Punjab is a North Indian state which shares its borders with India’s neighboring country, Pakistan. The capital of Punjab is Chandigarh, which is a Union Territory and the shared capital of Haryana. The state is a part of a larger formation known as the Punjab region which is divided into two halves; one is in India and the other in Pakistan. The population of Punjab is 27,704,236 and the state ranks 16th in the most populated Indian states. If you are keen to know about Punjab, read through this amazing travel guide to know everything there is to know about the most vibrant Indian state.
History of Punjab: The Formation
Punjab history has its roots way back to the time when Mahabharata took place in 800-400 BCE. During the ancient times, Punjab was conquered and ruled by fierce empires such as Gandhara, Nandas, Mauryas, Shungas, Hindu Shahis and much more. It evolved through various civilizations to be known as the Punjab region. The region was divided during the Indian independence in 1947 and was shared between India and Pakistan.
Geography of Punjab
Punjab lies in the Northwestern region of India and is surrounded on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, northeast by Himachal Pradesh, south by Haryana and the western part by Pakistan. The northeastern part of the state is bounded by the foothills of the marvelous Himalayas. Whereas the southwestern region which is quite semiarid and merges into the Thar Desert. The land throughout most part of the state is fertile and this is the reason why agriculture is the main occupation in Punjab.
Biodiversity of Punjab
Punjab lacks quite a bit when it comes to a rich and abundant biodiversity. There are no thick forests throughout the state and very little can be found in terms of flora. However, the Shivalik ranges are rich in both, flora and fauna. For the same reason, the region is also termed as a microendemic zone of the country. You will find a wide variety of animals and birds in the state which includes 396 types of birds, 55 varieties of fish, and 19 different types of mammals. Although the numbers are pretty decent, they are way less than some of the other rich biodiverse states of India.
Climatic Conditions of Punjab
The climate of Punjab keeps on changing with many variations from month to month. Winters are very cold and summers are very hot throughout the state. Temperatures are usually at the extremes rather than being moderate like many other Indian states. If you are a tourist, the best time to visit Punjab would be during the chilly months of December to February. The climate is apt for tourists and the season witnesses a peak for tourism in Punjab during these months.
Punjabis, as we all know, boasts of a culture which is full of music, dance, exquisite cuisines and a lot of fun elements. Punjab has one of the most vibrant cultures among all the other Indian states. They also have storytelling rituals and traditions popularly known as Kissa which you can witness during your visit to Punjab. The folk dance of Punjab is Bhangra which is a traditional dancing style quite popular in all parts of India. Even the wedding traditions of Punjabis are pretty good which depicts the culture of Punjab beautifully. The phrase Incredible India is an apt tagline for a country which boasts of such rich and varied culture all in a single country.
Interesting Facts about Punjab
- It is the only state which shares its capital with another state.
- The whole Punjab region is divided into two parts and the other half of Punjab is in Pakistan.
- The state animal of Punjab is Blackbuck.
- The state bird of Punjab is Baaz.
- The meaning of the word Punjab is 5 rivers as it has 5 major rivers: Indus, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, and Ghaggar.
- Amritsar is the largest district of Punjab, both in terms of area as well as population.
Punjab Tourism: Best Tourist Attractions
Punjab attracts a lot of tourists every year owing to its panoramic scenic beauty and the beautiful Gurudwaras that it has. There are various holiday destinations in the state and they are largely frequented by tourists all throughout the year. Let’s see some of the best Punjab tourist places you can explore while on your visit to the state.
- Temples: You will find a lot of Gurudwaras in each part of Punjab and all of them are pretty beautiful and serene. But the major Gurudwara which attracts tourists throughout the world is The Golden Temple. It looks marvelous and the aura is simply very pristine and spiritual. It is one of the best places to visit in Punjab and the place must be at the top of your travel itinerary.
- National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries: The animal lovers will have a delightful time here as the state boasts of many National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Visit there to explore exotic animals and birds along with the rich floral beauty. Some of the popular parks and sanctuaries here include Abohar National Park, Harike Wildlife Sanctuary, Jhajjar Bacholi, Bir Moti Bagh Wildlife Sanctuary, Bir Bhadson Wildlife Sanctuary and much more.
- Adventurous Places: If you are an adrenaline junkie, there are many places worth visiting in Punjab. The places in and around Chandigarh, the Punjab capital offer a lot of adventure activities. If you are looking for trekking places, Amritsar has a few spots you might like. Since there are no beaches in Punjab, adventurous water sports are almost negligible here. Although not adventurous, there are some haunted places in Punjab too which can be thrilling to visit.
- Natural Beauty: If you are a nature lover, you will simply love what Punjab has to offer. Jallianwala Bagh, which holds a lot of historical significance, is a pretty garden now. There are other gardens as well as lakes and rivers which make for amazing vacation spots. These naturally beautiful places are also lovely romantic places where couples can spend their time.
For those who are in Punjab as tourists, they will find homely accommodation in various popular hotels and resorts here. Everything from 5-Star hotels to decently priced hotel rooms is available here at all the popular tourist locations.
People of Punjab
People of Punjab are always energetic, sporty and extremely friendly to be with. We can give a lot of credit to the growing tourism in Punjab to its kind and helpful people. Most of the people still live in villages but the state is developing its villages into cities at a rapid rate. The regional language of the state is Punjabi but people in the state understand Hindi and English as well. The literacy rate of the state is around 80% which is quite impressive and well above the country average.
Punjabi cuisine is not only popular in the state but a large part of it represents the Indian cuisine throughout the world. Food from the Punjabi cuisine is easily found in all parts of India and around the globe in any Indian themed restaurant. Sarson da Saag, Makke di Roti, Tandoori Chicken, Shami Kebab and various other food items are popular in the cuisine. Lassi is the preferred sweet option here and a delicacy which is available throughout the country.
Major Festivals in Punjab
Just like all the other parts of India, festivals are celebrated with a lot of fanfare in Punjab. Some of the most popular festivals that are celebrated in the state include Baisakhi, Lohri, Basant, Rakhi, Diwali, Hola Mohalla, Teeyan and few more. Other than these festivals, rests of the popular Hindu religion festivals are celebrated here as well.
Clothing Trends in Punjab
The clothing trends in Punjab are ever changing and new fashion trends keep emerging here. The traditional dresses for men here include kurtas and Lungis and for women, it’s the Punjabi Suit which is Salwar and Kameez in a typical Punjabi fashion. The women’s clothing in Punjab is quite popular in rest of the country as well. Overall, the clothing is colorful and vibrant just like the culture of Punjab.
Punjab continues to attract tourists from different parts of India and the world which gives rise to the tourism sector here. However, its economy is majorly dependent on the agriculture industry. Agriculture is and will be the major industry for the foreseeable future. However, development of new industries is growing at a rapid rate in the state and so is the availability of jobs. Since the goods need to be transported throughout the country, even the transportation industry is booming here.
Punjab is definitely one of the places you must visit to explore a different dimension to Indian culture and a lovely set of people whom you won’t stop adoring long after your visit. The state has given the uplift to Indian tourism in many ways and will continue to do so.
Districts of Punjab
|21||Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar|