Punjab - the land of five rivers - lies in North West India. In the Vedic Era, Punjab
was called ‘Sapat Sindu’. Sapat Sindu means the land of seven rivers - the Sindu,
Jehlum, Ravi, Chenab, Beas, Satluj and Yamuna. The Mughals persianised its name by
calling it ‘Panj – Aab’ or -the land of five rivers- excluding Sindhu and Yamuna.
Punj means five and aab means water, so Punjab means -the land of five rivers.
The historical area of Punjab was defined to the east from the basin of the river
Bias (including Dehli) to the basin of River Indus in the west. To the north it was
bounded by the Himalayas of Kashmir and to the south it stretched as far as the plains
of Cholistan and Rajasthan. Over different periods of history Punjab has seen its
boundries expand and shrink. The high time for Punjab was during the reign of Mughal
emperor Babur (and also during the time of Ranjit Singh more recently) when Punjab
along with Babur's empire streteched from Dehli in the east to Kabul and Ghazni to
the West.Punjabi civilization is one of the oldest on earth, with its distinguished
language, culture, food, attire, script, folklore, people, etc.
The history of Punjab goes back to the times of Indus Valley civilization or the
arrival of the Aryans. Lord Rama is also said to have been born at a place called
Ghuram, now in Patiala district. Lord Sri Krishna delivered the immortal message
of the Gita at Kurukshetra, which was well within the boundary of Punjab till very
recently.The oldest evidence of life in Punjab was found in the digs made in Soan
river valley located in west Punjab. Surface finds from Soan valley (Rawalpindi district)
between the Indus and the JheIum and stone tools made of quartzite, pebbles, flint
and flakes of the same time that were found in the Soan valley testify to the existence
of man who fashioned stone implements. According to the experts this valley pertains
to the end of the first ice age and the beginning of second ice age indicative of
the fact that it is almost five to six lakh years old. Similar evidence has also
been found in the Shiwalik regions of Una and Hamirpur Districts of Himachal Pradesh.
Some implements of early Soan culture have also been found in the vicinity of Pinjore
and Chandigarh. These tools are a good indication of the human existence on the one
hand and the area of their influence on the other. In fact it appears that age-old
culture which emerged in this land was fairly wide spread in northern India. Harrapa
in West Punjab and recently at several location at Ropar district which show evidence
of what has come to be know as Indus Valley Civilization. Excavation at these places
gave a new insight to our ancient past and pushed back the history of Punjab to at
least 3000 to 4000 B.C. if not to still earlier period. With these finds it becomes
possible to be in line with the other ancient civilizations of the world.