Chiniot , the city behind the Moon is the historic city of the eastern province of Pakistan, Punjab. This marvelous city is situated on the left bank of the river Chenab. Chiniot is situated 30KM from the third largest city of Punjab, Faisalabad and at a distance of 140 KM from the largest one, Lahore. Chiniot is also connected with other major cities of Punjab like Jhang and Sargodha via highways.
The historic significance of Chiniot is evident from the glorious past of this magnificent city as it has remained an important city to be conquered by the invaders. Around 326 BC it was conquered by Alexander the Great, who passed through this region while going back to Greece. After few years, Chiniot was taken over by Chandar Gupt Maurya who ruled over this city till 30 BC. When Islam reached to the Indian sub continent, Chiniot remained under the dominance of different Muslim rulers during their respective dynesties. In the Mughal era, Chiniot gained immense development. Later, in 1805 Chiniot was occupied by Ranjit Singh and thereafter in 1849, the British took control of the city.
The old bridge at river Chenab, Chiniot
The word “Chiniot” derives from the Punjabi language which is venture of Chan and ote, means “Moon” and “behind”, compound to mean “Behind the Moon”. Its name mean also used as “Behind the Moon without light”.
The Annual Partriges show of Chiniot
The most prominent feature of the city of Chiniot is the manufacturing of the wooden furniture which is famous all over the world for its style and delicacy. This furniture of Chiniot is projected world over for its best quality and its various types. The woodwork industry of Chiniot produce prepares art work furniture, home and office furniture and many kinds of dry wood furniture.
Umar Hayat Mahal is also loacated in Chiniot which is a 19th century wooden architectural wonder. Umar Hayat Palace is a five story palace which was constructed in the heart of the city.
The jharoka of Umar Hayat Mahal of Chiniot. Photo : Haq Nawaz
This magnificent building is a worth visit place of Chiniot. With the passage of time it has been destroyed due to weather and lost many of its splendid parts. Umer Hayat Mahal seeks due care and diligence from the authorities. For both, local and foreign tourists, Umer Hayat Palace of Chiniot is a great tourist attraction.
The wooden interior of the Umar Hayat Palace, Chiniot
A classic structure which was built by Maharaja Gulab Singh is also a spectacular Hindu temple in the city of Chiniot. Most probably the era of the construction of this phenomenal temple is around the second Anglo-Sikh war.
Hindu Temple of Chiniot
The Shahi Mosque of Chiniot was built in 1655 and its construction was started in1646. This spectacular Mosque or Masjid is replica of few Mughal constructions in the region like Shahi Mosque of Dehli and Laal Qila ( Red Fort) of India. The theories suggest that this Mosque was also built by the great Mughal emperor , Shahab-u-Din Shahjehan under the supervision of Saadullah Khan, who was the Prime Minister of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.
Shahi Mosque of Chiniot
Chiniot, the city behind the Moon is a fantastic city of Pakistan which lacks the appropriate attention of the government of Pakistan. The city can become a major source of revenue by developing its many tourist destinations and enhancing the tourist facilities.