Qadir Bux Bedil
Faqir Qadir Bux Bedil better known by his nom de plume Bedil was a Sufi poet and scholar of great stature. After Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast, two stars that shone on the firmament of Sindhi poetry and who could measure up to them in excellence, were the father and son – Bedil and Bekas, they wrote poetry in Persian. Bedil was born to a pious family of Rohri, his father Khalifo Muhammad Mohsun was a disciple of Sayed Mir Janullah Shah Rizwi, a great saint of his time venerated and was chief of forty cardinals of Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed of Jhok Shareef. Thus Bedil was brought up in such an enlightened environment under the guidance of Mir Sahib, it is narrated in the book Diwan-e-Bedil by Abdul Hussain Musavi that the midwife came and announced the news of the birth of child to father, sitting in the gathering with Sufi Januallah Shah. She said, "You have been blessed with a child but alas, his one foot is physically twisted." Upon hearing this father said," He is not physically handicapped by one foot.
In fact, he is the flag of Rohri city." His father's statement proved true many years later. On his birth he was named Abdul Qadir but he preferred to be called Qadir Bux, he was a staunch Muslim who molded his life according to Shariah law. He was simple and frugal in his lifestyle and gave away whatever he received to the needy, he followed the path of Ishq-e-Majazi to attain the heights of Ishq-e-Haqiqi as dictated by Mystic doctrine. He was a devotee of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar of Sehwan. Although he had deformity in one foot, yet he undertook long journeys to Sehwan to pay homage to the Saint's Shrine, he went to Jhok Sharif to pay homage to shrine of Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed and to Daraza, to visit the shrine of Sachal Sarmast. Bedil was the most voluminous poet of Sindh more so than Shah Latif, with 10 books of poetry to his credit. Most of his poems were written in Persian, Sindhi and Urdu, his famous Sindhi works were Surood Namo. He compiled as many as 23 books on prose and poetry written in Persian, Sindhi and Urdu: the more known being: Masanavi Riyaz-ul-faqr Diwan-e-Sulook-ul-Talbin Diwan Minhaj-ul-Haqiqat Rumuz-ul-Qadri Masanavi Nahr-ul-Bahr Punj Gunj Diwan Musbah-ul-Tariqat Wahadat Namo Sarood Namo Diwan-e-Bedil Masnavi Dilkusha Diwan-e-Bedil Fe Batn Ahadees Taqwiyat-ul-Quloob Zahoor Nama Qurat-ul-Ain Fe Manaqib-ul-Sibtain Insha-e-Qadri Tarikhai Wafat Khutbat-e-Juma Fawaid-e-Manavi Kursi Nama Ramooz-ul-Arfin Diwan-e-Bedil Scholar Nabi Bux Khan Baloch has termed Fakir Qadir Bux Bedil as last Sufi saint who wrote on Tasawuf and history of Sindh and taught mysticism through his poetry.
Wahadat Namo is a thought-provoking work through which Bedil Fakir has presented the essence of Sufism. Bedil was the first scholar who wrote history of Jhok Shraif and the sacrifice of Sufi Shah Inayat Shaheed of Sindh. Among his poetic compositions, we have his famous elegy, written on the death of Sachal Sarmast immortalising the master and incidentally himself too; some of the verses from this elegy are: Wonderful was the magic of love in Daraza, my friend Sachu was there, the intoxicated seeker and the Gnostic. Heavy was the shower of yearning of that hero; the pangs of separation were there and invisible. Inherited he was with the rapture of oneness. Verily he was another Mansur, he was Attar the perfumer himself in sentiment. Commander he stood in the ranks of those given to love. Bedil haunts the door of the donor for the gift of his ardour. About himself he proclaims in the style of Sachal. Put on the various garments, again divert myself of them." The one whom you seek after, Is none but your own self.
