Punjab (Listeni/pʌnˈdʒɑːb/; also spelt Panjab, is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region.The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast, Rajasthan to the southwest, and the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west. To the north it is bounded by the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The state capital is located in Chandigarh, a Union Territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana.
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, as well as the current state of Punjab. Punjab is the only state in India with a majority Sikh population.
The term Punjab comprises two words: \"punj meaning five and ab meaning water, thus the land of five rivers.\" The Greeks referred to Punjab as Pentapotamia, an inland delta of five converging rivers. In Avesta, the sacred text of Zoroastrians, the Punjab region is associated with the ancient hapta həndu or Sapta Sindhu, the Land of Seven Rivers. Historically, the Punjab region has been the gateway to the Indian Subcontinent for most foreign invaders.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab. Other major industries include the manufacturing of scientific instruments, agricultural goods, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilisers, bicycles, garments, and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Punjab also has the largest number of steel rolling mill plants in India, which are located in Steel Town Mandi Gobindgarh, District Fatehgarh Sahib.
Punjab during Mahabharata times was known Trigarta ruled by Katoch Kings. Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of the Punjab region with cities such as Harrapa (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan). The Vedic Civilization along the length of the Sarasvati River to cover most of Northern India including Punjab. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in the Indian Subcontinent. The Punjab region was conquered by many ancient empires including the Gandhara, Nandas, Mauryas, Sungas, Kushans, Guptas, Palas, Gurjara-Pratiharas and Hindu Shahis. The furthest eastern extent of Alexander the Great\'s exploration was along the Indus River. Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Jalandhar and Ludhiana) grew in wealth.
Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attack and influence from the west and east. Punjab faced invasions by the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Turks, and Afghans. This resulted in the Punjab witnessing centuries of bitter bloodshed. Its culture combines Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Afghan, Sikh and British influences.
The city of Taxila in Pakistan, founded by son of Taksh, the son of Bharat, who was the brother of Ram, was reputed to house the oldest university in the world, Takshashila University, one of the teachers was the great Vedic thinker and politician Chanakya. Taxila was a great centre of learning and intellectual discussion during the Maurya Empire. It is a UN World Heritage site.
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