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Culture of province punjab.jpg
Total population
c. 120 million[1][2][3]
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan80,536,390 (2017)[4][a]
 India31,144,094 (2011)[2][b][c]
 Canada942,170 (2021)[7][d]
 United Kingdom700,000 (2006)[8]
 United States253,740[9]
 Australia132,496 (2017)[10]
 Malaysia56,400 (2019)[11]
 Philippines50,000 (2016)[12]
 New Zealand34,227 (2018)[13]
 Norway24,000 (2013)[14]
 Bangladesh23,700 (2019)[15]
 Germany18,000 (2020)[16]
   Nepal10,000 (2019)[17]
OthersSee Punjabi diaspora
Majority: Punjabi and its dialects
Minority: Urdu (in Pakistan) and Hindi (in India)
Star and Crescent.svg Islam
Khanda.svg SikhismOm.svg HinduismChristian cross.svg Christianity

Punjab, Pakistan:
Star and Crescent.svg Islam (97%)
Christian cross.svg Christianity (2.31%) • HinduismSikhism

Punjab, India:
Khanda.svg Sikhism (57.7%)
Om.svg Hinduism (38.5%) • IslamChristianity[18][19][20]
Related ethnic groups
Other Indo-Aryan peoples

The Punjabis (Punjabi (Shahmukhi): پنجابی, Punjabi (Gurmukhi): ਪੰਜਾਬੀ), also known as Panjabis,[21][22] are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group[23] associated with the Punjab region located in the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northwestern India.[24] They speak Punjabi, a language from the Indo-Aryan language family.[25] Punjabis are the largest ethnic group in Pakistan.[26]

The ethnonym is derived from the term Punjab (Five rivers) in Persian to describe the geographic region of the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent, where five rivers Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, and Sutlej merge into the Indus River,[27][28][29] in addition of the now-vanished Ghaggar.[30]

The coalescence of the various tribes, castes and the inhabitants of the Punjab region into a broader common "Punjabi" identity initiated from the onset of the 18th century CE.[31][32][33] Historically, the Punjabi people were a heterogeneous group and were subdivided into a number of clans called biradari (literally meaning "brotherhood") or tribes, with each person bound to a clan. With the passage of time, tribal structures became replaced with a more cohesive and holistic society, as community building and group cohesiveness form the new pillars of Punjabi society.[33][34]

Traditionally, the Punjabi identity is primarily linguistic, geographical and cultural. Its identity is independent of historical origin or religion and refers to those who reside in the Punjab region or associate with its population and those who consider the Punjabi language their mother tongue.[35] Integration and assimilation are important parts of Punjabi culture, since Punjabi identity is not based solely on tribal connections.[36] While Punjabis share a common territory, ethnicity and language, they are likely to be followers of one of several religions, most often Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism or Christianity.[37]


The term "Punjab" came into currency during the reign of Akbar in the late sixteenth century.[38][28][29] Though the name Punjab is of Persian origin, its two parts (پنج, panj, 'five' and آب, āb, 'water') are cognates of the Sanskrit words, पञ्‍च, pañca, 'five' and अप्, áp, 'water', of the same meaning.[39][40] The word pañjāb thus means 'The Land of Five Waters', referring to the rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, and Beas.[41] All are tributaries of the Indus River, the Sutlej being the largest. References to a land of five rivers may be found in the Mahabharata, which calls one of the regions in ancient Bharat Panchanada (Sanskrit: पञ्चनद, romanizedpañca-nada, lit.'five rivers').[42][43] The ancient Greeks referred to the region as Pentapotamía (Greek: Πενταποταμία),[44][45][46] which has the same meaning as the Persian word.

Geographic distribution

Punjab is a geopolitical, cultural, and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northwestern India. The boundaries of the region are ill-defined and focus on historical accounts. The geographical definition of the term "Punjab" has changed over time. In the 16th century Mughal Empire it referred to a relatively smaller area between the Indus and the Sutlej rivers.[47][38]

The Punjab region, with its rivers.

Sikh empire

In the 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh established the Sikh empire based in the Punjab.[48] The empire existed from 1799, when Ranjit Singh captured Lahore, to 1849, when it was defeated and conquered in the Second Anglo-Sikh War. It was forged on the foundations of the Khalsa from a collection of autonomous Sikh misls.[49][50] At its peak in the 19th century, the Empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west to western Tibet in the east, and from Mithankot in the south to Kashmir in the north. It was divided into four provinces: Lahore, in Punjab, which became the Sikh capital; Multan, also in Punjab; Peshawar; and Kashmir from 1799 to 1849. Religiously diverse, with an estimated population of 3.5 million in 1831 (making it the 19th most populous country at the time),[51] it was the last major region of the Indian subcontinent to be annexed by the British Empire.

Map showing the Punjabi Sikh Empire.

The Sikh Empire spanned a total of over 200,000 sq mi (520,000 km2) at its zenith.[52][53][54]

The Punjab was a region straddling India and the Afghan Durrani Empire. The following modern-day political divisions made up the historical Punjab region during the Sikh Empire:

After Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, the empire was severely weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. This opportunity was used by the East India Company to launch the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars. The country was finally annexed and dissolved at the end of the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849 into separate princely states and the province of Punjab. Eventually, a Lieutenant Governorship was formed in Lahore as a direct representative of the Crown.[64]: 221 

Punjab (British India)

In British India, until the Partition of India in 1947, the Punjab Province was geographically a triangular tract of country of which the Indus River and its tributary the Sutlej formed the two sides up to their confluence, the base of the triangle in the north being the Lower Himalayan Range between those two rivers. Moreover, the province as constituted under British rule also included a large tract outside these boundaries. Along the northern border, Himalayan ranges divided it from Kashmir and Tibet. On the west it was separated from the North-West Frontier Province by the Indus, until it reached the border of Dera Ghazi Khan District, which was divided from Baluchistan by the Sulaiman Range. To the south lay Sindh and Rajputana, while on the east the rivers Jumna and Tons separated it from the United Provinces.[65] In total Punjab had an area of approximately 357 000 km square about the same size as modern day Germany, being one of the largest provinces of the British Raj.

Map of the Punjab Province (British India)

It encompassed the present day Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, and some parts of Himachal Pradeshwhich were merged with Punjab by the British for administrative purposes (but excluding the former princely states which were later combined into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union) and the Pakistani regions of the Punjab, Islamabad Capital Territory and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In 1901 the frontier districts beyond the Indus were separated from Punjab and made into a new province: the North-West Frontier Province. Subsequently, Punjab was divided into four natural geographical divisions by colonial officials on the decadal census data:[66]: 2 

  1. Indo-Gangetic Plain West geographical division (including Hisar district, Loharu State, Rohtak district, Dujana State, Gurgaon district, Pataudi State, Delhi, Karnal district, Jalandhar district, Kapurthala State, Ludhiana district, Malerkotla State, Firozpur district, Faridkot State, Patiala State, Jind State, Nabha State, Lahore District, Amritsar district, and Gujranwala District);
  2. Himalayan geographical division (including Nahan State, Simla district, Simla Hill States, Kangra district, Mandi State, Suket State, and Chamba State);
  3. Sub-Himalayan geographical division (including Ambala district, Kalsia State, Hoshiarpur district, Gurdaspur district, Sialkot District, Gujrat District, Jhelum District, Rawalpindi District, and Attock District;
  4. North-West Dry Area geographical division (including Montgomery District, Shahpur District, Mianwali District, Lyallpur District, Jhang District, Multan District, Bahawalpur State, Muzaffargarh District, and Dera Ghazi Khan District).

Punjabis in Pakistan

While the total population of Punjab is 110 million as noted in the 2017 Pakistan census,[67] ethnic Punjabis comprise approximately 44.7% of the national population.[5][26] With an estimated national population of 243 million in 2022,[5] ethnic Punjabis thus number approximately 108.5 million in Pakistan;[e][68] this makes Punjabis the largest ethnic group in Pakistan by population.[5][26]

Religious homogeneity remains elusive as a predominant Sunni population with Shia, Ahmadiyya and Christian minorities.[69]

Punjabis in India

The Punjabi-speaking people make 2.74% of India's population as of 2011.[70] The total number of Indian Punjabis is unknown due to the fact that ethnicity is not recorded in the Census of India. Sikhs are largely concentrated in the modern-day state of Punjab forming 57.7% of the population with Hindus forming 38.5%.[71] Ethnic Punjabis are believed to account for at least 40% of Delhi's total population and are predominantly Hindi-speaking Punjabi Hindus.[72][73][74] The Indian censuses record the native languages, but not the descent of the citizens. Thus, there is no concrete official data on the ethnic makeup of Delhi and other Indian states.[74]: 8–10 

Indian Punjab is also home to small groups of Muslims and Christians. Most of the East Punjab's Muslims left for West Punjab in 1947. However, a small community still exists today, mainly in Qadian, and Malerkotla.

Punjabi diaspora

The Punjabi people have emigrated in large numbers to many parts of the world. In the early 20th century, many Punjabis began settling in the United States, including independence activists who formed the Ghadar Party. The United Kingdom has a significant number of Punjabis from both Pakistan and India. The most populous areas being London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow. In Canada (specifically Vancouver,[75] Toronto,[76] and Calgary[77]) and the United States, (specifically California's Central Valley). In the 1970s, a large wave of emigration of Punjabis (predominately from Pakistan) began to the Middle East, in places such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. There are also large communities in East Africa including the countries of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Punjabis have also emigrated to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia including Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. Of recent times many Punjabis have also moved to Italy.[citation needed]

Punjabi State

According to Pippa Virdee, the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan has shadowed the sense of loss of what used to be a homeland nation for the Punjabi people in the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora.[78] Since the mid-1980s, there has been a drive for Punjabi cultural revival, consolidation of Punjabi ethnicity and a virtual Punjabi nation.[79] According to Giorgio Shani, this is predominantly a Sikh ethno-nationalism movement led by some Sikh organizations, and a view that is not shared by Punjabi people organizations belonging to other religions.[80]


Ancient period

One of the first known kings of ancient Punjab, King Porus who fought against Alexander the Great.

The Punjab region is noted as the site of one of the earliest urban societies, the Indus Valley Civilization that flourished from about 3000 B.C. and declined rapidly 1,000 years later, following the Indo-Aryan migrations that overran the region in waves between 1500 and 500 B.C.[21] Frequent intertribal wars stimulated the growth of larger groupings ruled by chieftains and kings, who ruled local kingdoms known as Mahajanapadas.[21] The rise of kingdoms and dynasties in the Punjab is chronicled in the ancient Hindu epics, particularly the Mahabharata.[21] In 326 B.C.

The earliest known notable local king of this region was known as King Porus, who fought the famous Battle of the Hydaspes against Alexander the Great. His kingdom spanned between rivers Hydaspes (Jhelum) and Acesines (Chenab); Strabo had held the territory to contain almost 300 cities.[81] He (alongside Abisares) had a hostile relationship with the Kingdom of Taxila which was ruled by his extended family.[81] When the armies of Alexander crossed Indus in its eastward migration, probably in Udabhandapura, he was greeted by the-then ruler of Taxila, Omphis.[81] Omphis had hoped to force both Porus and Abisares into submission leveraging the might of Alexander's forces and diplomatic missions were mounted, but while Abisares accepted the submission, Porus refused.[81] This led Alexander to seek for a face-off with Porus.[81] Thus began the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC; the exact site remains unknown.[81] The battle is thought to be resulted in a decisive Greek victory; however, A. B. Bosworth warns against an uncritical reading of Greek sources who were obviously exaggerative.[81]

Alexander later founded two cities—Nicaea at the site of victory and Bucephalous at the battle-ground, in memory of his horse, who died soon after the battle.[81][f] Later, tetradrachms would be minted depicting Alexander on horseback, armed with a sarissa and attacking a pair of Indians on an elephant.[81][82] Porus refused to surrender and wandered about atop an elephant, until he was wounded and his force routed.[81] When asked by Alexander how he wished to be treated, Porus replied "Treat me as a king would treat another king".[83] Despite the apparently one-sided results, Alexander was impressed by Porus and chose to not depose him.[84][85][86] Not only was his territory reinstated but also expanded with Alexander's forces annexing the territories of Glausaes, who ruled to the northeast of Porus' kingdom.[84]

After Alexander's death in 323 BCE, Perdiccas became the regent of his empire, and after Perdiccas's murder in 321 BCE, Antipater became the new regent.[87] According to Diodorus, Antipater recognized Porus's authority over the territories along the Indus River. However, Eudemus, who had served as Alexander's satrap in the Punjab region, treacherously killed Porus.[88] The battle is historically significant because it resulted in the syncretism of ancient Greek political and cultural influences to the Indian subcontinent, yielding works such as Greco-Buddhist art, which continued to have an impact for the ensuing centuries. The region was then divided between the Maurya Empire and the Greco-Bactrian kingdom in 302 B.C.E. Menander I Soter conquered Punjab and made Sagala (present-day Sialkot) the capital of the Indo-Greek Kingdom.[89][90] Menander is noted for having become a patron and convert to Greco-Buddhism and he is widely regarded as the greatest of the Indo-Greek kings.[91] Greek influence in the region ended around 12 B.C.E. when the Punjab fell under the Sassanids.

Medieval period

Islam emerged as the major power in southern Punjab after the Umayyad caliphate conquered the region in 711 AD.[21] The city of Multan became a center of the Ismaili sect of Islam. In the ninth century, the Hindu Shahi dynasty emerged in the Punjab, ruling much of Punjab and eastern Afghanistan.[21] The 10th century Arab historian Masudi mentioned that in his time the kings of Gandhara were all called Hajaj, J.haj or Ch'hach, while the area itself was called "country of the Rahbūt" (Rajputs).[92] The character transliterated to "Hahaj" and Alexander Cunningham had it equated to the Janjua tribe/clan.[93] Rahman doubts this theory and instead transliterates to "J.haj", an Arabicised form of Chhachh, which is even today the name of the region around the Hindu Shahi capital of Hund.[93] In the 10th century, this region was occupied by the tribe of the Gakhars/Khokhars, who formed a large part of the Hindu Shahi army according to the Persian historian Firishta.[93]

Horseman on a coin of Spalapati, i.e. the "War-lord" of the Hindu Shahis. The headgear has been interpreted as a turban.[94]

The Turkic Ghaznavids in the tenth century overthrew the Hindu Shahis and consequently ruled for 157 years, gradually declining as a power until around 1150 when the boundary between the Ghaznavid kingdom and the Hindu kingdoms that had conquered the eastern Punjab approximated the present international border between India and Pakistan.[21]

Modern period

The Mughals came to power in the early thirteenth century and gradually expanded to control all of the Punjab from their capital at Lahore. 15th century saw rise of many prominent Muslims from Punjab. Khizr Khan established the Sayyid dynasty, the fourth dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate after the fall of the Tughlaqs.[95] A contemporary writer Yahya Sirhindi mentions in his Takhrikh-i-Mubarak Shahi that Khizr Khan was a descendant of prophet Muhammad.[96]

Members of the dynasty derived their title, Sayyid, or the descendants of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad, based on the claim that they belonged to his lineage through his daughter Fatima. However, Yahya Sirhindi based his conclusions on unsubstantial evidence, the first being a casual recognition by the famous saint Sayyid Jalaluddin Bukhari of Uch Sharif of his Sayyid heritage,[97] and secondly the noble character of the Sultan which distinguished him as a Prophet's descendant.[98] According to Richard M. Eaton, Khizr Khan was son of a Punjabi chieftain.[95] He was a Khokhar chieftain who travelled to Samarkand and profited from the contacts he made with the Timurid society[99]

