Friday, July 20, 2007

PUNJAB,History ,People And Culture

Punjab [ˈpʌnʤɑb] (help·info) ਪੰਜਾਬ in Gurmukhi, Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬ, Hindi: पंजाब, (Persian: پنجاب, meaning "Land of the five Rivers") (c.f. ap-); also Panjab (Punjabi: پنجاب in Shahmukhi, Urdu: پنجاب) is a region straddling the border between India and Pakistan. Punjab has a long history and rich cultural heritage. The people of the Punjab are called Punjabis and they speak a language called Punjabi. The main religions in Indian Punjab are Sikhism and Hinduism, while Islam is the majority in Pakistani Punjab.
The area that is now known as the Greater Punjab comprised vast territories of northern India and eastern Pakistan. It was bounded by the Indus in the west and the Yamuna river in the east. It was a centre of the prehistoric Indus Valley civilization and after c. 1500 BCE the site of early Aryan settlements[citation needed]. In ancient times, the area was inhabited by Vahikas or Arattas. Tribes included the Gandharas, Prasthalas, Khasas, Vasatis, Trigartas, Pauravas, Malavas, Yaudheyas, Saindhavas, Sauviras; the Iranian and transfrontier peoples such as the Kambojas, Pahlavas; and the Persianised Ionians (Yavanas) as well as the nomadic Scythians, also called Shakas.[1]
The region, populated by Indo-Aryans, has been ruled by many different empires and ethnic groups, including the ancient Greeks, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mughals, Afghans, Balochis, Sikhs and British. In 1947, it was partitioned between British India's successor states, India and Pakistan.
The Pakistani Punjab now comprises the majority of the region. The Indian Punjab has been further sub-divided into the modern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. The Pakistani part of the region covers an area of 205,344 square kilometres (79,284 square miles), whereas the Indian State of Punjab is 50,362 square kilometres (19,445 square miles). The populations of the region are similarly divided as 86,084,000 (2005) in West Punjab (Pakistan) and 24,289,296 (2000) in the Present-day State of (East) Punjab(India).Punjabi is spoken by (approx) 90% of population in Pakistani Punjab and 92.2% in Indian Punjab.[2] The capital city of undivided Punjab was Lahore, which now sits close to the partition line as the capital of West Punjab. Indian Punjab has as its capital the city of Chandigarh. With partition, Indian Punjab now uses the Gurmukhi script, while Pakistani Punjab maintains the Shahmukhi script