Punjab – The Land of Five Rivers


Purana Qila

Punjab is derived from the word ‘Punj – aab’ which means five rivers in ‘Punjabi’ language, rivers that used to flow through the state before they were divided between India and Pakistan after India’s Independence in the year 1947. Punjab is situated in the northern part of India and Sikhism is the main religion practiced in this area. It is known as the land of temples, famous for the ‘Golden Temple’ in Amritsar, also known as the holy city. A trip to Punjab can take you on a delightful journey into the beautiful culture of India provided you research about the places where you can find the famous crafts, places to visit and eat in Punjab.

The famous crafts of Punjab include the ‘Durries’ or flat woven rugs, skillfully woven in traditional designs and used as bed covers or carpets; footwear called ‘Jutties’ with beautiful embroidery done with colored threads, beads and small mirrors; also popular is the ‘Phulkaris’ or artistic embroidery on a shawl, saree or dupatta. Hanging hair accessories or ‘Parandis’ are very attractive and different kinds of pashmina and cashmillon shawls are also very famous and can be bought from Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar.

Fatehgarh Sahib (Sirhind)

Fatehgarh Sahib (Sirhind)

The must visit places in Punjab should definitely include the Golden Temple and Wagha Border in Amritsar; the royal palaces and famous monuments in Patiala and Faridkot; the Old Fort or Purana Qila in Bathinda; Gurudwaras and the historic monuments at Sri Anandpur Sahib; Fatehgarh Sahib, Sirhind and Chamkaur Sahib which witnessed lots of action while Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th Guru of Sikhs; Gurdwara Nanaksar, Gurdwara Mehdiana Sahib located at Jagraon; the Bhakra Nangal Dam across the river Sutlej, Ropar, famous for its Indus Valley civilization site and Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and a modern city which was designed by the French architect, Le Corbusier.

Punjabi cuisine is widely famous for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Beef is neither sold nor consumed in Punjab. The most famous food options in Punjab include Samosas, Pakoras, Jalebi, Gulab Jamun, Paneer Pakora, Tandoori Chicken, Fish, Butter Chicken, Shahi Paneer, Dal Makhni, Dal Maharani, Dal Amritsari, Rajma or red kidney bean, Lobiya or black eyed bean, Chhole eaten with either Kulche or Bhature and Sarso da saag served with makki di roti. Tea and Lassi are the most favored drinks along with sharbat.

Punjabi people are usually kind at heart and are known for their hospitality for their guests. A well planned trip with these must visit and must do items on your list during your trip to Punjab will ensure that you enjoy your once in a lifetime experience.

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