A legend based on oral traditions holds that Lahore was known in ancient times as Lavapuri, City of Lava in Sanskrit (Lava is also referred to as Loh). Raja Loh wasson of Sri Ram Chandar Jee, the hero of Mahabharta, who established the city in his name.¹ The period of Raja Loh is told around 1200 BC. Claudius Ptolemy (90 AD – 168 AD), a Greek astronomer and geographer, has mentioned in his renowned work Geographia, an area as Labokla. In his maps,Labokla was situated on the route between Indus river and Palibothra or Pataliputra The city of Lahore(Patna), in a tract of country called Kasperia (Kashmir), described as extending alongthe rivers Bidastes or Vitasta (Jhelum), Sandabal or Chandra Bhaga (Chenab), andAdris or Iravati (Ravi). Wilfred and Kingham both endorsed to the theory of Labokla being the old name of Lahore².One of the oldest documents that was written about Lahore anonymously in 982 AD is called Hudud-i-Alam³. It was translated into English by Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky and was published in Lahore in 1927 AD. In this document, Lahore is referred to as a small shahr (city) with impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards. It refers to two major markets around which dwellings exist, and it also mentions the mud walls that enclose these two dwellings to make it one. The original 2 document is currently held in British Museum.
Origin & History One of the oldest historical references about Lahore is found in Tareekh-ul-Hind written by Abu-Rehan Al Beruni (973 AD – 1048 AD), who traveled to India in1017 AD. In his book, he remembers Lahore as an area not as a city whose capital was Mandhor kor.Hazrat Ali Hajvery (RA), (990 AD – 1077 AD), who preached Islam in Lahore, has also mentioned the city of Lahore in his book Kashf-ul-Mahjuub. Abul-Farj, who was a poet in Ghaznavi period has written the name as Loha-wr. An Iranian The city of Lahore scholar Tahir Marozi of 11th century in his book Nazhat ul Mushtaq Fe Akhteraqul Affaq has mentioned Lahore as Laha-wr. Ameer Khusro (1253 AD – 1325 AD)in his first mathnavi, Qiranus-Sadain that was completed in 1288 AD, has written the name as Lao-hore when he portrays the attack of Mughals. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the famous Chinese traveler Yowang Chowang has mentioned the city Lahore as the great city.In net shell, the following variations of Lahore (city name) existed in history books:Lavapuri, Labokla, Loha-wr, Laha-wr, Lao-hore etc., etc. Further, the referencesmentioned in this short presentation establish that Lahore existed more than three 3 thousand years ago on the face of earth.
References1. James Taad, 1883; Kanhya Laal, 1882; Sir Richard Temple, 1884; Tahqeeq-e-Chisti, 1867.2. The Comparative Study of India by Wilfred, pg. 20; the The city of Lahore Geography by Kingham, pg. 225-228.3. Hudud-e-Alam, The Regions of the World, A Persian Geography. 63
The city of Lahore A presentation byAhmad Tariq Bhatti Lahore. 64