If you recognise yourself, Then none other exists. This and that are same, Just like voice and echo. Bedil! Let it not slip from thy hands, The trade of unitive state, O' traveler of Sufi path! this thought is profitable. O Bedil leave evil, Go and seek divine love. Divine love came. Except Him, whatever understood, O Bedil! Love made. Die before you die, Then you, O Brave, turn into real Muslim. Your love is treasure, Every breath is a special jewel, Believe it O brave man, Make the trade of unity, Achieve the status of self-annihilation, Eat the fruits of eternity, With your eyes shall behold every moment, The exhibition of celestial light. While standing, talking or listening, Keep this remembrance in your body, Clean the mirror with this solution, his annual Melo or Urs is held at his shrine in Rohri on the 14, 15, 16 Dhu al-Qi'dah – the eleventh month of the Muslim calendar where thousands of his Murids throng to pay homage to the great saint poet. Sufism in Sindh
Sindhi literature writers have contributed extensively in various forms of literature both in poetry and prose. Sindhi language has remained cradle of civilization and confluence of various cultures from the initial times; the earliest reference to Sindhi literature is contained in the writings of Arab historians. It is established that Sindhi was among the earliest languages of the East in which the Quran was translated in the eighth or ninth century AD There is evidence of Sindhi poets reciting their verses before the Muslim Caliphs in Baghdad, it is recorded that treatises were written in Sindhi on astronomy and history during the eighth and ninth centuries. Shortly afterwards, Pir Nooruddin, an Ismaili Missionary, wrote Sufistic poetry in Sindhi language, his verses, known as "ginans", can be taken as the specimen of early Sindhi poetry. He came to Sindh during the year 1079 AD, his poetry is an interesting record of the language, spoken at that time. He was a preacher of Islam, his verses are, full of mysticism and religion.
After him, Pir Shams Sabzwari Multani, Pir Shahabuddin and Pir Sadardin are recognized as poets of Sindhi language. We find some verses composed by Baba Farid Ganj Shakar, in Sindhi language. Pir Sadruddin, was a great poet and Sufi of his time, he composed his verses in Katchi dialects of Sindhi. He composed the "ginans" in the Punjabi, Seraiki and Gujarati languages, he modified the old script of Sindhi language, used by the lohana caste of Hindus of Sindh who embraced Islam under his teaching and were called by him'Khuwajas' or'Khojas'. During Samma Rule of Sindh Sindh produced may scholars and poets of high stature. Sammas were original inhabitant of Sindh; this period has been captioned as "Basic period for Sindhi poetry and prose". Mamui Faqirs' riddles in versified form are associated with this period. Ishaq Ahingar was a famous poet of this period; the most important person, scholar and poet of this period is Qazi Qadan. He has composed Doha and Sortha form of poetry and are an important landmark in history of Sindhi literature.
Shah Abdul Karim Bulri, Shah lutufullah Qadri, Shah Inayat Rizvi, Makhdoom Nuh of Hala, lakho lutufullah, Mahamati Pirannath and many others are the renowned literary personalities of this period who have enriched Sindhi language with mystic and epic poetry. The age of Shah Abdul Latif is most significant in the history of Sindhi literature, it was during this age. Sindhi classical poetry achieved its full blossom in the poetic work of Shah abdul Latif Bhittai. Dr. Sorely, who compared the poetry of the great poets of all major languages of the world, including Greek and Arabic, in his book Musa Pravaganus, gives first place to Shah Latif for his language and thought, he invented a variant of tanbur, a musical instrument still used when his verses are sung by people who love his literature. He wrote Umar Marvi in his famous book Shah Jo Risalo. Bhittai gave new life and content to the language and literature of Sindh, he traveled to remote corners of Sindh and saw for himself the simple and rustic people of his soil in love with life and its mysteries.
He studied the ethos of the people and their deep attachment to the land, the culture, the music, the fine arts and crafts. He described its people. Through simple folk tales, Lateef expressed profound ideas about the universal brotherhood of mankind, war against injustice and tyranny, above all the romance of human existence, he was a great musician and he evolved fifteen new melodies. The great beauty of his poetry is that his every line or verse is sung till this day with a specific note or melody. Another notable Sufi poet of Kalhora period is Sultan-al-Aolya Muhammad Zaman whose poetry is published with title Abyat Sindhi. Sachal Sarmast and Khalifo Nabi Bux Laghari are celebrated poets of the Talpur period in Sindh. Khalifo Nabi Bux is one of the greatest epic poets of Sindh, known for his depictions of patriotic pathos and the art of war. Rohal, Bedil, Misri Shah, Hammal Faqir, Dalpat Sufi, Sabit Ali Shah, Khair Shah, Fateh Faqir and Manthar Faqir Rajar are some of the more noteworthy poets of the pre and early British era.
