It is quite difficult to judge the right date of origin and how the name Lahore was originated. There are different traditions carrying totally different origins and explanations. In the old writings we can find different shapes of the name of Lahore, of which some are listed:
According to the Hindu mythology the city of Lahore is named after the son of prince Ram chandar whose name was “Loh” and who originated this city (James Taad 1883; Kanhya laal 1882; Sir Richard Temple 1884; Tahqeeq-e-Chisti 1867).There is also a tradition that it was name after “Lohaar chand” who was the nephew of prince Deep chand.
In the written history the oldest book in which we can find Lahore is “ Tareekh-ul-hind” by Abu-Rehan Al Bairooni, who traveled to India in the 11th century. In his book he remembers Lahore as an area not as a city whose capital was “Mandhor kor”. The famous Sufi saint of Lahore Hazrat Data Gunj Buksh who died in Lahore in 1088 A.D has also mentioned the city Lahore in his book “ Kashf-ul-Maajuub”.Abul -Farj who was a poet in the Ghaznavi period has written the name as “Loha-wr”. An Iranian scholar “Tahir Marozi” of 11th century in his book “Nazhat ul Mushtaq Fe Akhteraq ul Affaq” has mentioned Lahore as “ Laha-wr”. Ameer khusro in his masnavi “Quran ul Sadeen” has written the name as “Lao-hore” in 13th century when he portrays the attack of the Mughals.
According to Encyclopedia Britannica the famous Chinese traveler Yowang Chowang has mentioned the city Lahore as the great city of Bahamans.
The Greek geographer Batalemos (Ptolemy) of the second century has mentioned an area “Labokla”. In his maps he has referred a place Kasbeera (Kashmir), near river Badistan (Jehlum) and river Adres (Ravi). Here is a place called Labokla between Attock and Bahami bothra. Wilfred and Kingham both hold the theory of Labokla being the old name of Lahore (The comparative study of India by Wilfred, page 20; the Geography by Kingham, page 225-228). We can conclude the study by the following facts.
Lahore was called by different names in the ancient times. Religious history interprets Lahore as the city created by the son of Ram chandar. The old writings tell us about the origin of a definitive city in the 10th century. There were no Muslim dwellers before the 10th century. The city was of no historical significance before the attacks of Mahmood Ghaznavi in the 11th century. Lahore was of great significance in the Mughal era.