Portal:Punjab

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The Punjab (پنجاب (Shahmukhi); ਪੰਜਾਬ (Gurumukhi)), also spelled Panjab, is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of South Asia, comprising areas of Pakistan and India. Not being a political unit, the extent of the region is the subject of debate and focuses on historical events to determine its boundaries.

There are two main definitions of the Punjab region: the 1947 definition and the older 1799-1849 definition. The third definition incorporates both the 1947 and the older definitions but also includes northern Rajasthan on a linguistic basis and ancient river movements.

1947 definition

Using the 1947 definition, the Punjab region borders Kashmir to the north, Sindh and Rajasthan to the south, the Pashtun region and Balochistan to the west, and the Hindi belt to the east. Accordingly, the Punjab region is very diverse and stretches from the hills of the Kangra Valley to the plains and to the Cholistan Desert.

1799-1849 definition

Using the Sikh Empire definition, the Punjab region covers a large territory and can be divided into five natural areas:

  • the eastern mountainous region including Jammu Division and Azad Kashmir;
  • the trans-Indus region including Peshawar;
  • the central plain with its five rivers;
  • the north-western region, separated from the central plain by the Salt Range between the Jhelum and the Indus rivers;
  • the semi-desert to the south of the Sutlej river.

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Lahore Fort
Lahore (Punjabi: لہور) is the capital city of the province of western Punjab. It is the second largest and most populous city in Pakistan, after Karachi, and the 32nd most populous urban city in the world. The city is located in the north east part of Punjab province, near the border with India. Lahore is ranked as a world city, and is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated total nominal GDP of $58.14 billion as of 2014.

Lahore is the historic cultural centre of the Punjab region, and is the largest Punjabi city in the world. The city has a long history, and was once under the rule of the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Lodis, Marathas and the Delhi Sultanate. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire, serving as its capital city for a number of years. The city then became capital of the Sikh Empire, before becoming the capital of the Punjab under British rule. Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being site of both the declaration of Indian Independence, and the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Following the Partition of British India, Lahore became the capital of the western Punjab province.

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Maharaja Ranjit Singh
Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Punjabi: 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

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Ranjit Singh at Harmandir Sahib - August Schoefft - Vienna 1850 - Princess Bamba Collection - Lahore Fort.jpg


Maharaja Ranjit Singh listening to Guru Granth Sahib being recited near the Harmandir Sahib.
Credit: Princess Bamba Collection, Lahore Fort

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

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