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Sri Ganganagar District, Rajasthan

Sri Ganganagar is a planned city and the northern-most city of the Indian state of Rajasthan, situated near borders of Rajasthan and Punjab states and the international border of India and Pakistan. It is the administrative headquarters of Sri Ganganagar district. It is named after Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner, it is also known as “the food basket of Rajasthan” and “Green district of Rajasthan”.

History of Sri Ganganagar District, Rajasthan

Sri Ganganagar was established by Maharaja Ganga Singh, near Ramnagar which was named after Ram Singh Ji Saharan and now known as ‘Purani aabadi’ and ‘Ramu Jaat ki Dhaani’. Sri Ganganagar is one of the first well planned mordern cities of India; it is said to be influenced by the town planning of Paris. It is divided into residential blocks and a commercial area which includes Dhan Mandi (Agricultural Crop Market Place). It is situated at the point where the Sutlej waters enter Rajasthan or the erstwhile Bikaner State. It is said by the elders that this area first came under the erstwhile Bahawalpur state but due to the large open area this was unguarded and Hindu Mal one of the companions of Maharaja Ganga Singh took advantage of this opportunity and changed the boundaries or the posts along the boundary. He started his journey to change posts from Suratgarh in south till Hindumalkot City in north of this district. He informed the Maharaja about his successful sneaky invasion of the area when he reached the northern part and thereafter died giving name to the city Hindumalkot.

In 1899-1900, the Bikaner State was affected by the worst famine. In order to resolve this issue permanently, Maharaja Ganga Singh obtained the services of AWE Standley, Chief Engineer, who demonstrated the feasibility of the western area of the Bikaner State being brought under irrigation from the Sutlej waters. The plan of the Sutlej Valley Project was drawn by then Chief Engineer of Punjab, RG Kennedy, according to which the vast area of erstwhile Bikaner State could be brought under irrigation. However, the project got delayed due to objections by the erstwhile State of Bahawalpur.

Finally, with intervention of then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon, in 1906, a Tripartite Conference was held and an agreement was reached and signed on 4 September 1920. The foundation stone of the Canal Head Works at Ferozepur was laid on 5 December 1925 and the work completed in 1927 by constructing 143 km (89 mi) of lined canal. The opening ceremony was performed on 26 October 1927 by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India. The plan for the city of Sri Ganganagar was drawn at this time. Irrigated parts of Bikaner State were brought under Sri Ganganagar district and later sub-divided into Hanumangarh district.

Economy of Sri Ganganagar District, Rajasthan

Desert land was converted to a green town by the efforts of Maharaja Ganga Singh, who brought the Gang canal. which carries the excess waters of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the region, making Ganganagar district known as “the food basket of Rajasthan”. The economy of the city is based on agriculture, its main crops are wheat, mustard and cotton. Other crops are guar, bajra, sugar cane and grams. In recent years, farmers are also diverting towards horticulture. Kinnow (a citrus family fruit or a hybrid citrus fruit from “orange”) is a popular horticultural product; other fruits of the citrus family are also grown.

Industries in Sri Ganganagar District are based on agriculture. Major industries are cotton ginning and pressing factories, mustard oil mills, wheat flour mills, Rajasthan State Ganganagar Sugar Mills, which is known for its Royal Heritage Liqueurs. 20 top renowned industries are Vikas WSP (P)Limited, T.C. Fresh Kinnow Waxing, Kanda Edible Oil Unit, Ruchi Soya Indusjtries etc. It also has cotton spinning and textile factories such as JCT Mills (now closed). Most of the factories are located in and around Sriganganagar City.

Notable personalitiesin Sri Ganganagar District, Rajasthan

  • Jagjit Singh: Famous Ghazal singer, was born in Sri Ganganagar.
  • Col Avtar Singh Cheema (1933–1989): An Arjuna Awardee who was the first Indian to climb Mount Everest.
  • Shahid Mallya: Bollywood singer.
  • Ravinder Kaushik: Former Research and Analysis Wing agent.
  • Majority of people in the district speak Bagri. Punjabi, too is popular. A number of writers of the district have made contributions to Rajasthani literature, through Bagri.