Punjab; meaning the land watered by five rivers, is rich, colourful and merry. This home of the happy-go-lucky Sikhs is always bustling with hearty laughter and great food, home grown in their fertile, river watered land. The bright yellow, green, bubble-gum pink and red Sikh turbans enhance their jovial persona.
Punjab is abundantly blessed by nature, and produces a fat chunk of the country’s agricultural resources. The work-hard, party-hard Punjabis love a good round of liquor after a hearty chiken tikka masala, at the end of a hard day’s work. Yet, amid all this, religion and spirituality remain fiercely alive, visible at sites such as the Golden Temple, Amritsar.
Non noteworthy Haryana split from Punjab in 1966, but shares its capital, Chandigarh. The highlight of Haryana is Kurukshetra, where centuries ago, a legendary good versus evil battle was fought.
PLACES TO SEE
Golden Temple, Amritsar: A golden piece of paradise that fell upon earth; Golden Temple is to Sikhs, as Haj is to Muslims; the journey of a lifetime lived. In the glassy reflection of this visual delight some find hope, yet others – redemption. In this gorgeous golden temple, worship takes an elegant pose, and prayers it seems reach heaven.
Chandigarh: Enjoy the compulsively structured modern metropolis of Chandigarh before tripping into the alternate reality of Nek Chand Fantasy rock garden.
The experience of an evening walk at the India Gate can be more rewarding than you can imagine. Romantic, even. Take a walk, buy an ice cream or snack from the many stalls, and sit on the grass enjoying the grandeur of the lit up Gate.