Punjab India – Your Quick Travel Guide
In a nutshell
The land of 5 rivers, Punjab is a vivacious northwestern state that is home to the alluring ancestral Punjabi culture. Punjab faces no problems in irrigation and is a fertile land which indulges its economy largely towards agriculture.
Why go to Punjab
Substantially, Punjab is the heart of India’s Sikh community. Being a Sikh reign supreme Punjab has iconic temples known as “Gurdwara” where tourists witness exemplary Sikh traditions and culture. Among Gurduwaras the Harmandir Sahib, The Golden temple is probably the most famous and most visited site in Punjab.
Located in Amritsar, the Golden Temple is the oldest place of worship for the Sikh community and it is visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year to say their prayers. Built in Amritsar in the 1580’s The Golden temple is a true architectural marvel and has a massive amount of spiritual heritage that is exported to the world. The entire top dome of the temple is glided with 750kgs of pure gold. Moreover, the temple is surrounded by a manmade lake which is inhabited by exotic fishes.
Another popular tourist site mostly for locals is Wagah Border. The border is between two rivaling countries Pakistan and India at the brink of Amritsar. Every evening both of the countries perform a lowering of the flags ceremony which is a spectacular military practice. It has been since regarded as a symbol of friendly rivalry, brotherhood and cooperation. Both of the countries under normal conditions allow spectators to witness this ceremony. The ceremony is started with a parade and as the sun sets military soldiers of their respective country lower their flags in a perfectly coordinated and disciplined manner. The flags are gathered and the ceremony finalizes with a handshake between soldiers from each side. Large crowds of spectators from each side indulge in rooting and cheering for their side to show their enthusiasm and love to their country. The ceremony ends with closing the metal gates at the border.
The Gobindgarh fort is situated in the central part of the Amritsar city. It was built in 1760 and is named after the tenth Sikh guru. The fort is holds a sentimental historic value and has an integral part in the history of the state. Earlier the fort was occupied by the army and has recently been opened for public. The fort was largely destroyed and after several restoration attempts is now a unique live museum for the general visitors. The fort was built for the main purpose of defending the Golden temple with creative and pragmatic perspective. This is a popular visiting place for tourists and historians interested in the culture and history of the subcontinent. Numerous events take place at the Gobindgarh fort that include Spirit of Punjab, Haat Bazaar, Sher-e-Punjab and Toshkhana. These acts depict the historical events that took place with performances of Bhangra, Comedy and Dholi. This also a popular place to witness the spectacular Punjabi cuisine with some other eatery options available.
Other popular destinations include:
Sri Takht Keshgarh Sahib, a Gurdwara which is the main Sikh Shrine in the city of Anandpur. It is one of the highest Sikh institutions in India and holds and important religiously historic and architectural value.
Gurudwara Shri Qila Anandgarh Sahib is situated in the middle of the town of Shri Anandpur Sahib. This fort was built for the protection of Sikhs and other residents from the Mughals and the Hill rulers
Phillaur Fort situated at the bank of river Sutlej (one of the 5 rivers) in Ludhiana is a symbol of ancestral heritage and strength to the Sikh community. This particular fort was designed and architecture by Italian architect 300 years prior. The fort is also a holy site to the Muslim minority as it exhibits Pir-i-Dastgir’s shrine.
Moti Bagh Palace situated in Patiala is an historic palace that predates India’s the era of East India Company. The palace was ruled by various Sikh rulers and now serves as a taxonomic museum and as a taxidermy gallery. This palace also houses the annual Patiala heritage festival which symbolizes the historical importance and events of this particular structure.
When to go to Punjab
Punjab is an alluvial plane area and regardless of its diverse cultural richness can get pretty hot in the summers. Regardless of their holy events or holidays the best season to travel or visit is in winters. The time period between November to April marks the most visits by tourists both domestic and foreign.
Where to stay in Punjab
Amritsar is the tourist capital of Punjab. Most foreign visits made by tourists are in Amritsar. There are many 5-star hotels that provide top notch accommodation facilities along with security and travel guides. Overall Punjab is a developed state and almost all cities provide best accommodation facilities although cheaper ways can be found through research. Rates vary depending on the seasons and festivals.
Where and what to eat in Punjab
Punjab is probably the only state in all of India that has the richest culture of delicious food that’s worth flying in. Punjab is famous for its dishes, ancestral recipes and tradition. People viist from neighboring cities and sometimes even countries specifically to experience this rich culture and fall in love with the Punjabi food. There is a rich vegetarian and non-vegetarian delight culture here that dates back to almost 1000 years and a great abundance of street restaurants. Some iconic dishes that you should try are:
How to get around Punjab
Domestic transport within the state includes railway, busses, cars and motorcycles. Although Punjab is the land of 5 rivers it’s not separated or a cutoff body of land. Punjab has the best developed network of commercial roads and highways which connect it to other regions of India promoting an agricultural and trading corridor.
An airport is established in the city of Amritsar which offers international and domestic flights. Other than that, because Punjab is an agricultural state, several other cargo airports have been established in the cities of Ludhiana and Chandigarh to ensure effective transport of materials and goods.
Travel is usually cheap in the state of Punjab since it’s a small state and travel facilities are usually provided with the package but it’s cheaper if you rent a ride and go along.
How to get to and from Punjab
The state incorporates a territory of 50,362 sq. km and is flanked by Pakistan on the west, Jammu and Kashmir on the north, Himachal Pradesh on its upper east and Haryana and Rajasthan on the south.
Shinging summers, heavy storms and cool winters portray the climatic states of the scene that is depleted by the Ravi, Beas, Sutlej and Ghaggar streams and their tributaries.
The rivers don’t facilitate transportation although getting into Punjab is surprisingly as convenient as getting into any other international city in the world.
Sri Guru Ram Das Airport in Amritsar offers international flights directly to cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, London etc. Domestically Guru Ram Das airport also has intercity flights from all over India everyday.
Punjab is a well-developed and an active revenue generating state, the national highway (NH71) connects the state of Punjab with other neighboring states. It’s very feasible to get in and move around Punjab from all over India due to a developed infrastructure of transport. The National highway directly links Punjab with other cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune etc.
Being an agricultural state Punjab exports crops all over the nation and it is the main source of income for the state. The state produces nearly 25% of the best quality cotton in India. In spite of several advantages, there is one major disadvantage that the total spindlage capacity of the state is only 1.5% of the country
Is Punjab a safe place to visit?
Punjab is one of the least criminally cognizable states in India. Based on the latest statistical analysis by law enforcing agencies Punjab’s is the fourth lowest ranking state in the country on basis of crime rate.
Traffic in Punjab is usually loose but since it’s a packed state it sometimes experiences heavy flow of traffic usually in festival seasons.