Clockwise from top: Shah Burhan Shrine, exterior and interior views of Chiniot's Shahi Mosque, Omar Hayat Mahal
Clockwise from top: Shah Burhan Shrine, exterior and interior views of Chiniot's Shahi Mosque, Omar Hayat Mahal
Municipal Committee Chiniot
Chiniot is located in Punjab, Pakistan
Location of Chiniot in Pakistan
Chiniot is located in Pakistan
Chiniot (Pakistan)
Coordinates: 31°43′10″N 72°59′3″E / 31.71944°N 72.98417°E / 31.71944; 72.98417
Country Pakistan
ProvincePunjab, Pakistan Punjab
 • TypeMunicipal Committee
 • ChairmanNone (vacant)[1]
 • Vice ChairmanNone (vacant)[1]
179 m (587 ft)
 • City278,747
 • Rank28th, Pakistan
Time zoneUTC+5 (PST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+6 (PDT)
Postal code
Dialling code047

Chiniot (Punjabi: چنیوٹ) is a city and the administrative headquarters of Chiniot District in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. Located on the bank of the river Chenab, it is the 28th largest city of Pakistan. It is also known for its intricate wooden furniture, architecture, and mosques, and is home to the Omar Hayat Mahal.



The origins of Chiniot are obscure, and historical records accurately detailing its founding are unavailable.[4] According to some accounts, the city was founded by an ancient king's daughter named Chandan, who while on a hunting expedition, was charmed by the surrounding area, and ordered the construction of the settlement of Chandaniot,[5] alternatively spelt Chandniot,[6] which was named in her honour. The name Chiniot, a contracted version of the original name, eventually gained favour,[7] though the older name had been used up until at least the 1860s.[8]


During Mughal rule, Chiniot was governed as part of the subah, or province, of Lahore. The city reached its zenith under the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and his governor of the area, Nawab Sadullah Khan of the Thahim tribe,[5] who served between 1640 and 1656.[9] Under Sadullah Khan's governorship, Chiniot's famous Shahi Mosque was built.[5] Chiniot's artisans were renowned for their skill during the Mughal era, and were employed in the decoration of the Taj Mahal, and Lahore's Wazir Khan Mosque.[6]

Mughal decline and Sial rule

Following the collapse of Mughal authority after the death of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, the local Sial tribe, a tribe of Zamindar status, s under the rule of Walidad Khan was officially granted governorship of the area on account of his loyalty to the Delhi throne.[5] Though nominally a part of the declining Mughal realm, Walidad Khan forged a largely independent state in western Punjab that controlled the region between Mankera and Kamalia[5] Chiniot suffered heavily during the Durrani invasion of the late 1748.[5]


The Sial state around Chiniot was encroached upon by Sikh chieftains in the north, and from Multani chiefs in the south, before coming under control of the Bhangi Misl Sikhs by 1765.[5] The Sikhs imposed an annual tribute on the Sial chief, Inayatullah Khan, which he ceased paying in 1778 before also capturing Chiniot.[5] He died in 1787, though the city had reverted to Bhangi Sikh rule before his death.[5]

The city suffered during the Sikh Misl states period in which the city region's Bhangis battled the Sukerchakia Misl.[5] Chiniot was captured by Ranjit Singh in 1803, and thereafter became part of the Sikh Empire.[5] The city was invested in Sial chief Ahmad Khan, who promised to pay tribute to Ranjit Singh's kingdom.[5] Khan stopped paying tribute, and briefly seized full control of the region in 1808, but was decisively defeated by Ranjit Singh's forces in 1810.[5]


The city came under British rule by 1849, and the city was constituted as a municipality in 1862.[5] In 1875, the city's population was 11,999.[5] During the British period, a vast network of canals was laid to irrigate Punjab, resulting in the creation of many new "canal colonies" around Chiniot.[6] Chiniot's famous Omar Hayat Mahal was built between 1923 and 1935 for a businessman who made his fortune in Calcutta.[10]



Chiniot is at the intersection of the Faisalabad-Sargodha and Lahore-Jhang roads. It is 158 km (98 mi) northwest of Lahore and 38 km (24 mi) north of Faisalabad. Chiniot city is spread over an area of 10 km2 (3.9 sq mi) with an average elevation of 179 metres (587 ft).

Rabwah city, the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Community is on the other side of the Chenab River. In the center of river a worship center (or Chilla Gah) of the Sufi Bu Ali Shah Qalandar is located.


Chiniot city lies on left bank of the Chenab River, and is located on a small rocky hill. Much of the surrounding area consists of alluvial plains, interspersed with rocky outcroppings of slate and sandstone that reach up to 400 feet in height around Chiniot.[8]


Chiniot has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh).[11] The weather in Chiniot is variable.

Climate data for Chiniot (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 19
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 8
Average rainfall mm (inches) 18
Source: My Weather[11]


According to the 1998 census, the population of Chiniot Tehsil was 965,124 (included urban 172,522). According to the 2017 Census of Pakistan, the city has the population of 278,747. The language spoken is Punjabi.


