Punjab, the land of five rivers and astounding cultural history is located in the north west of India. Popularly referred to as the "Granary of India", it is the second largest producer of major agricultural products in the country. Punjab is renowned for its sports and hosiery goods industry. It is one of the most prosperous states of India in terms of infrastructure and per capita income. The charming cities and towns of Punjab are dotted with numerous ancient monuments, gurudwaras, temples, ashrams, serene lakes, sacred shrines, museums, and wildlife sanctuaries, which are home to many rare species of animals and migratory birds.
The best time to visit Punjab is from the months of October to March.
Currency: Indian Rupees
Official languages: Punjabi
The history of Punjab goes back thousands of years. Undivided Punjab has been the cradle of the Indus Valley Civilization, the remains of which can be seen at the Ropar archaeological site and its dedicated museum. This fertile ancient land finds mention even in Mahabharata and Ramayana. Infact it is believed that the Ramayana was written here by Valmiki ji. Places like Rupnagar, Kiratpur, Dholbaha, Rohira and Ghuram...all in Punjab; have unearthed artifacts that date back centuries. In Sanghol are 107 statues of the Kushan period evoking memories of a flourishing Buddhist monastery. This monastery was visited by Hiuen Tsang in the 7th century. The milestones in the history of Punjab are the migration of the Aryans to Punjab between 516 BC to 321 AD, immediately followed by Alexander's invasion, which changed the fate of India as a whole. The last point of Alexander's entry in India can be seen in Gurdaspur. The Muslims ruled till around 1300 AD and then came the rise of the Sikhs from 1700 AD to 1849 AD. Punjab has always ranked high when it comes to courage, might and valour. The state made major contributions to the freedom struggle of India though in the process it had to face its own division. Satyagraha, morchas, Jallianwala Bagh massacre... with names like Kartar Singh Sarabha, Lala Lajpat Rai, Udham Singh, Madan Lal Dhingra, Bhagat Singh instantly evoke the memories of the struggle for Indian independence. The list is endless for Punjab has been one of the most happening places in the struggle. Punjab now is shared by India and Pakistan though the ethos continues to be the same on both ends, divided only in body and not in soul.The partition of Punjab with its brutal riots was one of the most traumatic experiences for some and it continues to have its effect today. The flourishing position of the state in terms of agriculture, industriy, education and all other fields prove the tenacity that is so unique to the state and its people.
Punjab has one of the oldest and richest cultures of the world. Its diversity and uniqueness is evident in the Punjabi poetry, philosophy, spirituality, education, artistry, music, cuisine, science, technology, military warfare, architecture, traditions, values and history. Punjabi is famous for its extreme interest in arts and crafts. Punjab is described as an arts and crafts art, in particular arts and crafts also include some beautiful scenes. Many things related to arts and crafts of Punjab are known worldwide for their quality and beauty.
Punjab is one of the coldest regions in India with an average daily high temperature of only 30 degrees centigrade. Several months of the year it is warm to hot at temperatures continuously above 25 degrees centigrade, sometimes up to 40 degrees. Due to the warmer temperatures the best time for traveling is in May.
Citizens of most countries, including the United States, need a visa to visit India which should be arranged in advance. Full details can be found at The Government of India website (http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/). Citizens of Nepal and Bhutan do not need a visa, while some nationalities may get them upon arrival.
A wide range of road transport, including taxis, tempos, private and the state owned bus are available in the city.
Before you leave on your holiday, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:
Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)
We recommend avoiding packing any plastic bags in your luggage before flying to Kenya. You should also remove any items purchased at departure airports from their bags before boarding. Double check your luggage before disembarking in Kenya and leave any plastic bags on the plane.
Avoid consuming unhygienic street food, because it is one of the prominent causes of stomach upset.
Always drink packaged drinking water, when you are traveling. Even the water provided by eateries and restaurants might not be filtered.
Keep travel sickness pills in your purse, whenever you are on a long distance journey. This is especially applicable when you are traveling to high altitude places.
Choose a hygienic eating outlet, especially when you want to relish on non-veg dishes.
Avoid dehydration on hot sunny days, by supplying yourself with fluids, such as water and fresh fruit juices. In case of a heat stroke, drink water or lemonade - it would provide immediate relief.
Do not keep your baggage unattended, when you are in public places.
To ensure the maximum safety of your valuables, such as cash, passport and visa, keep them locked safely, in your hotel room.
While traveling with cash in hand, ensure that you do not open your wallet in front of the people rendering you services, such as guide, taxi driver etc.
Be extra cautious while walking through busy streets, because pickpockets throng such places.
Avoid being overfriendly with strangers, even if they are people associated with your travel, including the taxi driver and guide.
Never consume drinks or eatables offered to you by strangers.
Avoid traveling during late nights, especially when you are accompanying a woman or are all alone.
Enter the police emergency number in your phone diary and take it wherever you go. The cops would reach you during emergencies.
Couples and newly married people are advised to avoid display of affection, especially in religious places and public parks.
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