Later on, the Delhi Sultanate, weakened by invasion of Emir Timur, could not control all regions of the Empire and different local kingdoms appeared. In 1407, Sultan Muzaffar Shah I, a Tank Rajput[100] or a Khatri[101] Muslim from Punjab[102] established the Gujarat Sultanate. In 1445, Sultan Qutbudin, chief of Langah, a Jat Zamindar tribe[103][104][105][106] established the Langah Sultanate in Multan. Another prominent name is that of Jasrath Khokhar who helped Sultan Zain Ul Abideen of Kashmir to gain his throne and ruled over vast tracts of Jammu and North Punjab. He also conquered Delhi for a brief period in 1431 but was driven out by Mubarak Shah.[107]

Copper coin of Muzaffar Shah, founder of the Gujarat Sultanate.[102]

During the Mughal era, Saadullah Khan, born into a family of Jat agriculturalists[108] belonging to the Thaheem tribe[109] from Chiniot[110] remained Grand vizier (or Prime Minister) of the Mughal empire in the period 1645-1656.[110] Other prominent Muslims from Punjab who rose to nobility during the Mughal Era include Wazir Khan,[111] Adina Beg Arain,[112] and Shahbaz Khan Kamboh.[113] The Mughal Empire ruled the region until it was severely weakened in the eighteenth century.[21]

As Mughal power weakened, Afghan rulers took control of the region.[21] Contested by Marathas and Afghans, the region was the center of the growing influence of the Sikhs, who expanded and established the Sikh empire as the Mughals and Afghans weakened, ultimately ruling the Punjab, eastern Afghanistan, and territories north into the Himalayas.[21]

Illustration of Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire.

The Sikh Empire ruled the Punjab until the British annexed it in 1849 following the First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars.[114]

Colonial era

Most of the Punjabi homeland formed a province of British India, though a number of small princely states retained local rulers who recognized British authority.[21] The Punjab with its rich farmlands became one of the most important colonial assets.[21] Lahore was a noted center of learning and culture, and Rawalpindi became an important military installation.[21] Most Punjabis supported the British during World War I, providing men and resources to the war effort even though the Punjab remained a source of anti colonial activities.[64]: 163  Disturbances in the region increased as the war continued.[21] At the end of the war, high casualty rates, heavy taxation, inflation, and a widespread influenza epidemic disrupted Punjabi society.[21] In 1919 a British officer ordered his troops to fire on a crowd of demonstrators, mostly Sikhs in Amritsar. The Jallianwala massacre fueled the indian independence movement.[21] Nationalists declared the independence of India from Lahore in 1930 but were quickly suppressed.[21]

The struggle for Indian independence witnessed competing and conflicting interests in the Punjab. When the Second World War broke out, nationalism in British India had already divided into religious movements.[21]The landed elites of the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh communities had loyally collaborated with the British since annexation, supported the Unionist Party and were hostile to the Congress party led independence movement.[115] Amongst the peasantry and urban middle classes, the Hindus were the most active National Congress supporters, the Sikhs flocked to the Akali movement whilst the Muslims eventually supported the Muslim League.[115] Many Sikhs and other minorities supported the Hindus, who promised a secular multicultural and multireligious society, and Muslim leaders in Lahore passed a resolution to work for a Muslim Pakistan, making the Punjab region a center of growing conflict between Indian and Pakistani nationalists.[21]

After the partition of the sub-continent had been decided, special meetings of the Western and Eastern Section of the Legislative Assembly were held on 23 June 1947 to decide whether or not the Province of the Punjab be partitioned. After voting on both sides, partition was decided and the existing Punjab Legislative Assembly was also divided into West Punjab Legislative Assembly and the East Punjab Legislative Assembly. This last Assembly before independence, held its last sitting on 4 July 1947.[116] During this period, the British granted separate independence to India and Pakistan, setting off massive communal violence as Punjabi Muslims fled to Pakistan and Hindu and Sikh Punjabis fled east to India.[21] The Sikhs later demanded a Punjabi-speaking Punjab state with an autonomous Sikh government.[21]

Post-colonial era

During the colonial era, the various districts and princely states that made up Punjab Province were religiously eclectic, each containing significant populations of Punjabi Muslims, Punjabi Hindus, Punjabi Sikhs, Punjabi Christians, along with other ethnic and religious minorities. However, a major consequence of independance and the partition of Punjab Province in 1947 was the sudden shift towards religious homogeneity occurred in all districts across province and region owing to the new international border that cut through the subdivision.

The demographic shift was captured when comparing decadal census data taken in 1941 and 1951 respectively, and was primarily due to wide scale migration but also caused by large-scale religious cleansing riots which were witnessed across the region at the time. According to historical demographer Tim Dyson, in the eastern regions of Punjab that ultimately became Indian Punjab following independence, districts that were 66% Hindu in 1941 became 80% Hindu in 1951; those that were 20% Sikh became 50% Sikh in 1951. Conversely, in the western regions of Punjab that ultimately became Pakistani Punjab, all districts became almost exclusively Muslim by 1951.[117]

In 1966, following Hindu and Sikh Punjabi demands, the Indian government divided Punjab into the state of Punjab and the Hindi majority-speaking states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.[21] The Green Revolution prospered the region in the 1960s improving the agriculture production.[21] Sikh dissatisfaction in the 1980s and 1990s led to violence and the assassination of India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.[21] In recent decades, a massive Punjabi diaspora from both Pakistan and India has resulted in the establishment of Punjabi communities in Europe, other parts of Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and North America.[21]


Castes & tribes

The major tribes of West Punjab (Pakistan) are the Jatts, Rajputs, Arains, Gujjars and Awans.[118]

While in East Punjab (India), Jats are almost 20 per cent of East Punjab's population. The Scheduled Castes constitute almost 32 per cent of its total population and 4.3 per cent of the SCs nationally, official data show. Of more than 35 designated Scheduled Castes in the state, the Mazhabis, the Ravidasias/Ramdasias, the Ad Dharmis, the Valmikis, and the Bazigars together make up around 87 per cent of East Punjab's total Scheduled Caste population. The Ravidasia Hindus and the Ramdasia Sikhs together constitute 26.2 per cent of East Punjab's total Scheduled Caste population. Both Ramdasias and Ravidasias are traditionally linked to leather-related occupations.[119]

During the colonial era, census reports taken in the diverse Punjab Province detailed the various castes, subcastes & tribes, each forming parts of the various ethnic groups across the province, in which the Punjabi people formed a majority.

