Land of Five Rivers

Punjab - Land of Five Rivers

Punjab, also known as Land of Five River, is the most fertile and populous province of Pakistan operating with 09 divisions and 36 districts. It has an area of 205,344 square kilometres. Its provincial capital and largest city is Lahore. The area came under Muslim rule in 712 AD, and subsequently came under various other Muslim rulers until the victorious entry of the Mughal Empire in 1526. The province rose to significance during the reign of Shah Jahan when Lahore became a seat for royal family, the legacy of which is seen today in its rich display of Mughal architecture.

Punjab was part of the Indus Valley Civilization more than 4000 years ago. 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 civilisation. This civilisation shaped subsequent cultures in South Asia and Afghanistan. Punjab houses Cholistan desert which cover an area of 26,300 km2 (10,200 sq mi). It adjoins the Thar Desert, extending over to Sindh and into India. The dry bed of the Hakra River runs through the area, along which many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found.

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.

Punjab’s geography mostly consists of the alluvial plain of the Indus River and its four major tributaries in Pakistan, the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej rivers. There are several mountainous regions, including the Sulaiman Mountains in the southwest part of the province, and Margalla Hills, Salt Range, and Pothohar Plateau in the north. Murree Hills in the Northern Punjab make foothills of Himalyan range.

Weather extremes are notable from the hot and barren south to the cool hills of the north. 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 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 circle of its folk life and cultural traditions.