Gurdaspur was founded by Guriya Ji in the beginning of 17th century. On his name, this city was named as Gurdaspur. He bought land for Gurdaspur from Jats of Sangi Gotra. It is also established that some people used to live in huts in the old city. Guriya Ji a Sanwal Brahmin of Kaushal Gotra belonged to a village Paniar situated 5 miles north of Gurdaspur. The ancestors of Guriya Ji came from Ayodhaya long time ago and settled in Paniar. Guriya Ji had two sons Sh.Nawal Rai and Sh.Pala Ji. The descendants of Nawal Rai settled in Gurdaspur Nawal Rai’s son Baba Deep Chand was a contemporary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It is believed that Guru Gobind Singh Ji gave the title of Ganj Bakhsh (Owner Of Treasure) to Baba Deep Chand. The descendants of Baba Deep Chand are known as Mahants.
Little is known about the ancient history of the district except a few antiquities like the rock temples at Mukheshwar Gurdaspur along with its neighbouring districts was the same of the explicits of Alexander, who came up to River Beas in his grand design of world conquest. He faught a grim battle with the Kathaians at Sangala which is located near Fatehgarh in Gurdaspur.
From the latter half of the 10th century up to 1919 A.D this district was ruled by the Shahi dynasty under Jayapal and Anandpal. Kalanaur in this district was the most important town during the period of Delhi Emperor from 14th to 16 th century it wastwice attacked by Jasrath Khokhar, once after his un successful assault on Lahore in 1422 and again in 1428 when Malik Sikander marched to relieve the place and defeated Jasrath It was have that Akbar was installed by Bairam Khan on a throne on Feb 1556. The messonary, plat form which still exists about a kilometre and a half to the east of the town is the actual spot upon which his installation took place.
In the decline and fall of the Mughal supermacy and the rise of the Sikh power this district saw, its most stiring scenes. Some of the sikh Gurus have been closely associated with the district. Guru Nanak, born in 1469 in the Lahore district, married in 1485 with Sulkhani, daughter of Mool Chand, a Khatri of Pakhoke (Dera Baba Nanak) in the Batala Tehsil. There is still a wall known as Jhoolana Mahal which swings in Gurdaspur. The Sikh Guru Hargobind refounded Shri Hargobindpur which had been formerly known by the name of Rahila. Banda Bahadur, the disciple of Guru Gobind Singh used this district as a base to raid the country upto Lahore, the emperor Bahadur Shah conducted an expedition against him in 1711 but with only temporary effect. Banda Bahadar fought his last battle with the Mughal at Gurdas Nangal in the district and was captured. The history of the district then degenerates into an account of their restruggles of the rival Ramgarhia and Kanhaya Misals for supermacy in this part of the Doab, the power of the former was broken in 1808 and of the latter in 1811 by
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who thus assumed way over the whole district. Dinanagar, with its pleasant mango gardens and running canal was a favourite summer residence of the lion of the Punjab, who when not elsewhere engaged used spent here the two hot weather months of May and June.
During partition of India in 1947 the future of Gurdaspur could not be decided for many days. As majority of population of this district was Muslim. REDCLIFF Awards of Boundary transferred only Shakargarh Tehsil Of Gurdaspur district to Pakistan, and the rest of the district was transferred to India. Muslim population of the district migrated to Pakistan and refugees, the Hindus and the Sikhs of Sialkot and Tehsil Shakargarh migrated to Gurdaspur after crossing the Ravi bridge. They settled and spread in Gurdaspur district.