Castes & Tribes of Punjab Province[66]: 478 
Caste or Tribe Population
Jat 4,167,000 20.03% 4,430,000 19.33% 4,942,000 20.28% 4,957,000 20.83%
Rajput 1,662,000 7.99% 1,759,000 7.68% 1,798,000 7.38% 1,635,000 6.87%
Chamar 1,066,000 5.12% 1,178,000 5.14% 1,208,000 4.96% 1,129,000 4.75%
Brahman 1,069,000 5.14% 1,107,000 4.83% 1,123,000 4.61% 1,018,000 4.28%
Arain 795,000 3.82% 889,000 3.88% 1,007,000 4.13% 978,000 4.11%
Chuhra 1,052,000 5.06% 1,188,000 5.18% 1,189,000 4.88% 926,000 3.89%
Arora 512,000 2.46% 570,000 2.49% 643,000 2.64% 674,000 2.83%
Tarkhan 563,000 2.71% 618,000 2.7% 681,000 2.79% 646,000 2.72%
Julaha 586,000 2.82% 625,000 2.73% 657,000 2.7% 635,000 2.67%
Gujar 552,000 2.65% 614,000 2.68% 632,000 2.59% 610,000 2.56%
Kumhar 467,000 2.25% 515,000 2.25% 569,000 2.34% 550,000 2.31%
Baloch 310,000 1.49% 359,000 1.57% 468,000 1.92% 532,000 2.24%
Khatri 393,000 1.89% 419,000 1.83% 436,000 1.79% 433,000 1.82%
Awan 332,000 1.6% 369,000 1.61% 421,000 1.73% 426,000 1.79%
Mochi 332,000 1.6% 380,000 1.66% 415,000 1.7% 419,000 1.76%
Bania 437,000 2.1% 442,000 1.93% 452,000 1.85% 404,000 1.7%
Kanet 346,000 1.66% 370,000 1.61% 390,000 1.6% 404,000 1.7%
Jhinwar 426,000 2.05% 468,000 2.04% 460,000 1.89% 360,000 1.51%
Nai 324,000 1.56% 357,000 1.56% 376,000 1.54% 350,000 1.47%
Sheikh 336,000 1.62% 332,000 1.45% 321,000 1.32% 339,000 1.42%
Lohar 291,000 1.4% 323,000 1.41% 351,000 1.44% 323,000 1.36%
Mussalli N/A N/A N/A N/A 57,000 0.23% 310,000 1.3%
Teli 261,000 1.25% 301,000 1.31% 322,000 1.32% 296,000 1.24%
Pathan 188,000 0.9% 195,000 0.85% 284,000 1.17% 292,000 1.23%
Faqir 114,000 0.55% 313,000 1.37% 386,000 1.58% 280,000 1.18%
Machhi 161,000 0.77% 189,000 0.82% 236,000 0.97% 280,000 1.18%
Sayyid 200,000 0.96% 215,000 0.94% 238,000 0.98% 247,000 1.04%
Mirasi 192,000 0.92% 229,000 1% 247,000 1.01% 227,000 0.95%
Ahir 173,000 0.83% 196,000 0.86% 205,000 0.84% 209,000 0.88%
Kashmiri 152,000 0.73% 196,000 0.86% 193,000 0.79% 178,000 0.75%
Dagi & Koli 176,000 0.85% 170,000 0.74% 155,000 0.64% 175,000 0.74%
Kamboh 130,000 0.62% 151,000 0.66% 174,000 0.71% 172,000 0.72%
Ghirath 160,000 0.77% 174,000 0.76% 170,000 0.7% 171,000 0.72%
Sunar 145,000 0.7% 163,000 0.71% 177,000 0.73% 158,000 0.66%
Dhobi 124,000 0.6% 139,000 0.61% 147,000 0.6% 156,000 0.66%
Meo 116,000 0.56% 121,000 0.53% 147,000 0.6% 130,000 0.55%
Chhimba 103,000 0.5% 145,000 0.63% 152,000 0.62% 129,000 0.54%
Qassab 92,000 0.44% 108,000 0.47% 118,000 0.48% 120,000 0.5%
Saini 153,000 0.74% 125,000 0.55% 127,000 0.52% 113,000 0.47%
Mali 66,000 0.32% 181,000 0.79% 113,000 0.46% 104,000 0.44%
Mughal 92,000 0.44% 118,000 0.51% 98,000 0.4% 99,000 0.42%
Rathi 85,000 0.41% 101,000 0.44% 88,000 0.36% 98,000 0.41%
Maliar N/A N/A N/A N/A 81,000 0.33% 90,000 0.38%
Dhanuk 66,000 0.32% 74,000 0.32% 77,000 0.32% 83,000 0.35%
Jogi-Rawal 90,000 0.43% 91,000 0.4% 76,000 0.31% 83,000 0.35%
Mahtam 52,000 0.25% 57,000 0.25% 83,000 0.34% 82,000 0.34%
Dumna 71,000 0.34% 69,000 0.3% 69,000 0.28% 79,000 0.33%
Mallah 62,000 0.3% 77,000 0.34% 73,000 0.3% 78,000 0.33%
Qureshi N/A N/A N/A N/A 53,000 0.22% 71,000 0.3%
Dogar 63,000 0.01% 70,000 0.01% 75,000 0.01% 68,000 0.29%
Barwala 55,000 0.26% 64,000 0.28% 69,000 0.28% 64,000 0.27%
Khoja 62,000 0.3% 90,000 0.39% 99,000 0.41% 63,000 0.26%
Khokhar 36,000 0.17% 130,000 0.57% 108,000 0.44% 60,000 0.25%
Bharai 56,000 0.27% 67,000 0.29% 66,000 0.27% 58,000 0.24%
Labana 47,000 0.23% 55,000 0.24% 56,000 0.23% 58,000 0.24%
Other 1,319,995 6.35% 1,229,894 5.37% 1,009,113 4.14% 1,162,841 4.89%
Total population 20,800,995 100% 22,915,894 100% 24,367,113 100% 23,791,841 100%

Religions in Punjab

Rig Veda is the oldest Hindu text that originated in the Punjab region.

The Punjabi people first practiced Hinduism, the oldest recorded religion in the Punjab region.[120] The historical Vedic religion constituted the religious ideas and practices in the Punjab during the Vedic period (1500–500 BCE).[121][122][123][124] It is one of the major traditions which shaped Hinduism, though present-day Hinduism is markedly different from the historical Vedic religion.[123][125][note 1] The bulk of the Rigveda was composed in the Punjab region between circa 1500 and 1200 BC,[126] while later Vedic scriptures were composed more eastwards, between the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. An ancient Indian law book called the Manusmriti, developed by Brahmin Hindu priests, shaped Punjabi religious life from 200 BC onward.[127] Later, the spread of Buddhism and Jainism in the Indian subcontinent saw the growth of Buddhism and Jainism in the Punjab.[128] Islam was introduced via southern Punjab in the 8th century, becoming the majority by the 16th century, via local conversion.[129][130] There was a small Jain community left in Punjab by the 16th century, while the Buddhist community had largely disappeared by the turn of the 10th century.[131] The region became predominantly Muslim due to missionary Sufi saints whose dargahs dot the landscape of the Punjab region.[132] The rise of Sikhism in the 1700s saw some Punjabis, both Hindu and Muslim, accepting the new Sikh faith.[127][133] A number of Punjabis during the colonial period of India became Christians, with all of these religions characterizing the religious diversity now found in the Punjab region.[127]

During the colonial era, the practice of religious syncretism among Punjabi Muslims and Punjabi Hindus was noted and documented by officials in census reports:

"In other parts of the Province, too, traces of Hindu festivals are noticeable among the Muhammadans. In the western Punjab, Baisakhi, the new year's day of the Hindus, is celebrated as an agricultural festival, by all Muhammadans, by racing bullocks yoked to the well gear, with the beat of tom-toms, and large crowds gather to witness the show, The race is called Baisakhi and is a favourite pastime in the well-irrigated tracts. Then the processions of Tazias, in Muharram, with the accompaniment of tom-toms, fencing parties and bands playing on flutes and other musical instruments (which is disapproved by the orthodox Muhammadans) and the establishment of Sabils (shelters where water and sharbat are served out) are clearly influenced by similar practices at Hindu festivals, while the illuminations on occasions like the Chiraghan fair of Shalamar (Lahore) are no doubt practices answering to the holiday-making instinct of the converted Hindus."[66]: 174 

"Besides actual conversion, Islam has had a considerable influence on the Hindu religion. The sects of reformers based on a revolt from the orthodoxy of Varnashrama Dharma were obviously the outcome of the knowledge that a different religion could produce equally pious and right thinking men. Laxity in social restrictions also appeared simultaneously in various degrees and certain customs were assimilated to those of the Muhammadans. On the other hand the miraculous powers of Muhammadan saints were enough to attract the saint worshiping Hindus, to allegiance, if not to a total change of faith... The Shamsis are believers in Shah Shamas Tabrez of Multan, and follow the Imam, for the time being, of the Ismailia sect of Shias... they belong mostly to the Sunar caste and their connection with the sect is kept a secret, like Freemasonry. They pass as ordinary Hindus, but their devotion to the Imam is very strong."[66]: 130 

— Excerpts from the Census of India (Punjab Province), 1911 AD

Modern era

Religion in Punjab Region (2011 and 2017)[134][135][136]

  Islam (60.13%)
  Hinduism (28.54%)
  Sikhism (9.5%)
  Christianity (1.43%)
  Others (0.33%)

Due to religious tensions, emigration between Punjabi people started far before the partition and dependable records.[137][138] Shortly prior to the Partition of India, Punjab had a slight majority Muslim population at about 53.2% in 1941, which was an increase from the previous years.[139] With the division of Punjab and the subsequent independence of Pakistan and later India in 1947, mass migrations of Muslims from Indian Punjab to Pakistan, and those of Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan to Indian Punjab occurred, making Pakistani Punjab almost entirely Muslim and the Indian Punjab almost entirely non-Muslim.

