The Delhi Sultanate was a sultanate based in Delhi that stretched over large parts of the Indian subcontinent for 320 years. Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty, the Khalji dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty, the Lodi dynasty; the sultanate is noted for being one of the few states to repel an attack by the Mongols, enthroned one of the few female rulers in Islamic history, Razia Sultana, who reigned from 1236 to 1240. Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former Turkic Mamluk slave of Muhammad Ghori, was the first sultan of Delhi, his Mamluk dynasty conquered large areas of northern India. Afterwards, the Khalji dynasty was able to conquer most of central India, but both failed to conquer the whole of the Indian subcontinent; the sultanate reached the peak of its geographical reach during the Tughlaq dynasty, occupying most of the Indian subcontinent. This was followed by decline due to Hindu reconquests, states such as the Vijayanagara Empire and Mewar asserting independence, new Muslim sultanates such as the Bengal Sultanate breaking off.
During and in the Delhi Sultanate, there was a synthesis of Indian civilization with that of Islamic civilization, the further integration of the Indian subcontinent with a growing world system and wider international networks spanning large parts of Afro-Eurasia, which had a significant impact on Indian culture and society, as well as the wider world. The time of their rule included the earliest forms of Indo-Islamic architecture, increased growth rates in India's population and economy, the emergence of the Hindi-Urdu language; the Delhi Sultanate was responsible for repelling the Mongol Empire's devastating invasions of India in the 13th and 14th centuries. However, the Delhi Sultanate caused large scale destruction and desecration of temples in the Indian subcontinent. In 1526, the Sultanate was succeeded by the Mughal Empire; the context behind the rise of the Delhi Sultanate in India was part of a wider trend affecting much of the Asian continent, including the whole of southern and western Asia: the influx of nomadic Turkic peoples from the Central Asian steppes.
This can be traced back to the 9th century, when the Islamic Caliphate began fragmenting in the Middle East, where Muslim rulers in rival states began enslaving non-Muslim nomadic Turks from the Central Asian steppes, raising many of them to become loyal military slaves called Mamluks. Soon, Turks were becoming Islamicized. Many of the Turkic Mamluk slaves rose up to become rulers, conquered large parts of the Muslim world, establishing Mamluk Sultanates from Egypt to Afghanistan, before turning their attention to the Indian subcontinent, it is part of a longer trend predating the spread of Islam. Like other settled, agrarian societies in history, those in the Indian subcontinent have been attacked by nomadic tribes throughout its long history. In evaluating the impact of Islam on the subcontinent, one must note that the northwestern subcontinent was a frequent target of tribes raiding from Central Asia in the pre-Islamic era. In that sense, the Muslim intrusions and Muslim invasions were not dissimilar to those of the earlier invasions during the 1st millennium.
By 962 AD, Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in South Asia were under a wave of raids from Muslim armies from Central Asia. Among them was Mahmud of Ghazni, the son of a Turkic Mamluk military slave, who raided and plundered kingdoms in north India from east of the Indus river to west of Yamuna river seventeen times between 997 and 1030. Mahmud of Ghazni raided the treasuries but retracted each time, only extending Islamic rule into western Punjab; the wave of raids on north Indian and western Indian kingdoms by Muslim warlords continued after Mahmud of Ghazni. The raids did not extend permanent boundaries of their Islamic kingdoms; the Ghurid sultan Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori known as Muhammad of Ghor, began a systematic war of expansion into north India in 1173. He sought to carve out a principality for himself by expanding the Islamic world. Muhammad of Ghor sought a Sunni Islamic kingdom of his own extending east of the Indus river, he thus laid the foundation for the Muslim kingdom called the Delhi Sultanate.
Some historians chronicle the Delhi Sultanate from 1192 due to the presence and geographical claims of Muhammad Ghori in South Asia by that time. Ghori was assassinated in 1206, by Ismāʿīlī Shia Muslims in some accounts or by Hindu Khokhars in others. After the assassination, one of Ghori's slaves, the Turkic Qutb al-Din Aibak, assumed power, becoming the first Sultan of Delhi. Qutb al-Din Aibak, a former slave of Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori, was the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Aibak was of Cuman-Kipchak origin, due to his lineage, his dynasty is known as the Mamluk dynasty. Aibak reigned as the Sultan of Delhi for four years, from 1206 to 1210. After Aibak died, Aram Shah assumed power in 1210, but he was assassinated in 1211 by Shams ud-Din Iltutmish. Iltutmish's power was precarious, a number of Muslim amirs challenged his authority as they had been supporters of Qutb al-Din Aibak. After a series of conquests and brutal executions of opposition, Iltutmish consolidated his power, his rule was challenged a number of times, such as by Qubacha, this led to a series of wars.
