Sri Ganganagar: History, Geography, Places to See
Sri Ganganagar is often referred to as “the food basket of Rajasthan” due to its fertile plains similar to those one would find in Punjab. It is the northern-most city of Rajasthan, located below the border of the state of Punjab and the international border of the nation of Pakistan. In ancient times, two mighty rivers i.e. the Saraswati and the Drishadvati flowed through the area making it home to tribes similar to those belonging to Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. However, in due course the rivers started to dry up causing a natural calamity that wiped out the tribes and caused Sri Ganganagar to turn into a barren wasteland. In 1927, Maharaja Ganga Singh constructed the Gang Canal to carry excess water from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh to the town and the area was converted to green town. Today, Sri Ganganagar is famed for its produce of wheat, mustard, cotton, bajra, sugarcane and grams.
History of Sri Ganganagar:
Sri Ganganagar (Hindi: श्री गंगानगर) is a planned city, named after Maharaja Shri Ganga Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Bikaner.
In the ancient times, two rivers hallowed in Vedic hymns viz. Saraswati (modern Ghaggar or Hakra) and Drishadvati, flowed through this territory. Excavations undertaken at Kalibanga and Rangmahal etc. situated on the bank of the dry-beds of these rivers have proved that the Indus valley civilization had extended upto this place and it was inhabited by the people akin to those who had flourished at Mohenjodaro and Harappa. The rivers, however, dried up in course of time and as a result of this natural calamity the region became inhospitable and desolate.
The medieval history of Sriganganagar is common with the history of Bikaner. Rao Bika, the son of Rao Jodha who was the founder of Jodhpur, established Bikaner in 1488. The territory of modern Sriganganagar district has been a part of the princely state of Bikaner. Along with the other parts of Bikaner state, the area under the Nizamat of Sriganganagar went into the making of the state of Rajasthan.
Ganganagar was designated as district headquarters on 30th march, 1949.
Geography of Sri Ganganagar
Sriganganagar district is a plain region of the vast Thar desert land. It has sandy soil in the west dotted with 4-5 metre high sand dunes. The northern part of the district is mostly covered with forest. The average height of the district from the sea level is 168 to 227 metres.
There remains much climatic variation in Sriganganagar district throughout the year. It is an arid region with very low rainfall. The winter season extends from November to March, the summer season from April to June, rainy season from July to mid-September, and post-monsoon season from mid-September to October.
The average annual rainfall of the district is 20.70 cm. The maximum temperature in summer is 48.4°C and the minimum temperature in winter is 0.6°C. As a result there are scorching heat waves in summer and biting cold waves in winter in the whole district.
Location, Area & Administration:
Sri Ganganagar District is the northern most district of Rajasthan, located between Latitude 28.4 to 30.6 and Longitude 72.2 to 75.3. It is surrounded on the east by Hanumangarh District, (Hanumangarh district was carved out of it on July 12, 1994) on the south by Bikaner District, and on the west by Bahawalnagar district of the Pakistani Punjab and on the north by the Punjab.
The total area of Sri Ganganagar is 7984 Square KMs which is divided into 9 tehsils namely, Sri Ganganagar, Sri Karanpur, Sadulshahar, Padampur, Raisinghnagar, Suratgarh, Anoopgarh, Shri Vijaynagar and. Gharsana.
The district is not very rich in respect of minerals. Gypsum is the only mineral available with the district, however the main pocket of Gypsum are with newly formed Hanumangarh district which used to be a part of Gangangar district till 1994.
As per 2011 census, the population was 19.69 lacs. Out of which 10.43 lacs were males and 9.26 lacs were females. The density of population as per 2011 census is 180 as compared to 163 in 2001. The sex ratio in 2011 comes to 887 as against 873 in 2001.
According to 2011 census Sriganganagar district has a literacy of 70.25 as against the state literacy rate of 38.55 the male literacy in the district in 79.33 where as female literacy stood at a low level of 60.07 %.
How to Reach:
- By Air: The Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International airport in Amritsar is closest to Sri Ganganagar at 271 kms. One can also get to the city via flights to Delhi, Chandigarh and Jaipur.
- By Train: The Sri Ganganagar – Hanumangarh line has been converted to broad gauge making it easily accessible from most major cities including Delhi, Bathinda, Rewari, Haridwar and Nanded among others.
- By Road: National Highway no. 15 runs through Sri Ganganagar and one can opt for buses from most major North Indian cities to get here.