Punjab is the cradle of the Indus Valley Civilization, more than 4000 years
old. Archaeological excavations, throughout the state, have revealed evidences
of the magnificent cities of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, that lived and died along
the banks of the mighty Indus and its tributaries. The Mahabharata, which
narrates life between the 7th and 5th century BC, contains rich descriptions of
the land and people of Punjab at that time. It is believed that parts of the
Ramayana too, were written around the Shri Ram Tirath Ashram, near Amritsar; and
it was in these forests that Lav and Kush grew up.
The region has been invaded and ruled by many different empires and races, including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Afghans, and Mongols.
In 326 BC, Alexander the Great of Macedonia invaded Punjab. After this, was the rule of Chandragupta Maurya which lasted till about 1st century A.D. By 318 A.D, the Gupta dynasty exercised their influence. They were followed by the Huns in about 500 A.D. By 1000 A.D, the Muslims invaded Punjab led by Mahmud of Ghazni. In 1030 A.D, the Rajputs gained control of this territory. In about 1192 A.D, the Ghoris defeated the Chauhans and ruled till the establishment of the Mughal rule. Around the time of the 15th Century, Guru Nanak Dev founded the Sikh religion, which quickly came to prominence in the region. Maharaja Ranjit Singh reformed the Punjab into a secular and powerful state. The 19th Century saw the beginning of British rule, which led to the emergence of several heroic Punjabi freedom fighters. In 1947, at the end of British rule, the original Punjab was split between Pakistan and India.