Today the majority of Pakistani Punjabis follow Islam with a small Christian minority, and less Sikh and Hindu populations, while the majority of Indian Punjabis are either Sikhs or Hindus with a Muslim minority. Punjab is also the birthplace of Sikhism and the movement Ahmadiyya.[140]

Following the independence of Pakistan and the subsequent partition, a process of population exchange took place in 1947 as Muslims began to leave India and headed to the newly created Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs left Pakistan[141] for independent India.[142] As a result of these population exchanges, both parts are now relatively homogeneous, as far as religion is concerned.

Population trends for major religious groups in the Punjab Province of the British India(1881–1941)[143]



% 1881


% 1891


% 1901


% 1911[g]


% 1921


% 1931


% 1941

Islam 47.6% 47.8% 49.6% 51.1% 51.1% 52.4% 53.2%
Hinduism 43.8% 43.6% 41.3% 35.8% 35.1% 30.2% 29.1%
Sikhism 8.2% 8.2% 8.6% 12.1% 12.4% 14.3% 14.9%
Christianity 0.1% 0.2% 0.3% 0.8% 1.3% 1.5% 1.5%
Other religions / No religion 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% 1.6% 1.3%

Punjabi Muslims

Punjabi Muslims are found almost exclusively in Pakistan with 97% of Punjabis who live in Pakistan following Islam, in contrast to Punjabi Sikhs and Punjabi Hindus who predominantly live in India.[19]

Forming the majority of the Punjabi ethnicity in the greater Punjab region,[144] Punjabi Muslims write the Punjabi language under the Perso-Arabic script known as Shahmukhi. With a population of more than 80 million,[145][146]they are the largest ethnic group in Pakistan and the world's third-largest Islam-adhering ethnicity[147] after Arabs[148] and Bengalis.[149] The majority of Punjabi Muslims are adherents of Sunni Islam, while a minority adhere to Shia Islam and other sects, including the Ahmadiyya community which originated in Punjab during the British Raj.

Punjabi Hindus

In the Indian state of Punjab, Punjabi Hindus make up approximately 38.5% of the state's population and are a majority in the Doaba region. Punjabi Hindus forms majority in five districts of Punjab, namely, Pathankot, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Fazilka and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar districts.[150]

During the 1947 partition, many Hindkowan and Punjabi Hindus from West Punjab and North-West Frontier Province settled in Delhi. Determined from 1991 and 2015 estimates, Punjabi Hindus form approximately 24 to 35 per cent of Delhi's population;[h][i] based on 2011 official census counts, this amounts to between 4,029,106 and 5,875,779 people.[152]

Following the large scale exodus that took place during the 1947 partition, there remains a small Punjabi Hindu community in Pakistan today. According to the 2017 Census, there are about 200,000 Hindus in Punjab province, forming approximately 0.2% of the total population.[153] Much of the community resides in the primarily rural South Punjab districts of Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur where they form 3.12% and 1.12% of the population respectively, [154][155]while the rest are concentrated in urban centres such as Lahore.[156][157] Punjabi Hindus in India use Nāgarī script to write the Hindi and Punjabi languages.[158]

Punjabi Sikhs

Sikhism from Sikh, meaning a "disciple", or a "learner", is a monotheistic religion originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent during the 15th century.[159][160] The fundamental beliefs of Sikhism, articulated in the sacred scripture Guru Granth Sahib, include faith and meditation on the name of the one creator, unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice for the benefit and prosperity of all, and honest conduct and livelihood while living a householder's life.[161][162][163] Being one of the youngest amongst the major world religions, with 25-28 million adherents worldwide, Sikhism is the fifth- largest religion in the world.

The Sikhs form a majority of close to 58% in the modern day Punjab, India.

Gurmukhi is the writing script used by Sikhs and for scriptures of Sikhism. It is used in official documents in parts of India and elsewhere.[158] The tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh (1666 – 1708) established the Khalsa Brotherhood, and set for them a code of conduct.[164][165]

Punjabi Christians

Most of the modern Punjabi Christians are descended from converts during British rule; initially, conversions to Christianity came from the "upper levels of Punjab society, from the privileged and prestigious", including "high caste" Hindu families, as well as Muslim families.[166][167][168] However, other modern Punjabi Christians have converted from the Chuhra group. The Churas were largely converted to Christianity in North India during the British Raj. The vast majority were converted from the Hindu Chura communities of Punjab, and to a lesser extent Mazhabi Sikhs; under the influence of enthusiastic army officers and Christian missionaries. Large numbers of Mazhabi Sikhs were also converted in the Moradabad district and the Bijnor district[169] of Uttar Pradesh. Rohilkhand saw a mass conversion of its entire population of 4500 Mazhabi Sikhs into the Methodist Church.[170] Sikh organisations became alarmed at the rate of conversions among high caste Sikh families, and as a result, they responded by immediately dispatching Sikh missionaries to counteract the conversions.[171]


Punjabi culture grew out of the settlements along the five rivers, which served as an important route to the Near East as early as the ancient Indus Valley civilization, dating back to 3000 BCE.[27] Agriculture has been the major economic feature of the Punjab and has therefore formed the foundation of Punjabi culture, with one's social status being determined by landownership.[27] The Punjab emerged as an important agricultural region, especially following the Green Revolution during the mid-1960's to the mid-1970's, has been described as the "breadbasket of both India and Pakistan".[27] Besides being known for agriculture and trade, the Punjab is also a region that over the centuries has experienced many foreign invasions and consequently has a long-standing history of warfare, as the Punjab is situated on the principal route of invasions through the northwestern frontier of the Indian subcontinent, which promoted to adopt a lifestyle that entailed engaging in warfare to protect the land.[27] Warrior culture typically elevates the value of the community's honour (izzat), which is highly esteemed by Punjabis.[27]


Punjabi, sometimes spelled Panjabi,[j] is an Indo-Aryan language natively spoken by the Punjabi people.

Punjabi is the most popular first language in Pakistan, with 80.5 million native speakers as per the 2017 census, and the 11th most popular in India, with 31.1 million native speakers, as per the 2011 census.

