History of Pathankot
Previously believed to be known by the name of Audumbara, the ancient city Pathankot is of historical significance. Pathankot used to be the capital of the princely state of Nurpur, while its surrounding areas once formed part of the territories of Nurpur. During the reign of Akbar, the name of the state of Nurpur was changed to Dhameri. The history of Pathankot can be understood from the presence of numerous coins which prove that it is one of the oldest sites in Punjab and shows a sign of antiquity and great significance because of its location in the foot of the hills. It is said that the Pathania clan of Rajput derived its name from ancient name of Pathankot which was Paithan at that time.
After 15th August, 1947, Pathankot developed as an important township in many aspects. The strategic location of the city had prompted the establishment of an army and air force station for the defence of India. Traders supplying the army's needs have also increased their business. After the partition of India, a huge number of North Indian citizens came from West Punjab or newly formed Pakistan, and settled in and around Pathankot. Most of them started trades of different kinds, contributed to the growth of the city and its surrounding areas.
Climate of Pathankot
The average temperature during summer is generally between 34° C to 46° C and during the monsoon season, Pathankot receives moderate to heavy rainfall. Winters are mild but can get quite chilly with the average temperature ranging between 7° C to 15° C with occasional rainfall in between. Pathankot experienced snowfall in 2012 after almost 55 years. Relative humidity is generally high in the mornings, exceeding 70% except during the summer season when it is less than 50%. The humidity is comparatively less in the afternoons. The driest part of the year is the summer season when the relative humidity in the afternoon is about 25% or less.
Demographics of Pathankot
As per the reports of Census India 2011, the total population of the Pathankot district is 1, 48,937 out of which the males and females are 78,117 and 70,820 respectively. The literacy rate was 88.71% and the majority religion here in Pathankot is Hinduism. The city is known to be the 9th most populous city in the state of Punjab.
Culture of Pathankot
With its location being the meeting point of 3 states, the people of Pathankot for ages have together been in contact with the people from other states of Jammu and Kashmir and interchanged their culture and ideologies. With a mixture of ideas and values, the people can witness an influence of the Dogra and Himachali customs in the culture of Pathankot. The culture of Pathankot represents the ethnicity, tradition and richness in its true sense. This is evident from its plethora of cultural traits like music, dance, and culinary delights and many more. Fairs and festivals are part and parcel of the culture of Pathankot. Baisakhi fair is the much-acclaimed fair, which is celebrated with much enthusiasm and vigor. Usually this fair is held for three consecutive days, which lasts from 1st to 3rd Baisakh</b>. It falls under 13 to 15 April. Since a prolonged period of time, a huge Shivratri fair is celebrated annually in the premises of Mahakaleshwar temple on the day of Shivratri.
Tourist Attractions of Pathankot
The scenic location of Pathankot and the cultural heritage of the Rajputs have made this city a well frequented tourist spot. Listed below are some of its tourist attractions:
Mukteshwar Temple: The cave temples are dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Shiva and are located on the banks of the river Ravi. The caves are said to have been used by the Pandavas for staying there during their final year of exile. Mukteshwar Temple is situated atop a hill and contains a marble Shiva lingam and a copper yoni. The idols of the various Hindu deities Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Hanuman, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganesha surround the Lingam.
Nurpur Fort: Formerly known as the Dhameri Fort, the Nurpur Fort was built in the 10th century. The fort was destroyed by the British and then later by an earthquake in the year 1905. There is a temple inside the fort called Brij Raj Swami, which was built in the 16th century and is known to be one of the only places where both the idols of Lord Krishna and Meera Bai are worshiped.
Ranjit Sagar Dam: The dam is a part of the hydroelectricity project of the state Government of Punjab and was completed in 2001. The Ranjit Sagar Dam is also known as the Thien Dam and constructed on the river Ravi. With its lush green surroundings the fort is a great spot with its lush green surroundings.
Kathgarh Temple: Kathgarh Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati. The temple is characterized by an ancient lingam with mystical origins. The Kathagarh temple was said to have been visited by Bharat during his search for Lord Rama. The temple is located at the confluence of the Beas and the Chonch River and is a marvellous example of a Roman styled architecture. The city of Pathankot has served as a rest stop location before moving on to the mountainous regions of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. The town is overlooked by famous hill stations like Dalhousie, Chamba and Kangra. The above-mentioned attractions are a must visit to experience the rich culture and history of Pathankot.
Visiting Information on Pathankot
The domestic civil airport, Pathankot Airport IXP is just 3 km from the main city of Pathankot and is 7 km from the Pathankot Railway Station located on the Pathankot to Majra Road under Pathankot Air Force Station. The Pathankot Airport is well connected to major cities like Delhi. The nearest International Airport from Pathankot is Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji International Airport at Amritsar, which is about 119 kms from the city.