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PUNJAB GUIDE

 
Punjab the land of five rivers, was spilt down the middle at Independence. Indian Muslims fled west in to Pakistan, Hindus east, in an exodus accompanied by horrific massacres. The Sikhs meanwhile threw in their lot with India, which they considered a safer option. Punjab also known as the land of Plenty. There is no dearth of breathtaking palaces, for Punjab was the seat of royality, as the imposing Quila Mubarak will tell you. Museums galore and so are the religious places with the Golden Temple offering succour to the mind and soul of any one visiting.


Guide

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  PUNJAB INFORMATION

 
Punjab is an Indo-Iranian word meaning "the land of five rivers". Punjab lies at the cross-roads of the great civilizations of the world. Historicaly, the area west of Punjab was under the sphere of influence of the Persians, the east was the heartland of the Indian civilization, the south under the influence of the Arabs and the north under the Turko-Mongolian influence. Many great religious movements which found world-wide appeal grew in the fertile plains of Punjab. They include Budhism, Sikhism and many schools of Sufi thought in Islam . This ethnic and religous diversity is reflected in the cultural mosaic of todays's Punjab.
 
   

  PUNJAB FACTS AND FIGURES

 

Punjab at a Glance ...

   

  Area:    

50,362 sq km

  Capital:

Chandigarh

  Languages: 

Punjabi, Hindi
   Location: North West India
   Per Capita Income: 8,321
   Religion: Hindu
   Main Income: Tourism, Agriculture, Indusry
   Total Districts:  17
   Number of Villages:  12,673
   Best Time to visit: October to March
 
   

  PUNJAB HISTORY

 
Punjab is the wellspring of Indian culture. Traditional literature the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Puranas, the Vedas, all take us back to Punjab. Archaeolgiststs find the earliest evidence of recognisably Indian civilisation in the excavation of Punjab's Harappan sites. The uninterrupted continuity of Indian culture flows forth from ancient Punjab.Artifacts dating back to the Pleistocene Age have been found in the valley of Kangra, Pehalgam, and Hoshiarpur. These finds testify to the cultural unity extending to the whole of the region. The Harappa-Ropar and Sanghol civilisations were the outcome of the culture that developed over a vast area. The Harappan civilisation perhaps was overwhelmed by the village folk, who, although did not belong to a different culture, represented a different pattern of life. There is no conclusive evidence to prove that the authors of the Rig Veda came to the land of seven rivers from any outside country. The whole complex of Rigvedic hymns shows them settled in this region from the outset and considering it their sacred land and original home .Sage Priyamedha Sindhukshit in the famous ‘Hymn of Rivers" (Nadi-stuti) after invoking the favour of rivers soars to a high pitch of exultation in his reference to the Sindhu. He clearly states that his ancestors were the inhabitants of the land through which the river flowed from ages immemorial.The Vedic and the later Epic periods of the Punjab were socially and culturally the most prolific. The Rig Veda was composed here.During the period quite a number of centres learning and culture were established. Panini and Vishnu Gupta were associated with this.religion , Philosophy, grammer, law, astrology, medicine and warfare were taught . Yasak’s Nirkuta and Panini’s Ashtadhyayi are those classic creations of which help us to understand the language and culture of the ancient Punjab.
 
   

  PUNJAB TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 
Golden Temple (Amritsar) » Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) » Wagha Border (Amritsar)
 
   

