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The Punjab (/pʌnˈɑːb/ (About this sound listen), /-ˈæb/, /ˈpʌnɑːb/, /-æb/), also spelled Panjab, panj-āb, land of "five rivers" (Punjabi: پنجاب (Shahmukhi); ਪੰਜਾਬ (Gurumukhi)), is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India. Not being a political unit, the boundaries of the region are ill-defined and focus on historical accounts.

The Punjab region has been inhabited by Indus Valley Civilisation, Indo-Aryan peoples, Indo-Scythians and has seen numerous invasions by the Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals, Afghans, British and others. The foreign invaders mainly targeted the most productive central region of the Punjab known as the Majha region, which is also the bedrock of Panjabi culture and traditions. The people of the Punjab today are called Punjabis and their principal language is called Punjabi. The main religions of the Punjab region are Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. Other religious groups are Christianity, Jainism and Buddhism.

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The Punjabis (Punjabi: پنجابی, ਪੰਜਾਬੀ), also Panjabis or Punjabi people, are an ethnic group native to or associated with the Punjab, who speak the Punjabi language. The coalescence of the various tribes, castes and the inhabitants of the Punjab into a broader common "Punjabi" identity initiated from the onset of the 18th century CE. Prior to that the sense and perception of a common "Punjabi" ethno-cultural identity and community did not exist, even though the majority of the various communities of the Punjab had long shared linguistic, cultural and racial commonalities.

Historically, the Punjabi people were a heterogeneous group and were subdivided into a number of clans called biradari (literally meaning "brotherhood") or tribes, with each person bound to a clan. However, Punjabi identity also included those who did not belong to any of the historical tribes. With the passage of time tribal structures are coming to an end and are being replaced with a more cohesive and holistic society, as community building and group cohesiveness form the new pillars of Punjabi society.

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Maharani Jind Kaur at 45.
Maharani Jind Kaur (Punjabi: ਮਹਾਰਾਨੀ ਜਿੰਦ ਕੌਰ) (1817 – 1 August 1863) was regent of the Sikh Empire from 1843 until 1846. She was the youngest wife of the first Maharaja of Punjab, Ranjit Singh, and the mother of the last Maharaja, Duleep Singh. She was renowned for her beauty, energy and strength of purpose and was popularly known as Rani Jindan, but her fame is derived chiefly from the fear she engendered in the British in south Asia, who described her as "the Messalina of the Punjab", a seductress too rebellious to be controlled.

After the assassinations of Ranjit Singh's first three successors, Duleep Singh came to power in September 1843 at the age of 5 and Jind Kaur became Regent on her son's behalf. After the Sikhs lost the First Anglo-Sikh War she was replaced in December 1846 by a Council of Regency, under the control of a British Resident. However, her power and influence continued and, to counter this, the British imprisoned and exiled her. Over thirteen years passed before she was again permitted to see her son, who was taken to England.

In January 1861 Duleep Singh was allowed to meet his mother in Calcutta and take her with him back to England, where she remained until her death in Kensington, London, on 1 August 1863 at the age of 46. She was temporarily buried in Kensal Green Cemetery and cremated the following year at Nashik, near Bombay. Her ashes were finally taken to the samadh (memorial) in Lahore of her husband, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, by her granddaughter, Princess Bamba Sofia Jindan Duleep Singh.

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There is a Shahmukhi پنجابی‬ version of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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