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History of Punjab!


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Let’s discuss about history of Punjab.

Let’s discuss following points.

1. Rulers of Punjab.

2. Ancient name of Punjab and how it was changed?

Rest is up to you to add more from your knowledge and make this discussion interesting.

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Coincidentally just a couple of days ago i ordered a book from Amazon.com called "Cultural Heritage of Punjab: 3000BC - 1947AD [Hardcover] by Aryan, Kamla C".

It hasnt arrived yet but as soon as it does i'll let you all know what the book is like and whether it is worth getting a copy of.

On the internet there isnt much history available on pre-Sikh era of Punjab, even though we come from a land which has such a rich and ancient history.

1. Rulers of Punjab.

The following post is probably full of chronological errors but its from memory on what i've read... Please all feel free to correct any wrong information.

Ok, my information on pre-Mughal leaders of Punjab is kinda sketchy. From the top of my head i dont recall coming across any names of rulers before Punjab was apart of the Achaemenid Persian empire. Two Persian leaders who ruled Punjab are 'Darius I' and 'Gustasp'.

Just before Alexander the Great invaded, Punjab was divided i think into two kingdoms. Im not sure if they were independent or part of Persia but we had 'King Omphis' and 'King Porus' (Both are likely to be Greek interpretation of their names).

After Alexander the Great invaded we had a Greek ruler called 'Selucus Nictor' who was then defeated by Chandragupta Maurya. Im not sure if the origin of Chandragupta has been concluded by i have read that he was possibly a native of Punjab or was from somewhere in UP or Bihar. He had apparently witnessed Alexander the Greats' invasion as a teenager.

Not sure if there was a leader in between but Punjab was then ruled by Asoka who was the first person to have ever united much of the subcontinent into one kingdom. Dont think his reign lasted long and contrary to what Hindu fanatics say, he was a Buddhist, not a Hindu.

Havent read much on the following periods after Asoka except that the Greeks/Bactrians reoccupied Punjab and were then followed by Scythians, Parthians and Kushana peoples who changed Punjab's demographics quite significantly. Punjab was later some semi-independent state of Gupta empire, Huns invaded Punjab and crushed them, Huns were then defeated and Punjab had some indigenous kings. I believe one of these native Kings was known as 'Harsha'.

After this not sure who was there but not too long after there was the Muslim rule of the Ghaznavis who were Turks i think. Ghaznavi is supposed to have looted and destroyed many ancient and historical sites of Punjab including temples etc I think it was Ghaznavi who invaded and robbed Punjab on several different occasions and took the spoils of war back to his native country. Some other Muslims later invaded and defeated the Ghaznavis.

Hmm, i believe there was some kind of Rajput uprising in eastern Punjab/Delhi or they may have already been ruling this area. They were defeated anyhow and Delhi Sultanate was established.

One of Central Asia's most well known warlords (Timur-i-Lang) conquered the entire Punjab and i believe merged it back with Persia (which he had also occupied). I think Timur was some kind of relative or associate of Genghis Khan. Not 100% sure but i think Punjab then came under the Lodhi dynasty of Delhi Sultanate (The Lodhis were either Turks or Afghans, cant remember).

During this time Central Asia was still a place of warring tribes etc and whatever tribe Babur came from was dislodged from power in Uzbekistan. If i remember correctly Babur had become king when he was just a kid but was pushed out into Kabul. After whatever back and forth occupation of Samarkand Babur instead decided to conquer Punjab.

Babur is said to have lineage from both Genghis Khan and Timur-i-Lang. In some chronicle or biography Babur reportedly claims that Punjab is his birth right and aimed to recapture the region considering it was once ruled by Timur-i-Lang. Whats interesting is that originally Babur never intended to establish an empire in South Asia, he only wanted the Punjab all the way up to Delhi...

