Punjab - The Land of Five Rivers

Situated in the northwest part of India, Punjab is one of the most affluent states known for its rich culture, religious sentiments, and warm hospitality. Punjab was named after the five rivers, Beas, Sutlej, Chenab, Jhelum, and Ravi, which divided it into three regions - Doaba, Malwa, and Maja. Having the privilege of natural benefits of fertile soils and abundance of water, Punjab is undoubtedly an agricultural State. Being a land of multiple cultures, Punjab is the birthplace of many religious movements, including Sikhism, Buddhism, and several Sufi schools of Islam. The State shares the long border with a neighboring nation, Pakistan. It is perhaps one of the oldest civilizations having disguised culture.

History

Punjab has a deep-rooted historical backdrop. The State mainly prospered drastically during the supremacy of the Great Mughal Emperor, Babar, and continued under the regime of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1838 AD). The State became the witness of a big downfall during the partition of India in 1947.

Economy

Despite the partition, Punjab has made significant progress in terms of its economy. Known for its fertile soils, the State, at present, contributes almost two thirds to the overall production of food grains and one-third of milk production in India. Besides that, it is also considered as the top wheat production State producing 2 million tonnes annually. Punjab is even known for a significant agricultural movement initiative referred to as the ‘Green Revolution.’ Presently, Punjab is just a fourth of its actual area due to the partition.

Tourist Attractions

Coupled with a perfect blend of urban and rural flavors, Punjab has various attractions to lure tourists. The State is the heart of the Sikh community. Therefore, tourists witness to a host of Gurudwaras.

Amritsar: Founded somewhere in the 16th Century, it is the most sacred city of India. The name of the city has been derived from ‘Amrit Sarovar,’ a middle of which the Golden Temple situated. It is one of the holiest Sikh shrines where tourists and pilgrims from all around the world come. Besides the Golden Temple, tourists can visit Jallianwala Bagh, a precious monument that showcases India’s freedom struggle. The city gives an unforgettable experience to the tourists through its ancient legends, historical monuments, Gurudwaras & Temples, traditional bazaars, theatre, and lively festivals. Situated at Indo-Pak line of control, Wagah Border is also a place where tourists love to go to see the flag on/off ceremony.

Some Tourist Attractions

  • Bathinda Fort
  • Khalsa College
  • Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama
  • Akal Takht
  • Golden Temples
  • Jallianwala Bagh
  • Tarn Taran Sahib
  • Wagah Border
  • Rambagh Garden
  • Harike Wetland and Bird Sanctuary
  • Durgiana Temple
  • Kaiser Bagh Park

Chandigarh:  The other name given to the city is “The City Beautiful” as it the best-planned city in India. It is the capital of both Haryana and Punjab, and it is among the seven Union Territories of India as well. This city is blessed with these attractive spots:

  • Terraced Garden
  • Mahendra Chaudhary Zoological Park
  • Garden of Fragrance
  • Butterfly Park
  • Sarkaria Cactus Garden
  • Le Corbusier Centre
  • Chhatbir Zoo
  • Shanti Kunj
  • Sukhna Lake
  • The Rock Garden
  • Leisure Valley
  • Morni Hills
  • Rose Garden
  • Government Museum and Art Gallery
  • Timber Trail
  • Yadvinder Garden
  • Chandigarh Botanical Garden and Nature Park
  • Chhatbir Zoo
  • International Dolls Museum

Fatehgarh Sahib: The town is also known for its holy backdrop. It is named after the youngest son of Guru Gobind Singh. In the past, Fatehgarh Sahib was called Sirhind.

Ludhiana: Founded in the 15th century during the supremacy of Lodi Sultans, the city is mainly known for its small and medium scale businesses. It is a manufacturing hub for hosiery, woolens, and bicycle parts.

