PUNJAB TOURISM GUIDE
Map: Punjab Tourism, India
Location: North of India
Tourist Attractions: Golden Temple, Jalianwallah Bagh, Rock Garden
Best Time To Visit : October to March
Punjab leads by example. A hearty and robust attitude to life and work has dulled the pains of Partition. Green fields, fields ripe with corn, tractors busy with work; Punjab presents a pretty picture of a prosperous farm life. The Punjabis’ work ethic is indistinguishable from his religion. He brings to his work the passion of a devotee and worships his gurus with the energy he ploughs his fields. The most distinctive Punjabis are the Sikhs with their martial identity.
While in Punjab, head for Amritsar and the Golden Temple , which is the most revered temple for the Sikhs. Other noteworthy stops are the Durhiana Temple, a Hindu shrine with features resembling the Golden Temple’s; the Rambagh Gardens, a prince’s summer palace now a museum; and Jallianwala Bagh, a national monument honouring the martyrs of India’s freedom movement. Patiala has several attractions worth a look. Visit the Moti Bagh Palace with its mirror-studded Shesh Mahal and fine collection of miniature paintings.
Capital of Punjab:
Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and the language spoken is Punjabi. It is a typically north Indian city with an interest in Delhi: every family has one family member either working in the capital or atleast a married daughter staying in Delhi. People in Chandigarh lead disciplined lives. Unlike its more industrial neighbours like Ludhiana, it’s a service-oriented culture here. Chandigarh, is on the whole, a clean, educated and corporate place.
History of Punjab :
The area entered recorded history with the annexation of Punjab and Sindh to the Persian Empire by Darius I (c. 518 BC). Punjab subsequently came under various Muslim rulers until the victorious entry of the Mughals in 1526. Under the Mughals the province enjoyed peace and prosperity for more than 200 years. Punjab came under British occupation in 1849, after the British victory over the Sikhs. When the Indian subcontinent received its independence in 1947, Punjab was split between Pakistan and India, with the larger western portion becoming part of Pakistan. The present provincial boundaries were established in 1970.
The Punjabi People :
The determined industrialization of the state has moved the people from their farms to businesses of transport and motor accessories. But by and large Punjab remains a land of large farms, robust food and an animal zest for life. Even today, the family is the epicenter of their lives, with generations sitting down together for the evening meal.
Culture of Punjab :
The genius of Punjabis finds expression in love stories, lusty dancing, and humour. Most popular Punjabi dances are: Bhangra, Giddha, Jhumar, Luddi, Dankara Julli, Sammi, Dhamal, Jaago, Kikli and Gatka. The mirasis (professional wits), naqalias (mummers), and domanis (female singer-actresses) are professional performers belonging to the lower classes. They exploit all the tricks of exaggeration, absurdity, malapropism, comic gags, and lewd references.
Occupation in Punjab :
The economy of Punjab is characterized by a productive, increasingly commercial agriculture, a diversity of small- and medium-scale industries, and the highest per capita income in the nation. Wheat and cotton are the principal crops. Live- stock and poultry are also raised in large numbers. Industries with the largest number of workers include cotton, woollen and silk textiles, metal products and machinery, food and beverages, and transport equipment and parts. Others: hosiery, bicycles, sewing machines, and sporting goods.
Handicrafts from Punjab :
Weaving of durries (cotton bed or floor spreads) in myriad motifs and designs especially by young girls in the villages has been a long tradition in Punjab. Needlework of Punjab is unique. Baghs, Phulkaris, rumals and scarves are intricately designed in rich traditional patterns and motifs. The woodwork of Punjab has also been traditionally famous. Artistic beds with comfortable, skillfully made back rests fitted with mirrors and carved colourful legs called Pawas, low seats called Peeras, Peerian were made by the carpenters in almost every village. Furniture designed with inlay ivory work, coloured mirror and engraved woodwork is also exported to different countries.
Climate of Punjab :
Climatically the state has three major seasons. Hot weather ( April to June) when the mercury shoots up to as high as 110 F. Rainy season is from July to September. The average rainfall annual ranges between 96 cms in the sub-mountain region and 58 cms in the plains. Winter months are October to March when the temperature dips to as low as 40F. October to March is the best season to visit.
Population of Punjab :
Holla Mohalla during March-April at Anandpur Sahib; Bawan Doadsi is celebrated 18 days after Krishna Janmastami at Patiala; Jor Mela at Sirhind; Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan is organised every year in last week of December at Jalandhar; Baisakhi in April; Lohri, another seasonal festival in mid-January. Other feasts to mark anniversaries of the 10 Gurus are also observed.
Tourist Office In Punjab :
Punjab Tourism Development Corporation, Chandigarh.
Punjab Tourist Information Office, SCO 1064-65, Sector 22-B, Chandigarh.
Punjab Tourist Information Office, Youth Hostel, Amritsar.
Punjab Tourist Information Office, Kanishka Shopping Plaza, Ashoka Road, New Delhi.