Modern Sindhi literature began with the conquest of Sindh by the British in 1843. The printing press was introduced. Magazines and newspapers brought about a revolution in Sindhi literature. Books were translated from various European languages from English. People were hungry for knowledge and new forms of writing; the accelerated pace of literature production can be judged from the example of Mirza Kalich Beg, who in the last two decades of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth wrote more than four hundred books, including poetry, short stories and essays. He wrote on science, history and politics. Thousands of books were turned out at that time on all facets of literature. Hakim Fateh Mohammad Sewhani, Kauromal Khilnani, Dayaram Gidumal, Parmanand Mewaram, Lalchand Amardinomal, Bheruamal Advani, Dr. Gurbuxani, Jhetmal Parsram, Sayaid Miran Mohammad Shah, Shamsuddin'Bulbul' and Maulana Din Muhammad Wafai are some of the pioneers of modern literature in Sindhi language.
After World War I, the social and economic scene of the world underwent a tremendous change. The aftermath of the war and the socialist revolution of Russia affected the literature of every country. Sindhi literature too was influenced by these trends. Creating new awakening in the minds of the people working in the field of literature, they be
Lahore is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. Lahore is the country's second-most populous city after Karachi, is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $58.14 billion as of 2015. Lahore is the largest city, historic cultural centre of the Punjab region, one of Pakistan's most liberal and cosmopolitan cities. Lahore's origins reach into antiquity; the city has been controlled by numerous empires throughout the course of its history, including the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids and Delhi Sultanate by the medieval era. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire between the late 16th and early 18th century, served as its capital city for a number of years; the city was captured by the forces of the Afsharid ruler Nader Shah in 1739, fell into a period of decay while being contested between the Afghans and the Sikhs. Lahore became capital of the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century, regained much of its lost grandeur. Lahore was annexed to the British Empire, made capital of British Punjab.
Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being the site of both the declaration of Indian Independence, the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Lahore experienced some of the worst rioting during the Partition period preceding Pakistan's independence. Following independence in 1947, Lahore was declared capital of Pakistan's Punjab province. Lahore exerts a strong cultural influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a major centre for Pakistan's publishing industry, remains the foremost centre of Pakistan's literary scene; the city is a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan's leading universities based in the city. Lahore is home to Pakistan's film industry, is a major centre of Qawwali music; the city hosts much of Pakistan's tourist industry, with major attractions including the Walled City, the famous Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques and Sikh shrines. Lahore is home to the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The origins of Lahore's name are unclear. Lahore's name had been recorded by early Muslim historians as Lōhar, Lōhār, Rahwar. Al-Biruni referred to the city as Lohāwar in his 11th century work, while the poet Amir Khusrow, who lived during the Delhi Sultanate, recorded the city's name as Lāhanūr. Medieval Rajput sources recorded the city's name as Lavkot. One theory suggests that Lahore's name is a corruption of the word Ravāwar, as R to L shifts are common in languages derived from Sanskrit. Ravāwar is the simplified pronunciation of the name Iravatyāwar - a name derived from the Ravi River, known as the Iravati River in the Vedas. Another theory suggests the city's name may derive from the word Lohar, meaning "blacksmith."According to Hindu legend, Lahore's name derives from Lavpur or Lavapuri, is said to have been founded by Prince Lava, the son of Sita and Rama. The same account attributes the founding of nearby Kasur by his twin brother Prince Kusha, Historic record shows, that Kasur was founded by Pashtun migrants in 1525.
No definitive records exist to elucidate Lahore's earliest history, Lahore's ambiguous early history have given rise to various theories about its establishment and history. Hindu mythology states that Keneksen, the founder of the mythological Suryavansha dynasty, is believed to have migrated out from the city. Early records of Lahore are scant, but Alexander the Great's historians make no mention of any city near Lahore's location during his invasion in 326 BCE, suggesting the city had not been founded by that point, or was unimportant. Ptolemy mentions in his Geographia a city called Labokla situated near the Chenab and Ravi River which may have been in reference to ancient Lahore, or an abandoned predecessor of the city. Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang gave a vivid description of a large and prosperous unnamed city when he visited the region in 630 CE, identified as Lahore; the first document that mentions Lahore by name is the Hudud al-'Alam, written in 982 C. E. in which Lahore is mentioned as a town which had "impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards."Few other references to Lahore remain from before its capture by the Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in the 11th century.
