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Punjab is a state in North India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, and the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west.The state capital is located in Chandigarh, a Union Territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana. The summer residence of the Governor of Punjab is at Shimla.After the partition of India in 1947, the Punjab province of British India was divided between India and Pakistan.The Indian Punjab was divided in 1966 with the formation of the new states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh alongside the current state of Punjab.Punjab is the only Sikh majority state in India.

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The name Punjab is a xenonym/exonym and the first known mention of the word Punjab is in the writings of Ibn Batūtā, who visited the region in the 14th century.The term came into wider use in the second half of the 16th century, and was used in the book Tarikh-e-Sher Shah Suri (1580), which mentions the construction of a fort by “Sher Khan of Punjab”. The first mentioning of the Sanskrit equivalent of ‘Punjab’, however, occurs in the great epic, the Mahabharata (pancha-nada ‘country of five rivers’). The name is mentioned again in Ain-e-Akbari (part 1), written by Abul Fazal, who also mentions that the territory of Punjab was divided into two provinces, Lahore and Multan. Similarly in the second volume of Ain-e-Akbari, the title of a chapter includes the word Panjnad in it.The Mughal King Jahangir also mentions the word Panjab in Tuzk-i-Janhageeri.Punjab, derived from Persian and introduced by the Turkic conquerors of India,literally means “five” (panj) “waters” (āb), i.e., the Land of Five Rivers, referring to the five rivers which go through it. It was because of this that it was made the granary of British India. Today, three of the rivers run exclusively in Punjab, Pakistan, while Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, India have the headwaters of the remaining two rivers, which eventually run into Pakistan.This is the original home of the Gypsies, Ods and Sadhs, the Gurjars, Ahirs and Khatris; here came Skylax, Alexander, Huen Tsang and Fa Hien. Here we saw past the pageant of Aryanism, Zoroastrianism, Hellenism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism. How did this land fare under each contact, under each cataclysm, under each fresh revolution in thought and deed? How in its blood and brain it received and integrated something of Greece, Persia, China and Tibet, Arabia, Egypt, Central and Western India? Knowing that, we would, also, understand why Buddhism and all it outwardly implied in wood and colour and stone and deed has not much survived in Panjabi life and letters, only, in part in Punjabi religion; and why Brahman ritualism has passed away while the Kshatriya philosophy, the Vedanta, has survived; why the spirit more than the word of Islam as it emerged from its Persian cradle, has appealed to the rural Panjab; why the Chinese and Bengali games of children, the Chinese pigtail, the Chinese magic, the Greek semi-circular head-gear, the Turkish words for daily food and utensils, Vikramadityan Rajput tales and customs, Buddhist folktales, and the lore of saints; and lovers from Persia and Arabia, have found a congenial home in the soil or become favourites with the natives; why again the cult of Krishna or Rama worship has not struck roots here ; why local saints have prospered ; why comparatively so few traces of the changing past have got preserved in life or literature

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Blackbuck

The blackbuck,(Antilope cervicapra) also known as the Indian antelope, is an antelope commonly found in India. The blackbuck is the sole extant member of the genus Antilope. The species was described and given its binomial name by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Two subspecies are recognised. It stands up to 74 to 84 cm (29 to 33 in) high at the shoulder. Males weigh 20–57 kilograms (44–126 lb), an average of 38 kilograms (84 lb). Females are lighter, weighing 20–33 kilograms (44–73 lb) or 27 kilograms (60 lb) on an average.

Northern goshawk

The northern goshawk, Accipiter gentilis, is a medium-large raptor in the family Accipitridae, which also includes other diurnal raptors, such as eagles, buzzards and harriers. As a species in the Accipiter genus, the goshawk is often considered a true “hawk”.It is a widespread species that inhabits the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere. It is the only species in the Accipiter genus found in both Eurasia and North America. With the exception of Asia, it is the only species of “goshawk” in its range and it is thus often referred to, both officially and unofficially, as simply the “goshawk”. It is mainly resident, but birds from colder regions migrate south for the winter.

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Dalbergia sissoo

Dalbergia sissoo, known commonly as North Indian Rosewood, is an evergreen rosewood tree, also known as sheesham, sisu, tahli, Tali and also Irugudujava. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southern Iran. In Persian, it is called Jag. It is the state tree of Punjab state (India) and the provincial tree of Punjab province (Pakistan). Its Afghanistan name is shewa. Indian common names are biradi, and sisau. It is primarily found growing along river banks below 900 metres (3,000 ft) elevation, but can range naturally up to 1,300 m (4,300 ft). The temperature in its native range averages 10–40 °C (50–104 °F), but varies from just below freezing to nearly 50 °C (122 °F). It can withstand average annual rainfall up to 2,000 millimetres (79 in) and droughts of 3–4 months. Soils range from pure sand and gravel to rich alluvium of river banks; shisham can grow in slightly saline soils. Seedlings are intolerant of shade.

