Jalandhar, previously known as Jullundur, was the capital of Trigarttas (people living in the "land between three rivers": Ravi, Beas and Sutlej) in the times of Mahabharata war. It is believed to be the oldest city and was ruled by the Hindus and the Mughals in succession. Today this city is a highly industrialized centre being India's foremost producer of world class sports equipments.
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.
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). 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.
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. 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.
Air: There is no airport in Jalandhar. The nearest airport is Raja Sansi airport in Amritsar, 80 km away.
Rail: The railway terminus at Jalandhar falls in the Delhi-Amritsar Railway Line. This route is mostly traversed by passenger trains and express trains that connect the city to the important cities like Kolkata, Mumbai, Jammu and Nagpur. Other than the express and the passenger trains, the city has regular local trains that arrive and depart from the railway terminus at Jalandhar.
Road: It is at a distance of 350 Kms from Delhi on Delhi-Amritsar Highway. There is a vast network of bus services of Punjab, Himachal & Delhi, Haryana, Pepsu, Chandigarh (160 km), U.P., Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan State Roadways, apart from private operators.
Jalandhar is one of the important districts in Punjab. It offers ample of options to shop, when it comes to the tourists. The city has both modern items and rich traditional items at display. Besides buying the usual urban stuffs, one can look out for the specialties of the region. Jalandhar is famous for leather items and thus has a wide array of leather goods, which one can conveniently find at almost any shop. Popularly known as the sports capital of India, it has an ever-growing sports goods industry as well.
Typical traditional items like phulkaris, jootis, parandis, durries and peedhis are widely available in most of the popular markets of Jalandhar. They are quite reasonable in price and are easily found. The most popular shops that sell traditional items include Oriental Crafts, Prince Glass Corner, Taj Handicrafts, Janta Textiles and Handicrafts, Loveleen Handicraft, Pacca Bagh and Jaina Crafts.Basketry and wood works are other items that one can shop for, in Jalandhar.
Other popular shopping items that can be found in Jalandhar include handloom items, kitchen utensils, quilts and blankets, textile, jewellery and furniture. The global mall culture has creeped into the Jalandhar market as well, just like any other part of the country. Ebony Store, Manbro and Sadar Bazar are some of the well-stocked shopping places in the city.