Kharian Cantt: A Guide to Pakistan’s Largest Military Station

Kharian Cantt: A Guide to Pakistan's Largest Military Station

Located in the Gujrat district of Punjab, Kharian Cantt is one of the largest military stations in Pakistan. Established in the late 1950s, it has since become an important centre of military activity, training, and education in the country.

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Learn More provides a detailed overview of Kharian Cantt, including its history and the cities near this military cantonment.


Overview of Kharian Cantt


LocationKharian Cantt is located in the Gujrat district of Punjab province, Pakistan, approximately 130 kilometers northwest of Lahore.
PopulationAs of 2014, the population of Kharian Cantt was around 204,462.
GeographySituated on the Potohar Plateau, it is known for dry, hot summers and cold winters.
EconomyMainly supported by military activities, with a focus on defense installations and services.
EducationHosts several educational institutions including schools, colleges, and a medical college.
HealthcareFeatures a 700-bed teaching hospital, CMH Kharian, offering medical services to civilians and military personnel.
TransportationIt is connected by road via the GT Road and Lahore-Peshawar Motorway. It is also accessible by rail, with a railway station in Kharian.
AttractionsNearby attractions include historical sites like Rohtas Fort and Katas Raj Temple and natural features such as Banjosa Lake and Tilla Jogian mountain range.
AmenitiesOffers parks, shopping centers, restaurants, and sports facilities for residents and visitors.
GovernanceAdministered by Cantonment Board Kharian, ensuring security and managing local services.


Location of Kharian Cantt

The name “Kharian” is derived from the nearby town of the same name, located about 6 kilometres from the cantonment. Kharian Cantt is situated in the Potohar Plateau region, which is known for its dry, hot summers and cold winters.

The town is located almost midway between Lahore and Islamabad and is easily accessible by road and rail. It is about 144 km from Islamabad and 173 km from Lahore. The city is situated on GT Road, which is a major road that connects India and Afghanistan. The nearby cities and towns include Jhelum, Lalamusa, Sarai Alamgir, and Gujrat.


History of Kharian Cantt

The development of Kharian Cantonment began in late 1956, with the construction of roads, railway lines, fuel-storage tanks, a sewage system and a treatment plant for accommodating the first five thousand troops.

However, due to the Suez Crisis, the construction work slowed down in October-November 1956. By the end of 1957, the contractor had finished constructing over 350 buildings and had another two fiscal years’ worth of work pending to complete the facilities for the troops.

A multi-year project to construct facilities on a 4,000-acre area for the large army base at Kharian was initiated to accommodate 15,000 troops of the Pakistan Armored Division.

By the beginning of 1958, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) had constructed new facilities that could house 5,000 troops. The facilities for another 5,000 soldiers were projected to be completed in FY 1959. The development of Kharian Cantonment was completed successfully with the cooperation of USACE in 1959. 


Tourist Attractions


View of Katas Raj Temple


Kharian Cantt is located near several popular tourist attractions. One of the most notable landmarks is the Katas Raj Temple complex, which is located about 50 km away. The complex comprises several ancient temples and is considered one of the holiest sites for Hindus in Pakistan. 

The city of Lahore is also within driving distance of Kharian Cantt, and visitors can explore the city’s many historical sites, including the Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque.


Entrance and Transportation

The Kharian Cantonment is completely locked down for traffic except through the checkposts controlled by Military Police (M.P). All vehicles require a pass or permit to enter. A temporary receipt can be obtained by scanning the visitor’s ID card at e-gates. The military police officer may also ask for a valid driving licence.

Kharian Cantt is accessible by road on National Highway N-5 (known as GT road) and the main rail line. Not all express trains stop at the Kharian Cantt railway station; public and private buses are the main means of transport. 

The main railway line passes through Kharian (Parent City), thus providing efficient transportation service to the northern and southern parts of Pakistan. Electric shuttle buses also operate inside the cantonment but are limited. 




Roads in Kharian Cantt


Kharian Cantt covers an area of approximately 40 square kilometres, and is home to a wide range of military installations, including barracks, training facilities, and administrative buildings.

The cantonment is divided into several residential areas, and there are also schools, hospitals, mosques, and recreational facilities within the cantonment.


Parks and Gardens

Some of the most popular parks in the town include Model Park and Children’s Park. Model Park is a well-maintained public park that features several walking trails, a large pond, and several playgrounds. Children’s Park is a smaller park that is designed for young children, and features several rides and games.


Shopping and Dining

Kharian Cantt is home to several shopping centres and markets where visitors can find a variety of goods and products. It also features a number of restaurants and cafes that serve both local and international cuisines. Some of the most popular dining spots in the town include Pizza Hut and Cafe Nemo.


Residential Areas

Kharian Cantt has several residential areas, including the Abrar Colony, Sanaullah Colony, Ghazi Colony, Iftikhar Janjua Colony, Defence Colony, Shami Colony, North Colony, M-Block, Afzaal Colony, Gammon Colony, and Johar Town. 




Combined Military Hospital in Kharian


Kharian Cantonment has an “A” class standard, 700-bed teaching hospital known as CMH (Combined Military Hospital) Kharian. It is the second-largest CMH after Rawalpindi. 

The hospital offers the following: children’s complex, AFNS officer mess, emergency/trauma centre, eye specialist, critical care unit (CCU), cardiologist, dermatologist, specialists OPD, and several pharmacies – for both civil and non-civil army personnel.



There are many educational institutions in Kharian Cantt for basic, intermediate, and higher education. Some prominent schools and colleges include F.G Degree College for Men, F.G Degree College for Women, F.G Boys Public School, F.G Girls Public School, F.G. Boys High School, F.G Girls High School, C.M.H Kharian Medical College, Garrison Academy Kharian Cantt (GAK), Army Public School & College (APS&C), Beaconhouse School System, International School of Cordoba, Bahria Foundation College, Dar-e-Arqam School, and The City School. The famous Military College Jhelum is also located 15 km away from Kharian Cantt.


Nearby Cities

Following is a table of cities located near Kharian Cantt.


CityDistance from Kharian Cantt
Islamabad144 km
Lahore173 km
Lalamusa15.4 km
Sarai Alamgir24.9 km
Gujrat36.6 km


With its impressive infrastructure, diverse community, and rich history, Kharian Cantt is a prominent military station in Pakistan. Like Multan Cantonment, this Cantt is also famous in the country.

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