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Location of Lahore
Lahore on Pakistan Map
Jat Kumar Sabha Lahore

Lahore (लाहोर) (Urdu: لاہور, Punjabi: لہور) (Lahor) is the capital of the Punjab province and is the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi.

Variants of name


It is popularly known as the Heart of Pakistan, due to its historical importance in the creation of Pakistan, and also being a cultural, political and educational centre of the country. The city lies along the Ravi River, situated approximately 25 kilometres from Wagah border crossing and is 32 kilometres from the Indian city of Amritsar.


1. A legend or oral tradition holds that Lahore, known in ancient times as Lavapuri ("City of Lava" in Sanskrit), [1] was founded by Prince Lava or Loh, [2] the son of Rama, the Hindu deity, while Kasur was founded by his twin brother Prince Kusha.[3]To this day, Lahore Fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava (also pronounced Loh, hence Loh-awar or "The Fort of Loh").[4]

2. Ptolemy, the celebrated 2nd-century Egyptian astronomer and geographer, mentions in his Geographia a city called Labokla [5] situated on the route between the Indus River and Palibothra, or Pataliputra (Patna) mostly, in a tract of country called Kasperia (Kashmir). It was described as extending along the rivers Bidastes or Vitasta (Jhelum), Sandabal or Chandra Bhaga (Chenab), and Adris or Iravati (Ravi). This city may have been ancient Lahore.

3. Probably name was after Lohar (लोहर) Lohariya (लोहरिया) tribe.The gotra started after Raja Kalash Loha (कलशलोह).[6] Bhim Singh Dahiya[7] has described about the history of this clan. This clan is famous in Kashmir history and gave it a whole dynasty called Lohar dynasty. Their settlement in India was Loharin, in Pir Pantsal range. The Lohar Kot-fort of Lohars-is named after them. The famous queen Dida, married to Kshemagupta, was daughter of Lohar Kong Simha Raja, who himself was married to a daughter of Lalli (Jat Clan) Sahi king Bhima of Kabul and Udabhanda (Und, near modern Attock). Thus Didda was a Lohariya Jat scion, and a granddaughter of Lalli Jats of Kabul baseless called Brahmans. The descendants of their ruling family are still called Sahi Jats. Queen Didda, made one Sangram Raj, her successor. He was the son of her brother Udaya Raj and he died on 1028 A.D. [8]Lohar itself remained with Vigrah Raj. Alberuni refers to this castle Lohar Kot-as Loha Kot, and Mahmud Ghazni’s attack on Lohar Kot was a dismal failure. Farishta tells that Muhmud failed because the fort “was remarkable on account of its height and strength.[9]


The oldest authentic document about Lahore was written anonymously in 982 A H and is called Hudud ul-'alam min al-mashriq ila al-maghrib|Hudud-i-Alam[10]. It was translated into English by Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky and published in Lahore in 1927. In this document, Lahore is referred to as a small shahr (city) with "impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards." It refers to "two major markets around which dwellings exist," and it also mentions "the mud walls that enclose these two dwellings to make it one." The original document is currently held in the British Museum. [11]. Lahore was called by different names in history, and to date there is no evidence to suggest the actual time, when the city was made, some historians trace the history of the city as far as 4000 years ago.[12].

In 1799, all Sikh Misls joined into one to form a sovereign Sikh state ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab) from the royal capital, Lahore[13].

Lahore enjoys a special position in the history of India's freedom-struggle. The 1929 Congress session was held at Lahore. In this Congress, the Declaration of the Independence of India was moved by Pandit Nehru and passed unanimously at midnight on 31 December 1929.[11] On this occasion, the contemporary tricolour of India (with a chakra at its centre) was hoisted as a national flag, and thousands of people saluted it.

Lahore Fort Prison was a place to detain revolutionary freedom fighters. Noted freedom fighter Jatin Das died in Lahore prison after fasting for 63 days in protest of British treatment of political prisoners. One of the greatest martyrs in the history of Indian independence, Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh along with his two comrades Sukhdev and Rajguru, was hanged in Lahore Jail.[14]

The most important session of the All India Muslim League, later the Pakistan Muslim League, the political party fighting for Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan, was held in Lahore in 1940. Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam demanded a separate homeland for Muslims of India in a document known as the Pakistan Resolution or the Lahore Resolution. During this session, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the League, publicly proposed the Two Nation Theory for the first time.

