Punjab

For many Indians who migrated this side of the border in 1947, Punjab is where home was. Many are still nostalgically attached to the area, an aspect that finds ample reflection in literature, cinema, customs, food and even politics. The heart of north India prior to 1947, even today Pakistan's Punjab is not just larger than its counterpart in India, with three-fifths of Pakistan's people residing here, it is the dominant province of Pakistan as well.

india Updated: Jan 12, 2004 12:39 IST
PTI

For many Indians who migrated this side of the border in 1947, Punjab is where home was. Many are still nostalgically attached to the area, an aspect that finds ample reflection in literature, cinema, customs, food and even politics. The heart of north India prior to 1947, even today Pakistan's Punjab is not just larger than its counterpart in India, with three-fifths of Pakistan's people residing here, it is the dominant province of Pakistan as well.

Main towns: Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Sialkot, Faislabad, Bahawalpur

Geography: The province largely comprises of the plains of the Indus and its tributaries, Chenab, Jhelum, Satlej and Ravi. To the north there is the Potwar Plateau. Punjab's climate is akin to that of northwestern India's with monsoon

Economy: Punjab is widely regarded as the heart of Pakistan's agricultural economy. It produces over two-thirds of the nations' wheat, nearly half its rice, three-fourths of cotton and three fifths of sugarcane. And for the last two decades, Punjab has also been the chief oil producer, with more than half of the domestic crude oil produce coming from the province. Among the chief industries in this mineral-scarce area are cotton, food processing and sports goods.

History: The cradle of the Harappan civilization, Harappa is in fact located in the province, as are many other sites dating to around that period. And this is the area of the Rig Vedic Aryans, who composed most of their hymns here. Later cities like Taxila flourished and became major centres of learning for the entire subcontinent. Buddhist and Greek influences further shaped the region, till the Arab influx altered the character of the province. Long centuries of Islamic dominance was followed by a Sikh interregnum before the British took control.

Places to see:
Tarbela Dam: The world's largest earth fill dam on the Indus is today a scenic spot that attracts thousands annually.
Murree: The original hill station of the Himalayas, before Shimla took over, Murree is sure to remind Indians of0 the hill stations back home.
Lahore: As the name of the name of the famous play goes, Lahore is not be missed place. The social, cultural and economic focus of north India before independence, it still continues to be the nerve centre of Pakistan.

First Published: Jan 02, 2004 21:34 IST