Some places to visit:

  • Nehru Rose Garden
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum
  • Punjab Agricultural University Museum
  • Rural Heritage Museum
  • Lodhi Fort
  • Tiger Zoo
  • Gurudwara Charan Kamal
  • Phillaur Fort
  • Deer Park

Patiala: Among the most prosperous city of Punjab, Patiala is primarily known for its deep-rooted history, rich heritage of art, and ancient legends. During the period of Delhi Sultanate and the Mughals, the city was a part of Sirhind (presently known as Fatehgarh Sahib).
The city is famous for:

The city is famous for:

  • Lachman Jhoola
  • Darbar Hall
  • Baradari Garden
  • Banur
  • Qila Mubarak Complex
  • Moti Bagh Palace
  • Samana
  • Sheesh Mahal
  • Bir Moti Bagh Sanctuary
  • Kali Temple

Bathinda: Derived its name from Bhati Rajputs, it is seen as one of the oldest towns of Punjab. The town is famous for its Bhatinda fort – a symbol of the Christian era.

Some other attractions are:

  • Chetak Park
  • Lakhi Jungle
  • Bhatinda Lake
  • Qila Mubarak
  • Bhatinda Fort
  • Rose Garden
  • Bhatinda Zoological Park
  • Bir Talab Zoo
  • Dhobi Bazaar

Hoshiarpur: The history of this town dates back to the era of Mahabharata. It is believed that Pandavas had spent 13 years in exile in this part of town. It has an ancient Biranwala temple believed to be 400-year-old in Balachaur, a few kilometers of the main town.

Pathankot: It is the center of the traffic to the Himalaya region. Pathankot is the central hub for railway and roadways transportation to continue the journey to Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Popular tourist attractions are:

  • Shahpurkandi Fort
  • Ranjit Sagar Dam
  • Kathgarh Temple
  • Mukteshwar Temple
  • Ashapurni Mandir
  • Nurpur Fort
  • Hydraulic Research Station
  • Kali Mata Ka Mandir

Gurdaspur: The city shares its boundary with many districts of Punjab including Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, and Kapurthala. The city is known for its perfect blend of the historical and spiritual backdrop. It is said that the Great, Alexander fought one of his battles on this land.

Jalandhar: Located between two rivers, Beas and Sutlej, the city is the education hub of Punjab. It is believed that the city named after a demon king stated in the Puranas and the

Some popular attraction spots are:

  • Prithvi’s Planet
  • Niku Park
  • Pushpa Gujral Science City
  • Shiv Mandir
  • Wonderland Theme Park
  • Tulsi Mandir
  • Imam Nasir Masjid
  • Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Museum
  • Devi Talab Mandir
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral Church
  • Company Bagh
  • Rangla Punjab Haveli
  • Sheetla Mandir

Transportation

Air: There are mainly two major airports in Punjab, one at Amritsar and another at Ludhiana. Tourists can take daily flights from Delhi to Amritsar. However, people coming from other parts of the world need to land at Delhi first then after can take a flight to Punjab.

Rail: Punjab is well connected with various parts of India through the railways. Many Super-fast, Express, and local AMU/DMU trains cross almost all the cities of Punjab. The Union Territory, Chandigarh, also connects the State with big cities like Delhi, Varanasi, and Lucknow.

Road: The mode of road transportation is the best way to explore Punjab. The buses of Punjab Roadways and private operators connect the State with Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh. People can even hire private taxis to roam in and around the State. While traveling from Delhi to Punjab, people can enjoy the delicious foods at dhabas (local restaurants).

Best Time to Visit

Due to located one side at the foothills of Himalayas and another side of the semiarid desert, the climate of Punjab is continental and humid. Therefore, the best time to enter the State is between October and March when the temperature remains cold.

Cuisine

Punjab is known for its mouth-watering variety of cuisines. Punjabi foods are considered as the richest cuisine in India. The foods have mainly been agrarian in nature, traditionally witnessed in the remains of granaries and a unique relic of Indus Valley Civilization. The specialties of Punjabi cuisines are Chole Baturey, Makke ki roti (Maize bread), and Sarsoo da saag (mustard curry leaf), tandoori chicken, rajma-chawal, and kadhi. The food seems incomplete without a glass of lassi or milk.

Festivals and Events

Punjab is well-known for its festivals where people dance on loud music and dhols (drum beats). During the festive season, the State looks quite energetic and vibrant. Both men and women perform dances together on Punjabi music. Men mainly perform Bhangra dance, whereas women love to move their feet on Giddha. The colorful dress and traditional clothes are adding charm to their performance. It is tough for people to control themselves from dancing while watching Punjabi dance. Baisakhi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, teej, and all Hindu festivals are celebrated in this region with great passion and zeal.

