Jalandhar, previously known as Jullundur, is an ancient city in Jalandhar District in the state of Punjab, India. It was the capital of Trigarttas (people living in the "land between three rivers": Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) in the times of Mahabharata war. It has an urban population of almost a million, and another million live in the rural areas outside the city.
The earliest historical mention of Jalandhar occurs in the reign of Kanishka, the Kushan King of northern India in whose time, a council of Buddhist theologians was held near Jalandhar about 100 AD to collect and arrange the sacred writings of Buddhism and to bring about reconciliation between its various sects. This makes Jalandhar along with Multan the oldest surviving city of the Punjab region. The Jalandhar Doab ( the region surrounding the city between Beas and Sutlej rivers) also marked the eastern most territory of the empire of Alexander the great. He erected giant altars in this area to mark the eastern most extent of his empire and also founded a city named Alexandria in the vicinity and left many Macedonian veterans there.
In the 7th Century, when the famous Chinese traveller and pilgrim Hiuen Tsang visited India during the reign of Harsha Vardhana, the Kingdom of Jalandhara or Trigartta was under the rule of Raja Utito (whom Alexender Cunningham identifies with the Rajput Raja Attar Chandra of the Katoch dynasty). The kingdom was said to have extended 167 miles (269 km) from east to west and 133 miles (214 km) from north to south, thus including the hill states of Chamba, Mandi and Suket (Himachal Pradesh) and Satadru or Sirhind in the plains. Raja Utito was a tributary of Harsh Vardhana. The Rajput Rajas appear to have continued to rule over the country right up to the 12th century, with occasional interruptions, but their capital was Jalandhar and Kangra formed an important stronghold.
According to the Chinese pilgrim Fa Hien, who traveled India between 399 and 411 C.E., there were a great many Viharas of Buddhism in India. In the Jalandhar Doab, there were as many as 50 Viharas of Buddhism. The Buddhist religion was adopted by a large number of people. As per some historians and scholars the fourth Buddhist Council out of total six Buddhist Councils took place in Jalandhar in the first century AD during the reign of King Kanishaka.
From the later half of the tenth century up to AD 1019, the district was included in the Shahi Kingdom of the Punjab and Jalandhar was an important city in the region.
In 1750 A.D Maharaja Ghamand Chandra of the Katoch dynasty was made the (first ever Rajput) Nizam of Jalandhar by the Durranis. Many Rajputs lived in and around the surrounding areas of Jalandhar before the partition in 1947. With the partition of the country, many like the Rawal Rajputs went to settle in the Pakistan side of the Punjab, whilst some went to other countries.