Ludhiana gets its name from the Lodhi Dynasty, which is believed to have founded the city in the year 1480. During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Ludhiana became an important British cantonment. Initially, in 1805, Maharaja Ranjit Singh had occupied Ludhiana. However, in 1809, the British decided to curb his advance eastwards and sent troops to confront him. Ranjit Singh was forced to sign the treaty of 'perpetual friendship' with the British, which confined his activities to the right bank of the Sutlej. British troops were permanently stationed in Ludhiana and the Cis-Sutlej states came under British protection.
Many leaders of the Indian freedom movement came from Ludhiana. Prominent among them were Lala Lajpat Rai, Sardar Kartar Singh Saraba, Baba Santa Singh and Maulana Habibur Rehman. Ludhiana has contributed five chief ministers, namely Bhim Sen Snahan, Justice Gurnam Singh, Gian Singh Rarewala, Lachaman Singh Gill and Beant Singh.
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