punjab

The Punjab is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and Delhi in India. The name of the region is Persian in origin and signifies "(The Land of) Five Waters" referring to the following rivers: the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Sutlej, and the Beas. All are tributaries of the Indus River, the Jhelum being the largest.

Punjab has a long history and rich cultural heritage. The people of the Punjab are called Punjabis and their language is called Punjabi. The main religions of the Punjab region are Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. The area now known as the Greater Punjab comprises what were once vast territories of West Pakistan and northern western India. The bigger section of the Punjab at about 60% lies within Islamic Republic of Pakistan and 40% within Republic of India where it has been further divided into three states; Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

According to the Ethnologue 2005 estimate, there are 88 million native speakers of the Punjabi language, which makes it approximately the 12th most widely spoken language in the world. According to the 2008 Census of Pakistan, there are 76,335,300 native Punjabi speakers in Pakistan and according to the 2001 Census of India, there are 29,102,477 Punjabi speakers in India.