Location of Punjab in Pakistan
|Established||1 July 1970|
|• Body||Provincial Assembly|
|• Governor||Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana (PML N)|
|• Chief Minister||Mian.Shahbaz Sharif (PML N)|
|• Legislature||unicameral (371 seats)|
|• High Court||Lahore High Court|
|• Total||205,344 km2 (79,284 sq mi)|
|• Density||490/km2 (1,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||PKT (UTC+5)|
|ISO 3166 code||PK-PB|
|Other languages||Pashto, Baluchi|
Punjab (Urdu: پنجاب, Shahmukhī Punjabi: پنجاب, panj-āb, "five waters": listen (help·info)), also spelled Panjab, is the most populous province of Pakistan with approximately 56% of the country's total population, it has an area of 79,284 square miles (205,345 square km) and a population of exceeding 82 million. It is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the northeast and Punjab and Rajasthan to the east. In Pakistan it is borderd by Sindh to the south, Balochistān and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and Islamabad and Azad Kashmir to the north. 
It makes a bulk of the territory that forms the fertile Punjab region, which also includes the Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. The region was divided during the Partition of India, with Muslim majority areas becoming part of Pakistan and non-Muslim majority areas became part of India. The province came under Muslim rule in 712 CE, and subsequently came under various other Muslim rulers until the victorious entry of the Mughal Empire in 1526. The province's significance increased during the reign of Shah Jahan when Lahore became a seat for royal family, hence attributed by its rich display of Mughal architecture.
Punjab’s area mostly consists of an alluvial plain formed by the southward-flowing Indus River and its four major tributaries in Pakistan, the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej rivers. In the northern parts of the province are the Murree and Rawalpindi and the Pabbi hills, part of the Sub-Himalayas, and in the far north is the Pothohar Plateau. Agriculture is the chief source of income and employment in Punjab with wheat and cotton being the principal crops. Since independence, Punjab has become the seat of political and economic power; it remains the most industrialized province of Pakistan. It counts for 39.2% of large scale manufacturing and 70% of small scale manufacturing in the country. Its capital Lahore is a major regional cultural, historical, and economic center.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Geography
- 3 Languages
- 4 Government
- 5 History
- 6 Climate
- 7 Demographics and society
- 8 Religion
- 9 Provincial government
- 10 Divisions and districts
- 11 Major cities
- 12 Economy
- 13 Education
- 14 Culture
- 15 Fairs and festivals
- 16 Arts and crafts
- 17 Major attractions
- 18 Music and dance
- 19 Folklore
- 20 Social issues
- 21 Notable people
- 22 Gallery
- 23 See also
- 24 Notes
- 25 External links
The word Punjab was formally introduced in the early 17th century CE. It is a combination of the Persian words panj (five) and āb (water), thus the (land of) five rivers. The five rivers, namely Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, flow via the Panjnad River into the Indus River and eventually into the Arabian Sea.
Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province in terms of land area at 205,344 km2 (79,284 sq mi), after Balochistan, and is located at the north western edge of the geologic Indian plate in South Asia. The province is bordered by Kashmir (Azad Kashmir, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir, India) to the northeast, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the south, the province of Balochistan to the southwest, the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, and the Islamabad Capital Territory to the north.
The capital and largest city is Lahore which was the historical capital of the wider Punjab region. Other important cities include Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Multan, Sialkot, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Jhelum and Sahiwal. Undivided Punjab is home to six rivers, of which five flow through Pakistani Punjab. From west to east, these are: the Indus, Jhelum, Beas, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej. Nearly 60% of Pakistan's population lives in the Punjab. It is the nation's only province that touches every other province; it also surrounds the federal enclave of the national capital city at Islamabad. In the acronym P-A-K-I-S-T-A-N, the P is for Punjab.
The province is a mainly a fertile region along the river valleys, while sparse deserts can be found near the border with Rajasthan and the Sulaiman Range. The region contains the Thal and Cholistan deserts. The Indus River and its many tributaries traverse the Punjab from north to south.
The landscape is amongst the most heavily irrigated on earth and canals can be found throughout the province. Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. The foothills of the Himalayas are found in the extreme north as well.
