History of the Punjab


History of the Punjab

The first known use of the word Punjab is in the book "Tarikh-e-Sher Shah Suri" (1580), which mentions the construction of a fort by "Sher Khan of Punjab". The first mentioning of the Sanskrit equivalent of 'Punjab', however, occurs in the great epic, the Mahabharata (pancha-nada 'country of five rivers'). The name is mentioned again in "Ain-e-Akbari" (part 1), written by Abul Fazal, who also mentions that the territory of Punjab was divided into two provinces, Lahore and Multan. Similarly in the second volume of "Ain-e-Akbari", the title of a chapter includes the word "Punjab" in it. The Mughal King Jahangir also mentions the word "Punjab" in "Tuzk-i-Janhageeri". ["Punjabi Adab De Kahani", Abdul Hafeez Quraishee, Azeez Book Depot, Lahore, 1973. ] Punjab literally means five (Punj) Water (Ab) i.e. the Land of five rivers referring to the five rivers which go through it. It was because of this that it was made the "grainry" of British India. Today two rivers are flowing in Indian Punjab and two rivers lie in Pakistani Punjab, one river is common between both punjabs as border.

Pre-Aryan civilization

Archaeological discoveries at Mehrgarh in present-day Baluchistan show humans inhabited the region as early as 7000 BCE. From about 3000 BCE the Indus River basin was home to the Indus valley civilization, one of the earliest in human history. At its height, it boasted large cities like Harrapa (near Sahiwal in West Punjab) and Mohenjo Daro (near Sindh).The civilization declined rapidly after the 19th century BCE, for reasons that are still largely unexplained.

Indo-Aryans

[
Mature Harappan So-called "Priest King" statue, Mohenjo-daro,Wearing what is now the Sindhi Ajrak, late Mature Harappan period, National Museum, Karachi, Pakistan]

Factors in the Indus valley civilization's decline possibly included a change in weather patterns and unsustainable urbanization. This coincided with the drying up of the lower Sarasvati River. [ [http://www.tri-murti.com/ancientindia/aryan4.html#a25 The Myth of the Aryan Invasion Theory] "The New Model" by David Frawley] The Out of India theory suggests that this drying up caused the movement of the Indo-Aryans towards the Gangetic basin. [http://www.voiceofdharma.com/books/ait/ch63.htm The Aryan Non-Invasionist Model] by Koenraad Elst] The next one thousand years of the history of the Punjab and North India in general (c.1500-500 BCE) is dominated by the Indo-Aryans and the population and culture that emerged from their cultural development in the Indian subcontinent.

Vedic Punjab

The Rig-Veda, one of the older Bronze Age texts in human history, is generally thought to have been composed in the Greater Punjab. It embodies a literary record of the socio-cultural development of ancient Punjab (known as "Sapta Sindhu") and affords us a glimpse of the life of its people. Vedic society was tribal in character. A number of families constituted a "grama", a number of "gramas" a "vis" (clan) and a number of clans a "Jana" (tribe). The "Janas," led by "Rajans," were in constant inter-tribal warfare. From this warfare arose larger groupings of peoples ruled by great chieftains and kings. As a result, a new political philosophy of conquest and empire grew, which traced the origin of the state to the exigencies of war.

An important event of the Rigvedic era was the "Battle of Ten Kings" which was fought on the banks of the river Parusni (identified with the present-day river Ravi) between king Sudas of the Trtsu lineage of the Bharata clan on the one hand and a confederation of ten tribes on the other. [Rig Veda VII.18,19, 83.] The ten tribes pitted against Sudas comprised five major Indo-Aryan ones---the Purus, the Druhyus, the Anus, the Turvasas and the Yadus---and five minor ones, some perhaps of non-Indo-Aryan origin from the north-western and western frontiers of present-day Punjab---the Pakthas, the Alinas, the Bhalanas, the Visanins and the Sivas. King Sudas was supported by the Vedic Rishi Vasishtha, while his former Purohita the Rishi Viswamitra sided with the confederation of ten tribes. [ Rig Veda 7.18.6; 5.13.14; 7.18.12, 7.83.1-6; The Rig Veda and the History of India, 2001. (Aditya Prakashan), ISBN 81-7742-039-9, David Frawley.]

Out of such conflicts, struggles, conquests and movements of the Vedic of the Middle and Later Vedic age emerged the heroic society of Punjab, a society that laid special stress on "the value of action" as depicted by their ideals and standards in the Hindu Epics, notably the Mahabharata.

Epic Punjab

The philosophy of heroism of the Epic Age is excellently expounded in the Bhagavatagita section of the Mahabharata. That great work is a synthesis of many doctrines and creeds, but its oldest core is arguably the enunciation of a martial and heroic cult. The Bhagavatagita comprehensively expounds a philosophy of heroism probably current in the then Punjab. It seeks to provide a philosophical foundation to the profession of arms and invests the Kshatriya or warrior with respectable position and noble status. It canonizes his professional integrity and injects an intensity of purpose into it. This philosophy was professed by the warrior communities of ancient Punjab and countless generation of Punjabi soldiers have derived their strength and inspiration from it. The Punjabis, represented by ethnic groups such as the Gandharas, the Kambojas, the Trigartas, the Madras, the Malavas, the Pauravas, the Bahlikas and the Yaudheyas are stated to have sided with the Kauravas and displayed exemplary courage, power and prowess in the 18-day battle. The glorious exploits of these warlike communities can be seen in the accounts of the charges of the Kauravas against the Pandavas. The great epic makes copious attestation of the fact that the contingents of Gandharas, Kambojas, Sauviras, Madras and Trigartas occupied key positions in the Kaurava arrays throughout the epic war. [See: Historical Traditions in Ancient Punjab, 1971, pp 36-51, Dr Buddha Prakash.]

