Punjab, a state bordering Pakistan, is the heart of India’s Sikh community. The city of Amritsar, founded in the 1570s by Sikh Guru Ram Das, is the site of Harmandir Sahib, the holiest gurdwara (Sikh place of worship). Known in English as the Golden Temple, and surrounded by the Pool of Nectar, it's a major pilgrimage site. Also in Amritsar is Durgiana Temple, a Hindu shrine famed for its engraved silver doors.

The name Punjab is made of two words Punj (Five) + Aab (Water) i.e. land of five rivers. These five rivers of Punjab are Sutlej, Beas, Ravi, Chenab, and Jhelum. Only Sutlej, Ravi and Beas rivers flow in today's Punjab. The other two rivers are now in the state of Punjab, situated in Pakistan. The Punjab State is divided into three regions: Majha, Doaba and Malwa.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Punjab's economy. Other major industries include manufacturing of scientific instruments, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines etc..
Punjab has made considerable economic progress after Independence despite the setback it suffered in 1947. It contributes nearly two thirds to the total production of food grains and a third of milk production in the country. It is the leading producer of wheat, thereby contributing to the national food security. The initiative of Green revolution (a major agricultural initiative) has been keenly taken forward by the people of Punjab. Even though Punjabis account for less than 2.5% of the Indian population, they are one of the most prosperous races in India. Their per capita income is twice the national average.
Punjab is considered to have the best infrastructure in India; this includes road, rail, air and river transport links that are extensive throughout the region. Punjab also has the lowest poverty rate in India and has won the best state performance award, based on statistical data compiled by the Indian Government.
According to 2011 Census of India, the total Population of Punjab is 2,77,43,338. The decadal change i.e. increase in population from 2001 to 2011 is 13.89%.

Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib, also known as Darbar Sahib, is a Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is the preeminent pilgrimage site of Sikhism. It is usually called the Golden Temple in English, because it is plated with gold.

Jallianwala Bagh
Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar, and houses a memorial of national importance, established in 1951 by the Government of India, to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrants including ...

M.C. Zoological Park, Chhat Bir Zoo, Zirakpur

Chhatbir Zoo, is a zoological park situated close to Zirakpur, India. The zoo was constructed in the 1970s and is home to a large variety of birds, mammals and reptiles.

Durgiana Temple

The Durgiana Temple, also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Durga Tirath and Sitla Mandir, is a premier temple situated in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Though a Hindu temple, its architecture is similar to the Golden Temple.

Akal Takht

The Akal Takht, meaning throne of the timeless one, is one of five takhts of the Sikhs. It is located in the Harmandir Sahib complex in Amritsar, Punjab.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum

Museum dedicated to the Sikh Empire founder displaying armour, paintings & other historical objects.

Harike WetlandHarike Wetland also known as "Hari-ke-Pattan", with the Harike Lake in the deeper part of it, is the largest wetland in northern India in the border of Tarn Taran Sahib district and Ferozepur district of the Punjab state in India.

Qila Mubarak Gurudwara Sahib

Qila Mubarak, is a historical monument in the heart of the city of Bathinda in Punjab, India. It is recognized as monument of national importance and maintained by Archaeological Survey of India. It has been in existence from 1100-1200 AD in its current place and is the oldest surviving fort in India.
4144, Qila Road, Old City, Bathinda, Punjab 151001

Ranjit Sagar Dam

The Ranjit Sagar Dam, also known as the Thein Dam, is part of a hydroelectric project constructed by the Government of Punjab Punjab Irrigation Department on the Ravi River on the Border of two states of India Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. 60% of the lake is part of J&K.

By Air

There are a number of airports in Punjab in cities like Amritsar, Chandigarh, and Ludhiana. Amritsar, and Chandigarh stations are international airports while the Ludhiana airport serves domestic purpose only. Travelers from within and even outside India can book tickets to these airports to reach Punjab in the fastest, and most convenient ways. Various airlines like Jet Airways, Indigo, Vistara, Air India, Qatar Airways, and more, operate regular flights to Amritsar

By Train

The state of Punjab and many of its cities have well developed railway stations which connect them to different parts of the country via railways. There are around 90 railway stations in different districts of Punjab which make it even more convenient for travelers to reach as close to their destination as possible. Trains also serve as more economical means of transport and are best for budget travelers. A large number of trains operate to and from these stations such as Jbp Atari Special, Shan-e-Punjab, Moga Shatabdi, Amritsar Shatabdi, Amritsar Express, Swarna Shtbdi, Sachkhand Express, Garib Rath Express, Golden Temple Mail, Punjab Mail, and more. Punjab Mail is one of the most important trains. Punjab Mail route passes through states of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra

By Road

Traveling to Punjab by road is one of the most charming experiences. Plain-sailing roads, and lush green fields on both sides form a perfect landscape for a long drive. Road journeys from places like Delhi, Haryana, Himachal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, and more nearby places are quite popular amongst tourists.

