Deriving its name from five full-bodied rivers–Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Jhelum, and Chenab–which flow through its vast plains, Punjab is representative of abundant things. Located on the north-western edge of India, it is one of the smaller albeit prosperous states of the nation, and home to a lively, hospitable and dynamic people. Widely acknowledged as the cradle of civilization, it is a land of ethnic and religious diversity, having borne and shaped a number of religious movements that include Sikhism, Buddhism and Sufism. The Punjabi language, too, finds its origin in the Indo-European linguistic family that includes Persian and Latin. Naturally replete with fertile soils and rich water sources, it is primarily an agricultural state, and has continually and infinitely contributed towards the food security of the Indian Republic. Punjab’s many festivals–Teej, Lohri, Basant, and Baisakhi, to name some–are celebrations that mirror the farming ethos. Indeed, Bhangra, the traditional dance of Punjab revolves around, and replicates a farmer’s daily life. Historically, Punjab has played host to a number of ethnicities, including the Aryans, Persians, Greeks, Afghans and Mongols, thus bestowed with a rich tangible heritage. Reflecting this history are the countless sites that dot the state impressive forts & palaces, ancient monuments, architectural marvels and many a battlefield.
Things To Do In Punjab
Punjab or land of five rivers is situated in the north western part of the country. One of the most prosperous state of the country, it is known for its beautiful landscapes, cuisine and rich heritage. Here are a few must do things when visiting Punjab- See Flag lowering ceremony at Wagah border- one of the must see experiences in Punjab is to see Indo-Pak retreat ceremony at Wagah border. This daily military practice started in 1959 and happens every evening at the border which is mere 20 kms away from Amritsar. It is witnessed by locals of the both the nations and is a perfect mixture of anger, pride and enthusiasm. Seek blessings at Golden temple- one of the holiest Gurudawara, this temple is situated in Amritsar and is visited by lakhs of people with diverse religious faiths. Built by the fifth guru of Sikhs, and a must visit for people who are looking to calm their senses and experience tranquility. Experience history in Jallianwala bagh-This historical garden is located in Amritsar and is where a crowd of non violent protesters was massacred by General Dyer. The garden has a memorial and is visited by almost everyone visiting Amritsar. Revel in marvel of rock garden- No one is ignorant of the Nek Chand’s Rock garden. Situated in Chandigarh, the sculpture garden spreads over 40 acres and showcases creations made out of waste material like bangles, wires and kitchenware. Get a glimpse of Gatka at Fatehgarh sahib- Gatka is an ancient sikh martial art form which is native to the land of Punjab. Shaheedi Jor Mela is organized every year in the month of December at Fatehgarh fort and showcases children as small as 5 years old performing jaw dropping Gatka acts. Click a selfie at RDB fort- situated on Ludhiana highway, the Doraha fort became famous after being showcased in the famous movie Rang de basanti. The fort is around 2 hours away from Chandigarh and is a famous picnic spot among youth. Do boating at Sukhna Lake- one of the most popular tourist spot in Chandigarh; it is flocked by locals and tourists alike. People here can enjoy boating, sunset and just get in sync with nature.
Places To See In Punjab
Amritsar-The spiritual capital of Punjab, Amritsar is famous because of Golden temple and Jallianwala bagh. It gets its name from the holy lake surrounding golden temple and is only 50 kms away from Lahore. Some of the must see places when in Amritsar are- Durgiana temple, Khalsa college, Rambagh garden and Tara taran sahib. Chandigarh- The capital city of Punjab is surely the best planned city of the country. It is a clear example of how modernization doesn’t have to come at the expense of natural resources. Some of popular attractions in Chandigarh are –Morni hills, Timber trails, Garden of fragrance and Butterfly Park. Ludhiana- This largest city in the state is situated on the banks of river Sutlej and is 100 kms away from Chandigarh. The state played an important role in the freedom struggle and has rich history. Spots like Lodhi fort, Deer park, Maharaja ranjit singh fort and Phillaur fort are some of the must visit places in Ludhiana. Jalandhar- One of the oldest city in Punjab, it is known for its rich heritage and is even gets a mention in Mahabharata. Rangla Punjab haveli, Tulsi Mandir and Wonderland theme park are some of the must see places in Jalandhar. It is also one of the country’s leading sports good manufacturers. Bhatinda- Situated in the southern part of the state, Bhatinda is another ancient city in Punjab. It is the land which has monuments as old as 3000 BC and has witnessed numerous fights between the Sikhs and Mughals. Bhatinda fort, Rose garden and Bathinda lake are some of the must see places. Patiala- The princely state of Punjab, Patiala is famous for newspaper and architecture. It is a perfect amalgamation of Rajput, Punjabi and Mughal culture. Tourists usually throng spots like Banur, Samana, Kali temple and Darbar hall when in Kapurthala- also known as the “Paris of Punjab”, it is known for its beautiful architecture and mesmerizing beauty. This is the city where Guru Nanak Dev ji attained enlightenment in 1499. Panj mandir, Moorish mosque and Shalimar garden are some of the must visit place.
Food And Shopping In Punjab
Food The Punjabi cuisine is not for the faint hearted. The cuisine is known for its strong flavors, spices and liberal use of butter and ghee. Some of the famous vegetarian Punjabi dishes are Rajma Chawal, Aloo parantha, Kadhi and Makki ki roti with Sarson da saag. Mutton and Chicken is a staple in Punjabi cuisine and famous worldwide. People from all across the globe come to Punjab just to taste the authentic dishes like Butter chicken and Tandoori chicken. Milk and milk products are another highlight of the cuisine. No meal is complete without a big dollop of curd and a big glass of buttermilk. Gulab jamun, kheer, jalebi and rabri are some of the mouth watering famous Punjabi desserts. Shopping Not only for food lovers, Punjab is also a heaven for shopaholics. There is something for everyone to buy. The markets are full lively and full of local crafts to buy. Traditional embroidered jutti, phulkari, salwar kameez, embroidered bedcovers, woolen garments, carpets or low priced electrical goods. Shawls are another highlight of Punjabi markets and are exported all across the world.
How To Reach Punjab
The bus services driving into Punjab are well maintained. There are options of choosing between basic and air conditioned buses. The Samjhauta express bus connects Lahore and Delhi via Punjab. By Taxi The best way to reach Punjab is by road. National and state highways are well maintained and connect the state to the rest of the country. There are lots of dhabas and motels on way to Punjab. Cabs are easily available and it takes around 7 hours to reach Amritsar and 5 hours to reach Chandigarh from Delhi. By Train Regular trains operate between Chandigarh. Amritsar, Ludhiana to Delhi, Kolkata and Varanasi. Shatabdi express connects Amritsar directly to Delhi. By Air The two main airports in Punjab are Amritsar and Ludhiana which is connected to Delhi and other major cities of the country. Chandigarh, the capital city of Punjab also has a domestic terminal and connects that state to the rest of the country. Nearest Airport- Sahnewal Airport Punjab Chandigarh Distance from nearby Places Punjab from Delhi: 251 Kilometers Punjab from Shimla: 113 Kilometers Punjab from Jammu: 343 Kilometers Punjab from Jaipur: 530 Kilometers Punjab from Dehradun: 163 Kilometers Punjab from Haryana: 275 Kilometers