SIR GANGA RAM: A Brilliant Man of Punjab

Ranpreet Singh Bal ji has sent this exclusive post for Lahore Nama. I am most excited about the fact that Lahore Nama is inviting contributions and increasing readership. Raza Rumi

Ganga Ram was an engineer who designed majestic buildings of Lahore, Amritsar, Patiala and other cities in joint India. He had his early schooling from Amritsar.
sir_ganga_ram
This fact has been highlighted in his biography “ Sir Ganga Ram” A man for all seasons, authored by Dr. F.M. Bhatti and reprinted by Sir Ganga Ram heritage foundation Lahore.

While Sir Ganga Ram is still an icon for the residents of Lahore where he got higher education and constructed beautiful structures there.

Ganga Ram was born in 1851 in Mangtanwala about forty miles from Lahore and fourteen miles from Nankana Sahib, his father who was Assistant Sub inspector at a Police station later moved to Amritsar.

He was sent to nearby private school near Darbar Sahib in Amritsar. Sir Ganga Ram mastered in calligraphy and Persian. He passed his matriculation from Government High School and joined the Government College Lahore in 1869.

Afterwards he obtained a scholarship to the Thompson Engineering College Roorki in 1871, where he passed with the Gold medal in 1873.

moran-sarkarHe was appointed Assistant Engineer and called in Delhi to help in the building of Imperial Assembly.

Impressed by his work Lord Ripon sent him to Bradford, UK to get further training for two years in water works and drainage system.

He was a promising agriculturist too. He leased thousands of acres of barren land in Montgomery and Lyallpur districts from Punjab Government and by using engineering skills and modern irrigation methods turned the barren land into fertile fields.

He designed and built General Post office, Lahore Museum, Government College, Aitchison College, Mayo Hospital, Ganga Ram Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram High School (now Lahore College for Women) He also constructed Model Town one of the best localities in Lahore.

He built Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagen School and Renala Khurd Power House with his own money.

moran-sarkar-001Sir Ganga Ram retired in 1903. He died in London on July 10, 1927. His body was cremated and ashes were brought to India, a portion of his ashes were immersed in river Ganga and the rest buried in Lahore on the banks of Ravi.

The great Urdu writer Saadat Hassan Manto who lived in Amritsar sometime before partition, wrote an event about Sir Ganga Ram. In the riots of 1947 a group of mob attacked the statue of Sir Ganga Ram, by throwing stones. When the police came some people were injured in the clash and the leader of the group was taken to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. When he recovered and came to his senses he saw a big picture of Sir Ganga Ram hanging in front of him in the ward.

Sir Ganga Ram earned millions, most of which he gave to charity.

Sir Ganga Ram Heritage Foundation Lahore tries to enlighten the next generation about the contribution of great sons of Punjab by highlighting their work.

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41 responses to “SIR GANGA RAM: A Brilliant Man of Punjab

  1. To read more about the developments in Pakistan and the region in general go to http://www.real-politique.blogspot.com

  2. Excellent post and this is a great platform also. Although I have heard of the Ganga Ram Hospital many a times, I never knew who Ganga Ram was *sheepish*.

  3. Naeem Ahmed Bajwa

    I should point out that some of the architectural landmarks of Lahore mentioned in this article are from the drawing boards of Bhai Ram Singh. Also It will be ungratefull if we do not remember the contribution of Khemchand in establishing Model Town.

    We owe alot to these noble souls.

    As a expression of our gratutude we should rename Model Town park as Khemchand park.
    Similarlry some other parks and roads could be named after Sir Ganga Ram and Bhai Ram Singh

  4. I fully agree with you Mr. Bajwa, it is a high time that we need to recognize and give due credit to the contribution of Bhai Ram Singh, Sir Ganga Ram, Khem Chand and many others who still remain unsung.

