this is the first time you are coming to Punjab, you might as
well want to plan your trip to visit a variety of places and
discover the flavors of Punjab as a travel experience. In case
you do not have a planned itinerary, the best way to start is
to find out the 20 most interesting places to explore. Read
on to know how you can make for a memorable trip if you have
never been to Punjab before.
1 Golden Temple, Amritsar
The architecture of the temple is a blend of Hindu and Muslim
styles. The Holy Scripture of the Sikhs, the Granth Sahib, is
installed in the inner sanctum of the temple. The scripture
is unique as it contains the divine message as received by saints,
bhagats (devotees) and pirs of all the faiths of India. The
temple was destroyed in 1761 by the Muslim invader Ahmad Shah
Durani and was rebuilt in 1802 by the Sikh ruler, Maharaja Ranjit
Singh (1780-1839) in marble and gold (its dome took 400kg of
gold leaf to be covered). Since then, it has been known as the
Golden Temple. The Sikhs
usually refer to it as the Hari Mandir (the temple of
God) or Darbar Sahib (the Court of the Lord).
2 Anandpur Sahib
The birthplace of Khalsa, Anandpur
Sahib, is located on the left bank of the Sutlej river,
40 kilometers from Rupnagar town. The town was founded by
Guru Teg Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru who purchased the land
from the Raja of Bilaspur.
Guru Gobind Singh came to this town in 1674 when he was only
eight years old and he spent about 25 years, the major part
of his life in Anandpur Sahib. Gurudwara Keshgarh Sahib is
the most important of the shrines as it is here that Khalsa
was created by him in 1699 on the day of Baisakhi
(13th April). Also, it is at this historical spot that the
Kashmiri Pandits approached the 9th Guru, Shri Teg Bahadur
to save them form oppression by the Moguls.
3 Jallianwallah Bagh, Amritsar
Located at about a quarter of mile from the Golden Temple,
it is a Memorial of the Freedom movement. It commemorates
the sacrifices of hundreds of men, women and children who
were victims of a ruthless firing on April 13, the dark day
of 1919. Thousands of people were fired on General Dyers
diktat. The Jallianwala Bagh
massacre accentuated political awakening in India and brought
Mahatma Gandhi to the forefront of Indian political life.
The bullet marks can be seen to this day on the boundary walls
of the garden. The bullet scarred walls of the well-kept garden,
today, enclose a memorial with an eternal flame, dedicated
to the martyrs and has become a place of pilgrimage.
4 Chattbir Zoo, Zirakpur
Located at a distance of 20 km from Chandigarh and 55 km from
Patiala is the Zoological Park, Chhatbir. The park area is
spread over 202 Acres of raw scrubland over River Ghaggar.
It houses 52 species of animals including the royal tiger
of Bengal and the Himalyan black bear and 62 species of birds
in a simulated natural habitat. Popular for its Lion Safari,
it is the biggest park of its kind in India.
5 Sainik School, Kapurthala
It is a magnificent piece of architecture that took 8 years
to complete(1900-1908). This erstwhile palace
of Maharaja Jagatjit was designed by the French architect
M. Marcel. It was built in renaissance style with the sunken
park in the front (known as Baija) with plaster of Paris figures
and painted ceilings representating of French art and architecture.
6 Wagha Border
The enchanting spectacle of the beating retreat followed by
the change of guard in the evening, within handshaking distance
of the Pakistan border drives attention to this place. The
border, located 25 km from Amritsar City and near Attari
village, draws thousands of domestic and international tourists
7 Harike Wildlife Sanctuary
Harike wetland, a shallow
water storage reservoir, was initially developed with the
purpose of storing and providing irrigation and drinking water
to parts of Southern Punjab and adjoining state of Rajasthan.
The construction of a barrage at the confluence of Beej and
Sutlej river gave the wetland its constant water supply. Prior
to this construction, the area was primarily a marshy pond
with aquatic vegetation and wildlife. The wetland area is
spread over a vast expanse of about 148sq.km and is located
approximately 55km south of Amritsar,
83km from Jalandhar, 70 km
from Kapurthala, 56 km from
Ferozpur and 15O km from Chandigarh
North West, and has both road and rail transport (the nearest
railway station is Makhu 5 km away from Harike).
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