Ludhiana, the Manchester of east!!

Ludhiana, the land of my in-laws, has become the most frequently visited place for me since I got married in February 2006. The statement does not reflect much enthusiasm but let me tell you that if you have relatives (read in-laws) you would love to go there repeatedly. So if you want to taste Punjab, marry a Punjabi or simply go there!

Let us get back to Ludhiana now.

The best way to do that is to catch the Shatabdi Express. One leaves at 7:20 AM and the other at 4:30 PM from New Delhi railway station. Takes only four air-conditioned and well-served hours. If you like to be your own boss and steering is your middle name the Delhi Ludhiana highway is well maintained. Other advantage of taking the road is that one can try the roadside Punjabi dhaba cuisine. Don’t miss the sweet malai loaded, Lassi in summers and hot milk in winters, baingan bharta or the eternal saag, makki roti.


Ludhiana does not have buses as public transport and not many taxis. The city runs on shared autos. Next time someone tells you of big autos in sada Ludhiana don’t make fun, pay attention. I must admit that Ludhiana is mainly a destination for people in transit, businessmen for the bulk shopping of winter apparel or the non-Ludhiana son-in-laws. However, I have recently discovered that there are places to see (http://ludhiana.nic.in/html/places_to_visit.html) and facts to feel about http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2006/02/28/280206_ludhiana_manchester_feature.shtml when in Ludhiana.

I have simply pasted these links as I have not been able to do any sight-seeing yet except for a visit to Punjab Agricultural University (my dad-in-law works for PAU and I wanted to meet a scientist-acquaintance over there). I particularly liked a large physical map of Punjab made in cement on the ground depicting river & canal distribution of the state and what all districts they quench. For the first time I saw mushroom “farms”, bater, turkey…but I wonder whether as a tourist one is allowed to enter these “farms” etc. If one has the inclination, one can enroll for the weeklong course on various small-scale entrepreneurial ventures.

We also visited the Chaura bazaar. It is like unurban (not rural) version of Chandni Chowk of Delhi. From household articles to clothes at throwaway prices, you will also get to see the past in these streets. Right above the shops are old havelis with many of the original facades and elaborate window frames. I was there on a hot summer noon and the place was kind of deserted and quiet. My thoughts immediately went to-“this is how old Pakistan would also look like”…purposefully narrow and winding streets, a few of them still brick paved. It was like being on the sets of Buniyaad. Of course, to see them you will have to leave the market aside and get into the non-commercial area of this region.

Being a business city, I would also want to share this exciting offer, via coupons which I found. Click here for Yebhi discount and enjoy a bout of online shopping experience. Coupons also save money.

If that does not interest you…how about Shoppers Stop, KFC, Pizza Hut or the IMAX (in the making still)? Ludhiana is soon going to boast of the most modern community center too, The City Center and the upcoming Festival City Mall with a lot of traditional stuff served on a jet age platter, or the dazzle of a metro at the Mall Road.

Make up your mind!

12 Comments

  • Nandan says:

    I have driven through Ludhiana on my way to Ambarsar and its usually said that you can find all the new spanky cars there. Its really one of those wealthy and rich cities with everyone has someone or the other in US or saada kanada.

    thanks for sharing your xperience

  • avi says:

    That’s exactly what I was about to say based on my 1 day experience of Ludhiana. In those narrow streets and bumpy roads, I could see latest models of BMWs and Mercs zipping around. In terms of cars, I had placed Ludhiana second to only the ‘shanti path’ in Delhi.

  • Vibha says:

    Hi Sanjeev, Nice to know about Ludhiana. I can totally understand the merits of being the son-in-law of a Punjabi family.
    Have you been to Ludhiana recently? Is the IMAX now open?

    Just to inform you that we’ve curated this story today and have added tags and did a cursory proof-reading. In the process, laughed out loud at some of your witty remarks.

    Do get yourself a profile picture by following the instructions at http://life-inspires.blogspot.com/2010/04/displaying-your-picture-along-with-your.html.

    Cheers,
    Vibha

  • Sanjeev Kumar says:

    Thanks Vibha.
    I didn’t believe I wrote that. I liked revisiting the city via words. I am going there in person during Diwali. Will find out about IMAX. People should also know that the City Center project was scrapped due to political issues. And the old fort where quite a lot of Rang De Basanti (Tu bin bataaye song) was shot is close by…very welcome break from the hustle.
    Thanks again.
    Sanjeev

  • Naina says:

    Hello,

    I am planning to travel to Ludhiana from Delhi/Gurgaon sometime in Nov/Dec ’12.
    Need road review – should I opt for NH1 (from Delhi) or NH71 (from Gurgaon).
    Any one travelled recently on these routes please share your experience….

    Though Ive planned to travel to other places in Punjab – Amritsar, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Wagah Border….but initially will be travelling to Ludhiana to attend a friend’s marriage….. :D

  • Dr.Rakesh Gandhi,Advocate says:

    Ludhiana city can be divided in two parts,Jagroan bridge connects it.one side is old city n other side is new one.It is famous for woolen garments,Cycle,Auto n swing machines n its parts.In old city all most all houses use to manufacturer woolen garments and in the area of other city cycle n auto parts.More than 75 % auto parts assembly is supplied from Ludhiana To big shots like Hero Honda,Bajaj,Tvs etc.Famous Cycles Hero,Avon steel Bird,K W,Neelam ,Bhogal,are belong to Ludhiana.In woolen/hosiery…Oswal/Montecarlo,Vardhman, Greatway,Casablanca also belongs to Ludhiana.But now long traffic jams,Law n order problems r new features of City.Thanks a lot Sanjeev n Nandan for writing about my City…please write me when ever you may come to my city…..Always welcome.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Thank you Mr. Gandhi for the warm and big gesture. Wishes.

  • Vipin says:

    Attracted by the title (seemed pretty refreshing), started reading the post, but it turned out to be surprise…:)…i guess one of the shortest posts on ghumakkar. Content was interesting, but we were seeking something more…at least a few photos of different flavours of the city (if not yours somebody else’s or from net with due credit) would have done justice to the post…

    A full fledged post on Ludhiana is due on you, Sanjeev Ji now about one of the most frequented place by you…:)…look forward to that soon!

    • Sanjeev Kumar says:

      Dear Vipin,
      Thanks for your comments. The website has evolved so much that this old post of mine does not live up to the current reputation of Ghumakkar. But I did include two links to more informative sites. Do visit these, I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
      Regards,
      Sanjeev

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    The post was so….so…. with ample opportunities of improvement. As Vipin said, detailed post on Ludhiana with pictures is due on you.

  • Vinay Rajput says:

    Thanks for writing. My mother’s sister was there for a few years, but I couldn’t plan my visit.
    I have been to Jalandhar. I also have frequent visits at my in-laws place, but its the same place where I belong to. I mean my home town.
    Few pics from Ludhiana could add “char chand” to your post.
    Keep writing.

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