Lahore appears to have served as the capital of Punjab during this time under Anandapala of the Kabul Shahi empire, who had moved the capital there from Waihind. The capital would be moved to Sialkot following Ghaznavid incursions. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni captured Lahore on an uncertain date, but under Ghaznavid rule, Lahore emerged as the empire's second capital. In 1021, Sultan Mahmud appointed Malik Ayaz to the Throne of Lahore—a governorship of the Ghaznavid Empire; the city was captured by Nialtigin, the rebellious Governor of Multan, in 1034, although his forces were expelled by Malik Ayaz in 1036. With the support of Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznavi, Malik Ayaz rebuilt and repopulated the city, devastated after the Ghaznavid invasion. Ayaz erected city walls and a masonry fort built in 1037–1040 on the ruins of the previous one, demolished during the Ghaznavid invasion. A confederation of Hindu princes unsuccessfully laid siege to Lahore in 1043-44 during Ayaz' rule; the city became a academic centre, renowned for poetry under Malik Ayaz' reign.
Lahore was formally made the eastern capital of the Ghaznavid empire in 1152, under the reign of Khusrau Shah. The city became the sole capital of the Ghaznavid empire in 1163 after the fall of Ghazni; the entire city of Lahore during the medieval Ghaznavid era was probably
The Pakistani philosophy is the philosophical activity or the philosophical academic output both within Pakistan and abroad. It encompasses the history of philosophy in the state of Pakistan, its relations with nature, logic, culture and politics since its establishment on August 1947. Academically, the philosophical activities began in the universities and the thought organization founded by renowned philosopher Dr. M. M. Sharif in 1954. In an editorial written by critic Bina Shah in Express Tribune in 2012, "the philosophical activities in Pakistan can both reflects and shapes the collected Pakistani identity over the history of the nation." When Pakistan gained independence there was only one department of philosophy in the country, at Government College Lahore. Now there are seven departments of philosophy at different Pakistani universities, many Pakistani philosophers are doing research in diverse fields of philosophy. Notable Pakastani philosophical organizations include The Pakistan Philosophical Congress, founded by M. M. Sharif, a pupil of G. E. Moore, in 1954, the Islamic Philosophical Association.
In addition there are various smaller groups devoted to promoting philosophical research. While philosophy in Pakistan has been influenced by Western philosophy, it nonetheless retains strong elements of the tradition of Muslim philosophy; the Pakistani philosophy community includes adherents of all the major strands of contemporary western philosophy, including a significant number of Pakistani philosophers who are inclined towards more traditional, positions. Pakistani philosophers include: Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Alaudin Akhtar, Irfan Muhammad, M M Sharif, Khalifa Abdul Hakeem, C A Qadir, Kazi A Kadir, Abdul Wahab Suri, Ather Rasheed, Absar Ahmad, Intasar ul Haq, Waheed Ali Farooqi, B H Sidiquei, Sajid Ali, Abdul Khaliq, Naeem Ahmed, Abdul Hafeez, Muhammad Maroof, Mirza Ather Beig, Shahid Hossain, Fazlur Rehman, Shehzad Qaiser, Manzoor Ahmed, Ghazala Irfan, Javed Bhuto, Syed Zafarul Hasan, Robina Lodhi and Waqar Aslam. DeSemet, Richard. Philosophical activity in Pakistan. Pakistan Philosophical Congress.
