The Punjab ( (listen), , , ), 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.
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.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh
: ਮਹਾਰਾਜਾ ਰਣਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ), (13 November 1780 – 27 June 1839), was the founder of the Sikh Empire
, which came to power in the northern South Asia
in the early half of the 19th century. He survived smallpox
in infancy but lost sight in his left eye. He fought his first battle alongside his father at age 10. After his father died, he fought several wars to expel Afghans in his teenage years, and was proclaimed as the "Maharaja of Punjab" at age 21. His Empire grew in the Punjab region
under his leadership through 1839.
Prior to his rise, the Punjab region had numerous warring misls (confederacies), twelve of which were under Sikh rulers and one by a Muslim. Ranjit Singh successfully absorbed and united the Sikh misls, took over other local kingdoms to create the Sikh Empire. He repeatedly defeated the invasions by Muslim armies particularly those arriving from Afghanistan, and established friendly relations with the British. Ranjit Singh's reign introduced reforms, modernization, investment into infrastructure and general prosperity
A section of the Lahore Fort built by the Mughal emperor Akbar
Location of Punjab in south Asia
The snow-covered Himalayas
Wikipedia in Punjabi