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Bhakkar District

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Bhakkar District

Bhakkar District
ضِلع بهكّر
Location of Bhakkar District (highlighted in orange) within Punjab.
Location of Bhakkar District
(highlighted in orange) within Punjab.
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
Capital Bhakkar
 • District Coordination Officer Khalid Saleemi
 • Total 8,114. km2 (3,133 sq mi)
Population (1998)[1]
 • Total 1,051,456
Time zone PST (UTC+5)
Number of Tehsils 4

Bhakkar District (Urdu: ضِلع بهكّر‎), is a District in the Punjab province of Pakistan. The district was created in 1981 with Bhakkar city (known as Bakhar in Thalochi dialect of Punjabi language) as the capital. It is located between 31° 10' and 32° 22' N. and 70° 47' and 72° E. with an area of 3,134 square miles (8,120 km2), most of it lies in the desolate plain of the Thal, but the Kachhi or strip of riverine land along the Indus is of great fertility.[2] Its area consists of riverine tract along the Indus called Kacha and the Thal historically called Chol-e-Jalali. Most of its area comprises greater Thal.

Mankera in centre of The Great Thal is a place of great antiquity. The old fort here; a historical heritage, is a great land mark of Thal needs preservation. Another old place in the district is Kallurkot. Bhakkar is part of thal desert in western Punjab.


The district is administratively divided into four Tehsils and 42 Union Councils:[3]

Name of Tehsil No of Unions
Bhakkar Tehsil 17
Darya Khan Tehsil 8
Kaloorkot Tehsil 10
Mankera Tehsil 7
Total 42

Khansar Union Council is one of the major Union Councils in Bhakkar. Mari Shah Sakhira Union Council is very close to Bhakkar District boundary


Following are the demographics of the Bhakkar district, by spoken language:

Inhabitants of Bhakar district speak a great variety of Punjabi dialects,

  • Thalochi (Local Desert Punjabi dialect spoken by 60%)
  • Majhi (Standard Punjabi spoken by 30%, Specially spoken in newly cultivated and city areas)
  • Jandali/Rohi (Northern border area near Mianwali district)
  • Shapuri (North Eastern border area near Khushab district)
  • Jhangvi (South Eastern border area near Jhang district)

Other Languages include:

  • Urdu is mother tongue of few people but being national language is spoken and understood by the sizeable population.
  • English is also understood and spoken by few, mainly educated elite.
  • Pashto which is spoken by minority population in the KPK province border areas and in the cities.


Bhakkar city has a population of almost 300,000, the total population of the district was estimated to be 1.37 million in 2008. population of the district was 1,391,729 in 2011 [1]


Home in Thal

The main towns of District Bhakkar are:


Bhakkar region 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 in Punjab region. The Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas and Kurus invaded, settled and ruled ancient Punjab region. After overunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Punjab region with an army of 50,000. The Chiniot region 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.

The town has some historical places like Dilkusha Bagh which is believed to be a Mughal era garden and is attached to Humayun; but historical facts do not verify it. Humayun never came here. On his retreat to Iran, he went to another Bakhar in Sindh to seek help from Mahmood Khan.But this path or route taken was rejected by Major Henry Raverty as the possible retreat of Humayun.

The old town was walled and had gates as Tavela gate and Imamanwala gate. The only remaining gate Jinnah Gate (formerly King Gate) was built in British period in the name of Mr. King the then Deputy Commissioner. There are remains of a handera (tomb) near Sheikh Raoo bridge, which is believed to be burial place of Bakhar Khan, the founder of the city. The present police station was originally a Baloch fortress. Some 30 years ago a branch of River Indus flowed past the town. West side of the town was green and pleasant.

This is a very scarce silver coin belonging to the reign of Nadir Shah 1148-1160 AH (AD1735-1747) from the Afsharid dynasty, it is an Indian type minted during his occupation of the area. It is listed by type as Album #2744.2 (Type D). It weighs 11.3 gr. (18 mm.) and minted in the city of Bhakkar in the state of Punjab in India, dated 1157 AH.

After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the Sikh invaded and occupied Bhakkar district. The Muslims faced severe restrictions during the Sikh rule. The British took over Bhakkar District in 1848.

Thal Canal

During British rule, the district was a tehsil of Mianwali District, the population according to the 1891 census of India was 119,219 which had risen to 125,803 at the 1901 census. In addition to the headquarters Bhakkar (population, 5,312), the tehsil contained and 196 villages. The land revenue and cesses amounted in 1903-4 to Rs 1.7 lakhs. Places of interest are Mankera and Muhammad Rajan, at the latter of which is the shrine of Pir Muhammad Rajan, who died there on a pilgrimage.[2]

The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Bhakkar District.

The main city center is consist of Mandi Town, King gate (markets and shopping centers), Chimni Muhalla (ancient area ever in Bhakkar city, Iron Market, Gulshan-e-Madina Town, Officers Colony,Iqbal Town (old name Housing scheme 1) (Farrukh Hasan), Canal Avenue, new developed Green Town, Dhandla Muhalla, Gadola, and Aalam Abad. The adjacent city area Mandi Town is the developed area of the city with entire facilities. The population of city area mostly speak Saraiki, Urdu and Punjabi. The city is known for its quality of students as they ever get top positions in relevant boards and the trend of study is comparatively considerably higher than other areas of Punjab Province because of lacking industry and public sector employment. Their preference for study are Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Multan. The business in the city is major source of income for the population and mostly business activities are connected with capital of Punjab, Lahore.


The predominantly Muslim population supported Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while the Muslim refugees from India settled in the Bhakkar District.


  1. ^ a b "Bhakkar District at a Glance". Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Bhakkar Tahsil - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 8, p. 43
  3. ^ Tehsils & Unions in the District of Bhakkar - Government of Pakistan

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