A region of the Indian subcontinent named for five rivers (Persian panj 'five' and âb 'water') which form the Indus: namely the Rivers Jhelum, Sutlej, Chenab, Ravi, and Beas. The language is Punjabi. These names are also sometimes written Panjab and Panjabi.
On Partition in 1947 it was divided along religious lines, the Muslim part becoming part of Pakistan and the Sikh and Hindu part becoming part of India (originally as the state of East Punjab).
In Pakistan, Punjab is the most populous of the four provinces, with 72.6 million people (1998 census), and its provincial assembly has 248 seats, of which 8 are reserved for non-Muslims. The area is about 205 000 km2. Its capital is Lahore; it also encloses the national capital of Islamabad, but that is a separate federal territory.
India's Punjab has its capital at Chandigarh, a new city designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the architect of New Delhi. Later the state of Punjab was divided in two, with the state of Haryana being created. Chandigarh became the capital of both states, and to preserve neutrality also became a Union Territory separate from both.
Punjab is the main home of India's Sikhs, many of whom seek to make it an independent country called Khalistan. It includes the holy Sikh city of Amritsar.