Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Retracing shared heritage of India, Pakistan Written by Aditi Tandon, Tribune News Service.
The time period in the history of India known as the Vedic period or Vedic age is the period of the composition of the sacred texts called Vedas and other such texts in Vedic Sanskrit. The associated culture sometimes referred to as Vedic civilization was centered on the Punjab (modern Pakistan) and the Gangetic plain (modern India). Scholarship places the Vedic period into the 2nd and 1st millennia BCE, continuing up to the 6th century BCE when it began to be transformed into classical forms of Hinduism. Early medieval Hindu authors suggest dates as early as the 4th millennium BCE.
Its early phase saw the formation of various kingdoms of ancient India. In its late phase (from ca. 700 BCE), it saw the rise of the Mahajanapadas, and was succeeded by the golden age of Hinduism and classical Sanskrit literature, the Maurya Empire (from ca. 320 BCE) and the Middle kingdoms of India.
Gandhāra is the name of an ancient Indian Mahajanapada, currently in northern Pakistan (the North-West Frontier Province and parts of northern Punjab and Kashmir) and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau (see Taxila) and on the northern side of the Kabul River. Its main cities were Peshawar and Taxila.
The Kingdom of Gandhara lasted from the 6th century BC to the 11th century AD. It attained its height from the 1st century to the 5th century AD under Buddhist Kushan Kings. After it was conquered by Mahmood of Ghazni in 1021 AD, the name Gandhara disappeared. During the Muslim period the area was administered from Lahore or from Kabul. During Mughal time the area was part of Kabul province.
The Punjabis were predominantly Hindu with large minorities of Buddhists like the rest of South Asia, when Umayyad Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim attacked Sindh and lower Punjab, in 713. This started the process of Islamic conversion among the population of Punjab, as well as India . This process continued for the next 10 centuries but there were significant non-Muslim populations including Hindus and later Sikhs.
The heritage of Seraikistan - Bhutta Wahan
Is situated at a distance of 16 kilometers to the North of Rahim Yar Khan, on the lost river Hakra. The village is said to be named after the name of Raja Bhutta who captured this locality after Raja Dahir. This village is also claimed to be the birth place of Sassi, the renowned heroine of Sassi-Pannun and of Ab-ul-Fazal and Fiazi, sons of Mullah Mubarik.
Islamgarh ,the old Bhinwar Fort, was built by Rawal Bhim Singh in Sambat in 1665, as the following inscription on its gate in Babri characters proves "Samabat 1665 Asuj Wadi 2, Maharaj Rawal Sri Bhim Singh Ji Maharaj". The fort is situated in the Cholistan area of Tehsil Khanpur. It is 46 kilometers south east of Baghla Fort. The fort is in a dilapidated state.
Mau Bubarik Fort
According to Tarikh-e-Murad, a fort was built by Raj Hans Karar in Mau Mubarik as a residence for his mother, hence the name Mau refers to mother in local language. The fort was taken by Shah Arghun in 1525 A.D. It was one of the six fortresses of Raj Sahasi 11. It had 20 bastions and Towers. The ramparts were about 549 meters in circumference and the walls very strongly and thickly built. Here the shrine of a saint Sheikh Hakim is of great importance.
The ruins of Pattan Minara are located at a distance of about 8 kilometers in east south of Rahim Yar Khan city. It has variously been described as the remains of Ashoka period, who built it in 250 B.C. or a Buddhist monastery. Nearby the minar, remains of a fort, a mosque and some tunnels are also visible. About 110 years ago Colonel Minchin a political agent of Ex-Bahawalpur state started the excavation of these tunnels but discontinued digging for some reasons or other. According to Colonel Toy it was the capital of the Hindu kingdom in 10 A.D. In the mid of the 18th century A.D. Fazal Elahi Khan Halani a Daupauta chief destroyed it and used its materials in the construction of Bhagla and Dingarh Fort.