- The native language of the province is Punjabi with its Standard dialect spoken in north and its Saraiki dialect spoken in southern districts of the province.
- Urdu, Pakistan's national language, is widely understood and used.
- English, an official language of Pakistan, is used in offices and educational institutes.
- Arabic is taught in secondary schools and madrasas (religious schools)
- Minorities migrated from other provinces and Afghan refugees speak Pashto, Balochi, Sindhi.
There are 48 departments in Punjab government. Each Department is headed by a Provincial Minister (Politician) and a Provincial Secretary (A civil servant of usually BPS-20 or BPS-21). All Ministers report to the Chief Minister, who is the Chief Executive. All Secretaries report to the Chief Secretary of Punjab, who is usually a BPS-22 Civil Servant. The Chief Secretary in turn reports to the Chief Minister. In addition to these departments, there are several Autonomous Bodies and Attached Departments that report directly to either the Secretaries or the Chief Secretary.
Punjab during Mahabharata times was known as Panchanada. Punjab was part of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years old. The main site in Punjab was the city of Harrapa. The Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of what is today Pakistan and eventually evolved into the Indo-Aryan civilization. The arrival of the Indo-Aryans led to the flourishing of the Vedic civilization along the length of the Indus River. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in South Asia and Afghanistan. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts have nevertheless been found. Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Achaemenids, Macedonians, Mauryas, Kushans, Guptas, Hindu Shahi, Gurjara-Pratihara and old Rajputana. Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Multan and Lahore) grew in wealth.
Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attacks and influence from the west and witnessed centuries of foreign invasions by the Greeks, Kushans, Scythians, Turks, and Afghans. The city of Taxila, founded by son of Taksh the son Bharat who was the brother of Ram. It was reputed to house the oldest university in the world, Takshashila University. One of the teachers was the great Vedic thinker and politician Chanakya. Taxila was a great centre of learning and intellectual discussion during the Maurya Empire. It is a UN World Heritage site, valued for its archaeological and religious history.
Central Asian, Greek, and Persian Empires
The northwestern part of the South Asia, including Punjab, was repeatedly invaded or conquered by various foreign empires, such as those of Tamerlane, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Having conquered Drangiana, Arachosia, Gedrosia and Seistan in ten days, Alexander crossed the Hindu Kush and was thus fully informed of the magnificence of the country and its riches in gold, gems and pearls. However, Alexander had to encounter and reduce the tribes on the border of Punjab before entering the luxuriant plains. Having taken a northeasterly direction, he marched against the Aspii (mountaineers), who offered vigorous resistance, but were subdued. Alexander then marched through Ghazni, blockaded Magassa, and then marched to Ora and Bazira. Turning to the northeast, Alexander marched to Pucela, the capital of the district now known as Pakhli. He entered Western Punjab, where the ancient city of Nysa (at the site of modern day Mong) was situated. A coalition was formed against Alexander by the Cathians, the people of Multan, who were very skillful in war. Alexander invested many troops, eventually killing seventeen thousand Cathians in this battle, and the city of Sagala (present-day Sialkot) was razed to the ground. Alexander left Punjab in 326 B.C. and took his army to the heartlands of his empire.
Arrival of Islam
The Punjabis followed a diverse plethora of faiths, mainly comprising Hinduism, when the Muslim Umayyad army led by Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh and Southern Punjab in 712, by defeating Raja Dahir. The Umayyad Caliphate was the second Islamic caliphate established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the city of Mecca, their capital was Damascus. Muhammad bin Qasim was the first to bring message of Islam to the population of Punjab. Punjab was part of different Muslim Empires consisting of Afghans, Pashtoon, and Turkic in cooperation with local Punjabi tribes and others. In the 11th century, during the reign of Mahmud of Ghazni, the province became an important center with Lahore as its second capital of the Ghaznavid Empire based out of Afghanistan. The Punjab region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of Punjab region.
The Mughals controlled the region from 1524 until around 1739 and implemented building projects such as the Shalimar Gardens and the Badshahi Mosque, both situated in Lahore. Muslim soldiers, traders, architects, theologians and Sufis came from the rest of the Muslim world to the Islamic Sultanate in South Asia.
