Rawalpindi District

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Map of Punjab with Rawalpindi District highlighted
Rawalpindi is located in the north of Punjab.
Coordinates: 33°20′N 73°15′E / 33.333°N 73.250°E / 33.333; 73.250Coordinates: 33°20′N 73°15′E / 33.333°N 73.250°E / 33.333; 73.250
Country Pakistan
Province Punjab
Headquarters Rawalpindi
Number of Tehsils 8
 • District Coordination Officer Sajid Zafar
 • Total 5,286 km2 (2,041 sq mi)
Highest elevation 2,790 m (9,160 ft)
Lowest elevation 300 m (1,100 ft)
Population (1998)
 • Total 3,363,911
 • Density 851.3/km2 (2,205/sq mi)
Time zone PKT (UTC+5)
Languages (1981) 85% Punjabi
7.5% Urdu[1]
Website www.rawalpindi.gov.pk

Rawalpindi District (Urdu: ضِلع راولپِنڈى‎), is a district of Pakistan located in the northern most part of the Punjab province. The district has an area of 5,286 km2 (2,041 sq mi). Originally, its area was 6,192 km2 (2,391 sq mi) until the 1960's when Islamabad Capital Territory was carved out of the district, giving away an area of 906 km2 (350 sq mi).[citation needed] It is situated on the southern slopes of the north-western extremities of the Himalayas, including large mountain tracts with rich valleys traversed by mountain rivers. The chief rivers are the Indus and the Jhelum, and it is noted for its milder climate and abundant rainfall due to its proximity to the foothills.[2]


Ancient history

Mankiala Stupa 27 kilometres (17 mi) from Rawalpindi city

In ancient times the whole or the greater part of the area between the Indus and the Jhelum seems to have belonged to a Naga tribe called Takshakas, who gave their name to the city of Takshasila. Known as Taxila by the Greek historians, the location of the ancient city has been identified to be in the ruins of Shahdheri in the north-west corner of the District. At the time of Alexander's invasion Taxila was described by Arrian as a flourishing city, the greatest indeed between the Indus and the Hydaspes; Strabo adds that the neighbouring country was crowded with inhabitants and very fertile; and Pliny speaks of it as a famous city situated in a district called Amanda. The invasion of Demetrius in 195 B.C. brought the Punjab under the Graeco-Bactrian kings. Later they were superseded by the Sakas, who ruled at Taxila with the title of Satrap. At the time of Hiuen Tsiang the country was a dependency of Kashmir.[3]

Mughal era

Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi passed through the District after his defeat of Anand Pal and capture of Ohind. The Gakhars, a tribe still of importance within the district trace their origins back to Mahmud of Ghanzi. The first mention of the Gakhars occurs in the memoirs of Babar, who gives an interesting account of the capture of their capital, Paralah. It was strongly situated in the hills, and was defended with great bravery by its chief Hati Khan, who escaped from one gate as the Mughal army marched in at the other. Hati Khan died by poison in 1525 ; his cousin and murderer Sultan Sarang then submitted to Babar, who conferred on him the area of Potwar. From that time on the Gakhar chieftains remained firm allies of the Mughal dynasty, and provided significant aid to the Mughal in their struggle against the house of Sher Shah. Salim Shah attempted in vain to subdue their country.

In 1553 Adam Khan, Sarang's successor, surrendered the rebel prince Kamran to Humayun. Adam Khan was subsequently deposed by Akbar, and his principality given over to his nephew Kamal Khan. During the height of the Mughal empire, the family of Sarang retained its territorial possessions. Its last and Gakhars chief, Mukarrab Khan, ruled over a kingdom which extended from the Chenab to the Indus.[3]

British era

In 1849 Rawalpindi passed with the rest of the Sikh dominions under British rule; and though tranquillity was disturbed by an insurrection four years later, led by a Gakhar chief with the object of placing a pretended son of Ranjit Singh on the throne, its administration was generally peaceful until the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857. The Dhunds and other tribes of the Murree Hills, incited by Hindustani agents, rose in insurrection, and the authorities received information from a faithful native of a projected attack upon the station of Murree in time to organise measures for defence. The women near the station, who were present in large numbers, were placed in safety, while the Europeans and police were drawn up in a cordon round the station. The rebels arrived expecting no resistance, but were met with organised resistance and were repelled.[3]

The district of Rawalpindi was created during British rule as part of Punjab province. The district obtained its current boundaries in 1904 when Attock District was created as a separate district. According to the 1901 census of India the population in 1901 was 558,699, an increase of 4.7% from 1891.[2] During the period of British rule, Rawalpindi district increased in population and importance.


According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, the population of the district was 3,363,911 of which 53.03% were urban,[4] and is the second-most urbanised district in Punjab. The population was estimated to be 4.5 million in 2010.[5]


As per the 1981 census of Pakistan, the following are the demographics of the Rawalpindi district, by spoken language:


According to 2015 data, Rawalpindi was ranked number one district of Pakistan in terms of education and school infrastructure facilities. There were 1,299 primary, 324 middle, 355 secondary and 37 higher secondary schools in the district. Excluding the higher secondary schools, 987 schools attended to boys while 1,374 attended to girls. There were 3,936 primary, 3,001 middle, 6,367 secondary and 1,112 higher secondary school teachers out of which 7,059 were female while 7,357 were male. 24% of the Class 2 students could not read a story in Urdu, 26% could not read a sentence in English and 46% of Class 5 students could not do two digit divisions. 8% of the students dropped out of the school at the primary level.[6]


The principal crops were wheat, barley, maize, millets, and pulses. The district was traversed by the main line of the North-Western railway, crossing the Indus at Attock and also by a branch towards the Indus at Kushalgarh.[2]

Administrative divisions

Administrative subdivisions of Rawalpindi District.

The district is sub-divided into seven tehsils:

Sr. Tehsil Headquarters Area
1 Gujar Khan Gujar Khan 1,466 493,000
2 Kahuta Kahuta 00,00 153,000
3 Kallar Syedan Kallar Syedan 421 190,000
4 Kotli Sattian Kotli Sattian 00,00 83,255
5 Murree Murree 00,00 176,426
6 Rawalpindi Rawalpindi 00,00 1,409,768
7 Taxila Taxila 00,00 151,000

Notable people


  1. ^ a b Stephen P. Cohen (2004). The Idea of Pakistan. Brookings Institution Press. p. 202. ISBN 0815797613. 
  2. ^ a b c Rawalpindi - Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
  3. ^ a b c Rawalpindi District - Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 21, p. 264.
  4. ^ 1998 Census details
  5. ^ District Profile: Northern Punjab - Rawalpindi Archived May 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Rawalpindi, Punjab". Alif Ailaan. Retrieved 3 March 2016.