(چیچہ وطنی Urdu
) is an historic town in the Sahiwal District
. It is located about 45km from the district capital - Sahiwal
The city serves as the capital city of Chichawatni Tehsil, and is administratively subdivided into three Union Councils. The city is located at 30°31'60N 72°42'0E and is situated on the famous Grand Trunk Road and has an attractive railway station. With all the facilities of a large city in a small town, Chichawatni is a thriving town with very good economic growth. It is famous for its crops of wheat, cotton, sugar cane and ice cream parlours.
This small and attractive Pakistani town lies approximately 20 km from the ancient Upper Indus site of Harappa and an excellent stop-over for Tourists interested in traditional crafts and mouth-watering, delicious Pakistani cuisine. Serving many local villages, this humble but highly industrious agricultural town also boasts several colleges and institutions for higher education reflecting the town's acute emphasis on education.
Townspeople come from many different backgrounds, from poor farmers to aristocratic Zamindars (landowners) usually of upper caste Rajput, Jat, Arain, Dogars and Gujjar . Local administrators, otherwise known as "Zaildars" and "Safedposh" or "white-robed nobles", form the political elite of the town and may also be found as civil servants in most local government offices.
During the India-Pakistan Partition in 1947, many aristocratic Muslim families fled from Punjabi towns like Firozpur in India and settled in towns like Chichawatni. Local Gujjar aristocrats in Chichawatni, originally from Firozpur, are quite happy to show Tourists photos of the splendid Palaces and gardens vacated by them during the unfortunate events of the India-Pakistan Partition.
Chichawatni also accommodates a large Christian community, usually drawn from the very poorest sections of society. The Christians are a respected, hard-working and gentle community in an otherwise overwhelmingly Muslim town. Attitudes towards Christians have been inflamed by the short-lived increase of fundamentalist rhetoric in certain Mosques but overall this negative rhetoric has been mellowed by the sheer volume of important Sufi Shrines, whose calming and uplifting spiritual influence still pervades the town and the many local villages it serves.
The people of Chichawatni have various explanations for the name Chichawatni, some of those are:
1. Maharaja Chach of Alor was the father of Raja Dahir. Raja Dahir was to pass the river Ravi for some war game and found the shortest and easiest way for it near Chichawatni. So he named the nearby village on his father name as Chachawatni. Chachawatni means city of Chach. with the passage of time it became Chichawatni. This village stands still and named as Old Chichawatni or Purani Chichawatni. The River Ravi floods Chcihawatni village every year. So the British Govt Found a safer place in forest near this village. In 1918, They had cleaned a part of plantation and developed a modern City with planning
2. The name Chichawatni is derived from the name of a Hindi family who lived here before the government built a forest, Chicha was the name of the husband Watni of the wife.
In Pakistan, the collection of many forests is administratively united into forest divisions. One of the forest divisions is also named Chichawatni. Chichwati forest Division has its Headquarter near Chichawatni. It comprise of many forests. But the main forest of Chichwatni Forest Division spans alongside the Chichawatni having the area of 9000 acres (36 km²). It is the second largest plantation in Pakistan; while the largest plantation in Pakistan is Changa Manga.
Locally it is called Jungle of Chichawatni. There was natural Jungle before 1918. In 1918 British Govt. started the new planned city and started the forest plantation in 1823. The width of the forest is just 2 to 5 km while its length spans 35 km.
Distt. Govt Sahiwal is opening a forest Park in Chichawatni also having the facility of large pool.
Chichawatni Forest is also used by Agricultural University of Faisalabad for research purpose.
A Guest house situated in the forest is used to host Governmental Guests and also Foreigners.
Pubjab's Famous canal Lower Bari Doaab is used for cultivation. Canal Rest House for Lower Bari Do Aab is also situated in this forest.
This Forest also has tourist attractions having a large number of porks. Hunting Licence for porks is easily available. Even Forest Authorities provide awards on pork hunting.
An American fund for the welfare of bird has conducted research in some south Asian forests including Chichawatni Forest.
Details of Research
In Chichwatni there is the biggest cattle market of Pakistan. Cattle Market in Pakistan is called Mandi Muwaishiyan. This Market start in last 10 days of the month. (from 21st to the end of month). This Market has peak of its business in three first days. During those day you can buy milk from the Cattle market 3 times less than of real market price and even some times milk is free here. People from Gawadar to Khyber gather here to buy and sell cattle.
