Situated on the east bank of the Ravi River, Lahore is very old. Legend traces its origin to Loh, the son of Rama Chandra, the hero of the Ramayana, but history records that it began as a dependency of the 8th century AD Hindu ruler, Lalitiditya. In the early 11th century it came under Muslim rule and evolved as a centre of Islamic culture and learning as well as trade and commerce. In the 13th century it was depopulated and razed to the ground by the Tartar-Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan. Timurlane and his Muslim Turks also arrived and destroyed the city. Lahore was a cultural and intellectual centre during both the Moghul and British eras, and it's an atmosphere which still pervades today, but it is the diversity and contrast of the different sections of the city which make Lahore interesting. Apart from local tourists with their blaring transistors, you could almost be back in the Moghul era. Lahore is 213 metres above sea level and has a population of approximately 3 million. The temperature here drops down to 10C in winter, but in summer can soar to 40C or more. The best time to visit is straight after the monsoon period when the weather is cool and pleasant.