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The Indian state of Punjab is known for its cuisine, culture and history. Some of the main cities in Punjab are Amritsar, Jalandhar,Ludhiana and Patiala. Punjab’s public transportation network provides excellent tourist transportation.

Tourists to Punjab can enjoy culture, ancient civilization, spirituality and history. Punjab has a rich religious history incorporating Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism. The royal Punjabi palaces, historic battle sites, shrines, temples and examples of Sikh architecture are notable attractions. Punjabi cuisine includes a wide range of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.

Due to the scope and depth of Punjab’s history there are many places of interest. Tourism is a swiftly expanding sector in Punjab.

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Golden Temple, Amritsar

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The Harmandir Sahib  also Darbar Sahib and informally referred to as the “Golden Temple”, is the holiest Sikh gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. The city was founded in 1574 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. The Harmandir Sahib was designed by the fifth guru,Guru Arjan, who had the cornerstone laid by the Muslim Sufi saint Sai Hazrat Mian Mir on 28 December 1588. Guru Arjan completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, in 1604 and installed it in the gurdwara.

There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions.The present-day gurdwara was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikh Misls. In the early nineteenth century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab region from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and its English name.

The Harimandir Sahib is considered holy by Sikhs.The holiest text of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahib, is always present inside the gurdwara. Its construction was mainly intended to build a place of worship for men and women from all walks of life and all religions to come and worship God equally. Over 100,000 people visit the holy shrine daily for worship.

Virasat-e-Khalsa

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Virasat-e-Khalsa is conceived as a repository of the rich heritage of the Khalsa its history and culture of the Punjab so as to inspire visitors with the vision of the Gurus, emphasizing the eternal message of the great gurus for the whole mankind.

Towards the end of the fifteenth century, in the Punjab region of Northern India, Guru Nanak Dev founded a faith rooted in the core values of universalism, liberalism, and humanism. The nine Gurus who followed Him built upon and consolidated His teachings, thereby establishing Sikhism not only as a belief system but also as a way of life.

Two hundred years later, in 1699, on the occasion of Baisakhi, the Tenth Guru Gobind Singh formally founded the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib, establishing a social order committed to peace, equality and justice for all. Today, on the same site, stands the majestic Gurdwara Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib.

The year 1999 marked the Tercentenary of the Birth of the Khalsa. To commemorate this event, the Chief Minister of Punjab S. Parkash Singh Badal laid forth the outlines of a magnificient edifice to be known as Virasat – e – Khalsa at Sri Anandpur Sahib.

The Heritage Complex is inspired by the rich natural and architectural heritage of Sri Anandpur Sahib, while also drawing heavily from Sikh and regional architecture. Contrary to the tradition of domes which crown the sacred Sikh sites, the roofs of the Museum are concave-shaped receptors facing the sky. Sheathed in stainless steel, they reflect the sun’s light towards the Gurdwara and the Fort.

Science City

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The biggest project of its kind in Northern India, the Science City has been set up in 72 acres of land in the of heart of Punjab, on Jalandhar- Kapurthala Road. It is intended to inclucate the scientific aptitude & temperament, to fire the imagination and creativity, foster the spirit of enquiry and exploration among the masses, especially in the young minds.
The subject areas covered include physical, applied, natural and social sciences, engineering, technology, agriculture, health sciences, energy, industries, human evolution and civilization, the environment, ecosystems, Jurassic parks as well as frontier areas like space, nuclear science, information technology, robotics and Bio-technology.

Sheesh Mahal, Patiala

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The Sheesh Mahal is the famous tourist place in Patiala. Maharaja Narinder Singh built this Mahal in 1847. The design and the decoration of the palace was chosen by Maharaja Narinder Singh to a large extent. One section of Sheesh Mahal is decorated with colored glass and mirror work and it is also known as ‘Palace of Mirrors’. It is situated behind the Moti Bagh Palace. It is a triple storey building. There is a bridge across the artificial lake in the centre of the palace. This bridge is known as Lakshman Jhoola. There are gardens and fountains on the sides of the lake. Sheesh Mahal was the residential palace of Maharajas of Patiala. To give the artistic look on the walls and ceilings of the Sheesh Mahal, Maharaja Narinder Singh engaged artistic painters from Rajasthan and Kangra. The artist made the floral designs on the walls and ceilings. Their art depict the vision of Bihari, Surdas and Keshav in the poetic form and in colors. The paintings of these artists show the very old stories in the style of Rajasthan.

There is a museum in the Sheesh Mahal. In the museum, there are paintings of Jaya Deva’s poetry and Geet Govinda. The Kangra paintings on the walls of the museum show the Krishan Lila in very artistic way. There are also various fine objects of art like art of Tibet, Punjab’s ivory work objects, objects of Kashimiri art and wooden furniture of Maharajas time. The collection of these objects shows the life style of Maharajas. The large portraits of maharajas beautify the walls of the museum. The Medal collection of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and Maharaja Yadwinder Singh from all over the world lies in the museum of Sheesh Mahal. There are about 3200 medals collected from different countries of the world by Maharaja from 12 to 20th century. There is also a collection of coins of 19th century. These coins show the history of different countries trade. The North zone culture centre is situated in the sheesh Mahal. On 6th November 1985, our Prime Minister Late Shri. Rajiv Gandhi inaugurated this centre. Every Year many cultural programmes and heritage festivals are organized in Sheesh Mahal.

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