at present the Sub-divisional Headquarters of Chiniot
Tehsil of Jhang District in Faisalabad Division
of the Punjab. According to the older and classical
District Gazetteer of Jhang "the surface of
the district presents three levels on the extreme
west the high sand dunes of the Thal, in the centre
the two low-lying river valleys and on the extreme
east a portion of the Sandal Bar".
Chiniot is situated on the
left bank of the river Chenab. It is the richest
jewel set in one of its most picturesque valleys.
It stands on a rock related to an outcrop of rocks
barely two miles away where the Chenab pierces its
way through and in the process splits up into two
giving rise to an island of unsurpassed beauty and
grandeur. A grove of date palms provides cool shade.
To view the rising sun from any of the surrounding
rocks is an unforgettable experience.
On the hill of the river bank
is a temple said to have built by Maharaja Gulab
Sing of Kashmir. The most conspicuous building in
the town is the pillars constructed of sang-i-larzan
are exceptionally beautiful.
The origins of the town might
go back to remote antiquity. But, unfortunately,
no full-fledged archaeological excavations have
ever been undertaken. It would, therefore, be fairly
safe to assume that Chiniot may have been the cradle
of some ancient civilisation under a Sanskrit name
or at least formed part of it. The name Chiniot
is a corruption of the name Chandan, a king's daughter
who used to hunt in men's clothing while out hunting,
she saw the site of Chiniot and was so impressed
that she ordered a town to be built there. A reference
in Rig-Veda to a place is constructed by some scholars
as implying the town now known as Chiniot. Channiwat
is said to have been mentioned in Ramayan and subsequently
by Alberuni in his Kitab-ul-Hind.
Channiwat, popularly known
as Ajhan, housed one of the three ancient Universities
in the Punjab, the other two being at Ajodhan and
Taxila. Professor Lakshami Narain is credited with
the theory that the Ajhan University was situated
among the rocks on the bank of the River Chenab