July 18, 2008

Sialkot in 1921

Sialkot is a large town, is situated near the Indian border. It is a very ancient town; some authorities believe it was Sagala, the capital of King Manender in about 160 BC. There is an old fort on a hill in the town where the British took refuge during the uprising in 1857; those killed are buried in the cemetery at the foot of the hill. Other places of interest are the 17th century tomb of Mian Abdul Hakim, a great Muslim scholar, and the shrine and mosque of the popular saint Hazrat imam Ali UL Haq. Allama Iqbal, Pakistan’s greatest philosophers and poet was born and raised in Sialkot. Shabby and crowded with tongas, it thrives on manufacturing sports goods and surgical instruments. Hockey sticks and “Slazenger” tennis racquets are made under license. Sialkot also assembles 25000 soccer balls a month for the sporting goods firm Adidas.

Sialkot’s koftars (or Damascene craftsmen ) were famous during the

Mughal period for their fine swords and daggers, but the introduction of the riffle in 1857 put them out of business. The opportunity for alternative work arose in 1905 when some broken equipment at the local American Mission Hospital afforded a chance to adopt their skills. Before long orders were received from other mission hospitals in India and during the 2nd World War instrument-makers supplied the allied hospitals. Although the factories were mostly owned by Hindus, the craftsmen being Muslim were not affected by Partition.

This site is meant to contain useful information about the people of Sialkot as they lived in the year 1921 AD।

Sialkot defined in Encyclopedia Britannica 11th Edition Published in 1911.

Dress code (1921)

Eating Habits (1921)

Fruits (1921)

Flora (1921)

Ornaments (1921)

The British Post Office at Sialkot (Stamp Collection)

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