Iltumish conquered Multan and Bengal from contesting Muslim rulers, as well as Ranthambore and Siwalik from the Hindu rulers. He
Siri Fort, in the city of New Delhi, was built during the rule of Alauddin Khalji, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, to defend the city from the onslaught of the Mongols. It was the second of the seven cities of medieval Delhi built around 1303, which at present is seen only in ruins with a few remnants Near the Siri Fort ruins modern auditoriums, the Asian Games Village Complex and residential and commercial establishments fill the modern landscape between the Khel Gaon Marg and the Aurobindo Marg in the heart of South Delhi. Alauddin is the best known of the Khalji dynasty because he extended his dominion to Southern India and established the second city of Delhi, Siri, he created Siri between 1307 to defend against Mongol invasions of India and Delhi. In response he built Siri Fort, mimicked massive Turkish ones; the Fort served as the seat of his power during his campaigns to enlarge his territory. Due to frequent Mongol invasions of West Asia, the Saljuqs took asylum in Delhi; the craftsmen of Seljuq dynasty are credited with this era's architectural monuments in Delhi.
In 1303, Targhi, a Mongol general, besieged the Siri fort when Alauddin retreated during the Mongol expedition into India. Targhi could not penetrate the fortifications of the Siri Fort and he retreated to his Kingdom in Central Asia. Subsequently, Alauddin's forces defeated Mongols decisively at Amroha. Siri, now a part of New Delhi, was linked to the fortifications of Jahanpanah. Siri was also known as "Darul Khilafat" or ‘’Seat of Califate’’ In 1398 AD, the Mongol ruler who invaded Delhi, wrote in his memoirs, " the Siri is a round city, its buildings are lofty. They are surrounded by fortifications built of stone and brick, they are strong – from the fort of Siri to that of Old Delhi, a considerable distance – there runs a strong wall built of stone and cement; the part called. The fortifications of the three cities have thirty gates. Jahanpanah has thirteen gates, Siri has seven gates; the fortifications of the Old Delhi have ten gates, some opening to the exterior and some towards the interior of the city."
According to the legend of Ala-ud-din’s war exploits, the name Siri given to the Fort was because the foundation of the fort was built on the severed heads of about 8,000 Mongol soldiers killed in the war. Siri Fort was built 5 km to the north-east of the Qutab Minar on an old camp near Delhi; the first city is considered to be built by Muslims, it was in an oval shape. Allauddin, the second ruler of the Khalji dynasty, laid the foundation for the City of Siri in 1303 AD; the structures built in Siri were stated to have had a fine imprint of the enthusiasm of the rulers of Khalji dynasty with Allauddin's deep interests in architecture and his achievements supported by the imported skills of the artists of Saljuqs richly contributing to the efforts to build the new city. Legend states; the city was built with an oval plan with other structures. There were seven gates for entry and exit; the fort was once considered the pride of the city for its palace of a thousand pillars called the Hazar Sutan.
The palace was built outside the fort limits, had marble floors and other stone decoration. Its Darwaza is supposed to have been beautifully decorated. In eastern part of the ruins there are remnants of flame shaped battlements, loop holes for arrows, bastions, which were considered unique new additions of that period. In the nearby Shahpur Jat village, some dilapidated structures of the period are seen. Tohfewala Gumbad Masjid is one such structure whose ruins show the form of domed central apartment and sloping wall characteristic of Khaljis architecture. Apart from building the Siri Fort, the citadel around it and the water supply system with a reservoir at Hauz Khas Complex for providing water supply to Siri, his new city, Ala-ud-din expanded the building activity around the religious city of the first city complex of Qutb complex by making additions to the Quwwatul-Islam Mosque, which doubled its original size, additions to the Qutub Minar itself and a grandiose plan of constructing a new Minar bigger that of the Qutub Minar.