  5. Feels very proud on people like Sir Ganga Ram, Bhai Ram Singh,Khem chand,Bulle shah>

  6. manoj kumar sharma

    Sir Ganga Ram, a philanthropist to the core. Its a nice article on this great son of the soil. I knew about Sir Ganga Ram hospital New Delhi, stayed at Ganga Hostel , IIT Delhi but did not know much about him. Then later surprised to hear about Sir Ganga Ram hospital at Lahore after suicide attack there.Today saw a book titled on him Harvest from Desert by BPL Bedi.Decided to explore him on net chanced to see this Lahorenama site. A heart warming experience in days of violence & bloodbath. There is so much common heritage we share to celebrate. May be some day we reach common platform like European Union etc. and once again share growth and prosperity. Lahore has the unique distinction of cultural heritage of Punjab. May be some day I can visit Lahore see the cultural capital of Punjab.
    My warm regards & good wishes.
    M.K.Sharma, Delhi

    • As a Lahori, I thank you for having such nice sentiments about Lahore. I second you that we have so much common heritage to share and celebrate and think people of both sides are realizing it. Regards ..

    • Manoj I appreciate your ideas and I personally invite you to visit Lahore and be my guest. I would love to share all our cultural heritage with you. Especially the historical areas. You can contact me any time:

      Sundaram@gawab.com

  7. dr muhammad saeed

    I really surprised to know that many well known buildings in Lahore were built by this Great man. still very strong and beautiful , and represents the Lahore proudly.No doubt this was a great job for lahore cultural heritage . school and hospitals built by Sir Ganga Ram serving the poor peoples and spreading the knowledge to the poor .

  8. Im from Lahore, about 1 km from sir Ganga ram hospital, its very sad people of Lahore they dont know Much about This great man.

  9. Well we share same root in fact we are brothers but politics and religion cut us in two peices.May god bless us with good brain we again become one with no religion and political boundry. i am in australia an indian and like to thanks one lahori khurram ali and his wife Mrs Marrium Rana ali these nice soul now working inlahore devlopment authority then studing in australia helped me whole heartly. i miss them and never got oppotunity to thanks them but i always pray for them and want to see him once before i die and say them thanks.

  10. Dear Dr. Panwar.

    In fact it was really nic eto know that you still rememebers our name and we are in good books – sorry at that time of life we couldnt do much – but there is no need tto say thank you – you are most welcome – I liked your company – life is like that we should move with good memories – I really appreciate your concern and will pray for your future -

  11. iam from chak 591gb gangapur jaranwala regarding horse train i need faimly contact off sir gangaram plz

  12. Sarfraz M. Khan

    Sir Ganga Ram has left behind a legacy of hard work,unbelievable contribution for the uplift of all faiths through his several charitable works , singlehandedly creating educational institutions in Lahore including Hailey college of commerce, Lady McLagen School, A school on the property now called Lahore College for Women, and many more. Ganga Ram Hospital need not be mentioned because everone knows this renowned institution which incidentally was a Free Hospital. To sustain all these institutions he formed the Ganga Ram Trust and gifted it with lacs of Rupees worthof Property (Value of Rupee of the early 1920s). I believe the building on the Mall( next to the present new State Bank Building) where Fazal Din , PECO etc, are located is one of the many invaluable properties gifted by him to sustain the several charitable institutions he a created. I am overwhelmed to see his greatness all over Lahore and was really happy to read a book reprinted by NCA Lahore,a must for all Lahories.
    I pray for his soul.

  13. While writitng my weekly column for daily express which appears every wednesday I passed by NCA and consulted some books and friends on the memorable architectural heritage left by great Sir Ganga Ram for Lahorites. What a rich clusture of grand architectural monuments such as NCA, Lahore Museum, Punjab University, Aitchison College, Railway Station, GPO and Ganga Ram Hospital. How can one forget the tallented civil engineer agriculturalist and philanthropist.

  14. can any one please let me know the location of sir ganga ram’s samdhi its present state and if possible recent pictures

  15. in village sir gangaram jaranwala faisalabad only horse train in world again started after 20 years it was aranged by sir gangaram 100 years backe for the peoples off so many villages

  16. it is through Prof. Yousaf Irfan i came to know about Sir Ganga Ram Heritage Foundation and to learn more about the man and his mission i searched on google and here i read your post on Lahorenama !

    thanks, it’s a nice feeling and i would like to convey my thanks for prof Irfan through this post.

    Neerav Patel

    5 April, 2010

    Ahmedabad, India.

