Okara District is a district of Punjab, Pakistan. The Multan Road connects the district capital, Okara with the capital of Punjab –Lahore (which lies 110 km away). Firstly it was a small town near a big city Sahiwal. After it was divided and become a city. It is approximately 40 km away from sahiwal division. Okara is a rapidly growing city in terms of industry and agricultural activity. According to the 1998 census, the district had a population of 2,232,992 of which 12.84% were urban. The postal code of Okara is 56300. Okara.
Okara District is famous for its fertile lands, peaceful natural environment and green fields of potato, tomato, sugarcane, wheat, rice and maize crops. Oranges and Mangoes orchards are famous. The area of district Okara is the gold mine for history seekers, spiritual and curious travellers. One can find archaeological remains of different dynasties of prehistory, Indus civilization, Persians, Sultanates, theMughal Empir the Sikh Confederacy and the British Raj.
There is a central ridge, in the centre of Okara District, which marks the old river bed of the Beas, and the boundary b/w the eastern and western half of the district. The ridge descends from Kasur, all the way to Chunia, and then SherGhar in Okara. As you go west of the ridge, into Okara & RenalaKhurd the subsoil water is brackish, therefore the area is dependant on canals for irrigation. However, after you cross the ridge east into Depalpur Tehsil, the subsoil water is sweet and good for agriculture.
Okara District is also famous for the Lemon, Guava & Grapefruit orchards, belonging to the food processing company, Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Limited. The orchard runs for about 6 miles, along the LBDC, from Renala Khurd, all the way up to the Okara bypass.
Okara is also famous for its cattle breed known as Sahiwal and a water buffalo breed known as Nili-Ravi. It is very rich in Livestock population and production. There is a Livestock Production Research Institute Bahadar Nagar Farm, which is a very large Govt. farm near the Okara city, at the distance of 14KM toward Faisalabad road. The farm have large number of cows, buffalos, bulls (for reproduction), goats and sheeps.
Okara have all the basic physical and organizational structures, services and facilities needed and necessary in a city. There are two stadiums of Okara district, in which one of them includes Football ground, Basketball court and Swimming pool for Sports. A new international hockey stadium is being constructed in Renala khurd Tehsil of Okara, which would be completed by 2013. This stadium will develop a strong infrastructure for hockey in the country.
There are also many small and considerable big parks for general public. The three main recreational parks are Ladies Park, Bagh-e-Jinnah and District Park.
Educational institutes include Education University, Cadet College, Govt. College for Boy, two Govt. Colleges for Women. There are also many privately owned colleges and schools, which are nationally recognized, well built, big and their standard of education is also high as compared nationally. The District Public School and College is a well known institute in the province and the Country. These institutes include Modern science and computer labs, libraries, playgrounds and canteens.
There are various numerous public & private hospitals and clinics providing the health services. The popular and well equipped hospitals are District Govt. hospital, Shareef surgical hospital and C.M.H Okara Cantt. There is also a Social welfare health society which is being operated under the Govt. of Punjab. Every hospital has more than two ambulances.
The 1122 Rescue Govt. organization is also offering their services in Okara city. There is also a separated Fire station, located in the centre of city, which have several old and also latest fire engines for safety services.
Okara also have a vast Railway station, which contain several platforms, where almost every train going from Islamabad to Karachi makes stop. There are two railway underpasses and one flyover which helps in smooth flow of traffic.
On 31 May 2005, the Ex-President General Pervez Musharaf inaugrated the Okara Bypass (30.786887° 73.459238°), lenegth of 12.7 KM, on GT road (N-5). This project was commenced on 5 September 2003, due to the great demand of the people of the area. It was completed at the cost of 628.17 Million rupees. This interchange proved very helpful in the smooth flow of national highway traffic, particularly between Lahore and Multan and to reduce the national traffic in the city. This bypasss connects the Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar national highway which is the economic lifeline of Pakistan.