Lahore is regarded as the heart of Pakistan and was known as the Paris of the East before the riots of 1947. Among all cities of India, Lahore suffered the greatest loss due to the Partition of Punjab in 1947.

At independence, Lahore was made capital of Punjab province in the new state of Pakistan.

Alexander Cunningham on Lahore

Alexander Cunningham[15] writes about Lohawar, or Lahor:

[p.197]: The great city of Lahor, which has been the capital of the Panjab for nearly nine hundred years, is said to have been founded by Lava, or Lo, the son of Rama, after whom it was named Lohawar. Under this form it is mentioned by Abu Rihan ; but the present form

1 The identification of Ptolemy's Labokla with Lahor was first made in Kiepert's Map of India, according to Ptolemy, which accompanied Lassen's ' Indische Alterthumskunde.' It has since been confirmed by the researches of Mr. T. H. Thornton, the author of the ' History and Antiquities of Lahor.'

[p.198]: of tie name, Lahor, which was soon adopted by the Muhammadans, has now become universal. Its history has been described by Mr. Thornton in a very full and able account, replete with interesting information. He has identified Lahor with the Labokla of Ptolemy, which I believe to be correct, taking the first two syllables Labo to represent the name of Lava. But I would alter the termination of kla to lka, or laka, thus making the whole name Laboluka for Lavalaka, or the " abode of Lava."

Hwen Thsang makes no mention of Lahor, although it is almost certain that he must have passed through it on his way from Taki to Jalandhar. He notes1 that he halted for a whole month at a large city on the eastern frontier of Taki ; but as this kingdom ex- tended to the Byas river on the east, the great city on its eastern frontier should be looked for on the line of the Bias, and not on the Ravi. It was most probably Kasur. The first distinct mention of Lahor occurs in the campaigns of Mahmud of Ghazni, when the Brahman kings of the Kabul valley, being driven from Peshawar and Ohind, established their new capital first at Bhira on the Jhelam, and afterwards at Lahor. Thus both Jay Pal, and his son Anand Pal, the successive antagonists of Mahmud, are called Rajas of Lahor by Ferishta. This Hindu dynasty was subverted in A.D. 1031, when Lahor became the residence of a Muhammadan governor under the king of Ghazni.2

1 Julien's ' Hiouen Thsang,' i. 99.

2 This date is derived from Ferishta; but there are coins of Mahmud with Arabic and Sanskrit inscriptions, struck at Mahmudpur in A.H. 1019. Mr. Thomas has identified this city with Lahor. It is found in Abu Rihan, and other Muhammadan historians, under the corrupt form of Mandhukur, the capital of Lahor.

[p.199]: Upwards of a century later, in A.D. 1152, when Bahram was driven from Ghazni by the Afghans of Ghor, his son Kushru established himself at Lahor. But this new kingdom lasted for only two generations, until A.D. 1186, when the sovereignty of the Ghaznavis was finally extinguished by the capture and imprisonment of Khusru Malik, the last of his race.

Jat clans in Lahore District

According to 1911 census, the following were the principal Muslim Jat clans in Lahore District[16]:

Aulakh (357), Awan (3,433), Bhatti (2,042), Bajwa (492), Bhullar (1,373), Buttar (198), Bath (340), Chauhan (393), Cheema (603), Chhina (742), Chander (1,221), Chahal (561), Deo (111), Dhillon (1,706), Dhariwal (752), Gill (2,381), Goraya (480), Ghumman (403), Gondal (1,080), Heer (376), Hanjra (836), Johiya (649), Khera (107), Kharal (2,064), Khokhar (2,708), Maan (637), Malhi (154), Pannun (7), Randhawa (162), Sidhu (1,022), Sandhu (9,965), Sarai (351), Sekhon (155), Sansi (522), Sial (1,373), Samra(45), Tarar (170), Uppal (87), Virk (1,375) and, Waraich (357)

