Jalandhar Cantonment is one of the oldest contonments in India, the construction of which was started in 1848 after the first Anglo-Sikh War, when the British settled in Northern India. The original scope of this cantonment was limited to troops to quell disturbances from adjoining States for the maintenance of peace and order. The departure of British from India and subsequent partition of the country changed the complexion of the Cantonment. It has gained tremendous importance on account of its nearness to the border with Pakistan. The Cantonment is located between latitude 30 degree 18' and longitude 75 degree 37' on the South West and at a distance of 2 Km from Cantonment Railway Station and 5 Km from City Railway Station. It is situated beside Grand Trunk Road at a distance of 89 Km from Amritsar and 371 Km from Delhi. It covers an area of 5.87 sq.miles. It is on Amritsar-Delhi Broad Guage Main Line. A Class-I airfield at Adampur is situated at a distance of 19Km. The airfield is linked with Jalandhar Cantonment by rail and road.
Jalandhar Cantonment has traditionally housed Jalandhar Garrison. Its history dates back to 1865 when it was raised as Jalandhar Garrison by Colonel JN Bishop. In 1904 it was redesignated as Jalandhar Brigade under command of Maj Gen JAH Pollock, CB. Brig Gen REH Dyer of the notorious Jalianwala Bagh episode commanded it from 1917 to 1919. The first Indian Commander was Brig Lakwinder Singh, MBE who took over from Brig RCB Bristow, OBE in 1947.
The total area of this cantonment is 1521 hectares including civil area as per 2001 census, the total population is 40521.
There are two Government Hospitals. The Cantonment General Hospital was erected by all ranks of XXIX Punjabis in memory of those of this Regiment killed during the First World War. The Military Hospital is one of the biggest in the State.
Jalandhar is known as the town of sports. Sports materials manufactured in Jalandhar are exported to various countries. The neighboring village of Sansarpur is known as the Nursery of Hockey Players. The Cantonment is proud of producing maximum number of hockey players from Cantonment Board Schools. Sarvshri Balbir Singh, Gurdev Singh, Tarsem Singh, Harbinder Singh, Lt Col Hari Prasad Singh Kaushik and Ajit Pal Singh, all Olympians are products of these Schools.
Hall of Prayer
There used to be a Hall of Prayers where people from all religions used to assemble and offer prayers. The building is non existant now having outlived its life. However, a small concrete column with Ashoka Emblem on top, still signifies the existence of the Hall on the Southern end of the cantonment.
King George's Royal Military School
There is one of the oldest buildings of Jalandhar which was being used for school purposes. His Royal Highness Prince of Wales KBMC inaugurated it on 25th February 1922. The building was occupied by the SIKH and DOGRA troops during 1947. The building presently houses the headquarters of a Corps and presents a majestic look from Grand Trunk Road.
The Cantonment in itself is self-sufficient in marketing facilities and caters to the needs of the population residing here. It has a cantonment Bazar known as Sadar Bazar and two well stocked Canteens/Shopping Centres which meet the day to day requirements of the population. The management of the Sadar Bazar is through Cantonment Board and other institutes are run by the Army for its serving personnel and ex-servicemen.
There are three Kendriya Vidyalayas and one Army School under the management of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan and Army. In addition to above, there is one Girls College, One Girls Senior Secondary School and four other Schools and Colleges for boys and girls. There are number of private primary schools within the Cantonment.
Military Dairy Farm
There is a Military Dairy Farm in approximately 650 acres of land. This institute provides dairy products for daily use of the troops and locals.
An annual flower show is held in this Cantonment from the British period. It is organised by the Cantonment Board with the help of Jalandhar Garrison. It has inspired the residents of the Cantonment as well as Jalandhar City to take greater interest in flower and plants.
The Cantonment is proud of the following additional facilities:-
- An Olympic size Swimming Pool.
- One of the two Flying Clubs of the State viz Northern India Flying Club.
- One of the three golf courses in the State.
- The Jalandhar Club.