Dera Ghazi Khan is a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The district covers an area of 5,306 m² and it is a long narrow strip of country, 198 m. in length, sloping gradually from the hills which form its western boundary to the river Indus on the east.
Below the hills the country is high and arid, generally level, but sometimes rolling in sandy undulations, and much intersected by hill torrents, 201 in number. With the exceptions of two, these streams dry up after the rains, and their influence is only felt for a few miles below the hills.
The eastern portion of the district is at a level sufficiently low to benefit by the floods of the Indus. A barren tract intervenes between these zones, and is beyond the reach of the hill streams on the one hand and of the Indus on the other. Although liable to great extremes of temperature, and to a very scanty rainfall, the district is not unhealthy.
The Sulaiman Mountains rise to a height of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in the north of the district.
The city was founded at the close of the 15th century and named after Nawab Ghazi Khan Mirrani, son of Nawab Haji Khan Mirrani, a Balochi chieftain, who had declared independence from the Langhi Dynasty Sultans of Multan. Together with two other Deras i.e. settlements, Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Fateh Khan, it gave its name to Derajat. Derajat eventually came into the possession of the British after the Sikh War in 1849 and was divided into two districts: Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan. After the partition of India, many of the city’s Hindu residents settled in Derawal Nagar colony of Delhi, India. The district of Rajanpur was later carved out of the Dera Ghazi Khan district. Some of them also settled in various part of India, including Bhiwani, Delhi, Jhansi, Ranchi, Ambala and Haridwar.
Dera Ghazi Khan was founded in 15th century by Amar a Tribal Sardar of Mirani tribe. The old city of Dera Ghazi Khan was situated at the distance of 10 miles (16 km) towards east of the present city. In 1908, the old city of Dera Ghazi Khan was abolished due to heavy flood in the river Indus. Resultantly the existing city of Dera Ghazi Khan was came into being in the year 1910. The city is divided into different blocks. The British ruler established colonial system in the continent and declared D.G.Khan as district in the year 1849. General Court Land was appointed as first Deputy Commissioner of this District. Keeping in view the rapidly increasing population of the area and deteriorating law and order situation district D.G.Khan was divided in two districts i.e. D.G.Khan and Rajanpur. Presently there are two revenue sub division of the District. A tribal belt/political area spread along with western side of the District. Mirani tribe has been extinct three centuries ago. The so-called ‘shahzada Zulqarnain’ has nothing to do with that tribe. The self-made ‘shahzada’ is a well-known homosexual partner of a prominent local shia leader. The ‘shahzada’ belongs to a low-class dhobi (washermen) cast and lives in the dhobi district of the city. The population according to the 1901 census of India (then a British colony) was 471,149 – the great majority being Baloch Muslims. The frontier tribes on the Dera Ghazi Khan border include the LASHARIJarwar, Qaisrani, Bozdar, Khosa, Leghari, Khetran, Gurchani, Mazari, Marri,mirani,Bugti,and Malghani tribes. Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th edition published in 1911 mentions Baluchs of this area as:
“ Frank and open in his manners, fairly truthful, faithful to his word, temperate and enduring, and looking upon courage as the highest virtue, the true Baluch of the Derajat is a pleasant man to have dealings with.
There are petroleum and gas reservoirs in district Dera Ghazi Khan at sites rodho, zindapir, afiband, Dhodhak etc. The Koh-e-Sulaiman Range constitutes a major part of this area, This range is full of naturl deposits like Marble & Lime Stone. A big cement plant DG Cement is also situated in Kofla Sattai Tehsil Dera Ghazi Khan.
Tomb of Ghazi Khan
The tomb of Ghazi Khan, locally called as handeera in Balochi was built in the beginning of 15th century. This seems like the tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam in Multan. It is located in the Mulla Quaid Shah Graveyard. Its main gate is from eastern side and two small doors are in side of north and south. Every side of the tomb is 13 feet and 3 inches (4.04 m) from inside and there are conical minarets from the outside. Its circular distance from the earth is 17.5 feet (5.33 m). The half diameter of the conical minarets remains 34 inches (860 mm) on the highest of 19 feet (5.8 m). There are 28 ladders from northern side in the internal side. The graveyard was built up around the tomb of Ghazi Khan. This is the oldest building in the city. The tomb condition is continuously deteriorating and many social activists are raising voice to preserve this heritage.
Fort Munro is a hill station in Dera Ghazi Khan which lies on the Quetta Road at 85 km from Dera Ghazi Khan city in the Sulaiman Mountains Range. Its altitude is 1800 meters (6,470 feet) above sea level and attracts many people for short stays during the summer.
Fairs and festivals
- Sangh Mela, is a Vaisakhi fair during March and April, is celebrated in Sakhi Sarwar by people coming from Jhang and Faisalabad for centuries. This festival is celebrated by Hindus and Muslims especially at the time of wheat harvesting. In some places it is known as Basant. Throughout history, a large number of followers coming from different religions became the followers of Sakhi Sarwar. Max Arthur Macauliffe, a colonial office appointed in Punjab, observed in 1875 that not only Muslims but Hindus also visited the shrines during the [urs]. In the 1911 census of India, 79,085 Sikhs reported to be the follower of Sakhi Sarwar.
- Sohan Halwa is traditional sweet made by boiling a mixture of water, sugar, milk and wheatflour (coarse pieces)/cornflour until it becomes solid.