  17. Sir Ganga Ram is really a very respetful name, especially for the city of Lahore. He deserves a great respect and we should do more to commemorate his contributions for the welfare of common man.

  18. hello guys please help me to find out family back ground of sir ganga ram its realy important or you may can call me on my cell 923018482001

  19. Pingback: Hum Log » SIR GANGA RAM: A Brilliant Man of Punjab

  20. i like his personality

  21. i like his personality ……….. he was genious person

  22. In recognation of his services It is proposed that the name of MANGTANWALA may be renamed as GANGA RAM CITY

  23. He was great man…….

  24. Ghias uddin Babar

    Yes, I knew the contributions of this great man Sir Ganga Ram, but not in as much detail. My grandmother remained admitted in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital Lahore for about three months before her death in 1965. Then my uncle remained admitted there before his death in 2005. After reading about the sad news of the passing away of Legendary Cricketer Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi in fact raised my curiosity to learn more about this brilliant man of the soil Sir Ganga Ram. So I put his name in Google and learn so many fascinating stories and saintly contributions of this angel of a man that as a mark of respect and tribute there were tears in my eyes. That look at his level of service to the mankind. There is a humble suggestion that there are many living example only in and around Lahore (my hometown) where memorable contributions were made irrespective of caste or creed, eg Gulab Devi Hospital(TB hosp) and Jan ki Devi Hospital (Maternity hosp). These are great heritage. Sure works of Sir Ganga Ram are a great heritage and would serve as beacon of light, hope and living example for any philanthropist round the world in general and in sub continent in particular. Well done Sir. God bless you. You did great things. Any one will be proud of you from any religion or belief.

  25. Kindlly send me the detail sof renala khurd power station details that was constructed in 1925

  26. Jithe gayian bedian otthe gaye mallah (The boats have gone where the Boatmen have gone).. Lahore’s loss was certainly Delhi’s gain. The descendants of Sir Ganga Ram left for Delhi like thousands of other talented Lahoris and shaped Delhi as it looks today.

  27. He was really a great mat not in punjab but in the world.

  28. He was really a great man not in punjab but in the world

  29. REALLY HE WAS GREAT MAN–

  30. I m living in renala khurd,i m doing bsc,and i really liked the power house built by sir Ganga Ram,i prayed for him,and i also prayed that may Allah give our society like such optimistic personalities,bcz if our society will possess like such positive people,our next generation will also be safe.
    But now a days there is a great space of positive people,every body wants to be millioner wit cruption,and no any body want to serve the society,which i think is very bad culture.
    May AllAH give us the personalities like sir ganga ram.

  31. We as a student always follow the teachings and works of these great men like sir ganaga ram,quaid e azam,sir dr,allama iqbal,and all heros of our histry,so that we can develop a positive and fruitfull society for our future generation and also for ourself.

  32. This is great to learn about this Gentleman, who has image biigger than life.would definitely try to read more upon him.
    With regards
    Gagan

  33. Name of Sir Ganga Ram will remain live till his consturctions and welfare institutions are on the earth of Lahore and other cities. I pray for him. Zindabad Ganga Ram Jee.

  34. Narinderpaul Singh

    No doubt Sir Ganga Ram was a great son of Punjab.But the people of east Punjab know nothing about this great son of soil.The buildings he made must be protected from the blind modernization of this region.Amritsar is loosing all its historical past very fast but I always pray to God for the protection of our cultural center, Lahore.

  35. Aaah Lahore ……….. I want to visit. I wanto to hv a friend in Lahore.

    • Definitely a great and a noble man his legacy lives even today and his services through his trust n foundation serves people irrespective of there origin and status. Today I went to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital at Delhi and got impressed by the type of service it randered specially for the underprivileged seeked for information online. this particular blog is so motivating. keep aside the noble man the discussion and ideas shared here is also beautiful. I did love to see Lahore to understand who I am. Love u all. true hero. No aids no donations self sustaining foundation real legend.

  36. I heard the beauty of City Lahore in old Punjabi songs as well from my late father. Great city of Asia, contribution of Sir Ganga Ram is marvelous
    .

  37. I like the article because the late Sir Ganga Ram was a philanthropist who showed the same in his act “instead of words”. He was really a great man but it is pain ful thing that he was not a Muslim.

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