|Area||445,007 km2 (171,818 sq mi)|
|Population (2011)||200 million|
The Punjab (i// or //), also spelled Panjab, panj-āb, "five rivers" (Punjabi: پنجاب (Shahmukhi), ਪੰਜਾਬ (Gurumukhi), Hindi: पंजाब (Devanagari)), is a geographical region in the Indian subcontinent or South Asia comprising vast areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India.
The name of the region is a compound of two Persian words and was introduced to the region by the Turkic Muslim conquerors of India and more formally popularized during the Mughal Empire. Punjab literally means "(The Land of) Five Waters" referring to the following rivers: the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas. All are tributaries of the Indus River, the Chenab being the largest.
It has been inhabited by Indus Valley Civilisation, Indo-Aryan peoples and has seen numerous invasions by the Achaemenid Empire, Greeks, Kushan Empire, Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals, Afghans, British and others. The people of the Punjab today are called Punjabis and their principal language is called Punjabi. The main religions of the Punjab region are Islam, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Other religious groups are Christianity, Jainism and Buddhism.
In 1947, with the dissolution of British India, the region was partitioned between India and Pakistan.
In Pakistan, it includes the Punjab province, Islamabad, parts of Azad Kashmir (namely Bhimber and Mirpur) and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (namely Peshawar known in the Punjab region as Pishore).
In India, it includes Punjab state and Chandigarh union territory, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Division, Delhi and parts of Rajasthan in particular Sri Ganganagar.
The Punjab region of India and Pakistan has a historical and cultural link to Indo-Aryan peoples as well as partially to various indigenous communities. As a result of several invasions from Central Asia and the Middle East, many ethnic groups and religions make up the cultural heritage of Punjab.
In prehistoric times, one of the earliest known cultures of South Asia, the Indus Valley Civilisation was located in Punjab.
The epic battles described in the Mahabharata are described as being fought in what is now the modern-day State of Haryana and historic Punjab. The Gandharas, Kambojas, Trigartas, Andhra, Pauravas, Bahlikas (Bactrian settlers of Punjab), Yaudheyas and others sided with the Kauravas in the great battle fought at Kurukshetra. According to Dr Fauja Singh and Dr L. M. Joshi: "There is no doubt that the Kambojas, Daradas, Kaikayas, Andhra, Pauravas, Yaudheyas, Malavas, Saindhavas and Kurus had jointly contributed to the heroic tradition and composite culture of ancient Punjab".
In 326 BCE, Alexander the Great invaded the tip of Punjab from the north (modern-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan) and defeated King Porus. His armies entered the region via the Hindu Kush in northwest Pakistan and his rule extended up to the city of Sagala (modern-day Sialkot in northeast Pakistan). In 305 BCE the area was ruled by the Maurya Empire. In a long line of succeeding rulers of the area, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka stand out as the most renowned. The Maurya presence in the area was then consolidated in the Indo-Greek Kingdom in 180 BCE. Menander I Soter "The Saviour" (known as Milinda in Indian sources) is the most renowned leader of the era, he conquered the Punjab and made Sagala the capital of his Empire. Menander carved out a Greek kingdom in the Punjab and ruled the Punjab till his death in 130 B.C. Neighbouring Seleucid Empire rule came to an end around 12 BCE, after several invasions by the Yuezhi and the Scythian people.
In 711–713 CE, 18-year-old Arab Sultan Muhammad bin Qasim of Taif, a city in Saudi Arabia, came by way of the Arabian Sea with Arab troops to defeat Raja Dahir. The Sultan then led his troops to conquer Sindh and Punjab regions for the Islamic Umayyad Caliphate. Qasim was the first to bring Islam to the region.
During the establishment and consolidation of the Muslim Turkic Mughal Empire prosperity, growth, and relative peace were established. Particularly under the reign of Jahangir. Muslim empires ruled Punjab for approximately 1000 years. The period was also notable for the emergence of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), the founder of Sikhism.
