FEROZEPUR, or Firozpur, a town and district of British India, in the Jullundur division of the Punjab. The town is a railway junction connecting the North-Western and Rajputana railways, and is situated about 4 m. from the present south bank of the Sutlej. Pop. (1901) 49,341. The arsenal is the largest in India, and Ferozepur is the headquarters of a brigade in the 3rd division of the northern army corps. British rule was first established at Ferozepur in 1835, when, on the failure of heirs to the Sikh family who possessed it, a small territory 86 m. in extent became an escheat to the British government, and the present district has been gradually formed around this nucleus. The strategic importance of Ferozepur was at this time very great; and when, in 1839, Captain (afterwards Sir Henry) Lawrence took charge of the station as political officer, it was the outpost of India in the direction of the Sikh power. Ferozepur accordingly became the scene of operations during the first Sikh War. The Sikhs crossed the Sutlej in December 1845, and were defeated successively at Mudki, Ferozepur, Aliwal and Sobraon; after which they withdrew into their own territory, and peace was concluded at Lahore. At the time of the mutiny Ferozepur cantonments contained two regiments of native infantry and a regiment of native cavalry, together with the 61st Foot and two companies of European artillery. One of the native regiments, the 57th, was disarmed; but the other, the 45th, broke into mutiny, and, after an unsuccessful attempt to seize the magazine, which was held by the Europeans, proceeded to join the rebel forces in Delhi. Throughout the mutiny Ferozepur remained in the hands of the English.
Ferozepur has rapidly advanced in material prosperity of late years, and is now a very important seat of commerce, trade being mainly in grain. The main streets of the city are wide and well paved, and the whole is enclosed by a low brick wall. Great improvements have been made in the surroundings of the city. The cantonment lies 2 m. to the south of the city, and is connected with it by a good metalled road.
The District of Ferozepur comprises an area of 4302 sq. m. The surface is level, with the exception of a few sand-hills in the south and south-east. The country consists of two distinct tracts, that liable to annual fertilizing inundations from the Sutlej, known as the bhet, and the rohi or upland tract. The only river is the Sutlej, which runs along the north-western boundary. The principal crops are wheat, barley, millet, gram, pulses, oil-seeds, cotton, tobacco, etc. The manufactures are of the humblest kind, consisting chiefly of cotton and wool-weaving, and are confined entirely to the supply of local wants. The Lahore and Ludhiana road runs for 51 m. through the district, and forms an important trade route. The North-Western, the Southern Punjab, and a branch of the Rajputana-Malwa railways serve the district. The other important towns and seats of commerce are Fazilka (pop. 8505), Dharmkot (6731), Moga (6725), and Muktsar (6389). Owing principally to the dryness of its climate, Ferozepur has the reputation of being an exceptionally healthy district. In September and October, however, after the annual rains, the people suffer a good deal from remittent fever. In 1901 the population was 958,072. Distributaries of the Sirhind canal water the whole district.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)