located in the north west of India, is one of the smallest and
the most prosperous states of India. The five rivers Sutlej,
Beas, Ravi, Chenab and Jhelum gave it its name 'punj-ab' or
the 'land of five waters'. These five rivers divide the state
into three regions: Majha, Doaba and Malwa.
Punjab is primarily an agricultural state and enjoys the natural
benefits of fertile soils and abundant waters.
As a civilization, it is one of the most ancient in the world
with a distinguished culture. The Punjabi language has its origins
in the Indo-European family of languages which also included
Persian and Latin. A land of ethnic and religious diversity,
it is the birth place of a number of religious movements. Some
of the prominent ones include Sikhism, Buddhism and many Sufi
schools of Islam.
Punjab flourished significantly during the reign of the great
Mogul emperor, Babar, whose empire stretched from Delhi in
the east to Kabul and Ghazni in the west. The prosperity continued
under Maharaja Ranjit Singh's (1780-1838 AD) rule. But it
saw a major downfall in 1947, when the partition of the nation
shrunk the boundaries of Indian Punjab resulting in a great
loss of land and resources. At present, the present state
is just a fourth of its original area.
Post-independence, Punjab has made considerable economic
progress despite the setback it suffered in 1947. It contributes
nearly two thirds to the total production of food grains and
a third of milk production in the country. It is the leading
producer of wheat at a total production of 2 million tonnes
per annum. The initiative of Green revolution (a major agricultural
initiative) has been keenly taken forward by the people of
Punjab. Even though, Punjabis account for less than 2.5% of
the Indian population, they are one of the most prosperous
races in India. Their per capita income is twice the national
with a distinct blend of rural and urban flavors, Punjab has
a lot to offer to a tourist eye. It has a unique religious
legacy with a host of Gurudwaras, the largest and the most
prominent being The Golden
Temple at Amritsar. Every year, thousands of tourists
from around the world visit this holy shrine. The dome of
the temple covered with pure gold presents a fascinating sight
as its reflection falls in the holy waters of the sarovar.
Other gurudwaras worth visiting are Sri Anandpur
Sahib (the birthplace of Khalsa), Damdama Sahib and Goindwal
Jallianwala Bagh of Amritsar
is another historical spot where a number of people jumped
into a well to escape the firing of a British General. The
place reminds one of the horrors of the British rule and Punjab's
sacrifice to the struggle for freedom of India.
Then there is the Summer Palace
of Maharaja Ranjit Singh which has now been converted
into a museum. It preserves the weapons dating back to the
Mogul times and portraits of the ruling dynasties of Punjab.
The best times to visit Punjab are the autumn and the spring
seasons. The natural landscape looks breathtaking with lush
mustard fields. The rustic charm of the place and celebratory
spirit of the Punjabis are sure to make for a memorable travel