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The first known use of the word Punjab is in the book Tarikh-e-Sher Shah Suri (1580), which mentions the construction of a fort by "Sher Khan of Punjab". The first mentioning of the Sanskrit equivalent of 'Punjab', however, occurs in the great epic, the Mahabharata (pancha-nada 'country of five rivers'). The name is mentioned again in Ain-e-Akbari (part 1), written by Abul Fazal, who also in Pakistani Panjab with the tributaries of the other 2 eventually draining there as well. Indian panjab has the headwaters of the remaining 2 rivers which eventually drain over into Pakistan.


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The plains of Punjab and Haryana are dotted with sites of battle, which have shaped India's history. Kurukshetra, Krishna's battlefield in the Mahabharata and Panipat, where Muslim power was established, lie in Haryana just north to Delhi. Amritsar's Golden Temple one of the greatest tresures of North India, is the holiest centre of worship for the Sikhs, whose roots lie in the soil of Punjab. Le Corbusier's specially designed capital, Chandigarh that is modernist in conception and secular in spirit, could scarcely stand in greater contrast.But now Chandigarh is more famous for the quixotic delights of Nek Chand's Rock Garden.The states with their extensivley irrigated plains and industrial towns have become the most productive and affluent regions of India. Although Punjab is mainly an agricultural state, supplying a large proportion of India's rice and wheat, it also has a number of thriving industries, including Hero Bicycles - world's biggest bicycle manufacturer.

Most of the major towns and cities are close to the Grand Trunk road, the great highway from Peshawar to Kolkata, which Rudyard Kipling described as ' bone of all Hind'. Today it is still the route from Delhi into the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. Punjab and Haryana occupy the strategic borderlands between the Indus and Yamuna - Ganga river systems. Well over 1000 kms. from the sea, their gently sloping plains are less than 275 meters above the sea level. In southwest, an the arid borders of Rajasthan, the sand dunes form gentle undulations in the plains.

Traditionally, each state has just main one attraction for the travellers - Amritsar in Punjab and Chattisgarh in Haryana. The state tourism departments are promoting recently many sights of interest, which untill now have largely overlooked by most travellers. However, Punjab in particular has a number of impressive gurdwaras (Sikh Temples) and Moghul monuments straddling it as it cuts across Lahore in Pakistan.

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Devi Talab Mandir is the most prominent place/structure of modern Jalandhar City.
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