Beautiful Punjab

 

INTRODUCTION

Punjab is the province of Pakistan, which is most populous of all provinces and comprises 56% total population of country. Punjab is bounded Kashmir to the north east, Rajasthan and Indian Punjab to east, Sindh to the West, Balochistan to the South West and Khyber Pakhtounkhwa to the West. The word Punjab is combination of two Indo-Aryan words Panj means five and Ab means water, hence Punjab thus land of five Rivers namely, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. These all rivers end up in Panjnad and finally into Arabian Sea.

Historically, the Punjab remained the gateway to Indian subcontinent for invaders like Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Scythians, Turks and Afghans. Its legacy is a unique culture that combines Zoroastrian, Hindu, Persian and Buddhist, Central Asian, Afghan, Sikhs and British elements.

During Mahabharata times Punjab was known as Panchanda. For more than 4000 years Punjab remained under Indus valley civilization. The main site of civilization was Harrapa. Taksh, the son of Bharat founded Taxila and Taxila reputed house of oldest university in the world. During Manrya Empire Taxila was the center of learning and intellectual dissension.

LANGUAGE

Punjabi is a Ind o-aryan language. According to Ethnologist 2005 estimate, Punjabi language is the 12th most widely spoken language in the world. In Punjab of Pakistan language is strongly retaining on Persian and Arabic vocabulary through Urdu and Indian relying on Sanskrit vocabulary through Hindi.

Punjabi emerged as an independent language in the 11th century. Muslim sufi, sikh and Hindu writers composed many works in Punjabi during the period of 1600-1850. The linguist George Abraham in his book used the word Punjabi to refer to several languages spoken in the Punjab. The term western Punjabi covered dialects spoken to the west of Montgomery and Gujranwala while eastern Punjabi referred to what is now simply called Punjabi.

MAJOR PUNJABI DIALECTS

MAGHI

It is spoken in Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat and some parts of Jhelum.

JHANGOCHI OR RACHNAVI

It is oldest spoken from Khanewal and Jhang at both ends of Ravi and Chenab to Gujranwala districts than goes down to Bahawalnagar and Chistian.

SHAHPURI

It is spoken by the people of District Sargodha including Khushab, Jhang, Mianwali, Attock, Parts of Faisalabad, Parts of Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghani Khan, Bhawalnagar, Chakwal and Mandi Bahauddin districts.

POTOWARI

It is spoken by the people of Muzaffarabad, Jhelum, Gujar Khan, Chakwal and Ralpindi.

HINDKO

It is spoken in North West Punjab and KPK.

CULTURE

Punjab remains the center of civilization.It remains under the Indus valley civilization for more 4000 years. The main city of Indus civilization was Harrapa. The ruins of Harrapa gives picture of advanced urban culture that remain for about 800 years ago. Taxila another land mark for learning arts and crafts.
Calligraphic inscriptions from the Koran decorates mosques and mausoleums in Punjab. The inscriptions on bricks and tiles of the mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam are outstanding. The tile work of Emperor Shah Jahan is of richer and more elaborate nature. Pictured wall Lahore Fort is the last line in the tile work.
The culture of Punjab has basic and strong routes in Sufism. Sufi saints spread Islam by preaching and by living in Islamic way. Follower arrange festivals and fairs to pay tribute them and these fairs and festivals reflect entire range of its folk life and cultural traditions. These fairs held at shrine of sufi saints and known as Urs and held on the death anniversary of the saints.

National Horse and Cattle show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions and live stocks competition are held. Punjabi people also celebrate seasonal and harvest festivals which include Lohri, Basant, Baisakhi and Teej.
The crafts in the Punjab are of two types. Rural include cotton, textile, basketry, embroidery etc and Royal include tile and wood works skills, ivory, silver and gold work Naqqashi and architectural crafts. Hand knotted carpets of fine quality are made in Punjab since Mughals time.

LITERATURE

Punjabi literature is written in Punjabi language and Punjabi is written different ways of scripts, Shah Mukhi, the Gurmukhi are the most commonly used.
The earliest Punjabi literature is found in fragments, which is spiritual and mystical. Punjabi literary, popularly seen with Fariduddin Gaj Shakar whose poetry was complied after his death.
Punjabi sufi poetry developed under Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Shah Sharaf, Ali Haider and Bulleh Shah.
The work of Zaman and Randhawa treats the rediscovery of Punjabi identity and language. Punjabi fiction in modern times has explored themes in modernist and post modernist literature. Punjabi diaspora literature has developed through writers in united kingdom, Canada, Australia. Since the turn of the century the diaspora literature has increased as has finniest literature. There has also been increase in dalit literature.

