DISTRICT COMMITTEE KURALI, MOHALI (PUNJAB) 2012

District Committee Governor Office Kurali, Mohali (Punjab)

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Punjab region

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Punjab)
 
This article is about the geographical region in South Asia. For other uses of the name, see Punjab (disambiguation).
Punjab Region
Punjab map (topographic) with cities.png
Largest Cities Lahore
Faisalabad
Countries
Official languages
Area 355,705 km2 (137,338 sq mi)
Population (2001) 152,000,000
Density 430/km2
Religions
Demonym Punjabi

The Punjab (Listeni/ˈpʌnɑːb/ or /ˈpʌnæb/), also spelled Panjab, panj-āb, “five rivers”[1] (Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬ (Gurumukhi); پنجاب (Shahmukhi); पंजाब (Devanagari)), is a geographical region in South Asiacomprising vast areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India.
In Pakistan, it includes the Punjab province, Islamabad, parts of Azad Kashmir[2] (namelyBhimber and Mirpur) and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (namely Peshawar).[3]
In India, it includes Punjab state and Chandigarh union territory, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh,Jammu Division, parts of Delhi and parts of Rajasthan.[4][5][6][7]

The name of the region is a compound of two Persian words[1] 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: theJhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas.[8] All are tributaries of the Indus River, the Chenabbeing the largest.

It has been inhabited by Harappans, proto-Dravidians and Indo-Aryans and has seen numerous invasions by the Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals, Afghans, Britishand 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 Christians, Jains and Buddhists.

In 1947, with the dissolution of British India, the region was partitioned between India and Pakistan.

History[edit]

Main article: History of Punjab

The Punjab region of India and Pakistan has a historical and cultural link to Indo-Aryan heritage identity as well as partially to the Dravidic indigenous communities. As a result of numerous invasions, many ethnic groups and religions make up the cultural heritage of Punjab.

 

Taxila in Pakistan is a World Heritage Site

In prehistoric times, one of the earliest known cultures of South Asia, the Harappa civilisation, was located in Punjab.

The epic battles described in the Mahabharata were fought in modern-day Harayana 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.[9]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”.[10]

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 the Great 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. Neighbouring Seleucid 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.

 

A section of the Lahore Fort built by the Mughal emperor Akbar.

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 Companywas given an excuse to declare war and in 1849, after two Anglo-Sikh wars, the Punjab was annexed by the British.

 

The Panjab 1880

In the Indian Rebellion of 1857 the Sikh rulers backed the East India Company, providing troops and support,[11] 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 ofNabha 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.[12] The Punjab bore the brunt of the civil unrest following the British Raj, with casualties estimated to be in millions.

Physical geography[edit]

At the time of the Sikh Empire Punjab covered a large territory – the entire Indus basin and the watershed between the Indus and Gangetic plains. It could be divided into four natural areas:[1]

  • 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 snow-covered Himalayas

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.[13]

Climate[edit]

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.[14]

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.[15]

People of the Punjab[edit]

Main article: Punjabi people

Ethnic background[edit]

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, Brahminsand Rajputs.

Languages[edit]

 

Dialects of Punjabi

Main article: Punjabi language

The major language spoken in the Punjab is Punjabi. In the Indian Punjab this is written in theGurmukhi 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.

Religions[edit]

The vast majority of Pakistani Punjabis are Sunni Muslim by faith, but also include large minority faiths mostly Shia Muslim, Ahmadi Muslim and Christians. In Indian Punjab, Sikhs and Hindus are the vast majority. 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.[16] 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.

The Punjab was home to several Sufi saints.[17] Sufism is a concept in Islam. Also, Kirpal Singh revered the Sikh Gurus as saints.[18]

Punjabi Festivals[edit]

Punjabis celebrate the following cultural, seasonal and religious festivals:

Punjabi Clothing[edit]

Traditional Punjabi clothing includes the following:

Major cities[edit]

 

An Open-Air Restaurant, Lahore

 

Golden Temple, Amritsar

List of major cities in the Punjab
Rank City State/Province Country
1 Lahore Punjab Pakistan
2 Faisalabad Punjab Pakistan
3 Rawalpindi Punjab Pakistan
4 Multan Punjab Pakistan
5 Gujranwala Punjab Pakistan
6 Sargodha Punjab Pakistan
7 Ludhiana Punjab India
8 Peshawar Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan
9 Islamabad Islamabad Capital Territory Pakistan
10 Faridabad Haryana India
11 Gurgaon Haryana India
12 Amritsar Punjab India
13 Chandigarh Chandigarh India
14 Jalandhar Punjab India
15 Bahawalpur Punjab Pakistan
16 Patiala Punjab India
17 Gujrat Punjab Pakistan
18 Sialkot Punjab Pakistan

Economy[edit]

 

Phulkari embroidery from Patiala

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 region has been used for extensive wheat farming, in addition rice, cotton, sugarcane, fruit andvegetables are also grown.

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.[19] Pakistani Punjab produces 68% of Pakistan’s food grain production.[20] Its share of Pakistan’s GDP has historically ranged from 51.8% to 54.7%.[21]

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.[22] In 2001, it was recorded that farmers made up 39% of Indian Punjab’s workforce.

Timeline[edit]

Photo gallery[edit]

January 13, 2014 Post Under - Read More

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