Fun Facts about Punjab
More about Punjab
Punjab is the land of chivalry and cheer. It is also a state that offers the finger-licking food. The mustard fields of Punjab are well-known, and so is the spirit of service of its natives. Here are a few more interesting facts about this north Indian state.
The land of five rivers
Punjab means the land of five rivers. The word has been derived from the Persian words panj (five) and aab (water). The five rivers namely Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej ran through pre-Independence Punjab, and are now divided between India and Pakistan. The presence of five rivers is the reason why Punjab’s soil is conducive for wheat cultivation, and hence it is also called the Wheat Bowl of India.
Home to the first planned city
Chandigarh is India’s first planned city after Independence. Its layout was designed for the people of west Punjab who had migrated after Independence. The city has a good green cover and well-maintained streets. It is also home to the famous Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden and Chandi Devi Mandir. Chandigarh’s proximity to the Shivaliks (lower Himalayas) makes it a good base destination to reach Shimla, Solan and other hill stations.
Most visited tourist site
According to the World Book of Records, the United Kingdom, the Golden Temple in Amritsar is the most visited tourist place in the world. The Golden Temple or Shri Harmandir Sahib is believed to be the most important pilgrimage site in Sikhism. The temple welcomes people from all walks of life; it also runs a free and massive community kitchen called langar where thousands of people are fed daily.
In the olden days, Punjab was known as Trigarta. It was a kingdom as mentioned in the ancient scripture Mahabharata. Mahabharata talks about two different Trigarta kingdoms–one towards the west near the Sivi Kingdom and the second north to the Kuru Kingdom. Trigarta is the territory surrounding Satluj, Beas, and Ravi rivers. It is believed that the Trigarta kings were allies of the antagonist Duryodhana. They had attacked the Virata kingdom when the Pandavas were living there in anonymity.
Punjab translates to ‘five waters’, the Bea, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej .It is the largest province of Pakistan with a population of over 101 million .Punjab has the highest literary rate in Pakistan, at 79.21% .
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is one of Pakistan’s leading colleges and is located in Punjab’s capital city, Lahore . Seven Languages are spoken in Punjab; Punjabi (Majhi, Saraiki, Hindko), Urdu, English, Sindhi, Arab, Balochi and Pashto .
The Badshahi Mosque and Shalimar Garden from the reign of the Mughals from 1524-1739 are located in Lahore, Punjab . Punjab is divided into thirty six districts covering 79,284 square miles .Khewra Salt Mine is the world’s second largest salt mine and it is located in Islamabad, Punjab .
Basic Facts about Punjab Language
Punjabi isn’t very familiar to most Westerners, but it’s a widely-spoken and vital language all over the world.
I’ll make a bet right now that you don’t know much about the Punjabi language – and I’d go even further and make a bet that you actually think Punjabi is a minor language of little importance, perhaps a dying language. It’s okay – Punjabi needs better publicity. And if I’m wrong about you, accept my apologies – I’m basing this solely on my experience with most people, who give me blank expressions when I mention the language – and of course my own language translation professional arrogance and bias.
But Punjabi is the exact opposite of a minor or dying language. It’s the ninth most-spoken language in the world, the 4th most-spoken language in England, and the most-spoken language in Pakistan. About 130 million people around the world speak Punjabi, and it (obviously) remains a very important and vibrant language in the world today. The main problem Punjabi has is the attitude of Western cultures towards anything coming from the Indian subcontinent, especially Pakistan. There’s simply an attitude that those areas of the world are hopelessly backwards, so how could a language like Punjabi compete with English? And yet, it does! And is a fascinating language to boot.
The name Punjabi is actually Persian, and translates to ‘Five Waters,’ referring to the five major eastern tributaries of the Indus River which defined the ancient Punjab region, today split between India and Pakistan.
Punjabi is a descendent of a language of northern India called Shauraseni. Punjabi emerged as a distinct language in the 12th century as the Punjab region began to coalesce as a distinct culture, producing its own poetry and other writings in the new language.
Punjabi is today one of the official languages of India – but isn’t recognised at all in Pakistan, which is incredible when you consider that it’s the most-spoken language in that country! Punjabi is, in fact, under assault in that country, as it’s not even taught in schools – not even in the actual Punjab region!
Interestingly, the script used to write Punjabi changes over a wide geographical area, with different scripts used within Pakistan and in India. This sort of adaptive approach to the written form of the language has contributed to its survival over the years despite what is obviously a hostile attitude at least on the part of Pakistan. While India is much friendlier to Punjabi, only about 30 million Punjabis live in India as opposed to the 76 million that live in Pakistan – to save the language going forward we are going to have to change Pakistan’s mind about the language itself.