This plan was left half completed, as may be seen from the ruins at the site, due to the death of Allauddin in 1316. The destruction of the Fort is attributed to the local rulers who removed the fort's stones and other artifacts for their own buildings. In particular, Sher Shah Suri, of Pashtun Afghan descent from Eastern India, took away material from Siri to build his own city; the battered walls of the fort had a wider base on the outside. A protected passage was provided within the battered walls; the rest of the structures remained unexplored by archaeologists and these were unknowingly buried when the Asiad Village Complex was built in 1982 for the Asiad 1982. ASI has now launched an excavation programme, since December 2008, to unearth some portions of the wall concealed for centuries which will enable exposing the entire wall providing a continuous link with the earlier excavated stretches of the wall. Near the ruins of the ancient fort city, the Asian Village Complex, popularly known as the Siri
Name of Afghanistan
The name Afghānistān means "land of the Afghans", which originates from the ethnonym "Afghan". The name "Afghan" designated the Pashtun people, the largest ethnic group of Afghanistan; the earliest reference to the name is found in the 10th-century geography book known as Hudud ul-'alam. The last part of the name, -stān is a Persian suffix for "place". In the early 19th century, Afghan politicians adopted the name Afghanistan for the entire Durrani Empire after its English translation had appeared in various treaties with Qajarid Persia and British India. In 1857, in his review of J. W. Kaye's The Afghan War, Friedrich Engels describes "Afghanistan" as: "an extensive country of Asia... between Persia and the Indies, in the other direction between the Hindu Kush and the Indian Ocean. It included the Persian provinces of Khorassan and Kohistan, together with Herat, Beluchistan and Sinde, a considerable part of the Punjab... Its principal cities are Kabul, the capital, Ghuznee and Kandahar." Afghanistan was recognized as a sovereign state by the international community after the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 was signed.
It is acknowledged that the terms "Pashtun" and Afghan are synonyms, a fact, mentioned in the 17th-century poetry of Pashtun national poet Khushal Khan Khattak: "Pull out your sword and slay any one, that says Pashtun and Afghan are not one! Arabs know this and so do Romans: Afghans are Pashtuns, Pashtuns are Afghans!" Pashtunization has been going on in the region since at least the 8th century. It is a process of a cultural or linguistic change in which something non-Pashtun becomes Pashtun."In the eighth and ninth centuries ancestors of many of today's Turkic-speaking Afghans settled in the Hindu Kush area and began to assimilate much of the culture and language of the Pashtun tribes present there." According to Ta'rikh-i Yamini, Afghans enrolled in Sabuktigin's Ghaznavid Empire in the 10th century as well as in the Ghurid Kingdom. From the beginning of the Khalji dynasty in 1290, Afghans are becoming more recognized in history among the Delhi Sultanate of India; the Lodi dynasty and Sur dynasty of Delhi were both made up of Afghans, whose rule stretched to as far as what is now Bangladesh in the east.
The word Afghan is mentioned in the form of Abgan in the third century CE by the Sassanians and as Avagana in the 6th century CE by Indian astronomer Varahamihira. A people called the Afghans are mentioned several times in a 10th-century geography book, Hudud al-'alam where a reference is made to a village: "Saul, a pleasant village on a mountain. In it live Afghans."Al-Biruni referred to them in the 11th century as various tribes living on the western frontier mountains of the Indus River. Ibn Battuta, a famous Moroccan scholar visiting the region in 1333, writes: "We travelled on to Kabul a vast town, the site of, now occupied by a village inhabited by a tribe of Persians called Afghans, they hold mountains and defiles and possess considerable strength, are highwaymen. Their principle mountain is called Kuh Sulayman." The name "Afghanistan" is mentioned in writing by the 16th century Mughal ruler Babur, referring to a territory south of Kabulistan. "The road from Khorasān leads by way of Kandahār.
It is a straight level road, does not go through any hill-passes... In the country of Kābul there are various tribes, its valleys and plains are inhabited by Tūrks, Aimāks, Arabs. In the city and the greater part of the villages, the population consists of Tājiks*. Many other of the villages and districts are occupied by Pashāis, Parāchis, Tājiks and Afghans. In the hill-country to the west, reside the Hazāras and Nukderis. Among the Hazāra and Nukderi tribes, there are some. In the hill-country to the north-east lies Kaferistān, such as Kattor and Gebrek. To the south is Afghanistān; the name "Afghanistan" is mentioned many times in the writings of the 16th century historian, Muhammad Qasim Hindu Shah, many others."The men of Kábul and Khilj went home. Thus it is clear that for this reason the people of the country call their home in their own language Afghánistán, themselves Afgháns; the people of India call them Patán. But it occurs to me, that when, under the rule of Muslims, they first came to the city of Patná, dwelt there, the people of India called them Patáns—but God knows!"
