Are your suffering from FOMO now that your Insta reels are filled with tips and tricks on how to make the most of the Independence Day long weekend? Well, it's not too late to jump onto the bandwagon. If you live in North India, the state of Punjab has many options for a quick getaway.
Punjab is not only picturesque but of great historical significance. It has references in ancient texts like the Vedas and the Mahabharata. With a rich heritage, Punjab is where major historical events have taken place. In the medieval ages, the state was ruled by great powers. In Punjab, the Sikh Empire saw its rise reaching its zenith with Lahore as its capital. Agriculturally rich with a spectrum of cuisines, it is also an industrial hub of textiles, manufacturing, and technology. On the eve of the 77th Independence Day, here are some places to visit in Punjab that history buffs can dig.
From glorious temples to exquisite markets, street food, and national borders, explore the best destinations to visit in Punjab this long weekend.
The city of Amritsar is marked by The Golden Temple, the holiest site and an icon of pride and dignity in Sikhism. The construction of the temple started in 1581 by Guru Arjan and was completed in 1604. It is a masterpiece in terms of architecture. The temple is situated in the middle of a pond, the Amrit Sarovar (Pond of Nectar), which gives the golden monument a beautiful reflective surface. Other sites of attraction are the Jallianwala Bagh, the Partition Museum, Wagah Border, Akal Takht, and Gobindgarh Fort. The place is also famous for its variety of street foods, among which kulcha is a speciality.
The city of Jalandhar is an ancient site and has its name in the Vedas. The Grand Trunk Road runs alongside the city making it completely accessible in the North. It is full of heritage places and monuments such as the Tombs of Ustaad Shagird, Devi Talab Mandir, Rangla Punjab Haveli, the Shaheed-e-Azad Museum, and the Pushpa Gujral Science City. Jalandhar is known for its leather goods, footwear, bags, and furniture. Travellers must also try the local food which the city has a reputation for such as jalebi and samosa. Delicious jalebis could be savoured at the Sodhi Jalebi Corner and Jail Chowk while decent samosas can be enjoyed at Shree Narayan Dass Ji Bare Wale and Maddi Samosa near DAV College.
Chandigarh is another great place you must not miss. It is situated in the foothills of Himalayas at only 260 km from Delhi. The city has the Chandigarh Capitol, which is a government compound designed by the famous architect, Le Corbusier. After the loss of Lahore to Pakistan, the government of (East) Punjab decided to build a new provincial capital the size of Paris under the dias of Nehru. The place is a grandiose show of architecture and comprises of three main buildings: the Palace of Assembly, or Legislative Assembly, Secretariat Building, and the High Court. In the words of Nehru, “it is the biggest example in India of experimental architecture.” In 2016, the Complex was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list along with 16 other works by Corbusier which mark the modernist style of architecture.
People can also visit the Rock Garden, the Government Museum of Art Gallery, and Le Corbusier Centre which are all in the vicinity of the Capitol. Chandigarh is also famous for its phulkari embroidery, Punjabi dupattas, juttis, and woolen garments, among other things.
In 1763, Baba Ala Singh laid down the foundation of the Qila Mubarak Fort around which the modern city of Patiala is built. Within the premises of the Qila Mubarak are many monuments such as the Jail Walla Palace, the Moti Palace, the Sheesh Palace, and others. The Sheesh Mahal, or The Palace of Mirrors, is a stunning architecture with frescoes, and an intricate work of mirrors which gives it its name. A conflation of the Rajasthani, Punjabi, and Mughal design, the monument is a symbolic testament of the opulence of the mediaeval era kingdoms. The Palace also has a museum which exhibits the largest collection of medals from the world collected by the erstwhile Maharaja. In modern Patiala, the Punjab University also stands gloriously with its great architecture.
Patiala is also famous for its Patiala turban (a traditional headgear), paranda (a tasselled tag for braiding hair), Patiala salwar (a type of female trousers), jutti, and Patiala peg (a measure of liquor).
The city of Ludhiana was formed during the period of Lodhi dynasty. Today, it is also famous as the "India's Manchester," as coined by the BBC. The place is famous for its apparel industry and boasts of textile houses that have brilliant collections of fabrics, woollens, hosiery and even the textiles equipment that are exported to the various parts of the country. Among other famous attractions of the city is the Clock Tower that stands since 1906.