Punjab

Punjab literally means the land of five rivers. This state is a fertile land stretching from the foot hills of the Himalayas to a semi arid region to its south-east. It is mostly an agricultural land and its people are known for their boisterous celebrations, colourful festivals, vibrant costumes, vigorous dances and never say die spirit. The Union Territory of Chandigarh serves as the capital. Besides Chandigarh, Amritsar and Ludhiana are cities with airports while the former two cities have railway services connected to major cities in the country. Driving into Punjab is the perhaps the best option as the national and state highways are well maintained and enroute are plenty of service stations, dhabas and highway motels or restaurants.
The famous Golden Temple Gurudwara is the main pilgrimage site for the Sikh community. Situated in Amritsar, it is thronged by thousands of devotees every day. The well planned modern city of Chandigarh has a unique rock garden, Rose garden, Sukhna Lake and many more. Places of historical interest include the fort of Razia Sultan in Bhatinda, the temples, gurudwaras and mosques at Faridkot, palaces in Patiala, Jallianwala Bagh at Amritsar, the samadhi of Shahid Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev in Ferozepur and Flag lowering ceremony at Wagah Border. Punjab experiences hot and dry summers and a cold sometimes freezing winter. The best time to visit the state would be during October to March.

Balle Balle To Amritsar!

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We got more proof of people’s devotion when we saw children happily mopping the marble steps as people left or entered the hall. Then there were volunteers who were continuously cleaning candle wax from the marble pavement, even as new visitors kept lighting more candles.

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5. Naggar (HP) and road back home via Chandigarh-Rothak-Ajmer-Ahmedabad-Mumbai

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Had it not been for the book, Outlook Traveller Gateways (on HP), Naggar would not have happened. Books are still much much superior as compared to host of blogs and websites. Online forums, at best, are good for an “occasional tip” and that too happens cause people speak about the content which is quite recent. Books need to re-published. The Outlook Traveller Gateways (on HP) which I referred to was published in 2008 and two years down the line nothing much had changed….

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