Regarding the modern sovereign state of Afghanistan, the Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Iranica, others explain that the political history of Afghanistan begins in 1709 with the rise of the Hotaki dynasty, established by Mir Wais Hotak, regarded as "Mirwais Neeka"."The modern Afghan kingdom begins with the rise to supremacy first of the Ghalzais and shortly afterwards of the Durranis under Ahmed Shah." The Encyclopaedia of Islam states: "The country now known as Afghanistan has borne that name only since the middle of the 18th century, when the supremacy of the Afghan race became assured: various districts bore distinct apellations, but the country was not a definite political unit, its component parts were not bound toget
The Mughal Empire or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in 1526. It was established and ruled by the Timurid dynasty, with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, claiming direct descent from both Genghis Khan and Timur, with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; the dynasty was Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its court culture and administrative customs. The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the victory by its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, in the First Battle of Panipat. During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was interrupted by the Sur Empire established by Sher Shah Suri; the "classic period" of the Mughal Empire began with the ascension of Akbar to the throne. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to the Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but most of them were subdued by Akbar.
All Mughal emperors were Muslims. The Mughal Empire did not try to intervene in native societies during most of its existence, rather co-opting and pacifying them through concilliatory administrative practices and a syncretic, inclusive ruling elite, leading to more systematic and uniform rule. Traditional and newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pashtuns, the Hindu Jats and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience. Internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the empire's administrative and economic systems, leading to its break-up and declarations of independence of its former provinces by the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, Delhi was sacked and looted, drastically accelerating their decline.
By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies and won over several Mughal provinces from the Punjab to Bengal. During the following century Mughal power had become limited, the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. Bahadur issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Consequent to the rebellion's defeat he was tried by the British East India Company for treason and exiled to Rangoon; the last remnants of the empire were formally taken over by the British, the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1858 to enable the Crown formally to displace the rights of the East India Company and assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj. At its height, the Mughal Empire stretched from Kabul, Afghanistan in the west to Arakan, Myanmar in the east, from Kashmir in the north to the Deccan Plateau in the south, extending over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent, it was the third largest empire in the Indian subcontinent, spanning four million square kilometers at its zenith, 122% of the size of the modern Republic of India.
The maximum expansion was reached during the reign of Aurangzeb, who ruled over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 25% of the world's population at the time. The Mughal Empire ushered in a period of proto-industrialization, around the 17th century, Mughal India became the world's largest economic and manufacturing power, responsible for 25% of global industrial output until the 18th century; the Mughal Empire is considered "India's last golden age" and one of the three Islamic Gunpowder Empires. The reign of Shah Jahan represented the height of Mughal architecture, with famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Lahore Fort being constructed during his reign. Contemporaries referred to the empire founded by Babur as the Timurid empire, which reflected the heritage of his dynasty, this was the term preferred by the Mughals themselves; the Mughal designation for their own dynasty was Gurkani. The use of Mughal derived from the Arabic and Persian corruption of Mongol, it emphasised the Mongol origins of the Timurid dynasty.
The term remains disputed by Indologists. Similar terms had been used to refer to the empire, including "Mogul" and "Moghul". Babur's ancestors were distinguished from the classical Mongols insofar as they were oriented towards Persian rather than Turco-Mongol culture. Another name for the empire was Hindustan, documented in the Ain-i-Akbari, and, described as the closest to an official name for the empire. In the west, the term "Mughal" was used for the emperor, by extension, the empire as a whole; the Mughal Empire was founded by Babur, a Central Asian ruler, descended from the Turco-Mongol conqueror Timur on his father's side and from Chagatai, the second son of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, on his mother's side. Ousted from his ancestral domains in C
Bihar is state in eastern India. It is the thirteenth-largest Indian state, with an area of 94,163 km2; the third-largest state by population, it is contiguous with Uttar Pradesh to its west, Nepal to the north, the northern part of West Bengal to the east, with Jharkhand to the south. The Bihar plain is split by the river Ganges. Three main regions converge in the state: Magadh and Bhojpur. On 15 November 2000, southern Bihar was ceded to form the new state of Jharkhand. Only 11.3% of the population of Bihar lives in urban areas, the lowest in India after Himachal Pradesh. Additionally 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, giving Bihar the highest proportion of young people of any Indian state. In ancient and classical India, the area, now Bihar was considered a centre of power and culture. From Magadha arose India's first empire, the Maurya empire, as well as one of the world's most adhered-to religions, Buddhism. Magadha empires, notably under the Maurya and Gupta dynasties, unified large parts of South Asia under a central rule.