For the roles of Punjabis at Kurukshetra, see Kurukshetra war and the Kambojas

Another important epic event which involved the Punjabis was the conflict between the Indo-Aryan Rishi Vishwamitra of the Kurukshetra area and Sage Vasishtha from the north-western parts of greater Punjab (i.e region extending from Swat/Kabul in the west to Delhi in the east). [Cite book |last=Witzel |first=Dr. Michael |title=Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India, Data for the linguistic situation, c. 1900-500 B.C. |page=17] [Cite book |last=Witzel |first=Dr. Michael |title=The Home of the Aryans |date=2000 |page=28] . The story emerges in the Rigveda and more clearly later Vedic texts and is portrayed in the "Bala-Kanda" section of the Valmiki Ramayana. The epic conflict is said to have been sparked over the re-possession of Kamadhenu, also known as Savala, a divine cow by Vishwamitra from a Brahmana sage of the Vasishtha lineage. Rsi Vasishtha skillfully solicited the military support of the frontier Punjabi warriors consisting of eastern Iranians—the Shakas, Kambojas, Pahlavas etc., aided by Kirata, Harita and the Mlechcha soldiers from the Himalayas. This composite army of fierce warriors from frontier Punjab utterly ruined one "Akshauni" army of the illustrious Vishwamitra, along with all of his 100 his sons except one. [Valmiki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Ch 51-55.] The Kamdhenu war seems to allegorically symbolise a struggle for supremacy between the Kshatriya forces and the priestly class of the epic era. On the other hand, indologists like Dr H. C. Raychadhury, Dr B. C. Law, Dr Satya Shrava and others see in these verses the glimpses of the struggles of the Aryan India with the mixed invading hordes of the barbaric Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Pahlavas etc. from the north-west. [Cite book |last=Shrava |first=Satya |title=The Śakas in India |date=1981 |page=12] [Cite book |last=Rishi |first=Weer Rajendra |title=Indological Studies |date=1982 |page=100] [Cite book |last=Law |first=Bimala Churn |title=Indological Studies |page=32 |date=1950] [Cite book |last=Raychaudhuri |first=Hemehandra |title=Law; Political History of India from the Accession of Parikshit to the Coronation of Bimbisara |date=1923 |page=iii] The time frame for these struggles is said to be second century BCE downwards. Dr Raychadhury fixes the date of the present version of the Valmiki Ramayana around/after second century CE.Cite book |last=Raychaudhury |first=Dr Hemchandra C. |coauthors= Dr B. N. Mukerjee |title=Political History of Ancient India |date=1950]

Paninian and Kautiliyan Punjab

Panini was a famous ancient Sanskrit grammarian born in Shalātura, identified with modern Lahur near Attock in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. One may infer from his work, the Ashtadhyayi, that the people of Greater Punjab lived prominently by the profession of arms. That text terms numerous clans as being "Ayudhajivin Samghas" or "Republics (oligarchies) that live by force of arms". Those living in the plains were called "Vahika Samghas", [Ashtadhyayi Sutra V.3.114-117.] while those in the mountainous regions (including the north-east of present-day Afghanistan) were termed as "Parvatiya Samghas" (mountaineer republics). [Ashtadhyayi Sutra IV.3.91.] According to an older opinion the "Vahika Sanghas" included prominently the Vrikas (possibly modern Virk Jatts), "Damanis", confederation of six states known as "Trigarta-shashthas", "Yaudheyas" (modern Joiya or Johiya Rajputs and some Kamboj), "Parsus", "Kekayas", "Usinaras", "Sibis" [Cite book |last=Forlong |first=J.G.R. |title=Encyclopedia of Religion or Faiths of Man, Vol II |date=1906 |page=282 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=6Lmirsa-g_oC&vid=ISBN0766143082&dq=Kambhoja&pg=RA1-PA282&lpg=RA1-PA282&sig=DHg73nhHXM_7wqSgldpEZg4r5Ds&q=Kambhoja |publisher=Kessinger Publishing |isbn=0766143082] (possibly modern "Sibia Jatts"?), "Kshudrakas", "Malavas", "Bhartas", and the "Madraka" clans, [ See Gannapatha V.3.116, V.3.117, V.3.118, besides Sutras V.3.113-118 etc.] while the other class, styled as "Parvatiya Ayudhajivins", comprised among others partially the "Trigartas", "Darvas", the Gandharan clan of "Hastayanas", [Ashtadhyayi Sutra VI.4.174.] , "Niharas", "Hamsamaragas", and the Kambojan clans of "Ashvayanas" [Ashtadhyayi Sutra IV.1.110.] & "Ashvakayanas", [Nadadigana IV.1.90] , "Dharteyas" (of the Dyrta town of the "Ashvakayans"), "Apritas", "Madhuwantas" (all known as Rohitgiris), as well as the "Daradas" of the Chitral, Gilgit, etc. In addition, Panini "also" refers to the Kshatriya monarchies of the Kuru, Gandhara and Kamboja. [Ashtadhyayi Sutra IV.1.168-174.] These Kshatriyas or warrior communities followed different forms of republican or oligarchic constitutions, as is attested to by Panini's "Ashtadhyayi".

The Arthashastra of Kautiliya, whose oldest layer may go back to the 4th century BCE also talks of several martial republics and specifically refers to the Kshatriya "Srenis" (warrior-bands) of the Kambojas, Surastras and some other frontier tribes as belonging to "varta-Shastr-opajivin" class (i.e living by the profession of arms and "varta"), while the Madraka, Malla, the Kuru, etc. clans are called "Raja-shabd-opajivins" class (i.e. using the title of Raja). [Cite book |last=Shamasatry |first=R. |title=Kautiliya's Arthashastra, Book Xi |date=1966 |pages=407 |url=http://www.mssu.edu/projectsouthasia/history/primarydocs/Arthashastra/BookXI.htm] [Cite book |last=Ramachandra Dikshitar |first=V. R. |title=The Mauryan Polity |date=1932 |page=70 ] [Cite book |last=Mookerji |first=Dr Radha Kumud |title=Chandragupta Maurya and His Times: Madras University, Sir William Meyer Lectures |date=1940-41 |page=168 |isbn=8120804058] [Cite book |last=Sensarma |first=P. |title=The Military History of Bengal |date=1977 |page=47] [Cite book |last=Saletore |first=Bhasker Anand |title=Main Currents in the Ancient History of Gujarat |date=1960 |page= 24] Dr Arthur Coke Burnell observes: "In the West, there were the Kambojas and the Katas (Kathas) with a high reputation for courage and skill in war, the Saubhuties, the Yaudheyas, and the two federated peoples, the Sibis, the Malavas and the Kshudrakas, the most numerous and warlike of the Indian nations of the days". [Studies in Kautilya, 1953, p 15, Prof. Venkata Krishna Rao. ] [Hindu Polity (The Ordinance of Manu), 1972, p 29, Dr Arthur Coke Burnell.] . Thus, it is seen that the heroic traditions cultivated in Vedic and Epic Age continued to the times of Panini and Kautaliya. In fact, the entire region of Greater Punjab is known to have reeked with the martial people. History strongly witnesses that these "Ayudhajivin" clans had offered stiff resistance to the Achaemenid rulers in the 6th century, and later to the Macedonian invaders in the 4th century BC.

According to 'History of Punjab': "There is no doubt that the Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Madras, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas and Kurus had jointly contributed to the heroic tradition and composite culture of ancient Punjab". [Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Panjab, pp 21-70, Dr Buddha Prakash.]

Ancient empires

Persian domination

The western parts of ancient Gandhara and Kamboja (kingdoms of Greater Punjab) lay at the eastern edge of the Persian Empire. Both these ancient kingdoms, first Gandhara then Sindh, fell prey to Persia during the reign of Cyrus the Great (558-530 BCE), and in the first years of the reign of Darius I (521 BC - 486 BCE). The upper Indus region, comprising Gandhara and Kamboja, formed the 7th satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire, while the lower and middle Indus, comprising Sindhu and Sauvira, constituted the 20th satrapy. They are reported to have contributed 170 and 360 talents of gold dust in annual tribute.

