Historical background for Land of Punjab

The inhabitants earlier living around 7 Rivers ;Saraswati, (present day Ghaghar) ,Sutlej, Beas, Chenab, Ravi, Jhelum and Sindhu (Indus) and later settlers surrounding 5 rivers, stood identified as Punjabis, for a region also mentioned in the Veda as ‘Sapta Sindhu’, The Sikh way of life introduced by Guru Nanak Sahib in 1499 journeyed to 1708 under the stewardship of Gurus upto Guru Gobind Singh.The Sikhism took new shape for being a martial race from the victory times of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur to Maharaja Ranjit Singh times & moving on the Path under guidance of perpetual source of energies & guidance from Sri Guru Granth Sahib initially installed at Sri Darbar Sahib ,Amritsar .

B ) The Punjab region of India and Pakistan is referred to be carrying historical and cultural link to Indo-Aryan heritage identity as well partially to the Dravidian indigenous communities. As a result of numerous invasions, many Ethnic groups and religions make up the cultural heritage of Punjab. In prehistoric times, one of the earliest known cultures of South Asia, the Harappa civilization, was located in Punjab. The epic battles described in the Mahabharata are reported to have been fought in modern-day Haryana and historic Punjab. The Gandharas, Kambojas, Trigartas, Andhra, Pauravas, Bahlikas (Bactrian settlers of Punjab), Yaudheyas and others sided with the Kauravas in the great battle fought at Kurukshetra. According to Dr Fauja Singh and Dr L. M. Joshi: “There is no doubt that the Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Andhra, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas and Kurus had jointly contributed to the heroic tradition and composite culture of ancient Punjab”.

C ) Alexander invaded the tip of Punjab in 326 BCE from the north (modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan) and defeated King Porus. His armies entered the region via the Hindu Kush in northwest Pakistan and his rule extended up to the city of Sagala (modern-day Sialkot in northeast Pakistan). In 305 BCE the area was ruled by the Maurya Empire. In a long line of succeeding rulers of the area, Chandragupta, Maurya and Ashoka the Great stand out as the most renowned. The Maurya presence in the area was then consolidated in the Indo-Greek Kingdom in 180 BCE. Menander I Soter “The Saviour” (known as Milinda in Indian sources) is the most renowned leader of the era. Neighboring Seleucid rule came to an end around 12 BCE, after several invasions by the Yuezhi and the Scythian people.
D ) Arab Sultan Muhammad bin Qasim, 18 year old ,of Taif, a city in Saudi Arabia, came in 711 – 713 CE, by way of the Arabian Sea with Arab troops to defeat Raja Dahir. The Sultan then led his troops to conquer Sindh and Punjab regions for the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate. Qasim was the first to bring Islam to the region. The Muslim empires ruled Punjab for approximately 1000 years. The period was also notable for the emergence of Guru Nanak Dev (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhism.

E ) Punjab once came under the rule of Marathas in 1758 for a brief period. They captured the region by defeating Afghan forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Abdali’s Indian invasion weakened the Maratha influence, but they could not manage or defeat the Sikhs. At the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748 at Amritsar, the Punjab had been divided into 36 areas and 12 separate Sikh principalities, called misl. From this point onward, the beginnings of a Punjabi Sikh Empire emerged. Out of the 36 areas, 22 were united by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The other 14 accepted British sovereignty. Ten years after death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the British succeeded in their master design to break up strength of Sikh Empire with divide & rule policy, initially applied to buy loyalty of eminent people (Dogras) of J&K & other Northern Hill states to take controls for Punjab.

The Dogra Generals (Hari Singh Gulab Singh) representing present J&K territories serving under Maharaja Ranjit Singh were won over by British during his life time. The Dogras proved their (sample) loyalty for British (treachery towards Maharaja) by co conspiring to the loss of great General Hari Singh Naluwa in Kabul by not allowing brief to reach Maharaja Ranjit Singh for the attack on Kabul .The Sikh State of Punjab was the only Indian state which was not under European rule till that time.
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