…Punj means 5 ,aab means water ,..the land of five rivers Jhelum,Chenab,Ravi,Beas
that are the tributaries of River Indus ..home to the great civilization …Indus Valley Civilization. Peopled with loud ,boisterous ,simple folks whose primary occupation is agriculture .Punjabis believe in working hard ,are foodies, they like drinks are friendly
hospitable and believe in celebrating every little event with dancing the ‘bhangra’ ‘gidha’by speaking out their mind in ‘tappas’…a sort of modern rap !The inhabitants are from all caste and creed
Hindus,Muslims,Sikhs,ChristainsParsis,KashmirisMarwaries,Gujraties,Bengalies,Biharis..who have been attracted to this place for different reasons. In Punjab
if one sees devout worshippers and extremely religious people , it has notorious gamblers and smugglers too!
is seeped in history . It is a part of Indus Valley Civilization 4000 years old .The main site of the city of Harrapa
has been to different people at different times …Greeks ,Central Asians ,Persians,
Arrival of Islam, Punjabi Muslims ,Mughals Afghans ,Marathas and sikhs .1947 was the heart rending Partition(Mr.Khushwant Singh has captured the anguish in his book’A Train To Pakistan’) and Punjab was split between West and East Punjab
. Punjab in independent India
comprised of what is now Himachal PradesDelhi,Haryana,Chandigarh
. Today Punjab
is miniscule in area as compared to its original spread. Today it has 22 districts .The capital is Chandigarh
The following are the 22 districts…alphabetically
- Fatehgarh Saheb.
- Navan Shahar
- Muktsar Saheb
- Taran taran Saheb.
The major cities of are Amritsar
was founded by Guru Ramdasji the forth guru in 1599.It is a city with a hallowed personality .It has the historic Golden temple surrounded by a tank full of nectar (Amrit i.e. nectar sar i.e. a tank!)It is a place of pilgrimage Jallaian Wala bagh another must see site is a national memorial .The Durgiana Mandir is an ancient temple of Devi
revered by all. Maharaja Ranjit Singh developed it as his summer capital .He built a Palace in the midst of Ram Bagh a beautifully laid out garden . Today the Punjab Government’s Archaeological dept. has set up a museum of the various relics of the Maharaja’s rule .Three posh clubs are now housed in the RamBagh.Wagah:Village on the
Indo-Pak border is 27 kms from Amritsar city .The Wagah border closing i.e lowering of the flags ceremony is a daily military practice that the security forces of India and Pakistan have jointly followed since 1959.
The whole place is full of spectators who throng to see the disciplined fanfare of the ceremony .
Temperance Hall …today is in a state of decay bears testimony to the great social reformer Babu Nanad Lal’s single minded devotion to espouse the unpopular cause of
Prohibition in the last century .
Guru Ram Daasji International Airport
is about 11 kms north west
of the city of Amritsar
is the hub of tourism in Punjab
that is why the government has made a state of art facility .It is one of the largest airports in North India
. The airport is connected to roads and main highways of Punjab .Government has initiated regular bus service between the airport and other cities of Punjab .Air India
will provide a regular bus service for its air passengers to and from Jalandhar . A Monorail is being built to connect the airport with the Golden Temple
and Railway station.
there is an A.C train Shatabdi service everyday.
Is a city in the Jalandhar district in the state of Punjab
. Today it is renowned for the production of sports equipment .It is also famous for surgical and tool industry . It claims to have the largest number of hospitals in Asia
. It also has the biggest printing industry in India
. It has many Malls . Famous tourist destinations are 1. Devi Talab situated in the heart of the city. …recently a model of Amarnath Yatra has been built in the premises.