The ancient Greeks also had some knowledge of the area. Darius I appointed the Greek Scylax of Caryanda to explore the Indian Ocean from the mouth of the Indus to Suez. Scylax provides an account of this voyage in his book "Periplous". Hecataeus of Miletus (500 BCE) and Herodotus (483-431 BCE) also wrote about the "Indian Satrapy" of the Persians. In ancient Greek texts and maps, we find mention of the "mightiest river of all the world", called the Indos (Indus), and its tributaries, the Hydaspes (Jhelum), Akesines (Chenab), Hydraotes (Ravi), Zaradros/ Hesidros (Sutlej) and Hyphasis (Beas).

Alexander's invasion

"The Kambhojas on the Indos (Indus), the Taksas of Taksila, the Madras and Kathas (Kathaioi) on Akesines (Chenab), the Malla (Malloi) on the Hydraotis (Iravati or Ravi), the Tugras on the Hesidros (Sutlej) had formed important populations of the Punjab in the pre-Alexandrian age and stubbornly opposed Alexander on the Indus and, in spite of his victories on Hydaspes (Jhelum) and Sakala (Sangala, Sialkot)), had finally led him and his soldiers to abandon his planned conquest of India and retire to Babylonia" [ Faiths of Man: A Cyclopædia of Religions, 1906, p 280, p James George Roche Forlong.] .

After overunning the Achaemenid Empire in 331 BCE, Alexander marched into present-day Afghanistan with an army of 50,000. His scribes do not record the names of the rulers of the Gandhara or Kamboja; rather, they locate a dozen small political units in those territories. This rules out the possibility of Gandhara and/or Kamboja having been great kingdoms in the late 4th century BCE. In 326 BCE, most of the dozen-odd political units of the former Gandhara/Kamboja fell to Alexander's forces.

Greek historians refer to three warlike peoples -viz. the Astakenoi, the Aspasioi [Other classical names are Assaceni, Aseni, Aspii and Hippasii etc.] and the Assakenoi [ Other classical names are Assacani, Asoi, Asii/Osii etc.] ["Asoi" is also a clan name amongst the modern Kamboj people of Punjab, which seems to connect them with the Asoi/Assakenoi or the Ashvakayna of the Swat/Kunar valleys.] , located in the northwest west of river Indus, whom Alexander had encountered during his campaign from Kapisi through Gandhara. The Aspasioi were cognate with the Assakenoi and were merely a western branch of them Cite book |last=Joshi |first=Dr L. M. |coauthors=Dr Fauja Singh |title=History of Punjab, Vol I |date=1972 |publisher=Publication Bureau, Punjabi University, Patiala] [ Cf: Ancient India, 1922, p 352, fn 3, Edward James Rapson - India.] . Both Aspasioi and Assakenoi were a brave peoples [ India as Known to Panini, 1953, pp 424, 456, Dr V. S. Aggarwala; Ancient Kamboja, People and the Country, 1981, Dr J. L. Kamboj, Dr Satyavrat Śastri.] . Alexander had personally directed his operations against these hardy mountaineers who offered him stubborn resistance in all of their mountainous strongholds. The Greek names Aspasioi and Asssakenoi derive from Sanskrit "Ashva" (or Persian "Aspa"). They appear as Ashvayanas and Ashvakayanas in Panini's Ashtadhyayi [East and West, 1950, p 28, Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Editor, Prof Giuseppe Tucci, Co-editors Prof Mario Bussagli, Prof Lionello Lanciotti.] [ Ashtadhyayi Sutra VI.1.110 & Nadadigana 4.1.99 respectively] and Ashvakas in the Puranas. Since the Kambojas were famous for their excellent breed of horses as also for their expert cavalry skills [ Ashva-yuddha-Kushalah…Mahabharata, 12,105.5. ] [Note: Horse in Sanskrit means Ashva, in Prakrit Assa and in Persian means Aspa. Scholars say that classical name Assakenoi, Assacani, Asoi/Osii etc derives from Prakrit Assa/or Sanskrit Ashva. Similarly the classical Aspasio, Aspasii, Hippasii, Assaceni, Aseni derives from Persian Aspa.] [Samangalavilasini, Vol I, p 124).] , hence, in popular parlance, they were also known as Ashvakas [Historie du bouddhisme Indien, p 110, Dr E. Lammotte.] [East and West, 1950, pp 28, 157-58, Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Editor, Prof Giuseppe Tucci, Co-editors Prof Mario Bussagli, Prof Lionello Lanciotti.] Cite book |last=Jayaswal |first=Kashi Prasad |title=Hindu Polity, A contitutional History of India in Hindu Times |date=1978] [Cite book |last=Prakash |last=Dr Buddha |title=History of Poros |date=1967 |page=12,39] [Cf: Glimpses of Ancient Panjab: (Sita Ram Kohli Memorial Lectures), 1966, p 23, Dr Buddha Prakash - Punjab (India).] . The Ashvayanas/Ashvakayanas and allied Saka clans [For Saka reference see Invasion of India by Scythian Tribes.] had fought the Macedonians to a man. At the worst of the war, even the Ashvakayana Kamboj women had taken up arms and fought the invaders side by side with their husbands, thus preferring "a glorious death to a life of dishonor." [Diodorus in McCrindle, p 270; History of Civilizations of Central Asia, 1999, p 76, Ahmad Hasan Dani, Vadim Mikhaĭlovich Masson, János Harmatta, Boris Abramovich Litvinovskiĭ, Clifford Edmund Bosworth, UNESCO - Asia, Central] .

In a letter to his mother, Alexander described his encounters with these trans-Indus tribes: "I am involved in the land of a leonine and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander"
Pre-Islamic period of Afghanistan#Alexander the Great, Seleucid-Mauryan rivalry, and Greco-Bactrian Rule, 330 BCE–ca. 150 BCE.

Alexander then marched east to the Hydaspes, where Porus, ruler of the kingdom between the Hydaspes (Jhelum)near Bhera and the Akesines (Chenab) refused to submit to him. The two armies fought the Battle of the Hydaspes River outside the town of Nikaia (near the modern city of Jhelum) and Poros became Alexander's satrap. Alexander's army crossed the Hydraotis and marched east to the Hyphases (Beas). However, Alexander's troops refused to go beyond the Hyphases (Beas) River near modern day Jalandhar. He crossed the river and ordered to erect giant altars to mark the eastern most extent of his empire thus claiming the territory east of Beas as part of his conquests. He also set up a city named Alexandria nearby and left many Macedonian veterans there, he himself turned back and marched his army to the Jhelum and the Indus to the Arabian Sea, and sailing to Babylon.

