Bhakkar History:Bhakkar region was agricultural region with forests during the Indus Valley Civilization. The Vedic period is characterized by Indo-Aryan culture that invaded from Central Asia and settled in Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled ancient Punjab region. After overrunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. The Chiniot region was ruled by Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalities and Shahi Kingdoms.

In 997 CE, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, took over the Ghaznavid dynasty empire established by his father, Sultan Sebuktegin, In 1005 he conquered the Shahis in Kabul in 1005, and followed it by the conquests of Punjab region. The Delhi Sultanate and later Mughal Empire ruled the region. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region.

The town has some historical places like Dilkusha Bagh which is believed to be a Mughal era garden and is attached to Humayun; but historical facts do not verify it. Humayun never came here. On his retreat to Iran, he went to another Bakhar in Sindh to seek help from Mahmood Khan. But this path or route taken was rejected by Major Henry Raverty as the possible retreat of Humayun.

The old town was walled and had gates as Tavela gate and Imamanwala gate. The only remaining gate Jinnah Gate (formerly King Gate) was built in British period in the name of Mr. King the then Deputy Commissioner. There are remains of a handera (tomb) near Sheikh Raoo bridge, which is believed to be 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 AD) from the Afsharid dynasty, it is an Indian type minted during his occupation of the area. 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 1157 AH.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh Empire invaded and occupied Bhakkar district. The Muslims faced restrictions during the Sikh rule. The British took over Bhakkar District in 1848.

During British rule, the district was a Tehsil of Mianwali District, the population according to the 1891 census of India was 119,219 which had risen to 125,803 at the 1901 census. In addition to the headquarters Bhakkar (population, 5,312), the tehsil contained and 196 villages. The land revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to Rs 1.7 lakhs. Places of interest are Mankera and Muhammad Rajan, at the latter of which is the shrine of Pir Muhammad Rajan, who died there on a pilgrimage.

The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus & Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Bhakkar District.

The main city center is consists of Mandi Town, King gate (markets and shopping centers), Chimni Muhalla (the oldest area in Bhakkar city), Iron Market, Gulshan-e-Madina Town, Officers Colony, Iqbal Town (old name Housing scheme 1) , Canal Avenue, new developed Green Town, Dhandla Muhalla, Gadola, and Aalam Abad. The adjacent city area Mandi Town is the developed area of the city with entire facilities. The population of city area mostly speaks Saraiki, Urdu and Punjabi. The business in the city is major source of income for the population and mostly business activities are connected with capital of Punjab, Lahore.

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.

British rule

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.

Relics

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.

Blouch

“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. “