Language

Punjabi is the primary language spoken in this region. The recent survey reveals that Punjabi is the 11th most popular language in the world. Beside it, Hindi, English, and Urdu are also spoken in the State.

Education 

The government of India has launched many programs like the “Sarva Shiksha Program” to improve the literacy rate of the country, and Punjab is one of those Indian states which are responding to these programs enthusiastically. At present, the literacy rate of Punjab has reached up to 77%.

There are many renowned universities and colleges in the state where the students are doing wonders. These are listed below:

Govt. Universities

  • Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana
  • Punjabi University, Patiala
  • IK Gujral Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar
  • Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar
  • Punjab University, Chandigarh (a Punjab State University)
  • Central University of Punjab - Bathinda
  • Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot
  • Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana
  • Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, Bathinda
  • Guru Ravidas Ayurved University, Hoshiarpur
  • Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala

Deemed

  • Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Longowal
  • Thapar University, Patiala

Private

  • Sant Baba Bhag Singh University, Jalandhar
  • Rayat Bahra University, Sahauran(Greater Mohali)
  • Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo
  • Chitkara University, Rajpura
  • Indian School of Business, Ajitgarh
  • Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar
  • Apeejay Institute of Management Technical Campus, Jalandhar
  • Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib
  • Chandigarh University, Ajitgarh
  • Adesh University, Bathinda
  • Desh Bhagat University, Mandi Gobindgarh
  • DAV University, Jalandhar
  • GNA University, Phagwara
  • Akal University

Autonomous Colleges in Punjab

Many colleges of Punjab have been granted autonomous status by UGC.

  • Beant College of Engineering and Technology Gurdaspur
  • S.G.G.S. Khalsa College, Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur district)
  • Khalsa College, Amritsar
  • Mata Gujri College, Fatehgarh Sahib
  • Amritsar College of Engineering & Technology
  • Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana

Reputed colleges (Technical/Professional)

  • Malwa College of Nursing
  • Malout Institute of Management & Technology, Malout ( Govt. of Punjab)
  • Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali
  • Dr. B R Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar
  • Indian Institute of Management Amritsar
  • Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, Gobindgarh, Moga, Muktsar under Desh Bhagat University
  • Apeejay Institute of Management Technical Campus, Jalandhar (Punjab)
  • Universal Group Of Institutions, Lalru
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar
  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali
  • Global Institute Of Management & Emerging Technologies, Amritsar
  • Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus (Government Engineering College), Bathinda
  • Bhutta College of Engineering & Technology, Ludhiana
  • Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib

Other Institutes of Repute (General)

  • State College of Education, Patiala
  • Regional Centre Punjabi University, Bathinda
  • PCTE Group of Institutes (including Punjab College of Technical Education), Ludhiana
  • Malwa College of Nursing, Kotkapura
  • Khalsa College, Patiala
  • Gulzar Group of Institutes, Khanna (Engineering College)
  • Govt. Bikram College of Commerce, Patiala
  • [Doraha College of Education, Doraha]
  • College of Engineering and Management, Kapurthala
  • BBK DAV College for Women, Amritsar
  • Aryabhatta group of institutions, Barnala
  • BCM College of Education, Ludhiana]
  • Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, Gobindgarh, Moga, Muktsar under Desh Bhagat University
  • GHG Khalsa College of Education, GURUSAR Sudhar
  • Govt. College of Education, Sector 20 Chandigarh
  • Malwa Group of Institutions.
  • Kings Group of Institutions, Barnala, Punjab
  • Mohindra College, Patiala
  • Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh
  • SGGS Khalsa College Sector 26 Chandigarh
  • Swami Sarvanand Giri Panjab University Regional Centre, Hoshiarpur

Medical Colleges

As of 2015, there are more than 920 MBBS and 1,070 BDS seats across Punjab

  • Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot
  • Government Medical Colleges
  • Government Medical College, Amritsar
  • Government Medical College, Patiala

Private Medical Colleges

  • Chintpurni Medical College, Gurdaspur
  • Dayanand Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana
  • Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar
  • Gian Sagar Medical College & Hospital, Patiala
  • Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Sri Amritsar
  • Christian Medical College, Ludhiana
  • Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences & Research, Bathinda
  • Desh Bhagat School of Medical Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh Desh Bhagat University
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