Situated on the east bank of the Ravi River, Lahore is the capital of the Punjab and has a population of approximately 5 million. Lahore is the principle commercial and banking center of the Punjab Province. Although little industry is located in the city proper, Lahore serves as the distribution center for the heavily industrialized surrounding area.
Lahore, "the city of gardens", was a cultural and intellectual centre during both the Moghul and British eras, and it's an atmosphere which still pervades today. Legend traces its origin to Loh, the son of Rama Chandra, the hero of the Ramayana, but history records that it began as a dependency of the 8th century AD Hindu ruler, Lalitiditya. In the early 11th century it came under Muslim rule and evolved as a centre of Islamic culture and learning as well as trade and commerce. In the 13th century it was depopulated and razed to the ground by the Tartar-Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. Timurlane and his Muslim Turks also arrived and destroyed the city.
In the 17th century, Lahore became one of the greatest Mughal cities in the subcontinent. A town near Lahore was the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the 15th century founder of the Sikh religion, and Lahore was the capital from which Maharaja Ranjit Singh ruled his 19th century Sikh Empire. The British coveted this fertile region, and overthrew the Sikhs in 1849, annexing Punjab to their Indian dominions, with Lahore as its provincial capital. Finally, it was in Lahore that the All India Muslim League passed, on 23 March 1940, its Resolution for the Creation of Pakistan.
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