Gujranwala is an ancient city of Pakistan and the name Gujranwala appears to have derived from the Gujar Tribe that inhabited this place about 400 years ago. From early recorded history, it seems that Gujranwala is almost 500 years old. The name of this settlement at first was most probably Khanpur Shansi after the name of a Jat tribesman Khan Shansi. It seems that he had established about 11 villages in and around this area. The growth of this city can be attributed to the father and grandfather of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the most powerful of all the Sikh rulers. The area came under the direct rule of the British in 1847.
Present day Gujranwala is located in the Eastern Punjab Province of Pakistan and is the fifth largest city in Pakistan. It is located almost 700m above sea level. This city lies on the tract of the Chenab and the Degh River. It occupies about 3189km of area and has a population of over 11 million people. It is situated on the Grand Trunk Road, in between Rawalpindi and Lahore and is at a distance of about 67 kilometres to the North of Lahore, the capital city of Punjab.
It has gained importance after partition as a marketing center for agricultural products like sugarcane, grains and melons, and also as a hub for the manufacture of industrial products like copperwares, aluminium utensils, ceramics, brassware, electric fan, glassworks etc.
This city is also famed as the ‘city of the wrestlers’, and has produced over time many famous wrestlers of the sub-continent. However, the city gives a fair share of importance to other sports too, especially cricket and kabbadi. The Jinnah Stadium which was formerly called the Municipal Stadium, having capacity of 20,000 seats, stands as a testimony to that. During the cricket season it is not uncommon to see f4renzied fans all over the city with their faces painted with their national colours. The entire city comes to a standstill if there is any important cricket match going on and Pakistan is playing. It is a day of unofficial holiday.
In 1951 the city of Gujranwala was given the status of the capital of the district, and this paved the way for further and faster development of the city. The Gujranwala Hydroelectric project provides power to the city from the Chenab River. The area being mainly dry, the land is irrigated by means of a network of canals. The rice grown here is one of the best in Asia. Other crops like barley, millets, cotton and wheat are the other principal crops grown here.
People of Gujranwala are hard working and industrious and this has made it the fifth largest city in Pakistan. Gujranwala has a dry port and its closest airport is the Sialkot International Airport.
If you are visiting Gujranwala it is worth travelling with a native that has information on routes and also accommodation.