30 Best Weekend Holiday Destinations near Chandigarh

India’s first planned city, Chandigarh is certainly an inspiration, when it comes to giving Indian cities a modern look. This meticulously planned city is probably one of the best places to dwell in the country. However, this people-oriented city also needs to go on a break and see something that exists in contrast to its more than perfect city life, fortunately, its location offer easy access to several places that are actually ideal for weekend getaways. Proximity of the city to beautiful Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, culturally rich Delhi and diverse Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh opens the doors for the people of Chandigarh to have memorable weekend trips all year round.

Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh

A beautiful hill station of Himachal Pradesh, Parwanoo is an ideal getaway from Chandigarh. The serene city is only at a distance of 30kms from Chandigarh and can be reached by taking Chandigarh-Shimla Highway. Parwanoo makes for a great summer getaway from Chandigarh as its salubrious climate offers respite from the scorching heat in the peak months of summer. This little hill station is adorned with fruit orchards and scenic landscape also the calm surrounding makes Parwanoo a good place for a relaxing weekend.

Morni Hills, Haryana

A small hamlet in the Panchkula district of Haryana, Morni Hills is yet another wonderful place for a weekend getaway from Chandigarh. Situated about 45kms from Chandigarh, Morni Hills is a scenic place with two lakes that are fringed by hills. It is also a great place for those who like to trek and camp. The trek to Ghaggar River is the most famous trek in Morni Hill. Those who wish to bask in the sun or contemplate nature’s beauty; Morni Hills is a great place for them as well. This small hill station is known for its vivid variety of flowers and different bird species.

Nahan, Himachal Pradesh

Nahan has its own way of alluring travellers; yes, it is a hill station with undeniably one of the most beautiful landscapes but along with it, Nahan also draws attention for its rich history and heritage as well. Nahan is at a short distance of about 90kms from Chandigarh and thus makes a perfect weekend destination for the city. The hill statuin is also reckoned to be a land of folklores and legends. This beautiful little hill station is a serene place, where along with indulging in interesting stories, you can enjoy being away from the hustle and bustle of a city life.

Chail, Himachal Pradesh

An exotic hill station at a short distance of 103kms from Chandigarh, Chail is another lovely hill station for spending a weekend. This hill station of Himachal Pradesh is known for its exquisite architecture and is an ideal place for hiking. Chail also has India’s highest cricket ground. Covered with chir pine and tall deodars, this beautiful hill station was once the summer retreat of the Maharaja of Patiala. A weekend in Chail can relieve you of all the worries of your life, staying amidst the beautiful and calm environ helps you get rejuvenated and ready for a fresh new week.

Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

Kasauli is a picturesque town in Himachal Pradesh and is another wonderful place for spending a weekend for those living in Chandigarh. Situated at a distance of about 54kms from Chandigarh, Kasauli offers a tranquil ambiance, where one can relax and attain peace of mind. This hill station has a colonial look and British era churches which are the main attractions here. One can enjoy long walks amidst the Pine and Oak forest here. Quiet and beautiful, Kasauli is indeed one of the best places for a weekend getaway from Chandigarh.

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Probably one of the most best places to visit on a weekend from Chandigarh, Shimla is about 130kms away from the city. Shimla needs no introduction as its status as the favourite summer destination in India is well cemented. The capital of Himachal Pradesh reflects the blend of culture, history and hospitality of the state. This lovely city is peaceful and offers scenic views. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the beauty of unspoilt nature.

Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

A picturesque town of the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala is an ideal hill station for a weekend getaway from Chandigarh. Dharamshala is situated at a distance of 244kms from Chandigarh and can be reached in less than 7 hours. On a two-day trip to Dharamshala, you shall be able to see the entire city, which is divided into two parts (Upper Dharamshala- Mcleodganj and Lower Dharamshala). The main attraction of Dharamshala is the Buddhist monastery; however it has some beautiful churches as well. The city is calm and serene and offers trekking opportunity as well.

Punjabi culture is one of the oldest and richest cultures in world history, and also one of the most vibrant. The Indian state of Punjab exhibits a unique cultural landscape, which thrives in both traditional values and utilitarian aspects. There is artistry in every aspect of life in Punjab and an aura of embellishment dominates the place. The opulent culture of this northwestern state of India is apparent in its metal work, embroidery, wall paintings, jewelry, mud wall paintings, architecture, folk songs and dances. The culture of the state is wide in scope, encompassing a rich history and a pulsating social life. The century-old Punjab culture is renowned for its tolerance, progressiveness and logical approach to life as well.

