Cities to Visit in Punjab

Attractions in Punjab

Punjab, the Land of Five Rivers, is home to many popular tourist destinations and attractions that draw visitors from across the world.

Tourism in Punjab: An Overview

The state of Punjab in India is famous for its tradition, cuisines, and glorious past. The public communication and transportation network in the state is huge. The state is a major hub of religions like Sikhism and Hinduism. Major cities in the state are as follows:
  • Amritsar
  • Patiala
  • Ludhiana
  • Chandigarh (the capital)
The state is an excellent site for cultural tourism and religious tourism. Since the state has an extensive history, people interested in history also find the state quite interesting. The state has a lot in store for nature lovers who prefer the countryside, temples and shrines, ranches, and old pattern homes. The rural areas of the state bear testimony to the actual characteristics of Punjab.

The boundary between Pakistan and India at Wagah is a famous tourist spot as well. Patiala is known for cultural traits like Salwar, Patiala Peg, and Jutti.

Tourists visiting Punjab have plenty of opportunities to make the most of its traditions, history, and religiousness. The regal mansions and castles of the kings, famous war sites, temples, shrines, and other religious places of worship are the principal attractions of this state. Sikh architecture is manifested in all major monuments and memorials of the state. Punjabi food consists of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian food.

Tourist attractions in Punjab

The state houses various places of tourist interest and tourism is a flourishing industry in the state. The different tourist attractions in Punjab can be categorized into the following:
yal Fort
  • Famous memorials in Sangrur and Nabha

  • Museums in Punjab
    Given below are the names of the most famous museums in the state:
    • Sanghol Museum
    • Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum - Amritsar
    • Government Museum - Hoshiarpur
    • Anglo Sikh War Memorial - Ferozeshah
    • Qila Mubarak Patiala - Museum of Armory & Chandeliers
    • Rural Museum - Punjab Agricultural University
    • Sports Museum - Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports, Patiala
    • Art Gallery at Sheesh Mahal
    • Khalsa Heritage Memorial Complex
    • Guru Teg Bahadur Museum - Shri Anandpur Sahib
    • Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum - Ludhiana
    • Sikh Ajaibghar - Mohali
    • Shahed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Museum - Khatkar Kalan

  • Gurdwaras, Temples and Shrines
    • Temples:
      • Ram Tirath Temple - Amritsar
      • Devi Talab Mandir - Jalandhar
      • Kali Devi Temple - Patiala
      • Durgiana Mandir - Amritsar

    • Gurdwaras:
      • Gurdwara Shri Baoli Sahib Goindwal Sahib
      • Golden Temple - Amritsar
      • Baba Bakala
      • Khadur Sahib
      • Gurudwara Ber Sahib - Sultanpur Lodhi
      • Dera Baba Nanak - Gurdaspur district
      • Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib
      • Kiratpur Sahib
      • Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib
      • Gurdwara Jyoti Sarup
      • Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib
      • Takht Sri Damdama Sahib
      • Parivar Vichora
      • Mehdiana Sahib
      • Gurdwara Manji Sahib - Ludhiana
      • Gurdwara Sri Tarn Taran Sahib
      • Gurdwara Karamsar Rara Sahib

    • Muslim Shrine
      • Rauza Sharif - Sirhind

  • Gardens
    • Bansar Garden - Sangrur
    • Jallianwala Bagh - Amritsar
    • Shalimar Garden - Kapurthala
    • Ram Bagh Garden - Amritsar
    • Rock Garden, Chandigarh (the capital)
    • Bara Dari Garden - Patiala

  • Mughal Architecture in Punjab

    • Serai Nurmahal - Nurmahal
    • Aam Khas Bagh - Sirhind
    • Mughal Serai - Shambhu
    • Mughal Serai - Doraha
    • The place of enthronement of Akbar, the famous Mughal Emperor at Gurdaspur
    • RDB (Rang De Basanti) Fort or Serai Lashkari Khan, situated close to Doraha
    • Kos Minar
    Payal Fort

    The Payal Fort has an extensive history of 800 years. The fort is situated in Payal, which falls under the Payal tehsil in Ludhiana district. In 1771, Maharaja Amar Singh of Patiala constructed it with the assistance of Mughals.

