(Last Updated on : 12/02/2014)
Punjab which is also referred to as the land of five rivers is a travellers delight. The likely images that would crop up in an Indian mind on hearing Punjab are lush green fields ripe with corn and mustard. The tourists will perceive it as a sunburn land, flat as a pancake, sloping imperceptibly down from the Himalayan foothills towards the deserts of Rajasthan on the one side and the extensive plains of Hindustan on the other. The land of Punjab not only boasts of ancient monuments but throbs with historical embodiments. Tourism in Punjab is an amalgamation of religious monuments, historical buildings, wild life sanctuaries and more. Tourists to Punjab can enjoy culture, ancient civilisation, spirituality and history. The royal Punjabi palaces, historic battle sites, shrines, temples and examples of Sikh architecture are distinguished attractions. In fact, tourism is a rapidly escalating sector of Punjab.
Pilgrimage Tourism in Punjab
is truly a pilgrims paradise with Gurudwaras, temples, mosques, mausoleums and other pilgrimage sites. The Golden temple
in Punjab is the most well known religious center of the state. It is the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. During Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign the lower half of the temple was ornamented with marble while the complete upper half was inlaid with copper and gold plated. Built with the blend of Hindu and Muslim style its four gates emblematically invite everyone from all directions. The Anandpur Sahib is one of the holiest places if the Sikhs in Punjab. It is closely linked with Sikh religious traditions and history. Keshgarh Sahib is the central place of Anandpur Sahib and is the main shrine of Anandpur. The Ram Tirth in Amritsar is an ancient temple that dates back to the period of the Ramayana
. It is a Hindu temple. The Durgiana Mandir of Punjab is also a much visited site for the pilgrimage tourists. The other Hindu temples of Punjab include the Bhagwathi Mandir, the Shiv Mandir, the Panch Mandir and the Kali Devi temple. Islam was once a dominant religion in Punjab and this is evident in the mosques and mausoleums of the place. The Mazaar and Rauza Sharif mausoleums are frequented by tourists. The Moorish mosque is one of the famous mosques of Punjab.
Nature tourism in Punjab
Eco tourism is quite a common term today in the tourism industry. Punjab government too has big plans for this sector. With several wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries the eco tourism in this region is expected to receive a huge boost. Besides the forests and wetlands the tourists can also check out the beautiful gardens that adorn the cities. Punjab has beautiful natural landscape with plentiful water supply due to the rich rivers. The state is a natural habitat of several flora and fauna and this is a great attraction to tourists. Punjab wildlife is noteworthy as there are several wetlands, zoological parks and bird sanctuaries all over the place. It is an integral part of tourism in Punjab. This land of cultural colours allows the travelers to take pleasure in a lion safari at Chhatbir zoo adjacent to Chandigarh. Migratory birds fly at Hari Ke Pattan at Amritsar. The wildlife in Punjab especially at Hari Ke pattan is a national wetland and wildlife sanctuary at Amritsar. More than 350 migratory birds come here in the winter season. Several vibrant as well as exotic birds fly from Siberia. This is a famous home to wide-ranging wildlife. These wild life locations also serve as picnic spots to the tourists. The Punjab wildlife apart from exotic birds includes reptiles, amphibians, fishes, plants and endangered species. Few other appealing places are the Deer park at Neelon and the tiger safari adjacent to Ludhiana
in Punjab. The wildlife in Punjab finds a natural habitat owing to the prosperous flora and fauna.
Leisure Tourism in Punjab
The state of Punjab is dotted with several historical monuments such as palaces and forts. The city of Chandigarh
in Punjab comprises many places of tourist interest. The Rock Garden in Chandigarh is a prominent park. Rock Garden has labyrinths, hollow paths, and partially enclosed places which have human and animal figures built out of broken ceramic and glass pieces entrenched in concrete. It is a unique spot that has to be seen to be believed. The Wagah border crossing is another site for leisure tourists in Punjab. It is the India-Pak border that is opened to tourists at a particular time of the year and it is a great feeling to stand at that spot and witness the border. Punjab had been under majestic rule for a long period of time and the rulers have built numerous forts and palaces. The marvelous Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is situated in Punjab. The Qila Mubarak in Punjab was the royal residence of the Patiala dynasty. The Govindgarh fort of Punjab is the most important one and is a major crowd puller. The Bhadurgarh Fort,
the Shahpur Kandi Fort, and the Phillaur Fort are some of the other forts that can be explored by the travelers.
Visiting Information on Punjab
How to Reach Punjab
Adequate transportation facilities have been arranged in Punjab. Hence the travelers can easily reach their destinations.
: Presently there is one international airport at Punjab. It is at Amritsar and is known as Raja Sansi International Airport. Recently the government has also decided to build other airports at Ludhiana
and Mohali. The existing airport is served by almost all the leading airline services. The state is also accessible from Delhis Indira Gandhi International Airport
: Indian Railways connect the state with the rest of the sub-continent. Amritsar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar
and other cities have railway stations.
: Deluxe bus services from New Delhi to the well known cities in Punjab are quite common. Apart from it the state itself is well connected with a number of bus services through the national highways. Hence it is easy to reach the state capital, Chandigarh
, by availing a bus from any part of the state. Punjab is further connected through an extensive network of metalled roads. NH 1 or the Grand Trunk Road
connects the state with north and east India. Other National Highways that can be availed from Punjab are NH 15, 19, 20, 21, and 1A. If the tourists are looking forward to hired cars then these are also available in Punjab.
This state of Punjab can be visited in any time of the year but the best season is in the spring, from February to April, and in the autumn, from September to November. Like any other tropical state it enjoys three distinct seasons, summer, monsoon and winter. Local transportations are available for the tourist to reach their destinations. To help out the travelers there are tourist offices at Chandigarh and Amritsar. As far as accommodation is concerned there are adequate hotels for the travelers where they can check in. Both deluxe and budget hotels are found here. The Gurudwaras offer free lodging throughout the days and night. While touring the temples or other holy places it is important to keep the shoes outside the temple premises. It is done as a mark of respect. Punjabis are an affable group of people. Their warmth and hospitality is often startling. Although they are brave and can fight for country and honor at any time, they are basically very simple people. Punjab will always remain an integral part of India. Its contribution to the country has been huge. From religious benefits to crops to eat and export; from national revolutionaries to hundreds of soldiers in the Indian army
it would be impossible to define its role in the countrys progress. For tourists, however, the state has a completely different facet. It is vibrant and blessed with a number of interesting places to explore. Punjab tourism department has taken several initiatives to encourage the promotion and growth of tourism in Punjab.
The Department of Tourism Punjab India organises folk shows and cultural agendas every year, which draw a huge number of domestic and international sightseers.
The Phulkaris, a kind of embroidery, are in high demand amongst the tourists. These are also exported. Other than these the handicrafts in Punjab are also favorable buys. The embroidered and handmade juties (shoes), woolen clothes, carpets, durries, furniture and leather goods are available in the markets.
After the shopping spree the tourists can pamper their taste buds with the cuisine of Punjab. From 'tandoori chicken' to 'chicken bharta', from 'sarson da saag' to 'bajra roti', the culinary delights available in state are numerous. A proper meal in the Punjab province remains incomplete without 'lassi'
, a sweet drink made of curd and 'kulfi