Holy Pilgrimage – Temples in Punjab State
Punjab Punjabi: ਪੰਜਾਬ) is a state in the northwest of the Republic of India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. The state is bordered by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh to the east, Haryana to the south and southeast and Rajasthan to the southwest as well as the Pakistani province of Punjab to the west. It is also bounded to the north by Jammu and Kashmir. The state capital is located in Chandigarh, which is a Union Territory and also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana. Major cities of Punjab include Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Tarn Taran Sahib, Nawanshahr, Firozpur, Bathinda,Hoshiarpur and Mohali. After the partition of India in 1947, the Punjab province of British India was divided between India and Pakistan. The Indian Punjab was divided in 1966 with the formation of the new states of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, as well as the current state of Punjab. Punjab is the only state in India with a majority Sikh population.
The Greeks referred to Punjab as Pentapotamia, an inland delta of five converging rivers. In Avesta, the sacred text of Zoroastrians, the Punjab region is associated with the ancient hapta həndu or Sapta Sindhu, the Land of Seven Rivers. Historically, the Punjab region has been the gateway to the Indian Subcontinent for people from Greece, Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan and vice versa.
Agriculture is the largest industry in Punjab; it is the largest single producer of wheat in India. Other major industries include the manufacturing of scientific instruments, agricultural goods, electrical goods, financial services, machine tools, textiles, sewing machines, sports goods, starch, tourism, fertilizers, bicycles, garments, and the processing of pine oil and sugar. Punjab also has the largest number of steel rolling mill plants in India, which are located in Steel Town Mandi Gobindgarh, District Fatehgarh Sahib
EtymologyThe word Punjab is from Sanskrit and Persian words panj (Sanskrit: पंच) and Āb (Persian: آب, (which itself derives from "āp" Sanskrit: अाप्) that means "five" and "water", respectively, thus PanjĀb means "Five Rivers", which roughly means "Land of Five Rivers". The five rivers are the Beas, Sutlej, Ravi, Chenab and Jehlum (also spelled Jhelum). Traditionally, in English, there used to be a definite article before the name, i.e. "The Punjab". The name is also sometimes spelled as "Panjab".
Ancient historyPunjab during Mahabharata times was known as Panchanada. Indus Valley Civilization spanned much of the Punjab region with cities such as Harrapa (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan). The Vedic Civilization along the length of the Sarasvati River to cover most of Northern India including Punjab. This civilization shaped subsequent cultures in the Indian Subcontinent. Punjab was part of the great ancient empires including the Gandhara, Mahajanapadas, Nandas, Mauryas, Sungas, Kushans, Guptas, Palas, Gurjara-Pratiharas and Hindu Shahis. The furthest eastern extent of Alexander the Great's exploration was along the Indus River. Agriculture flourished and trading cities (such as Jalandhar and Ludhiana) grew in wealth.
Due to its location, the Punjab region came under constant attack and influence from the west and east. Punjab faced invasions by the Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Turks, and Afghans. This resulted in the Punjab witnessing centuries of bitter bloodshed. Its legacy is a unique culture that combines Hindu, Buddhist, Persian/Zoroastrian, Central Asian, Islamic, Afghan, Sikh and British elements.
The city of Taxila in Pakistan, founded by son of Taksh the son Bharat, who was the brother of Ram. It was reputed to house the oldest university in the world, Takshashila University, one of the teachers was the great Vedic thinker and politician Chanakya. Taxila was a great centre of learning and intellectual discussion during the Maurya Empire. It is a UN World Heritage site.
Of particular importance were the periods of contact between Punjab and various Persian Empires when parts of it either became integrated with the empire itself or were an autonomous region which paid taxes to the Persian King. In later centuries, when Persian was the language of the Mughal government, Persian architecture, poetry, art and music were an integral part of the region's culture. The official language of Punjab remained Persian until the arrival of the British in the mid-19th century, where it was finally abolished and the administrative language was changed over to Urdu.
