Punjab grew out of the settlements along the five rivers, which served as an important route to the Near East as early as the ancient Indus Valley civilization, dating back to 3000 BCE, and had numerous migrations by the Indo-Aryan peoples. Agriculture has been the major economic feature of the Punjab and has therefore formed the foundation of Punjabi culture, with one's social status being determined by land ownership. The Punjab emerged as an important agricultural region, especially following the Green Revolution during the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, and has been described as the "breadbasket of both India and Pakistan."
Besides being known for agriculture and trade, the Punjab is also a region that over the centuries has experienced many foreign invasions and consequently has a long-standing history of warfare, as the region is vulnerably situated on the principal route of invasions through the northwestern frontier of the Indian subcontinent, including those of Persians, Macedonians, Scythians, Parthians, Kushans, Huns, Arabs, Turks, and Mongols until the eighteenth century which promoted a lifestyle that entailed engaging in warfare to protect the land, with the Marathas, Durranis and British invading the region in subsequent decades.
Statue of Baba Banda Bahadur at Chappar Chiri, near Mohali(Punjab)
Banda Singh Bahadur (born Lachman Dev) (27 October 1670 – 9 June 1716), was a Sikh warrior and a commander of Khalsa army. At age 15, he left home to become an ascetic, and was given the name Madho Das Bairagi. He established a monastery at Nānded, on the bank of the river Godāvarī. In 1707, Guru Gobind Singh accepted an invitation to meet Bahadur Shah I in southern India. He visited Banda Singh Bahadur in 1708. Banda became disciple of Guru Gobind Singh and was given a new name, Gurbaksh Singh(as written in Mahan Kosh), after the baptism ceremony. He is popularly known as Banda Singh Bahadur. He was given five arrows by the Guru as a blessing for the battles ahead. He came to Khanda in Sonipat and assembled a fighting force and led the struggle against the Mughal Empire.
His first major action was the sacking of the Mughal provincial capital, Samana, in November 1709. After establishing his authority and Khalsa rule in Punjab, Banda Singh Bahadur abolished the zamindari system, and granted property rights to the tillers of the land. Banda Singh was captured by the Mughals and tortured to death in 1715–1716. (Full article...)
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