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Okara District
—  District  —
Location of Okara in Punjab.
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab
Capital Okara
Established
Government
 - District Nazim
 - District Naib Nazim
Population (1998)
 - Total 2,232,992
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
District Council
Number of Tehsils 3

Okara District (Urdu: ضلع اوکاڑہ) is a district of Punjab, Pakistan. The Multan Road connects the district capital, Okara with the capital of Punjab - Lahore (which lies 110 km away). According to the 1998 census, the district had a population of 2,232,992 of which 22.84% were urban.[1]

Contents

Agriculture

Okara District is famous for its fertile lands, peaceful natural environment and green fields of potato, sugarcane, wheat, rice and maize crops. Oranges and Mangoes orchards are famous. The area of district Okara is the gold mine for history seekers, spiritual and curious travellers. One can find archaeological remains of different dynasties of prehistory, Indus civilization, Persians, Sultanates, the Mugal Empire, the Sikh Confederacy and the British Raj.

Surroundings

The current Government has added extra benefits to Okara District by establishing Cadet College, Education University, Zoo and many more opportunities for general public.

Nearby cities are Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Depalpur, Basirpur and Haveli Lakha. The biggest military farms group and the second biggest cantonment of Pakistan Army are in Okara. In the west of Okara city, the Ravi goes winding along the borders of Faisalabad and Sheikhupura districts.

The Gole Chowk (Jamia Mosque) is one of its kinds in the world which is round in its shape. It is the busiest shopping centre of the city.

History

The city of Depal Pur is known for the traces of an ancient castle which is said to have been built in the times of renowned monarch Firuz Shah Tughluq (1351-1388). The castle was surrounded by a protective wall and a khandaq (trench), both of which are partially safe to date. The prominent features of the castle are a beautiful Shahi Mosque, a miles long tunnel, four big gates, narrow streets and houses built on old style with the smaller bricks, all of which reflect the past glory of the Muslim era in the field of architecture. In the south of Depal Pur, there flowed the river Biyas in past and is now just a small stream and serves as the outlet, unfortunately, for the poisonous waste coming from different factories. Traces are also found of a long range of ruins, called dhaya in local language, which, according to popular myth, are the remains of some unknown ancient city which may have been engulfed by the river 'Biyas'. These ruins give a mysterious look something like a blend of desert and tiny hills, and also serve as the hideout for thieves and robbers.About a distance of 25 km from Depalpur, on Haveli Lakha-Hujra Shah mukeem road, there is a famous shrine of sufi "Baba Wali Roshan Shah" situated in village "Bunga Saleha". Every year on 27th of Harr(Desi Month), Mela is celebated with great joyous. The word Okara for this district was actually originated from word Okan(A lush green tree with needle like leaves).The tree Okan gave birth to word Okanwali(Land of Okan)which ultimately finalized into Okara.

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Pre 1947 population

The present main city was developed by the British Raj in six blocks with all the houses in the blocks designed in a similar shape and size. Okara had a significant Punjabi Hindu and Sikh population as well as the Muslims before the partition of India in August 1947. The Hindus and Sikhs of Okara left and moved to India during partition whilst Muslims from East Punjab migrated to this area, which is near to the disputed boundary of Ferozepur.

Subdivisions

The district is administratively subdivided into three tehsils:[2]

Notable areas

Renala Khurd Tehsil is mainly known for a famous fruit products company Mitchell's and its farms. At Renala Khurd, one may visit still functional Ganga Hydroelectric Station installed by the famous philanthropist and engineer Sir Ganga Ram. A part of Renala Khurd is naturally deprived of the underground sweet water. People in this part rely on canals as the main source of irrigation, as tube -wells, unlike other parts of the district, only pour out salty water which nothing but spoils the land.

Akhtar Abad

Akhtar abad is one of the towns in Okara district. It is located 25 km away from Okara city on G.T road(Lahore - Multan road). The shaker mandi(Suger Market)of Akhtar Abad is famous all over Pakistan.

Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka

A few kilometres from Okara on the Okara-Faisalabad road there is a village Thatta Ghulamka Dheroka. For going too the village you pass through Gogera—a place where Rai Ahmed Khan Kharral broke famous jail during War of Independence of 1857 and British Extra Assistant Commissioner (Lord) Berkley was defeated and killed by the resilient locals.

The unique claim of the village to international fame is the dolls and toys made by village women that are collectors delight all over the world. Dolls made in the village have travelled to International Dolls Museum in Amsterdam and also have been put on display in the "Theme-park" at EXPO 2000 in Hanover (Germany) as one of the 767 worldwide projects - an example of thinking for 21st century. Earlier, the dolls participated in International Toy Fair in Nuremberg. These dolls show how culture goes beyond simple work of art and becomes collaboration among applied and natural sciences as well as other forces that affect our lives. Mauza Akbar is named after the name Akbar the Great (Mughal). Satghara remained the capital during the period of Baluch leader Mir Chaker Rind.

Culture

It is also known for the wide variety of culture reflecting the traditions and customs of the area. Melas (fairs) in the month of 'Saawan' are notable among these traditions where different types of games are played on the drum-beat and shops of sweets and toys etc are decorated. The population mostly relies on agriculture as their main source of livelihood, although a number of people work in factories and offices as well. Dairy and fruit products are the identical mark of the area.

Tribes

The main tribes are Aulakh, Kamboh, Rai, Cambrai, Arain, Arars, Gujar, Khichi, Rao, Rana and Chauhan. The Rajpoot Raja ruled Okara 1880. Other tribes include, Gad or Jats, Khatris, Wattu, Sayyed Qurashi-ul-hashmi Dogar.

Shrine

The honour of the city,shrine of Hazarat Sufi Manzoor Ahmad Sabri(ra) is situated in muhalla Gazi abad in okara which is serving the humanity by showing real picture of spending life

See also

References


Simple English

Okara District (Urdu:ضلع وکرہ) is a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The city of Okara is the capital.


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