Jahangir attempted to assert authority over the Sikhs by imprisoning Guru Har Gobind at Gwalior. He felt compelled to release him when he began to suffer premonitions of an early and gruesome death. The Guru refused to be released unless the dozens of Hindu princes imprisoned with him were also granted freedom, to which Jahangir agreed. Sikhism did not have any further issues with the Mughal Empire until the death of Jahangir in 1627. His successor, Shah Jahan "took offense" at Guru Har Gobind's sovereignty and after a series of assaults on Amritsar forced the Sikhs to retreat to the Sivalik Hills Guru Har Gobind's successor, Guru Har Rai maintained the guruship in the Sivalik Hills by defeating local attempts to seize Sikh land and taking a neutral role in the power struggle between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh for control of the Timurid dynasty. The ninth Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur, moved the Sikh community to Anandpur and traveled extensively to visit and preach in Sikh communities in defiance of Mughal rule. He aided Kashmiri Pandits in avoiding conversion to Islam and was arrested and confronted by Aurangzeb. When offered a choice between conversion or death, he chose to die rather than compromise his principles and was executed Guru Gobind Singh assumed the guruship in 1675 and to avoid battles with Sivalik Hill Rajas moved the guruship to Paunta. He built a large fort to protect the city and garrisoned an army to protect it. The growing power of the Sikh community alarmed Sivalik Hill Rajas, who attempted to attack the city, but the Guru's forces routed them at the Battle of Bhangani. He moved on to Anandpur and established the Khalsa, a collective army of baptized Sikhs, on March 30, 1699. The establishment of the Khalsa united the Sikh community against various Mughal-backed claimants to the guruship.
In 1701, a combined army composed of the Sivalik Hill Rajas and the Mughal army under Wazir Khan attacked Anandpur and, following a retreat by the Khalsa, were defeated by the Khalsa at the Battle of Mukstar. Banda Singh Bahadur was an ascetic who converted to Sikhism after meeting Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded. A short time before his death, Guru Gobind Singh ordered him to uproot Mugal rule in Punjab and gave him a letter that commanded all Sikhs to join him. After two years of gaining supporters, Banda Singh Bahadur initiated an agrarian uprising by breaking up the large estates of Zamindar families and distributing the land to the poor Sikh, Hindu,and Muslim peasants who farmed the land. Banda Singh Bahadur started his rebellion with the defeat of Mughal armies at Samana and Sadhaura and the rebellion culminated in the defeat of Sirhind. During the rebellion, Banda Singh Bahadur made a point of destroying the cities in which Mughals had been cruel to Sikhs, including executing Wazir Khan in revenge for the deaths of Guru Gobind Singh's sons, Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh after the Sikh victory at Sirhind He ruled the territory between the Sutlej river and the Yamuna river established a capital in the Himalayas at Lohgarh and struck coinage in the names of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh.
Cis-Sutlej statesThe Cis-Sutlej states were a group of states in modern Punjab and Haryana states lying between the Sutlej River on the north, the Himalayas on the east, the Yamuna River and Delhi District on the south, and Sirsa District on the west. These states were ruled by the Scindhia dynasty of the Maratha Empire, various Sikh sardars and other Rajas of the Cis-Sutlej states paid tributes to the Marathas, until the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803-1805, after which the Marathas lost this territory to the British. The Cis-Sutlej states included Kaithal, Patiala, Jind, Thanesar, Maler Kotla, and Faridkot.
The Sikh EmpireThe Sikh Empire (1801–1849) was formed on the foundations of the Punjabi Army by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The empire extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, to Sindh in the south, and Tibet in the east. The main geographical footprint of the empire was the Punjab region. The religious demography of the Sikh Empire was Muslim (70%), Sikh (17%), Hindu (13%).
The Sikh Empire began with the disbandment of the Punjab Army by the time of coronation of Ranjit Singh in 1801, creating a unified political state. All the misl leaders who were affiliated with the Army were nobility with usually long and prestigious family histories in Punjab's history.
After Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death in 1839, the empire was severely weakened by internal divisions and political mismanagement. This opportunity was used by the British Empire to launch the Anglo-Sikh Wars. A series of betrayals of the Sikhs by some prominent leaders in the army led to its downfall. Maharaja Gulab Singh and Raja Dhian Singh were the top Generals of the army.
The Sikh Empire was finally dissolved, after a series of wars with the British at the end of the Second Anglo-Sikh War in 1849, into separate princely states and the British province of Punjab, which were granted statehood. Eventually, a Lieutenant Governorship was formed in Lahore as a direct representative of the British Crown.
Punjab Province (British India)
Ranjit Singh's death in the summer of 1839 brought political chaos, and the subsequent battles of succession and the bloody infighting between the factions at court weakened the state. By 1845 the British had moved 32,000 troops to the Sutlej frontier to secure their northernmost possessions against the succession struggles in the Punjab. In late 1845, British and Sikh troops engaged near Ferozepur, beginning the First Anglo-Sikh War. The war ended the following year, and the territory between the Sutlej and the Beas was ceded to British Company rule in India, along with Kashmir, which was sold to Gulab Singh of Jammu, who ruled Kashmir as a British vassal.
As a condition of the peace treaty, some British troops, along with a resident political agent and other officials, were left in the Punjab to oversee the regency of Maharaja Dhalip Singh, a minor. The Sikh army was reduced greatly in size. In 1848, out-of-work Sikh troops in Multan revolted, and a British official was killed. Within a few months, the unrest had spread throughout the Punjab, and British troops once again invaded. The British prevailed in the Second Anglo-Sikh War, and under the Treaty of Lahore in 1849, the Punjab was annexed by the British East India Company, and Dhalip Singh was pensioned off. The Punjab became a province of British India, although a number of small states, most notably Patiala, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Nabha, and Jind, retained local rulers in subsidiary alliances with the British, with the rulers retaining their own internal sovereignty but recognizing British suzerainty.
The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919 occurred in Amritsar. In 1930, the yug Indian National Congress proclaimed independence from Lahore. In March 1940, the all-India Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution, demanding the creation of a separate state from Muslim majority areas in India. The ambiguity of the Lahore Resolution sparked violent protests, in which Punjab became a central stage.
In 1946, massive communal tensions and violence erupted between the Punjab's Muslim majority and the Hindu and Sikh minorities. The Muslim League attacked the government of Unionist Punjabi Muslims, Sikh Akalis and the Congress and led to its downfall. Unwilling to be cowed down, Sikhs and Hindus counter-attacked, and the resulting bloodshed left the province in great disorder. Both Congress and League leaders agreed to partition Punjab upon religious lines, a precursor to the wider partition of the country.
Independence and its aftermathIn 1947 the Punjab Province of British India was partitioned along religious lines into West Punjab and East Punjab. Huge numbers of people were displaced, and there was much intercommunal violence. Following independence, several small Punjabi princely states, including Patiala, acceded to the Union of India and were united into the PEPSU. In 1956 this was integrated with the state of East Punjab to create a new, enlarged Indian state called simply "Punjab".
Immediately following independence in 1947, and due to the ensuing communal violence and fear, most Sikhs and Punjabi Hindus who found themselves in Pakistan migrated to India as part of the exchange of populations. Punjabi Muslims were uprooted similarly from their homes in East Punjab, which now forms part of India. More than 7 million moved to Pakistan, and over 6 million settled in Punjab.
In 1950, two new states were recognized by the Indian constitution: the Indian part of the former British province of Punjab became the state of East Punjab, while the princely states of the region were combined into the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). Himachal Pradesh was later created as a union territory from several princely states in the hills.
Formation of current PunjabThe capital city of the undivided Province of Punjab, Lahore, was allocated to the Pakistani West Punjab during the partition of British India in 1947, so a new capital for Indian Punjab was built at Chandigarh. Shimla was named temporary capital of the Punjab until Chandigarh was completed in 1960.
