Punjab is a state in North India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, and the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west. The state capital is located in Chandigarh, a Union Territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana.

After the partition of India in 1947, the Punjab province of British India was divided between India and Pakistan. The Indian Punjab was divided in 1966 with the formation of the new states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh alongside the current state of Punjab.

Punjab is the only Sikh majority state in India.

Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab. Other major industries include the manufacturing of scientific instruments, agricultural goods, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilisers, bicycles, garments, and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Punjab also has the largest number of steel rolling mill plants in India, which are located in "Steel Town"—Mandi Gobindgarh in the Fatehgarh Sahib district.

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The word Punjab is a compound of the Persian words panj (five) and āb (waters). Thus Panjāb roughly means "the land of five rivers". The five rivers are the Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jehlum (also spelled Jhelum). Traditionally, in English, there used to be a definite article before the name, i.e. "The Punjab". The name is also sometimes spelled as "Panjab". While the Greeks already referred to Punjab as Pentapotamia, an inland delta of five converging rivers, the name Punjab was given to the region by the Central Asian Turkic conquerors of India, and popularised by the Turco-Mongol Mughals.

These five rivers of Punjab are Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab, and Jhelum. Only Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers flow in today's Punjab. The other two rivers are now in the state of Punjab, situated in Pakistan. The Punjab State is divided into three regions: Majha, Doaba and Malwa.

Agriculture is the mainstay of Punjab's economy. Other major industries include manufacturing of scientific instruments, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines etc..

Punjab has made considerable economic progress after Independence despite the setback it suffered in 1947. It contributes nearly two thirds to the total production of food grains and a third of milk production in the country. It is the leading producer of wheat, thereby contributing to the national food security. The initiative of Green revolution (a major agricultural initiative) has been keenly taken forward by the people of Punjab. Even though Punjabis account for less than 2.5% of the Indian population, they are one of the most prosperous races in India. Their per capita income is twice the national average.

Punjab is considered to have the best infrastructure in India; this includes road, rail, air and river transport links that are extensive throughout the region. Punjab also has the lowest poverty rate in India and has won the best state performance award, based on statistical data compiled by the Indian Government.

Geography

Punjab is in northwestern India and has an area of 50,362 square kilometres (19,445 sq mi). It extends from the latitudes 29.30° North to 32.32° North and longitudes 73.55° East to 76.50° East. It is bounded on the west by Pakistan, on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, on the northeast by Himachal Pradesh and on the south by Haryana and Rajasthan.

Most of the Punjab lies in a fertile, alluvial plain with many rivers and an extensive irrigation canal system. A belt of undulating hills extends along the northeastern part of the state at the foot of the Himalayas. Its average elevation is 300 metres (980 ft) above sea level, with a range from 180 metres (590 ft) in the southwest to more than 500 metres (1,600 ft) around the northeast border. The southwest of the state is semiarid, eventually merging into the Thar Desert. The Shiwalik Hills extend along the northeastern part of the state at the foot of the Himalayas.

The soil characteristics are influenced to a limited extent by the topography, vegetation and parent rock. The variation in soil profile characteristics are much more pronounced because of the regional climatic differences. Punjab is divided into three distinct regions on the basis of soil types: southwestern, central, and eastern.

Punjab falls under seismic zones II, III, and IV. Zone II is considered a low-damage risk zone; zone III is considered a moderate-damage risk zone; and zone IV is considered a high-damage risk zone

Climate

The state has a balanced amalgamation of heat in summer, rain in monsoon and cold in winter. The three seasons are so distinctly distributed that you can enjoy each of them individually. Punjab experiences both summer and winter to its extreme. It even receives abundant rainfall, which makes the state a very fertile land. The region lying near the foot hills of Himalayas receive heavy rainfall whereas the region lying at a distant from the hills, the rainfall is scanty and the temperature is high.

The summer months span from mid April to the end of June. The rainy season in Punjab is from early July to end of September. October marks the beginning of the winter season. From December onwards, the winter becomes chilly. Most of the major festivals of Punjab, like Lohri, Holla Mohalla, Diwali, and Dussehra, fall during this period. The best time to visit Punjab is from October to the end of March

Language

The Punjabi language, written in the Gurmukhi script, is the official language of the state. Punjabi is the tenth most spoken language in the world and fifth most spoken language in Asia.

Cities/ Towns

There are 22 Districts and total of 168 statutary towns and 69 census towns in Punjab. Thus there are total 237 towns (or say cities) in Punjab. Major cities of Punjab include Mohali, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Patiala and Jalandhar.

One of the world's first and oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of the Punjab region, with cities such as Harappa and Mohenjodaro now located in the modern-day Pakistani province of Punjab.

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