“Travelling – It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
~ Ibn Batuta
Travelling is the most memorable experience that a youth can have. You get to learn, study, work, and enjoy, all at the same time while travelling. India has a lot to offer in terms of travel and it has lot more to offer to those who look for the best of history, nature, culture and everything in between. In North India, most of the people travel towards Himachal & Uttaranchal, and Punjab is rarely a travel destination barring those heading towards Wagah Border or Golden Temple. But there are some amazing places in Punjab that has a lot of travel value and history as well.
So, here’s a list of places you might want to visit while you head into the farm state :
Harike Wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary ( Ferozepur ):
Harike, also known as Hari-ke-Pattan, is situated at the confluence of the Beas and Sutlej rivers. Harike receives huge number of birds during the winters from Russia. It is one of the largest wetlands in the world. The wetland ecosystem, covering an area of 4,100 hectares, was created following the construction of the Harike barrage across the Sutlej River, and is an internationally recognised Ramsar site.
Jagatjit Palace, Kapurthala
The Jagatjit Palace is the most famous building in Kapurthala. Maharaja Jagatjit Singh and his wife Anita Delgado have been responsible for designing most part of present existing town. The construction of the building took almost 80 years to complete. Jagatjit Palace is considered to be one of the magnificent buildings in Kapurthala in terms of architecture.
Hola Mohalla or Hola Mahalla or simply Hola is a Sikh festival that takes place on the first of the lunar month of Chet which usually falls in March. This, as a tradition was established by Guru Gobind Singh, follows the Hindu festival of Holi by one day. The word “Mohalla” is derived from a Punjabi word that implies an organized procession in the form of an army column. But unlike Holi, when people playfully sprinkle colored powder, dry or mixed in water, on each other, the Guru made Hola Mohalla is an occasion for the Sikhs to demonstrate their martial skills in simulated battles.
Hussainiwala Border, Ferozepur
Since 1970 there has been a Retreat Ceremony at the border crossing every day at 6 pm, similar to the Wagah border ceremony. Wagah Retreat Ceremony is quite huge, but here its a little small scale and one can enjoy a close view of the retreat ceremony. The India-Pakistan border crossing was replaced by the Wagah border crossing , further north. You can meet a huge crowd everyday.
Kila Raipur Sports Festival
Ludhiana becomes the destination for hundreds of sports enthusiasts, including foreigners every year during the month of February. People come to Kila Raipur to see the special breeds of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in professional events. Other events include tent pegging, archery, fencing, riding , gymnastic and acrobatic displays by the Nihangs.
While heading towards Punjab, make sure that you are ready for mind-boggling food as well as loads of butter and ghee alongwith. The food is ecstatic that would surely make you feel contented. If you are visiting the state in winters, do try the classic “Sarson-Da-Saag Te Makki-Di-Roti with a large glass of Lassi” and in summers the all time favorite Paranthas from the roadside dhabas. There are many quality dhabas with good ambience on Punjab roads so you will definitely enjoy the ride.