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The Pothohar Plateau
Plateau
(Punjabi: پوٹھوار‬, Urdu: سطح مرتفع پوٹھوہار‬‎; alternatively spelled Potohar
Potohar
or Potwar) is a plateau in north-eastern Pakistan, forming the northern part of Punjab. It borders the western parts of Azad Kashmir
Azad Kashmir
and the southern part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The region was once the home of the ancient Soanian
Soanian
culture, which is evidenced by the discovery of fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites. The major language of the region is Pothwari, while the standard Majhi dialect of Punjabi and Hindko
Hindko
are also spoken. Other dialects include Dhani diaelect, Shahpuri and Chacchi.[citation needed] Potohar
Potohar
is home to many different clans including Khatris, Abbasi, Awans, Jatts, Bhatti Rajputs, Hanjra Rajput, [Janjua Rajput]]s, Thathals Rajputs, Satti Rajputs, Mangral Rajput, Tarkhans, Gujjars, Gakhar clans and many others.

Contents

1 Geography 2 History 3 Other facts 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Geography[edit] Potohar
Potohar
Plateau
Plateau
is bounded on the east by the Jhelum
Jhelum
River, on the west by the Indus
Indus
River, on the north by the Kala Chitta Range
Kala Chitta Range
and the Margalla Hills, and on the south by the Salt Range.[1] The Kala Chitta Range thrusts eastward across the plateau towards Rawalpindi; the valleys of the Haro and Soan rivers cross the plateau from the eastern foothills to the Indus. The land of Pothohar and in general the whole of the Indian subcontinent was attributed as "Golden Sparrow" by East India Company.[2] The ramparts of the Salt Range
Salt Range
stretching from east to west in the south separate Potohar
Potohar
from the Punjab Plain. The Potwar Plateau
Plateau
includes the current four districts of Jhelum, Chakwal, Rawalpindi, Attock.[3] The terrain is undulating. The Kala Chitta Range rises to an average height of 450-900 metres and extends for about 72 kilometres. The Swaan River
Swaan River
starts from nearby Murree
Murree
and ends near Kalabagh in the Indus
Indus
river. Sakesar
Sakesar
is the highest mountain of this region. Most of the hills and rivers are bordered by dissected ravine belts. The streams, due to constant rejuvenation, are deep set and of little use for irrigation. Agriculture
Agriculture
is dependent largely on rainfall, which averages 380-500 mm annually; rainfall is greatest in the northwest and declines to arid conditions in the southwest. The chief crops are wheat, barley, sorghum, and legumes, onions, melons, and tobacco are grown in the more fertile areas near the River Indus. The diverse wildlife includes urial, chinkara, chukar, hare, mongoose, wild boar, and yellow-throated marten. Due to low rain fall, extensive deforestation, coal mining, oil and gas exploration, the area is becoming devoid of vegetation. The under water areas of lakes (Uchali, Khabeki, Jhallar and Kallar Kahar) have been reduced to much smaller areas than in the past. The plateau is the location of major Pakistani oil fields, the first of which were discovered at Khaur (1915) and Dhuliān (1935); the Tut field was discovered in 1968, and exploration continued in the area in the 1970s. The oil fields are connected by pipeline to the Attock Refinery in Rawalpindi.[4] A major oil reserve has been discovered near Jhelum
Jhelum
in Punjab, opening up a new area for exploitation of hydrocarbon potential. With an estimated production of 5,500 barrels per day, the Ghauri X-1 oil well is expected to be the country’s largest oil-producing well and is likely to start contributing its output to the system by the end of June,2014. The major cities of Islamabad
Islamabad
and Rawalpindi, and the smaller cities of Chakwal, Jhelum
Jhelum
and Attock
Attock
are situated on the plateau. History[edit]

Pothohar Plateau
Plateau
scene

Ling Stream

Tilla Jogian, 2nd highest peak in Pothohar.

Pharwala
Pharwala
Fort

Rohtas Fort
Rohtas Fort
gate

Centuries old banyan tree inside Pharwala
Pharwala
Fort, Potohar.

