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The Lahore Fort, a landmark built during the Mughal era, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The province is home to several historical sites, including the Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, the Rohtas Fort and the ruins of the ancient city of Harrapa. The Anarkali Market and Jahangir's Tomb are prominent in the city of Lahore as is the Lahore Museum, while the ancient city of Taxila in the northwest was once a major centre of Buddhist and Hindu influence. Several important Sikh shrines are in the province, including the birthplace of the first Guru, Guru Nanak. (born at Nankana Sahib). There are a few famous hill stations, including Murree, Bhurban, Patriata and Fort Munro.

Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal District. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple.[citation needed]

The Khewra Salt Mine is a tourist attraction. Tours are accompanied by guides as the mine itself is very large and the complex interconnected passages are like a maze. There is a small but beautiful mosque inside the mine made from salt stone. A clinical ward with 20 beds was established in 2007[97][98] for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases using salt therapy.

Music and dance

Various festivals in rural Punjab

Classical music forms, such as Pakistani classical music, are an important part of the cultural wealth of the Punjab. The Muslim musicians have contributed a large number of ragas to the repository of classical music. The most common instruments used are the tabla and harmonium.

Among the Punjabi poets, the names of Multan are outstanding specimens of architectural calligraphy. The earliest existing building in South Asia with enamelled tile-work is the tomb of Shah Yusuf Gardezi (1150 AD) at Multan. A specimen of the sixteenth century tile-work at Lahore is the tomb of Sheikh Musa Ahangar, with its brilliant blue dome. The tile-work of Emperor Shah Jahan is of a richer and more elaborate nature. The pictured wall of Lahore Fort is the last line in the tile-work in the entire world.

The culture of Punjab derives its basis from the institution of Sufi saints, who spread Islam and preached and lived the Muslim way of life. People have festivities to commemorate these traditions. The fairs and festivals of Punjab reflect the entire gamut of its folk life and cultural traditions. These mainly fall in the following categories:

Religious and seasonal fairs and festivals

Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Religious fairs are held on special days of Islamic significance like Eid ul-Adha, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, Shahb-e-Barat, Ashura, Laylat al-Qadr and Jumu'ah-tul-Wida. The main activities on these special occasions are confined to congregational prayers and rituals. Melas are also held to mark these occasions.

Devotional fairs (Urs)

Sufi saints are called urs. They generally mark the death anniversary of the saint. On these occasions, devotees assemble in large numbers and pay homage to the memory of the saint. Soul inspiring music is played and devotees dance in ecstasy. The music on these occasions is essentially folk and appealing. It forms a part of the folk music through mystic messages. The most important urs are: urs of Data Ganj Buksh at Lahore, urs of Sultan Bahu at Jhang, urs of Shah Jewna at Jhang, urs of Mian Mir at Lahore, urs of Baba Farid Ganj Shakar at Pakpattan, urs of Bahaudin Zakria at Multan, urs of Sakhi Sarwar Sultan at Dera Ghazi Khan, urs of Shah Hussain at Lahore, urs of Bulleh Shah at Kasur, urs of Imam Bari (Bari Shah Latif) at Rawalpindi-Islamabad and urs of Shah Inayat Qadri (the murrshad of Bulleh Shah) in Lahore.

A big fair/mela is organised at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his classic work, Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang is one of the most visited shrines in Punjab.

A big fair/mela is organised at Jandiala Sher Khan in district Sheikhupura on the mausoleum of Syed Waris Shah who is the most loved Sufi poet of Punjab due to his classic work, Heer Ranjha. The shrine of Heer Ranjha in Jhang is one of the most visited shrines in Punjab.

Exhibitions and annual horse shows in all districts and a national horse and cattle show at Lahore are held with the official patronage. The national horse and cattle show at Lahore is the biggest festival where sports, exhibitions, and livestock competitions are held. It not only encourages and patronises agricultural products and livestock through the exhibitions of agricultural products and cattle but is also a colourful documentary on the rich cultural heritage of the province with its strong rural roots.

Other festivals

Vaisakhi, also called Besakhi, is a harvest festival to celebrate harvesting the wheat crop. Colourful festivals are held at the time of Besakhi when farmers are free to enjoy their leisure time.[91] Various literary festivals and fairs are organised in many places.[92] [93][94]

Basant is a seasonal festival and is celebrated as a spring festival of kites.[95] The day is marked by wearing yellow, eating food with yellow colouring such as potatoes with turmeric and saffron rice, and holding

Vaisakhi, also called Besakhi, is a harvest festival to celebrate harvesting the wheat crop. Colourful festivals are held at the time of Besakhi when farmers are free to enjoy their leisure time.[91] Various literary festivals and fairs are organised in many places.[92] [93][94]

Basant is a seasonal festival and is celebrated as a spring festival of kites.[95] The day is marked by

Basant is a seasonal festival and is celebrated as a spring festival of kites.[95] The day is marked by wearing yellow, eating food with yellow colouring such as potatoes with turmeric and saffron rice, and holding parties.[96]

The crafts in the Punjab are of two types: the crafts produced in the rural areas and the royal crafts.

