Chiniot has ancient origins,
with some scholars linking it to a town mentioned in Rig Veda. A
town called Channiwat is also mentioned by Al-Beruni. The first Mughal
Emperor Babur put a special note on this historical place in his book.
We find the town's name in the writings of Chinese historians as the
Chinese traders used the Chenab and Jhelum river routes for trade
purposes. The town housed one of the three ancient universities of
the Punjab (the other two being at Ajodhan and Taxila). The area of
Chiniot and the waves of Chenab have seen ages and civilizations.
The ancient mounds and ruins in the surroundings of Chiniot suggest
the oldest settlements of Aryans, Buddhists, Greeks and the
Hindu-Muslim periods spread over hundreds of years. Greek Age (328
BC) objects like toys, broken earthenware, domestic utensils and
coins were also discovered In 1999 from the hills near Chiniot.
A pictographic-writing found carved
on these hills has close resemblance with the pictographic-writings
found at Harappa and Moenjodaro sites. Many a times the city was
built and ruined by various invaders and warriors. The first
authentic source of history dates back to 326 BC when Alexander army
conquered the region of Chiniot which was taken over by Chandar Gupt
Maurya two years later who ruled over the place till 30 BC. Others
who ruled Chiniot were Raja Chach (712 AD), Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi
(1010 AD), Mehmood Ghauri (1206 AD), Slave Dynasty (1218 AD), Zaheer-u-Din
Babar (1528-1540 AD), Sher Shah Suri and Jahangir (1605 -1627 AD).
Chiniot was also conquered by Gandha Singh. and eventually Ranjit
Singh took over Chiniot in 1805, and thereafter in 1849 the British
took control of the city.
Muhammad Bin Qasim was the first
one who raised the flag of Islam in this area in 712 AD. However,
the most prosperous days of Chiniot were during the reign of Emperor
Shah Jahan, and the elegant Shahi Mosque was built during this