The important products of Chiniot includes silk, cotton, wheat, sugar, rice, milk, pottery, wooden furniture, etc. The city's agricultural economy is largely derived from "canal colonies" established during British rule when a vast network of canals were laid to irrigate Punjab.[6]

Chiniot is famous for his wooden furniture, and developed as a centre of woodworking given its close proximity to the Chenab River - as timber from Kashmir would be floated down the river towards Chiniot.[6] Chiniot's artisans are renowned for their skill, and were employed in the construction of both the Taj Mahal and Wazir Khan Mosque.[6] The city's metalworkers, along with those of Lahore, were considered the best in Punjab during the British period,[12] and Chinioti designs and were considered superior to those of Hoshiarpur or Jalandhar.[12] Ramzan Sugar Mills is located at Faisalabad Road.


A side view of the building of Chenab College Chiniot

Educational institutions in Chiniot include


After his death, Sheikh Omar Hayat's palace Omar Hayat Mahal was converted into a library by the Government of Pakistan.

Transport and communication

Chiniot is connected with the rest of Pakistan by a main highway and rail line. The nearest international airport is Faisalabad International Airport, which is 48.5 km (30.1 mi) from Chiniot.


The interior of Chiniot's 17th century Shahi Mosque is richly decorated with Mughal frescoes.
Chiniot-style 'Kunna Gosht'

Islamic occasions

In Chiniot people celebrate Islamic occasions with great arrangements. On 12 Rabi' al-awwal, 1440th birthday celebration of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, people of Chiniot arranged a 63-maund cake, one of the largest cakes in the world.[26]


Chiniot is known for its furniture. Chinioti craftsmen and artisans have for centuries carved flowers and geometric patterns onto cellulose fibres. Masons from Chiniot are thought to have been employed during the construction of the Taj Mahal and Golden Temple.[27]


Cricket is the most popular sport in Chiniot. Football is also played here . Other popular sports include hockey, volleyball, basketball, badminton, tennis, kabbadi, and horse racing.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ a b "Administrators' appointments planned as Punjab LG system dissolves today". The Nation (newspaper). 31 December 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  2. ^ "MC Chiniot: Administrative Setup". Local Government Punjab. Archived from the original on 26 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. ^ Archived 3 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine Urban population according to 2010 GEOnames
  4. ^ Steedman, E. B. (1882). Report on the Revised Settlement of the Jhang District of the Punjab, 1874-1880. W. Ball.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Gazetteer of the Jhanq District. Punjab Government Press. 1884.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Hasan, Arif; Raza, Mansoor (2009). Migration and Small Towns in Pakistan. IIED. ISBN 9781843697343.
  7. ^ Journal of Central Asia. Centre for the Study of the Civilizations of Central Asia, Quaid-i-Azam University. 1992.
  8. ^ a b London, Linnean Society of (1862). Journal: Botany.
  9. ^ Thahim, Abdul Razak A. (1980). Book on History of Ancient Arab Tribe Tamim. A.R.A. Thahim.
  10. ^ Ali, Aown (3 December 2015). "Umar Hayat Mahal: Chiniot's dying 'wonder'". Dawn. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Climate chart of Chiniot". My Weather. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  12. ^ a b Watt, Sir George (1903). Indian Art at Delhi 1903: Being the Official Catalogue of the Delhi Exhibition 1902-1903. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 9788120802780.
  13. ^ "Chenab College Chiniot [Official]". Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Facebook.
  14. ^ "GHS Al-islah Chiniot - School Info & Teachers Profiles". UrduPoint. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  15. ^ "GHS Inayatpur Chiniot - School Info & Teachers Profiles". UrduPoint. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  16. ^ "Govt High School Salara Chiniot". Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Facebook.
  17. ^ "Govt Islamia College Chiniot: Study for your Career Growth". Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  18. ^ "GPS Shareen Awan Chiniot - School Info & Teachers Profiles". UrduPoint. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  19. ^ "GGHS Madrissa Tul Binat Chiniot - School Info & Teachers Profiles". UrduPoint. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  20. ^ "The KIMS College Chiniot". Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Facebook.
  21. ^ a b "Masoomeen Schools & Colleges". Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Facebook.
  22. ^ "Chiniot-Faisalabad". Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  23. ^ "Chiniot – Punjab Colleges". Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  24. ^ "CHINIOT | Superior Group of Colleges". Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Unified P/G Science College and Chiniot". Retrieved 24 September 2020 – via Facebook.
  26. ^ "Celebration of 12 Rabi' al-awwal and in Aashora-e-Muharram, there are many Imam Barghas were regularly conducting Aashora Majalis in the respect of Shahadat e Imam-e-Hussain. Sunni and Shia Brothers are regularly participating in this occasion. They construct eight numbers of Tazia's in the honour of Imam Hussain which are very beautiful and unique". Dunya News. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  27. ^ "Punjabi".