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Gurdaspur district is a district in the Majha region of the state of Punjab, India. Gurdaspur is the district headquarters. It is bordered internationally by the Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab and the districts of Amritsar, Pathankot, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur. Two important rivers, Beas and Ravi, pass through the district. The Mughal emperor Akbar is said to have been enthroned in a garden near Kalanaur, a historically important town in the district. The district is situated at the foothills of the Himalayas.
As of 2011, it is the third most populous district in Punjab (out of 22), after Ludhiana and Amritsar. Batala is the largest city with 31% of the district's population.
This area was used as a base by Banda Singh Bahadur to attack the area up to Lahore. The Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah organized an expedition against him in 1711, but only with temporary effect. Banda Singh Bahadur fought his last battle against the Mughals at Gurdas Nangal and was captured.
On May 17, 1746, the Chhota Ghallughara (minor Sikh genocide) took place. Between 10,000 and 15,000 Sikhs died in a single day in the battle of Kahnuwan, near Gurdaspur. Under Yahiya Khan's rule of Lahore, Lakhpat Rai (Finance Minister) and Shah Navaz Khan were assigned to avenge the murder of Lakhpat Rai's brother Jaspat Rai. An official decree was issued to exterminate the Sikhs.
Around 1633 AD, during the reign of Shah Jahan, the Badshahi Canal was built to transport water to the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. Maharaja Ranjit Singh built the Hansali Canal to transport water to the Golden Temple tank.

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