Jhelum (Greek: Αλεξάνδρια Βυκεφάλους Alexandria Bucephalous) is a city on the right bank of the Jhelum River, in the district of the same name in the north of Punjab province, Pakistan. Jhelum is known for providing a large number of soldiers to the British Army
before independence and later to the Pakistan armed forces due to which it is also known as city of soldiers or land of martyrs and warriors. Jhelum is a few miles upstream from the site of the Battle of the Hydaspes between the armies of Alexander of Macedonia and Raja Porus. A city called Bucephala was founded nearby to commemorate the death of Alexander's horse, Bucephalus. Other notable sites nearby include the 16th-century Rohtas Fort, the Tilla Jogian complex of ancient temples, and the 16th-century Grand Trunk Road which passes through the city. According to the 1998 census of Pakistan, the population of Jhelum was 145,647 and in 2012 its population is 188,803. The name of the city is derived from the words Jal (pure water) and Ham (snow), as the river that flows through the river originates in the Himalayas. There are a number of industries in and around Jhelum city, including a tobacco factory, wood, marble, glass and flour mills.
As per the 1998 census of Pakistan, the most widely spoken first languages are Punjabi (96.6%), Urdu (1.9%) and Pashto (1.2%).
Inhabitants of Jhelum District speak a great variety of Punjabi dialects: which are
- Shapuri (east side along the river and parts of Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan)
- Dhani (western side along Chakwal).
- Among other languages Urdu is spoken and understood by most of the population.
The climate of the tract is extreme. In winter it is very cold and summer is very hot. The average rainfall varies from 48 to 69 m.m per annum which is much below the required quantity but in the rainy season the water torrents flow from north to the river Jhelum with a very fast speed and cause damages to the crops, bridges, roads and are responsible for the soil erosion in the District.
As well as being district capital, Jhelum city is also the headquarters of Jhelum Tehsil, the city of Jhelum is administratively subdivided into 7 Union Councils, namely Jhelum-I, Jhelum-II, Jhelum-III, Jhelum-IV, Jhelum-V, Jhelum-VI and Jhelum-VII.
During the past few years, the city has experienced rapid expansion and it has now become a vibrant economic and cultural center. The old city has narrow streets and crowded bazaars.
The main market area of Jhelum is centred around "Shandar Chowk", "GTS Chowk", "Muhammadi Chowk" and includes "Main Bazaar", "Naya Bazaar", "Raja Bazaar", "Kinari Bazaar", "Sarafa Bazaar", "Chowk-Ehl-e-Hadith" and Soldier Arcade. Some of the main roads of Jhelum City are Civil Line, Railway Road, Old GT Road, Kucheri Road, Iqbal Road and Rohtas Road. A cantonment was built during the British rule, which has now been upgraded into a strong Garrison, with an Infantry Division commanded by a Major General.
Travel and tourism
Auto Rickshaws are a popular mode of transport for short routes within the city. Many of the new rickshaws in the city use Compressed natural gas (CNG) instead of the petrol engines as CNG is environmentally clean and cheaper than petrol. Rickshaws are another important mode of transportation. The older horse drawn tongas are now defunct although some can still be privately commissioned. Taxis and privately commissioned small passenger carrying vans are available.
Daewoo Express Bus Service and other bus services operate from the city to the entire country. There is a regular bus/Hiace service available running from early hours of the morning to late in the night. Daily routes include Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Mandi Bahauddin, Sargodha, Chakwal, Mirpur and Faisalabad.
Regular bus and van services are available within Jhelum District. It includes important towns and villages such as: buses from Jhelum to Pind Dadan Khan, Dina, Sohawa, Lilla, Nakka Khurd, Chakri Rajgan Khalaspur, Pind Sawika, Bair Faqiran- Green Hills Village) Nagyal, Sanghoi, Mangla Cantt, Nara, Domeli, Darapur, Jalalpur Sharif and many more, while vans go from Jhelum to Sanghoi, Wagh, Dina, Kharian, Sarai Alamgir, Chak Jamal, Chak Doulat, Mughalabad, Boken, Dhanyala and many other destinations as well as Baragowah.
The Jhelum Railway Station was built in 1928 during British rule before the independence of Pakistan. It was connected by the North-Western Railway to other cities in the Indian empire. Jhelum is on main line of Pakistan Railways, and linked to whole country through Railway line across Pakistan. Many of the railway lines and bridges were designed and constructed by exceptionally hardworking engineers during the British time and after independence in railway workshop Jhelum.
The nearest international airport is the Islamabad International Airport, which is approximately 110 km by road from Jhelum. The Sialkot International Airport, is approximately 100 km by road from Jhelum. A small airport called Gurha Salim Airport is situated 13 km (8 mi) from the city centre. It is not being used by any commercial airlines, but only for military purposes.
3G Internet Service is available in this city since September 2014. The PTCL provides the main network of landline telephone with minority shares of few other operators like WorldCall. All major mobile phone companies operating in Pakistan provide service in Jhelum. Broadband internet access is available from DSL, EVDO to state of the art WiMAX technology from many ISPs, WiMax and WiFi operators like PTCL EVO, Wateen, Mobilink, WorldCall, LinkdotNet etc. WorldCall has laid its fiberoptics throughout the city of Jhelum for future project of FTTH with Triple Play service. In August 2008 PTCL has also launched its IPTV service named PTCL Smart TV in Jhelum. Jhelum has got its own ISP Jhelum Networks which is semi public organisation working for development of telecommunication and internet services throughout Jhelum. Company started its services in 2011 and now covering more than 200sq/km area.Jhelum Networks is providing WiFi and cable internet services throughout the district. Different Cellular Networks are also Providing 3G internet in city Jhelum.
Jhelum has some of the largest hospitals in the area which include the hospital in the cantonment area of the city managed by the Pakistan Army or sub organisations. One such hospital is the Combined Military Hospital Jhelum.