Afghan Durrani Empire
In 1758, the general of the Hindu Maratha Empire, Raghunath Rao invaded Lahore and Attock. Timur Shah Durrani who was the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali and was already weakened by Sikh army, and was driven out of Punjab with the important and necessary help of Sikhs. Lahore, Multan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kashmir and other subahs on the south and eastern side of Peshawar were under the Maratha rule for the most part. In Punjab and Kashmir, the Marathas were now major players. The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 1761, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded the Maratha territory of Punjab and captured remnants of the Maratha Empire in Punjab and Kashmir regions and re-consolidated control over them.
In the mid-fifteenth century, the religion of Sikhism was born. During the Mughal empire, many Hindus increasingly adopted Sikhism. These became a formidable military force against the Mughals and later against the Afghan Empire. After fighting Ahmad Shah Durrani in the later eighteenth century, the Sikhs took control of Punjab and managed to establish the Sikh Empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, which lasted from 1799 to 1849. The capital of Ranjit Singh's empire was Lahore, and the empire also extended into Afghanistan and Kashmir. Bhangi Misl was the fist Sikh band to invade and plunder the Mughal Lahore and other towns of Punjab. Many visitors to Lahore during this era noted that much of the city was in disrepair and many of its Muslim monuments and Mosques were pillaged and desecrated by the Sikhs. On 7 July 1799, the Sikh militia of the Sukerchakia chief, Ranjit Singh, occupied and looted Lahore. After the capture of the city, the Badshahi Mosque was severely damaged when Ranjit Singh used its vast courtyard as a stable for his army's horses and its 80 hujras (small study rooms surrounding the courtyard) as quarters for his soldiers and as magazines for military stores. Ranjit Singh used the Hazuri Bagh, the enclosed garden next to the Mosque as his official royal court of audience. In 1762 A.D., the Bhangi Sikh Sardar army conquered Lahore and occupied the Shaheed Ganj Mosque, together with the courtyard.The Sikhs built a Gurdwara, Sikh temple, in the courtyard and used the Shaheed Ganj Mosque building to house Sikh priests. Syed Ahmad Barelvi a Muslim nationalist waged jihad and attempted to create an Islamic state with strict enforcement of Islamic law. Syed Ahmad Barelvi in 1821 with many supporters and spent two years organizing popular and material support for his Punjab campaign. He carefully developed a network of people through the length and breadth of India to collect funds and encourage volunteers, traveling widely throughout India attracting a following among pious Muslims. In December 1826 Sayyid Ahmad and his followers clashed with Sikh troops at Akora Khattak, but with no decisive result. In a major battle near the town of Balakot in 1831, Sayyid Ahmad and Shah Ismail Shaheed with volunteer Muslims were defeated and martyred by the professional Sikh Army. In 1841, during the Sikh civil war, Ranjit Singh's son, Sher Singh, used the Badshahi Mosque's large minarets for placement of zamburahs or light guns, which were placed atop the minarets of Badshahi Mosque to bombard the supporters of the Sikh Maharani Chand Kaur taking refuge in the besieged Lahore Fort, inflicting great damage to the Fort itself. In one of these bombardments, the Fort's Diwan-e-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) was destroyed (it was subsequently rebuilt by the British but never regained its original architectural splendour). During this time, Henri De la Rouche, a French cavalry officer employed in the army of Sher Singh, used a tunnel connecting the Badshahi Mosque to the Lahore Fort to temporarily store gunpowder.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death in the summer of 1839 brought political chaos and the subsequent battles of succession and the bloody infighting between the factions at court weakened the state. Relationships with neighbouring British territories then broke down, starting the First Anglo-Sikh War; this led to a British official being resident in Lahore and the annexation in 1849 of territory south of the Satluj to British India. After the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, the Sikh Empire became the last territory to be merged into British India. In Jhelum 35 British soldiers of HM XXIV regiment were killed by the local resistance during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
In 1947 the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious lines into West Punjab and East Punjab. Western Punjab was assimilated into the new country of Pakistan, while East Punjab became a part of modern-day India. This led to massive rioting as both sides committed atrocities against fleeing refugees.