Alexander left some forces in India. In the Indus territory, he nominated his officer Peithon as a satrap, a position he would hold for the next ten years until 316 BC, and in the Punjab he left Eudemus in charge of the army, at the side of the satraps Porus and Taxiles. Eudemus became ruler of the Punjab after their death. Both rulers returned to the West in 316 BC with their armies, and Chandragupta Maurya established the Maurya Empire in India.

Maurya Empire

The portions of the Punjab that had been captured under Alexander were soon conquered by Chandragupta Maurya. The founder of the Mauryan Empire incorporated the rich provinces of the Punjab into his empire and fought Alexander's successor in the east, Seleucus, when the latter invaded. In a peace treaty, Seleucus ceded all territories west of the Indus, including Southern Afghanistan while Chandragupta granted Seleucus 500 elephants. The Sanskrit play Mudrarakshasa of Visakhadutta as well as the Jaina work "Parisishtaparvan" talk of Chandragupta's alliance with the Himalayan king "Parvatka", sometimes identified with Porus [John Marshall "Taxila", p18, and al.] . This Himalayan alliance is thought to given Chandragupta a composite and powerful army made up of the Yavanas (Greeks), Kambojas, Shakas (Scythians), Kiratas, Parasikas (Persians) and Bahlikas (Bactrians) [Sanskrit original, Mudrarakshasa 2] . The Punjab prospered under Mauryan rule for the next century. It became a Bactrian Greek (Indo-Greek) territory in 180 BCE following the collapse of Mauryan authority.

Indo-Greek kingdom

Alexander established two cities in the Punjab, where he settled people from his multi-national armies, which included a majority of Greeks and Macedonians. These Indo-Greek cities and their associated realms thrived long after Alexander's departure. After Alexander's death, the eastern portion of his empire (from present-day Syria to Punjab) was inherited by Seleucus I Nicator, the founder of the Seleucid dynasty. However, this empire was disrupted by the ascendancy of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. The Bactrian king Demetrius I added the Punjab to his Kingdom in the early 2nd century BCE. Some of these early Indo-Greeks were Buddhists. The best known of the Indo-Greek kings was Menander I, known in India as Milinda, who established an independent kingdom centered at Taxila around 160 BCE. He later moved his capital to Sagala (modern Sialkot).

There is a distinct prophetic statement in the Mahabharata that "the Mleccha (Barbaric) kings of the Sakas, Yavanas, Kambojas, Bahlikas, Abhiras etc will rule the earth ( i.e India) unrighteously in Kaliyuga" [MBH 23/187 28-30] . The "Gargi Samhita" also prophesies: "After having conquered Saketa, the country of the Panchala and Mathura, the Yavanas, wicked and valliant, will reach Kusumadhvaja (Pataliputra)" ["Gargi-Samhita", Yuga Purana chapter.] . And the "Anushasanaparava" of the Mahabharata affirms that the country of Mathura, the heartland of India, was under the joint military control of the Yavanas and the Kambojas [MBH 12.105, 5, Kumbhakonam Ed] [ Prof Shashi Asthana comments: "Epic Mahabharata refers to the siege of Mathura by the Yavanas and Kambojas" (See: History and Archaeology of India's Contacts with Other Countries, from Earliest Times to 300 B.C., 1976, p 153, Shashi Asthana; Indian Historical Quarterly, XXVI-2, p 124); See also: India and the World, p 154, Dr Buddha Prakash; etc., etc.] . Apparently, the Yavana invasion of Majjhimadesa (Middle India) which included Mathura and Pataliputra was probably carried out jointly by the Yavanas and the Kambojas (and probably also the Sakas) from Greater Punjab. The evidence from the Mathura Lion Capital inscriptions of the 'Great Satrap' (Mahakshatrapa) Rajuvula sustains this view. This Middle India invasion was followed by almost two centuries of Yavana rule.

akas, Kushanas, and Hephthalites

In the middle of the 2nd century BC, the Yuezhi tribe of the Tarim Basin was defeated by the Xiongnu and fled westward into Central Asia. They in turn caused the Scythian Sakas to move into the Greco-Bactrian lands to the south and west. The Northern Sakas or Indo-Scythians moved first into Bactria, later crossing the Hindu Kush into India and wresting power from the Indo-Greeks by 10 AD. They were soon followed by the Yuezhi, who created the Kushan Empire that ruled the Punjab from the mid 1st century to the mid 3rd century. The Kushans were defeated by the Persian Sassanids in the mid 3rd century and were replaced by the vassal Indo-Sassanids or Kushansha Kingdom. Both the Indo-Scythians and the Kushans embraced Buddhism, and absorbed elements of Indo-Greek art and culture into their own. The Kushanshahs were defeated by the Chionite or Red-Hun kingdom of the Kidarites in the early 5th century. The Kidarites were soon replaced by another Central Asiatic people, the Hephthalites or White Huns, who engaged in continuous campaigns from across the Hindu Kush, finally establishing their rule in India after defeating the Kidarites and Guptas in the late fifth century.

Gupta Empire

The Shahi Kingdoms and the Muslim invasions

:"see main articles, Kushano-Hephthalites and Shahi"

The Hephthalites were defeated by a Sassanid and Gokturk alliance in 557 AD, and the Hephthalite remnants formed smaller Kushano-Hephthalite or Turki Shahi kingdoms that were dominated by Persia. Taank and Kapisa both dominated Gandhara and the Punjab until the 9th century.

Following the birth of Islam in Arabia in the early 6th century, the Muslim Arabs rose to power and replaced the Zoroastrian Persian Empire as the major power west of India in the mid 7th century. In 711-713 AD, Arab armies from the Umayyad caliphate of Damascus conquered Sind and advanced into southern Punjab, occupying present-day Multan, which was later to become a center of the Ismaili sect of Islam.

The Hindu Shahi dynasty replaced the Turki Shahi dynasty in the mid 9th century, and ruled much of the Punjab, as well as western Afghanistan, until the early 11th century. The Shahi Kingdom was originally based at Kabul, and later spread across the Punjab. Kabul was overrun by Turkic Muslims in the 10th century, and the Shahi capital was shifted to Ohind, near present-day Attock.

In 977 AD, the Turkic ruler Sabuktigin acceded to the throne of the small kingdom of Ghazni in central Afghanistan. In the 980s, Subuktigin defeated the Shahis, extending his rule from the Khyber Pass, to the Indus. After his death in 997, his son Mahmud assumed power in Ghazni. He expanded his father's kingdom far to the west and east through military conquest. He invaded the Punjab and northern India seventeen times during his reign, conquering the Shahi kingdom and extending his rule across the Punjab as far as the upper Yamuna. Mahmud demolished Hindu temples wherever his campaigns took him, and he also attacked the Ismailis, whom he viewed as heretics.

