Located in the north-western part of the country, Punjab is one of the most flourishing states of India. Sharing borders with Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Rajasthan, this culturally-rich state is home to the largest Sikh community. Whether it’s their infectious zest for life or friendly nature, the locals here are quite warm and welcoming. With everything from lip-smacking food to iconic sightseeing spots, there’s plenty to keep you busy while in Punjab. Confused about where to head to or what to do? We’ve picked out the top five things to do in Punjab on your next trip.
When in Punjab… – Top 5 Things to Do for Tourists
Explore the spirit of Amritsar at the Golden Temple
Flaunting rich culture and heritage, Amritsar is one of the most popular cities in Punjab. A must-visit place here is the Golden Temple, one of the most sacred places for the Sikh community. Apart from the sanctum, there are several places to be visited within the premises of the Golden Temple. These include the Central Sikh Museum, Monument of Victory of Sikhs on Delhi, Har Ki Pauri and Ramgarhia Bunga, among others. With four entrances to the place, the structure features stunning architecture and a spellbinding ambience that envelopes you the moment you step in. Visitors here can also have a simple, delicious meal to feast on.
Sample the lip-smacking Cuisine of Punjab
Punjabi cuisine is extremely famous for its richly flavoured tase, laden with plenty of butter. Exploring their regional cuisine should definitely be your priority. No trip here would be complete without digging into a plateful of aloo ke paranthe, topped with a generous chunk of butter or simple rotis with flavourful Butter Chicken. Often prepared with desi ghee, the dishes here will bowl you over with their blend of spices. Sarson ka Saag and Makki ki Roti is another popular dish you must try while here, along with tall tumblers of lassi. If the Dal Makhani and Chhole Bature don’t quite cut it for you, there’s the piquant Machhli Amritsari – marinated fish fillets dipped in besan batter, deep fried and served with a squeeze of lime. If you do not prefer experimenting with food. then you always have the meaty Tandoori Chicken to sink your teeth into.
Indulge the Shopaholic in you
Vibrant colours, charming embroidery and an amazingly varied collection to pick from – shopping in Punjab is bound to be a dream come true for shopaholics. While durries with vivid designs and cute furniture pieces are among the must-buy things here, don’t forget to load up on apparel. Bright yellows, pinks, blues and reds will beckon you as you spend time window-shopping. Phulkari suits, dupattas and sarees are sure to find their way into your shopping bags. Featuring intricate ethnic designs, the handmade juttis here is another must-buy! While you’re at it, stock up on toys and decor pieces as well. Can’t wait to start shopping? Local markets like Shastri market and Palika Bazaar in Chandigarh are where you should head to.
Experience the Culture of Punjab
Be it a marriage or the birth of a child, the land has a song for every occasion. The locals come together to celebrate it with great zeal and cheer. The folk songs of Punjab and the influence of Sufi music can be felt in the music. The most famous of all is the Bhangra, with its energetic dholak beats and the chant of ‘balle balle’. The Giddha dance, just as energetic, is a folk dance of women, focussing on grace and flexibility. So, one of the top things to do in Punjab inevitably includes catching a cultural performance while you’re here.
From the perfectly-planned city of Chandigarh to Patiala’s cultural spots, there’s plenty of places to check out here. While the Rock Garden and Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh ought to be on your list, Jalandhar’s Tulsi Mandir, Patiala’s Sheesh Mahal and Darbar Hall, Kapurthala’s French and Indo-Saracenic architecture, and Bathinda’s Qila Mubarak are other must-visit places in the state.
Punjab truly is a beautiful destination with plenty to offer for tourists. With our list of top things to do in Punjab, we hope you are ready to plan a trip soon!