Punjab, or the ‘land of five waters’ (Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum rivers) is located in the northwest part of India. A land of ethnic diversity, it has a rich religious legacy; incorporating Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism. Through the centuries, it has borne the brunt of invasions, wars and the partition; bouncing back to become one of the most affluent states, with the highest per capita income in the country. Today, it is synonymous with high spirits, prosperity and zest for life; as is evident in its enterprising streak, immensely popular cuisine, bhangra & gidda dances and numerous fairs & festivals.
Home of the ebullient, Sikh ‘warrior’ race and birthplace of Sikhism, Punjab is also known as the ‘Breadbasket’ or ‘Granary’ of India; due to its premier position in agriculture. The state culture has always pivoted around its folk customs, embracing all that is rural; adding value to the traditional way of life. It also takes pride in its handicrafts.
The royal palaces, historic battle sites, sacred pilgrim centres, archaeological sites and examples of Sikh architecture are some of the things worth checking out. At the heart of Amritsar, the ‘spiritual capital’, lies the magnificent Golden Temple Complex or Harmandir Sahib; the holiest shrine of the Sikhs. The best time to visit is autumn and spring, when the natural landscape appears breathtaking with lush, yellow mustard fields, and rustic charm fills the air with celebratory spirit .
State capital: Chandigarh
Places of interest: Golden Temple Complex, Jallianwallah Bagh, summer palace of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, Durgiana temple, Ram Bagh garden, Ram Tirth, Tarn Taran, Anandpur Sahib, Moti Bagh Palace, Sheesh Mahal, Qila Mubarak, Wagah Border, Sanghol, Sirhind, Bhakra dam, Bhadurgarh Fort, Harkie wetlands.
Gurudwaras (Sikh places of worship): Keshgarh Sahib, Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, Kiratpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jyothi Sarup, Dukh Niwaran Sahib
Official website: punjabtourism.gov.in
GETTING THERE [Amritsar]:
Airport Sansi: Raja Sansi
Railhead: Well connected
Road: Well connected