Top 8 Places to Visit in Punjab

June 9, 2017 1:43 pm 0 comments

Land of Five Rivers

The name Punjab, literally translates to “five waters” in Persian- signifying the five rivers that flow through it. These rivers are all tributaries of the grand Indus River and comprise of the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas rivers. Located on the international border that divides India and Pakistan, Punjab possesses a colorful mixing of both cultures.

Punjab’s interesting location gives it many neighbors in its immediate vicinity. With the Himalayan state of Jammu & Kashmir to the north, the hilly and quaint Himachal Pradesh in the east, the colorful Haryana on its south and southeast, the royal Rajasthan to the southwest, and lastly, the Pakistani province of Punjab to its east- this fertile state is snuggled right in the heart of its marvelous neighbors.

Punjab is associated with rich historical accounts from many eras and the many monuments stand witness to the ages it has been through. There’s just about everything to see and visit in Punjab. The vibrant and animated atmosphere with the affable people opens the gates to a memorable trip in this fertile state of northern India.

How to Pack for Punjab For the Best Season to Visit

Punjab experiences very hot summers that can go up to 49ᵒ C in the summer, from April to June. The Monsoon season ranging from July to September is accompanied with heavy showers, while winter will bring cold temperatures as much as 5ᵒ C in January. There is an extreme transition from winter to summer season during which the state experiences hailstorms and affluence of rain. To escape the hot summers and the drenching rains, it is best to visit Punjab between October to March. It is cool and the brisk feeling in the air rejuvenates your zeal to explore all around you.

Places to see:

Punjab has stood witness to many milestones during India’s struggle for independence. There are many historical monuments to visit, which often leave a haunting yet spellbound feeling.

Wagah Border

Photo by Guilhem Vellut

Christened as the “Berlin Wall of South East Asia” the Wagah Border is where the international border between India and Pakistan lies. Every day, a patriotic ceremony is conducted which can be witnessed by both Indian and foreign nationals. The Indian BSF (Border Security Force) and the Pakistani Sutlej Rangers perform an elaborate ceremony at 4 pm daily, wherein they bring each nation’s flags back to their countries. This makes for a humbling and captivating experience.

The Golden Temple, Amritsar

Photo by cascayoyo

This “Swarn Mandir” (golden temple) is one of the chief attractions of Punjab. Breathtaking, magnificent and deeply spiritual, the Golden Temple mesmerizes your senses when viewed after sunset in its golden-yellow radiance. Though India is a union of many religions, Punjab is dominated by Sikhs. You can learn so much about the Sikh culture in this opulent yet humble architecture. The impeccable cleanliness, the modest volunteers and the simple langar food- all welcoming to every visitor- will transform your whole perspective.

Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar

Photo by Janki1694

This is a somber site even for non-history lovers. A place of gruesome brutality during the British regime, Jallianwala Bagh has a memorial dedicated to the 1919 victims.  The old structure with its wide sprawling inside and narrow corridors really make you think of the old days when things weren’t as free as they are in the present day.

Kila Raipur, near Ludhiana

Renowned for its Rural Olympics, the Bullock cart being one of its most popular sports, Kila Raipur becomes a junction of high energy and excitement during its three-day celebrations in February. Thousands of men and women compete in various contests, where the celebrations continue well past midnight with revelry and feasting.

Bathinda lakes, Bhatinda

Bathinda have been cheerfully dubbed as the “City of Lakes” owing to it many artificial lakes. Besides the lakes, you can also visit forts like Qila Mubarak and Bahia Fort. The Lakhi jungle, Chetan Park and Roe garden are all worth a visit. Boating, paddling and paragliding are among the popular activities in Bathinda lakes.

Patiala

Old moti mahal, Photo by IP Singh

Famed as one of most affluent princely states in India, Patiala has impressive structures including the Moti Bagh Palace. Shop to your heart’s content and leaf through the handicrafts and ethnic riches including the Patiala ‘jutti’ (slip-ons) and of course the Patiala whiskey peg.

Kapurthala

Jagjit singh palace, Photo by Kunwarg

This “Paris of Punjab” is an outstanding destination for the lovers of all things eclectic. The Shalimar Garden, Moorish mosque, the Jagatjit, Elysee and Nihal palaces are well worth the time spent. Guru Nanak, one of the leaders of the Sikh religion, received enlightenment in this very place.

Anandpur Sahib

Gurudwara, Photo by Hari Singh

The bosom of Khalsa, or Sikh brotherhood, in this revered city of Anandpur Sahib has magnificent gurudwaras (place of worship for the Sikhs) with impressive architecture that will leave mouths agape. A 17th century fortress sits in silent brooding between a mountainous range and a river. A striking cultural tradition is seen during the Holi celebrations. Instead of the conventional color thrown at each other, a fierce version of this festival of colors takes place instead. “Hola Mohalla” is celebrated in an astounding take of Sikh boldness, wherein mock combat clashes are indulged in by using axes, sticks and swords.

Adventures and Hermitage

To summarize this diverse land of five rivers, Punjab is not your customary destination of fun and frolic. Steeped in deep historical trails and founded on princely kingdoms, Punjab carries heroic tales alongside romantic sagas of the yesteryears. There is not much to fret for, nor have a reason for boredom once you step into this land of friendly people, colorful attires and delectable cooking. If adventure is in your blood, then Punjab is your go-to fix.

How to Reach

  • Air: With nearly a dozen airports in Punjab, there is no hindering in reaching this fruitful state. The Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport and the Chandigarh International Airport are only two of its five civil airports. The other airports are Bhatinda Airport, Pathankot Airport and the Patiala Airport.
  • Rail: The Shatabdi Express and the Samjhauta Express connect major Indian cities and connect Pakistan to India, respectively. Besides these, the Ludhiana Metro is also a proposed transit system.
  • Road: The national highways that pass through Punjab are reportedly the best in the country with the remarkable Grand Trunk road, the NH1, connecting Peshawar in the west to Kolkata in the east. All the cities and towns in Punjab are well-connected by four-lane national highways.

Author’s Bio:

Himanshu possesses a passionate interest in exploring foreign culture and takes delight in tasting new cuisines, hiking, and exploring little hamlets. A passionate contributor on Pearls India Tours, he finds contentment in sharing the stories of his various travels with equally passionate backpackers.

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