Jats and Lahore

  • Origin of many Jat clans: Many Jat Gotras have originated from rulers of Lahore. According to the bards king Gaj of Ghazni had two sons named Mangal Rao and Masur Rao. Mangal Rao was the ruler of Lahore and Masur Rao of Sialkot. Foreign invaders drove both of them out of their kingdoms. Masur Rao fled away to the deserts of Rajasthan. He had two sons named Abhai Rao and Saran Rao. Descendants of Abhai Rao came to be called Bhurhya Bhatti and those of Saran Rao, Saran. Mangal Rao had six sons, named Mojam Rao, Gulrish, Moolraj, Sheoraj, Kewl Rao and Phul Rao. Descendants of Gulrish came to be called Gloraya or Kiliraya, those of Moolraj, Munda and those Sheoraj, Sheoran. Descendants of Kewal Rao and Phul Rao adopted pottery as their profession and were called Kumhar.
  • Burdak History - Rao Burdak Dev went to Lahore to help Raja Jai Pal. He died in war in 1057 (1000 AD) and his wife Tejal of gotra Shekwal became sati in Dadrewa . Her chhatri was built on the site of Dadrewa pond in samvat 1058 (1001 AD). According to the Bards the Jat Gotra Burdak is said to be started after Rao Burdak Dev. Rao Burdakdeo of Dadrewa begot three sons: Samudra Pal, Dar Pal and Vijay Pal. Rao Burdakdeo’s elder son Samudra Pal begot two sons: Nar Pal and Kusum Pal. Samudra Pal went to Vaihind near Peshawar in Pakistan to help Raja Anand Pal and was killed there in war. Samudra Pal’s wife Punyani became sati in samvat 1067 (1010 AD) at Sambhar.
  • The majority of Sindhu Jats are found in the districts of Lahore and Amritsar.
  • King Porus (पौरुष), the Greek version of the Indian names Puru, Pururava, or Parvata, was the ruler of a Kingdom in Punjab located between the Jhelum and the Chenab (in Greek, the Hydaspes and the Acesines) rivers in the Punjab. Its capital may have been near the current city of Lahore [17]. He had 600 small republics under him, which were ruled by Jats. Porus was most poerful of them.[18]
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjab) also called "Sher-e-Punjab" ("The Lion of the Punjab") (1780-1839) was a Sikh emperor of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. His Samadhi is located in Lahore, Pakistan. Ranjit Singh took the title of Maharaja on April 12 1801 (to coincide with Baisakhi day). A descendant of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, conducted the coronation ceremony [19]. Lahore served as his capital from 1799.
  • Kisan Andolans were first started from Punjab. It was in Punjab that India's first farmers’ movement emerged. The role played by Ghadar party, led by Raja Mahendra Pratap, in the political awakening of India was an important step. The peasant conferences were held in Lahore, Faislabad, Lyallpur and other places of West Punjab -- the most famous of them being 1938-39 Long Morcha in Lahore when peasants from all over Punjab courted arrests for nine months in front of the assembly building.
  • Sardar Bhagat Singh, One of the greatest martyrs in the history of Indian independence, a Sandhu Jat Shaheed, was hanged in Lahore Jail.[20]

Native language

Punjabi is the native language of the Punjab Province and is the most widely-spoken language in Lahore and rural areas. Urdu and English, however, are becoming more popular with younger generations since they are officially supported, whereas Punjabi has no official patronage. Many people of Lahore who speak Punjabi are known as Lahori Punjabi due to their use of a mixture of Punjabi and colloquial Urdu.


  1. Bombay Historical Society (1946):Annual bibliography of Indian history and Indology , Volume 4, p. 257
  2. Baqir, Muhammad (1985): Lahore,past and present, B.R. Pub. Corp. pp. 19–20
  3. Nadiem, Ihsan N (2005):Punjam - Land, History, People; Al-Faisal Nashran. p. 111.
  4. Aqoosh, Lahore Number 1976
  5. Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 16, p. 106
  6. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudee, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998, p. 280
  7. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Harsha Vardhana : Linkage and Identity, pp.224-225
  8. RAJAT, VI, 355 and VII, 1284
  9. Elliot, Early History of India (V A Smith), Vol I
  10. HUDUD AL-'ALAM 'The Regions of the World' A Persian Geography
  11. Dawn Pakistan - The 'shroud' over Lahore's antiquity
  12. [1]
  13. Encyclopædia Britannica article on Lahore
  14. Daily Times Pakistan - Memorial will be built to Bhagat Singh, says governor
  15. The Ancient Geography of India/Ransi,pp.197-199
  16. Census Of India 1911 Volume xiv Punjab Part 2 by Pandit Narikishan Kaul
  18. Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudi, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998 (Page 290)
  20. Daily Times Pakistan - Memorial will be built to Bhagat Singh, says governor

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