900-year-old Gulyana town in Gujar Khan Pakistan has a long and interesting multifaith history.
Who destroyed Guyana?
This town of 50,000 people today was destroyed twice in recorded history.
The fist time
Gulyana was raised to the ground for the first time several centuries ago, by raiders from the West.
The Second Time
The town was destroyed during the 1947 partition riots.
Weather of Gulyana
It was this openness that the weather at Gulyana town Gujar Khan stays pleasant, hovering between 10 to 35 Deg Celsius all year round.
Gulyana town of Gujar Khan is different from the Guliana town of Kharian, Gujarat.
Gulyana Town Location Map
The Gulyana town Gujar khan’s map and pics are posted below for your reference.
As you can see it is not very far from Gujar Khan that is itself very close to Rawalpindi
Pre-partition history of Gulyana town
Before 1947, the Gulyana town center was mostly Hindu and Sikh. The Hindus and Sikhs owned all the businesses in the town center and Muslims were their tenants, peasants, and laborers. Muslims sold their lands to pay off their debts and also handed over their crop of wheat.
Families of Gulyana
Gulyana elite, pre-partition comprised of :-
- The Dewan,
- Mohyal Brahmin,
- Singh families
Sanjay Dutt’s family
Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt is from the same branch of warrior Brahmin Dutt and belongs to the same place.
Landowners were guaranteed protection from the military’s presence in Gujar Khan from the North and a rivulet from the south. This land produced sheer gold and wealthy Sikhs and Hindus lived like kings in mansions make of stone, several storeys high.
Notables of Gulyana
Prominent pre-partition notables were:-
- Bakshi Tek Chand,
- Dewan Prithvi Chand Dutt
- Bakshi Moti Ram
- Tara Singh
They built temples, dug up wells for the 30-50 Kanal holdings each, and distributed these lands amongst their permanent serfs.
These prominent families did treat their serfs with respect and gave them a good share of the crop – what do you expect from absentee landlords.
Sikh Timber Business of Gulyana
The Sikh had a timber business. Logs from Kashmir valley were dumped into the Jhelum River and recovered downstream near Jhelum city to be sold at Gujar Khan.
Hindu Money Lenders of Gulyana
The Hindus were mostly traders, moneylenders, and retailers.
Muslims were mostly illiterate and poor and were destined to stay that way considering the only quality boarding school in nearby Gujar Khan had 95% non-muslim attendance.
Gulyana Town during partition riots
During the 1947 riots, one Sikh Bali Singh and one Hindu Lady Banto were killed in the riots but the rest were whisked away with their gold, in the safety of Gorkha soldiers. The Muslim riot crowd burnt to the ground several symbols of oppression and got rich in the process, during the looting.
One Hindu tehsildar had the magistrate’s powers to jail, someone, for 6 months in the local Gulyana Police station which is still the same building.
British Hurriedly Left
When the British left suddenly in 1947, the carefully crafted social experiment in native subjugation came crumbling down within days.
Community of Gulyana
Besides the killings, one 100 years old resident of Gulyana tells me:-
- “the Hindus and Sikhs were very friendly towards the Muslims, their women played around with the boys, molvi were not trouble makers then; they cared about their serfs and neighbors, built schools, hospitals, and wells for the general public. No Muslim was allowed into their kitchen, however. Balraj, Sita, Beera, Ramu Shikari, Gujrati, Peecha Singh, Mangat Singh, Jawals Singh, Raab Singh, Gurdyal, were the well-known Hindus and Labbu, Gurra, Jagdev, Santa, Paacha, Chatru were the known Sikhs of the time. One Tek Chand Never left for India and embraced Islam. His wife and three sons left for India. Tek Chand married a Muslim lady and had seven children. They are all in poverty now. Several of the old mansions, one Dharamsala, one temple, and several boulis (watering holes) have been lost to time.”
Tour of Gulyana Town Gujar Khan
We reached Gulyana town on one pleasant summer morning. All we could see were lush green fields spread as far as eyed could see.
The surrounding farms around Gulyana were refreshing. The old-styled wells, Sikh Samadhi, Hindu temple, and 100-year-old Gujarati mansion still survive.
Hindu Temple of Gulyana
I went into the temple’s inner sanctum and saw the most beautiful frescos of mixed Hindu and Sikh religious figures like Hanuman, Krishna, Sita, Baba Guru Nanak, Bala, Mardana, etc.
Pakistan government has built a dam 5 km upstream, called the Ugahaun; it’s a lovely place to fish and boat around.
The Union Council in 1947 had more financial powers than it does today.
Like many other thriving towns across the new Pakistan, all the entrepreneurs, educators, administrators, jurisprudence people, revenue people, land record people, and large-scale farmers left for India 1947. After they left Gulyana Gujar khan was never in the news.
I am astonished how Pakistan survived with an illiterate mass of people, steeped in poverty -traumatized by exploitation and mass killings.
Considering Turks had a significant presence in the Indus Valley, there is a crooner by the same name Gulyanaq memidova , Gulyan cigarettes, and further up ahead in Hungry has a famous curry called Gulyas Leves (Goulash)
Also, enjoy the video of this town.
Other interesting places in the Potohar region are:
Also, enjoy the video of this town.