In 1758, Punjab came under the rule of Marathas who captured the region by defeating Afghan forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Abdali's Indian invasion weakened the Maratha influence, but he could not defeat the Sikhs. At the formation of the Dal Khalsa in 1748 at Amritsar, the Punjab had been divided into 36 areas and 12 separate Sikh principalities, called misl. From this point onward, the beginnings of a Punjabi Sikh Empire emerged. Out of the 36 areas, 22 were united by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The other 14 accepted British sovereignty. After Ranjit Singh's death, assassinations and internal divisions severely weakened the empire. Six years later the British East India Company was given an excuse to declare war and in 1849, after two Anglo-Sikh wars, the Punjab was annexed by the British.
In the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the Sikh rulers backed the East India Company, providing troops and support, but in Jhelum 35 British soldiers of HM XXIV regiment were killed by the local resistance and in Ludhiana a rebellion was crushed with the assistance of the Punjab chiefs of Nabha and Malerkotla.
The British Raj had political, cultural, philosophical and literary consequences in the Punjab, including the establishment of a new system of education. During the independence movement, many Punjabis played a significant role, including Madan Lal Dhingra, Sukhdev Thapar, Ajit Singh Sandhu, Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Bhai Parmanand, Muhammad Iqbal, Chaudhary Rehmat Ali, and Lala Lajpat Rai.
At the time of partition in 1947, the province was split into East and West Punjab. East Punjab (about 35%) became part of India, while West Punjab (65%) became part of Pakistan. The Punjab bore the brunt of the civil unrest following the British Raj, with casualties estimated to be in millions.
- the eastern mountainous region including Jammu Division;
- the central plain with its five rivers;
- the north-western region, separated from the central plain by the Salt Range between the Jhelum and the Indus rivers;
- the semi-desert to the south of the Sutlej river.
The formation of the Himalayan Range of mountains to the east and north-east of the Punjab is the result of a collision between the north-moving Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The plates are still moving together, and the Himalayas are rising by about 5mm per year.
The upper regions are snow-covered the whole year. Lower ranges of hills run parallel to the mountains. The Lower Himalayan Range runs from north of Rawalpindi though Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and further south. The mountains are relatively young, and are eroding rapidly. The Indus and the five rivers of the Punjab have their sources in the mountain range and carry loam, minerals and silt down to the rich alluvial plains, which consequently are very fertile.
The climate is a factor contributing to the economy of the Punjab. It is not uniform over the whole region, the sections adjacent to the Himalayas receiving heavier rainfall than those at a distance.
There are three main seasons and two transitional periods. During the Hot Season, from about mid April to the end of June, the temperature may reach 49˚C. The Monsoon Season, from July to September, is a period of heavy rainfall, providing water for crops in addition to the supply from canals and irrigation systems. The transitional period after the monsoon is cool and mild, leading to the Winter Season, when the temperature in January falls to 5˚C at night and 12˚C by day. During the transitional period from Winter to the Hot Season sudden hailstorms and heavy showers may occur, causing damage to crops.
People of the Punjab
Ethnic ancestries of modern Punjabis include a mixture of Indo-Aryan and Indo-Scythian, Semitic ancestries can also be found in lesser numbers. With the advent of Islam, settlers from Turkestan, Afghanistan, and Kashmir have also integrated into the Muslim Punjabi society. However the majority of Punjab is still made up of the Ahirs, Arains, Dalits (mostly Chamars), Gujjars, Jatts, Khatris, Tarkhans, Maliks, Brahmins, Bhats and Rajputs.
The major language spoken in the Punjab is Punjabi. In the Indian Punjab this is written in the Gurmukhi script. Pakistan uses the Shahmukhi script, that is closer to Urdu script. Hindi, written in the Devanagri script, is used widely in the Indian states of Himanchal Pradesh and Haryana. Several dialects of Punjabi are spoken in the different regions. The Majhi dialect is considered to be textbook Punjabi and is shared by both countries.
The vast majority of Pakistani Punjabis are Sunni Muslim by faith, but also include large minority faiths mostly Shia Muslim, Ahmadi Muslim and Christians. Sikhism, a religion founded in the late 15th century, is the main religion practised in Indian Punjab. About 60% of the population of Indian Punjab is Sikh, 37% is Hindu, and the rest are Muslims, Christians, and Jains. However, due to large scale migration from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha demographics of Indian Punjab state have become more skewed than reported earlier. Indian Punjab contains the holy Sikh city of Amritsar. The states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, formerly constituents of the British province of Punjab, are mostly Hindu-majority.
