Punjab Travel Information
The most affluent and smallest Indian state, Punjab, is situated in the northwest part of India. The name Punjab is derived from the five rivers Beas, Sutlej, Ravi, Jhelum and Chenab meaning the water of five rivers (Punj + Aab) in Persian language. Punjab is divided in three geographical regions namely Doaba, Malwa and Majha by these five rivers. Basically, Punjab is an agricultural state and has natural plentiful water and productive soil.
Punjab has a distinctive culture which is the earliest and most vibrant culture in the world. The origin of Punjabi language is from an Indo-European family including Latin and Persian. Punjab is unique in its diversified religions and ethnicity. Many religious movements have taken birth on this land which includes Sikhism, Islam’s Sufi schools and Buddhism. These movements have influenced the world populace in every sphere.
Clothing in Punjab
The women and girls of Punjab dress up in Kameez, Salwaar with vivid colored dupattas. Kameez is a top piece or shirt whereas Salwaar is a bottom piece or pants. Duppatta is the bright colorful cloth piece that female put on around their collar and neck. This female dress of Punjab is available in assortment of designs and colors. Punjab has ample of stores that focus and trade only in these articles of outfits.
Boys and adult men usually wear relaxed pants or slacks along with a collared T-shirt or shirt. Kurta and Pajamas, an Indian style pant and shirt dress, are also put on by some males especially in rural Punjab. Sikhs in Punjab also wear turbans or bhuggs on their heads.
Food in Punjab
Punjabi food is greasy and is intended for the tough hearted people. Punjabi food is loaded with spices, flavors’ and ample quantity of clarified butter (Ghee). Milk and milk products are used as daily diet because of Punjab’s large quantity of milk production. Big glasses full of Yoghurt drink (Lassi) or milk butter is an essential part of Punjabi meal.
The people of northwestern India and Punjab generally eat wheat and Maize thus they have developed variety of breads which include stuffed potato bread (Aloo-Paratha) and the maize bread (makki ki roti). The popular vegetarian dishes of Punjab include mustard leaf curry (sarson ka saag), Kadhi pakoras (yoghurt curry and gram flour) and Chawal-rajma (steamed rice with kidney beans).
Combined recipes from Mughlai and northwestern frontier area cuisines have also been developed in Punjab’s non vegetarian dishes like mutton and poultry. The omnipresent dish ‘tandoori chicken’ is much loved.
Places to Visit
Punjab, being an agricultural area, has not much places to visit. Even then, it is worth visiting due to under mentioned places.
Chandigarh, the capital city, is worth to visit. It has about 30 acres of land and Asia’s largest rose garden, the Zakir Gulab Bagh which was designed by Le Corbusier, a Frenchman and famous Rock Garden. Bhatinda has the fort of Razia Sultan, the only female medieval ruler of Delhi. Faridkot has many renowned Gurudwaras, temples and mosques and Ferozpur has the Samadhis of legendry revolutionaries Shahid Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.
The highest religious seat, the scared Golden Temple, of Sikh religion is at Amritsar to bow the covered head here and also pay rich tributes to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh where the colonial bullets killed lots of innocent Indians.
At Hoshiarpur, pay respect to the tomb of famous Jamal Saint of 1250AD. And visit to bathe in the large and scared Devi Talab of Hindu faith at Jalandhar. Ludhiana is a major hosiery town with many Gurudwaras whereas Kapurthala has the palace of Maharaja Jagatjit Singh. Patiala City is famous for Palaces and Gardens with folk art of Phulkari. Pay a must visit to Sangrur and Ropar for more Gurudwaras, Temples and Mosques. On top of your tour is Sanghol where in 1968, a Buddhist stupa was excavated which is supposed to be of Kushan sculptures relating to 1st to 2nd century AD with marvelously engraved stone slabs, crossbars, statuettes, figures and pillars.
Shopping in Punjab
Punjab towns offer delight for shoppers of different articles because the market is full of locally made interesting things to buy.
Enjoy your purchasing with embroidered Punjabi “Juttis (local shoes)”, embroidered typical “Phulkari” Kameez (long close fitting coats worn by females over loose pajamas), hosiery and woolen garments, cotton durries, carpets and embroidered bed sheets and cushion covers. Purchase some efficient electric goods in low prices and bicycles from the largest manufacturer of the world.
Punjab experiences three seasons. From mid April to mid July is the summer month. The monsoon season starts from mid July to the end of September. Winter season in Punjab starts from last days of November to February end. Post winter and post rainy seasons are the transitional seasons of Punjab.
The commencement of summer season in Punjab practically starts from mid April but from February onwards the temperature begins to rise. The monsoon season usually starts from early weeks of July and rain fall remains generally between 250mm to 1000mm. Punjab’s agriculture produces mainly depend upon the monsoon. The monsoonal winds coming from Bay of Bengal are the prime cause of rains in Punjab. From mid December to January end, Punjab experiences the peak time of winter season when night temperature falls to 4degree and the day’s temperature remains around 12 to 20 degree.
The transitional post monsoon season generally remains dry and relatively fair. The hail storms and short showers appear and cause extensive damages to the ripened crops. The winds in the end of March month become dry. The climate of Punjab, an agricultural state, is an enormous factor in its economical growth.
Best Time to Visit Punjab
October to March is the finest time to pay visit because the weather is cold and healthy. Hot summer and monsoon can thus be avoided.
The people of Punjab are generally kind hearted and tourists are not likely to feel in danger during their visits but one must undertake normal precautions.
Pick pocketing in some area of Punjab is common, so be sure to be attentive about your surroundings. Always try to put your wallet in the front pocket. Please do not carry more things in one go for example do not carry tickets, passports etc. Don’t use Rs.500 and Rs.1000 denomination currency notes at small shops. Keep always some exchange handy because except big chain of retail shopping’s, many other shops do not except the debit or credit cards (the plastic money).
Always try to avoid crowded places and for being on the safer side, one should not get trapped in rallies and protests. In lonely areas or at night time, choose to walk in groups.
In case of any emergency, first inform/call your near and dear known ones rather than dialing the number of police. Be very cautious and careful of traffic on the roads and avoid general public’s display of affections. Bribing cops is a common practice because corruption is deep rooted in almost all government structure of bureaucracy but it is not suggested so avoid it.
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