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Punjab - Quick Facts

State Capital: Chandigarh

Area: 50,362 sq. Km.

Population: 27,704,236

Altitude: 224m

Summer Max Temperature: 460C

Winter Min Temperature: 0.20C

Season: Hot (mid April-June),Rainy(July-Sep),Cold(Dec-Feb)

Clothing: Summer- Light Cotton, Winter- Heavy woollen

Rainfall: 616 mm average

Languages: Hindi, Punjabi & English

Culture: Bhangra,Lohri

The first impression of Punjab one gets is that of a land pulsating with prosperity. The plains of Punjab, with their fertile soil and abundant water supply, are naturally suited to be the breadbasket for India. The state is bounded on the west by Pakistan, on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, on the north-east by Himachal Pradesh and on the south by Haryana and Rajasthan.

The state has achieved tremendous growth over the years due to the success of the Green Revolution in the early 70s. For a major period in the second half of the 20th century, Punjab led the other states in India to achieve self-sufficiency in crop production. The people of the state are hard working and take life as it comes. Music and dance is in their blood and that is reflected in the Bhangra beats that are famous all over the world today.Due to the presence of a large number of rivers, most of Punjab is a fertile plain. Tributaries of the rivers Indus, Ravi, Sutlej, Beas, and Ghaggar flow towards the south-east crossing the entire state. There are many sub-tributaries of these rivers that provide a base for the most extensive canal system in India.

By Air
Chandigarh and Amritsar both have airports are connected to other cities in India by regular flights. Indian airlines do have regular flights from Chandigarh to Delhi, Lucknow, Leh, and Amritsar. Jet air also has regular flights to Chandigarh.

By Rail
Punjab is extensively linked to the other parts of the country by rail. Chandigarh, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Pathankot, and Jalandhar are the major railway hubs in the state from where one can take trains for most parts of the country.

By Road
The entire state is connected through an extensive network of medaled roads. State Highways connect major cities to the state capital. NH 1 or the Grand Trunk Road connects the state with most of the north as well as east India.
Agra-503 km, Ajmer-694 km, Akola-1462, Aligarh-436, Delhi-305 km, Chandigarh-100 km, Ganganagar-273 km, Hissar-280 km, Pathankot-171 km and Gurgaon-335 km.

The typical Punjabi is an extrovert, a sociable fellow who likes to eat well, dress well. Even if he’s in a tight spot he would like to twirl his moustache and say "Chardi kala" ("on the up and up") to those who ask how he’s getting on. He learns quickly and assimilates new cultures without difficulty; family honour is sacrosanct to him, but in other matters he tends to be liberal minded. It is a matter of pride to be "up to date". His enterprise and capacity to work hard are legendary and his deepest ambition is to "be his own boss": many an émigré Punjabi have started life in a strange land driving a cab or working in a café and gone on to buy out the owner within a couple of years.

In a vastly diverse country like India, every region has something typical to offer whether it is in clothes, or in food or in its music, dance and art.Punjab, the land of milk and honey, boasts of a robust climate where the agricultural revolution has reaped rich dividends. The land of plenty, in keeping with the Zeitgeist, has a cuisine which caters to the characteristic needs of the people.

Punjabi cuisine is not subtle in its flavour. There are no intricate marinades or exotic sauces but it has full-bodied masalas (spices) cooked with liberal amount o desi ghee (clarified butter) always served with a liberal helping of butter or cream. Milk and its products are an essential part of everyday cookery; curd and buttermilk are also an essential concomitant with every Punjabi meal.

Art is described as a creation or expression of something beautiful especially in a visual form and Arts and Crafts as a phrase means decorative designs and handicrafts. In this field, also, Punjab has the hoary and distinguished tradition which its people have maintained in spite of vicissitudes of time.

Mud Works

There is no limit to the creativity of Punjab's craftsmen. They have this panache for turning seemingly dull materials into masterpieces of art. Take as simple a thing as mud for example. Plastering the walls with mud and drawing ferns, plants, several other fascinating motifs has been a way of life of the woman of Punjab.

Others famous crafts are-

•        Weaving and Embroidery
•        Wood Works
•        Basketry
•        Phulkari
•        Leather craft
•        Jootis
•        Pidhis
•        Parandis
•        Dolls
•        Folk Toys Making

Hola Mohalla (National Fair), Anandpur Sahib
90 km from Chandigarh. Mid-March immediately after the festival of Holi.The 10th Prophet of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji had started this fair in 1700-AD. To the traditional festival of the colours, Holi, he added spiritual and martial dimensions. The fair begins a few days before Holi & is marked by the congregation of Sikh from all over the State, who arrive on trucks and tractors. A large number of 'Langars' (community kitchen) offer free food to the poor and the rich alike.The day after Holi, called Hola, begins with the singing of the divine hymns in the ambrosial hours of very early morning.

Baisaki National Fair (April), Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda
It is another unique Punjabi fair, which tempers gay abandon with deep devotion. Dancing men and women, on the day of Baisakhi, emerge singing and dancing from the surrounding villages carrying a portion of the first harvest of wheat. Everyone is seen to be proceeding to the historical gurudwara to make an offering of it. Calm descends every where when they approach the Gurudwara and make their obeisance offerings. Devotees from far off places run free kitchens here. The next day is taken over by the Nihangs and their awe-inspiring feats of the martial arts.

Other Important Fairs 
Hola Mahola (March/April), Baisakhi (April/May), Diwali (October/November), Holi (February/March).

The most important tourist Centre in the state is Amritsar with its Golden Temple. This temple is considered to be the holiest of all the pilgrimages of Sikhism and houses Akal Takht, the supreme governing body of Sikhism. The Jalianwallah Bagh is a small park in the city where many pilgrims were massacred by the British police in the year 1919.

Wagah is the only open land point between India and Pakistan. The changing of guards and the ceremonial lowering of the flags ceremony at sundown are great tourist attractions and has their own symbolic importance.

If Varanasi symbolizes the spirit of ancient India, then Chandigarh is its city of ‘today’. It is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. The city is considered to be a Mecca of modern architecture and planning all over the world. What makes Chandigarh extraordinary is the fact that within four decades, a barren landscape has been transformed into a modern and model human habitation. The making of a new city is like inventing a new tomorrow. And Chandigarh succeeds in ushering in a new dawn. The major attractions of this city are the Capitol Complex, Secretariat, Assembly, High Court, Open Hand, City Beautiful, Garden City, Piazza, Tower of Shadows, Geometric Hill, Martyr’s Memorial, Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Leisure Valley, Rose Garden, Garden of Tranquility, Garden of Rare Plants, Garden of Annuals, Bougainvillea Garden, Botanical Garden, Garden of Aromatic Plants, Government Museum and Art Gallery, Museum of Evolution of life, and International Dolls Museum.

Punjab is a paradise for the lovers of handloom and handicrafts, many of them unusual and highly specialized and practiced all over the state. The state is one of the largest manufacturer and exporter of handloom product, handicrafts and hosiery goods. The hand woven carpets of Amritsar, durries (traditional carpets), counterpanes, woolen shawls, jutties (footwear), carved furniture, inlay furniture, lacquer finish furniture, sports goods, leather garments and numerous other articles attract shoppers from all over the county and abroad.

Amritsar | Ludhiana | Bathinda | Jalandhar.

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