Punjab

Capital
Chandigarh
Population
24,3 million
Area
50 362 km²

Languages
Punjabi , Hindi and English
Best time to visit
October - March
Climate (°C)
Between 10 to 35

About

Punjab lies at the crossroads of the great civilizations of the world. Historicaly the area west of Punjab was under the influence of Persia, the east was the heart of the Indian civilization, the south under the influence of the Arabs and the north under the Turko-Mongolian influence. Many great religious movements grew in the fertile plains of Punjab. They include Budhism, Sikhism and many schools of Sufi thought in Islam. This ethnic and religous diversity is reflected in the cultural mosaic of todays's Punjab.

India's independence from British rule in 1947, also saw the partitioning of the country and the division of Punjab. Consequently, the state was reorganised twice, and it was only in 1966, that the present Indian state of Punjab came into being in its present form.

How to get here

Air
Chandigarh is well connected by air with New Delhi. Indian Airlines and Vayudoot operate regular flights.

Rail
Shatabdi Express runs daily between Chandigarh and New Delhi.

Bus
Buses ply frequently between Chandigarh and New Delhi, the trip takes about 5 hours.

Places to visit

Amritsar - Golden temple - Wagha Border - Harike Wildlife Sanctuary

.: Amritsar
The word Amritsar means the holy pool of nectar. 1573 Work began on digging the holy pool. 1601 Harmandir Sahib completed. 1604 Guru Granth Sahib installed. Alongside people representing 52 professions settled. In Maharaja Ranjit Singh's time Amritsar had superceded Lahore as the pre-eminent city of the Orient.

Amritsar is one of the most ancient and fascinating cities of India. It is an important seat of Sikh history and culture. Being the gateway for travellers coming to India on the overland route from central Asia it soon became the centre of various commercial activities.Amritsar has various historical and religious sites. The most famous of them all in the Golden Temple which was founded by the fourth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Ramdas and completed by his successor Guru Arjan Dev.

Punjab ('Panj Aab') is an Indo-Iranian word meaning "the land of five rivers". Punjab lies at the cross-roads of the great civilizations of the world.

.: Golden Temple
During Maharaja Ranjit Singh's reign the lower half of the temple was decorated with marble while the entire upper half was inlaid with copper covered over by gold plate, therefore its new name, the Golden Temple. Free kitchen and recitation of the divine word never cease here. Its four gates invite everyone from all directions.

.: Wagha Border
The enchanting spectacle of the beating retreat followed by the change of guard in the evening within handshaking distance of the Pakistan border drives attention to this place. The border, located 25 km from Amritsar City and near Attari village, draws thousands of domestic and international tourists every year.

.: Harike Wildlife Sanctuary
Harike wetland, was initially developed with the purpose of storing and providing irrigation and drinking water to parts of Southern Punjab and adjoining state of Rajasthan. The construction of a barrage at the confluence of Beej and Sutlej river gave the wetland its constant water supply. Prior to this construction, the area was primarily a marshy pond with aquatic vegetation and wildlife. The wetland area is spread over a vast expanse of about 148sq.km and is located approximately 55km south of Amritsar.



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