It is located at 31˚37’60N 71˚4’0E at an elevation of 159 metres and lies on the left bank of the Indus river. It has a population of almost 1278000 and was given status of district in 1982.
Etymology and History
History of Bhakkar is very old there are many myths, mysteries and variety of elaborations about Bhakkar. Some say that the original name of Bhakkar was Sakhar and with the passage of time it became Bhakkar.
Some say that it was said to be named after the great Balouch Sardar, an adventurer, who was leading a body of colonists from Dera Ismail Khan, it was towards the close of the fifteenth century they say that the descendants were ousted later on by Ahmad Shah Abdali, a great invader.
During British rule Bhakkar Town was headquarters of Bhakkar Tehsil (now Bhakkar District) in Mianwali District, and was on the North-Western Railway line. The municipality was created in 1874. Its income and expenditure during the ten years ending 1902-3 averaged Rs. 7,700. The income in 1903-4 was Rs. 7,500, chiefly derived from octroi; and the expenditure was Rs. 8,600. The population according to the 1901 census of India was 5,312, at that time the town contained a dispensary and a municipal vernacular middle school.
The Imperial Gazetteer of India described the town as follows:
It stands on the edge of the Thal or sandy plain overlooking the low-lying alluvial lands along; the river, a channel of which is navigable as far as Bhakkar during the floods. To the west of the town the land is low, well cultivated, and subject to inundation, while to the east the country is high and dry, treeless, and sandy. A rich extent of land irrigated from wells lies below the town, protected by embankments from inundations of the Indus, and produces two or three crops in the year. The neighbouring riverain is full of date groves and fruit gardens; and in it stands a famous mango-tree, the fruit of which used to be sent to Kabul in the old days of Afghan rule.
The town has some historical places like the Dilkusha Bagh which is believed by some to be a Mughal garden built by Humayun, however Humayun never visited the area, on his retreat to Iran, he went to another Bakhar in Sindh to seek help from Mahmood Khan, which was however denied by historian Henry Raverty. The old town was walled and had the Tavela, Imamanwala and King Gates, of the three the King Gate, which was built during the British period and was named after Mr. King the then Deputy Commissioner of the Mianwali District, survives – since the end of colonial rule it has been renamed as the Jinnah Gate There are remains of a handera (tomb) near Sheikh Raoo bridge, which is believed to be the burial place of Bakhar Khan, the founder of the city. The present police station was originally a Baloch fortress. Some 30 years ago a branch of River Indus flowed past the town. West side of the town was green and pleasant. This is a very scarce silver coin belonging to the reign of Nadir Shah 1148-1160 AH (1735-1747) of the Afsharid dynasty. It is an Indian type minted during his post-occupation of. It is listed by type as Album #2744.2 (Type D). It weighs 11.3 gr. (18 mm.) and minted in the city of Bhakkar in the state of Punjab in India, dated 1157AH.
“BALOUCH, from the very foundation of BHAKKAR balouch are the key figure in its whole history, balouch came to BHAKKAR from two ways.
v HOOT BALOUCH, they came to Bhakkar from Dera Ismail Khan, they crossed the Indus River & invaded Bhakkar, about the close of the fifteenth century.
v RIND BLOUCH, they were sub divided into Mamdani and Jiskani Balouch, they came from KAICH MAKRAN & SIBI Balouchistan.
The very first tribe who invaded Bhakkar was Mamdani, later on Jiskani tribe came and became the ruler very soon, now all other tribes became their allies, the state of blouchs was now on its boom, it has now got spread to boundaries of Mianwali, Kot-Adu and Indus river. Mankera fort was the headquarter and strong hold, Bhakkar was a small fort as compare to Mankera. Blouch tribe enjoy their rule till the close of the eighteenth century until the fall of Abdul Ghani Kalhora in Sindh, this was the incident of 1790, now Kalhora backed by the Afghan Govt. was very much weak, Kalhora got capture Bhakkar very easily, the Blouch tribe scattered, some were ruined, some flee to Layyah some to Bahawal Pur some to Kala Maoza near Shaddan Lund, and some hide them in Jungles. Latter on when Kalhora became the rebel to Afghan govt. he was attacked and replaced by Nawab Muzafar, who was also backed by Afghan govt. At that time a very renouned Balouch leader Muhammad Khan gathered the scattered Blouches & invaded the Muzafar rule, now he became the ruler & got the epithet sir Buland Khan. Sir Buland Khan ruled for about five to six years when the Sikh came there & the Sikh invaded got captured Bhakkar in 1821. Blouch were basically invaded, hunters, who were very fond of camels, very few of them were farmers, they ruled the Bhakkar state for a long time, now too they are also a big tribe, enjoy the majority & strong hold of Bhakkar all the main politicians & rulers i.e. Nawani, Shahani are Blouch. They are also play a key role for world Blouch warma. “