    Following that, Maharani Sahib Kaur conquered the citadel from the Mughal Hakumats. The citadel still exists and the Sarai of this citadel, which is known as Sarai Lashkari Khan lies close to the fort in Sri Manji Sahib Kottan. This citadel is named as RDB (Rang De Basanti) Fort. Currently, the Archeological Survey of India has the responsibility of looking after this famous Payal Fort.

    Wildlife Sanctuaries, Zoological Gardens and Wetlands in Punjab

    Given below are the names of the zoological gardens, wildlife sanctuaries, and wetlands in the state:
    • Kanjli Wetland - Kapurthala
    • Hari-ke-pattan, Ferozepur - Amritsar (National Wetland & Wildlife Sanctuary)
    • Zoological Park - Chhatbir
    • Satluj Water Body Wetland - Ropar
    • Sukhna Lake - Chandigarh
    • Tiger Safari Ludhiana & Deer Park at Neelon
    Shopping Malls, Dining Venues and Amusement Parks in Punjab

    • Bharavan the Dhaba - Amritsar
    • Haveli - Phagwara, Jalandhar
    • West-End Mall - Ludhiana
    • Kesar da dhaba - Amritsar
    • Ansal Plaza Mall - Phagwara
    • Hardy's World Amusement Park - Ludhiana
    • Floating Restaurent - Sirhind
    • Viva Mall - Phagwara, Jalandhar
    Other tourist attractions in Punjab

    • Masoleums of Ustad & Shagird - Masoleums of Ustad and Shagird, Nakodar, Jalandhar are two fascinating tombs built during the 17th century. The Archaeological Departments looks after these tombs as protected monuments. Among the two tombs one was built in A.D.1612 in the beginning of Jahangir's reign(A..D.1605-1627 A.D.), while the other in 1657 A.D towards the end of Shah Jahan's reign (1627-1658 A.D.).

      One of the tomb is that of Ustad Muhammed Momin popularly known as Ustad Ustad Muhammed Husseini alias Hafizak. He was a tambura player, one of the Navaratnas in the court of Emperor Akbar. The tomb is places on an octagonal platform and can be reached through a flight of steps on two sides ascending from both sides of the tomb. The hemispherical dome is placed over a low lying cylindrical drum and four cupolas. The upper and lower panels of the tomb are made of red plastered bricks, containing painted designs depicting guldastas.

    • Takhat-i-akbari - The Takhat-i-akbari,Kalanaur, Gurudaspur has unparallel historical importance attached to it. It is here that the Great Emperor Akbar was coroneted in the year 1556. The coronation ceremony took place on a magnificently built masonry platform, which is actually known as the Takhat-i-akbari.

      A visit to the Takhat-i-akbari in Kalanaur, Punjab will take you back to the golden days of the Mughal rule. One can see the place where the great king was coroneted, which is in almost ruins today. The place today does not reflect the actual glamor and importance that the Takhat-i-akbari,Kalanaur once had. A short distance from the Takhat-i-akbari,Kalanaur is the place which is linked with Akbar's childhood memory. The playground where child Akbar use to spend his time with his friends. Very near the Takhat-i-akbari is the Akbari Masjid, a mosque built during Akbar's reign.

    • Mughal Sarai - Mughal Sarai, Shambhu (Patiala) is a 'Caravan Sarai'. Mughal Sarai is situated at Shambhu Village near Rajpura in Patiala District in Punjab. Patiala is a former princely state, famous for its glorious Forts, Palaces, extensive gardens like Quilla Androo Sheesh Mahal, Moti Bagh Palace, Baradari Garden, Art Galleries and National Institute of Sports.

      It was built by Sher Shah Suri, the founder of Suri dynasty, popularly known as the Lion King. He built the Mughal Sarai on the Grand Trunk Road linking up Peshawar to Dhaka (now in Bangla Desh).

