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Things To Do In Punjab
Famous as the land of the delectable Butter Chicken, Punjab is sure to take you by surprise with the friendly nature of its local inhabitants. Forming the headquarters of India's Sikh fraternity, Punjab also helped shape other religions such as Sufism and Buddhism. The state has continually helped India sustain agricultural abundance thanks to its rich sources of water and fruitful soils. When in Punjab, tourists must surely visit the sacred Golden Temple, relive the historical freedom struggle at Jallianwala Bagh, or indulge in patriotic fervor at the Wagah Border. Other interesting activities include the Rural Olympics at Qila Raipur and the serene boat rides at Sukhna Lake. Let us read through to understand the different things to do when in Punjab.
Dip into the Holy Waters of Golden Temple
Popular as Sri Harmandir Sahib among the locals of Punjab, the Golden Temple holds utmost religious importance for the Sikh community. The highlight of the temple is that it was rebuilt in the 18th century using gold and marble. The dazzling sight of the shrine and the glistening golden tank placed right in the center add an infectious calmness within the souls of ardent devotees. Regardless of the hundreds of devotees moving about within the temple premises, the only sound tourists will hear around them is a peaceful recitation of the Sikh prayers. Devotees are always greeted with delicious prasad and free food that is served at possibly the most massive kitchen around the globe, Guru-Ka-Langar.
Explore Chhatbir Zoo
The Chhatbir Zoo is situated about 17 km away from Chandigarh and was converted into a splendid zoological garden in 1977. Spanning an area of 202 acres, this wildlife reserve nurtures close to 80 species of endangered reptiles, birds, and animals. It is a serene experience to come across the Royal Bengal Tiger when on a tour of this wonderful nature reserve. Tourists also prefer the Lion Safari that provides an exciting opportunity to catch a glimpse of the king of the jungle. The dense grasslands, the serene lake in the vicinity, and abundant floral beauty make Chhatbir Zoo an apt picnic site for friends and families.
Relive the Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
Situated within proximity to the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh is a historically significant public park that covers a 6.5-acre expanse. The garden hosts a memorial, especially to recall the mass slaughter of the people conducting peaceful protests by the British armed forces thanks to the tyrant orders of General Dyer. The massacre memorial was created post the independence of India in 1951 and set in motion on 13th April 1961 under the expertise of Dr. Rajendra Prasad. The garden wall still holds bullet marks from the massacre, while the well in the center of the park also bears evidence of the killings of innocent people. The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust has now converted the site into a splendid garden.
Historical Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum is a lovely summer palace turned into a museum. It is dedicated to Maharaja Ranjit Singh; the Sikh empire founder also named the so-called "Lion of Punjab", who would devote all his time and efforts to the palace. He played an essential role in Indian history and is said to have established vast kingdoms with the help of his sword. The royal palace reveals the royal heritage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, possessing valuable antiquities and art objects. The palace forms the most crucial cultural pride of Punjab. It is famous for its rare and priceless artifacts, mainly paintings, manuscripts, coins, armors, and weapons.
Get Patriotic at Wagah Border
The Wagah border, renamed by India as Attari Border, is situated in the northern hemisphere of the state of Punjab. Forming a part of Amritsar, this prestigious site embraces history from the times of the partition of Pakistan and India. The Wagah Border hosts a ceremonial flag retreat held by both neighboring countries. This site is the only road that crosses over from India into Pakistan. Every day, around sunset, huge crowds cheerfully witness the Wagah Border Ceremony, also known as Beating Retreat Ceremony, only to get passionately patriotic. Since 1959, the Wagah Border Ceremony has been organizing unique events such as flag-lowering ceremony, changing of guards ceremony, and guards marching in harmony on both sides of the border.
Witness the Rural Olympics at Kila Raipur
The people of Qila Raipur village are very passionate about their sports and recreational activities. This tiny village boasts of a tranquil atmosphere with fields abundant in mustard and wheat spread across its expanse. However, in February, the town comes to life with the Rural Olympics bringing in a sporty zeal and enthusiasm. Inaugurated in 1933, this sports festival allows tourists to witness different species of dogs, camels, bullocks, and mules competing in various competitive events. Some of the exciting games played by the locals include Tirinjen, Kikli, Khidu, Chicho Chich Ganerian, Kidi Kada or Stapoo, Ghaggar Phissi, Kabbadi, Martial art, Kite Flying, Guli Danda, and the famous Akharas where local boys learned wrestling skills from the professionals.
Boat Ride at Sukhna Lake
Sukhna Lake is a delightful artificial lake that adorns the foothills at the base area of Shivalik Hills. It is a peaceful experience to take up a boat ride and witness sunrises and sunsets while you paddle through the calm waters of this lake in the presence of your loved ones. The authorities provide two-seater as well as four-seater paddle boats along with mandatory life jackets to put on. For tourists who prefer a lavish boat ride, it is best to take up a Shikara trip where a professional will drive you through the lake waters. While strolling along the lake promenade, visitors can also get a portrait made for themselves from one of the many local portrait artists. This portrait would form a perfect souvenir to keep the memories of Punjab alive.
Discover Sculptural Marvels at Rock Garden
The Rock Garden is an enormous open-air art gallery that showcases sculptures created from industrial and urban waste material. Nek Chand, who previously serviced the government as a Road Inspector, is the mastermind that brought these intriguing sculptures to life. Built in 1957, the Rock Garden covers a 40-acre expanse and forms a symbol of the novelty and creative power of the people of Punjab. Nek Chand incredibly carved out all of the 5,000 figurines that adorn the Rock Garden single-handedly. Tourists can walk through the garden to discover light fixtures, terracotta pots, and even broken toilet pots, with Nek Chand truly providing an example of how waste can be used to create art and craft.
Discover Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum
The Virasat-e-Khalsa Museum was constructed to pay homage to the "Khalsa Panth," which was founded by Guru Gobind Singh. Situated in the sacred town of Anandpur Sahib, Virasat-e-Khalsa has been thronged by more than 9.7 million tourists since its inauguration in 2011. More than 5,000 tourists step forth within the museum's vicinity daily. Spanning an expanse of 6,500 sq m, Virasat-e-Khalsa gives an account of the folklore of Punjab and Sikhism through a unique collection of handicrafts and by interactively deploying the latest technology. The museum defines state-of-the-art architectural skills of its architect, Moshe Safdie, who left no stone unturned while crafting this masterpiece.
Visit Shaheedi Jor Mela
Fatehgarh Sahib hosts the three-day Shaheedi Jor Mela that pays tribute to the sacrifices made by the martyrs Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh. Hundreds of devout pilgrims throng the gurudwaras in the city for prayer and worship during this festival. The State Government recently had over 50 local poets recite their pieces at this event to commemorate the sacrifices made by these sahibzaadas. Some of the exciting activities held across this festival include a gallery showcasing religious books, a camp that provides physiotherapy assistance, and a camp that offers free training for 'dastar' (turban) tying. This festival is a must-visit for tourists looking to gain insights into the rich cultural heritage of the Sikh community.