Mahmud's successors, known as the Ghaznavids, ruled for 157 years. Their kingdom gradually shrank in size, and was racked by bitter succession struggles. The Ghaznavids lost the western part of their kingdom (in present-day Iran) to the expanding Seljuk Turks. The Rajput kingdoms of western India reconquered the eastern Punjab, and by the 1160s, the line of demarcation between the Ghaznavid state and the Hindu kingdoms approximated to the present-day boundary between India and Pakistan. The Ghorids of central Afghanistan occupied Ghazni around 1150, and the Ghaznavid capital was shifted to Lahore. Muhammad Ghori conquered the Ghaznavid kingdom, occupying Lahore in 1186-1187, and later extending his kingdom past Delhi into the Ganges-Yamuna Doab.

The Delhi Sultanate and Mughal empire

After Muhammad's death in 1206, his general Qutb-ud-din Aybak took control of Muhummad's Indian empire, including Afghanistan, the Punjab, and northern India. Qutb-ud-din moved his capital of the empire from Ghazni to Lahore, and, after becoming Sultan, to Delhi; the empire he founded was called the Sultanate of Delhi. His successors were known as the "Mamluk" or Slave dynasty, and ruled from his death in 1210 to 1290. The Mongols, who had conquered Muhammad Ghori's former possessions in Central Asia, continued to encroach on the Sultanate's northwest frontier in the thirteenth century. The Mongols conquered Afghanistan, and from there raided the Punjab and northwestern India. Lahore was sacked in 1241, and the Mongols and Sultans contested for control of the Punjab for much of the thirteenth century. The Khilji dynasty replaced the Mamluks in 1290. The rule of Khiljis was briefly disrupted by successful raids by the Mongols, who marched to Delhi twice during Alauddin Khilji's rule. The Tughluqids succeeded the Khiljis in 1320. Timur, who ruled a Central Asian empire from Samarkand, sacked Delhi in 1398-1399, and reduced the Sultanate to a small kingdom surrounding Delhi. Two Afghan dynasties took control of the Sultanate after the Tughluqids; The Sayyids from 1414 to 1479, and the Lodhis from 1479 to until 1526. The Lodhis recovered control of some of the Sultanate's lost territories, including the Punjab. Babur, a descendant of the Mongol Khans who ruled a kingdom in Afghanistan, defeated the last Sultan of Delhi at the First battle of Panipat in 1526 and founded the Mughal Empire.

The Mughal empire persisted for several centuries until it was severely weakened in the eighteenth century by the attacks of the Marathas and the 1739 sack of Delhi by the Persian Nadir Shah. As Mughal power weakened, Afghan rulers took control of the empire's northwestern provinces, including the Punjab and Sind. The eighteenth century also saw the rise of the Sikhs in the Punjab.

The Rule Of Sikhs

The Punjab presented a picture of chaos and confusion when Ranjit Singh took the control of Sukerchakias misalthis was achieved through delegation as the sikhs were unable to take the moghuls out. The edifice of Ahmed Shah Abdali's empire in India had crumbled. Afghanistan was dismembered. Peshawar and Kashmir though under the suzerainty of Afghanistan had attained de facto independence. The Barakzais were now masters of these lands. Attock was ruled by Wazrikhels and Jhang lay at the feet of Sials. The Pashtuns ruled Kasur. Multan had thrown off the yoke and Nawab Muzaffar Khan was now ruler.

Both Punjab and Sind had been under Afghan rule since 1757 when Ahmed Shah Abdali was granted suzerainty over these provinces. However, the Sikhs were now a rising power in Punjab. Taimur Khan, a local Governor, was able to expel the Sikhs from Amritsar and raze the fort of Ram Rauni. His control was short-lived, however, and the Sikh misal joined to defeat Taimur Shah and his Chief minister Jalal Khan. The Afghans were forced to retreat and Lahore was occupied by the Sikhs in 1758. Jassa Singh Ahluwalia proclaimed the Sikh's sovereignty and assumed leadership, striking coins to commemorate his victory.

While Ahmed Shah Abdali was engaged in a campaign against the Marathas at Panipat in 1761, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia plundered Sirhind and Dialpur, seized towns in the Ferozepur district, and took possession of Jagraon and Kot Isa Khan on the opposite bank of the Sutlej. He captured Hoshiarpur and Naraingarh in Ambala and levied tribute from the chief of Kapurthala. He then marched towards Jhang. The Sial chief offered stout resistance. However, when Ahmad Shah left in February 1761, Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia again attacked Sirhind and extended his territory as far as Tarn Taran. When he crossed the Bias and captured Sultanpur in 1762, Ahmad Shah again appeared and a fierce battle took place. The ensuing holocaust was called Ghalughara. Following the rout of Sikh forces, Nawab Jassa Singh fled to the Kangra hills. After the departure of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia again attacked Sirhind, razing it and killiing the Afghan Governor Zen Khan. This was a great victory for the Sikhs who now ruled all of the territory around the Sirhind.

Ahmad Shah died in June 1773. After his death the power of the Afghans declined in the Punjab. Taimur Shah ascended the throne at Kabul. By then the Misls were well established in the Punjab. They controlled territory as far as Saharnpur in the east, Attock in the west, Kangra Jammu in the north and Multan in the south. Efforts were made by Afghan rulers to dislodge the Sikhs from their citadels. Taimur Shah attacked Multan and temporarily defeated the Dhillon Sardars of the Bhangi misl. The Dhillon Sardars controlled the Dhillon principality and the powerful Bhangi misl army "(the most powerful of all the misl at this time)", Lehna Singh, and Sobha Singh were driven out of Lahore in 1767 by the Abdali, but soon reoccupied it. They remained in power in Lahore until 1793 - the year when Shah Zaman acceded to the throne of Kabul.

The first attempt at conquest by Shah Zaman was in 1793. He came to Hasan Abdal from which he sent an army of 7000 cavalry under Ahmad Shah Shahnachi but the Sikhs routed them. It was a great setback to Shah Zaman, but in 1795 he reorganized forces and again attacked Hasan Abdal, This time he snatched Rohtas from the Sukerchikias, whose leader was Ranjit Singh. Singh suffered at Shah Zaman's hands but did not lose courage. However, Shah Zaman had to return to Kabul as an invasion of his country from the west was apprehended. When he returned, Ranjit Singh dislodged the Afghans from Rohtas.

Shah Zaman did not sit idle. In 1796 he crossed the Indus for the third time and planned to capture Delhi. His ambition knew no bounds. By now he had raised an Afghan army of 3000 men. He was confident a large number of Indians would join him. Nawab of Kasur had already assured him help. Sahib Singh of Patiala betrayed his countrymen and declared his intentions of helping Shah Zaman. Shah Zaman was also assured of help by the Rohillas, Wazir of Oudh, and Tipu Sultan of Mysore. The news of Shah Zaman's invasion spread quickly and people began fleeing to the hills for safety. Heads of Misals, though bound to give protection to the people as they were collecting Rakhi tax from them, were the first to leave the people in lurch. By December Shah Zaman occupied territory up to Jhelum. When he reached Gujarat, Sahib Singh Bhangi panicked and left the place.

