Located in the northwestern part of India, Punjab, the land of five rivers is known for its cuisine, culture and history. With fertile lands, forts that tell tales of the land’s past and smiles on the faces of the inhabitants, Punjab is full of soul. The people here take pride in their religion and culture.
Punjab is one of the most prosperous states in India, and the food of Punjab attests to this in every morsel. Known as the breadbasket of India, there is so much more to Punjabi food which is rich with its succulent taste and ‘desi’ pure ghee that adds to the exotic flavour. Langar, while not being a dish, is an absolute must-try for everyone at least once in their life. The community kitchen of every gurdwara is open to all. Butter Chicken popular all over the World hails from Punjab. Shakkar Para, a sweet, deep fried ball made from semolina or flour is perfect for a little sweet craving. Lassi, loved by the elderly and young ones alike, this humble drink made from yoghurt can be enjoyed sweet or salty. Chole-Bhature accompany each other like a dream. Chole is made from chickpeas and bhature is made with flour and milk and is soft and slightly fermented. Parathas, be it plain or stuffed, this bread is a staple of most Punjabi households. Sarson ka saag and Makke ki Roti is a popular combination eaten mainly in winters. This is made from the leaves of the mustard plant and the bread is made from corn. For the non-vegetarians, Amritsari fish is a favourite. Dal Makhani, a delectable buttery dish of black lentils and red kidney beans is a rich concoction made in a thick rich gravy with dollops of cream. Some of the other popular dishes are Paneer Tikka, a cottage cheese preparation, Rajma Chawal, which is kidney beans and rice and Pakoda Kadhi. Known for its high nutritional value, Pinni is another famous sweet of Punjab.
Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab.
Fairs & Festivals
Punjab being an agriculture-based region, Punjabi festivities largely revolve around agriculture. Harvest season brings happiness and excitement. Baisakhi, the festival of harvest is celebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm all across the state. Holla Mohalla is another festival which celebrates brotherhood and bravery. Lohri is another famous folk festival of Punjab which marks the end of winter season. Karwa Chauth known as the festival of fasting where married women pray for the longevity of their husband’s life. Guru Nanak Jayanti or Gurpurab is the celebration of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, who is the first Guru of the Sikhs and the founder of Sikhism. Basant Panchami marks the beginning of Spring whilst Punjabi Teej celebrates womanhood and monsoons. Punjabis truly rejoice in the transitions of nature. Bhai Dooj celebrates familial relations between a brother and sister whereas Chappar Mela and Jor Mela express the spirit of communal harmony and togetherness.
The city is known for legends, patriotism and spirituality, Home to the Golden Temple, or Sri Harmandir Sahib, this is among the most significant pilgrimage site for Sikhs. Jallianwala Bagh and Wagah Border are some of the other tourist attractions besides the food and shopping.
This simple yet stunning city will give you an insight into the lifestyle of locals, especially if you are ambling in the Museum of Rural Life. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum and the Phillaur Fort are some of the other attractions.
Jalandhar is an ancient city, holding special significance for not just Sikhs but also Hindus as it is home to many holy shrines. Wonderland, Devi Talab Mandir, Science City and Niku Park are some of the attractions here.
The City of Lakes, Bhatinda is a city where various landmarks have brought massive development in the state, right from AIIMS to thermal power plants and the Central University of Punjab. The city narrates legendary tales of the past as the remnants stand as witnesses. Rulers like Mahmud of Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori, and Prithvi Raj Chauhan have fought wars and ruled the city in the erstwhile era. The Qila Mubarak, Rose Garden and Jogger’s Park are famous here.
For history enthusiasts, the fourth largest city of Punjab will not disappoint you. The monuments here showcase a blend of different architectural styles such as Mughal, Rajput and of course Punjab. Moti Bagh Palace, Kali Mata Mandir, Qila Mubarak, Bahadurgarh Fort and Sheesh Mahal are some of the places to visit.
One of the lesser-known places to visit in Punjab, Kapurthala is known as the Paris of Punjab, owing to its intriguing architectural scenario. Most landmarks here are built in French and Indo-Saracen styles of architecture. Kapurthala is nothing less than a treasure! The Jagatjit Palace, Elysee Palace, Moorish Mosque, Shalimar Gardens and Kanjli Wetland are some places of attraction.
Pathankot is blessed with lush greenery and has its history as well. Nurpur Fort, Mukteshwar Temple, Kathgarh Temple, Shahpurkandi Fort and Ranjit Sagar Dam are a few places worth visiting.
Nangal is a perfect one-day getaway from Chandigarh from where you can see the beautiful Shivalik hills. The Bhakra Nangal Dam, Satluj Park, Virasat-e-Khalsa, Sheetla Devi Temple and Nangal Wetlands are some of the attractions here.
Close to Jalandhar, Ropar, also known as Roopnagar, is an ancient town in Punjab which is more famous for its ruin from Harrapan civilization. Anandpur Sahib, Ropar Wetland, Jatweshwar Mahadev Temple are some of the must visits.
Also known as Ajitgarh, Mohali is a major commercial, cultural and transportation centre. The place has a significant importance in promoting sports. As Mohali is home to the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium and International Hockey Stadium, the stadiums lure sports enthusiasts from all across the country.