Migration between India and Pakistan was continuous before independence. By the 1900s Western Punjab was predominantly Muslim and supported the Muslim League and Pakistan Movement. After independence, the minority Hindus and Sikhs migrated to India while Muslim refugees from India settled in the Western Punjab and across Pakistan.
Since the 1950s, Punjab industrialized rapidly. New factories were established in Lahore, Sargodha, Multan, Gujrat, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Wah. In the 1960s the new city of Islamabad north of Rawalpindi.
Agriculture continues to be the largest sector of Punjab's economy. The province is the breadbasket of the country as well as home to the largest ethnic group in Pakistan, the Punjabis. Unlike neighbouring India, there was no large-scale redistribution of agricultural land. As a result most rural areas are dominated by a small set of feudalistic land-owning families.
In the 1950s there was tension between the eastern and western halves of Pakistan. In order to address the situation, a new formula resulted in the abolition of the province status for Punjab in 1955. It was merged into a single province West Pakistan. In 1972, after East Pakistan seceded and became Bangladesh, Punjab again became a province.
Punjab witnessed major battles between the armies of India and Pakistan in the wars of 1965 and 1971. Since the 1990s Punjab hosted several key sites of Pakistan's nuclear program such as Kahuta. It also hosts major military bases such as at Sargodha and Rawalpindi. The peace process between India and Pakistan, which began in earnest in 2004, has helped pacify the situation. Trade and people-to-people contacts through the Wagah border are now starting to become common. Indian Sikh pilgrims visit holy sites such as Nankana Sahib.
Starting in the 1980s, large numbers of Punjabis migrated to the Middle East, Britain, Spain, Canada and the United States for economic opportunities, forming the large Punjabi diaspora. Business and cultural ties between the United States and Punjab are growing.
Most areas in Punjab experience extreme weather with foggy winters, often accompanied by rain. By mid-February the temperature begins to rise; springtime weather continues until mid-April, when the summer heat sets in.
The onset of the southwest monsoon is anticipated to reach Punjab by May, but since the early 1970s the weather pattern has been irregular. The spring monsoon has either skipped over the area or has caused it to rain so hard that floods have resulted. June and July are oppressively hot. Although official estimates rarely place the temperature above 46 °C, newspaper sources claim that it reaches 51 °C and regularly carry reports about people who have succumbed to the heat. Heat records were broken in Multan in June 1993, when the mercury was reported to have risen to 54 °C. In August the oppressive heat is punctuated by the rainy season, referred to as barsat, which brings relief in its wake. The hardest part of the summer is then over, but cooler weather does not come until late October.
Recently the province experienced one of the coldest winters in the last 70 years.
Punjab's region temperature ranges from −2° to 45 °C, but can reach 50 °C (122 °F) in summer and can touch down to −10 °C in winter.
Climatically, Punjab has three major seasons:
- Hot weather (April to June) when temperature rises as high as 110 °F.
- Rainy season (July to September). Average rainfall annual ranges between 96 cm sub-mountain region and 46 cm in the plains.
- Cooler/ Foggy / mild weather (October to March). Temperature goes down as low as 40 °F.
Demographics and society
The population of the province is estimated to be 93,963,240 in 2010 and is home to over half the population of Pakistan. The major language spoken in the Punjab is Punjabi (which is written in a Shahmukhi script in Pakistan) and Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group in country. Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab. The language is not given any official recognition in the Constitution of Pakistan at the national level. Punjabis themselves are a heterogeneous group comprising different tribes, clans (Urdu: برادری) and communities. In Pakistani Punjab these tribes have more to do with traditional occupations such as blacksmiths or artisans as opposed to rigid social stratifications.
The population of Punjab (Pakistan) is estimated to be 97.21% Muslim with a Sunni Hanafi majority and Shia Ithna 'ashariyah minority. The largest non-Muslim minority is Christians and make up 2.31% of the population. The other minorities include Ahmedi, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis and Bahá'í.[dead link]
The Government of Punjab is a provincial government in the federal structure of Pakistan, is based in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab Province. The Chief Minister of Punjab (CM) is elected by the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab to serve as the head of the provincial government in Punjab, Pakistan. The current Chief Minister is Shahbaz Sharif, who became the Chief Minister of Punjab as being restored after Governor's rule starting from February 25, 2009 to March 30, 2009. Thereafter got reelected as a result of May 11, 2013 elections. The Provincial Assembly of the Punjab is a unicameral legislature of elected representatives of the province of Punjab, which is located in Lahore in eastern Pakistan. The Assembly was established under Article 106 of the Constitution of Pakistan as having a total of 371 seats, with 66 seats reserved for women and eight reserved for non-Muslims.
