Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cow and the City

When I was in school, I learnt that there is a city in between Lahore and Multan known as Montgomery (founded in 1865 and named for Sir Robert Montgomery, then lieutenant governor of the Punjab)  – I also learnt that the ruins of an ancient city Harappa, dated 3000-5000 BC also lay near Montgomery. And like a good student, I remembered it by heart.  Then many years later in 1966, its name was changed to Sahiwal – and again I registered the new name. But it was years later when I was shocked to know of my ignorance about Sahiwal when I was adding this city in my website on Pakistan. And I want to share it with all those who still do not know much about Sahiwal.

Sahiwal is the name of a cow which is famous for its milk giving capacity and is native to the area – and hence, the city takes its name from its proud possession.

The Sahiwal breed was so special that it was  taken to Australia in the early 1950s, where it was initially selected as a dual-purpose breed. It played a valuable role in the development of the two Australian tropical dairy breeds, the Australian Milking Zebu and the Australian Fresian Sahiwal. Sahiwals are now predominately used in Australia for beef production, as crossing high grade Sahiwal sires with Bos taurus animals produced a carcass of lean quality with desirable fat cover. Australians have so much affection for this special cow that in 2002 a cargo ship previously known as "Limousin Express" was renamed as the "Sahiwal Express". 

Left: Sahiwal Express - Right: "Sahiwal" 

I am much wiser now – so should be all readers who didn’t know about it before reading this blog of mine.