Punjab is a state in northwest India. The Indian state borders the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west, Jammu and Kashmir to the north, Himachal Pradesh to the northeast, Haryana to the south and southeast, Chandigarh to the southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest. The total area of the state is 50,362 square kilometres (19,445 square miles). The population is 24,289,296 (2000). Punjab’s capital is Chandigarh, which is administered separately as a Union Territory since it is also the capital of neighbouring Haryana. Other major cities of Punjab include Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala. The state is the location of one of the world’s first and oldest civilizations, the Indus Valley Civilization, India’s first civilization.
The Indian Punjab historically forms a part of the larger Punjab region, which includes some parts of Afghanistan, Pakistani province of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province, the Indian states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, parts of J&K and Delhi and the Union Territory of Chandigarh. Indian Punjab was trifurcated in the year 1966 leading to the formation of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab. Others major industries include the manufacture of scientific instruments, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilizers, bicycles, garments, and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Punjab is considered to have the best infrastructure in India , this includes road, rail, air and river transport links that are extensive throughout the region.
Minerals reported to occur in the state are quartz and silica sand in Hoshiyarpur district; and quartzite in Hoshiyarpur and Ropar districts. Besides sulphur is recovered as by-product in the fertilizer plants.