The word “Punjab” is made up of two Persian words -Panj- and -Aab-. Panj means five
and Aab means water. This name was probably given to this land possibly in an era
when this region came into close contact with Persia. The Punjab was known as land
of five rivers because of the five rivers that ran through it. They are Jhelum, Ravi,
Beas, Sutlej and Chenab. The Punjab covers an area of 50,362 square kilometers (19,445
square miles) .The official language is Punjabi, which is spoken by about two-thirds
of the population. Many people are fluent in Hindi, English and Urdu also.
Punjab, northwestern India, is bounded on the west by Pakistan, on the north by Jammu
and Kashmir, on the north east by Himachal Pradesh and on the south by Haryana and
Rajasthan. Physically, the state may be divided into two parts, sub Shivalik strip
and Sutlej-Ghaggar Plain. The sub-Shivalik strip covers the upper portion of Ropar,
Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur districts. The Sutlej-Ghaggar Plain embraces the other districts
of the Punjab. Most of the Punjab is an alluvial plain, bounded by mountains to the
North. Despite its dry conditions, it is a rich agricultural area due to the extensive
irrigation made possible by the great rivers. The Indian Punjab is the wealthiest
state in the country per capita, with most of the revenue generated from agriculture.
Punjab is one of the smallest states of India representing 1.6 per cent of its geographical
area and 2.6 per cent of it's cropped area. Agriculture occupies the most prominent
place in Punjab's economy. About 70 per cent of the people are engaged in agriculture
.Although Punjabi's comprise less than 2.5% of India's population, they provide 22%
of India's Wheat and 10% of its rice. The Punjab provides a third of all the milk
production in India. Punjab also has a number of thriving industries including Hero
Bicycles at Ludhiana.
From the travelers point of view, the area has just one attraction -the beautiful
Golden Temple in Amritsar.
Punjab suffered the most destruction and damage at the time of Partition of India.
Prior to partition the Punjab extended across both sides of what is now the India-Pakistan
border, and its capital Lahore is now the capital of the Pakistani state of Punjab.
The major city in the Punjab is Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs. Chandigarh,
a new planned city, was conceived and built in the 1950s to serve as the capital
of the new Punjab. In 1966, Punjab underwent another split. It was divided into the
predominantly Sikh and Punjabi- speaking state of Punjab and the state of Haryana.
At the same time some of the northern parts of the Punjab were hived off to Himachal
Pradesh. Chandigarh on the border of Punjab and Haryana, remains the capital of the
two states, yet is administered as a Union Territory from Delhi.
The Punjab's per capita income is nearly double the all-India average (in second
place is Haryana).
Punjab is divided into three natural regions: The Majha, The Doaba and the Malwa.
Majha starts northward from the Right Bank of river Beas and stretches upto the Wagha
village, which marks the boundary between India and Pakistan. Majha in Punjabi means
the heartland. The region is divided into two districts, Amritsar and Gurdaspur.
The Doaba of Punjab is bounded by the Rivers Sutlej in the south and Beas in the
north. The area is divided into four districts Jalandhar, Nawanshahar, Kapurthala
and Hoshiarpur named after these main towns.
The area South of the river Sutlej is called Malwa. Th stuck because a clan called
Molois (sometimes Malawis in ancient works) once ruled this area which have spread
upto the present State of Gujrat which known as the Subah of Malwa as late as the
Mughul times. Malwa the largest part of the Punjab is divided into the following
12 districts after the names of their headquarters.
Chandigarh is one of the seven Union Territories of India and serves as a capital
for two states, Punjab and Haryana. Chandigarh has two satellite cities, Panchkula
and Mohali. Chandigarh is divided into 47 self-contained sectors. Each sector of
the city is designed with its own shops, academic, and health care buildings, and
places of worship, open spaces, greenery and the residential areas.