Pathankot is an ancient city and has historical significance. It was ruled by many rulers. Till 1781, Pathankot was ruled by a Muslim descendant of Raja Sayed Khan of Nupur State. From the end of 17th century, this region was the part of the princely state – Nurpur and was ruled by the Rajputs. Nurpur state was established by Rana Bhet, a Taur Rajput of Delhi, who is well-known as Jatpal. Jatpal established his dynasty at Pathankot and took the control of whole country in the foot of the hills. In the end of 17th century, he shifted his capital to Nurpur. In the great epic, Mahabharata, Pathankot is noted as Audumbar and in the ancient book of Ain-i-Akbari, it was noted as ‘Pargana Headquarter’. According to Sikh history, it is believed that, Pathankot was established by the first Sikh Guru – Guru Nanak Dev Ji. During the Medieval period, when the Ghilzai tribe of Pathan in Afghanistan came into power – the Pathan tribes of Afghanistan – Marwat, khattak, yusufzai and other Pathans moved to India. They settled in the places like Pathankot and Hoshiarpur. Hence the city got its name as Pathankot. According to the famous historian – Cunnigham the name of Pathankot originated from the word ‘Pathan’. Rajput Rulers – During 17-18th century this region was ruled by Rajput rulers. Pathankot is world famous for its Military station – Mammon Cantt. It is the biggest Military base in Asia.
State limits in ancient times :- Nurpur state in ancient times included Pathankot, Shahpur and Kandi and a large tract on the plains, in addition to the whole of the present Nurpur Tahsil, except the tappa of Gango. A small tract to the west of the Ravi, called Lakhanpur, now in Jammu, was also within the state in later times. (District Gazetteer, Kangra District 1924-1925) The state was bounded on the north by Chamba, on the east by Kangra and Gular, on the south by the Punjab plains, and on the west by the Ravi. The original capital and nucleus was Pathankot, of which the name in Mughal times was Paithan, an abbreviation of Pratishthana, meaning, “the firmly established place.” (History of Punjab Hill States – J Hutchison and J. PH. Vogel) Sir A. Cunningham was at first inclined to regard it as “a genuine Hindu word derived from pathan, meaning ‘road’ as if intended to describe the first meeting of the roads which there takes place” This derivation, however, he afterwards abandoned in favour of Pratishthana, of which the abbreviated name, Paithan, is found both in the Aini-i-Akbari and Badshahnamah. “I can find no trace of the name in the historians of Alexander, but the quotations which I have given from Varahamihira and the Puranas show that the name was well known before the Muhammdan invasions. (Ancient India – Rapson)