The language is spoken among a significant overseas diaspora, particularly in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

In Pakistan, Punjabi is written using the Shahmukhi alphabet, based on the Perso-Arabic script; in India, it is written using the Gurmukhi alphabet, based on the Indic scripts. Punjabi is unusual among the Indo-Aryan languages and the broader Indo-European language family in its usage of lexical tone.[172]

Punjabi developed from Prakrit languages and later Apabhraṃśa (Sanskrit: अपभ्रंश, 'deviated' or 'non-grammatical speech')[173] From 600 BCE, Sanskrit was advocated as official language and Prakrit gave birth to many regional languages in different parts of India. All these languages are called Prakrit (Sanskrit: प्राकृत, prākṛta) collectively. Paishachi Prakrit was one of these Prakrit languages, which was spoken in north and north-western India and Punjabi developed from this Prakrit. Later in northern India Paishachi Prakrit gave rise to Paishachi Aparbhsha, a descendant of Prakrit.[174] Punjabi emerged as an Apabhramsha, a degenerated form of Prakrit, in the 7th century CE and became stable by the 10th century. The earliest writings in Punjabi belong to Nath Yogi era from 9th to 14th century CE.[175] The language of these compositions is morphologically closer to Shauraseni Apbhramsa, though vocabulary and rhythm is surcharged with extreme colloquialism and folklore.[175] The Arabic and modern Persian influence in the historical Punjab region began with the late first millennium Muslim conquests on the Indian subcontinent.[176] Many Persian and Arabic words were incorporated in Punjabi.[177][178] So Punjabi relies heavily on Persian and Arabic words which are used with a liberal approach to language. After the fall of the Sikh empire, Urdu was made the official language of Punjab (in Pakistani Punjab, it is still the primary official language), and influenced the language as well.[179]

Traditional dress


A Dastar is an item of headgear associated with Sikhism and is an important part of the Punjabi and Sikh culture. Among the Sikhs, the dastār is an article of faith that represents equality, honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. The Khalsa Sikh men and women, who keep the Five Ks, wear the turban to cover their long, uncut hair (kesh). The Sikhs regard the dastār as an important part of the unique Sikh identity. After the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur, was sentenced to death by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru created the Khalsa and gave five articles of faith, one of which is unshorn hair, which the dastār covers.[180] Prior to Sikhi, only kings, royalty, and those of high stature wore turbans, but Sikh Gurus adopted the practice to assert equality and sovereignty among people.[181]

Punjabi traditional dress in India
Punjabi suit

A Punjabi suit that features two items - a qameez (top), salwar (bottom) is the traditional attire of the Punjabi people.[182][183][184] Shalwars are trousers which are atypically wide at the waist but which narrow to a cuffed bottom. They are held up by a drawstring or elastic belt, which causes them to become pleated around the waist.[185] The trousers can be wide and baggy, or they can be cut quite narrow, on the bias. The kameez is a long shirt or tunic.[186] The side seams are left open below the waist-line (the opening known as the chaak[note 2]), which gives the wearer greater freedom of movement. The kameez is usually cut straight and flat; older kameez use traditional cuts; modern kameez are more likely to have European-inspired set-in sleeves. The combination garment is sometimes called salwar kurta, salwar suit, or Punjabi suit.[188][189] The shalwar-kameez is a widely-worn,[190][191] and national dress,[192] of Pakistan. When women wear the shalwar-kameez in some regions, they usually wear a long scarf or shawl called a dupatta around the head or neck.[193] The dupatta is also employed as a form of modesty—although it is made of delicate material, it obscures the upper body's contours by passing over the shoulders. For Muslim women, the dupatta is a less stringent alternative to the chador or burqa (see hijab and purdah); for Sikh and Hindu women, the dupatta is useful when the head must be covered, as in a temple or the presence of elders.[194] Everywhere in South Asia, modern versions of the attire have evolved; the shalwars are worn lower down on the waist, the kameez have shorter length, with higher splits, lower necklines and backlines, and with cropped sleeves or without sleeves.[195]


Bhangra describes dance-oriented popular music with Punjabi rhythms, developed since the 1980s. Sufi music and Qawali, commonly practiced in Punjab, Pakistan; are other important genres in the Punjab region.[196][197]


Punjabi dances are performed either by men or by women. The dances range from solo to group dances and also sometimes dances are done along with traditional musical instruments. Bhangra is one of the most famous dances originating in the Punjab by farmers during the harvesting season. It was mainly performed while farmers did agricultural chores. As they did each farming activity they would perform bhangra moves on the spot.[198] This allowed them to finish their job in a pleasurable way. For many years, farmers performed bhangra to showcase a sense of accomplishment and to welcome the new harvesting season.[199] Traditional bhangra is performed in a circle[200] and is performed using traditional dance steps. Traditional bhangra is now also performed on occasions other than during the harvest season.[201][202]

Folk tales

The folk tales of Punjab include Heer Ranjha, Mirza Sahiban, Sohni Mahiwal.[203][204]


The Punjabi Muslims typically observe the Islamic festivals.[205][206] The Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus typically do not observe these, and instead observe Lohri, Basant and Vaisakhi as seasonal festivals.[207] The Punjabi Muslim festivals are set according to the lunar Islamic calendar (Hijri), and the date falls earlier by 10 to 13 days from year to year.[208] The Hindu and Sikh Punjabi seasonal festivals are set on specific dates of the luni-solar Bikrami calendar or Punjabi calendar and the date of the festival also typically varies in the Gregorian calendar but stays within the same two Gregorian months.[209]

Some Punjabi Muslims participate in the traditional, seasonal festivals of the Punjab region: Baisakhi, Basant and to a minor scale Lohri, but this is controversial. Islamic clerics and some politicians have attempted to ban this participation because of the religious basis of the Punjabi festivals,[210] and they being declared haram (forbidden in Islam).[211]

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Punjabis comprise 44.7% (108,586,959) of Pakistan's total population of 242,923,845 per May 2022 estimate by the World Factbook.[5]
  2. ^ This figure comprises speakers of the Punjabi language in India. Ethnic Punjabis who no longer speak the language are not included in this number.
  3. ^ Punjabis comprise 2.7% (37,520,211) of India's total population of 1,389,637,446 per May 2022 estimate by the World Factbook.[6]
  4. ^ Statistic includes all speakers of the Punjabi language, as many multi-generation individuals do not speak the language as a mother tongue, but instead as a second or third language.
  5. ^ Punjabis comprise 44.7% (108,586,959) of Pakistan's total population of 242,923,845 per May 2022 estimate by the World Factbook.[5]
  6. ^ Craterus supervised the construction. These cities are yet to be identified.
  7. ^ Delhi district is made into a separate territory
  8. ^ “The most important section among settlers is the Punjabis who are estimated to constitute around 35 percent of the population."[151]
  9. ^ “Though Punjabis constitute a mere twenty-four per cent of so of the capital city's population, on average they hold fifty-three per cent of the available managerial positions."[74]
  10. ^ Punjabi is the British English spelling, and Pañjābī is the Romanized spelling from the native script(s).


