Top Places to Visit in Punjab

Punjab is situated in the north western part of India. It's fertile farming land, is one of India's most prosperous state. Tourism in Punjab is ideally suited for tourists interested in ancient civilization, heritage, culture, and spirituality. There are number of tourist places ranging from palaces, battle fields, temples, Gurudwaras. Few of the major cities visited by the tourists are Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Wagah.

The best time to visit Punjab is in the spring, from February to April, and in the autumn, from September to November. Following are top 10 places you must visit when you take a trip to Punjab.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Golden Temple, Amritsar, India The Golden Temple is the holiest Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. It's proper name is Harmandir Sahib which means "Temple of God" and also referred to as Darbar Sahib means "court of the Lord". It is the central gurdwara, or worship place, for all Sikhs in the world.

The Harmandir Sahib was designed by the fifth guru, Guru Arjan. Guru Arjan completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, in 1604 and installed it in the gurdwara. Focus of attention is the tank that surrounds the central shrine – the Amrit Sarovar from which Amritsar takes its name. The gurdwara is constructed of white marble overlaid with genuine gold leaf and stands in the center of a sarovar (pool of water).

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Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar

Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, India Jallianwala Bagh is next to Golden temple. This is the site of a horrible massacre of Indians engaged in a peaceful protest against British rule. Official records put the number of fatalities at 379 and injured at 1,100, the numbers were widely believed to be more. Today, the park has been converted into a memorial who sacrificed their lives. The gardens are large and the informational signage is helpful in understanding what took place here. The walls with several bullet marks here have been "chalk-marked" specifically for the visitors and the "martyrs well" is also kept here covered with net. It is said that approximately 1600 rounds of bullets were fired by British troops at the crowd.

The Jallianwala Bagh is open to public on all days. The timings for the memorial are 6:00 am – 9:00 pm in summers and 7:00 am – 8:00 pm in winters.

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Wagah Border

Wagah Border, India Located at a distance of 28km from the city of Amritsar, Wagah border is a post between India and Pakistan. This is the only open border between Pakistan and India which is officially accessible by both the nations.

The closing ceremony also known as 'lowering of the flags' ceremony takes place here; a daily military practice followed by the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Pakistan Rangers, since 1959. The ‘Beating the Retreat’ ceremony starts with a stiff-marching parade which includes the closing of international gates and the lowering of the flags of both the countries. This interesting ceremony takes place every evening before sunset at the Wagah Border. The flag ceremony closes at 5pm, so it is better to be early - by 3.30pm itself.

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Mohali, Punjab, India Mohali is well known for its scenic beauty. The city has lush green surroundings, open and spacious places that sustain numerous bird species. The city is located adjacent to the state capital Chandigarh and is considered a part of the tri city, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. In Mohali, remember to visit Pinjore Garden, which is situated at the foothills of Shivalik ranges. This garden has a mini zoo and a picnic lawn. Other places worth visiting are the city's Rose Garden, which has close to a 1000 variety of roses, and the artificial Sukhna Lake where one can enjoy rowing and yachting. The best season or months to visit places in Mohali are February, March, October, November, December.

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Qila Mubarak (Bhatinda Fort)

Qila Mubarak, Punjab, India Qila Mubarak is a historical monument situated in Bhatinda city of state Punjab. It exist from 90-110 AD in its current place. Razia Sultan, the first woman to take charge of the Delhi throne was kept imprisoned in this fort after she was defeated and dethroned. The fort is date back to the Kushana period. Kanishka ruled over Northern India is believed to have built the fort along with Raja Dab.

Qila Mubarak is in itself a great attraction for the tourists visiting Bhatinda, it resembles a ship in a sea of sand have a magnificent Architecture. Bathinda fort is built on an area of 15 acres with height of its walls being approximately 150 feet during those days.

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Shree Durgiana Mandir

Shree Durgiana Mandir, India Durgiana Mandir, an important religious pilgrimage of The Hindus is in the Northern India. It is situated in Holy Amritsar City of Punjab. It is a few yards away from Railway Station & about 1.5 km. from the Bus Stand. The original temple is reported to have been built in the 16th century. It was rebuilt in 1921 by Guru Harsai Mal Kapoor on the pattern of the Sikh Golden Temple and it is located near the Lohgarh gate, at the site of a small lake known as Durgiana.

The complex is popularly known as the Durgiana derives its name from the Goddess Durga. Amritsar is particularly to Hindus as it is believed that the Lov-Kush along with their mother Mata Sita spent their early childhood in the ashram of Bhagwan Maharishi Balmiki ji in the land.

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Sheesh Mahal, Patiala

Sheesh Mahal, Patiala, India The Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) is the famous tourist place in Patiala City of Punjab was built by Maharaja Narinder Singh in 1845 behind the main Moti Bagh Palace. Sheesh Mahal was the residential palace of Maharajas of Patiala. The palace has been named so due to its exquisite interior that is completely ornate with mirrors and glasses, along with stunning floral designs on the walls. It's greatest treasures are excellent museum, a fine collection of antiques, which gives a fabulous insight into the life, and times of Maharajas of Patiala.

The best time to visit this Sheesh Mahal of Patiala is between the months of November and February. The palace stands open to tourists from sunrise to sunset.

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Pathankot, India Pathankot literally stands for ‘Fort of Pathans’ located in Punjab is known for its picturesque beauty and myriad tourist attractions. It is a meeting point of the three northern states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, Pathankot serves as a travel hub for the three northerly states. Pathankot is bordered by the foothills of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra and Dalhousie from its south and east boundaries, and by the snow capped Himalayas from its north side.

One of the main tourist attraction of Pathankot is the Ranjit Sagar Dam, which is the highest gravity dam in Asian subcontinent. Other important tourist attractions in Pathankot are and the Nurpur Fort, Mukteshwar temple, Nagni temple and Shahpur Kandi fort. Situated in the picturesque foothills of Kangra and Dalhousie, Pathankot serves as the base to visit hill stations of Himachal Pradesh such as Dharamshala, Dalhousie and Mcleodganj.

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The Rock Garden, Chandigarh

The Rock Garden, Chandigarh, India The Rock Garden of Chandigarh is also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand, a government official who started the garden in 1957. It is located between the Capitol Complex and Sukhna Lake in Sector1. The Rock Garden currently stands covering an area of around 40 acres. Best part about the rock garden is that each of its artwork has been made by using waste materials, industrial waste and thrown-away items. It is a classic example of innovation and recycling at its best. This garden is also the venue of the annual Teej Festival. During this time the entire garden lights up and attains a festive look. The garden attracts more than 12 million visitors from around the world every year and is viewed as one of the modern wonders of the world.

Visiting hours of the Rock Garden are from 9:00 am-6:00 pm with extended hours during the summer.

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The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Chandigarh

The Zakir Hussain Rose Garden, Chandigarh, India Zakir Hussain Rose Garden located in Chandigarh, India is Asia's largest Rose Garden and is spreaded over 30 acres having over 1600 different species or roses. The garden has over 20,000 plants of 1,600 varieties. This beautiful garden was set up in 1967. Every year during February or March, a big festival known as Rose Festival, is celebrated at this garden. Best time to visit in month of Febrauary - March when all plants are in full bloom with flowers and buzzing bees and birds. The Rose Garden has medicinal plants along with the roses. The main medicinal plans which are seen in the garden are harar, bel, camphor, yellow gulmohar and bahera.

It is situated near sector 16, Chandigarh and is open from around 5:00 am to 9:00 pm during summers.

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