After years of protest by Akali Dal and other Sikh organizations finally Punjab was divided along linguistic basis in 1966. On 1 November 1966, the Hindi-speaking southern half of Punjab became a separate state, Haryana, and the Pahari speaking hilly areas in north east were given to Himachal Pradesh. Chandigarh was on the border between the two states and became a separate union territory but serves as the capital of both Punjab and Haryana. During the 1970s, the Green Revolution brought increased economic prosperity for the Punjab, mainly due to the late Pratap Singh Kairon. However, a growing polarisation between the Indian National Congress central government and the main Sikh political party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, developed during the 1970s. Hostility and bitterness arose from what was widely seen by the Akali Dal as increasing alienation, centralization and discriminatory attitudes towards Punjab by the Government of India. This prompted the Shiromani Akali Dal to pass the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which asked for granting maximum autonomy to the region of Punjab and other states and limited role and powers of the Central Government.
The state capital of Punjab is Chandigarh.
The state of Punjab has 22 districts which comprise of sub-divisions, tehsils and blocks.
Sikhism is the predominant faith in Punjab followed by around 60% of the populace. The holiest of Sikh shrines, the Sri Harmandir Sahib (or Golden Temple), is in the city of Amritsar. The Sri Akal Takht Sahib, which is within the Golden Temple complex, is the temporal seat of Sikhs. Of the five Takhts (Temporal Seats of religious authority) of Sikhism, three are in Punjab. These are Sri Akal Takht Sahib, Damdama Sahib and Anandpur Sahib. During major holidays on the Sikh calendar (such as Vaisakhi, Hola Mohalla, Gurpurb and Diwali), many Sikhs gather and march in religious processions through virtually every city, town and village. At least one Sikh Gurdwara can be found in almost every village in the state, as well as in the towns and cities (in various architectural styles and sizes).
Hinduism is the second most practised faith in Punjab forming around 36 per cent of the population. A large segment of Punjabis who are categorized as Punjabi Hindus continue heterogeneous religious practices with spiritual kinship with Sikhism. This not only includes veneration of the Sikh Gurus in private practice but also visits to Sikh Gurdwaras along with Hindu temples.
The Punjabi language, written in the Gurmukhi script, is the official language of the state. The language is popular across India and the wider world due to the large-scale migration of Punjabis and the rich Punjabi music. Punjabi has always been an integral part of Indian Bollywood cinema due to large numbers of Punjabis working in Bollywood. In recent years a trend of Bollywood songs written totally in Punjabi can be observed. Punjabi is also the most widely spoken language in Pakistan and is the provincial language of Punjab (Pakistan), the second largest and the most populous province of Pakistan. It is also the second official language in the Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and the National capital of Delhi.
Punjabi is the most spoken immigrant language in England and the fourth most spoken language in Canada according to official census. Punjabi is the 10th most spoken language in the world and 4th most spoken language in Asia. ] The major dialects of Punjabi spoken in Indian Punjab are Majhi, Malwi, Pwadhi and Doabi
CultureThe culture of Punjab comprises many elements including music such as bhangra, an extensive religious and non-religious dance tradition, a long history of poetry in the Punjabi language, a significant film industry which dates back to before Partition, a vast range of cuisine which has become widely popular abroad, and a number of seasonal and harvest festivals such as Lohri, Basant, Baisakhi and Teej, all of which are celebrated in addition to the religious festivals of India.
A kissa is a Punjabi language oral story-telling tradition that has a mixture of origins ranging from the Arabian peninsula to Iran and Afghanistan.
Punjabi wedding traditions and ceremonies are a strong reflection of Punjabi culture. Marriage ceremonies are known for their rich rituals, songs, dances, food and dresses, which have evolved over many centuries
BhangraBhangra (Punjabi: ਭੰਗੜਾ (Gurmukhi),; is a form of dance and music that originated in the Punjab region. Bhangra dance began as a folk dance conducted by Punjabi farmers to celebrate the coming of the harvest season. The specific moves of Bhangra reflect the manner in which villagers farmed their land. This hybrid dance became Bhangra. The folk dance has been popularised in the western world by Punjabis in England and the USA where competitions are held. It is seen in the West as an expression of South Asian culture as a whole. Today, Bhangra dance survives in different forms and styles all over the globe – including pop music, film soundtracks, collegiate competitions and cultural shows.
