Kasur as bordering district and district headquarters town is the most important after Lahore built upon the high bank which marks the termination of the Majha and looking down upon the low-lands of the Satluj Hither. It is a place of great antiquity and is identified by the historians as one of the places visited by the Chinese pilgrim, Howang Tsang in the 7th century A.D. but it does not appear in history until late in the Muslim period when it was settled as a Pathan colony from east of the Indus. These migrants entered the town either in the reign of Babar or in that of his grandson Akbar and founded a considerable principality with territory on both sides of the Satluj. When the Sikhs rose to power, they met great opposition from the Pathans of Kasur. The chiefs of the Bhangi confederacy stormed the town in 1763 and again in 1770 and although they succeeded in holding the entire principality for a while, the Pathan leaders re-established their independence in 1794 and resisted many subsequent attacks also. The town of Kasur was incorporated in the kingdom of Lahore by Ranjit Singh in 1807 and had been a municipality since 1885.
Tribes and Races
The principal castes and tribes residing in Kasur district are Jat, Rajput/Mayo, Arain, Dogar, Ansari, Sheikh and Pathan. The refugees from East Punjab settled in this district also belong largely to these tribes and castes. There are mueens or village artisans also; they include Christians, blacksmiths (Lohar), carpenters (Tarkhan), potters (Kumhar), barbers, weavers etc. These mueens are found in all villages and are generally paid in kind at the time of each harvest.
The Rajputs are numerically the strongest tribe and also the most important. About 32 per cent population of the district is Rajput. The next numerous tribe is Arain consisting about 30 per cent of population, Jats are about 10 per cent and Dogars 4 per cent while Ansari, Sheikh and Pathans are in lesser percentage and are mostly settled in towns.
This district is bounded by river Ravi on the north- west and river Satluj on the south east. Whereas the old course of river Bias passes through the middle of the district traversing from north-east to south-west. The east and west ends of the district comprise the flood plains of river Satluj and river Ravi, characterised by breaching of looping river channels wind around intricate bars.
River Satluj off takes from the mountains of Tibet in China and after flowing through Indian States of Himachel Perdesh, Haryana and Punjab etc. it enters Pakistan near Sehjra enclave Tehsil and district Kasur and upto Sulemanki head works, flows along Indo-Pakistan border. At Panjnad, it joins the galaxy of tributaries of Indus Basin.
As many as 11 canals were constructed as part of the Satluj valley projects during the colonial period off-taking from three head works i.e. Ferozepur, Sulemanki and Islam head works. Water rights of river Satluj were transferred to India as part of Indus Basin treaty. In order to feed the canals off taking from this river and irrigating the area of Pakistan's territory, a net-work of Link Canals was established. Depalpur canal originally off taking from Ferozepur head works, was curtailed from 6,900 cusecs discharge to 2,283 cusecs and was connected with B.R.B. to feed the upper reaches. The lower reach of the canal was connected with B.S. Link Canal. Similarly the off takes of Sulemanki and Islam head-works are being fed from B.S. Link Canal.
Flooding tendency of river Satluj is also unpredictable. Habitually, it is a late riser and usually rises in the month of September. Along border line, many river draining works have been constructed by the Indians due to which river is constantly meandering towards right (home side) causing severe erosion and sweeping away the fertile agricultural land.
The staple food of the city people is wheat, rice and pulses. Inferior grains are not generally eaten. Meat is frequently eaten specially in the cities. Wheat (flour) is baked in the form of Chapatis on an iron plate placed on the fire hearth. Pulses and vegetables are quite common items of diet. Spices, salts and Ghee (butter oil) are added to them for flavour and taste. The chief meals are taken just before mid-day and in the evening before sun-set. But the city folk generally have three meals; one early in the morning, the other at mid-day and the third after sun-set.
The ordinary food of the villagers consists of Roti made from Atta (flour) of wheat, gram, barley, maize or jowar. The morning meal is usually taken with skimmed Lassi (butter milk). The evening meals is taken with Dal of Mash, Moth or gram. Khichri made from rice and Moth or Moong is frequently taken. The staple food of the ordinary villagers is wheat or gram and maize or jowar in periods of scarcity. The special dish for guests consist of Halva, Sewaiyan (vermicelli) chicken, mutton or sometimes beef.
In urban areas Pulao, Zarda, Biryani and Korma are used. Tea is almost universally popular in the cities and is regularly taken at breakfast and in the evening, while in rural areas it is becoming increasingly common as a beverage and is also served to visitors. The quality and variety of food varies with the economic position of the families both in rural and urban areas.