P. 132. LloZAAAAMAAJ. Javed, Kazi. Philosophical Domain of Pakistan. Karachi: Karachi University Press. Nasr, ed. by Seyyed Hossein Nasr. History of Islamic philosophy. London: Routledge. ISBN 0415131596. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Ahmad, ed. by Naeem. Philosophy in Pakistan. Washington, DC: Council for Research in Values and Philosophy. ISBN 1-56518-108-5. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list Stepaniants, Mariėtta Tigranovna. Pakistan: Philosophy and Sociology:. Karachi, Sindh: People's Publishing House. XfUSAAAAMAAJ. Ishrat, Waheed. Understanding Iqbal's philosophy. Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications. ISBN 9693520734. Punjab University Department of Philosophy GCU Department of Philosophy
Punjabi literature literary works written in the Punjabi language, is characteristic of the historical Punjab of India and Pakistan and the Punjabi diaspora. The Punjabi language is written in several scripts, of which the Shahmukhi and Gurmukhī scripts are the most used in Pakistan and India, respectively; the earliest Punjabi literature is found in the fragments of writings of the 11th Nath yogis Gorakshanath and Charpatnah, spiritual and mystical in tone. Notwithstanding this early yogic literature, the Punjabi literary tradition is popularly seen to commence with Fariduddin Ganjshakar. Whose Sufi poetry was compiled after his death in the Adi Granth; the Janamsakhis, stories on the life and legend of Guru Nanak, are early examples of Punjabi prose literature. Nanak himself composed Punjabi verse incorporating vocabulary from Sanskrit, Arabic and other South Asian languages as characteristic of the Gurbani tradition. Punjabi Sufi poetry developed under Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Shah Sharaf, Ali Haider, Saleh Muhammad Safoori and Bulleh Shah.
In contrast to Persian poets, who had preferred the ghazal for poetic expression, Punjabi Sufi poets tended to compose in the Kafi. Punjabi Sufi poetry influenced other Punjabi literary traditions the Punjabi Qissa, a genre of romantic tragedy which derived inspiration from Indic and Quranic sources; the Qissa of Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah is among the most popular of Punjabi qisse. Other popular stories include Sohni Mahiwal by Fazal Shah, Mirza Sahiba by Hafiz Barkhudar, Sassi Punnun by Hashim Shah, Qissa Puran Bhagat by Qadaryar. Heroic ballads known as Vaar enjoy a rich oral tradition in Punjabi. Prominent examples of heroic or epic poetry include; the semi-historical Nadir Shah Di Vaar by Najabat describes the invasion of India by Nadir Shah in 1739. The Jangnama, or'War Chronicle,' was introduced into Punjabi literature during the Mughal period; the Victorian novel, Elizabethan drama, free verse and Modernism entered Punjabi literature through the introduction of British education during the Raj.
The first Punjabi printing press was established through a Christian mission at Ludhiana in 1835, the first Punjabi dictionary was published by Reverend J. Newton in 1854; the Punjabi novel developed through Vir Singh. Starting off as a pamphleteer and as part of the Singh Sabha Movement, Vir Singh wrote historical romance through such novels as Sundari, Satwant Kaur and Baba Naudh Singh, whereas Nanak Singh helped link the novel to the storytelling traditions of Qissa and oral tradition as well as to questions of social reform; the novels, short stories and poetry of Amrita Pritam highlighted, among other themes, the experience of women, the Partition of India. Punjabi poetry during the British Raj moreover began to explore more the experiences of the common man and the poor through the work of Puran Singh. Other poets meanwhile, such as Dhani Ram Chatrik, Diwan Singh and Ustad Daman and expressed nationalism in their poetry during and after the Indian freedom movement. Chatrik's poetry, steeped in Indian traditions of romance and classical poetry celebrated varied moods of nature in his verse as well as feelings of patriotism.
Brought up on English and American poetry, Puran Singh was influenced by Freudian psychology in his oftentimes unabashedly sensuous poetry. Modernism was introduced into Punjabi poetry by Prof. Mohan Singh and Shareef Kunjahi; the Punjabi diaspora began to emerge during the Raj and produced poetry whose theme was revolt against British rule in Ghadar di Gunj. Najm Hossein Syed, Fakhar Zaman and Afzal Ahsan Randhawa are some of the more prominent names in West Punjabi literature produced in Pakistan since 1947. Literary criticism in Punjabi has emerged through the efforts of West Punjabi scholars and poets, Shafqat Tanvir Mirza, Ahmad Salim, Najm Hosain Syed; the work of Zaman and Randhawa treats the rediscovery of Punjabi identity and language in Pakistan since 1947. Ali's short story collection Kahani Praga received the Waris Shah Memorial Award in 2005 from the Pakistan Academy of Letters. Mansha Yaad received the Waris Shah Award for his collection Wagda Paani in 1987, again in 1998 for his novel Tawan TawaN Tara, as well as the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2004.
