Sargodha District (Urdu: ضِلع سرگودها), is a district of Punjab, Pakistan. The capital of the district is Sargodha. It is an agricultural district, wheat,rice, and sugarcane being its main crops. The Sargodha district and region are also famous for citrus fruit; kino is a newly developed variety. The district has an area of 5,864 km2.
Sargodha District 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 inPunjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled ancient Punjab region. After overunning the Achaemenid Empirein 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. The Sargodha was ruled by Maurya Empire, Indo-Greek kingdom, Kushan Empire, Gupta Empire, White Huns, Kushano-Hephthalites 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.
Just over a century ago, there was a well owned by a Hindu named Goodha, the well was known as “Gool Khuuh” (round well), and travellers used it as a resting place. There is a market at the place where Gool Khuuh used to exist and a grand mosque above the market and it is known as “Goal Chowk”, which is the center of downtown Sargodha today.
Sargodha was a small town at the beginning of the British Empire but, due to its geographical location, the British Royal Air Force built an airport there. It took on greater importance after theindependence of Pakistan for the Pakistan Air Force. Shahpur, which is now a tehsil of Sargodha District, was the district at that time. Most parts of the tehsil Sillanwali and Kirana Hills region were part of Jhang district and were included later during the British Raj in the Sargodha district. The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After theindependence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Sargodha District.
The 1965 war with India on September 6, 1965 meant the city was a prime target for India, due to the city close proximity with the neighbouring rival. The citizens of Sargodha supported thePakistan Army against the advancing of the Indian Army into Pakistan. In 1966, recognising this bravery, the Government of Pakistan awarded the city of Sargodha as well as Sialkot and Lahorewith the award of Hilal-E-Istaqlal.
The city also has a Pakistan Air Force base within its city. The PAF Base Sargodha now known as PAF Base Mushaf, named after the late Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir, a former Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force. The strategic location of the base has allowed the Air Force to carry out experimental work within the city. Until divisions were abolished as part of government reforms in 2000, Sargodha was divisional headquarters of Sargodha Division. Sargodha division was composed of the following districts:
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