Another region of Bihar is Mithila, an early centre of learning and the centre of the Videha kingdom. Since the late 1970s, Bihar has lagged far behind other Indian states in terms of social and economic development. Many economists and social scientists claim that this is a direct result of the policies of the central government, such as the Freight equalisation policy, its apathy towards Bihar, lack of Bihari sub-nationalism, the Permanent Settlement of 1793 by the British East India Company; the state government has, made significant strides in developing the state. Improved governance has led to an economic revival in the state through increased investment in infrastructure, better health care facilities, greater emphasis on education, a reduction in crime and corruption; the name Bihar is derived from the Sanskrit and Pali word vihāra, meaning "abode". The region encompassing the present state was dotted with Buddhist vihara, the abodes of Buddhist monks in the ancient and medieval periods.
Medieval writer Minhaj al-Siraj Juzjani records in the Tabaqat-i Nasiri that in 1198 Bakhtiyar Khalji committed a massacre in a town identified with the word known as Bihar Sharif, about 70 km away from Bodh Gaya. Chirand, on the northern bank of the Ganga River, in Saran district, has an archaeological record from the Neolithic age. Regions of Bihar—such as Magadha and Anga—are mentioned in religious texts and epics of ancient India. Mithila gained prominence after establishment of the Videha Kingdom in Āryāvarta. During the late Vedic period, Videha became one of the major political and cultural centers of South Asia, along with Kuru and Pañcāla; the kings of the Videha Kingdom were called Janakas. Sita, a daughter of one of the Janaks of Mithila is mentioned as the consort of Lord Rama, in the Hindu epic, written by Valmiki; the Videha Kingdom became incorporated into the Vajji confederacy which had its capital in the city of Vaishali, in Mithila. Vajji had a republican form of government. Based on the information found in texts pertaining to Jainism and Buddhism, Vajji was established as a republic by the 6th century BCE, before the birth of Gautama Buddha in 563 BCE, making it the first known republic in India.
The region of modern-day southwestern Bihar called Magadha remained the centre of power and culture in India for 1000 years. The Haryanka dynasty, founded in 684 BC, ruled Magadha from the city of Rajgriha; the two well-known kings from this dynasty were Bimbisara and his son Ajatashatru, who imprisoned his father to ascend the throne. Ajatashatru founded the city of Pataliputra which became the capital of Magadha, he conquered the Vajji. The Haryanka dynasty was followed by the Shishunaga dynasty; the Nanda Dynasty ruled a vast tract stretching from Bengal to Punjab. The Nanda dynasty was replaced by India's first empire; the Maurya Empire and the religion of Buddhism arose in the region. The Mauryan Empire, which originated from Magadha in 325 BC, was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, born in Magadha, it had its capital at Pataliputra. The Mauryan emperor, born in Pataliputra is believed to be one of the greatest rulers in the history of the world; the Gupta Empire, which originated in Magadha in 240 AD, is referred as the Golden Age of India in science, astronomy, commerce and Indian philosophy.
Bihar and Bengal was invaded by Rajendra Chola I of the Chola dynasty in the 11th century. Buddhism in Magadha went into decline due to the invasion of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji, during which many of the viharas and the famed universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila were destroyed, it was claimed. D. N. Jha suggests, that these incidents were the result of Buddhist-Brahmin skirmishes in a fight for supremacy. After fall of Pala Empire, Chero dynasty ruled some parts of Bihar from 12th century to 16th century till Mughal rule. In 1540, the great Pathan chieftain, Sher Shah Suri, from Sasaram, took northern India from the Mughals, defeating the Mughal army of Emperor Humayun. Sher Shah declared Delhi his capital. From the 11th century to the 20th century, Mithila was ruled by various indigenous dynasties; the first of these were the Karnatas, followed by the Oinwar dynasty and Raj Darbhanga. It was during this period that the capital of Mithila was shi
Pakistan the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world’s sixth-most populous country with a population exceeding 212,742,631 people. In area, it is the 33rd-largest country. Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, China in the far northeast, it is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, shares a maritime border with Oman. The territory that now constitutes Pakistan was the site of several ancient cultures and intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent; the ancient history involves the Neolithic site of Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation, was home to kingdoms ruled by people of different faiths and cultures, including Hindus, Indo-Greeks, Turco-Mongols and Sikhs. The area has been ruled by numerous empires and dynasties, including the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander III of Macedon, the Seleucid Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Gupta Empire, the Arab Umayyad Caliphate, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mongol Empire, the Mughal Empire, the Afghan Durrani Empire, the Sikh Empire and, most the British Empire.
