The Punjab is a populous and prosperous area of the Indian subcontinent. The name is from Persian and means "five rivers", referring to five major tributaries of the Indus – the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Sutlej, and the Beas. The Indus itself runs along the western edge of the area, in places forming the border between the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is also known for being the birthplace of Sikhism.
Being well-watered and relatively flat, the Punjab has always been one of the more prosperous regions of the subcontinent. It was a province of the Mughal Empire, then the center of a Sikh Empire, and (after two Anglo-Sikh wars in the 1840s), part of British India.
In 1947 British India was split into two new independent nations, India and Pakistan. Each got part of the Punjab and today each has a province named Punjab:
Punjabi is the main language in the region and widely spoken on both sides of the border. Most educated people on the Indian side of the border speak Hindi as a second language, while those on the Pakistani side of the border speak Urdu. Sikhism is the majority religion on the Indian side of the border, while Islam is the majority religion on the Pakistani side.
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