Bhangra Dance
Bhangra is the most popular folk dance of Punjab. It represents the liveliness and dynamism of its people. The dance mainly involves men, who perform to the fast beats of drum and music. Originally performed on the Baisakhi festival, the harvest festival of Punjab, bhangra is done at every single festive occasion today.

Punjabi Dances
Punjab has a very rich tradition of dances, particularly the folk ones. The exuberance and vitality of its people are vigorously displayed in their folk dances. These dances are full of expressions, gestures, vocal remarks, subtleties of motion and unrestricted freedom.

Giddha is a popular folk dance of Punjab, performed by the women of the region. It bears much similarity to the bhangra dance, which is performed by the men in the state. The dancers enact verses called bolis, which is a representation of folk poetry at its best. A wide range of subjects is enacted, ranging from the daily chores to the political affairs.

History of Punjab
The word 'Punjab’ appeared for the first time in the Book "Tarikh-e-Sher Shah” (1580). It describes the construction of a fort by 'Sher Khan of Punjab’. Reference to the word 'Punjab’ can be found in "Ain-e-Akbari” Part 1 as well, which describes that the territory can be divided into provinces of Lahore and Multan.

People of Punjab
Punjab is inhabited by people of diverse socio-cultural dominations. The inhabitants of the state are called the Punjabis. They are basically of Indo-Aryan ethnic origin and belong to South Asia. Numerous settlers like the Indo-Aryans, Persians, Synthians, Greeks, Arabs, Afghans and the British have invaded and ruled the region, giving it a unique culture.

Religions of Punjab
Punjab is the land where a number of religions exist in perfect harmony with each other. Sikhism and Hinduism form the major religions of the state. The other religions, like Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Buddhism, also flourish, though comparatively low in proportion.

What is the best time to visit Punjab?

Punjab, the land of five rivers, is best visited between the months of October and March. It is winter and spring season in the state during this time. The weather is pleasantly cold at the beginning of the winter season and drops down incredibly during the peak season. It further makes exploring the attractions a tremendously enjoyable experience during the day without having to bear the scorching heat or rainfall. The summers, that follow immediately, make the state extremely hot and humid. A trip to Punjab during this season is not at all advisable to the tourists. Monsoons, however, can be a good idea sometimes depending on the region being explored as certain locations receive heavy rainfall during the season.

Punjab in Summer (April - June)

April marks the beginning of summer season in Punjab, and it goes on until June. During peak season, the minimum temperature the state experiences is around 29°C and the maximum it touches is 45°C. One can deduce the summers are extreme here and it is wise to avoid travelling to Punjab in the season. If one happens to go to Punjab at the beginning of the season, they might be able to witness the grand festival of Baisakhi which is celebrated with great enthusiasm in April.

Punjab in Monsoon (July - September)

Monsoon season in Punjab starts from July and continues until September. It brings respite from the rising temperatures that the state experiences. The rainfall ranges from 300 mm to 1000 mm, so the weather mostly stays wet and humid. Heavy rainfall is observed during this period especially in the regions which are closer to the foothills of the Himalayas. Any outdoor activity may not be a good idea during the season; however, the beautifully transformed face of Punjab might draw many a nature lovers to absorb in the fresh air and the lush greenery thriving in the region. One might be able to catch the festival of Teeyan which is celebrated in August every year to mark the arrival of monsoons. One would get to witness lots of colour, folk music, traditional dance and other fun activities.

Punjab in Winter (October - March)

Winter season starts taking over the monsoon season from October onwards, and it lasts until March. The weather remains soothing and pleasant at the beginning of the season. The day-time temperature stays around 26°C while during the night; it drops down to 0°C. Some regions of the state also experience less than 0°C. Winters are comparatively best time to explore Punjab and travellers should avoid the blistering heat of summer season and heavy rainfalls of the monsoon season.

Some important festivals are also celebrated during the season. Tourists can plan their stay around the festive days to experience the vibrant celebrations. The winter harvest festival of Lohri is celebrated in January every year to invoke the Sun God by offering prayers to a traditional bonfire. Basant Panchami is celebrated in the same month, and it marks the onset of the spring season. Locals wear yellow coloured traditional attires, worship Goddess Saraswati and also participate in Kite Flying Competitions on Basant Panchami. The exciting festival of Hola Mohalla is celebrated on the 1st and 2nd day of March and includes religious programs, kirtans, cultural programs, horse riding and martial art demonstrations. With so many celebrations, by far, this is the only season perfect for tourists to explore the colours and culture of Punjab.

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