It is a major industrial center of northern India.
This translation from Urdu of a passage of Gulām Sarvar Lāhaurī's (alias Bute Shah) Tarīḵẖ-i maḵẖzan-i Panjāb (History of the Punjab), written in the mid-19th century, is given in the Gazetteer for the Ludhiana District 1888-89:
"In the reign of Sikandar, son of Bahlol Lodi, the people about Ludhiana were oppressed by the plundering Baluchis, and applied to the Emperor for assistance. Sikandar, in answer to their prayer, sent two of his Lodi chiefs, by name Yusaf Khan and Nihang Khan, with an army. These chiefs fixed on the present site of the Ludhiana city, which was then a village called Mir Hota. Nihang Khan remained at Mir Hota as the Emperor's Lieutenant; and called the place Ludhiana. He was succeeded by his son a grandson. The latter, Jalal Khan, built the fort of Ludhiana out of the bricks found at Sunet. His two sons partitioned the country round about Ludhiana, which was then lying in waste, amongst the people of the town, and distributed them in villages. In the time of Jalal Khan's grandsons, Alu Khan and Khizr Khan, the Lodi dynasty was overthrown by Babar; and the Lodis of Ludhiana sunk to the position of ordinary subjects of the Mughal empire. They are said to have lived close to the fort for many generations, but all traces of them have now disappeared, and even the tombs of Nihang and his immediate descendants have been lost sight of, although they are said to have been standing some years ago."
The Lodi dynasty lost control of the throne of Delhi in 1526. The Mughals established a strong government at Sirhind, which itself was a sarkar (division) of the Delhi subah (province), and attached Ludhiana as a mahal or parganah.
The century and a half following the death of Akhbar (a Mughal emperor) in 1605 was dominated by the rise of Sikhism as a power, and the decline of the Mughal empire. By this time the Mughal empire was tottering to its fall, and various local powers began to assert their independence. The Rais of Raikot who until then had held a considerable tract of land around Ludhiana in lease from the emperors were some of the first to assert their independence. Raja Ala Singh of Patiala, the representative of the crumbling Delhi Sultanate and Rai Kalha II were the principal actors contenders for power in the region.
Thinking to take advantage of this power struggle, Nadir Shah invaded, and crossed the Sutlej at Ludhiana, which was then on its banks, and marched through the district along what is now the Grand Trunk Road. Nadir Shah is said to have ordered a general massacre of the inhabitants of Ludhiana on the account of some petty fault, but it seems doubtful that he did.
His successor, Ahmed Shah Durrani, invaded in 1747. On reaching the Sutlej at Ludhiana, he found his passage opposed by the son of the emperor, Kamardin, with a huge army that had advanced from Sirhind. Durrani avoided the conflict but ended up in direct confrontation with him very near Ganeshbot/sandbox/Khanna. While Ahmad Shah Bahadur was defeated, the losses were very heavy on both sides. The subsequent invasions of Ahmad Shah were not resisted by the Mughal troops from Sirhind, but they were constantly harassed by the Phulkian chiefs and the Rais. It was some time about 1760 that the Rais were permitted by Ahmed Shah to take possession of the town and for of Ludhiana and to extend their power over the country about.
Although Zain Khan was appointed by Ahmad Shah as Governor of Sirhind in 1761, he was defeated and slain in 1763 by huger armies of Sikhs. They took possession of Sirhind, which they leveled with the ground.
The fall of Sirhind marked the last vestige of Mughal control over the area, and Ludhiana was left in possession of the Rais. The Malaudh Sirdars belonging to the Phulkian stock had already established themselves in the south of Ludhiana in the Jangal villages and the country about Malaudh ; and Sudha Singh Gill, an adventurer from Loharu in the Ferozepur district, secured a few villages around Sahnewal.In 1767 Ahmed Shah reached Ludhiana on his last expedition but got no further.
Around 1785, the Sutlej changed in course so that Ludhiana was no longer situated on its banks.
The condition of the country during the latter part of the 18th century was one of considerable prosperity. The rule of the Rais is still spoken of as being very mild; and it is said that they fixed only one-fourth of the produce as their due.
In 1798, Ludhiana was attacked by the Sikhs under Bedi Sahib Singh of Una. At the time, the ruler of the Rais, Rai Alias was a child. His agents Roshan and Gujar made a good stand against the Sikhs at Jodh, ten miles (16 km) southwest of Ludhiana. Roshan was the killed in the fight, and Rai's army was dispersed. However, the Phulkian chiefs, who were on good terms with the Rais, had no intention of allowing the Bedi to establish himself in their midst and came to their aid, driving the invaders out of the villages. Upon the Bedi's siege of Ludhiana, the Rais called in British mercenary George Thomas to help with the defense of the city. On Thomas's approach, Bedi retreated to the other side of the river.
