Naming Campbellpur — Myth and Reality

Dr. Abdus Salam [email protected]

District Attock

The Attock District with its headquarters at Campbellpur came into existence in April 1904. (1) Talagang Tahsil was taken from Jhelum District, and the other tehsils from Rawalpindi District. But its headquarters were actually shifted to  Campbellpur from Rawalpindi in  March 1906.  Distt. HQ never remained at Attock Fort.

List of Commanders-in-Chief British India (2)


Sir Napier C-in-C India 1849

Field Marshal

Sir William Gomm C-in-C India 1851

Major General

George Anson C-in-C India 1856

General Collin Campbell C-in-C India from 1857 to 1861. General Campbell died in 1863. So, it was a bit hard for him to lay foundation stone of Campbellpur in 1908. Neither Campbellpur was named after General Collin Campbell.

Gen Kitchener was C-in-C India from 1902 to 1909

Naming Theories

Naming Theory Number One:

  1-Campbellpur was named after General Campbell (3)

  2- Sir Campbell laid the foundation stone of Campbellpur in 1908(2)

Naming Theory Number Two:

Bajaur was the country of Bajaswa in 1600 B.C. Bajaswa obtained possessions about the Indus. He had five sons.

Kampila, the youngest son, founded its capital, named Kampilnagara at the site of village Kamilpur near Attock. There is now the British cantonment called Campbellpur (4) Naming Theory Number Three:

Campbellpur was named after existing / adjacent village Kamilpur Syedan. (5, 6, 7, 8)

Explanations and Comments

1- Punjab was annexed in 1849. The administration report of 1951 mentioned Campbellpur in the English record / history books for the first time.  It appears like this.

The Staff of Chaplains remains 17 for the whole Territory. But this Staff is hardly sufficient now that additional stations for European troops are created.

A Chaplain will be needed for Attock and Campbellpur (9)


Campbellpur has been mentioned in the record first time in 1851. Campbell was not Commander in chief at that time. He became C-in-C in 1857

In 1851 Campbellpur was a non-entity. It did not deserve a brand-new name. Therefore, British simply anglicized the existing name

2- Sir Sydney Cotton states

Campbellpur is one of the healthiest places in India. It is five miles from the ferry over the Indus at Neelab (10)

3- Government in 1857 sanctioned the erection of temporary barracks at Campbellpur within twelve miles of the fort of Attock. The kutcha barracks of an improved construction built by Lieutenant Taylor of the Bengal Engineers at Campbellpur at the cost of 3000 Rs for 50 European soldiers are sufficiently good for any troops (11)

 During 1858 HM 98th Regiment arrived from England and was quartered in the new barracks at Campbellpur in the enjoyment of health

4-In 1859 George Dodd stated–to obtain a healthy military station west (according to Dr Abdus Salam —to be correct east) of the Indus the brigadier in command laid the foundation of Campbellpur a station named in honor of the commander in chief. (3)

5- In 1863 a strong reserve was placed at Rawal Pindi and Campbellpur and this

force was to be made more effective as a support to Peshawar as soon as a bridge at Attock completed (12)

6- In 1883 Campbellpur was garrisoned by elephant battery and a field battery. The inhabitant number was 1467 (13)

7- An Inquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan stated that Kampila founded its capital, named Kampilnagara   at the site of village Kamilpur near Attock (4). There is now the British cantonment called Campbellpur (according to Dr Abdus Salam this is highly unlikely reason)

8–Campbellpur {Kamilpur) is a cantonment and head-quarters of Attock District. It is connected by an unmetalled road, 11 miles long, with the GT road. Population (1901), 3,036.

@It takes its name from Kamilpur, a small adjacent village@ (5, 6) (according to Dr Abdus Salam this seems to be the official and most correct version)

9- In 1968 Benjamin Walker categorically refuted the misconception by saying–

@Campbellpur does not trace to anyone named Campbell (14). It is the English pronunciation of the local village of Kamilpur Syedan.

15- According to   Cantt Board Attock website (15) … Attock Cantonment was earlier called Campbellpur. It was named after the adjacent village Kamal Pur. It is a misconception that it is named after Sir Colin Campbell


کا مل پور سید اں میں 1857میں.چھاؤنی بنی۔ انگر يز وں نے اپنی آ سا نی کے لئے کا مل پور کو کیمبل پور بنا دیا کیمبل پور کا کوئی تعلق سر کیمبل سے نہیں جس طرح ہم نے اپنی آ سا نی کےلئے(لنٹرن-)کو لا لٹین بنا دیا ،لا لٹین کا کو ئی تعلق مستر ی لا ل دین سے نہیں ہے۔


1- Punjab District Gazetteers 1932 -‎- Pt 1 – P 288


3-The history of the Indian revolt by George Dodd    London, Edinburgh 1859

4– An Inquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan:  Henry Walter Bellew (London,1891) p–70

5- Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 9, p. 298.Oxford, Clarendon Press, [1909]

6- Imperial Gazetteer

Of India —Provincial Series (Punjab Vol. II) —1908

7-. Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism-Benjamin Walker – 1968

8-Cantonment Board Attock website 2021

9-   General Report of the Administration of the Punjab for the Years 1849, 50 &51 –

Chronicle Press Lahore 1854

10-   Nine Years on the North-west Frontier of India from 1854 to 1863 by Sir Sydney Cotton

11- History of MES of Pakistan — Engineer in Chief Branch GHQ Rawalpindi 1991

12-Accounts and Papers of the House of Commons – Page 452 Great Britain Parliament. House of     Commons – 1863 –

13-gazetteer of the Gujrat district – P 145—-1883 –

14-    Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism-Benjamin Walker – 1968

15-Cantonment Board Attock website 2021  

+ posts

Dr. Abdus Salam -
([email protected])


Next Post

Muhammad Tayyab Miladi, Son Of Allama Rafaqat Haqqani, Became A Gold Medalist

Tue Mar 1 , 2022
Religious education is not an obstacle to worldly education
Muhammad Tayyab Miladi, Son Of Allama Rafaqat Haqqani, Became A Gold Medalist

You May Like