      Mughal Sarai, Shambhu (Patiala) has two magnificent gates at the entrance. It was built to provide shelter to the tourists and travelers who came from far off places. The rooms of the sarai are constructed on all sides of the building. The mosque is at the center of the sarai. with a mosque in the center and rooms on all sides for the travelers.

    • Serai Nurmahal - Serai Nurmahal is an inn of historical importance. It is located at Nurmahal, a small town, nearly13 km from Nakodar, in Punjab. The beautiful historical inn is related to Nur Jahan, the favorite queen of Jahangir. The arches, filigree work and tiles placed in beautiful patterns add to the beauty of the huge gates. Nur Jahan ordered the construction of the Sarai and got it built by Governor of the Doab, Nawab Zakariya Khan between 1619 and 1621 A.D. She established many families in her new town.

      Serai Nurmahal is an exceptional example of mughal architecture. The historical monument is maintained by the Archaeological Department. The structure is in the form of quadrangle consisting of 140 cells spread over the four sides of the structure. It has two gateways one on the eastern and western direction. The eastern gateway is simple compared to the Pavilions constructed in the center of the northern and southern part of the building are double storeyed. There is a well and a mosque in the quadrangle of Serai Nurmahal.

      Serai Nurmahal has a two storied tower octagonal in shape, with three cells on the basement. Of the two gateways, the eastern on is simple while the western one is ornamented. The entrance of the sarai is arched and its spandrels are adorned with lotus medallions. The domed balconies are supported on the four pillars.

    • Tomb of Mir-i-Mran Sirhind - Tomb of Mir-i-Mran, Sirhind in Fatehgarh Sahib district in Punjab, is a place of historical importance. Sirhind is a block headquarter consisting of 108 villages. Tomb of Mir-i-Mran, Sirhind is located 5 kilometers from Aam Khas Bagh. The neighboring Aam Khas Bagh is a beautiful palace surrounded by gardens. It is connected by a link road.

      Near the Tomb of Mir-i-Mran there are two Sand Stones on which details about the departed soul is engraved. The inscriptions are very valuable as they give a glimpse of the background of the person. Out of the two inscriptions only one is readable. It is written "Subhan daughter of Behlol Lodhi who died on Friday, 11 of Safar 901 Hijri." From the epitaph we come to know that one of the grave is of Subhan, daughter of Behlol Lodhi.

      Historians have concluded from various facts that the other grave, should be of Mir-i-Miran, Amir Sayyid. He was the son-in-law of the great King Behlol Lodhi. The tomb is constructed on a platform square in shape. The tomb has a hemispherical dome supported by an octagonal neck. The octagonal neck of the tomb has fluted pillars.

    • Sarai Amanat Khan - Punjab, the land of five rivers has many places of which reflect the historical grandeur of the place. Sarai Amanat Khan , Amritsar Circuit is one among the various tourist places of Punjab. Sarai Amanat Khan , Amritsar Circuit is an excellent monument. It is located in Amritsar district nearly 46 km on the Tarn Taran-Attari road.

      Sarai Amanat Khan was built during the Mughal era to provide shelter to the tourists or travellers. The ancient inn has an ornamented gateway decorated with glazed tiles. It is a wonderful specimen of Mughal architecture. Sarai Amanat Khan , Amritsar Circuit has been announced as a "monument of national importance" under the 'Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958'. The sarai was constructed during the Mughal period by Amanat Khan, the calligrapher of the famous monument Taj Mahal.

      Sarai Amanat Khan , Amritsar Circuit has two fascinating gateways known as Lahori Darwza and Delhi Darwaza. Within the courtyard of Sarai Amanat Khan a mosque, a well and even open space to keep bullocks and horses are also provided. The arched way of the sarai directs towards to the prayer room. Attractive glazed tile-work adorn the spandrels of the arches. Even though it has been declared as an heritage monument by the Archaeological department, it is not well maintained by the department. The sarai is presently in a dilapidated condition due to the negligence of the department.

