Tourism

Punjab Information

The land of five rivers and golden harvests. Punjab is said to be the granary of India. Being the border state it has been hearing the brunt of the foreign invasions from times immemorial. It is also believed that the Arya came first to this region from the Mid-Asian region. The Partition of this vast chunk of land into India and Pakistan made this region suffer most. But then it rose like a phoenix from its ashes to the height of prosperity and progress hitherto unknown.

Its capital is Chandigarh which it shares with Haryana; area about 50,362 sq. miles; population around 2,42,89,296 language spoken is predominantly Punjabi and climate is extreme cold in winters and hot in summers, like Haryana. Its people are very hardworking, robust and exuberance and they know how to enjoy life. Punjab, the home of some of India’s finest fighting forces, is rich in culture, folk arts and history. Hut from visitor’s point of view, not much to offer. The capital city Chandigarh, and Amritsar, the great centre of Sikh pilgrimage, are the two main tourists, attractions.

Punjab Tourism Information

Chandigarh

With the partition of india in 1947, the Punjabh’s capital city Lahore went to Pakistan, and then a new capital was built at Chandigarh. This city was christened after Chandi or Durga Devi, is a prosperous and a modern, well planned city. It is actually a Union Territory housing the capitals of both Haryana and the Punjab. When Haryana is able to build its own capital, this city shall he transferred to Punjab.

This city, about 260 km. from Delhi was planted and designed by a famous French architect Le Corbousier. It is believed to be a model city and visited by architect and discerning people from all over the world. From architectural excellence the High Court and State Legislative buildings, in Sector one, are superb.

Closely is the Rock Garden, a fantasy in rocks and concrete. Nearby is the artificial lake Sukhana Sarover, which attracts the visitors for boating, angling and strolling around it. In Sector 10, there are the Art Gallery and the Museum. The museum contains fossils of pie-historic times which have been excavated in India. The Gallery of Portraits is famous for its collection of Rajasthani, Mughal and Kangra miniature paintings and also for some beautiful sc lptures ofGandhara period.

The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden in Sector I 6, is another place of tourists interest. It is believed to be the biggest of its kind in Asia and contains more than a thousand varieties of’ the Roses.

Chandigarh is well-connected with Delhi by air, road and rail. There is a regular air-conditioned bus-service between the two cities. Chandigarh has a variety of’ accommodation suiting to all budgets.

Amritsar

This great centre of Sikkhism literally means “The Pool of Nectar”. Guru Ram Das had received a piece of land from Emperor Akbar as a gift. Within the limits of this land, the Guru, the fourth in the lineage, dug a reservoir in 1557, since well-known as Amritsar. But the temple and the small village was then known as Ramdaspur, after its founder. Ram Das was succeeded by his son Guru Arjun Dev; during the latter’s time this sleepy and obscure hamlet with its “Pool of Nectar” became a populous city and a great place of pilgrimage of the Sikh faith.

The city also takes its name after the sacred tank inside wherein lies the Golden Temple or Har Mandir Sahib. The shrine can be reached by a 65 metre long marble causeway. The gold plated canopy of the temple, shining brightly in the sun, can be seen from afar. It was in 1802 that Maharaja Ranjit Singh had this canopy covered by gold-plated copper plates. Since then it has been known as the Golden Temple or “Swam Mandir”. The original shrine was destroyed and the city ransacked in 1764, by Ahmad Shah. The temple was reconstructed the same year. The original copy of the Guru Granth Sahib is kept in the Golden Temple from which high priests keep on reading and reciting to the accompaniment of devotional music.

A visitor must always remove his shoes and covet’ his head before entering the temple. English speaking guides are available at the Clock Tower, nearby the entrance. Here in the Clock Tower is also the Sikh Museum.

Not far from the Golden Temple is a Hindu shrine. Durgiana Temple, dedicated to Goddess Durga. Some of its features resemble to that of Golden Temple. The temple dates hack to the 16th century and also has other deities

Jalianwala Bagh

Nearby the Golden Temple is the historic Jalianwala Bagh, a memorial garden. It was here that in 1919 General Dyer massacred more than 2,000 unarmed and defenseless Indians who had collected there in a meeting. The event proved a turning point in the Indian National Movement for Independence. A flame like memorial has recently been erected here in the garden in memory of the martyrs. The well into which people jumped to escape the bullets is still there. One can also see the bullet marks in the walls around, After the tragic incident the things were never the same for British and ultimately they had to grant Independence to India in 1947.

Rain Bagh Garden

Ram Bagh is a beautiful garden outside the old walled city. It contains a place built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1799-1839). The palace is now turned into a small museum which houses some fine portraits of the rulers of the Punjab and also weapons dating back to medieval period of history.

Reaching Amritsar is easy as it is well connected by air and surface routes. It is about 440 km. away from Delhi by road. Besides the air-service from Delhi regular bus service is also available from many other cities of the country. Amri tsar is also a take-off point to other places like Pathankot, Jammu, Dharmshala or even Lahore (Pakistan) which is hardly 40 km. away.

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