Punjabis celebrate the following cultural, seasonal and religious festivals:
Traditional Punjabi clothing includes the following:
|List of major cities in the Punjab|
|1||Delhi||National Capital Territory of Delhi||India||11,034,555|
|5||Islamabad||Islamabad Capital Territory||Pakistan||1,900,000|
|14||Chandigarh||Union Territory of Chandigarh||India||961,587|
|19||Jammu||Jammu and Kashmir||India||657,314|
The historical region of Punjab is considered to be one of the most fertile regions on Earth. Both east and west Punjab produce a relatively high proportion of India and Pakistan's food output respectively.
The agricultural output of the Punjab region in Pakistan contributes significantly to Pakistan's GDP. Both Indian and Pakistani Punjab are considered to have the best infrastructure of their respective countries. Indian Punjab has been estimated to be the second richest state in India. Pakistani Punjab produces 68% of Pakistan's food grain production. Its share of Pakistan's GDP has historically ranged from 51.8% to 54.7%.
Called "The Granary of India" or "The Bread Basket of India", Indian Punjab produces 1% of the world's rice, 2% of its wheat, and 2% of its cotton. In 2001, it was recorded that farmers made up 39% of Indian Punjab's workforce.
- 3300–1500 BCE: Harappan civilisation
- 1500–1000 BCE: (Rigvedic) Vedic civilisation
- 1000–500 BCE: Middle and late Vedic Period
- 599 BCE: Birth of Mahavira
- 567–487 BCE: Time of Gautama Buddha
- 550 BCE – 600 CE: Buddhism remained prevalent
- 326 BCE: Alexander's Invasion of Punjab
- 322–298 BCE: Chandragupta I, Maurya period
- 273–232 BCE: Reign of Ashoka
- 125–160 BCE: Rise of the Sakas
- 2 BCE: Beginning of Rule of the Sakas
- 45–180: Rule of the Kushans
- 320–550: Gupta Empire
- 500: Hunnic Invasion
- 510–650: Vardhana's Era
- 711–713: Muhammad bin Qasim conquers Sindh and small part of Punjab region
- 713–1200: Rajput states, Kabul Shahi & samll Muslim kinddoms
- 1206–1290: Mamluk dynasty established by Mohammad Ghori
- 1290–1320: Khilji dynasty established by Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji
- 1320–1413: Tughlaq dynasty established by Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq
- 1414–1451: Sayyid dynasty established by Khizr Khan
- 1451–1526: Lodhi dynasty established by Bahlul Khan Lodhi
- 1469–1539: Guru Nanak
- 1526–1707: Mughal rule
- 1526–1530: Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur
- 1530–1540: Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun
- 1540–1545: Sher Shah Suri of Afghanistan
- 1545–1554: Islam Shah Suri
- 1555–1556: Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun
- 1556–1556: Hem Chandra Vikramaditya
- 1556–1605: Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar
- 1605–1627: Nooruddin Muhammad Jahangir
- 1627–1658: Shahaabuddin Muhammad Shah Jahan
- 1658–1707: Mohiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir
- 1539–1675: Period of 8 Sikh Gurus from Guru Angad Dev to Guru Tegh Bahadur
- 1675–1708: Guru Gobind Singh (10th Sikh Guru)
- 1699: Birth of the Khalsa
- 1708–1713: Conquests of Banda Bahadur
- 1722: Birth of Ahmed Shah Durrani, either in Multan in Mughal Empire or Herat in Afghanistan
- 1714–1759: Sikh chiefs (Sardars) war against Afghans & Mughal Governors
- 1739: Invasion by Nadir Shah and defeat of weakened Mughal Empire
- 1747–1772: Durrani Empire led by Ahmad Shah Durrani
- 1756–1759: Sikh and Maratha Empire cooperation in the Punjab
- 1761: The Third Battle of Panipat, between the Durrani Empire against the Maratha Empire.
