Punjab

Punjab is a major tourist destination in India. The state lies in the northwestern part of the country and is bordered by Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab province of Pakistan. The state was established in 1966 and is popularly called as 'The Land of Five Rivers'. Chandigarh is the state-capital, which it also shares with Haryana. The state has a special mention in ancient history as a gateway to Indian sub-continent for the visitors from Greece, Iran, Central Asia, and Iran.

Geography and Physical Attributes

The state covers an average area of 50,000 sq km and is the 19th largest territory in the country. The four Indian states lying on its border are Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Jammu and Kashmir. The area is also strategically important from the political point of view because Pakistan lies on its western side. It is known as 'The Land of Five Rivers' due to the presence of five important rivers like Beas, Ravi, Jhelum, Satluj, and Chenab.

The climate here is of extreme nature. Summers are too hot and winters are too cold. According to the facts published by the meteorological department, the temperature here ranges between 0 degree Celsius and 47 degree Celsius. The areas located near the Himalayan Ranges receive heavy rains while those lying to the western and southern part receive scanty rainfall. The region experiences three different seasons as monsoon, winter, and summer. Monsoon season occurs between July to September while the winter is between December to February. Summer season is felt in the months of April, May, and June.

Demography

Punjab has an overall population density of 550 persons per sq km and the literacy rate here is more than 76%. The official language of the area is Punjabi as around 63% of the people follow Sikhism. The prime dialects used here are Daobi, Malwi, Majhi, and Pwadhi. Other religions practiced in the area are Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Around 34% of the population practice Hinduism. The people here celebrate Lohri, Baisakhi, Holi, and Diwali with great enthusiasm. Bhangra is the traditional dance pattern of the Punjabis.

Major places for tourism

Gurudwaras are the prime hot-spots for tourists worldwide. The Golden Temple of Amritsar is an important pilgrimage centers for Sikhs. It is also called as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib. The monument dates back to 1604 AD and was built by Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh-guru. It is constructed by using pure gold. Some other important places to make your tour special are Gurudwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib, Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurudwara Karamsar Rara Sahib, Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Parivar Vichora, and Takht Sri Damdama Sahib, and Gurudwara Jyoti Swarup.

A few noted temples in the state are Durgiana Mandir, Devi Talab Mandir, Achaleshwar Temple, Ram Tirath Temple, and Kali Dwara Temple. Rauza Sharif is an important pilgrimage center for Muslims. The sites of Bhakra and Ranjith Sagar dam are worth visiting. There is a significant site of Indus Valley Civilization in the area of Ropar.

Wagah Border is another famous tourist point here. It is located on the Radcliffe Line going through the Grand Trunk Road. The border ceremony here attracts a lot of visitors everyday. The other border areas open for tourism are Pul Kanjri and Husianiwala Border.

Jallianwala Bagh is a historic place and has a special importance in India's struggle for independence. It is located near the Golden Temple and is a must-see spot. The sites of Shalimar Garden, Bansar Garden, Rock Garden of Chandigarh, and Ram Bagh Garden give a pleasant experience.

You can also experience the beauty of historical forts in the area. Some of the prominent forts are Bhatinda Fort, Shahpur Kandi, Keshgarh, Gobindgarh, Payal, Phillaur, the Summer Palace in Amritsar, and the Raj Mahal. Darbar Ganj, and Quila Mubarak at Faridkot. The Quila Mubarak of Patiala is a beautiful piece of architecture. The famous Mughal architectures in the state are Mughal Serai, Serai Nur Mahal, Kos Minar, and Aam Khas Bagh.

Jalandhar is famous for Pushpa Gujral Science City. The center has some of the exciting departments like digital planetarium, health gallery, defense gallery, dinosaurs park, earthquake simulator, space theater, laser theater, energy park, life through ages, fun science, and 3D theater.

The region is also a great destination for wildlife lovers. The administration here has developed many significant zoos and wetlands. Some of the noted ones are Satluj water-body wetland situated in Ropar, the wildlife sanctuaries at Amritsar, Hari-Ke-Pattan, and Ferozepur, Sukhna Lake of Chandigarh, Kanjli Wetland in Kapurthala, Tiger Safari in Ludhiana, zoological park at Chhatbir, and Deer Park at Neelon.

The state government has always been supportive in preserving the heritage and cultural background of Sikhs. Some of the important museums maintained by the administration are Sanghol Museum, Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex, Shahed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Museum, Government Museum at Hoshiarpur, Sheesh Mahal's art gallery, sports museum at Patiala, Guru Tej Bahadur Museum, and Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum at Ludhiana.

Punjab is well-connected by railways and roadways. It has one international and three national airports. The famous Samjhauta Express, a joint agreement between the Indian and Pakistani Railways starts from Attari station near Amritsar. There are as many as 11 national highways passing through the state. Overall, the area is well-equipped to support the tourism industry and woo the tourists by offering competent facilities. The region also ranks high in Human Development Index and records the lowest hunger rate throughout the country. It is known to give the best standard of living to its residents. Visiting the state is really a splendid experience.