Geography of Barnala
Barnala, carved out of Sangrur in the year of 2006, is the 20th district of the Indian state of Punjab. It has Ludhiana to the north, Sangrur to the east and Mansa to the south while Bathinda and Moga lie to the west of this district. At the heart of it lies a historic town, also named Barnala. The town functions as the headquarters of the district.
Geographical Features of BarnalaHowever, before we look into the geography of this district, we should have a basic idea about the physical features of Punjab. It stretches from 29.30° North to 32.32° North latitude and from 73.55° East to 76.50° East longitude. While the soil is little arid towards the southwest and a range of undulating hills run along its north eastern border, the major part of the province lies in the Northern Indian Fertile Plains. Barnala is located in the Malwa region of this fertile plain.
Malwa Region and BarnalaAs we all know, Punjab is washed by five major rivers. They are Satluj, Beas, Ravi, Jhelum and Chenub. Based on the position of these rivers, Punjab can be subdivided into quite a few distinct regions. Among them, the area between Satluj and Beas is known as Doaba. The area around Satluj, Beas and Ravi in the central part of Punjab is known as Majha while the area south of Satluj is known as Malwa. As we have already said, Barnala is located in this Malwa region.
Soil Condition in BarnalaThe soil in the Malwa region has developed under a semi-arid condition. In Barnala particular, the soil is calcareous, has a good percentage of phosphorus and potash, but very little nitrogen. It is brown in color, sandy loam in texture and the fertility is medium to high. This type of soil is very good for growing crops such as wheat, rice, cotton, maize and pulses. Consequently, almost 83% of the land in the district is under cultivation. In fact, it can be safely said that the economy of Barnala town is based on the agricultural produce of its surrounding village.
Waterways in BarnalaThere is no major river in Barnala. However, the district is watered by two major canal systems – the Kotla Canal and the Bathinda Branch. Both these canals are branches of Sirhind canal. The later is one of the oldest canal systems in the Patiala-Sangrur-Barnala region. It was completed in 1886.
The Sirhind canal takes off from the left bank of River Satluj from the vicinity of Ropar and heads in southwest direction towards Dorah in Ludhiana Together with its branches, the canal is said to be 6,115 Km long and irrigates 7,00,000 hectares of land. It has five major branches; the Kotla Canal and Bathinda Branch being two of them. Each in turn subdivides to irrigate an expansive area and turn what was once a semi rid land into a fertile agricultural region.