  1. ^ Punjabis at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  2. ^ a b "Abstract Of Speakers' Strength Of Languages And Mother Tongues - 2011" (PDF). Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Pakistan Census 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Pakistan Census 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e "South Asia :: Pakistan — The World Fact book - Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  6. ^ "South Asia :: India — The World Fact book - Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 8 May 2022.
  7. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (17 August 2022). "Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population Profile table Canada [Country]". Retrieved 18 August 2022.
  8. ^ McDonnell, John (5 December 2006). "Punjabi Community". House of Commons. Retrieved 3 August 2016. We now estimate the Punjabi community at about 700,000, with Punjabi established as the second language certainly in London and possibly within the United Kingdom.
  9. ^ "US Census Bureau American Community Survey (2009-2013) See Row #62".
  10. ^ "Top ten languages spoken at home in Australia". Archived from the original on 9 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Malaysia". Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Punjabi community involved in money lending in Philippines braces for 'crackdown' by new President". 18 May 2016.
  13. ^ "New Zealand". Stats New Zealand. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
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  18. ^ "C-1 Population By Religious Community - 2011". Archived from the original (XLS) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
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  20. ^ "Punjabis". Encyclopaedia.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Minahan, James (2012). Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 257–259. ISBN 978-1-59884-659-1.
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  43. ^ Rajesh Bala (2005). "Foreign Invasions and their Effect on Punjab". In Sukhdial Singh (ed.). Punjab History Conference, Thirty-seventh Session, March 18-20, 2005: Proceedings. Punjabi University. p. 80. ISBN 978-81-7380-990-3. The word Punjab is a compound of two words-Panj (Five) and aab (Water), thus signifying the land of five waters or rivers. This origin can perhaps be traced to panch nada, Sanskrit for 'Five rivers' the word used before the advent of Muslims with a knowledge of Persian to describe the meeting point of the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej rivers, before they joined the Indus.
  44. ^ Lassen, Christian. 1827. Commentatio Geographica atque Historica de Pentapotamia Indica [A Geographical and Historical Commentary on Indian Pentapotamia]. Weber. p. 4: "That part of India which today we call by the Persian name ''Penjab'' is named Panchanada in the sacred language of the Indians; either of which names may be rendered in Greek by Πενταποταμια. The Persian origin of the former name is not at all in doubt, although the words of which it is composed are both Indian and Persian.... But, in truth, that final word is never, to my knowledge, used by the Indians in proper names compounded in this way; on the other hand, there exist multiple Persian names which end with that word, e.g., Doab and Nilab. Therefore, it is probable that the name Penjab, which is today found in all geographical books, is of more recent origin and is to be attributed to the Muslim kings of India, among whom the Persian language was mostly in use. That the Indian name Panchanada is ancient and genuine is evident from the fact that it is already seen in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the most ancient Indian poems, and that no other exists in addition to it among the Indians; for Panchála, which English translations of the Ramayana render with the name of another region, entirely distinct from Pentapotamia...."[whose translation?]
  45. ^ Latif, Syad Muhammad (1891). History of the Panjáb from the Remotest Antiquity to the Present Time. Calcultta Central Press Company. p. 1. The Panjáb, the Pentapotamia of the Greek historians, the north-western region of the empire of Hindostán, derives its name from two Persian words, panj (five), an áb (water, having reference to the five rivers which confer on the country its distinguishing features."
  46. ^ Khalid, Kanwal (2015). "Lahore of Pre Historic Era" (PDF). Journal of the Research Society of Pakistan. 52 (2): 73. The earliest mention of five rivers in the collective sense was found in Yajurveda and a word Panchananda was used, which is a Sanskrit word to describe a land where five rivers meet. [...] In the later period the word Pentapotamia was used by the Greeks to identify this land. (Penta means 5 and potamia, water ___ the land of five rivers) Muslim Historians implied the word "Punjab " for this region. Again it was not a new word because in Persian-speaking areas, there are references of this name given to any particular place where five rivers or lakes meet.
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  53. ^ Barczewski, Stephanie (22 March 2016). Heroic Failure and the British. Yale University Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780300186819. ..the Sikh state encompassed over 200,000 square miles (518,000 sq km)
  54. ^ Khilani, N. M. (1972). British power in the Punjab, 1839-1858. Asia Publishing House. p. 251. ISBN 9780210271872. ..into existence a kingdom of the Punjab of over 200,000 square miles
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  128. ^ "In ancient Punjab, religion was fluid, not watertight, says Romila Thapar". The Indian Express. 3 May 2019. Thapar said Buddhism was very popular in Punjab during the Mauryan and post-Mauryan period. Bookended between Gandhara in Taxila on the one side where Buddhism was practised on a large scale and Mathura on another side where Buddhism, Jainism and Puranic religions were practised, this religion flourished in the state. But after the Gupta period, Buddhism began to decline.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  129. ^ Rambo, Lewis R.; Farhadian, Charles E. (6 March 2014). The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion. Oxford University Press. pp. 489–491. ISBN 978-0-19-971354-7. First, Islam was introduced into the southern Punjab in the opening decades of the eighth century. By the sixteenth century, Muslims were the majority in the region and an elaborate network of mosques and mausoleums marked the landscape. Local converts constituted the majority of this Muslim community, and as far for the mechanisms of conversion, the sources of the period emphasize the recitation of the Islamic confession of faith (shahada), the performance of the circumsicion (indri vaddani), and the ingestion of cow-meat (bhas khana).
  130. ^ Chhabra, G. S. (1968). Advanced History of the Punjab: Guru and post-Guru period upto Ranjit Singh. New Academic Publishing Company. p. 37.
  131. ^ Rambo, Lewis R.; Farhadian, Charles E. (6 March 2014). The Oxford Handbook of Religious Conversion. Oxford University Press. p. 490. ISBN 978-0-19-971354-7. While Punjabi Hindu society was relatively well established, there was also a small but vibrant Jain community in the Punjab. Buddhist communities, however, had largely disappeared by the turn of the tenth century.
  132. ^ Nicholls, Ruth J.; Riddell, Peter G. (31 July 2020). Insights into Sufism: Voices from the Heart. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-5275-5748-2. With the Muslim conquest of Punjab there was a flow of Sufis and other preachers who came to spread Islam. Much of the advance of Islam was due to these preachers.
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  149. ^ roughly 152 million Bengali Muslims in Bangladesh and 36.4 million Bengali Muslims in the Republic of India (CIA Factbook 2014 estimates, numbers subject to rapid population growth); about 10 million Bangladeshis in the Middle East, 1 million Bengalis in Pakistan, 5 million British Bangladeshi.
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  159. ^ W.Owen Cole; Piara Singh Sambhi (1993). Sikhism and Christianity: A Comparative Study (Themes in Comparative Religion). Wallingford, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-333-54107-4.
  160. ^ Christopher Partridge (1 November 2013). Introduction to World Religions. Fortress Press. pp. 429–. ISBN 978-0-8006-9970-3.
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  163. ^ Teece, Geoff (2004). Sikhism:Religion in focus. Black Rabbit Books. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-58340-469-0.
  164. ^ Cole, W. Owen; Sambhi, Piara Singh (1978). The Sikhs: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices. Routledge. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7100-8842-0.
  165. ^ John M Koller (2016). The Indian Way: An Introduction to the Philosophies & Religions of India. Routledge. pp. 312–313. ISBN 978-1-315-50740-8.
  166. ^ Jones, Kenneth W. (1976). Arya Dharm: Hindu Consciousness in 19th-century Punjab. University of California Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-520-02920-0. Christian conversion followed patterns of previous religious inroads, striking at the two sections of the social structure. Initial conversions came from the upper levels of Punjab society, from the privileged and prestigious. Few in number and won individually, high caste converts accounted for far more public attention and reaction to Christian conversion than the numerically superior successes among the depressed. Repeatedly, conversion or the threat of conversion among students at mission schools, or members of the literate castes, produced a public uproar.
