Heer Ranjha is one of several popular tragic romances of Punjab. The others are Mirza Sahiba, and Sohni Mahiwal. There are several poetic narrations of the story, the most famous being 'Heer' by Waris Shah written in 1766. It tells the story of the love of Heer and her lover Ranjha. Well-known poetic narrations have also been written by Damodar Das Arora, Mukbaz and Ahmed Gujjar, among others.
Heer is an extremely beautiful woman, born into a wealthy Jat family of the Sial tribe in Jhang, Punjab. Ranjha (whose first name is Dheedo; Ranjha is the surname), also a Jat of the Ranjha tribe, is the youngest of four brothers and lives in the village of Takht Hazara by the river Chenab. Being his father's favorite son, unlike his brothers who had to toil in the lands, he led a life of ease playing the flute ('Wanjhli'/'Bansuri'). After a quarrel with his brothers over land, Ranjha leaves home. In Waris Shah's version of the epic, it is said that Ranjha left his home because his brothers' wives refused to give him food. Eventually he arrives in Heer's village and falls in love with her. Heer's father offers Ranjha a job herding his cattle. Heer becomes mesmerised by the way Ranjha plays his flute and eventually falls in love with him. They meet each other secretly for many years until they are caught by Heer's jealous uncle, Kaido, and her parents Chuchak and Malki. Heer is forced by her family and the local priest or 'Pandit' to marry another man called Sadashiv Khera.
Ranjha is heartbroken. He wanders the countryside alone, until eventually he meets a 'jogi' (ascetic). After meeting Gorakhnath, the founder of the "Kanphata" (pierced ear) sect of jogis at Tilla Jogian (the 'Hill of Ascetics', located 50 miles north of the historic town of Bhera, Sargodha District, Punjab), Ranjha becomes a jogi himself, piercing his ears and renouncing the material world. Reciting the name of the Lord, Alakh Niranjan, he wanders all over Punjab, eventually finding the village where Heer now lives.
The two return to Heer's village, where Heer's parents agree to their marriage. However, on the wedding day, Kaido poisons her food so that the wedding will not take place. Hearing this news, Ranjha rushes to aid Heer, but is too late, as she has already eaten the poison and died. Brokenhearted once again, Ranjha takes the poisoned Laddu (sweet) which Heer has eaten and dies by her side.
Heer and Ranjha are buried in Heer's hometown, Jhang. Lovers and others often pay visits to their mausoleum.
Painted by Ustad Allah Bux, the painting depicts Heer and Ranjha’s first meeting. It captures the moment when the beautiful Heer first sets eyes on Ranjha, a handsome young trader from Central Asia, who has lost his way in the forest. As the story goes, exhausted and hungry, he lay down to rest in what happened to be Heer's private takht (nook). And Heer saves him from a certain beating from her companions claiming to have fallen in love with him at first sight!
1. True Story
2. Waris Shah's story
3. Happy or Sad Ending
4. Heer and Ranjha actually loved each other.
5. Heer and Ranjha didnt love each other
6. Buried together
8. Darbar (Court) for couples
Love is described in this poem:
Ranjha ranjha kardi ve main aape ranjha hoyi
Ranjha ranjha saddo ni mainu heer na aakho koyi
The epic poem has been made into several feature films.
1. Pre-partition Indian film versions include Heer Ranjha (1928) starring Zubeida, Heer Ranjha (1929), Heer Ranjha (1931), and Heer Ranjha (1948).
2. Later Indian versions include the Hindi films Heer Raanjha (1971) directed by Chetan Anand and starring Raaj Kumar and Priya Rajvansh, Heer Ranjha (1992), and the Punjabi film Heer Ranjha (2009) starring singer & actor Harbhajan Mann.
3. Pakistani versions include Heer Ranjha (1970) directed by Masood Pervaiz, starring Firdous and Ejaz Durrani with songs by Noor Jehan,1955 superhit film Heer starring Sowarn Lata and Inayat Hussain Bhatti and directed by Nazir, and Heer Sial starring Sudhir and Bahar.
4. In 2013 TV serial Heer Ranjha aired on PTV Home directed by Shahid Zahoor and produced by Mian Yousuf Salahauddin (Allama Iqbal's grandson from his daughter Muneera).
Heer Ranjha's Tomb
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