GEOGRAPHY

Punjab is the 2nd largest province of Pakistan about 205,344 sq km and is located at the North West edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The province is mainly fertile region along the river valley while deserts are present with Indian border along with Rajasthan and the Suleiman Range. The Indus River and its main tributaries traverses the Punjab from North to South.

CLIMATE

Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. The monsoon season start from May, but since the early 1970s the weather pattern has been irregular. June and July are mostly hot, in this temperature varies from 46 C to 51 C. In August hot weather, followed by rainy season, which bring relief. The cool weather does not come until late October.

Climatically, Punjab has three major seasons;

Hot weather (April to June) temperature rises as high as 118F.

Rainy season (July to September) Average rainfall ranges between 96 mm Sub Mountains and 46 mm in plain.

Mid weather (October to March) temperature goes down as low as 40F.

DEMOGRAPHICS AND SOCIETY

According to 2010 census, the population of province is round about 813,30,531 approximately half of the population of the country. The major language is Punjabi written in Shahmukhi script. Punjabi is the provincial language of Pakistan, it is not an official language. Punjabis are further grouped comprising different tribes, clans and communities. Important clans (Qaum) include Aheers, Arians, Awans, Dogars, Gakharr, Gujjars, Jats, Kambohs, Khokhars, Mughals, Rajputs, Rawals, Sheikhs and Syeds.

In addition to Punjabis, the Siraiki, Hindkowans, Kashmiris, Sindhis, Pashtuns, Bloch and Muhajirs also part of province.
As per census of Pakistan 1998, Punjabis (75.23%),Sariaki (17.36%), Urdu (4.51%), Pashtos (1.16%), Balochi (0.66%), Sindhi (0.13%) and others (0.95%). The largest non muslim minority is Christians and make up 2.31% of the population, other minorities include Ahmadi, Hindus, Sikhs & Parsis.

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISION

Bhawalnagar Bhawalpur Bhakkar Chakwal Chinniot
Dera Gazi Khan Faisalabad Gujranawala Gujrat
Hafizabad Jhang Jhelum Kasur Khanewal Khushab
Lahore Layyah Lodhran Mandi Bahauddin Minawali
Multan Muzaffargarh Narowal Nankanna Sahib Okara
Pakpattan Rahim Yar Khan Rajanpur Rawalpindi Sahiwal
Sargodha Sheikhupura Sialkot Toba Tek Singh Vehari

ECONOMY

Economy of Punjab based on agriculture and on industry. Its share of Pakistan’s GDP was 59% in 2010. Punjab is dominant in the services and agriculture sector of the Pakistan economy. Its contribution ranging from 52.1% to 64.5% in services sector and 56.1% to 61.5% in the agriculture sector.
Punjab is industrialized province of Pakistan including textiles, sports, goods, heavy machinery, electric appliances, surgical instruments, cements, vehicles auto parts, metals, sugar mill plants.
Despite it is a tropical wet and dry climate, extensive irrigation make it a rich agriculture region and contributes about 76% to annual food grain production in the country. Cotton and rice are important crops.
Punjab is also mineral rich province with extensive deposits of coal, gas, petrol, rock salt, dolomite, gypsum and silica-sand.

TOURISTS ATTRACTION OF PUNJAB

Lahore

Lahore is the capital of Punjab and 2nd largest city of Pakistan. The Lahore city lies along Ravi.
Historically, Lahore remained center of civilization; Lahore is the Mughal show window of Pakistan. Mughal emperor beautified Lahore with palaces, gardens and mosques.
In ancient times Lahore was known as Lavapuri (city of Love in Sanskrit) was founded by prince Lava or Loh the son of Rama. To this day, Lahore Fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava. The oldest authentic document about Lahore was written in 982, called Hudud-e-Alam. In this document, Lahore is mentioned as Shehr or town inhabited by infields, impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards. This original document is currently held in British Museum. Throughout the history Lahore was called by different names. Some historian traces the history of the city as far back as 4000 years ago. Historically it has been proved city is at least 2000 years old.

