Travel / Asia / South Asia / India


Punjab is situated in the northwestern corner of the country. It is bounded on the north by the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, on the east by Himachal Pradesh and the Union territory of Chandigarh, on the south by Haryana and Rajasthan, and on the west by Pakistan. The city of Chandigarh is the joint administrative capital of Punjab and Haryana.

The word Punjab is a compound of two Persian words, panj ("five") and ab ("water"), signifying historically the land of five waters, or rivers. Owing to territorial changes, however, only two of the rivers referred to (the Sutlej and the Beas) lie within the boundaries of India's Punjab.

Punjab has a recorded history beginning from the annexation of Punjab and Sindh to the Persian Empire by Darius (c. 518 B.C). Many Muslim emperors ruled over Punjab before the Mughals entered the political scene in 1526. Under the Mughals, Punjab enjoyed relative peace and prosperity which lasted for more than 200 years. Later, British rule took over Punjab after a period of vigorous struggle by the Sikhs against the foreign domination. When India finally attained Independence in 1947, Punjab was split into two parts, the larger portion becoming a part of Pakistan. The Partition resulted in a brutal lose of lives and properties. The present provincial boundaries were drawn in 1970.
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