Divisions and districts
(August 14, 2014)
|7||Dera Ghazi Khan||Dera Ghazi Khan||11,922||2,043,118||138|
|20||Mandi Bahauddin||Mandi Bahauddin||2,673||1,160,552||434|
|25||Nankana Sahib||Nankana Sahib||2,960||1,410,000|
|28||Rahim Yar Khan||Rahim Yar Khan||11,880||3,141,053||264|
|35||Toba Tek Singh||Toba Tek Singh||3,252||1,621,593||499|
|List of major cities in Punjab|
|Source: World Gazetteer 2010|
|This is a list of each city's urban populations and does not indicate total district populations|
Punjab has the largest economy in Pakistan, contributing most to the national GDP. The province's economy has quadrupled since 1972. Its share of Pakistan's GDP was 54.7% in 2000 and 59% as of 2010. It is especially dominant in the service and agriculture sectors of Pakistan's economy. With its contribution ranging from 52.1% to 64.5% in the Service Sector and 56.1% to 61.5% in the agriculture sector. It is also major manpower contributor because it has largest pool of professionals and highly skilled (technically trained) manpower in Pakistan. It is also dominant in the manufacturing sector, though the dominance is not as huge, with historical contributions raging from a low of 44% to a high of 52.6%. In 2007, Punjab achieved a growth rate of 7.8% and during the period 2002–03 to 2007–08, its economy grew at a rate of between 7% to 8% per year. and during 2008–09 grew at 6% against the total GDP growth of Pakistan at 4%.
Despite the lack of a coastline, Punjab is the most industrialized province of Pakistan; its manufacturing industries produce textiles, sports goods, heavy machinery, electrical appliances, surgical instruments, vehicles, auto parts, metals, sugar mill plants, aircraft, cement, agricultural machinery, bicycles and rickshaws, floor coverings, and processed foods. In 2003, the province manufactured 90% of the paper and paper boards, 71% of the fertilizers, 69% of the sugar and 40% of the cement of Pakistan.
Despite its tropical wet and dry climate, extensive irrigation makes it a rich agricultural region. Its canal-irrigation system established by the British is the largest in the world. Wheat and cotton are the largest crops. Other crops include rice, sugarcane, millet, corn, oilseeds, pulses, vegetables, and fruits such as kinoo. Livestock and poultry production are also important. Despite past animosities, the rural masses in Punjab's farms continue to use the Hindu calendar for planting and harvesting.
Punjab contributes about 76% to annual food grain production in the country. Cotton and rice are important crops. They are the cash crops that contribute substantially to the national exchequer. Attaining self-sufficiency in agriculture has shifted the focus of the strategies towards small and medium farming, stress on barani areas, farms-to-market roads, electrification for tube-wells and control of water logging and salinity.
Punjab has also more than 68 thousand industrial units. There are 39,033 small and cottage industrial units. The number of textile units is 14,820. The ginning industries are 6,778. There are 7,355 units for processing of agricultural raw materials including food and feed industries.
Lahore and Gujranwala Divisions have the largest concentration of small light engineering units. The district of Sialkot excels in sports goods, surgical instruments and cutlery goods.
Punjab is also a mineral-rich province with extensive mineral deposits of coal, iron, gas, petrol, rock salt (with the second largest salt mine in the world), dolomite, gypsum, and silica-sand. The Punjab Mineral Development Corporation is running over a hundred economically viable projects. Manufacturing includes machine products, cement, plastics, and various other goods.
The incidence of poverty differs between the different regions of Punjab. With Northern and Central Punjab facing much lower levels of poverty than Western and Southern Punjab. Those living in Southern and Western Punjab are also a lot more dependent on agriculture due to lower levels of industrialisation in those regions.