Lahore Fort

It is locally known as Shahi Qila, located in north western corner of the Lahore city and spread on 20 hectares. The fort is rectangular constructed around 1566 AD by the Mughal Emperor, Akber the great. Construction of the fort dates back to the early Hindu period. Modification to the fort were even made during the British colonial period beginning in 1846, but consisted mainly of converting older buildings into hospitals, barracks and other colonial functions.

Certain Major Buildings

The Masti gate, it is named after mosque which still stands outside, constructed in 1566.
The Diwan-e-Am (Hall for Public Audience) constructed in 1631 – 32 AD. It is located at the centre of fort.

Moti Masjid, It was built in Shah Jahan era about 1645 AD and the earliest Mughal Mosque in the fort.

The Lal Burj, a octagonal tower was constructed from 1617 – 31 AD. Intended a summer pavilion.

The bungla, popularly called the Naulakha pavilion, unique marble pavilion with a curved roof constructed during 1631-32 AD.
The Sah Mahal, It is multistory structure north of the bungle. It is also part of royal residence constructed by Shah Jahan in 1631-32.


SHALIMAR GARDEN

Shalimar Garden located 3 miles east of Lahore, constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1642 AD at the edge of Ravi River. When Shalimar was first established, probably stood alone, but its presence served as an anchor point for further development in the region. In particular, the grand trunk road which connected Lahore to Delhi was routed northward to pass along the Ghore Shah road by garden’s lower terrace.

BADSHAHI MOSQUE

Badshahi Mosque is one of the significant architectural monument built during emperor Aurangzeb rule from 1658 to 1707. It has a beautiful gateway which measures 21.33 meters in length and a courtyard that measures 161.5×160.6 meters and it is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor prayers.

SHRINE of DATA SAHIB

It is located close to the junction of the lower mall and the circular road. Data Sahib was a great saint whose well known work “Kashf-ul-Mahjub” has been translated from the original Persian into several European languages and is considered as a classic.

MAUSOLEUM of EMPEROR JAHANGIR

It is located to 3 miles north west of Lahore across the Ravi river. It has a majestic structure made up of red sand stone and marble. The marble grove is elaborately inlaid with floral designs and 99 attributes of God are inscribed on its two sides.

NOOR JEHAN’s TOMB

Noor Jehan was daughter of Itimad-ud-Daula, Jehangir prime minister. She was born in 1577. At the age of 17 she married Sher Afghan, a Mughal courtier. After her husbands death, she entered emperor Jehangirs harem and she wedded becoming Jehangirs 20th wife.

Noor Jehans tomb is stylistically similar to Jehangirs tomb, but half the size and lacks corner minarets.

ANARKALI’s TOMB (Nadira Begum)

Nadira Begum was the wife of Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jehan and heir-apparent to his throne. The tomb or Nadira Begum alias Anarkali is situated in corner of civil secretariat of Punjab Government at Lahore. The tomb is circular in shape. It is master piece of solid masonry work early Mughal period.

ALLAM IQBAL’s TOMB

It is situated outside Badshahi Mosque, near its steps. Allama Iqbal was poet , philosopher of the east. Mausoleum is mixture of Afghan and Muglish style of architecture and is constructed entirely of red sand stone.

MINAR-e-PAKISTAN

This is new land mark in Lahore inside Iqbal Park commemorate the date when resolution was passed in 1940 in which demanding separate homeland for the Muslims of the sub continent. The minar is a blend of modern and mughal architecture. The minar is about 60 meters tall.

LAHORE MUSEUM

Lahore Museum is Mughal style building located opposite the old university hall on Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam. The museum contains some specimen of sikh and mughals time and big collection of paintings dating back to Indo-Pakistan. It has collection of musical instruments, ancient of jewellery, textile, poetry and are armory.

OTHER PLACES OF HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE;

Hiran Minar

Fakter Khana Museum

Asif Khans Mausoleum

Qutbuddin Aibak’s tomb

Samadhi of Maha Raja Ranjeet Singh

The Golden Mosque

Wazir Khan’s Mosque

Kims Qun or Zam Zama

WAHGA BORDER

It is only border crossing point between Pakistan and India, it is 30 KM far from Lahore on G.T Road. Wahga is a village, which was divided by independence in 1947. The western half his in Pakistan and eastern half lies within India.