Tourism

Shalimar Gardens, the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, the Rohtas Fort and the ruins of the ancient city of Harrapa. The Anarkali Market and Jahangir's Tomb are prominent in the city of Lahore as is the Lahore Museum, while the ancient city of Taxila in the northwest was once a major centre of Buddhist and Hindu influence. Several important Sikh shrines are in the province, including the birthplace of the first Guru, Guru Nanak. (born at Nankana Sahib). There are a few famous hill stations, including Murree, Bhurban, Patriata and Fort Munro.

Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal District. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple.[citation needed]

The Khewra Salt Mine is a tourist attraction. Tours are accompanied by guides as the mine itself is very large and the complex interconnected passages are like a maze. There is a small but beautiful mosque inside the mine made from salt stone. A clinical ward with 20 beds was established in 2007[97][98] for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases using salt therapy.

Music and dance

Katasraj Mandir is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidanshah in the Chakwal District. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple.[citation needed]

The Khewra Salt Mine is a tourist attraction. Tours are accompanied by guides as the mine itself is very large and the complex interconnected passages are like a maze. There is a small but beautiful mosque inside the mine made from salt stone. A clinical ward with 20 beds was established in 2007[97][98] for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases using salt therapy.

Classical music forms, such as Pakistani classical music, are an important part of the cultural wealth of the Punjab. The Muslim musicians have contributed a large number of ragas to the repository of classical music. The most common instruments used are the tabla and harmonium.

Among the Punjabi poets, the names of Baba Farid, Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah and Mian Muhammad Baksh are well known. Amongst folk singers the likes of Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Tufail Niazi, Alam Lohar, Sain Marna, Mansoor Malangi, Allah Ditta Lonawala, Talib Hussain Dard, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Gamoo Tahliwala, Mamzoo Gha-lla, Akbar Jat, Arif Lohar, Ahmad Nawaz Cheena and Hamid Ali Bela are well-known. In the composition of classical ragas, there are such masters as Malika-i-Mauseequi (Queen of Music) Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Alam

Among the Punjabi poets, the names of Baba Farid, Shah Hussain, Sultan Bahu, Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah and Mian Muhammad Baksh are well known. Amongst folk singers the likes of Inayat Hussain Bhatti, Tufail Niazi, Alam Lohar, Sain Marna, Mansoor Malangi, Allah Ditta Lonawala, Talib Hussain Dard, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Gamoo Tahliwala, Mamzoo Gha-lla, Akbar Jat, Arif Lohar, Ahmad Nawaz Cheena and Hamid Ali Bela are well-known. In the composition of classical ragas, there are such masters as Malika-i-Mauseequi (Queen of Music) Roshan Ara Begum, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan. Alam Lohar has made significant contributions to folklore and Punjabi literature, by being a very influential Punjabi folk singer from 1930 until 1979.

For the popular taste however, light music, particularly Ghazals and folk songs, which have an appeal of their own, the names of Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Nur Jehan, Malika Pukhraj, Farida Khanum, Roshen Ara Begum, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are well-known. Folk songs and dances of the Punjab reflect a wide range of moods: the rains, sowing and harvesting seasons. Luddi, Bhangra and Sammi depict the joy of living. Love legends of Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sohni Mahenwal and Saiful Mulk are sung in different styles.

For the most popular music from the region, Bhangra, the names of Abrar-Ul-Haq, Arif Lohar, Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Jawad Ahmed, Sajjad Ali, Legacy, and Malkoo are renowned.

Folklore songs, ballads, epics and romances are generally written and sung in the various Punjabi dialects.

There are a number of folk tales that are popular in different parts of the Punjab. These are the folk tales of Mirza Sahiban, Sayful Muluk, Yusuf Zulekha, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Dulla Bhatti, and Sassi Punnun. The mystic folk songs include the Kafees of Khwaja Farid in Saraiki, Punjabi and the Shalooks by Baba Farid. They also include Baits, Dohas, Lohris, Sehra, and Jugni.[99]

The most famous of the romantic love songs are Mayhiah, Dhola and Boliyan. Punjabi romantic dances include Dharees, Dhamaal, Bhangra, Giddh

There are a number of folk tales that are popular in different parts of the Punjab. These are the folk tales of Mirza Sahiban, Sayful Muluk, Yusuf Zulekha, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Dulla Bhatti, and Sassi Punnun. The mystic folk songs include the Kafees of Khwaja Farid in Saraiki, Punjabi and the Shalooks by Baba Farid. They also include Baits, Dohas, Lohris, Sehra, and Jugni.[99]

The most famous of the romantic love songs are Mayhiah, Dhola and Boliyan. Punjabi romantic dances include Dharees, Dhamaal, Bhangra, Giddha, Dhola, and Sammi.

One social/educational issue is the status of Punjabi language. According to Manzur Ejaz, "In Central Punjab, Punjabi is neither an official language of the province nor it is used as medium of education at any level. There are only two daily newspapers published in Punjabi in the Central areas of Punjab. Only a few monthly literary magazines constitute Punjabi press in Pakistan".[100]

Notable peopleLahore Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Jungle in Sahiwal, Punjab

  • Badshahi Mosque, Lahore

  • Jungle in Sahiwal, Punjab

  • Katas Raj Temples (Sardar of Hari Singh's Haveli)