The most critically successful writer in recent times has been Mir Tanha Yousafi who has won the Massod Khaddar Posh Trust Award 4 times, has had his books transliterated into Gurmukhi for Indian Punjabi readers. Urdu poets of the Punjab have written Punjabi poetry including Munir Niazi; the poet who introduced new trends in Punjabi poetry is Pir Hadi abdul Mannan. Though a Punjabi poet, he wrote poetry in Urdu. Amrita Pritam, Jaswant Singh Rahi, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Surjit Patar and Pash are some of the more prominent poets and writers of East Punjab. Pritam's Sunehe received the Sahitya Akademi in 1982. In it, Pritam explores the impact of social morality on women. Kumar's epic Luna won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1965. Socialist themes of revolution meanwhile influenced writers like Pash whose work demonstrates the influence of Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz. Punjabi fiction in modern times has explored themes in modernist a
Punjab is Pakistan's second largest province by area, after Balochistan, it is the most populated province, with an estimated population of 110,012,442 as of 2017. Forming the bulk of the transnational Punjab region, it is bordered by the Pakistan provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the enclave of Islamabad, Azad Kashmir, it shares borders with the Indian states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The provincial capital of Punjab is the city Lahore, a cultural, historical and cosmopolitan centre of Pakistan where the country's cinema industry, much of its fashion industry, are based. Punjab has been inhabited since ancient times; the Indus Valley Civilization, dating to 2600 BCE, was first discovered at Harappa. Punjab features in the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, is home to Taxila, site of what is considered by many to be the oldest university in the world. In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great defeated King Porus at the Battle of the Hydaspes near Punjab; the Umayyad empire conquered Punjab in the 8th century CE.
In the subsequent centuries, Punjab was invaded and conquered by the Ghaznavids, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals and the Sikhs. Punjab reached the height of its splendour during the reign of the Mughal Empire, which for a time ruled from Lahore. During the 18th century, Nader Shah’s invasion of the Mughal Empire caused Mughal authority in the Punjab to fall apart and it thus fell into chaos; the Durranis under Ahmad Shah Durrani wrested control of Punjab only to lose it to the Sikhs after a successful rebellion which allowed Sikh armies to claim Lahore in 1759. The Sikh Empire was ruled by Ranjit Singh with his capital based in Lahore, until its defeat by the British. Punjab was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with Lahore being site of both the Declaration of Indian Independence, the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan; the province was formed when the Punjab province of British India was divided along religious boundaries in 1947 by the Radcliffe Line after Partition.
Punjab is Pakistan's most industrialised province with the industrial sector making up 24% of the province's gross domestic product. Punjab is known in Pakistan for its relative prosperity, has the lowest rate of poverty amongst all Pakistani provinces. A clear divide is present between the southern portions of the province. Punjab is one of South Asia's most urbanized regions with 40% of people living in urban areas, its human development index rankings are high relative to the rest of Pakistan. Punjab is known in Pakistan for its liberal social attitudes; the province has been influenced by Sufism, with numerous Sufi shrines spread across Punjab which attract millions of devotees annually. The founder of the Sikh faith, Guru Nanak, was born in the Punjab town of Nankana Sahib near Lahore. Punjab is the site of the Katasraj Temple, which features prominently in Hindu mythology. Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in Punjab, including the Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the archeological excavations at Taxila, the Rohtas Fort.
The region was called Sapta Sindhu, the Vedic land of the seven rivers flowing into the ocean. The Sanskrit name for the region, as mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata for example, was Panchanada which means "Land of the Five Rivers", was translated to Persian as Punjab after the Muslim conquests; the region was known to the Greeks as Pentapotamia. The word Punjab was formally introduced in the early 17th century CE as an elision of the Persian words panj and āb, thus meaning the five rivers, similar in meaning to the Sanskrit and Greek name for the region; the five rivers, namely Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej, flow via the Panjnad River into the Indus River and into the Arabian Sea. Of the five great rivers of Punjab, four course through Pakistan's Punjab province. Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attack and witnessed centuries of foreign invasions by the Persians, Kushans, Scythians and Afghans; the northwestern part of South Asia, including Punjab, was invaded or conquered by various foreign empires, including those of Tamerlane, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan.
The oldest evidence of life in Pakistan has been found in Soan River valley. It was here that some of the earliest signs of humans have been discovered during the excavations of prehistoric mounds. Tools up to two million years old have been recovered in potohar plateau. In the Soan River, many fossil bearing rocks are exposed on the surface. 14 million year old fossils of gazelle, crocodile and rodents have been found there. Punjab during Mahabharata times was known as Panchanada. 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 evolved into the Indo-Aryan civilization; the Vedic civilisation flourished along the length of the Indus River. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in South Afghanistan. Although the archaeological site at Harappa was damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artefacts have been found.
Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara Mahajanapadas, Macedonians, Kushans and Hin
Richard Francis Burton
Sir Richard Francis Burton was a British explorer, translator, soldier, cartographer, spy, poet and diplomat. He was famed for his travels and explorations in Asia and the Americas, as well as his extraordinary knowledge of languages and cultures. According to one count, he spoke 29 European and African languages. Burton's best-known achievements include: a well-documented journey to Mecca in disguise, at a time when Europeans were forbidden access on pain of death, his works and letters extensively criticized colonial policies of the British Empire to the detriment of his career. Although he aborted his university studies, he became a prolific and erudite author and wrote numerous books and scholarly articles about subjects including human behaviour, falconry, sexual practices and ethnography. A characteristic feature of his books is the copious footnotes and appendices containing remarkable observations and information. William Henry Wilkins wrote: "So far as I can gather from all I have learned, the chief value of Burton’s version of The Scented Garden lay not so much in his translation of the text, though that of course was admirably done, as in the copious notes and explanations which he had gathered together for the purpose of annotating the book.
He had made this subject a study of years. For the notes of the book alone he had been collecting material for thirty years, though his actual translation of it only took him eighteen months."Burton was a captain in the army of the East India Company, serving in India. Following this, he was engaged by the Royal Geographical Society to explore the east coast of Africa and led an expedition guided by locals and was the first European known to have seen Lake Tanganyika. In life, he served as British consul in Fernando Pó, Santos and Trieste, he was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and was awarded a knighthood in 1886. Burton was born in Torquay, Devon, at 21:30 on 19 March 1821, he was baptized on 2 September 1821 at Elstree Church in Hertfordshire. His father, Lt.-Colonel Joseph Netterville Burton, of the 36th Regiment, was an Irish-born British army officer of Anglo-Irish extraction who through his mother's family – the Campbells of Tuam – was a first cousin of Lt.-Colonel Henry Peard Driscoll and Mrs Richard Graves.
Richard's mother, Martha Baker, was the daughter and co-heiress of a wealthy English squire, Richard Baker, of Barham House, for whom he was named. Burton had two siblings, Maria Katherine Elizabeth Burton and Edward Joseph Netterville Burton, born in 1823 and 1824, respectively. Burton's family travelled during his childhood. In 1825, they moved to France. Burton's early education was provided by various tutors employed by his parents, he first began a formal education in 1829 at a preparatory school on Richmond Green in Richmond, run by Rev. Charles Delafosse. Over the next few years, his family travelled between England and Italy. Burton showed an early gift for languages and learned French, Italian and Latin, as well as several dialects. During his youth, he was rumored to have carried on an affair with a young Roma woman, learning the rudiments of her language, Romani; the peregrinations of his youth may have encouraged Burton to regard himself as an outsider for much of his life. As he put it, "Do what thy manhood bids thee do, from none but self expect applause".
Burton matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford, on 19 November 1840. Before getting a room at the college, he lived for a short time in the house of Dr. William Alexander Greenhill physician to the Radcliffe Infirmary. Here, he met John Henry Newman. Despite his intelligence and ability, Burton was antagonised by his peers. During his first term, he is said to have challenged another student to a duel after the latter mocked Burton's moustache. Burton continued to gratify his love of languages by studying Arabic. In April 1842, he attended a steeplechase in deliberate violation of college rules and subsequently dared to tell the college authorities that students should be allowed to attend such events. Hoping to be "rusticated" – that is, suspended with the possibility of reinstatement, the punishment received by some less provocative students who had visited the steeplechase – he was instead permanently expelled from Trinity College. In his own words, "fit for nothing but to be shot at for six pence a day", Burton enlisted in the army of the East India Company at the behest of his ex-college classmates who were members.
He hoped to fight in the first Afghan war. He was posted to the 18th Bombay Native Infantry based in Gujarat and under the command of General Charles James Napier. While in India, he became a proficient speaker of Hindustani, Punjabi, Sindhi and Marathi as well as Persian and Arabic, his studies of Hindu culture had progressed to such an extent that "my Hindu tea