Madrasssa Khalidia of Chichwatni is First Jihadi Maddrassa of Pakistan, which was first built over occupied space in Jamia Masjid Block 12 of Chichawatni. Now it is Moved near Chak 40/12-L.
Kabbadi is a type of Pakistani Wrestling. Chichawatni is hometown of many Kabbadians. Many Kabbadi Matches between India and Pakistan and also National Championships have held at Chichawatni.
In Pakistan there are only a few Flood Lights Stadiums. Just some Cricket Stadiums have flood lights. But Chichawatni has a Kabbadi Stadium having flood lights.
Chichawatni is the home town of Shazia Hidayat, one of the few women who represented Pakistan in the 2004 Summer Olympics
Christian Welfare Society (Regd.)
The Christian Welfare Society Pakistan (Regd.) came into being at Chichawatni in 1969. Prof. B.M. Sabir the founding president was chosen life time president for the society. Prof. BM Sabir is also a prominent missionary of the Churches of Christ in Pakistan. He is regarded as one of the most conservative Christian scholars and the senior teacher of bible and theology.
Born as Barkat Masih Sabir on January 1, 1936 in Harappa, Sahiwal (formerly known as Montgomery) Pakistan to a converted (from Sikhism) father/Presbyterian elder and devote Presbyterian Christian mother. He studied his secondary education at a mission High school and finished bachelors from Punjab University of Lahore and earned a Fazal in Persian
as well from the University.
In 1962, he completed Religious Education from the West Minister Theology Seminary in Gujranwala, Pakistan. Among his instructors were late Dr. K. L. Nasir. He was appointed a full-time pastor in the U.P. Church Faisalabad, Pakistan that is also known as Lyallpur. In1964 he moved to his native village 190/9 A-L and served the village as the pastor of A.R.P church of Pakistan. He was elected as the moderator of Sahiwal presbytery (one of most prominent, oldest and largest presbytery in Christian churches in Pakistan) in 1966 and served till1969.
He held an office as General Superintendent of A.R.P. Church of Pakistan affiliated with ICC till April, 1973. Some differences emerged in the leadership of Sahiwal presbytery and led to separation of the church and B. M. Sabir and forty members of the presbytery mostly pastors and elders left the A. R P affiliation and formed another church body. In July, 1986, he was invited to attend Dr. Billy Graham’s crusade in Amsterdam, Netherlands. During his stay in Netherlands, he met and study with missionaries from Nepal and the United States and became convinced to teach and preach the good news of Jesus according to scripture. Since 1986 Prof. B. M. Sabir is leading more than 60 preachers of Churches of Christ and also providing them moral and spiritual aid to further the borders of our Lord’s Kingdom.
In 2003 due to his utmost endeavors the Sahiwal Bible College was established in Sahiwal Pakistan to educate locals for three years to become teachers and preacher of the church. Because of B. M. Sabir’s hard work in 2005 a maternity home was opened to help young women to seek free care in the process of childbirth. B. M. Sabir is married and has ten children; he resides in Sahiwal, Pakistan.
Chichawatni is also the home town of Esther John
, one of the most famous Christian nurses. She is counted in ten Modern Christian Martyrs. Her sculpture is present at Westminister abbey in London. Read More About her
Many of the railway stations in Pakistan were built prior to 1918, many of these have not been maintained over the years. In 1918 the current town of Chichawatni did not exist. At the time there was village as called Chichwatni (now called Purani Chichawatni or old Chichawatni). This settlement was 5 km in the north of the Main Railway line of Pakistan. In 1918 a railway station on the north side of Railway line was built for Purani Chichawatni, adjacent to the Railway line in the north there is the Chichwatni Forest. Because of this new Chichwatni was planned on the south side of the Railway line. In 1927 a new station was built but on the same side of north, however the population of new Chichawatni spread only along the south side, because to the north there is a huge Jungle(forest). While the station of 1927 was still on the wrong side for the new city. People have to travel a lot to reach the station of 1927. So the government planned to establish a new railway station on the right side of the city. Pakistani Railway had neglected the area, until July 2007 when a new railway station was established.