Next Shah Zaman marched on the territory of Ranjit Singh. Singh was alert and raised an army of 5000 horsemen. However, they were inadequately armed with only spears and muskets. The Afghans were equipped with heavy artillery. Ranjit Singh foresaw a strong, united fight against the invaders as he came to Amritsar. A congregation of "Sarbat Khlasa" was called and many Sikh sardars answered the call. There was general agreement that Shah Zaman's army should be allowed to enter the Punjab and that the Sikhs should retire to the hills.

Forces were reorganized under the command of Ranjit Singh and they marched towards Lahore. They gave the Afghans a crushing defeat in several villages and surrounded the city of Lahore. Sorties were made into the city at night in which they would kill a few Afghan soldiers and then leave under cover of darkness. Following this tactic they were able to dislodge Afghans from several places.

In 1797 Shah Zaman suddenly left for Afghansistan as his brother Mahmud had revolted. Shahanchi khan remained at Lahore with a sizeable army. The Sikhs followed Shah Zaman to Jhelum and snatched many goods from him. In returning, the Sikhs were attacked by the army of Shahnachi khan near Ram Nagar. The Sikhs routed his army. It was the first major achievement of Ranjit Singh. He became the hero of the land of Five Rivers and his reputation spread far and wide.

Again in 1798 Shah Zaman attacked Punjab to avenge the defeat of 1797. The Sikh people took refuge in the hills. A "Sarbat Khalsa" was again called and Sada Kaur persuaded the Sikhs to fight once again to the last man. This time even Muslims were not spared by Shah Zaman's forces and he won Gujarat easily. Sada Kaur roused the Sikhs sense of national honour. If they were to again leave Amritsar, she would command the forces against the Afghans. She said that an Afghani soldier was no match for a Sikh soldier. In battle they would acquit themselves, and, by the grace of Sat Guru, would be successful.

The Afghans plundered the towns and villages as they had vowed and declared that they would defeat the Sikhs. However, it was the Muslims who suffered most as the Hindus and Sikhs had already left for the hills. The Muslims had thought that they would not be touched but their hopes were dashed and their provisions forcibly taken from them by the Afghans.

Shah Zaman requested that Raja Sansar Chand of Kangra refuse to give food or shelter to the Sikhs. This was agreed. Shah Zaman attacked Lahore and the Sikhs, surrounded as they were on all sides, had to fight a grim battle. The Afghans occupied Lahore in November 1798 and planned to attack Amritsar. Ranjit Singh collected his men and faced Shah's forces about eight kilometres from Amritsar. They were well-matched and the Afghans were, at last, forced to retire. Humiliated, they fled towards Lahore. Ranjit Singh pursued them and surrounded Lahore. Afghan supply lines were cut, crops were burnt and other provisions plundered so that they did not fall into Afghan's hands. It was a humiliating defeat for the Afghans. Nizam-ud.din of Kasur attacked the Sikhs near Shahdara on the banks of the Ravi, but his forces were no match for the Sikhs. Here too, it was the Muslims who suffered the most. The retreating Afghans and Nizam-ud-din forces plundered the town, antagonizing the local people.

The Afghans struggled hard to dislodge the Sikhs but in vain. The Sikh cordon was so strong that it was impossible for the Afghans to break it and proceed towards Delhi. Ranjit Singh terrorized the Afghans. The moment Zaman Shah left, Ranjit Singh pursued his forces and caught them unawares near Gujranwala. They were chased further up to Jhelum. Many Afghans were put to death and their weapons and supplies taken. The rest fled for their lives. Shah Zaman was overthrown by his brother and was blinded. He became a helpless creature, who, twelve years later, came to the Punjab to seek refuge in Ranjit Singh's darbar. Singh was now ruler of the land.

Ranjit Singh combined with Sahib Singh of Gujrat (Punjab) and Milkha Singh Pindiwala and a large Sikh force. They fell upon the Afghan garrison while Shah Zaman was still in vicinity of Khyber Pass. The Afghan forces fled north after having been routed by the Sikhs, leaving behind their dead, including the Afghan deputy, at Gujarat." (Bikramjit Hasrat, Life and times of Ranjit Singh, p.36)

By this time the people of the country had become aware of the rising strength of Ranjit Singh. He was the most popular leader of the Punjab and was planning to enter Lahore. Victims of oppression, the people of Lahore were favorably disposed towards Singh who they saw as a potential liberator. Muslims joined Hindu and Sikh residents of Lahore in making an appeal to Singh to free them from the tyrannical rule.

A petition was written and was signed by Mian Ashak Muhammad, Mian Mukkam Din, Mohammad Tahir, Mohammad Bakar, Hakim Rai, and Bhai Gurbaksh Singh. It was addressed to Ranjit singh, requesting him to free them from the Bhangi sardars. They begged Singh to liberate Lahore as soon as possible. He mobilised an Army of 25,000 and marched towards Lahore on July 6, 1799.

It was a last day of Muharram when a big procession was to be held in the town in the memory of the two grandsons of the Prophet Muhammad who had been martyred on the battlefield. It was expected that the Bhangi sardars would also participate in the procession and mourn with their Shia brethren. By the time procession was over Ranjit Singh had reached the outskirts of city.

In the early morning of July 7 1799, Ranjit Singh's men took up their positions. Guns glistened and bugles were sounded. Rani Sada Kaur stood outside Delhi Gate and Ranjit Singh proceeded towards Anarkali bazaar. Ranjit Singh rode along the walls of the city setting mines. The wall was breached. This created panic and confusion. Mukkam Din, who was one of the signatories to the petition made a proclamation, accompanied by drumbeats, stating that he had taken over the town and was now in charge. He ordered the city gates to be opened. Ranjit Singh entered the city with his troops through the Lahori Gate. Sada Kaur and a detachment of cavalry entered through Delhi gate. Before the Bhangi sardars realized it, a part of the citadel had been occupied without resistance. Sahib Singh and Mohar Singh left the city and sought protection. Chet Singh was left to either to fight to defend the town or flee. He shut himself in Hazuri Bagh with 500 men. Ranjit Singh's cavalry surrounded Hazuri Bagh. Chet Singh surrendered and was given permission to leave the city along with his family.

Ranjit Singh was now well-entrenched. Immediately after taking possession of the city, he paid a visit to Badshahi Mosque. This gesture increased his prestige in the eyes of people. He won the hearts of his subjects, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh alike. It was July 7, 1799 when the victorious Ranjit Singh entered Lahore.

