region covering a part of Eastern Pakistan & Northern India,
and bordered by 5 rivers, has a long history and strong cultural
heritage. The people of the Punjab are called Punjabis and they
speak a language called Punjabi. The three main religions
in the area are Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam. The region has
been invaded and ruled by many different empires and races,
including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Muslims, and Mongols.
Around the time of the 15th Century, Guru Nanak Dev founded the
Sikh religion, which quickly came to prominence in the region.
The 19th Century saw the beginning of British rule, which led to
the emergence of several heroic Punjabi freedom fighters.
Finally, the Punjab was split between Pakistan and India at the
end of British rule in 1947.
races of people and religions made up the cultural heritage of
the Punjab. Punjab is the land where spiritual aspirations
arose. This heroic land bore numerous invasions, and after all
its suffering, did not entirely lose its glory and its strength.
Here it was that the gentle Nanak preached his marvellous love
for the world. Here it was that his broad heart opened and his
arms outstretched to embrace the whole world.
the earliest stone age cultures of South Asia nourished in the
Punjab. People generally accept that about eight centuries
before Christ, the Punjab was the most enlightened and the
prosperous region in the world. The Harappa civilization
developed in Punjab and its culture spread to Iran, Afghanistan,
Balochistan, and north-western parts of South Asia.
Vedic and Epic period of the Punjab was socially and culturally
very prolific as during this glorious period, the people
accelerated in the fields of philosophy and culture. Here the
people composed the Rig Veda and the Upanishads. Further,
tradition maintains that Valmiki composed the Ramayana near the
present Amritsar city and Kaikyee belonged to this region. Lord
Krishna gave the divine message of the Gita at Kurukshetra. It
was here that people wrote eighteen principal Puranas. The
authors of Vishnu Purana and the Shiv Purano belonged to the
from the invasion of Alexander in 326 B.C., the Punjab bore the
brunt of incursions and the aggressive assaults of the hordes
from the north. During the gruesome period great kings like
Porus, Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka and host of other heroes
emerged to defend Punjab from the onslaughts.
Mughal rule, there was lots of conflict, chaos, and political
upheavals in the Punjab. Appearance of Guru Nanak (1469-1538)
was an event significant not only for the region but for the
whole country. He was the founder of a powerful popular movement
which has left a lasting impression on the history and culture
of all of South Asia. Born in the district of Sheikhupura, he
rejected the division of mankind into rigid compartments of
orthodox religions and preached the oneness of humanity, and
oneness of God, thus aiming at creating a new order which
embraced the all pervasive spirit in man. He condemned and
ridiculed the false and unnatural notions of high and low in
society, He denounced idolatory and laid stress on meditation
for the realization of the Universal self.
intrution had political, cultural, philosophical and literary
consequences in the Punjab. The opening of a new system of
education introduced a new spirit in the life of the Punjabis.
More people realized the greatness of Punjabi culture. During
the freedom movement, Punjab played a role worthy of its name.
Many heroes emerged from the Punjab such as Lajpat Rai, Ajit
Singh, Bhagat Singh, Uddham Singh, Bhal Parmanand and a host of
independence, life in the Punjab proves to be tragic and
traumatic. The partition resulted in riots and terror which tore
up millions of homes and destroyed many lives. The massive
exodus resulting from the newly formed state of Pakistan created
problems of uncontrollable dimensions. The Punjabis trekked in
blood and shreds.
the Punjabi spirit of tenacity and toughness sustained the
uprooted people. The disillusioned people set to work with no
self pity to plough fresh fields. They built new industries and
became prominent in sports. Punjabis attained an eminent place
in cultural, aesthetic, and literary work, and revived folk art,
song, dance and drama. All of this has created a sense of pride
and climate of involvement in the heritage of the Punjab.
is located in Indian Punjab near the border. In the summer,
Amritsar gets very hot, sometimes reaching temperatures above
50C. The city is an important regional market center for
agricultural goods and the center for India's border security.
Manufacturing products include textiles, particularly carpets,
silks, and brocades.
is the most important religious center of the Sikhs, who make up
about one-third of the city's inhabitants. The city was founded
in 1577 by Ram Das, the fourth Sikh guru, on land furnished by
the Mogul emperor Akbar. Ram Das also began construction of the
Amrita Saras, meaning the Pool of Immortality, an artificial
lake from which the city takes its name. On an island in the
lake is the most important Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, so
called because of its copper roof covered with gold foil. In its
present form the temple, which contains the most sacred texts of
the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib, dates from the reign
(1792-1839) of the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh.
addition, Amritsar is where the Amritsar Massacre took place. On
April 13, 1919 troops commanded by the British general Reginald
Dyer fired on an Indian crowd peacefully demonstrating against
the Rowlatt Acts, by which the British administration had
recently given itself emergency powers. Casualties were
officially estimated at 379 deaths and some 1,200 wounded. The
site of the massacre, an open area called the Jallianwallah Bagh,
close to the Golden Temple, is now maintained as a national
the capital of the Punjab state, is near the foothills of the
Himalayas. The summers are hot, with temperatures rising to
about 46C, and the winters are cool. In 1966, when the former
East Punjab was further divided into Punjab and Haryana,
Chandigarh became the capital of Punjab and a temporary capital
of Haryana. It is the site of Punjab University. The city,
designed by the French architect Le Corbusier, and begun in
1950, is considered an outstanding example of Urban Planning. A
complex of government buildings stands at one end. The town
center is surrounded by residential neighborhoods and a
hierarchical system of roads with green buffer zones.
Villages of Punjab
To really get a feel of Punjab, one must visit the villages.
Punjab is a region of villages. There are many cities, but the
majority of the people live in villages. Definately try to see
some villages, they are very beautiful.