Nearby cities are Sahiwal, Pakpattan Sharif, Depalpur, Basir Pur, Renala Khurd & Havali Lakha. There is a Famous Shrine of SUFI of Hazrat Sayed Shabeer Husain Shah Ghilani Situated in village “47/2-L (RAJPUTAN)at the tarivling of only 10 Minutes on Depalpur Road OKARA.. About a distance of 25 km from Depalpur, on Havali Lakha-Hujra Shah Muqeem Road, there is a famous shrine of sufi “Baba Wali Roshan Shah” situated in village “Bunga Saleha”. Every year on 27th of Harr(Desi Month), Mela is celebated with great joyous. Another well known shrine near Depalpur is that of Hazrat Syed Daud Bandagi Kirmani, located in the town of SherGhar, which is about 20 miles from Depalpur 7 miles from Hujara Shah Muqeem. His URES is held in the middle of March, and is attended by thousands from all over Punjab and beyond. In the west of Okara city, the Ravi goes winding along the borders of Faisalabad and Sheikhupura districts.
The Main Towns of the district are:
ü Ranala Khurd
And some minor towns of the district are:
Renala Khurd is a growing city of Okara District in the north east of the Punjab province of Pakistan. The city is the headquarters of Renala Khurd Tehsil – an administrative subdivision of the district. Its approximate height above sea level is about 570 feet (170 m). It is located at 30°52’60N 73°35’60E and is about 117 km from Lahore and 10 km from the district capital Okara city towards south-west of Lahore on national highway (GT Road) and on Lahore Karachi main railway line. Eastern time zone of Renala Khurd is UTC+5+6DT.
It is mainly known for a famous fruit products companyMitchell’s Fruit Farms Limited. It has orchards of guava & citrus running b/w the lower bari doab canal and the Multan Road, for about 8 miles all the way up to Okara bypass. This region is also well known as a major producer of sugarcane & rice. These crops can be cultivated due to abundance of water supplied by the lower bari doab canal & smaller water channels.
At Renala Khurd, one may visit still opertaional, Renala Hydro Power Station, situated on Canal Loar-Bari-Doo-Aab. Its capacity is 1MW. Sir Gangha Ram (1851–1927), a civil engineer and leading philanthropist of his time, established Renala Hydral Power Station in 1925. In 1873, after a brief Service in Punjab P.W.D, he devoted himself to practical farming. He obtained on lease from the government 50,000 acres (200 km2) of barren, unirrigated land in Montgomery District, and within three years converted that vast desert into smiling fields, irrigated by water lifted by a hydroelectric plant and running through a thousand miles of irrigation channels, all constructed at his own cost. This was the biggest private enterprise of the kind, unknown and unthought of in the country before. Sir Ganga Ram earned millions, most of which he gave to charity. In the words of Sir Malcolm Hailey, the Governor of Punjab at the time, “he won like a hero and gave like a Saint”.
A part of Renala Khurd is naturally deprived of the underground sweet water. People in this part rely on canals as the main source of irrigation, as tube -wells, unlike other parts of the district, only pour out salty water which nothing but spoils the land.
There is Mazar-e-Sharif of Hazrat Sahib, Karmanwaleh, situated on the GT road towards Renala Khurd and Lahore. This Mazar-i-Sharif is commonly known as ‘Aastana Alia Hazrat Karmanwala Shareef’. Beside the Mazar-i-Sharif, there is a Main Masjid. Both were constructed under the authority and guidance of Hazrat Syed Mohammed Ali Shah Bhukari (RA) Naqshbandi Sahib, in honour of their late Father, Hazrat Syed Mohammed Ismael Shah Bhukari (RA), Naqshbandi sahib, who was affectionately referred to as “Hazrat Sahib, Karmanwaleh”.
Date of Urs: The main Urs mubarak is held annually on 27-28 February & 10,11,12 Rabi-Ul-Awal (every year) Salana Khatam Sharif of Ahl-e-bait on 10 Muharram (every year)
Date of Wisaal: Syed Muhammad Ismail Shah Bukhari (RA) Naqshbandi sahib, known as Hazrat Sahib Karmanwala – 27 Ramzan 1385 Hijri Syed Usman Ali Shah Bukhari (RA) Naqshbandi sahib – 15 July 1978 Syed Mohammed Ali Shah Bhukari (RA), Naqshbandi sahib, 1st Sajjada Nasheen Hazrat.
Besides Darbar Sharif, there is Hazrat Karmanwala University an Educational project planned by Syed Mir Tayyab Ali Shah Bukhari (RA) Sajjada Nasheen Hazrat Karmanwala Sharif.
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