Ranjit Singh ultimately acquired a kingdom in the Punjab which stretched from the Sutlej River in the east to Peshawar in the west, and from the junction of the Sutlej and the Indus in the south to Ladakh in the north. Ranjit died in 1839, and a succession struggle ensued. Two of his successor maharajas were assassinated by 1843.

ikh Empire (1799-1849)

*Maharaja Ranjit Singh (b.1780, Crowned April 12, 1801, d.1839)
*Kharak Singh (b.1801, d.1840), Eldest son of Ranjit Singh.
*Nau Nihal Singh (b.1821, d.1840), Grandson of Ranjit Singh.
*Sher Singh (b.1807, d.1843), Son of Ranjit Singh.
*Duleep Singh (b.1838, Coronated 1843, d.1893), Youngest son of Ranjit Singh.The British Empire annexed Punjab in c.1849 AD; after two Anglo Sikh Wars

The British in Punjab

By 1845 the British had moved 32,000 troops to the Sutlej frontier, to secure their northernmost possessions against the succession struggles in the Punjab. In late 1845, British and Sikh troops engaged near Ferozepur, beginning the First Anglo-Sikh War. The war ended the following year, and the territory between the Sutlej and the Beas was ceded to Great Britain, along with Kashmir, which was sold to Gulab Singh of Jammu, who ruled Kashmir as a British vassal.

As a condition of the peace treaty, some British troops, along with a resident political agent and other officials, were left in the Punjab to oversee the regency of Maharaja Dhalip Singh, a minor. The Sikh army was reduced greatly in size. In 1848, out-of-work Sikh troops in Multan revolted, and a British official was killed. Within a few months, the unrest had spread throughout the Punjab, and British troops once again invaded. The British prevailed in the Second Anglo-Sikh War, and under the Treaty of Lahore in 1849, the Punjab was annexed by the British East India Company, and Dhalip Singh was pensioned off. The Punjab became a province of British India, although a number of small states, most notably Patiala, retained local rulers who recognized British sovereignty.

In every way, the Punjab was one of Great Britain's most important assets in colonial India. Its political and geographic predominance gave Britain a base from which to project its power over more than 500 princely states that made up India. Lahore was a center of learning and culture under British rule, and Rawalpindi became an important Army installation.

The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919 occurred in Amritsar. In 1930, the Indian National Congress proclaimed independence from Lahore. The 1940 Lahore Resolution of the Muslim League to work for Pakistan, made Punjab the centerstage of a different, bloodier and dirtier struggle.

In 1946, massive communal tensions and violence erupted between the majority Muslims of Punjab, and the Hindu and Sikh minorities. The Muslim League attacked the government of Unionist Punjabi Muslims, Sikh Akalis and the Congress, and led to its downfall. Unwilling to be cowed down, Sikhs and Hindus counter-attacked and the resulting bloodshed left the province in great disorder. Both Congress and League leaders agreed to partition Punjab upon religious lines, a precursor to the wider partition of the country.

The British Punjab province, which includes present-day Punjab province of Pakistan, and the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh, was partitioned in 1947 between the newly-independent states of India and Pakistan.

The Punjab of India and Pakistan

Eastern parts of Gurdaspur district in the northern point of the province adjoining Kashmir were given to India, with a small Muslim majority of 60% partitioned along the Ravi river leaving only Shakargarh sub-division on the Pakistani side, thus making the eastern half majority Muslims part of India.Gurdaspur and Firozpur,both Muslim regions, were handed over to India. The state of Jammu and Kashmir had a land link with these parts, which according to some, might have influenced the taking over of Kashmir by India. During the partition, over 1 million people were killed indiscriminately and with medieval brutality. Women were raped and murdered, children massacred and the elderly brutalized.

Sikhs demanded a Punjabi speaking East Punjab with autonomous control. Led by Master Tara Singh, Sikhs wanted to obtain a political voice in their state. In 1965, a fierce war broke out between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir. To deflect Pakistani pressure on Kashmir, India opened a new front in Punjab directly threatening Lahore, however their advance was stopped and they took heavy losses. Owing to the extreme proximity of Pakistan's most important city to the border, the Pakistani army concentrated its forces and strengths to the maximum in this thin stretch of land.

In 1966, owing to the tremendous bravery shown by thousands of Sikh officers and soldiers in the Indian Army, and the growing Sikh unrest, the Government divided the Punjab into a Sikh-majority state of the same name, and Hindu-majority Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Today Sikhs form about 60% of the population in Punjab.

In the 1960s, the Green Revolution swept India. Punjab's agricultural production trebled, and so did the prosperity of its people. For such a small state to be called the bread-basket for a country of more than a billion people, is like a goldfish being classified a leviathan. Industrialization swept the state and the state remains the ones of the economic leaders of the entire country. Punjabi culture also predominates the national art, media, music and film industries. Punjabis, especially Sikhs, form a major part of the Indian Armed Forces.

In the early 1980s, a small group of Sikh fundamentalists sought the Punjabi state to be made independent of India. Led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, a young priest, small bands of militants began attacking policemen, military sites and government and army officials. In the Holy Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar, Bhindranwale broadcast and published his calls for independence. Bhindranwale was supported by Sikhs from all over the Punjab and Northern India, as well as Sikhs outside India. A vast majority of Sikhs in the Punjab and outside it supported the call for independence.

The Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who had tried to use and manipulate Bhindranwale, authorized an Army take-over of the Harimandir Sahib area. In Operation Bluestar, executed in 1984, thousands of Indian soldiers raided the Temple to flush out thousands of militants holed up in it. During the action, major damage was inflicted to the temple complex. The militants were killed or arrested, but the Operation cost the lives of 300 soldiers and thousands of innocent civilians, many of whom were known to be innocent worshipers by the Indian army.

The bloody and unpopular operation invited major criticism of the Gandhi government. The Gandhi government was the only country in modern times that had attacked a faith's most holiest of shrines. Outrage now broke lose in the mainstream of Sikh society. Outraged young Sikhs spread disorder around the Punjab and in Delhi. In October 1984, just two months after Bluestar, Indira Gandhi's own two Sikh bodyguards assassinated her in revenge for the attack on the Holy Harimandir Sahib in Amritsar. The Indian Army commander was similarly assassinated.

Bloodthirsty mobs took to the streets of Delhi following Gandhi's murder. For the first time in history, Hindus and Sikhs were involved in a feud against each other. More than 3000 Sikhs were brutally murdered by mobs.

The Government acted quickly, imposing martial law in the disturbed areas. Over the next three years, tough police action destroyed the insurgency, and fresh political overtures in the early 1990s did much to calm the state. Although some political suspicion still remains, Sikhs and Hindus have healed their common wounds and bridged the divides. The Sikh fundamentalists have either been driven out of the country or reduced to the margins of politics. However, little was done by the Indian government to redress the thousands of Sikhs killed and many more who lost their homes in the 1984 mob violence. Many of the politicians, police as well as Indian MPs are known to the government for helping anti-Sikh mobs kill innocent people, yet they have never been prosecuted or questioned.