Having recently consolidated the new Sikh Empire, Maharaja Ranjit Singh crossed the Sutlej in 1806 in his first expedition against the Cis-Sutlej states and stripped the Rais of all their possessions, including Ludhiana. The city was occupied but not immediately annexed to the Lahore state.
By 1809 Ranjit Singh was completing his third expedition and was again on the west bank of the Sutlej ready to attack Ludhiana. Fearing further expansion that was coming closer to their headquarters in Delhi, British imperialist forces occupied the Cis-Sutlej states east of the Sutlej. The British sent Colonel David Ochterlony with a force to occupy Ludhiana.
By the end of 1809, The Treaty with the Rajah of Lahore was signed in which the Rajah agreed to remain north and west of the Sutlej. British troops were permanently stationed in Ludhiana, and they established a cantonment to further consolidate their occupation. Compensation was paid by the British to the Raja of Jind.
The British cantonment was abandoned in 1854. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857 Deputy-Commissioner Ricketts crushed a rebellion in Ludhiana with the assistance of the chiefs of Nabha and Maler Kotla.
Ludhiana is located at . It has an average elevation of 244 metres (798 ft). Ludhiana City, to its residents, consists of the Old City and the New City (or the residential and official quarters of the Colonial British encampment, traditionally known as Civil Lines; this is as opposed to the Army Lines, which are no longer extant as the British Cantonment was abandoned in 1845 )
The land dips steeply to the North and the West, where prior to 1785 the river Sutlej used to run: this whole area is now mostly unplanned residential communities, with many polluting industries set up in houses due to lack of enforcement of zoning laws.
The Old Fort was situated at the banks of the Sutlej (and now houses The College of Textile Engineering ) and legend has it that an underground tunnel connects it to the Fort in Phillaur - although why this should be is debatable, as the Sutlej was the traditional dividing line between the two principalities, often occupied by enemy forces (see History section )
The ground is of yellow sandstone and granite, forming small hillocks, plateaus and dips.
The tree of largest natural extraction was the kikar, or Acacia indica but has been supplanted by the Eucalyptus, transplanted from rural Australia in the late 1960s by the government of Chief Minister Partap Singh Kairon.
Gulmohars and Jacarandas were planted by the British along the avenues of Civil Lines, as were other flowering trees, while the Old City contains almost no vegetation or parks, except for a few isolated pipal trees, holy to the Hindus (As this tree is supposed to be the abode of Lord Shiva, almost no hindu gardener or laborer will agree to uproot or chop one of these down - an example of the degree to which traditional superstitions shape the landscape and horticulture of Modern India even today. )
Ludhiana suffers from the same haphazard, disorderly growth of its boundaries, as most industrial moffusil towns of this burgeoning country of 1 billion. Recently there has been a proposal to extend the Octroi Posts (check points officially under the Deptt. of Commerce but actually manned privately by goons of local politicoes, who dish out annual leases ) about 8 km.s in each direction. Although the Government designated an Industrial Area in the 1970s, it is common for many ancillary, and even primary, industries to be located in residential neighborhoods.
Ludhiana is known as the "Manchester of India" because it is the industrial hub of Punjab. There are 8 large integrated knitwear factories, roughly 6,000 small to medium sized knitwear factories (like Oswals, Nahar. etc. ), 10 big hosiery yarn mills and 150 small- to medium-sized worsted and woolen yarns. There are also firms manufacturing bicycles like Hero Cycles, Avon Cycles, machine tools, sewing machines, generators, diesel engines, tyres & tubes, and other consumer goods. The export market in Ludhiana is worth $40 million USD.
Its most populous area is Old City area like Wakefield Gunj (known as Field Gunj), Khud Mohalla in which majority of middle income population resides. Sarabha Nagar, Ghumar Mandi, BRS Nagar, Agar nagar, Kitchlu Nagar are posh areas of the city.
Ludhiana is home to the largest agricultural university in Asia, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) . The College of Veterinary Sciences at PAU has recently been upgraded to the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU).
Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College & Ludhiana College of Engineering & technology are two main colleges offering quality education in the fields of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Computer, IT, Electronics and Production Engineering. This college was one of the first engineering colleges of Punjab,having been established in 1956.
Other Liberal Arts Graduate and Post Graduation colleges in Ludhiana consist of the S.C.D. Government Colleges for Boys, & The Government College for Women (originally, the college for Women operated out of the premises of the Boys' College - but the genders were segregated almost soon after the British, with their far more liberal world-views, departed India in 1947. All principals of the college prior to Indian Independence in 1947 were White British Males. ) which has the distinction of being the oldest in the region.
S.C.D Government College for Boys is named after Satish Chander Dhawan - a renowned Space Scientist, who like many of his disillusioned compatriots migrated to the USA, and had a long & illustrious career at MIT, Massachussets. Other famous alumni include the well-loved poet Sahir Ludhianvi, the economist M S Gill, the retired police chief KPS Gill, and film-director David Dhawan.
