The Cock Neck City of Northern India
|Type of Tourism||: History & Heritage|
|Area||: 22.10 sq km|
|Altitude||: 332 meters|
|Population||: 253,987 (As per Indian census- 2011)|
|Languages spoken||: Punjabi, Hindi, English|
|Telephone Code||: India (0186), International (+91)|
|Pin Code||: 145001|
|Best Tourist Season||: Throughout the year|
|Clothing Recommended||: Light cotton in summer, woolen in winter|
|What to buy||: Litchis, Apples, Palang-tod Mithai, Pashmina Shawls, etc.|
|Food Specialties||: All the Punjabi, Himachali and Kashmiri Veg and Non Veg Cuisines|
|Local Transportation||: Auto rickshaw, bicycle rickshaw, cabs|
Pathankot, the 5th largest city of the Indian state of Punjab, the legislative seat of the Pathankot Municipal Corporation and the administrative headquarters of the Pathankot District & Division is a marvelous megalopolis that is gorgeously cradled at the footholds of the picturesque Kangra Valley and the pulchritudinous precipices of Dalhousie. Strategically positioned at the juncture of three North Indian states videlicet; Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, Pathankot furnishes as a felicitous tourism pivot and a convenient stoppage on the way to a number of enchanting hill resorts and heritage destinations of the ?ry?varta.
A premier threshold of some of the most sought after holiday stations including Dalhousie, Kangra, Chamba, McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, Shimla, Jammu & Kashmir, Amritsar, Jalandhar, etc. Pathankot, bequeathed with beauteous milieu, resplendent surroundings and sensational & gratifying ambience is in itself a stunning vacation and recreational hub that astonishes both domestic and foreign tourists to no limit. Situated at the estuary of Bari Doab Canal and also fed by the Ravi & Chakki rivers, Pathankot and the adjoining regions are blessed with profoundly fertile soil that significantly supports the agriculture and economy of Punjab. Pathankot is also very famous for its litchis and apples.
Furthermore, for past several hundred years Pathankot has been the axis of the loi and shawl weaving industries and it also constituted an important avenue on the thriving trade route to Central Asia. This ‘Cock Neck City’ of Northern India bounded by the Kangra & Dalhousie foothills towards its south & east and enclosed by the snow clad Himalayan Sierras towards its north also serves as the military base camp for the defense troops of the Indian Army & Indian Air Force. The Mamoon Cantonment of Pathankot happens to be the largest military station of the entire Asia continent.
History Of Pathankot
Pathankot flourished under the governance of multitudinous monarchs and was reckoned by different appellations during different centuries. For example, the great Indian epic Mahabharata refers to Pathankot as ‘Audumbar’ while the biography of Emperor Akbar; ‘Ain-i-Akbari’ cites Pathankot as a ‘Pargana Headquarter’. Not only that, the historical timeline of Pathankot doesn’t progress in straight channel, but it is diversified into various branches due to the distinctive anecdotes associated with it.
Pathankot comprised a part of the ‘Nurpur Princely State’ i.e. the former Himachal Pradesh in late 17th century AD. Nurpur, which was christened so after the name of Begum Nurjahan, was established by a Taur Rajput named Jatpal (a.k.a. ‘Rana Bhet’) who had emigrated here from Delhi. Under the dominion of the Pathania Rajputs, Pathankot burgeoned as the capital city of the Nurpur Princely State. According to the Mughal chronicles Pathankot was earlier known as ‘Paithan’ which was actually an abbreviated form of ‘Pratishthan’. The Pathania Rajputs are said to have derived their title ‘Pathania’ from the name of their territory ‘Paithan’ or ‘Pratishthan’ itself. Under the ascendancy of ‘Raja Basu Dev’ who reigned in early 17th century AD, the capital of the Nurpur State was shifted from Pathankot to Dhameri. Later, until 1781 AD a Muslim heir of the Rajas of Nurpur; ‘Sayed Khan’ held the reigns of Pathankot.
Other convictions suggest that the term ‘Pathankot’ means ‘the Fort of Pathans’. The world-famous historian Cunningham opines that the name ‘Pathankot’ was evidently coined from the word ‘Pathan’. During the medieval period when the Ghilzai Pathans rose to prominence in Afghanistan, many Pathan tribes including Marwat, Khattak, Yusufzai, and numerous others shifted to Punjab and other parts of north India and settled in and around Pathankot.
In accordance with another presumption, Pathankot has nothing to do with the Pathans of Afghanistan or even the Pathania Rajputs. Pathankot was originally known by the moniker ‘Pratishthan’ which later transformed to ‘Paithan’ under the jurisdiction of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. ‘Paithan’ and ‘Kot’ were two independent provinces which were estranged by the river Chakki. However, when the British documented these regions in their official registers, they mistakenly combined both the names and recorded them as ‘Pathankot’. The Sikh History; ‘Sakhian’ declares that the town of Pathankot was founded by the first Sikh Guru ‘Guru Nanak Dev Ji’ during one of his peregrinations.
The present day Pathankot has emerged on the national front as one of the foremost commercial centers of the state of Punjab. Moreover, owing to its strategic location, Pathankot also functions as the military base of the Indian Army as well as the Air Force. The Mamoon Cantonment of Pathankot happens to be the biggest military station of Asia.