History Of Powadra
This introduction to the history of Powadra was written by my grandfather, Sohan Singh Dosanjh. It is as much as he knows and would invite others to contribute.
As he recalls, his elders told him that Powadra was created by various peoples, some of which were from the ‘Dosanjh’ Village. There are two ‘Dosanjh’ villages, one ‘Small’ (Shorta) and one ‘Large’ (Bhudda). They are both located close to each other near Phugwara and Birk.
Having moved from ‘Dosanjh’ they moved to the edge of the river ‘Satluj’, close to where Powadra is now. They named that settlement as ‘Sudarra’. That village was washed away by the ‘Satluj’ river repeatedly, so finally the villagers moved to a new location between ‘Talwan’ and ‘Umberpura’ and ‘Umberpuri’. They named that settlement ‘Sumberpur’.
This settlement was attacked by the residents, mainly Muslim, from ‘Talwan’. The Talwan Muslims were strong and fierce and took everything of value and burnt down the settlement.
The terrain was similar to a jungle, so the beaten settlers mover east to their new place of refuge, now called Powadra.
Again, every six months to a year, the Oppressors from Talwan would again attack and fight with Powadra, taking all of their prized possessions.
Then the village Elders got together and decided to gain some help from the stronger ‘Shergills’ and the ‘Jaalis'. They were tempted to move to Powadra by gifts of land.
On the night of after the Nagar Kirtan for the birth of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, an elder observed a confrontation between a goat and a Tiger. The Goat put a convincing defence and fought off the Tiger. Seeing this the elder said that if a Goat scared off a Tiger, then why can’t we, the Powadrians fight of the might of the Talwan Muslims. So from then on, following may battles, Powadra never lost a single war to the Talwans again.
At this time the Satluj river was threatening the vicinity of Talwan and even Powadra. Mythology has it, the elders approached a local holy man, ‘Shiek – la –Daas’ who went into the waters of the Satjuj and prayed for it to free us. Over the next few years the river subsided so much, that even the village ‘Sudarra’ reappeared and is there to this day.
Talwan Muslims were reputed to have said that if they could defeat Powadra, then the rest of Punjab would fall soon after. The Powadrians gained the title ‘Larukay’ (Stubborn Fighters).
After 1947, Independence was declared, and all the Muslims in the vicinity congregated at Talwan. They left their villages gathering as much as they could carry.
The young men from Powadra took this as their opportunity to regain some of their losses by planning the raid the vacant villages left by the Muslims. Unfortunately, a traitor told the Talwan Muslims of the said plans and Powadra was attacked at 4am.
Before the young men returned, 62 elders, women and children were killed by the Talwans. The next day, all the local villagers gathered to support the Powadra offensive in an attempt to avenge their anger.
In the battle that pursed, the Talwan Muslims fled to Pakistan. My grandfather recalls that he arrived at Powadra on foot, on the 21st August 1947 with his parents, after a very long and ‘frightening’ journey, from ‘Chack No 10, Tehsil Chastian Mandi, Boholpur’, Pakistan. They travelled further to Moa Sahib and stayed their till their safety was secure. They then moved to settle in Powadra.
Samraaj S Dosanjh