Other well known colleges are the S.D.P.College for Women near Daresi Ground, Khalsa College for Boys & Khalsa College for Girls in Ghumar Mandi, Arya College for Boys, Kamla Lohtia College, and Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management.
Ludhiana also has one law school, The University Institute of Laws. It is a Panjab University Regional Centre, affiliated to the parent institute at Chandigarh, and was established during the Academic Session 2003-04. Admission to LL.B. (Three Year Course) was started during 2003-2004 session and 5 years Integrated B.A.,LL.B (Hons) course was started during 2006-2007 session. The Institute is situated on the campus of Punjab University Extension Library, Ludhiana.
Ludhiana is also home to some of the region's best medical institutions like the Christian Medical College, Ludhiana (C.M.C. ) - a not-for-profit Missionary institute started by American Protestants in the early years of the last century; the founder was one of the first female graduates of The Harvard Medical School in 1909.
The Dayanand Medical College (D.M.C. )& Hospitals is quickly out-stripping its rival both in services provided, as well as revenues earned.(Today approximately 30% of each year's graduating class ends up as physicians in the USA & UK; the sister of the current Principal - a renowned Cardiologist - of the institution is herself a Cardiologist in the US; although, die-hard ludhianvis' might claim that he has "served" more, there are no marks for guessing which of the siblings is more professionally satisfied, or has the larger bank balance & assets! ).
Local private schools are considered some of the best in the State, with The Sacred Heart Convent School, run by the nuns of The Order of Bethany, taking the lead honors in quality education, with The Kundan Vidya Mandir School, Civil Lines being the next best. These, and other similar, educational & medical institutions in India are often run by prosletysing religious organizations, and The Guru Nank Public School is the belated effort by the sikhs to climb on to that band-wagon. Ludhiana also has a big library: Panjab University Extension Library in Civil lines area,which has a huge collection of Books,Periodicals,Journals and Newspapers.
G.S.S. Model School, P.A.U campus is one of the best government schools of Punjab.
There are other good schools under CBSE board which are renowned for the quality education imparted like DAV Public School, Kundan Vidya Mandir and Bahadur Chand Munjal are many other schools.
|S.No.||Type of Institute||No. of Institutes|
|1.||Art science & Commerce colleges & Home Science||31|
|2.||Teacher Training Colleges||6|
|3.||Technical Art & Craft schools and Industrial Polytechnic Institutions||17|
|4.||Senior Sec. Schools||206|
|7.||Primary & Pre Primary Schools||1027|
Ludhiana is well connected by rail as it is on main Delhi-Amritsar route and is an important railway junction with lines going to Jalandhar, Ferozepur, Dhuri and Ambala. For administrative reasons the station is under Ferozepur Railway Division.
There is an airport at Sahnewal which is a satellite town of Ludhiana City, about 8 km to the southeast, and there have been small commercial flights in the past from Delhi.
On April 10, 2007 the Airport Authority of India has publicly said that plans for an international airport at Halwara are canceled. The government is looking at purchasing another of land to construct the new international airport.
Ludhiana's status as a large industrial hub is cited as a reason for another international airport in Punjab after Amritsar.
Moving around inside the city is done mostly by 24- and 36-seater mini-buses, auto-rickshaws, and pedal rickshaws, loosely licensed by the Municipal Corporation. (Interesting sociological fact : The mini-buses are mostly owned by the sikhs but operated by minimally-educated dalit youth employees, with no retirement or other benefits. The auto-rickshaws are operated by locals, and some sikh immigrants from the 1984 anti-sikh riots of Delhi & Kanpur. Many of these contraptions are over 20 years old, and modified so as to run on kerosene - which is cheaper, although infinitely more polluting than gasoline/petroleum. The pedal rickshaws are operated by immigrants from UP, Bihar, Orissa - many of whom initially arrived as seasonal day laborers for the agricultural industry, and found this a viable way of maintaining themselves financially solvent year-round. ) Traffic is horrendous, and except when manned by local police, the populace does not follow even traffic lights at major intersections - leading to frequent traffic jams, when it is common for all lane restrictions to break down in an effort by all and sundry to somehow "get through". Tongas, or horse-drawn carriage, capable of carrying 6-12 persons are getting more rare as the Municipal Corporation cracks down on having domesticated animals within City Limits. Up till the late 80's, it was not uncommon for traffic to get stuck behind a herd of milch-buffalo being herded out to pasture, and steaming green horse turds were frequently visible on the tarmac.--MajMaverik (MajMaverik) 18:46, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Poets from Ludhiana
Freedom fighters from Ludhiana
Bollywood Stars from Ludhiana Wrestler from Ludhiana
Poets from Ludhiana
Freedom fighters from Ludhiana
Bollywood Stars from Ludhiana
Wrestler from Ludhiana