One of the most famous states in India is Punjab and it could be because of its constant portrayal in pop culture. Nevertheless, this is one of the places you should surely visit if you plan to go on a vacation to North India. The land of five rivers is full of surprises, hearty and friendly people, larger than life scenarios and a quaint sense of charm that is true to its core.
If you happen to visit any of the Punjab tourist places during their festivals, you will see how the ordinary Punjabi gets swept up in emotion and enjoys every festival with vigour and enthusiasm. If you have even the slightest interest in history, you will be enthralled by the numerous historical sites here, places that have existed since ancient time and have been preserved for posterity. For a fulfilling vacation, here are some of the places to visit in Punjab that you should not miss out on seeing.
If you have plans to visit Punjab, do make a note to see the SOTC website for offers and deals on Punjab tour packages.
This is one of the must visit places in Punjab and the city is well-connected thanks to its international airport as visitors from all over the world come here. The reason of course is the Golden Temple, the holiest gurudwara of the Sikh community which is ethereal no matter what time of the day you visit it. The sense of peace and calm here is something that has to be experienced to be believed. The golden temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib and is surrounded by a pool of water.
This historic place with deep religious and cultural significance is not the only reason you should visit Amritsar. Amritsar is also home to the more sombre Jallianwala Bagh memorial, a reminder of the suffering of the Indians before independence. Various other places to visit here include Rambagh Garden, the extremely well-guarded Wagah Border and Akal Takht to name a few.
Chandigarh happens to be the capital of both Punjab and neighbouring Haryana. Said to be one of the best planned cities in India, Chandigarh was designed by French architect Le Corbusier. Pleasant weather and some great monuments make this one of the top Punjab tourist places to visit. In Chandigarh there are numerous places to see such as the serene Sukhna Lake, the eerily beautiful Rock Garden, the Rose Garden, Sarkaria Cactus Garden, and Butterfly Park to name just a few. Chandigarh represents Punjab perfectly, being the epitome of modernisation balanced with traditions, and ensuring that natural treasures of the land remain untouched.
One of the places to go in Punjab is Jalandhar, a city that has ancient roots but is also known as a centre for sports goods. Jalandhar is so old that it finds mention even in Mahabharata. There are several places of historic and religious importance here. Some of the famous attractions in Jalandhar include Imam Nasir Masjid that goes back nearly 800 years and also has the dargah of Sufi Saint Baba Farid. Other places to visit include Tulsi Mandir, the Bhagat Singh Museum and the Rangla Punjab Haveli, a traditional restaurant that often features folk music and dance performances on weekends.
One of the famous places to visit in Punjab is Patiala. Renowned for its architecture, Patiala’s monuments continue to grace the city, showcasing the unique confluence of Rajput, Mughal and Punjabi styles. Some of the famous places to visit in Patiala include the historic Qila Mubarak Palace, the Moti Bagh Palace which is also a museum now and the Sheesh Mahal, an ornate mirrored palace where you can see carvings, coins and other artefacts.
Said to be the largest city in the state, Ludhiana also has several historical religious monuments. The Lodhi fort is one of the famous Punjab tourist places that you must see when you are visiting the city. Other places to see here in include Phillaur Fort, Alamgir, a Sikh pilgrimage site, Bheer, a 19th century mosque and Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum. The Nehru Rose Garden is beautifully landscaped and has around 17000 plants. There are a few other gurudwaras here as well which garner quite some attention from devotees.
Bhatinda is an ancient city with some of its monuments even going back to 3000 BC. The Qila Mubarak has great historical importance as it goes back to 90-110 AD. There are several parks and gardens here, such as the Rose Garden, the Zoological Garden and Chetak Park which is around the Chetak Lake. Around 15kms away from Bhatinda is the Lakhi Jungle which has an ancient Gurudwara, reputed to be the spot where Guru Nanak Dev delivered Shri Japuli Sahibs – one lakh holy sermons.
One of the key places to visit in Punjab is Pathankot. Surrounded by the states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, Pathankot is renowned as a place of scenic beauty. There are several places of historical importance that you should certainly visit here, including the Nurpur Fort, a thousand-year-old fort which has a Krishna temple, the Shahpurkandi Fort, temples such as Mukteshwar Temple and Nagni Temple which are visited by devotees.
Kapurthala has some beautiful gardens and lovely architecture. Guru Nanak gained enlightenment here in 1499 which is why this is an important city and it also features several historic monuments such as Jagatjit Palace and Moorish Mosque.