Gurdaspur district is a district in the state of Punjab, situated in the northwest part of the Republic of India. Gurdaspur is the district headquarters. It internationally borders Narowal District of the Pakistani Punjab, the Punjab districts of Amritsar, Pathankot, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur. Two main rivers Beas and Ravi passes through the district. The Mughal emperor Akbar is said to have been enthroned in a garden near Kalanaur, a historically important town in the district.The district is at the foothills of the Himalayas.
The current member of Parliament for Gurdaspur is Vinod Khanna.As of 2011 it is the third most populous district of Punjab (out of 22), after Ludhiana and Amritsar and Batala is the largest city in the district which hold 31 percent of total district population.
Gurdaspur was founded by Guriya Ji in the beginning of 17th century. On his name, this city was named as Gurdaspur. He bought land for Gurdaspur from Jats of Sangi Gotra. It is also established that some people used to live in huts in the old city. Guriya Ji a Sanwal Brahmin of Kaushal Gotra belonged to a village Paniar situated 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The ancestors of Guriya Ji came from Ayodhya long time ago and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two sons Sh. Nawal Rai and Sh. Pala Ji. The descendants of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur Nawal Rai’s son Baba Deep Chand was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Owner Of Treasure) to Baba Deep Chand. The descendants of Baba Deep Chand are known as Mahants.
Little is known about the ancient history of the district except a few antiquities like the rock temples at Mukteshwar Gurdaspur along with its neighbouring districts was the same of the explicits of Alexander, who came up to River Beas in his grand design of world conquest. He fought a grim battle with the Kathaians at Sangala which is located near Fatehgarh in Gurdaspur.
From the latter half of the 10th century up to 1919 A.D. this district was ruled by the Shahi dynasty under Jayapal and Anandpal. Kalanaur in this district was the most important town during the period of Delhi Emperor from the 14th to 16th centuries. It was twice attacked by Jasrath Khokhar, once after his unsuccessful assault on Lahore in 1422 and again in 1428 when Malik Sikander marched to relieve the place and defeated Jasrath AkIar was installed by Bairam Khan on a throne on Feb 1556.[clarification needed] The messonary, a platform which still exists about a kilometre and a half to the east of the town is the actual spot upon which his installation took place.
In the decline and fall of the Mughal supremacy and the rise of the Sikh power this district saw its most stirring scenes. Some of the Sikh Gurus have been closely associated with the district. Guru Nanak, born in 1469 in the Lahore district, married in 1485 with Sulkhani, daughter of Mool Chand, a Khatri of Pakhoke (Dera Baba Nanak) in the Batala Tehsil. There is still a wall known as Jhoolana Mahal which swings in Gurdaspur. The Sikh Guru Hargobind refounded Sri Hargobindpur which had been formerly known by the name of Rahila. Banda Singh Bahadur, the disciple of Guru Gobind Singh used this district as a base to raid the country up to Lahore, the emperor Bahadur Shah conducted an expedition against him in 1711 but with only temporary effect. Banda Bahadar fought his last battle with the Mughal at Gurdas Nangal in the district and was captured. The history of the district then degenerates into an account of their struggles with the rival Ramgarhia Misl and Kanhaiya Misls for supremacy in this part of the Doab, the power of the former was broken in 1808 and of the latter in 1811.
The Gurdaspur district is the northernmost district of Punjab state. It falls in the Jalandhar division and is sandwiched between rivers Ravi and Beas. The district lies between north-latitude 310-36′ and 320-34′ and east longitude 740-56′ and 750-24′ and shares common boundaries with Pathankot district in the north, Beas River in the north-east, Hoshiarpur district in the south-east, Kapurthala district in the south, Amritsar district in the south-west and Pakistan in the north-west.
According to the 2011 census Gurdaspur district has a population of 2,299,026, roughly equal to the nation of Latvia or the US state of New Mexico.This gives it a ranking of 196th in India (out of a total of 640).The district has a population density of 649 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,680/sq mi).Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 9.3%.Gurdaspur has a sex ratio of 895 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 81.1%.