Punjab place names

balakrishnan raju balakrishnanraju at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 21 09:25:04 UTC 1999

>From: Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM>
>Reply-To: Indology <INDOLOGY at LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK>
>Subject: Punjab place names
>Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 22:00:43 EDT
>Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan wrote:
>In his book "Lahore: Its history, Architectural Remains and Antiquities",
>1892, pp. 1-3, Syad Muhammad Latif  says the following:
>< The mythical founder of lohAwar, or Lahore, was Lov or Loh, one of the
>sons of rAmA, the hero of the famous epic-loom the ramayanA, the other son,
>kash, having, according to the same tradition, founded the sister town of
>kusAwar, or kasUr...
>In the deshwa bhAgA,... Lahore is called lavpor...
>Turning to the Mahomedan period,...fatuhUl baldin, believed to be one of
>earliest Arabic Chronicles, ...calls Lahore by the name of AlahwAr.
>...al-idrisi..writing in the ninth century, calls it lohAwar. The
>‘awar is a corruption of the Sanskrit word awarna, meaning fort, and is
>affixed to many Indian towns, such as sanAwar, bijAwar, peshAwar...
>abu rehAn al-biruni, in his celebrated work, the kanAn, speaking from his
>personal knowledge of the country at the time of mahmud’s invasion, towards
>the close of the tenth century, mentions, in his description of the
>mountains that "they can be seen from tacas (taxila?) and lahAwar
>M. Reinaud, in his Fragments, and Elliot, read it as lauhaour, lohAovar,
>lohArU, and lahor.
>amir khusrow, of Delhi, writing in the latter part of the thirteenth
>calls it lahanUr in his well-known work the kirAnus-sa’den. He says:-
>"From the confines of samania to lahanUr,
>There is no walled (city) but kasUr."
>Mr. Thornton suggests that lahanUr is corruption of luhanagar, nUr being
>Dakhani form of nagar, as appears from the names of other towns, such as
>Kalanore, Kananore, &c.
>Rashid-ud-din, in his jAmiut tawarikh, completed in A.H. 710, or A.D. 1310,
>calls it lahUr, "than which," he says, "there is no stronger fort."
>al biruni also mentions Lahore as a Province, the capital of which was
>"mandhukur", on the east of the river irAwA (ravi). baihanki calls it
>Lahore is also called by the Mahomedan historians lohAr, loher, and
>What was the original name of Lahore?
>Can anybody identify the towns Kalanore, and Kananore? I know many names in
>South India ending in -nUr where -n- and -Ur are not from nagar. Ur means a
>town, village, etc.
>How are the names, lahanUr, kasUr, mandkakUr, etc., explained
>Are there any more town or village names in the Punjab region (in India and
>Pakistan) ending in -Ur? Thanks.
>S. Palaniappan
>My repose to the above is as follow:
I verified and found 38 village names in Punjab with ends with the 'string'
UR. When we exclude PUR ending names (for obvious Indo-Aryan etymology) we
come across 15 names like Kalanaur(twice in Gurdaspur district)
Phillaur(twice in Jalandhar) Balachaur(twice in Hosiarpur) Ghanaur
(twice,Patiala)and Sangrur(4,Sangrurdistrict).AUR as dysyllabic placename
occurs twice in Jalandhar. Whether Kalanaur, Phillaur etc are the
combination of prefix+Aur as suffix has to be verified. Then Sangrur remains
unexplained. Besides in Punjab there are 8 placenames with UR as Prefix.e.g:

In Haryana similarly Radaur(2) Ganaur(4),Kalanaur(4) Phillaur(3),
Balachaur(3),Ghanaur(2)Sangrur(2) occur. AUR alone as a placename occurs
twice. There are 14 instances of UR as prefix.e.g: Urnai, Urjani, Urdan etc.

As regard with Dravidian UR occuring in Pakistan and Indian context- there
are many seemingly Dravidian placenames in currency in these areas. If
interested I can post to indology.

UR as a place name component is found in Iraq region



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