The 1990s brought much prosperity to Indian Punjab. In 2004, Dr. Manmohan Singh became the country's first Sikh Prime Minister.

The Wagah border post, is the chief crossing point between India and Pakistan. The Samjhauta (Understanding) Express runs between Atari, in Indian Punjab, to Lahore in Pakistan, as does the Delhi-Lahore bus. The Government of Pakistan allows small numbers of Sikhs to visit religious sites in Pakistani Punjab. The Indian Government allowed 3,000 Pakistani Sikhs to cross over recently, at the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Khalsa in 1999.

Punjab history timeline

*200,000 years: Pre-historic and Proto-historic existence of early mankind
*2600 - 1900 BCE: Harappa Culture
*1500 - 1000 BCE: Rigvedic Aryan Civilization
*599 BCE: Jainism
*567 - 487 or c. 400 BCE: Buddha
*550 BCE - 600 CE: Buddhism remained prevalent
*550 - 515 BCE: Persian Invasion to west of Indus River
*326 BCE: Alexander's Invasion
*322 - 298 BCE: Chandra Gupta Maurya Period
*273 - 232 BCE: Ashoka's Period
*125 - 160 BCE: Rise of the Sakas (Scythians, known as the ancestors of Jats)
*2 BCE: Beginning of Rule of the Sakas.
*45 - 180 CE: Rule of the Kushanas
*320 - 550 CE: Gupta Empire
*500 CE: Hunnic Invasion
*510 - 650 CE: Vardhana Era
*647 - 1192 CE: Rajput Period
*713 - 1300 CE: Muslim Invaders (Arabs, then Turks) like Mohammed Ghori and Mahmud Ghazni
*8th Century CE: Arabs capture Sind and Multan
*1450 - 1700 CE: Mughal Rulers
*1469 - 1539 CE: Guru Nanak Dev (1st Sikh Guru)
*1539 - 1675 CE: Period of 8 Sikh Gurus from Guru Angad Dev to Guru Tegh Bahadur
*1675 - 1708 CE: Guru Gobind Singh (10th Sikh Guru)
*1708 - 1715 CE: Conquests of Banda Bahadur
*1716 - 1759 CE: Sikh struggle against Moghul Governors
*1739 CE: Invasion of Nadir Shah
*1748 -1769 CE: Ahmed Shah Abdali's nine invasions
*1762 CE: 2nd Holocaust (Ghalughara) from Ahmed Shah's 6th invasion
*1764 - 1799 CE: Rule of the Sikh Misls
*1799 - 1839 CE: Rule by Maharaja Ranjit Singh
**Maharaja Ranjit Singh (b.1780, Coronated April 12, 1801, d.1839)
**Kharak Singh (b.1801, d.1840), Eldest son of Ranjit Singh.
**Nau Nihal Singh (b.1821, d.1840), Grandson of Ranjit Singh.
**Sher Singh (b.1807, d.1843), Son of Ranjit Singh.
**Duleep Singh (b.1838, Coronated 1843, d.1893), Youngest son of Ranjit Singh.
*1849 CE: Annexation of Punjab - The British Empire annexed Punjab in c.1845-49 AD; after two Anglo Sikh Wars
*1849 - 1947 CE: British Rule
*1947 CE: Partition of India and thus Punjab into 2 parts. The Eastern part became the Indian Punjab and the Western part the Pakistan Punjab
*1966 CE: Punjab in India divided into 3 parts on linguistic basis - Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjabi Suba (the present Punjab)
*1984 CE: Operation Blue Star and its aftermath

Photo gallery

ee also

*Invasion of India by Scythian Tribes
*Islam and Sikhism
*Kambojas of Panini
*Kambojas
*Kurukshetra war and the Kambojas
*Kurukshetra war
*Music of Punjab
*Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947
*Punjab (India)
*Punjab (Pakistan)
*Punjab region
*Punjabi cuisine
*Punjabi culture
*Punjabi language
*Punjabi people
*Sakas
*Yavanas

References

Further reading

*"The evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Panjab", 1971, Dr Buddha.
*"Social and Political Movements in ancient Panjab", Delhi, 1962, Dr Buddha Parkash.
*"History of Porus", Patiala, Dr Buddha Parkash.
*"The Punjab as a sovereign state", Gulshan Lal Chopra, Al-Biruni, Lahore, 1977.
* Dr. Mohammed Ufzal, Lahore University.
*"Historie du Bouddhisme Indien", E Lamotte.
*cite book|last=Talib|first=Gurbachan|authorlink=Gurbachan Singh Talib|title= Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947|year=1950|publisher=Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee|location=India |url=http://www.bharatvani.org/books/mla/


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • History of the Indo-Greek Kingdom — The History of the Indo Greek Kingdom covers a period from the 2nd century BCE to the beginning of the 1st century CE in northern and northwestern India. There were over 30 Indo Greek kings, often in competition on different territories. Many of… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the British Army — The history of the British Army spans over three and a half centuries and numerous European wars, colonial wars and world wars. From the early 19th century until 1914, the United Kingdom was the greatest economic and Imperial Power in the world,… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Roma people — The Roma people, also referred to as the Roma or Gypsies, are an ethnic group who live primarily in Europe. They are believed to have originated in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. They began their migration to Europe and North… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Romani people — The Romani people, also referred to as the Roma or Gypsies, are an ethnic group who live primarily in Europe. They are believed to have originated in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. They began their migration to Europe and North… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Indian caste system — The history of the Indian caste system dates back to the Vedic period. Origin The origin of the caste system as it is today is still obscure.A 2001 genetic study, led by Michael Bamshad of the University of Utah, found that the affinity of… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the British Raj — Prelude: Company Rule in India= Although the British East India Company had administered its factory areas in India mdash;beginning with Surat early in the 17th century, and including by the century s end, Fort William near Calcutta, Fort St… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Republic of India — Part of a series on the History of Modern India Pre Independence …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Jews in India — A map of India, showing the main areas of Jewish concentration. The history of the Jews in India reaches back to ancient times. Indian Jews are a religious minority of India. Judaism was one of the first foreign religions to arrive in India in… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Gupta dynasty — The Gupta dynasty ascended the throne around 320 A.D. and continued until 550 A.D., with magnificence and splendour. They consolidated the entire Northern India by subjugating the local and provincial powers that became independent after the… …   Wikipedia

  • History of the Indian National Congress — From its foundation on 28 December 1885 till the time of independence of India on August 15, 1947, the Indian National Congress was the largest and most prominent Indian public organization, and central and defining influence of the Indian… …   Wikipedia