Pakistan is the only country to have been created in the name of Islam. It is an ethnically and linguistically diverse country, with a diverse geography and wildlife. A dominion, Pakistan adopted a constitution in 1956, becoming an Islamic republic. An ethnic civil war and Indian military intervention in 1971 resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. In 1973, Pakistan adopted a new constitution which stipulated that all laws are to conform to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Quran and Sunnah. A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the sixth-largest standing armed forces in the world and is a nuclear power as well as a declared nuclear-weapons state, the second in South Asia and the only nation in the Muslim world to have that status. Pakistan has a semi-industrialised economy with a well-integrated agriculture sector and a growing services sector, it is ranked among the emerging and growth-leading economies of the world, is backed by one of the world's largest and fastest-growing middle class.
Pakistan's political history since independence has been characterized by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with India. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, poverty and corruption. Pakistan is a member of the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the OIC, the Commonwealth of Nations, the SAARC and the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition; the name Pakistan means "land of the pure" in Urdu and Persian. It alludes to the word pāk meaning pure in Pashto; the suffix ـستان is a Persian word meaning the place of, recalls the synonymous Sanskrit word sthāna स्थान. The name of the country was coined in 1933 as Pakstan by Choudhry Rahmat Ali, a Pakistan Movement activist, who published it in his pamphlet Now or Never, using it as an acronym referring to the names of the five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Kashmir and Baluchistan; the letter i was incorporated to ease pronunciation. Some of the earliest ancient human civilisations in South Asia originated from areas encompassing present-day Pakistan.
The earliest known inhabitants in the region were Soanian during the Lower Paleolithic, of whom stone tools have been found in the Soan Valley of Punjab. The Indus region, which covers most of present day Pakistan, was the site of several successive ancient cultures including the Neolithic Mehrgarh and the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro; the Vedic period was characterised by an Indo-Aryan culture. Multan was an important Hindu pilgrimage centre; the Vedic civilisation flourished in the ancient Gandhāran city of Takṣaśilā, now Taxila in the Punjab, founded around 1000 BCE. Successive ancient empires and kingdoms ruled the region: the Persian Achaemenid Empire, Alexander the Great's empire in 326 BCE and the Maurya Empire, founded by Chandragupta Maurya and extended by Ashoka the Great, until 185 BCE; the Indo-Greek Kingdom founded by Demetrius of Bactria included Gandhara and Punjab and reached its greatest extent under Menander, prospering the Greco-Buddhist culture in the region.
Taxila had one of the earliest universities and centres of higher education in the world, established during the late Vedic period in 6th century BCE. The school consisted of several monasteries without large dormitories or lecture halls where the religious instruction was provided on an individualistic basis; the ancient university was documented by the invading forces of Alexander the Great, "the like of which had not been seen in Greece," and was recorded by Chinese pilgrims in the 4th or 5th century CE. At its zenith, the Rai Dynasty of Sindh ruled the surrounding territories; the Pala Dynasty was the last Buddhist empire, under Dharmapala and Devapala, stretched across South Asia from what is now Bangladesh through Northern India to Pakistan. The Arab conqueror Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh in 711 CE; the Pakistan government's official chronol
Rohtas Fort is a 16th-century fortress located near the city of Jhelum in the Pakistani province of Punjab. The fortress was built during the reign of Sher Shah Suri between 1541 and 1548; the fort was designed to suppress the local Gakhar tribes of the Potohar region. The Gakhar tribes were allies of the Mughal Empire, refused to recognize the suzerainty of Sher Shah Suri; the fort is one of the most formidable in the subcontinent. Rohtas Fort was never stormed by force, has survived remarkably intact; the fort is known for its large defensive walls, several monumental gateways. Rohtas Fort was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 for being an "exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of Central and South Asia." The fort lies eight kilometers south of the Grand Trunk Road. It is 16 km NW of Jhelum, is near the city of Dina, it is Approximately 3 Km Of Khukha. The historic Shahrah-e-Azam road once passed adjacent to the outer northern wall of the fort. Rohtas Fort was built on a hill overlooking a gorge where the Kahan river meets a seasonal stream called Parnal Khas within the Tilla Jogian Range.