  PUNJAB FAIRS AND FESTIVALS

 
Fairs or Melas in Punjabi are synonymous with the joy and gaiety; and in the countryside where the life follows a hard routine, nothing is more welcome to the people than the prospect of a festival or a mela. A rural mela in Punjab has a great significance. It is not just an occasion for festivity and mass gathering but it is an unbounded expression of the spirit of the inner freedom, of creative pride, of zest for life, and of colorful traditions of the people of Punjab.People come to participate in fairs from far-off places, trudging dusty distances. Most of the fairs are held in memory of a saint or a pir, and people from all communities living in a village participate in it. Men women and children of all ages, classes and creeds flock in hundreds and enjoy the numerous fascinating features of the fair; races, wrestling bouts, singing, acrobatics, etc. They play on folk instruments, such as vanjli and algoza.A fair is enchantingly picturesque. A bustling market springs up in which articles of food and products of local handicrafts-toys, glass bangles, and an assortment of all kinds of articles for domestic use are on display. There is fun and frolic all round. The gay ones in small groups sing boli’s and perform folk-dances to the strain of the vanjli and algoza. The sturdy ones test their strength in wrestling fields. It is a feast of color and gaiety and fully reflects the joy of the community. The fairs of the Punjab are linked with its culture and reflect by and large the various phases of its life.Punjab Most Important Festivals Maghi, Lohri, Karva Chauth, Dusshera, Diwali, Saraswati Puja, Holi.
 
   

  HOW TO REACH

 
By Air : Chandigarh has excellent air service, and it is linked with Delhi. Ludhiana and Amritsar also have daily air service to New Delhi. Furthermore, Amritsar airport is an international airport. By airplane, from Delhi one can reach any city in Punjab within two hours.

By Rail : Punjab is well connected with major cities of India.

By Road : Good metalled roads connect all the major towns with Chandigarh and Delhi.
 
   

  PUNJAB MAJOR CITIES

 
Chandigarh » Amritsar » Bathinda » Patiala
 
   

  PUNJAB WILDLIFE AND BIRDS

 
One of the least known facts about Punjab is that it is the natural habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. There are a number of wetlands, bird sanctuaries and zoological parks all over Punjab. So, even in this land of myriad cultural colours, you can enjoy a Lion Safari at Chhatbir Zoo near Chandigarh or just watch the exotic migratory birds fly in at Hari Ke Pattan in Amritsar. Read on to find out more about the wildlife in Punjab.Hari-ke-pattan- National Wetland & Wildlife Sanctuary, Amritsar It is one of the most important lakes in India. The lake turns into a haven for nearly 350 species of migratory birds the winter season (November-onwards). A number of colourful and exotic birds fly in from as far as Siberia. It is also one of India's leading in-land sweet water fish market and home of varied wild life. The nearest districts are Harike, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Ferozepur.
 
   

  PUNJAB ARTS AND CRAFTS

 
Art is described as a creation or expression of something beautiful especially in a visual form and arts and Crafts as a phrase means decorative designs and handicrafts. In this field, also, Punjab has a distinguished tradition, which its people have maintained in spite of the passage of time.

Plastering the walls with mud and drawing ferns, plants, several other fascinating motifs has been a way of life of the woman of Punjab. They have also been making paper mache utencils made by mixing paper and various kinds of earth, for storing house hold necessities in colourful designs.

The mudwalls of the rural houses in Punjab are painted on festive occasions like Dushera, Karva chauth( the day on which fast is observed by the women for the well being of their husbands), Holi, Diwali etc.. One is spellbound by the attractive and intricaterly composed patterns and designs painted on the mudwalls which are intended to invoke the blessings and welcome Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and plenty. These drawing are mostly done by the women. The art of mudwall paintings in Punjab is called Chowk-Poorana.
 
   

  PUNJAB ECONOMY

 
The economy of Punjab is characterized by a productive, increasingly commercial agriculture, a diversity of small and medium-scale industries, and the highest per capita income in the nation.The state's economy is characterized by agriculture and small and medium-scale industry. With about 70 percent of its people engaged in agriculture, Punjab accounts for as much as one-quarter of India's output of wheat. Other crops include corn (maize), rice, millet, barley, and edible seeds, together with cotton, sugarcane, potatoes, and oilseeds. Most of the land is irrigated through various river-valley projects. The area's great success in increasing agricultural production since the 1960s is largely attributable to the so-called Green Revolution, which has stressed the introduction of modern farming methods, new seeds and fertilizers, and irrigation.