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Okara - Hub of Livestock Farming (Punjab)


The Okara is situated at a distance of 127 Km from Lahore on National Highway N-5, at an altitude of 500 feet above sea level between Ravi and Sutlej rivers. It is a fertile land and famous for the production of various cash crops as well as a hub of livestock farming.

Okara district has common borders Bahawalnagar, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Nankana Sahib, and Kasur districts. It also has a boundary with Fazilka district in India. The National Highway N-5 runs across the center of the district. All of the major towns in the districts are also connected directly with the National Highway N-5. It is also connected with railway with Karachi-Lahore railway track.

The word Okara was originated from the word Okan, it is type of tree with long needle like leaves. It was known as land of Okan and then called as Okara. It was the city which have one textile mill in 1947 from the share of total two textile mills at the time of independence. It was the biggest textile mill in Asia. It was closed down in 1982 and its building is now the headquarters of the Okara district. Okara is the major city in the Indus Valley Civilization and various other dynasties, and the remains of those civilizations are found in all of the district at various location. There are number of famous historical archaeological sites in the district.

Okara is famous for its fertile lands and produces various cash crops such as wheat, maize, rice, etc. Various canals in which the Lower Bari Doab Canal is major, are used to irrigate the land in the Okara district. It also produces best quality of potato, orange, lemon, grapefruit, guava, and mango. There are various fruit orchards in the town in which the Mitchell's Fruit Farms Limited, food processing company, has a largest fruit orchard about 6 miles long near the town of Renal Khurd.

Renala Khurd Hyropower Plant is a small hydroelectric generation plant on the Lower Bari Doab canal near Renala Khurd in the Okara district. It was the first hydro-power station in Pakistan established in 1925 and was set up to provide electricity to Mitchells Fruit Farms and Food Processing unit. It has the capacity of 22 KW production of electricity.

Mitchells Fruit Farms Limited is food processing company established in 1933 by Francis J. Mitchell. It has an area of 720 acres near Renala Khurd in the Okara district. It manufactures and processes various grocery items including fruit drinks, sauces, pickles, canned foods, and jams. These products are also exported to various countries.

Renala State Military Farm, also known as Glaxo, was a British firm to produce the dried milk, cream, and butter as well as producing antibiotics, nutritional supplements, respiratory drugs, etc. It supplies milk packs for the entire Pakistan Army.

Okara is also popular for its dairy forms and cheese production. It has largest number of dairy forms in Pakistan. It is a major milk producing district in Pakistan. It is rich in livestock and famous for cattle bread known as Water buffalo known as Nilliravi and Sahiwal buffalo. The Livestock Production Research Institute near Bahadar Nagar is very large farm owned by Government at a distance of 19 km from Okara city on Faisalabad road.

Dipalpur, a famous historical and ancient town, is located on the right bank of the Setluj River. There is a fortified town in Dipalpur that was built during the Kushan period during 40th to 172nd century. It was claimed that town was founded by Sri Chand Khanna and its present name was due to Raja Deva Pala. In the time of Timur, Dipalpur was also an important defense town. The Mughal Emporer Akbar with his son Saleem visited the town in 1578 when he came to visit Fariduddin Ganjshakar. It was also an area of the dried course of the Beas River. Hujra Shah Muqeem is a small town in Dipalpur. Syed Bahauddin Gilani, also known as Bahawal Sher Qalander, was came in this town to preach Islam from Gilan Iraq. He belongs to the Qadri order and lived for 240 years. His shrine is situated in the town of Hujra Shah Moqueem. shrine of a Sufi saint known as Shah Muqeem. The town is named after his grandson, Syed Muhkimuddin Shah Muqeem. There is also a mosque along the building of shrine, that was also constructed at the time of his arrival in the town. Hujra Shah Muqeem is also famous due to a Punjabi love story Mirza Sahiban, in which Jati Sahiban supposed to came here.

Satghara is an historical archeological site in the Okara district. It is remain of Satghara Fort that was built in the Kushan dynasty as some coins of that dynasty found there. It was built on a mounds, where there are only brick debris. It is claimed that some injured soldiers of Alexandar Army resided there and named this site as Satghara. It is a good place for tourists who have great interest in history.

The weather of the Okara district is extreme hot in the summer season, whereas in the winter season, it becomes moderate cold. It also receives considerable quantity of rainfall in the monsoon period.

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