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Punjab Province (British India)

Punjab
پنجاب
Province

2 April 1849–1947
 

Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Location of Punjab
Map of British Punjab 1909
Capital Lahore
* Murree 1873-1875 (Summer)
* Shimla 1876-1947 (Summer)
Historical era New Imperialism
 •  Established 2 April 1849
 •  Partition of India 14–15 August 1947
Today part of  India
 Pakistan

Punjab, also spelled Panjab, was a province of British India. Most of the Punjab region was annexed by the East India Company in 1849, and was one of the last areas of the Indian subcontinent to fall under British control. It comprised five administrative divisions — Delhi, Jullunder, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi — and a number of princely states.

The partition of India led to the province being divided into East Punjab and West Punjab, belonging to the newly created Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan respectively.

The Punjab, named for the five rivers by which it is watered, comes from the Persian words "Punch" (Panch in Hindi and Urdu) meaning "five", and "Aap" meaning "water". By the rules of Sanskrit grammar, when "Punch" and "Aap" are joined together, the pronunciation becomes "Punjab". The rivers are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, which are all tributaries of the Indus.

Geographically, the province was 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.


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