Punjab, the land of five rivers, is counted among the most ancient civilizations on the planet. The state still narrates some of the best stories of bravery of Sikhs and takes you back into some important chapters of history. This agricultural state looks beautiful with endless stretches of greenery and the vibrant cultures sprawling here can be seen in all its festivals and major events. ?
Places to Visit
Amritsar remains the most popular city of Punjab that shines with the grandeur of the Golden temple, the holiest shrine of Sikhs. Also, visit the Jallianwala bagh where bullet marks on the walls still remind cries of innocent people who were killed by the troops of the British Indian Army. Other popular attractions in Amritsar include Akal Takht, Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary, Gurudwara Sri Tarn Taran Sahib, Amritsar Heritage Walk, etc. Do not miss a chance to witness the Wagah Border Ceremony at the border of India from Pakistan. Chandigarh is another beautiful city of Punjab which is also known as the City of Gardens. It is the most well organised city with numerous attractions like Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Pinjore Gardens, Terraced Garden, International Dolls Museum, etc. For experiencing the most vibrant cultures and traditions of Punjab, nothing can be as satisfying as Jalandhar. It brings you some of the most fascinating places to explore which include Imam Nasir Masjid, Tulsi Mandir, Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Museum, Wonderland Theme Park, Devi Talab Mandir, Shiv Mandir, St. Mary’s Cathedral Church, etc. Ludhiana, the largest city of Punjab, is dotted with numerous historical monuments and religious hubs. Visit here to explore Lodhi Fort, Rural Heritage Museum, Punjab Agricultural University Museum, Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum, Phillaur Fort, etc. The erstwhile princely city of Patiala flaunts some of the finest examples of architectural brilliance with places like Qila Mubarak Complex, Moti Bagh Palace, Sheesh Mahal, Darbar Hall, Banur, etc.
Other popular cities of Punjab include Bhatinda, Pathankot, Kapurthala, Mohali, Ropar, etc.
Festivals of Punjab are extravagant representations of its cultural richness. Locals of this state are extremely lively and celebrate all festivities with equal fervour. Lohri, a harvest festival, is celebrated in all parts of Punjab with huge bonfires, folk songs and much more. The advent of spring, Basant Panchami, blankets the state of Punjab with mustard flowers. If you wish to see the largest religious gathering of Punjab, then Hola Mohalla is ideal for you. This three-day festival marks the festival of colours, Holi. Devotees gather in thousands at Anandpur Sahib where Sikhs display their fighting prowess and bravery. Grand Langars are organised where people of all faiths enjoy the religious meal prepared by the devotees only. Baisakhi is another popular festival of the state having both religious and historical significance. ?Fairs and processions are organised in all parts of Punjab during Baisakhi where locals join to showcase their traditions and cultures through singing, dancing, handicrafts, food and much more.
Other popular festivals of Punjab include Gurupurabs, Teeyan, Bhai Dooj, Chappar Mela, Joe Mela and Hariballabh Sangeet Mela.
Punjabi cuisine is world famous for its mouth-watering flavours rich in spices. Locals here are known for their splendid eating habits and food plays an important part in all their festivities. Langar, prepared by religious devotees in the community kitchen, remains a must try dish in Punjab. This includes naan, daal and some Prashad and is savoured by people of all faiths. Butter Chicken can be called the official dish of Punjab that remains on the menu of every restaurant. Amritsari chole Bhature has also earned great popularity due to its mouth-watering flavours. Here you can taste a diverse variety of parathas served with cold curd and pickle. During winter months, one cannot miss Sarson ka Saag served best with Makke ki Roti and lots of butter. No matter what you eat in Punjab, a big glass of lassi is a must.
Punjab is known for long list of lively markets selling impressive handicrafts and handloom products. Travellers can be seen buying things like durries, jutties, woollen shawls, phulkari work, parandis, and Inlaid Furniture from Punjab. Here you can find some of the best street markets like Rainak Bazaar of Jalandhar, Shastri Market, Sector 17 and Palika Bazaar of Chandigarh, and Sector 7 Market of Panchkula. ?
By Air: Amritsar, Chandigarh and Ludhiana are important airports in Punjab. While Amritsar has an international airport, Chandigarh and Ludhiana are domestic ones.
By Rail: Punjab has an extensive railway network with major railheads at Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Ferozepur, etc.
By Road: Road connectivity in Punjab is remarkable and one can easily access even the remotest village here by road.