As of June 2012[update], Pakistan's electricity problems were so severe that violent riots were taking place across Punjab. According to protesters, load shedding was depriving the cities of electricity 20–22 hours a day, causing businesses to go bust and making living extremely hard. Gujranwala, Toba Tek Singh, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Bahawalnagar and communities across Khanewal District saw widespread rioting and violence on Sunday 17 June 2012, with the houses of several members of parliament being attacked as well as the offices of regional energy suppliers Fesco, Gepco and Mepco being ransacked or attacked.
This is a chart of the education market of Punjab estimated by the government in 1998.
|BA, BSc... degrees||110,491||96,144||206,635||4.12|
|MA, MSc... degrees||1,226,914||764,094||1,991,008||3.84|
- Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore
- Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan
- COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Lahore
- Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
- Ghazi University D.G.Khan, D.G.Khan
- Government College University, Lahore
- Government College University, Faisalabad
- The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Bahawalpur
- Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore
- King Edward Medical College, Lahore
- Lahore College for Women University, Lahore
- National College of Arts, Lahore
- National Textile University, Faisalabad
- Sargodha Medical College, Sargodha
- University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
- University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi
- University of Education, Lahore
- University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
- University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila
- University of Gujrat, Gujrat
- University of Health Sciences, Lahore
- University of the Punjab, Lahore
- University of Sargodha, Sargodha
- University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore
- Virtual University of Pakistan, Lahore
- Hajvery University, Lahore
- Beaconhouse National University, Lahore
- Greenfield University, Sargodha
- Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design, Lahore
- Forman Christian College, Lahore
- GIFT University, Gujranwala
- Imperial College of Business Studies, Lahore
- Institute of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pak-AIMS, Lahore
- Lahore School of Economics, Lahore
- Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore
- Minhaj International University,
- University of Management and Technology, Lahore
- University of Central Punjab, Lahore
- University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad
- University of Lahore, Lahore
- University of South Asia, Lahore
- University College Lahore, Lahore
- National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences, Lahore
- University of Health Sciences, Lahore
- Akhuwat University, Dera Ghazi Khan
- Swidish University, Rahim Yar Khan
- National College of Business Administration & Economics Lahore
- University of Wah, Wah Cantonment
Punjab has been the cradle of civilization since times immemorial. The ruins of Harappa show an advanced urban culture that flourished over 8000 years ago. Taxila, another historic landmark also stands out as a proof of the achievements of the area in learning, arts and crafts. The ancient Hindu Katasraj temple and the Salt Range temples are regaining attention and much-needed repair.
The structure of a mosque is simple and it expresses openness. Calligraphic inscriptions from the Quran decorate mosques and mausoleums in Punjab. The inscriptions on bricks and tiles of the mausoleum of Shah Rukn-e-Alam (1320 AD) at Multan are outstanding specimens of architectural calligraphy. The earliest existing building in South Asia with enamelled tile-work is the tomb of Shah Yusuf Gardezi (1150 AD) at Multan. A specimen of the sixteenth century tile-work at Lahore is the tomb of Sheikh Musa Ahangar, with its brilliant blue dome. The tile-work of Emperor Shah Jahan is of a richer and more elaborate nature. The pictured wall of Lahore Fort is the last line in the tile-work in the entire world.
Fairs and festivals
The culture of Punjab derives its basis from the institution of Sufi saints, who spread Islam and preached and lived the Muslim way of life. People have festivities to commemorate these traditions. The fairs and festivals of Punjab reflect the entire gamut of its folk life and cultural traditions. These mainly fall in the following categories:
Religious and seasonal fairs and festivals
Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Eid ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, Ashura, Laylat al-Qadr and Jumu'ah-tul-Wida. The main activities on these special occasions are confined to congregational prayers and rituals. Melas are also held to mark these occasions.