    • Handira Mausoleum - Handira Mausoleum, Sultanpur Lodhi is situated on the bank of river Kali Bein. The town of Sultanpur Lodhi is situated in the Kapurthala District of Punjab. The monument is a dignified structure with magnificent domes, pointed arches, several arched windows and jharokas. It is an octagonal structure and has four gates in the four cardinal directions. It is an elegant and balanced building of strength and weight.

      The Handira Mausoleum, Sultanpur Lodhi is 36 km from Jalandhar. It is best to base yourself in Jalandhar, since there are many hotels and other facilities for the visitors, while visiting this mausoleum. This is one of the most significant historical sites in Punjab.

      Another major attraction of Sultanpur Lodhi is the Gurdwara Ber Sahib. This place is connected to Guru Nanak Devji as he spent the early years of his life in and around Sultanpur Lodhi. Mazaar Shah, Hujra Hajira and the Serai Nurmahal are among the other historical buildings of this place. The Serai Nurmahal here is known to be the oldest building of Sultanpur Lodhi.

      Apart from the Handira Mausoleum, Sultanpur Lodhi there are many other mausoleums that can be visited on a trip to Punjab. Bhir in Ludhiana and the tomb of Mir-i- Mran Sirhind are the most important among them. You can also visit the Mausoleums of Ustad and Shagird, Nakodar in Jalandhar.

      Buses are available that will take you to Sultanpur Lodhi from Jalandhar. Handira Mausoleum of Sulatanpur Lodhi is one of the most significant historical remains in Punjab.

    • Sabraon War Memorial - Sabraon War Memorial is located in the Jalawala village of Ferozepur District in Punjab. It is dedicated to those British soldiers who lost their lives in the first Anglo- Sikh War. This battle was fought between the years 1845 and 1846. The Sabraon War Memorial was built in the year 1850.

      Sabraon War Memorial is a 40 feet high rectangular structure and it tapers towards the top. This memorial is built of British bricks.

      History says that the most furious battle that the British had to fight here were fought in Punjab. Fierce battles took place in Mudki, Ferozeshah, Budhowal, Aliwal and Sabraon. Memorials were built in these places to commemorate the battles.

      The final phase of the furious battle was fought in Sabraon which is very near to the confluence of the Sutlej and Beas Rivers. The monument is placed around the area from where the British lines were drawn before the battle.

      Now the Sabraon War Memorial lies almost in ruins. Some of the brickwork at the base of this structure are missing. The plaster work from the column has also come out. This monument is also built in the squat style like the structure of the Aliwal monument. But as the Sabraon War Memorial is built as a column so it is reasonably in a better state. Though the plaques commemorating the battle that were at the base of the structure are missing. However the shape of the column is still intact.

    • Jallianwala Bagh - Jallianwala Bagh Martyr's Memorial, Amritsar was built in the memory of those who lost their lives in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. Situated very close to the Harmandir Sahib or the Golden Temple this memorial is a living reminder of the massacre of the hundreds of unarmed Indian by a British military officer Brigadier -General Dyer on the 13th of April in the year 1919. the incident took place in Amritsar on the birth anniversary of Khalsa, which is considered to be a holy day by the Sikhs.

      Jallianwala Bagh was once a garden in Amritsar. In 1919 it was an uneven and unoccupied space almost an indifferently walled dumping ground. After the tragic happenings on the Baisakhi Day of 1919 the site, Jallianwala Bagh Martyr's Memorial, became a national pilgrimage.

      Soon after the massacre a committee was formed with Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya as the president. This committee was formed to raise a memorial to preserve the memory of the martyrs. Thus the Jallianwala Bagh Martyr's Memorial, Amritsar came into existence. The Bagh was acquired by the nation on the 1st of August of the year 1920. It costed Rs 5,60,472. But the Jallianwala Bagh Martyr's Memorial came into existence after the Independence. The monument was inaugurated on the 13th of April, 1961 by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India. The structure was built at a cost of Rs. 9,25,000.

      A stone lantern is there at each corner of the tank at Jallianwala Bagh Martyr's Memorial, Amritsar. On all four sides of the pylon the words " in memory of martyrs, 13 April 1919" has been inscribed in Urdu, Hindi, English and Punjabi.

    Last Updated on 7 March 2013