot in 1648 AD and Jagraon in 1680 AD were founded by the Manj Rai family of Raikot and their ancestors-Ref:Ludhiana Dist Gazetteer 1888-89,1904,1935. Chiefs of Punjab 1890,1909,1940., Mahan Kosh p. 311 by Bhai Kahan Singh Encyclopaedia of Sikhism by Prof Harbans Singh-Vol 2, p 416, The Sikh Ref Book by Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer p 464, 196

In 1741, Ala Singh defeated Rai Kalha III and chased him out of the country, but he soon recovered the territory. Thinking to take advantage of this power struggle, Nadir Shah invaded, and crossed the Sutlej at Ludhiana, which was then on its banks, and marched through the district along what is now the Grand Trunk Road. Nadir Shah is said to have ordered a general massacre of the inhabitants of Ludhiana on the account of some petty fault, but it seems doubtful that he did.

His successor, Ahmed Shah Durrani, invaded in 1747. On reaching the Sutlej at Ludhiana, he found his passage opposed by the son of the emperor, Kamardin, with a huge army that had advanced from Sirhind. Durrani avoided the conflict but ended up in direct confrontation with him very near Khanna. While Ahmad Shah Bahadur was defeated, the losses were very heavy on both sides. The subsequent invasions of Ahmad Shah were not resisted by the Mughal troops from Sirhind, but they were constantly harassed by the Phulkian chiefs and the Rais. It was some time about 1760 that the Rais were permitted by Ahmed Shah to take possession of the town of Ludhiana and to extend their power over the country about.

Although Zain Khan was appointed by Ahmad Shah as Governor of Sirhind in 1761, he was defeated and slain in 1763 by huger armies of Sikhs. They took possession of Sirhind, which they leveled with the ground. The fall of Sirhind marked the last vestige of Mughal control over the area, and Ludhiana was left in possession of the Rais. The Malaudh Sirdars belonging to the Phulkian stock had already established themselves in the south of Ludhiana in the Jangal villages and the country about Malaudh;[1] and Sudha Singh Gill, an adventurer from Loharu in the Ferozepur district, secured a few villages around Sahnewal. In 1767 Ahmed Shah reached Ludhiana on his last expedition but got no further.

The condition of the country during the latter part of the 18th century was one of considerable prosperity. The rule of the Rais is still spoken of as being very mild; and it is said that they fixed only one-fourth of the produce as their due. In 1798, Ludhiana was attacked by the Sikhs under Bedi Sahib Singh of Una. At the time, the ruler of the Rais, Rai Alias was a child. His agents Roshan and Gujar made a good stand against the Sikhs at Jodh, ten miles (16 km) southwest of Ludhiana. Roshan was the killed in the fight, and Rai's army was dispersed. However, the Phulkian chiefs, who were on good terms with the Rais, had no intention of allowing the Bedi to establish himself in their midst and came to their aid, driving the invaders out of the villages. Upon the Bedi's siege of Ludhiana, the Rais called in British mercenary George Thomas to help with the defense of the city. On Thomas's approach, Bedi retreated to the other side of the river.

Having recently consolidated the new Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh crossed the Sutlej in 1806 in his first expedition against the Cis-Sutlej states and stripped the Rais of all their possessions, including Ludhiana. The city was occupied but not immediately annexed to the Lahore state. By 1809 Ranjit Singh was completing his third expedition and was again on the west bank of the Sutlej ready to attack Ludhiana. Fearing further expansion that was coming closer to their headquarters in Delhi, British imperialist forces occupied the Cis-Sutlej states east of the Sutlej. The British sent Colonel David Ochterlony with a force to occupy Ludhiana.

Geography
Ludhiana is located at 30°54′N 75°51′E.[2] It has an average elevation of 244 metres (798 ft). Ludhiana City, residents, consists of the Old City and the New City (or the residential and official quarters of the Colonial British encampment, traditionally known as Civil Lines; this is as opposed to the Army Lines, which are no longer extant as the British Cantonment was abandoned in 1845).

The land dips steeply to the North and the West, where prior to 1785 the river Sutlej used to run: this whole area is now mostly unplanned residential communities, with many polluting industries set up in houses due to lack of enforcement of zoning laws.

The Old Fort was situated at the banks of the Sutlej (and now houses The College of Textile Engineering) and legend has it that an underground tunnel connects it to the Fort in Phillaur - although why this should be is debatable, as the Sutlej was the traditional dividing line between the two principalities, often occupied by enemy forces (see History section)

The ground is of yellow sandstone and granite, forming small hillocks, plateaus and dips.

The tree of largest natural extraction was the kikar, or Acacia indica but has been supplanted by the Eucalyptus, transplanted from rural Australia in the late 1960s by the government of Chief Minister Pratap Singh Kairon.

Gulmohars and Jacarandas were planted by the British along the avenues of Civil Lines, as were other flowering trees, while the Old City contains almost no vegetation or parks, except for a few isolated pipal trees, holy to the Hindus, as it is supposed to be the abode of Lord Shiva.

Climate
Ludhiana features a semiarid climate under the Koppen climate classification, with three defined seasons; summer, monsoon and winter. Summers, which range from April through June in the city, tends to be very hot and very dry with average highs in May and June hovering around 40 degrees Celsius. The monsoon season which runs from July through September, sees a slight decrease in average temperatures but an increase in humidity. The bulk of the city's annual precipitation is received during the monsoon season. October and November interestingly enough is dry; more similar to a summer month than a monsoon month, though November is noticeably cooler than a summer month. Average temperatures though tend to decrease during the course of each of these months. December through February, which forms the winter months, is relatively mild with warm days and chilly nights. March is more of a sharp transitional month from winter to summer. Ludhiana on average sees roughly 730 mm of precipitation annually.

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