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If 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 Dyer’s 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 every year.

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 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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