The fort is about 300 feet above its surroundings. It covers an area of 12.63 acres. The Fort was commissioned by founder of the Sur Empire; the fort was designed to block the advances of Mughal emperor Humayun, exiled to Persia following his defeat at the Battle of Kannauj. The fort occupies a strategic position between the mountainous region of Afghanistan and the plains of Punjab, was intended to prevent the Mughal emperor from returning to India; the fort was designed to suppress the local Gakhar tribes of the Potohar region. The Gakhar tribes were allies of the Mughal Empire, refused to recognize the suzerainty of Sher Shah Suri; the origin of the fort goes back to the Sur dynasty, where emperor Sher Shah Suri ordered the court to be constructed after his victory over the Mughal emperor Humayun. Construction of the fort began in 1541, it was made as a defense against the Gakkhars. The fort was soon ceded to Mughal emperor Humayun in 1555, after the local governor, Tatar Khan Khasi, deserted the fort ahead of the Mughal army's advances.
The fort lost much of its significance as the fort's purpose of subduing pro-Mughal Gakhar tribesmen, as well as the preventing the return of Emperor Humayun, was no longer required. Further, the construction of the nearby Attock Fort in the 1580s by the Emperor Akbar better served Mughal interests. Rohtas Fort came to serve as capital of the Gakhar tribes that it had been designed to subdue, was not required as a military garrison as the local Gakhar tribes remained loyal to the Mughal crown; the fort remained in use during the Mughal era, was used continuously until 1707, though it was not popular with the Mughal rulers since it lacked large gardens and the sort of grand architecture found at Mughal-era forts, such as at the Lahore Fort. The Afsharid ruler Nadir Shah camped at the fort during his invasion of the Mughal Empire; the Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdali had used the fort in his expeditions in the Punjab during the waning days of the Mughal empire. In 1825, the Sikh forces of Gurmukh Singh Lamba captured the fort from the Gakhar chieftain Nur Khan.
Rohtas was thereafter used for administrative purposes by the Sikh Kingdom until its collapse by the British in 1849. Rohtas Fort covers an area of 70 hectares, enclosed by 4 kilometres of walls that were bolstered by 68 bastion towers, 12 gates; the fort forms an irregularly shaped triangle, follows the contours of the hill it was constructed on. The northwest corner of the fort is walled off from the rest of the fort by a 533 metre long wall; the enclosed section served as a citadel for elites and was more guarded. The enclosed section is site of much of the fort's most notable remains; the fort's Langar Khani gate opens into the citadel, but is a trap, in the direct line of fire from the fort's bastions. The large fort could hold a force of up to 30,000 men; the northwest corner of the fort is walled off from the rest of the fort by a 533 metre long wall. The enclosed section served as a citadel for elites. Due to its location, massive walls, trap gates and 3 baolis, it could withstand a major siege - although it was never besieged.
There are no palaces in the Fort except for the Raja Man Singh Haveli, built on the highest point of the citadel. The area of Fort is 3200 canals The height of the outer wall varies between 10 and 18 metres, with a thickness that varies between 10 and 13 metres; the fortified walls have 68 bastions at irregular intervals, with 12 monumental gateways providing access to the inner fort. The ramparts follow the hilltop's contours; the walls have up to 3 terraces located at different levels. Each level was connected to the other by way of a staircase; the uppermost terrace has merlon-shaped battlements from which muskets could be fired, from which soldiers could pour molten lead. The wall is built in sandstone laid in lime mortar mixed with brick; the gates are in grey ashlar masonry. Some portions have been built using burnt brick; the Rohtas Fort has the following 12 gates. All of them are built in ashlar stone; the Sohail gate features some of the best masonry work of the Sur Empire, was the ceremonial main entrance to the fort.
It derives its name from a local saint named Sohail Bukhari − whose remains are interred in the south-western portion of the gate. The gate rectangular in shape, measures 21.34 metres high, by 20.73 metres wide, with a depth of 15 metres. Its