2.Tulsi Mandir ..a temple with gupha with the image of Annapurna
,the’ Goddess of plenty’ installed in it. There is the Balmiki Gate .A Brahm Kund ,At Gur Mandi is a Shiv Mandir said to have been built by Navab of Sultanpur Lodhi near Masjid Imama Nasar
3.There is a historical Gurudwara Chhevin Padshahi of the sixth
Guru Guru Hargobindji.4. An old church St . Mary’s Cathedral Church
dedicated to St. Patrick at Jalandhar Cant.5. Shahid e azam Sardar Bhagat singh museum ,invokes feelings of patriotism ,selflessness and spirit of nationalism ,there is also ascience city to interest the scientifically inclined .
It is a young city with a royal heritage and rich tradition. Maharaja Ala
singh founded Patiala
in 1764. It has magnificient forts ,palaces ,extensive gardens .
Following are the places of interest.1.Goddess Kali temple: Maharaja Bhupinder singh
built it with beautiful muriels on its walls and brought a 6 feet statue of the Goddess from Bengal
and installed it in the magnificent mandir which has been declared as a national monument.
Quila Mubarak …is a fort cum palace .It is surrounded by crenellated walls ,battlements and turrets .The quila showcases the beauty and imperial grandeur of its time.
2. Sheesh Mahal-or the palace of mirrors…is a part of Quila Mubarak ,The palace has been so named owing to its exquisite interior that is completely ornate with mirrors and glasses along with pretty floral motifs painted on the wall. It rightly flaunts the ostentatious grandeur of royal Maharajas of Patiala! Its greatest draw today is its excellent museum with a fine collection of antiques which gives a fabulous insight into the life and times of the Maharajas .The vast range of artifacts on display run the gamut from costumes and jewelry to potraits ,chinese mirrors ,statues ,engravings ,utensils ,weapons etc
The facade has Rajasthan style jharokas and chhatris …the palace is set in a beautiful laid out garden with terraces and water channels . Today it houses the National Institute of Sports and Art Gallery
4.LACCHMAN JHOOLA ..the suspended bridge… In front of the sheesh Mahal across the small lake .there is a magnificent suspension bridge called Lachhman Jhoola …a replica of the Lacchman jhoola at Rishikesh.It links the sheesh Mahal with Bansar Ghar ,which houses the North Zone Culture Centre and a hall for setting up exhibitions.
Each city has a fair number of tourist attractions .All one has to do is come and visit the state .
FAIRS AND SPECIAL DESTINATIONS
The colourful fairs of Punjab
attract many tourists who coincide their visit to the various places with the festivities of the place so that they can witness the vibrant culture of the state. My pick of some of the notable fairs:
1.At Batala, A big annual fair is held to commemorate Guru Nanak Devji’s marriage sometime in late August or early september.Gurudwara Dera Saheb and Kandh Saheb built on the spots where the marriage rites were performed attract pilgrims from all over,to partake in the auspicious day traditional celebrations.
2.Ludhiyana Jarap Mela …Martyrs Fair is held to acknowledge the contribution of great heroes of the Punjab
3.Babehali’s Chhinjh(Wrestling) Mela .Babehali is situated 4 Kms from Gurdaspur.A chhinj mela is held every year in the last week of August. Wrestlers from India
participate in the mela .Cultural programmes are also held.
3.Anandpur Saheb’s Holla mohalla is like a sikh olympic event. It follows Holi the festival of colours .The tenth Guru Guru Gobind Singhji started the tradition of overseeing a day of Mock battles and poetry contests . The tradition has since spread to other Gurudwaras of India and abroad.
4. Chandigarh ‘s Rose Festival held in the beautiful state capital showcases a wide variety of roses annually .It is a two day festival with a plethora of other activities celebrated with a lot of fanfare .
5. Ahmedgarh : Chhapar Mela:Is the most popular and spectacular festival of the Malwa belt of PunjabIt is held in the memory of Gugga pir. King of snakes is called Gugga It is held in the month of september. ..devotees offer prayers in order to be safe from snakes the year round!
book your tickets, pack your bags
and enjoy the culture of the vibrant and dynamic state of India