As you all know, Babur invaded Punjab and defeated the Lodhis putting an end to the Delhi Sultanate. But instead of returning to Central Asia to recapture Samarkand/Fergana he decided to continue making war in South Asia since the people were weak/divided/unorganized. Mughal Empire was established.

Side track here for a minute. Also contrary to what Hindu fanatics say, Babur and the Mughals did not stay back in India because it was rich, they stayed back because the people were much weaker than their rivals in Central Asia. Babur actually hated India and is quoted as saying something like "There is not one good looking person in all Hindustan". It was one of his last requests that he does not want to die or be buried in Hindustan, but buried back in Kabul. (Note, Punjab and Hindustan are two separate regions. Hindustan is modern day Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkand..)

Babur's son Humayun ruled Punjab after his death. At one stage Humayun was driven out of Punjab by an Afghan king of either Bihar or Bengal called Sher Shah Suri. Humayun received aid from Shah of Persia and recaptured Punjab from Afghans.

His son Akbar (who i think was born in Punjab) was next ruler. After Akbar was Jahangir. Jahangir is buried in Punjab (I think Lahore) he may also have been born there. It was under Jahangir's reign that Guru Arjan Dev Ji was martyred. Next in line was Shah Jahan who was also born in Punjab (Lahore). I believe it was during the reign of Shah Jahan that the last independent/semi-independent areas of Punjab were brought under the Mughal Empire. Places like Chamba, Kullu etc were brought under the control of Shah Jahan. I'll have a check later to find out the names of these Punjabi kings who were defeated by the Mughals.

Aurangzeb was the last of the 'Great Mughals' to rule Punjab and afterwards was a period of indigenous Punjabi rulers and kingdoms if im not mistaken. Kingdom of Banda Singh Bahadur was the first ever Sikh kingdom. Out of all the native Punjabi kings during this era Ranjit Singh was the greatest hence he was called the 'Maharaja' (Greater King).

British occupied Punjab in 1849, the last time we were an independent country.

2. Ancient name of Punjab and how it was changed?

Potohar region and perhaps part of Majha was known as Gandhara at one time. The name Punjab was given by the Persians who have had a long relationship with Punjab. Punjab has been apart of Persia on 3 or 4 different occassions.

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Forgot to mention that a Persian king called Shahpur (sp?) also ruled over Punjab under the Sassanian dynasty. Not sure if other Kings of this empire ruled Punjab, but anyway it was another pre-Islamic Persian Empire.

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Are we talking whats happened in 3000BC here? If so, Islam wasnt even then, niether was Christanity. Maybe Hindu Dharama was around at that time.

We're just talking general Punjab history. From first known human civilization in Punjab to present day.

Nothing to do with religion etc, just past events.

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Admin Sahib, thanks for that site.

Ok, i have something on Chamba paintings of the Punjab Hill states with some info about rulers of that region.

According to this thing the kingdom of 'Chamba' was founded in 10th century AD by a King called 'Raja Sahila Varman' who named it after his daughter. (Chamba is on the river Ravi and is now in Himachal Pradesh).

One of the last sovereign Kings of Chamba was Pratap Singh Varman (16th Century). During his reign Chamba became a tributary of Mughal Empire (under Akbar).

Some other kings of this part of Punjab were:

Prithvi Singh (AD 1641 - 1664)

Chattar Singh (AD 1664 - 1690)

Udai Singh (AD 1690 - 1720)

Ugar Singh (AD 1720 - 1735)

Dalel Singh (AD 1735 - 1748)

Umed Singh (AD 1748 - 1764)

Raj Singh (AD 1764 - 1794)

Jit Singh (AD 1794 - 1808)

Charhat Singh (1808 - 1844)

Sri Singh - (1844 - 1870)

Im not 100% sure but the last two Kings were possibly Sikhs but the rest were Punjabi Hindus, i think of Rajput caste.

I will have a look for names and dates of other native Punjabi Kings and find out which part of Punjab their Kingdoms were based in.

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