Mankiala
Mankiala
Stupa

Existence of the Soanian
Soanian
culture finds its home on the plateau. The Indus
Indus
Valley civilization is known to have flourished in the same region between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. Some of the earliest Stone Age artifacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 500,000 to 100,000 years. The crude stone recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the account of human grind and endeavors in this part of the world from the inter-glacial period. The Stone Age people produced their equipment in a sufficiently homogenous way to justify their grouping. Around 3000 BC, small village communities developed in the area, which led to the early roots of civilization. Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Gazetteer 1894 (see also Baburnama). This clan now live all over the region and famous villages are Samote, Sagri, Manyanda, Sakrana, Bishandoot, etc. The ruins of the Shahi
Shahi
destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni
Mahmud of Ghazni
in the 11th century and of ancient Gandhara
Gandhara
destroyed in the 6th century by the Hunas (Indo-Hephthalites) litter the countryside. Ancient Taxila is an ancient UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
located on the plateau. Taxila (then called taksh-shila) was Hindu
Hindu
and Buddhist seat of learning, connected across the Khunjerab pass to the Silk Road, attracting students from all over the world. Ancient Takshashila was renowned all over the world as home to a great university. It came under the control of the first Persian known then as the Achaemenid Empire followed by Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
and then the Sassanians (see Indo-Sassanian). As a city in Gandhara
Gandhara
it flourished during the first-fifth centuries AD. It was finally destroyed in c.450-c.565 by the Hunas. The material remains found on the site of the city of Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
prove the existence of a Gandhara
Gandhara
Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila but less celebrated than its neighbor. It appears that the ancient city also went into oblivion as a result of the same Hunas devastation. The Gakhar chief Jhanda Khan restored it and gave it the name of Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
after the village Rawal in 1493 AD. Today it is the twin city of the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad
Islamabad
which was built next to it. Rohtas Fort
Rohtas Fort
located in the Potwar is another UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage site, built by Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
in 1541 to control the Gakhars
Gakhars
who remained loyal to the deposed Mughal Emperor Humayun.[5][6] Rawat Fort
Rawat Fort
is located 17 kilometres (11 mi) east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
leading to Lahore. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala
Mankiala
Stupa. The remains of this Buddhist Stupa lie about 32 km south east of Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
in Mankiala village. Apparently, this Gandhara
Gandhara
stupa was built in the reign of Kanishka
Kanishka
(128-151 AD). According to legend, Buddha had sacrificed parts of his body here, to feed seven hungry tiger-cubs. In 1930, several gold, silver and copper coins (660 - 730 AD) and a bronze casket having Kharoṣṭhī
Kharoṣṭhī
inscriptions, were discovered from this stupa. Pharwala
Pharwala
Fort is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. The Gakhar ruler, Sultan Kai Gohar built it in 10th century on the ruins of a 10th-century Hindu
Hindu
Shahi
Shahi
Fort. Emperor Babur
Babur
attacked the fort in 1519 AD before Hati Khan had acknowledged him. The Salt Range
Salt Range
is dotted with Hindu
Hindu
temples, of which the most notable is the Katasraj temple. Located 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Chakwal, Katasraj is notable in many ways. The temple was abandoned by local Hindu's when they migrated to East Punjab
East Punjab
in 1947. Many legends sacred to the Hindu's are associated with it, some of them involving Shiva
Shiva
himself. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage. Even nowadays, through an agreement between India and Pakistan, Hindu worshippers perform a pilgrimage to the temple every year and bathe in the sacred pool around which Katasraj is built. Legend says that the five Pandava
Pandava
brothers, heroes of the Sanskrit epic Mahābhārata, stayed here for four out of the 14 years that they spent in exile. While Katas Raj has not received much publicity, the two semi-ruined temples of the Hindu
Hindu
Shahi
Shahi
period (650-950 AD) have been frequently photographed by newspapers and history journals. A joint project with Professors Abdur Rehman, past Chairman of the Department of Archaeology, University of Peshawar, and Farid Khan, founder of the Pakistan
Pakistan
Heritage Society, has begun to analyse and document these important monuments in the history of South Asian temple architecture with funding from the University of Pennsylvania. Two seasons of excavation have been carried out at the site of North Kafirkot.[7] Other facts[edit]

The Pothohar region also lends its name to the Suzuki Jimny
Suzuki Jimny
SJ-410 model, which was branded as the Suzuki Potohar
Potohar
for the Pakistani market. The Sivapithecus indicus
Sivapithecus indicus
fossil skull, which was discovered in Potohar plateau.[8]

See also[edit] Tribes and clans of the Pothohar Plateau References[edit]

^ "Salt Range: A Hidden Treasure". Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  ^ "Pothohar the golden sparrow". ITslum Inc. Retrieved 2014-07-27.  ^ Gohar Social Studies base 4 , By S.A. Siddiqi , PAGE 6 , Gohar publishers ^ http://www.tourism.gov.pk/photohar_plateau_isb_destinations.htm ^ "Rohtas Fort". Travel Web. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  ^ "Rohtas Fort". UNESCO-World Heritage. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  ^ " Salt Range
Salt Range
Temples, Pakistan". University of Pennsylvania-School of Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 2008-06-08. Retrieved 2008-06-23.  ^ A partial hominoid innominate from the Miocene of Pakistan: Description and preliminary analyses

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pothohar Plateau.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Pothohar Plateau.

Jhelum
Jhelum
- Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 Online Edition Gujrat - Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 Online Edition Potwar Plateau
Plateau
- Encyclopædia Britannica from Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service Pothohar History in Urdu - Pothohari Sher songs drama, Sehat, Music Regional Studies of the Potwar Plateau
Plateau
Area, Northern Pakistan
Pakistan
United States Geological Survey

v t e

Punjab geography

Beas River Bari Doab Chenab River Chhachh Cholistan Desert Doaba Ganji Bar Ghaggar river Indus
Indus
River Jhelum
Jhelum
River Jech Doab Kachhi Kala Chitta Range Kirana Bar Kirana Hills Majha Malwa Margalla Hills Neeli Bar Poadh Pothohar Plateau Rechna Doab Ravi River Salt Range Sandal Bar Sind Sagar Doab Sivalik Hills Soon Valley Sulaiman Mountains Sutlej River

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