Portal:Punjab

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The Punjab (/pʌnˈɑːb/, /-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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Map of the Sikh Empire
The Sikh Empire (also Sikh Khalsa Raj, Sarkar-i-Khalsa or Punjab Empire), was a major power in the South Asia, that arose under the leadership of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who established a secular empire basing it around the Punjab. The empire existed from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, to 1849 and was forged on the foundations of the Khalsa from a collection of autonomous Sikh misls. At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. It was the last major region of the subcontinent to be conquered by the British.

The foundations of the Sikh Empire can be traced to as early as 1707, the year of Aurangzeb's death and the start of the downfall of the Mughal Empire. With the Mughals significantly weakened, the Sikh army, known as the Dal Khalsa, a rearrangement of the Khalsa inaugurated by Guru Gobind Singh, led expeditions against them and the Afghans in the west. This led to a growth of the army which split into different confederacies or semi-independent misls. Each of these component armies controlled different areas and cities. However, in the period from 1762 to 1799, Sikh commanders of the misls appeared to be coming into their own as independent warlords.

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An artistic depiction of Bulleh Shah
Syed Abdullah Shah Qadri (Punjabi: سید عبداللہ شاہ قادری) (Shahmukhi), ਸਈਅਦ ਅਬਦੁੱਲਾ ਸ਼ਾਹ ਕਾਦਰੀ (Gurmukhi); 1680–1757) popularly known as Bulleh Shah (بلھے شاہ(Shahmukhi); ਬੁੱਲੇ ਸ਼ਾਹ (Gurumukhi)), was a Punjabi humanist and philosopher. His first spiritual teacher was Shah Inayat Qadiri, a Sufi murshid of Lahore.

Bulleh Shah's writings represent him as a humanist, someone providing solutions to the sociological problems of the world around him as he lives through it, describing the turbulence his homeland of Punjab is passing through, while concurrently searching for God. His poetry highlights his mystical spiritual voyage through the four stages of Sufism: Shariat (Path), Tariqat (Observance), Haqiqat (Truth) and Marfat (Union). The simplicity with which Bulleh Shah has been able to address the complex fundamental issues of life and humanity is a large part of his appeal.

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Clock Tower in Faisalabad


The Faisalabad Clock Tower is a clock tower in Faisalabad and is one of the oldest monuments still standing in its original state from the period of the British Raj.
Credit: Usman Nadeem

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

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