Public transport in Punjab is provided by buses, auto rickshaws, Indian railways and an international rail connection to Pakistan (Samjhauta Express). The state has a large network of multimodal transportation systems.Punjab has six civil airports. The Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar and The Chandigarh International Airport in Mohali are the two international airports of Punjab.

Almost all the major as well as smaller cities of the state are linked by railways. Amritsar is the largest railway station, having trains connecting to all major cities. The Shatabdi Express connects Amritsar to Delhi. The railway junction in Bhatinda is the largest in Asia. The Shatabdi Express connects New Delhi to Bathinda.Ludhiana Metro is a proposed rapid transit system for the metropolitan city of Ludhiana.The Samjhauta Express is a joint venture between Indian Railways and Pakistan Railways and runs from Attari railway station near Amritsar in India to Lahore Railway Station in Punjab, Pakistan.All the cities and towns of Punjab are connected by four-lane national highways. The Grand Trunk Road, also known as “NH1”, connects Kolkata to Peshawar, passing through Jalandhar and Amritsar. Another major national highway connects Punjab to Jammu, passing through Hoshiarpur and Pathankot. National highways passing through the state are ranked the best in the country with widespread road networks that serve isolated towns as well as the border region. Ludhiana and Amritsar are among several Indian cities that have the highest accident rates in India.There are also bus rapid transit systems like Amritsar BRTS and Ludhiana BRTS, in the cities of Amritsar and Ludhiana, respectively.

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Cuisine

One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes.Home cooked and restaurant cuisine sometimes vary in taste. Restaurant style uses large amounts of ghee. Some food items are eaten on a daily basis while some delicacies are cooked only on special occasions.Within the Punjab region, there are different preferences in terms of use of spices and cooking methods. Also many varieties of ingredients exist as well. People in villages tend to cook much stuff in animal fats compared to the residents in the cities. Also there are many regional dishes that are famous in some regions only. Many dishes are exclusive to Punjab, such as sarson da saag, Tandoori chicken, Shami kebab, makki di roti etc. to name a few. Tandoori food is a Punjabi specialty especially for non-vegetarian dishes. Before the 1947 partition, tandoori cooking in India was traditionally associated with the former undivided Punjab. Many of the most popular elements of Indian cuisine as it is marketed to non-Indian customers (such as tandoor, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer) is derived from Punjab.

Bhangra

Bhangra and Giddha are forms of dance and music that originated in the Punjab region.Bhangra dance began as a folk dance conducted by Punjabi farmers to celebrate the coming of the harvest season. The specific moves of Bhangra reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land. This hybrid dance became Bhangra. The folk dance has been popularised in the western world by Punjabis in England, Canada and the USA where competitions are held.It is seen in the West as an expression of South Asian culture as a whole.Today, Bhangra dance survives in different forms and styles all over the globe – including pop music, film soundtracks, collegiate competitions and cultural shows.

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Punjabi folklore

The folk heritage of the Punjab reflects its thousands of years of history. While Majhi and Doabi are considered to be the standard dialect of Punjabi language, there are a number of local dialects through which the people communicate. These include Malwai and Pwadhi. The songs, ballads, epics and romances are generally written and sung in these dialects.There are a number of folk tales that are popular in Punjab. These are the folk tales of Mirza Sahiban, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun, Jagga Jatt, Dulla Bhatti, Puran Bhagat, Jeona Maud etc. The mystic folk songs and religious songs include the Shalooks of Sikh gurus, Baba Farid and others. They also include Kafis, Hamds, Baits, Dohas, Lohris, Sehra, and Jugni.

Literature

Most early Punjabi literary works are in verse form, with prose not becoming more common until later periods. Throughout its history, Punjabi literature has sought to inform and inspire, educate and entertain. The Punjabi language is written in several different scripts, of which the Shahmukhi, the Gurmukhī scripts are the most commonly used.

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Attire

In the ancient Punjab region, people wore cotton clothing. The tops for both sexes reached to the knees. A scarf was worn over the tops which would be draped over the left shoulder and under the right. A large sheet would be further draped over one shoulder which would hang loose towards the knees. Both sexes wore a dhoti around the waist.Modern Punjabi dress has retained this outfit but over its long history has added other forms of dress.The Punjab region had a flourishing industry in cotton during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when various kinds of coarse cotton cloths including lungi, khes, datahi, chadders, coasting, shirting, curtains, susi, tehmats, durris, towels, dusters, patkas etc. were manufactured in Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Peshawar, Lahore, Multan, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jhang, Shahpur, Jalandhar, Delhi, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Karnal, Rewari, Panipat etc.

Music

Punjabi Folk Music is the traditional music on the traditional musical instruments of Punjab region.There is a great repertoire of music from the time of birth through the different stages of joy and sorrow till death. The folk music invokes the traditions as well as the hardworking nature, bravery and many more things that the people of Punjab get from its gateway-to-India geographical location. Due to the large area with many sub-regions, the folk music has minor lingual differences but invokes the same feelings.Bhangra music of Punjab is famous throughout the world.Punjabi music has a diverse style of music, ranging from folk and Sufi to classical, notably the Punjab gharana and Patiala gharana.

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