  167. ^ Day, Abby (28 December 2015). Contemporary Issues in the Worldwide Anglican Communion: Powers and Pieties. Ashgate Publishing. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-4724-4415-8. The Anglican mission work in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent was primarily carried out by CMS and USPG in the Punjab Province (Gabriel 2007, 10), which covered most parts of the present state of Pakistan, particularly Lahore, Peshawar and Karachi (Gibbs 1984, 178-203). A native subcontinental church began to take shape with people from humbler backgrounds, while converts from high social caste preferred to attend the worship with the English (Gibbs 1984, 284).
  168. ^ Moghal, Dominic (1997). Human person in Punjabi society: a tension between religion and culture. Christian Study Centre. Those Christians who were converted from the "high caste" families both Hindus and Muslims look down upon those Christians who were converted from the low caste, specially from the untouchables.
  169. ^ Alter, J.P and J. Alter (1986) In the Doab and Rohilkhand: north Indian Christianity, 1815–1915. I.S.P.C.K publishing p183
  170. ^ Alter, J.P and J. Alter (1986) In the Doab and Rohilkhand: north Indian Christianity, 1815–1915. I.S.P.C.K publishing p196
  171. ^ Chadha, Vivek (23 March 2005). Low Intensity Conflicts in India: An Analysis. SAGE Publications. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-7619-3325-0. 'In 1881 there were 3,976 Christians in the Punjab. By 1891 their number had increased to 19,547, by 1901 to 37,980, by 1911 to 163,994 and by 1921 to 315,931 persons' (see Figure 8.1). However, the Sikhs were more alarmed when some of the high caste families starting converting.
  172. ^ Bhatia, Tej (1999). "Lexican Anaphors and Pronouns in Punjabi". In Lust, Barbara; Gair, James (eds.). Lexical Anaphors and Pronouns in Selected South Asian Languages. Walter de Gruyter. p. 637. ISBN 978-3-11-014388-1. Other tonal Indo-Aryan languages include Hindko, Dogri, Western Pahari, Sylheti and some Dardic languages.
  173. ^ Singha, H. S. (2000). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism (over 1000 Entries). Hemkunt Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-81-7010-301-1. Archived from the original on 21 January 2017.
  174. ^ G S Sidhu (2004). Panjab And Panjabi.
  175. ^ a b Hoiberg, Dale (2000). Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5.
  176. ^ Brard, G.S.S. (2007). East of Indus: My Memories of Old Punjab. Hemkunt Publishers. p. 81. ISBN 9788170103608. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  177. ^ Mir, F. (2010). The Social Space of Language: Vernacular Culture in British Colonial Punjab. University of California Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780520262690. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  178. ^ Schiffman, H. (2011). Language Policy and Language Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Neighbors: The Changing Politics of Language Choice. Brill. p. 314. ISBN 9789004201453. Archived from the original on 9 February 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  179. ^ Schiffman, Harold (9 December 2011). Language Policy and Language Conflict in Afghanistan and Its Neighbors: The Changing Politics of Language Choice. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-20145-3.
  180. ^ “Importance of turban in Sikhism”, 29 May 2018.
  181. ^ "Sikh Theology Why Sikhs Wear A Turban". The Sikh Coalition. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  182. ^ Dominique, Grele; Raimbault, Lydie (1 March 2007). Discover Singapore on Foot (2 ed.). Singapore: Select Publishing. p. 35. ISBN 978-981-4022-33-0.
  183. ^ Fraile, Sandra Santos (11 July 2013), "Sikhs in Barcelona", in Blanes, Ruy; Mapril, José (eds.), Sites and Politics of Religious Diversity in Southern Europe: The Best of All Gods, BRILL, p. 263, ISBN 978-90-04-25524-1, The shalwar kamiz was worn traditionally by Muslim women and gradually adopted by many Hindu women following the Muslim conquest of northern India. Eventually, it became the regional style for parts of northern India, as in Punjab where it has been worn for centuries.
  184. ^ Khandelwal, Madhulika Shankar (2002), Becoming American, Being Indian: An Immigrant Community in New York City, Cornell University Press, p. 43, ISBN 0-8014-8807-9, Even highly educated women pursuing careers continue to wear traditional dress in urban India, although men of similar status long ago adopted Western attire. The forms of dress most popular with urban Indian women are the sari, the long wrapped and draped dress-like garment, worn throughout India, and the salwar-kameez or kurta-pyjama, a two-piece suit garment, sometimes also called Punjabi because of its region of origin. Whereas the sari can be considered the national dress of Indian women, the salwar-kameez, though originally from the north, has been adopted all over India as more comfortable attire than the sari.
  185. ^ Stevenson, Angus; Waite, Maurice (2011), Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Book & CD-ROM Set, Oxford University Press, p. 1272, ISBN 978-0-19-960110-3, Salwar/Shalwar: A pair of light, loose, pleated trousers, usually tapering to a tight fit around the ankles, worn by women from South Asia typically with a kameez (the two together being a salwar kameez). Origin From Persian and Urdu šalwār.
  186. ^ Stevenson, Angus; Waite, Maurice (2011), Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Book & CD-ROM Set, Oxford University Press, p. 774, ISBN 978-0-19-960110-3, Kameez: A long tunic worn by many people from South Asia, typically with a salwar or churidars. Origin: From Arabic qamīṣ, perhaps from late Latin camisia (see chemise).
  187. ^ Platts, John Thompson (February 2015) [1884], A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English (online ed.), London: W. H. Allen & Co., p. 418
  188. ^ Shukla, Pravina (2015). The Grace of Four Moons: Dress, Adornment, and the Art of the Body in Modern India. Indiana University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-253-02121-2. You can buy an entire three-piece salwar suit, or a two-piece suit that consists of either a readymade kurta or a kurta cloth piece, each with a matching dupatta. For these, you must have the salwar pants stitched from cloth you buy separately. A third option would be to buy a two-piece ensemble, consisting of the top and pants, leaving you the task of buying an appropriate dupatta, or using one you already own, or buying a strip of cloth and having it dyed to your desire. The end result will always be a three-piece ensemble, but a customer may start with one piece (only the kurta) or two pieces (kurta and pants, or kurta and dupatta), and exercise her creativity and fashion sense to end up with the complete salwar kurta outfit.
  189. ^ Mooney, Nicola (2011), Rural Nostalgias and Transnational Dreams: Identity and Modernity Among Jat Sikhs, University of Toronto Press, p. 260, ISBN 978-0-8020-9257-1, The salwar-kameez is a form of dress that has been adopted widely in Punjab and is now known in English as the Punjabi suit; J. P. S. Uberoi suggests that the salwar-kameez is an Afghani import to Punjab (1998 personal communication). Punjabi forms of dress are therefore constructs or inventions of tradition rather than having historical veracity.
  190. ^ Marsden, Magnus (2005). Living Islam: Muslim Religious Experience in Pakistan's North-West Frontier. Cambridge University Press. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-139-44837-6. The village's men and boys largely dress in sombre colours in the loose trousers and long shirt (shalwar kameez) worn across Pakistan. Older men often wear woollen Chitrali caps (pakol), waistcoats and long coats (chugha), made by Chitrali tailors (darzi) who skills are renowned across Pakistan.
  191. ^ Haines, Chad (2013), Nation, Territory, and Globalization in Pakistan: Traversing the Margins, Routledge, p. 162, ISBN 978-1-136-44997-0, the shalwar kameez happens to be worn by just about everyone in Pakistan, including in all of Gilgit-Baltistan.
  192. ^ Ozyegin, Gul (2016). Gender and Sexuality in Muslim Cultures. Routledge. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-317-13051-2. What is common in all the cases is the wearing of shalwar, kameez, and dupatta, the national dress of Pakistan.
  193. ^ Rait, Satwant Kaur (14 April 2005). Sikh Women In England: Religious, Social and Cultural Beliefs. Trent and Sterling: Trentham Book. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-85856-353-4.
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  1. ^ Michaels (2004, p. 38): "The legacy of the Vedic religion in Hinduism is generally overestimated. The influence of the mythology is indeed great, but the religious terminology changed considerably: all the key terms of Hinduism either do not exist in Vedic or have a completely different meaning. The religion of the Veda does not know the ethicised migration of the soul with retribution for acts (karma), the cyclical destruction of the world, or the idea of salvation during one's lifetime (jivanmukti; moksa; nirvana); the idea of the world as illusion (maya) must have gone against the grain of ancient India, and an omnipotent creator god emerges only in the late hymns of the rgveda. Nor did the Vedic religion know a caste system, the burning of widows, the ban on remarriage, images of gods and temples, Puja worship, Yoga, pilgrimages, vegetarianism, the holiness of cows, the doctrine of stages of life (asrama), or knew them only at their inception. Thus, it is justified to see a turning point between the Vedic religion and Hindu religions."
    Jamison, Stephanie; Witzel, Michael (1992). "Vedic Hinduism" (PDF). Harvard University. p. 3.: "... to call this period Vedic Hinduism is a contradictio in terminis since Vedic religion is very different from what we generally call Hindu religion – at least as much as Old Hebrew religion is from medieval and modern Christian religion. However, Vedic religion is treatable as a predecessor of Hinduism."
    See also Halbfass 1991, pp. 1–2
  2. ^ A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English: chāk derives from the Persian "چاك ćāk, Fissure, cleft, rent, slit, a narrow opening (intentionally left in clothes)."[187]


Further reading

External links