Devotional fairs (Urs)
The fairs held at the shrines of Sufi saints are called urs. They generally mark the death anniversary of the saint. On these occasions devotees assemble in large numbers and pay homage to the memory of the saint. Soul inspiring music is played and devotees dance in ecstasy. The music on these occasions is essentially folk and appealing. It forms a part of the folk music through mystic messages. The most important urs are: urs of Data Ganj Buksh at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Sultan Bahu at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Shah Jewna at Jhang, urs of Hazrat Mian Mir at Lahore, urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, urs of Hazrat Bahaudin Zakria at Multan, urs of Sakhi Sarwar Sultan at Dera Ghazi Khan, urs of Shah Hussain at Lahore, urs of Hazrat Bulleh Shah at Kasur, urs of Hazrat Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad and urs of Shah Inayar Qadri (the murrshad of Bulleh Shah) in Lahore.
A big fair/mela is organized at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his classic work, Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang is one of the most visited shrines in Punjab.
Industrial and commercial fairs
Exhibitions and annual horse shows in all districts and a national horse and cattle show at Lahore are held with the official patronage. The national horse and cattle show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronizes agricultural products and livestock through the exhibitions of agricultural products and cattle but is also a colourful documentary on the rich cultural heritage of the province with its strong rural roots.
Arts and crafts
The crafts in the Punjab are of two types: the crafts produced in the rural areas and the royal crafts.
The province is home to several historical sites, including the Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, the Rohtas Fort and the ruins of the ancient city of Harrapa. The Anarkali Market and Jahangir's Tomb are prominent in the city of Lahore as is the Lahore Museum, while the ancient city of Taxila in the northwest was once a major centre of Buddhist and Hindu influence. Several important Sikh shrines are in the province, including the birthplace of the first Guru, Guru Nanak. (born at Nankana Sahib). There are a few famous hill stations, including Murree, Bhurban, Patriata and Fort Munro.
The Khewra Salt Mine is a tourist attraction. Tours are accompanied by guides as the mine itself is very large and the complex interconnected passages are like a maze. There is a small but beautiful mosque inside the mine made from salt stone. A clinical ward with 20 beds was established in 2007 for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases using salt therapy.
Music and dance
Classical music forms, such as Pakistani classical music, are an important part of the cultural wealth of the Punjab. The Muslim musicians have contributed a large number of ragas to the repository of classical music. The most common instruments used are the tabla and harmonium.
Among the Punjabi poets, the names of Sultan Bahu, Bulleh Shah, Mian Muhammad Baksh, and Waris Shah and folk singers like Inayat Hussain Bhatti and Tufail Niazi, Alam Lohar, Sain Marna, Mansoor Malangi, Allah Ditta Lona wala, Talib Hussain Dard, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Gamoo Tahliwala, Mamzoo Gha-lla, Akbar Jat, Arif Lohar, Ahmad Nawaz Cheena and Hamid Ali Bela are well-known. In the composition of classical ragas, there are such masters as Malika-i-Mauseequi (Queen of Music) Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Alam Lohar has made significant contributions to folklore and Punjabi literature, by being a very influential Punjabi folk singer from 1930 until 1979.
For the popular taste however, light music, particularly Ghazals and folk songs, which have an appeal of their own, the names of Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Nur Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Farida Khanum, Roshen Ara Begum, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are well-known. Folk songs and dances of the Punjab reflect a wide range of moods: the rains, sowing and harvesting seasons. Luddi, Bhangra and Sammi depict the joy of living. Love legends of Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sohni Mahenwal and Saiful Mulk are sung in different styles.
The folk heritage of the Punjab is the traditional urge of thousands of years of its history. While Urdu is the official language of the province, there are a number of local dialects through which the people communicate. These include Majhi, Jhangochi, Pothohari, Saraiki, Jatki, Hindko, Chhachhi, Doabi, and Derewali. The songs, ballads, epics and romances are generally written and sung in these dialects.
There are a number of folk tales that are popular in different parts of the Punjab. These are the folk tales of Mirza Sahiban, Sayful Muluk, Yusuf Zulekha, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Dulla Bhatti, and Sassi Punnun. The mystic folk songs include the Kafees of Khwaja Farid in Saraiki, Punjabi and the Shalooks by Baba Farid. They also include Baits, Dohas, Lohris, Sehra, and Jugni.
One social/educational issue is the status of Punjabi language. According to Dr. Manzur Ejaz, "In Central Punjab, Punjabi is neither an official language of the province nor it is used as medium of education at any level. There are only two daily newspapers published in Punjabi in the Central areas of Punjab. Only a few monthly literary magazines constitute Punjabi press in Pakistan".