PARKS AND GARDENS

SOZO Park

It is highly equipped water park located on canal road near to BRB canal, actually it is located on out skirts of Lahore. Water slides in SOZO Parks are :-
Twister
Lazy River
Racers slide
Speed slide
Kindle slide
Bullet slide
Free fall slide

JALLO PARK

Jallo Park is located near to Lahore on the road to Indian border point. It was developed in 1980 for an open forest like park. It has its own zoo, a lake and many playing fields, a small museum and gift shop. It is spread over an area of 45 acres.

LAHORE ZOO

Lahore Zoo is the 2nd oldest Zoo in South Asia and established in 1872. Today the zoo houses a collection of about 1380 animals of 136 species. Lahore zoo was the best of the fifth annual conference of SAZARC in 2004.

SOME OTHER FAMOUS PARKS IN LAHORE

BAGH-e-JINNAH
RACE COURSE PARK
MODEL TOWN PARK

SHOPPING PLAZAS AND MARKETS

ANARKALI BAZAAR

It is one of the old and fascinating market dating back at least 200 years and located on mall road Lahore. It derives name by near by Mausoleum of Salve girl named Anarkali buried alive by Mughal Emperor Akbar.

Today it is considered as a busiest business center of Pakistan, it is divided into two portions, the old Anarkali Bazaar and the new Anarkali Bazaar. Old one is famous for traditional food while the new one is famous for traditional handicraft a and embroidery.

ICHHRA BAZAAR

It is named after the death of an old woman who’s nickname was Mai Ichhra. Some historian writes that Mai Ichhra is older than Lahore. It is located on Ferozepure Road between Gulberg, Mozzang and the old city.

Ichhra shopping center is as famous as Anarkali Bazaar and is considered among the most economic Markets of Lahore. It is famous its traditional and cultural dresses and other handicrafts supplied from all over Punjab as well as furniture selection, it includes also famous jewellery markets.

HALL ROAD

It is a small commercial road near Mall Road in Lahore. It is named from the fact that the Britishers built a huge hall along the road which catered for meetings, exhibitions. Today those halls have been converted in commercial buildings of Lahories TVs, Electronics, Music system business. It is extremely imports and pirated DVDs.

LIBERTY MARKET

Liberty market is the middle class market where you can find anything and every thing from clothes and accessories to shoes and restaurants. You can go there in middle of the night and still find a place to sit and relax with a cup of chai and Shawarana.

OTHER SHOPPING MALLS AND BUSINESS CENTERS

Shah Alam Market
Hafeez Centre
Raja Centre
Pace Shopping Mall
Gulberg Main Market
Landa Bazaar

FOOD MARKETS

GAWAL MANDI FOOD STREET

It is the center of traditional Pakistani food. Street is surrounded by centuries old buildings, hungry visitors arrive and stay till very lat at night, enjoying some of the best local food available. It is one of the unique attractions in Lahore. The environment really giving touch of Mughal era. You will find hundred restaurants with mouth watching means. Special means are chapel kababs, saag with Makai ki roti, Golas of Ice, Sardar ki Machli and any thing you like.

PHAJJAY KE PAYE

It is present at Red Light area – Heera Mandi Lahore. It is famous around the country and is very energetic.

CHAMAN ICE CREAM

It is located at Beaden Road adjacent to Hall Road. It is very delicious and serves as a vast variety of various flavors of ice cream, shakes, juices.

BASHEER-DAR-ul-MAHI

It is situated at Mozang chowk, it is famous for fried fish, served in 2/3 forms. You will see people queued up in lines because fish is worth waiting this much.

MIRCHI

It is located at MM Alam Road, best Lahoori food is available here and is of good hygienic quality.

LIBERTY MARKET

It offers good standard traditional Pakistani Food. Mutton Karahai is famous dish of this area.

BUNDU KHAN RESTAURANT

It is situated in Fortress stadium. It is special for Barbeques and one of the best restaurant in Lahore.

SOME OTHER RESTAURANTS are:

Café Aylanto
Zouk
Freddys
Village
Salt n Ppper Grill
Ziafat
Dera
Fujiyama
NandosCosta
Nostra

MULTAN

It is located in southern part of the province and on the east bank of Chenab River. Multan is famous as the city of Sufis due to large number of shrines of saints. Multan is full of Bazaars, mosques, shrines and tombs. Multan is also famous for its crops wheat, cotton and sugar cane as well as mangoes, guavas and pomegranates.

