Punjab has been home to humans since time immemorial. Its fertile lands have always ensured that civilizations would thrive here, a fertility ensured by five rivers that give Punjab its other name ‘the Land of Five Rivers’. Today this thriving humanity can be seen in Punjab’s music, culture, festivals, food and much more.
The people here don’t really need a reason to celebrate. Every day is a celebration. The place is a mix of diverse peoples and religions and this diversity manifests itself in a riot of color and life seldom found anywhere else in the country. The Punjabis are larger than life and proud to be so. They live life to the fullest, enjoy the beauty in everything around them and try to incorporate that beauty into some very noteworthy sites.
1. Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple, Amritsar
The holiest Sikh Gurudwara in Punjab, there’s nothing about this place that won’t calm your senses, and put you at peace.
2. Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
The historically significant Jallianwala bagh is a public garden located in Amritsar, Punjab. The memorial has been built to honour the innocent people killed here during the infamous Jallianwala bagh massacre that happened during the British rule.
3. The Rock Garden, Chandigarh
One of the most popular attraction in Chandigarh, the Rock garden is the epitome of creativity. Started by government official Nek Chand as a way to kill time back in 1957. And today, this sculpture garden is spread over 40 acres of land. The major attraction of this garden is the fact that everything here is made of waste material of all kinds-bangles, wires, industry waste material, broken crockery and kitchenware, etc.
4. The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Chandigarh
Named after India’s former president Zakir Hussain, the rose garden is a botanical garden spread over 30 acres of land, with 50,000 rose bushes of 1600 different species. Apart from other events that are hosted, the rose garden hosts the annual rose festival called Festival of Gardens, a major cultural event in Chandigarh, during February or March. Its attractions include food, drinks, and different contests held for enthusiasts of all kinds.
5. The Doraha Fort, or the RDB fort
The Dohara fort is a famous fort where several scenes of the popular film, Rang De Basanti, were shot. Because the film was a raging success, the fort got another name, the RDB fort. This picturesque fort is about 2 hours away from Chandigarh, near Ludhiana.
6. Wagah Border ceremony
Every evening, hundreds of people flock to the Wagah border, the international border that separates India and Pakistan, to witness the majestic changing of guards accompanied by the hoisting and retreat of the respective national flags. The border security forces of both nations undergo the elaborate process jointly through an interesting ceremony.
7. Qila Mubarak
Located in Patiala, the Qila Mubarak is a popular archaeological spot for history buffs and enthusiasts.
8. Harike wetland and bird sanctuary
The Harike wetland is the largest wetland in northern India in the Tarn Taran Sahib district of Punjab. The wetland is home to several species of flora and fauna, and is a major biodiversity reserve. It is the best place to visit if you’re a nature lover or a wildlife photographer.
9. The Kila Raipur Sports Festival, Ludhiana
One of the highlights of Punjab, the Kila Raipur Sports festival takes place annually in a small village, Kila Raipur, about 20 km away from Ludhiana. Every year,this event happens between ending January and the beginning of February. A large number of people gather to witness an array of sporting events, and people participating in them are enthusiastic beyond compare.
10. Garden of silence
The beautifully landscaped Garden of Silence, located adjacent to the beautiful Sukhna Lake, is the perfect spot for meditation and for general peace and quiet.
11. Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh
The Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh is another major tourist attraction. On a regular day, one can go boating, or just enjoy the beautiful scene of the sun setting over the city.
Located in Anandpur Sahib, Virasat-e-Khalsa is a museum that gives insight into all the events that took place more than 500 years ago; events that gave birth to Sikhism. The museum aims to illuminate the vision of the Gurus, their message of peace and brotherhood and the culture and heritage of Punjab. This museum took about 13 years to make, and was opened to the public in November 2011.
Also, don’t forget to sway with the lovely people, the wonderful food, and the energy that the air this state breathes. When in Punjab, do as Punjabis do.
13. Durgiana Temple
A majestic and highly revered Hindu Temple located in Amritsar, Durgiana is just one and a half kilometers from the famous Golden Temple. In fact, it’s built look like a copy of the Golden temple and attracts a large number of visitors with it marvelous view. It was built in 1908 by Harsai Mal Kapoor main temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. Other Hindu deities worshiped in this temple are Mata Sheetla, Lord Hanuman and Lakshmi Narayan. It’s certainly a picturesque view which makes one enthralled with its overall beauty.
14. Tarn Taran
Tarn Taran is a popular Sikh pilgrimage site located at 22 km’s from the Golden Temple in Tarn Taran district of Punjab. Constructed by the fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan Dev, the Sarovar (pond) located in this Gurudwara is the biggest among all the Sikh Shrines. Tarn Taran attracts a large number of devotees and is famous as one of the most popular Sikh pilgrimage sites in India. The day of Amavasya (New Moon Day) is considered to be a special day when the site is thronged by visitors in huge numbers.