Punjab, its name meaning 'Land of Five Rivers' (The name Punjab is derived from the words punj meaning five, and aab meaning waters), is the richest, most fertile and most heavily populated province of Pakistan.The Punjab plain comprises mainly the province of Punjab. It is the gift of River Indus and its five eastern tributaries- Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas. The plain spreads from the south of Potohar plateau up to Mithankot, where Sulaiman Range approaches river Indus. The Punjab plain is almost a featureless plain with a gentle slope southward averaging one foot to the mile. The only break in the alluvial monotony is the little group of broken hills(100 ft-1,600ft.) near Sangla and Irana on either side of the Chenab. The entire plain is extensively irrigated by a network of canals. This system has been greatly expanded and improved in recent years by the construction of link-canals, dams and barrages as a result of the Indus Water Treaty with India, which awarded the three western rivers (Indus, Jhelum and Chenab) to pakistan, and the three eastern rivers (Ravi,Sutlej and Beas) to India. Tarbela Dam on river Indus and Mangla Dam on River Jhelum, which have water storage capacities of 11.1 million acre ft. and 5.55 million acre ft. respectively, need a special mention. Irrigation water is supplemented by summer and winter rains(15-20 inches) so that a variety of crops is raised, the major onces being wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane. The region has earned the name of granary of Pakistan. However, the blessings of canal irrigation have not been without a curse, which render about 100,000 acres of land unproductive every year through waterlogging and salinity. The menace has been greatly controlled through salinity control and reclamation projects. Agricultural development boosted urbanization and industrialization so that the region has emerged as the most important economically developed area of Pakistan, containing over 56 per cent of the population and most of the commercial and industrial centres of the country, such as Lahore (2,922,000), Faisalabad (1,092.000). Multan (730,000), Gujranwala (596,000), Sialkot (297,000) and Gujrat (154,000).
The south eastern section of the region known as cholistan is under-developed. This tract is parched and thirsty. The summer temperature average 51.7 oC and the area remains under the grip of extremely hot winds. The surface
Valley is a 155 kms long scenic wonderland. Lofty peaks crown the
mountains ranges on either side like turrets, ranging in height from
12,000 to 17,000 ft and more, with the eastern range higher than the
western. The bed of valley slopes up from 3,000 ft at Balakot,
which, as it were, the gateway of the valley, to 12,000 ft at
Gittdas beyond which the valley crosses at Babusar Pass 14,000 ft.
The first ten miles or so are largely barren, but when the valley
raises to about 5,000 ft forests of pine and fir appear, densely
overgrown with a variety of plants, which has won for Kaghan the
epithets of 'the botanists paradise'. The forests continue till
about Naran 8,000 ft.
goes along the river Kunhar, meandering now to one side and now to
the other. But keeping most to the bed of the valley and never too
far above the bank of the stream except in the very first state.
Kaghan Valley is accessible by road from Abbottabad. From
Abbottabad, 72 km drive to Balakot, the gateway to Kaghan valley.
Here you have to switch over to jeeps for your drive 100 km to
Important cities in
Complete list of Punjab Cities with population-Full
The south eastern
section of the region known as cholistan is under-developed. This tract is
parched and thirsty. The summer temperature average 51.7 oC and the area
remains under the grip of extremely hot winds. The surface of this desert
consists of a succession of sand dunes rising in places to a height of 500
ft. with vegetation peculiar to sandy tracts. There is no soil down to the
lowest depth except sand; bitter water is, however, sometimes found at
depth of about 80-100 ft.
The Potohar Upland
commonly called the Potohar Plateau, lies to the south of northern
mountains and is flanked in the west by River Indus and in the east by
River Jhelum. This 1,000-2,000 ft.(305-610 m) upland is a typical arid
landscape with denuded and broken terrain characterised by undulations and
irregularities. These are a few outlying spurs of Salt Range in the south,
and those of Khair Murad and Kala Chitta Range in the north. Two seasonal
streams-Rivers Haro and River Soan-flow from east to the west and after
crossing the region in the north and in the middle respectively, fall in
the Indus. River Kanshi traverses the eastern part of the plateau from
north to south and drains into River Jhelum. These rivers and other hill
torrents have cut deep valleys and are of little use for irrigation.
Agriculture is thus almost entirely dependent on rainfall of 15-20 inches
and on the small dams built in the catchment areas of the streams.
Fields of wheat,
barley, jowar, bajra and pulses are found in valley bottoms and on the
terraced slopes along river banks. A new economic factor has been
introduced by the establishment of a few factories in Rawalpindi and
Islamabad and a large industrial area in the Taxila-Wah-Hassanabdal
triangle,where a large cement factory was already in existence. The region
is particulary known for its oilfields in Khaur-Dhulian neighbourhood, the
ancient civilization sites in Soan valley, the ruins and the Buddhist
University at Taxila and the new capital, Islamabad, which stands north of
the old city of Rawalpindi(806,000) at the southern slops of Murree hills,
the popular Holiday resort of the country. Salt Range The ramparts of the
Salt Range stretching from east to west in the south separate potohar
upland from the Punjab plain. The average height of the Salt Range is
about 700 metres, but near Sakesar in Sargodha district, it rises to 1,500
metres, making summer pleasant. The southern face is remarkably steep,
dissected and intensely arid. But, the northern slope is gentle and has
sparse vegetation of oleanders and wild olives. The top of the range is a
narrow belt of isolated plateaus and basins, where, sparse stunted trees
and fields of wheat and maize are found. However, the real importance of
the salt mines lies in the large deposits of pure salt at Khewra and
Kalabagh and the large seams of coal at Dandot and Makerwal.
a long and tremendous historical resume. The oldest settlements are found in
Taxila which is about thirty kilometers north-west of Rawalpindi out along the
Grand Trunk Road. Other historical sites in the province are Sher Shah Suri's
settlements such as Rohtas Fort and Grand Trunk Road, Mughal settlements such as
the famous Lahore Fort, Badshahi Masjid, Shalimar Gardens and Jehangir's Tomb to
name a few and Hindu settlements near the Salt Range such as Ketas ruins which
is associated with Mahabharata and temples at Malot and at Shiv Ganga.
province has also generated some famous romantic tales. Mughal emperors were the
first ones to engage in romance. After them followed two of the greatest pairs;
Sohni and Mahival, and Hir and Ranjha. Their love stories remain the part of
When Pakistan became
independant in 1947, a part of the eastern Punjab went to India but the major
portion of the state was awarded to Pakistan.
Today, agriculture is the
most important industry in Punjab. Wheat, rice, sugar, fruit, tobacco, cotton
and many other crops flourish. But visitors may be surprised to see how much
industrial development there is. The factories of Punjab produce anything and
everything; from food processing and textiles, to furnaces, foundaries and
Cotton Crop of Punjab Pakistan
The province of Punjab is
criss-crossed by canals. Surrounded by desert, most of the Punjab is now a huge
oasis of green where there are hundreds of new settlements - canal colonies -
with practically no historical reference. These
canal colonies, established by
the British, are probably one of the most astonishing projects carried out
ever. These canals were previously built on small scale, to provide water to
gardens and enjoyment. The first major colonization experiment was undertaken
in 1886-88 when an effort was made to irrigate 76 thousand hectares of wasteland
in Multan district using water from the Sutlej river. Later, many large scale
irrigation projects were undertaken, perfecting the skills of canal
engineering. Nowadays, the map of the Punjab has been totally altered by the
changes brought by irrigation.