geographic region divided between Pakistan and India
Asia > South Asia > Punjab

The Punjab (Gurumukhi Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬ; Shahmukhi Punjabi: پنجاب; IPA: [pəɲdʒaːb]) is a populous and prosperous area of the Indian subcontinent.

The name comes from the Persian words panj (five) and āb (water), thus the (land of) five rivers. Four of them – Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej – are tributaries of the mighty Indus and the fifth, the Beas, is a tributary of the Sutlej. The Indus River runs along the western edge of the area, in places forming the border between the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Regions edit

Map of Punjab

Today Indian and Pakistan each have a state called Punjab. Each contains a small capital territory that is administered separately.

India edit

  Punjab (India)
A state of northern India.
Union territory functions as the capital of Punjab and of Haryana.

Under the British, what are now the states of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana were also administered as part of Punjab province.

Pakistan edit

  Punjab (Pakistan)
A province of eastern Pakistan.
  Islamabad Capital Territory
The only territory federally administered by Pakistan. It hosts Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan.

Cities edit

  • 1 Chandigarh — India's first planned city. It is also the capital of two states of India: Haryana and Punjab
  • 2 Amritsar — a holy city with the centre of Sikhism, the Golden Temple
  • 3 Faisalabad — a textile hub of Pakistan
  • 4 Islamabad — the capital city of Pakistan
  • 5 Lahore — the capital of the Pakistani Punjab, and Pakistan's cultural capital
  • 6 Ludhiana — an industrial city, sometimes called the Manchester of India

Other destinations edit

  • 1 Nankana Sahib — birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

Two of the subcontinent's most important archaeological sites are in the Punjab:

  • 2 Sahiwal – nearby Harappa has important ruins from the Indus Valley Civilisation, around 2000 BCE.
  • 3 Taxila – a major trading city and centre of learning in the Gandharan period (about 1000 BCE to 1000 CE).

Understand edit

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 centre 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 independent countries, India and Pakistan. The British Punjab province was divided along religious lines. India got the eastern part of the province, with the capital being Chandigarh. Pakistan got the western part of the province, with the capital being Lahore.

The Punjab was the birthplace of Sikhism and Sikhism is the majority religion on the Indian side of the Punjab, while Islam is the majority religion on the Pakistani side.

Talk edit

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.

For the use of English there is wide diversity between different areas of the Punjab. Education is generally high in big cities and a great many residents understand and speak a form of English. You will not have any problem communicating in English in major cities. At most places, most people you will encounter can communicate in broken English at the very least.

Get in edit

There are six international airports in the Punjab: five in Pakistan and one in India.

The Grand Trunk Road connects the Indian Punjab with the Pakistani Punjab. The road's complete course is from the Bangladeshi city of Chittagong to the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Get around edit

See edit

The Punjab is home to many well-known historical sites including the Shalimar Gardens, the Harappa civilisation and the Taxila University. Amritsar is famous for its Golden Temple and the Jallianwala Bagh incident in 1919. Chandigarh is the first planned city of India designed by a Swiss-French architect. Wagah is a town situated at the border of India and Pakistan, which is regularly open for foreigners.

Do edit

Buy edit

Eat edit

Drink edit

  • Tea (called chai in both India and Pakistan) is popular throughout the region. It is more popular than coffee.
  • Lassi is a traditional North Indian beverage, made by blending yoghurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Traditional lassi is sometimes flavored with ground, roasted cumin. The Lassi is sometimes made with a little milk and is topped with a thin layer of malai, a clotted cream, also known as Devonshire cream. Lassis are enjoyed chilled as a hot-weather refreshment. With a little turmeric powder mixed in, it is also used as a folk remedy for gastroenteritis.

Stay safe edit

The people of the Punjab are hospitable. Punjabi people are usually kind at heart. You will most likely not feel threatened while you are there, but take the usual precautions. Especially in Pakistan, they tend to welcome foreigners very warmly.

Go next edit

  • India — A country of ancient and rich cultural heritage with the Himalayan Mountains in the north, Thar Desert in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south.
  • Pakistan — Rich in culture and history, varying climates and terrains from hot deserts to snowy mountains, and home of 5 of only 14 8,000-metre mountains on earth.
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