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Punjab Overview

Punjab occupies a prominent portion of the North India. The name is derived from Persian word panj (five) and ab (rivers), and means "Land of Five Rivers". This name is used for all the lands that lie East of River Indus that is drained by its five tributaries; the Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum. The borders of Punjab are shared by Jammu & Kashmir in North, Himachal Pradesh to the East, Haryana to the South and Rajasthan to the West. Punjab is an ancient centre of culture of the Indian subcontinent and it lies within the premises of the world-renowned Harappan civilisation. Punjab is the only Sikh majority state in India and the current state was formed in 1966, the state was divided into three smaller parts - Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Agriculture is the mainstream occupation of this state, and majority of the grain production achieved throughout the year, comes from Punjab as well i.e. 80% wheat and 43% rice production. The state has achieved tremendous growth over the years due to success of Green Revolution during the early 70s. Punjab has also helped other states to achieve self-sufficiency in crop production during the major half of the 20th century. The cuisine of Punjab is rich with copious amount of oil and ghee. Rotis made with wheat and several other grains are a staple in Punjab. Rice is cooked only on occasions. Rotis, parathas, nans with paneer, malai, butter and curd make up for their main food items. They spice up their food with red chillies, turmeric, cumins, coriander, cloves, cinnamom, cardamom, black pepper, etc making spicy and exquisite. Tandoori chicken is a staple for non-vegetarians, so is Paneer for vegetarians. The folk songs of Punjab are full of body and soul. Even the morning ardaas at a Gurudwara can make your heart plummet with so much peace and tranquillity. Punjabi dance forms are full of joyous movements and exuberance. This is the only state where the dance forms for men and women differ from each other. For men there is bhangara, luddi, julli, jhoomer and dankara; whereas for women it is giddha and kikli. The festivals in Punjab is always celebrated with much excitement and fanfare. The Guruparab festival is celebrated by Sikhs to express their veneration towards their Gurus. Being an agricultural state, the festival of Baisakhi is most significant. It is also holds added importance, because it was the same day in 1699, Guru Govind Singh, their tenth guru, organized the Order of the Khalsa.

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