Punjabi folkloreThe folk heritage of the Punjab reflects its thousands of years of history. While Majhi and Doabi are considered to be the standard dialect of Punjabi language, there are a number of local dialects through which the people communicate. These include Malwai, Malwai and Pwadhi. The songs, ballads, epics and romances are generally written and sung in these dialects.
There are a number of folk tales that are popular in Punjab. These are the folk tales of Mirza Sahiban, Heer Ranjha, Sohni Mahiwal, Sassi Punnun, Dulla Bhatti, Puran Baghat, Jeona Maud etc. The mystic folk songs and religious songs include the Shalooks of Sikh gurus, Baba Farid and others. They also include Kafis, Hamds, Baits, Dohas, Lohris, Sehra, and Jugni.
The most famous of the romantic love songs are Mayhiah, Dhola and Boliyan. Punjabi romantic dances include Dhamaal, Bhangra, Giddha, Dhola, and Sammi and some other local folk dances.
TransportationThe infrastructure of Punjab has been rated the best in India. Public transport in Punjab is provided by buses, auto rickshaws, Indian railways and an international rail connection to Pakistan (Samjhauta Express). The state has a large network of multimodal transportation system:
Almost all the major as well as smaller cities of the state are linked through railways. Amritsar is the largest railway station having trains connecting to all major cities. Shatabdi Express connects Amritsar to Delhi. The railway junction in Bhatinda is the largest in Asia.
All the cities and towns of Punjab are connected with four-lane roads National Highway. The Grand Trunk Road also called as NH1 connects Calcutta to Peshawar passing through Jalandhar and Amritsar. Another major national highway connects Punjab to Jammu passing through Hoshiarpur and Pathankot. The state road conditions are the finest in India. The national highways passing through the state are ranked the best in the country with widespread road networks that serve isolated towns as well as the border region.
The following National Highways connect major towns, cities and villages:
National Highway 1 (India), National Highway 10 (India), National Highway 15 (India), National Highway 1A (India) National Highway 20 (India), National Highway 21 (India), National Highway 22 (India), National Highway 64 (India), National Highway 70 (India), National Highway 71 (India), National Highway 95 (India).
Chandigarh is a city and union territory in India that serves as the capital of two states, Haryana and Punjab. The name Chandigarh translates as "The Fort of Chandi". The name is derived from an ancient temple called Chandi Mandir, devoted to the Hindu goddess Chandi, near the city.
The city of Chandigarh was the first planned city in India post independence in 1947 (pre-independence planned cities include Dispur in Assam, New Delhi in Delhi, Jaipur in Rajasthan, etc.) and is known internationally for its architecture and urban design. The city has projects designed by architects such as Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Jane Drew, and Maxwell Fry. The city tops the list of Indian States and Union Territories with the highest per capita income in the country at Rs.99,262 at current prices and Rs.70,361 at constant prices (2006–2007) The city was reported in 2010 to be the "cleanest" in India, based on a national government study, and the territory also headed the list of Indian states and territories according to research conducted using 2005 data by Human Development Index
HistoryAfter the partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, the former British province of Punjab was also split between India and Pakistan. The Indian state of Punjab required a new capital city to replace Lahore, which became part of Pakistan during the partition After several plans to make additions to existing cities were found to be unfeasible for various reasons, the decision to construct a new and planned city was undertaken. Of all the new town schemes in independent India, the Chandigarh project quickly assumed prime significance, because of the city's strategic location as well as the personal interest of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. Commissioned by Nehru to reflect the new nation's modern, progressive outlook, Chandigarh was designed by the French (born Swiss) architect and urban planner, Le Corbusier, in the 1950s. Le Corbusier was in fact the second architect of the city, after the initial master plan was prepared by the American architect-planner Albert Mayer who was working with the Polish-born architect Matthew Nowicki.
