Golden Temple. Holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Row of gold
domes along the roof of the temple. Amritsar,Punjab, India.
Punjab has an intricate and interesting history. It straddles the Pakistan and Indian regions, both known as Punjab. All of its major rivers are tributaries of the historical Indus River, from where India’s name originates. This natural, historical and cultural wealth has resulted in a land of intrigue for both the local Punjabi people and the visitors that frequent this popular tourist destination. Its capital city is Chandigarh and its official language is Punjabi. In days past, Greater Punjab referred to areas of north-west India and West Pakistan. In fact, most of the region was situated in Pakistan (almost 70%). Therefore, the vast majority of its population was also in Pakistan. The area was ruled by various empires and kingdoms, including the Mughals and the Sikhs. This was a common trend all over the India of centuries ago. Over time, this region has been and, to some extent, continues to be inhabited by Greeks, English, Turkish, Arabian, Persian and Afghan immigrants. Today, its society comprises Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists, as well as a small number of Christians. The British ruled over India until 1947, when the entire subcontinent of India achieved political independence. They introduced English, Christianity and various other major elements that have since been integrated into the modern society.
Most of the Punjabi people in India subscribe to the Sikh faith. In fact, Sikhism originated in this area of India, lending it a deep credence and intensity. Just less than half of the population is Hindu, while the minorities are represented by Buddhists, Jains and Christians. Today, there are many influences from other states around India. This has created a complex culture of many facets and dimensions.
Interestingly, Punjab is known as one of the most fertile places in the entire occupied world. This makes it the perfect agricultural hub. Wheat is a major cash crop here, as is rice. Other successful crops include sugar cane, cotton, fruit and vegetables. Because of the success of this lucrative industry, Punjab is renowned as being India’s wealthiest state.
As India develops and the world shrinks, this land is gaining increasing popularity as a tourist destination. Visitors flock into Punjab every year to experience its people, sights and activities and leave with lasting memories that are truly remarkable. It is famous for its festivals and celebrations. These are fascinating for young and old alike, and provide an unrivalled insight into the religions and celebrations of the local people. Other important tourist attractions in Punjab are:
• The Battle Ground of Kurukshetra
• The Golden Temple(a Sikh pilgrimage)
• Jallianwallah Bagh
• The Sheesh Mahal Palace
For more information, please view: http://punjabtourism.gov.in/