Multan had been known for various names, according to Hindu mythology, it was originally called Kashtpur, after Hindu sage named Kashyapa, other names include Hanspur, Bagpur, Snober, Sanahpur. Current name of Multan derived from Sanskrit name Mulasthana named after sum temple.

Muhammad Bin Qasim conquered Multan along with Sindh from the local ruler Chach of Alor, than city remain under Muslim rule and most of the population were non-Muslims.

CULTURE AND TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Multan remained focal point for many religions, with many tombs, shrines, temples, cathedrals and mausoleums as well as historical fort. Today Multan is combination of old and new culture and heritage of Pakistan.

MAUSOLEUMS

The prime attractions of Multan are its mausoleums of Sufi Saints. The Mausoleum of Sheikh Baha-ud-Din Zakirya, His full name is Al Sheikh Al Kabir Shaikh ul Islam Baha ud Din Aby Muhammad Zakria Al Qureshi, Al Asadi, Al Hashmi. He was born at Kot Fehroz a town of the Layyah District. He went place to place to preach Islam for fifteen years and after his wanderings Bahawal Haq settled in Multan in 1222. He died in 1267 and his mausoleum is located at Multan. Mausoleum is 51 ft 9 in sq, measured internally. Above this is octagon, surrounded by hemispherical dome.

Mausoleum of Shah Rukin-e-Alam is also prime attraction of the city. He was among the eminent Sufi saints from Multan. The tomb of Shah Rukin-e-Alam was built between 1320 and 1321. It is unmatched pre-Mughal masterpiece and it is considered to be the glory of Multan.

FEW OTHER BEAUTIFUL TOMBS (mausoleums) are:

Mausoleum of Shams-ud-Din
Mausoleum of Warrior Sufi and poet Hazrat Hafiz Mohammad Jamal Multani
Nuagaza Tombs
Multan Mausoleum

MOSQUES

Multan has also number old, beautiful mosques which is considered as beauty of city. Jamia Masjid considered to be first built in city which was constructed by General Muhammad Qasim, Ruins of mosques were visible till 1954 but due to repeated floods, the structure was lost. SAWI Mosque also oldest mosque which still exists today though in detoriating state, it was built with glazed blue tiles several centuries ago. Other famous mosques are Wali Muhammad Mosque in Chowk Bazaar built by Muhammad Khakwani in 1758. Mosque Phulhatt and beautiful Eidgah Mosque built by Nawab Abdul Samad Khan.

OTHER PLACES

Multan has some modern and beautiful buildings such as Nishter Medical College, University Campus, Arts Council, famous clock tower etc.

BAHAWALPUR

Bahawalpur is 12th largest city of Pakistan and it was capital city of the former princely state of Bahawalpur, It was also known as Rajputana State because it was home of various Nawabs.

Bahawalpur is famous for cotton silk, embroidery carpets and extraordinary delicate pottery. The main shopping centres of Bahawalpur are Shahi Bazaar, Machli Bazaar, Farid Gate and the Mall.

Bahawalpur has countless places in the city locally known as Mahals, some of the most beautiful and famous include Noor Mahal. It belonged to Nawab of Bahawalpur during British era and built in 1872 in Italian style. According to historian, Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan built the palace for his wife Noor Mahal, is hidden gem of Bawalpur.

The Bahawalpur museum and Bahawalpur National Library is also attractive place for visitors, have various collection of coins, medals, postage stamps, manuscripts, documents, inscriptions, wood carvings, camel skin painting, historical models and stone carvings from Islamic and pre-Islamic era.

OTHER PLACES OF INTREST are :

Shrine of Muluk Shah
Tomb of Channen Peer
Tomb Yazman
Mausoleum of Hanghe Sahib
Zoological Garden
Dring Stadium
Jamia Masjid Al Sadiq

UCH SHARIF

It is v ery old and small town about 75 KM from Bahawalpur. It is an important historical city, some historian writes that Alexender the great founded this city after conquering northern parts of India while other mention Uch by the name of Sikandara or Iskandra.

Uch is divided into three different quarters known as (a) Uch Bokhari after Hazrat Syed Jalal-ud-din Bukhari Surkhposh (b) Uch Jilani (Bandagi) who came from Halab in 887 (c) Uch Muglan after Mughal rulers.

There are several tombs of famous mystics

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