Chandigarh hosts the largest of Le Corbusier's many Open Hand sculptures, standing 26 meters high. The Open Hand (La Main Ouverte) is a recurring motif in Le Corbusier's architecture, a sign for him of "peace and reconciliation. It is open to give and open to receive." It represents the give and take of ideas.
On 1 November 1966, the newly formed Indian state of Haryana was carved out of the eastern portion of the Punjab, in order to create Haryana as a majority Hindi-speaking state (with a Hindu majority), while the western portion of Punjab retained a mostly Punjabi language-speaking majority (with a Sikh majority) and remained as the current federated state of Punjab. However, the city of Chandigarh was on the border, and was thus created into a union territory to serve as capital of both these states.
Recently, political groups such as the Akali Dal have argued that Chandigarh should become solely the capital of Punjab.
EnvironmentMost of Chandigarh is covered by dense banyan and eucalyptus plantations. Asoka, cassia, mulberry and other trees flourish in the forested ecosystem. The city has forests surrounding it which sustain many animal and plant species. Deers, sambars, barking deer, parrots, woodpeckers and peacocks inhabit the protected forests. Sukhna Lake hosts a variety of ducks and geese, and attracts migratory birds from parts of Siberia and Japan in the winter season.
Architecture and urban planningaking over from Albert Mayer, Le Corbusier produced a plan for Chandigarh that conformed to the modern city planning principles of the Congrès International d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM) in terms of division of urban functions, an anthropomorphic plan form, and a hierarchy of road and pedestrian networks.
This vision of Chandigarh, contained in the innumerable conceptual maps on the drawing board together with notes and sketches had to be translated into brick and mortar, was led by the chief engineer appointed to the project, Ajit Gill. Le Corbusier retained many of the seminal ideas of Mayer and Nowicki, like the basic framework of the master plan and its components: The Capitol, City Center, besides the University, Industrial area, and linear parkland. Even the neighborhood unit was retained as the basic module of planning. However, the curving outline of Mayer and Nowicki was reorganized into a mesh of rectangles, and the buildings were characterized by an "honesty of materials". Exposed brick and boulder stone masonry in its rough form produced unfinished concrete surfaces, in geometrical structures. This became the architectural form characteristic of Chandigarh, set amidst landscaped gardens and parks.
Chandigarh Museum and Art Gallery have a separate section dedicated to the architecture of Chandigarh.
Chandigarh has the largest number of vehicles per capita in India. Wide, well maintained roads and parking spaces all over the city ease local transport.
CTU buses run throughout the city. There are two major bus terminals: ISBT Sector 17 and ISBT Sector 43. CTU also provides frequent bus service to neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh.Delhi, .
Chandigarh is well connected by road by NH 22 (Ambala — Kalka — Shimla — Kinnaur) and NH 21 (Chandigarh — Leh). Traffic is very well maintained by the Chandigarh Traffic Police. Usually drivers follow rules. Traffic tickets (chalan) rates are very high.
Chandigarh has a major railway junction of North India. Trains to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, lucknow, Amritsar, Ambala, Panipat, Kalka and major cities are available.
Chandigarh Airport is domestic, but the work is underway for an international airport. Flights from major cities of India are available including New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Srinagar.
The Chandigarh Metro Rail is expected to start working by 2018.
Notable people born in Chandigarh
Neerja Bhanot, Flight attendant and model
Jeev Milkha Singh, professional golfer
Yuvraj Singh, Indian international cricketer
Kapil Dev, Former Indian international cricketer
Dinesh Mongia, Indian international cricketer
Abhinav Bindra, Olympic gold medalist shooter
Navalpreet Rangi, Documentary filmmaker
Kiron Kher, Indian actress and theatre artist
Gul Panag, Indian film actress
Ayushman Khurrana, Indian Film actor
Nek Chand Saini, Indian artist and creator of the Rock Garden of Chandigarh
Yami Gautam, Indian film actress
Mukesh Gautam, Punjabi film director
Om Tat Sat
(My humble salutations to the great devotees , wikisources and Pilgrimage tourist guide for the collection )