- 1762: 2nd massacre (Ghalughara) from Ahmed Shah's 2nd invasion
- 1765–1801: Rule of the Sikh Misls (Confederacy)
- 1801–1839: Sikh Empire also known as Sarkar Khalsa, Rule by Maharaja Ranjit Singh
- 1845–1846: First Anglo-Sikh War
- 1846: Jammu joined with the new state of Jammu and Kashmir
- 1848–1849: Second Anglo-Sikh War
- 1849: Complete annexation of Punjab into British India
- 1849–1947: British rule
- 1901: Peshawar and adjoining districts separated from the Punjab Province
- 1911: Parts of Delhi separated from Punjab Province
- 1947: The Partition of India divided Punjab into two parts. The Eastern part (with two rivers) became the Indian Punjab and the Western part (three rivers) the Pakistan Punjab
- 1966: Indian Punjab divided into three parts: Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh
The Mughal era Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
The Faiz Mahal, Khairpur
The main gate of the Qila Mubarak, Patiala
The Golden Temple in Amritsar
The Baradari of Ranjit Singh, built in the Hazuri Bagh
The Alamgiri Gate built in 1673, is the main entrance to the Lahore Fort
The Phuara Chowk (lit. Fountain Crossing) in Patiala
The memorial of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre
The Shalimar Gardens in Lahore
Mohindra College in Patiala at night
The Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore
The tomb of Nur Jahan in Lahore
The tomb of Jahangir in Lahore
The Noor Mahal (Palace of Light) in Bahawalpur
The Jhelum River, one of the major rivers of the Punjab
The Open Hand monument in Chandigarh
Closer view of Amar Mahal Museum, Jammu
Ghainta ghar, Peshawar
Shrine Baba Budda Ji Nakodar
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- History of Panjab Hill States, Hutchison, Vogel 1933 Mirpur was made a part of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846
- Changes in the Socio-economic Structures in Rural North-West Pakistan By Mohammad Asif Khan  Peshawar was separated from Punjab Province in 1901.
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- see the Punjab Doabs
- Pritam Singh and Shinder S. Thandi, ed. (1996). Globalisation and the region: explorations in Punjabi identity. Coventry Association for Punjab Studies, Coventry University. p. 361.
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- History of Panjab, Vol I, p 4, Dr L. M. Joshi, Dr Fauja Singh.
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Menander king in India, known locally as Milinda, born at a village named Kalasi near Alasanda (Alexandria-in-the-Caucasus), and who was himself the son of a king. After conquering the Punjab, where he made Sagala his capital, he made an expedition across northern India and visited Patna, the capital of the Mauraya empire, though he did not succeed in conquering this land as he appears to have been overtaken by wars on the north-west frontier with Eucratides.
- Ahir, D. C. (1971). Buddhism in the Punjab, Haryana, and Himachal Pradesh. Maha Bodhi Society of India. p. 31. OCLC 1288206.
Demetrius died in 166 B.C., and Apollodotus, who was a near relation of the King died in 161 B.C. After his death, Menander carved out a kingdom in the Punjab. Thus from 161 B.C. onward Menander was the ruler of Punjab till his death in 145 B.C. or 130 B.C..
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- Maps of India, Climate of Punjab
- Royal Geographical Society Climate and Landscape of the Punjab
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- Pakistani government statistics, retrieved 14 April 2007.
- Provincial Accounts of Pakistan: Methodology and Estimates 1973-2000[dead link]
- Yadav, Kiran (11 February 2013). "Punjab". Agropedia. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
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- [Quraishee 73] Punjabi Adab De Kahani, Abdul Hafeez Quaraihee, Azeez Book Depot, Lahore, 1973.
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- Patwant Singh. 1999. The Sikhs. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-50206-0.
- The Evolution of Heroic Tradition in Ancient Panjab, 1971, Buddha Parkash.
- Social and Political Movements in ancient Panjab, Delhi, 1962, Buddha Parkash.
- History of Porus, Patiala, Buddha Parkash.
- History of the Panjab, Patiala, 1976, Fauja Singh, L. M. Joshi (Ed).
- The Legacy of the Punjab, 1997, R M Chopra.
- The Rise Growth and Decline of Indo-Persian Literature, R M Chopra, 2012, Iran Culture House, New Delhi. 2nd revised edition published in 2013.
- Sims, Holly. "The State and Agricultural Productivity: Continuity versus Change in the Indian and Pakistani Punjabs." Asian Survey, 1 April 1986, Vol.26(4), pp. 483–500
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Punjab region.|
- Official website of Punjab, India
- Official website of Punjab, Pakistan
- Punjab, India at DMOZ
- Punjab, Pakistan at DMOZ