Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article
Pañjāb (Pers., ‘five, water’, i.e. land of five rivers). Punjāb, homeland of the Sikhs. The present NW Indian state of Punjāb was created in 1966, excluding former areas which now comprise Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. The state language is Pañjābī, and Sikhs outnumber Hindus. In 1947 the much larger British Punjāb had been partitioned between Pakistan and India, with the boundary dividing Amritsar from, e.g., Nānkāṇā Sāhib (Talvaṇḍī Rāi Bhoī dī). Thousands of Sikhs moved from east to west but remain anxious for free access to holy places in a relatively (or completely) autonomous homeland: see KHĀLISTĀN.