- Allama Muhammad Iqbal, National Poet
- Veena Malik, actress, model
- Qamar Zaman Kaira, former Minister (Pakistan Peoples Party)
- Aitzaz Ahsan, advocate (Pakistan Peoples Party)
- Muhammad Zafarullah Khan (1893–1985), politician, diplomat, international jurist
- Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar Khan, longest serving parliamentarian of Pakistan from 1951 to 1999
- Ibn-e-Insha, poet, writer (travelogues, humor)
- Chaudhry Afzal Haq, writer, politician
- Prithviraj Kapoor, theatre and film actor
- Malik Allahyar Khan (1927–2007), former member of parliament
- Amir Mohammad Khan, Nawab of Kalabagh, Governor of East Pakistan
- Malik Ata Muhammad Khan, feudal lord
- Agha Shorish Kashmiri, writer, leaderof Majlis-e-Ahrar-ul-Islam
- Muhammad Khan, army colonel, writer, columnist
- Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, former President of Pakistan (PPP)
- Jamshed Dasti, member of the National Assembly of Pakistan
- Shah Hussain, Sufi saint (1538–1599)
- Ajaz Akhtar, cricketer
- Abdul Khaliq, Asian Fastest Man, recipient of Pride of Performance (Presidential Award)
- Shoaib Akhtar, cricketer
- Abdul Razzaq, cricketer
- Wasim Akram, cricketer and sports presenter
- Waris Shah, Sufi poet, mystic philosopher
- Chaudhry Niaz Ali Khan, landowner, agriculturalist, philanthropist, civil engineer
- Faiz Ahmad Faiz, poet
- Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, current president of PML(Q)
- Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, first Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan, former Chief Minister of Punjab (2002–2007)
- Nur Khan, Air Chief Marshal who participated in the military government of Pakistan from 1965 to 1969
- Muhammad Sharif, scientist
- Muhammad Sarwar, recipient of the Nishan-e-Haider (NH)
- Raja Aziz Bhatti, recipient of NH
- Muhammad Akram, recipient of NH
- Shabbir Sharif, recipient of NH
- Sawar Muhammad Hussain, recipient of NH
- Muhammad Mahfuz, recipient of NH
- Alam Lohar, folk singer
- Arif Lohar, folk singer (son of Alam Lohar)
- Abdul Hafeez Kardar, cricketer
- Abdus Salam, physicist and Nobel Prize winner
- Inzamam-ul-Haq, cricketer
- Imran Khan, chairman PTI, cricketer, politician and philanthropist
- Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, politician
- Zulfiqar Ali Khosa, politician, former Governor of Punjab
- Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Qawwali singer
- Mian Mir, saint revered by Sikhs and Muslims
- Sultan Rahi, actor
- Saeed Khan Rangeela, actor, comedian
- Nawaz Sharif, current Prime Minister of Pakistan
- Shahbaz Sharif, current Chief Minister of Punjab province
- Dr Humayon Dar, globally renowned Islamic banking and finance expert
- Abdul Latif Khalid Cheema, politician, religious figure
- Waqar Younis, cricketer and sports presenter
- Javed Hashmi, politician PTI
- Shah Mehmood Qureshi, politician PTI
- Mirza Aziz Akbar Baig, lawyer, former Vice Chairman of Pakistan Bar Council
- Ishaq Khan Khakwani, politician
- Atif Aslam, pop singer and film actor
- Yousaf Raza Gillani, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (Pakistan Peoples Party)
- Shahnaz Sheikh, hockey player
- Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, former President of Pakistan
- Bhagat Singh, revolutionary (1907–1931)
- Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, former Army Chief of Staff and former President of Pakistan (1977–1988)
- Manmohan Singh, former Prime Minister of India
- Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, scholar, politician, orator
- Shoaib Malik, cricketer
- Noor Jehan, singer and actress
Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Wazir Khan Mosque, Lahore
Tomb of Jahangir, Lahore
Taxila is a World Heritage Site
Major Akram Memorial, Jhelum
Different shapes of clay pots mostly made in Gujrat
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