When one remembers Punjab, it reminds them of the exquisite Golden Temple, the scrumptious butter chicken or makke ki roti and saag, the sentinel Wagah Border and most importantly, the peppy spirit of the people. Punjab’s appeal stems from the beautiful culture it raises and the sad history it inhabits within its heritage. Needless to say, another major appeal of Punjab is its delicious cuisine that Indians cannot overlook. People often frequent their visits to Punjabi restaurants various states but the real taste of the food can only be experienced on Punjab’s soil. The drive through with mustard fields painting the landscape yellow is a sight that has been robbed of us since the lockdown. The experience of visiting local dhabas in the evening for some delicious aloo ka parantha with religious amounts of makhan or butter is missed wholeheartedly. As talks of extending the lockdown in Punjab continue, we’ve curated a list of activities that you can explore post lockdown. It is something to look forward to!
While you still continue to miss your daily favourites, we have listed some offbeat recommendations that are in your budget, crowd-free and unique.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN PUNJAB POST LOCKDOWN
The article lists activities that are offbeat attractions in Punjab. We have selected them with careful consideration of factors such as time and budget. Even with the busiest of schedules, one can take a day or a weekend off to tick off each activity with the exception of the trek which is ideal for a summer or winter break.
Walk through Buddha Garden in Sukhna Lake
The lockdown has restricted various activities that includes peaceful walks through beautiful gardens. It is through such measures that we remember what a difference leisure walks can make to one’s mind. So one of the most important things one can do post lockdown is to find a beautiful garden with a great ambience and enough tranquillity to bring us peace. Which place can be better than the Garden City of Punjab’s capital, Chandigarh?
We recommend the Buddha Garden located at the end of Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh. Moreover, it is also known as Garden of Silence and offers a great place for meditation. Among other gardens, this particular garden stands out due to the Buddha statue situated amidst concentric circular stairs. You can walk around the pathway of the garden with a viewing of this lovely statue. The garden even offers a great view of the Shivalik Range. It is definitely a unique experience for a leisure walk!
Drive to Mohali for authentic Punjabi cuisine
A popular thought is that every Punjabi restaurant will provide authentic Punjabi cuisine. But to understand the real essence of it, one should drive to Mohali. It is merely a 15-minute drive from Chandigarh and offers quality restaurants with delicious and authentic Punjabi food – it will be an experience you won’t forget. You can check out restaurants like Punjabi Haveli and Shaam-E-Punjab for a great dining experience and a taste of real Punjab post lockdown. Some of the most popular dishes of the Punjabi cuisine that one should try are Butter Chicken which is chicken cooked in a mildly spicy tomato sauce.
Furthermore, there is chole bhature which is fried bread made from maida accompanied with spicy chickpea gravy. Then, there is paratha which is the staple diet of Punjab and is a flatbread usually stuffed with ingredients like aloo/potato or ghono/cauliflower. These may be dishes that you have already eaten but having them in Punjab is a whole different occasion. The best beverage with all of this is the classic Lassi – nothing tastes better along with paratha than this yoghurt mixed with water topped with either sweet or spices.
Trek through Chopta in the Himalayas
The Deorital-Chandrashila trek is perfect for a break to forget all your city troubles behind post lockdown. This trek will take you through Chopta – a quaint town which is part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and covered with sprawling meadows surrounded by evergreen forests in Uttarakhand. The place makes for a great trek to immerse yourself in nature and to break a sweat while at it. Moreover, summit climbs are extremely rewarding and a great catharsis for the mind. It is a break away from the daily monotony as you are surrounded by spirited people and the wondrous beauty of nature.
Furthermore, the trek takes you through Chopta all the way to the Chandrashila Peak. It will also take you through Tungnath where you can visit the highest Shiva Temple in the world. From there, the route will take you to Chandrashila Peak where the mesmerizing landscape is dotted with green valleys, deep gorges and white mountain peaks in the distance. The trail goes along forests as well and lets you experience the perks of camping. Punjab to Chopta is almost a 10-hour drive or you can take a flight to Dehra Dun.
Do remember to carry your trekking shoes and woollens.
Take a cable car ride in Parwanoo
For the adventurous passion inside of you, the cable car ride available to Timber Trail Resort in Parwanoo, Himachal would be a great option. It is just an hour ride from Punjab’s Chandigarh. The cable car ride offers stunning views for those who dare to ride it. The Timber Trail is spread across two hills in the Shivalik Range but the main highlight of this area is the cable car ride. The ride covers around 1.8kms and takes only 8 minutes. But it is a ride that will be etched in your memories.
Further on, the ride is free for those staying at Timber Trail Resort whereas others have to pay for the ride. The cable car stands at a great elevation which provides an exciting and intimidating view of the valley. The thrill of it is not for the faint heart and is a must-do post lockdown.
Discover frescos and architecture in Amritsar
Amritsar is a haven for history enthusiasts as the place places significant homage to cultural and historical art – be it paintings or architecture. Amritsar’s efforts at preserving the religious paintings and architectures is quite laudable. If you go on an old Hindu Temple heritage walk through the city, you’ll be able to witness a part of Punjab’s art and architectural history. One of the best places to start with is the Old Shivala Veer Bhan Temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built on an erected plate form and has some beautiful frescoes inside the temple which are on the verge of fading.
Furthermore, The Krishna Mandir in Bazaar Ahluwalia is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is a very old temple which has some lovely frescoes as well. The Thakurdwara Dariana mal is yet another lovely place to go to understand the great artistic sense residing within Punjab. It is an old temple that is a hidden gem in the city. You can witness these architectural beauties and lovely frescoes together through a Heritage Walk in Amritsar post lockdown.
Enjoy a Spa at a Colonial-Style Haveli
The experience of staying at one of Amritsar’s oldest mansions is something you must not forgo. The traditional design and regal feeling of a haveli does not escape its walls and gives the hotel’s customers a distinct experience. Ranjit’s Svaasa and it offers people a luxurious spa retreat which can make for an excellent relaxing weekend. Moreover, the hotel is a 200-year-old heritage boutique haveli that has been refurbished for commercial purposes. The hotel’s refurbishing did not tarnish the elements of the hotel that distinguishes it from others.
It preserves the architectural design and feel of the place while offering visitors fitness and yoga sessions with spa treatments. It makes a perfect place to unwind and release all the stress that has built up over the months. The Hibiscus Pavillion Spa also offers ancient ayurvedic treatments and acupuncture.
Visit the forgotten Pul Kanjri War Memorial
Pul Kanjri Village in Amritsar is host to the Pul Kanjri monument and war memorial. The place remains forgotten and is a lesser-known attraction in Punjab. These are tales of great feat that are lost in the wind. The monument and war memorial stand side by side and so, you can check out both of them. They are located not far from the Wagah Border. The monument stands amidst lush green fields.
Furthermore, it has a historic tank and a small temple situated within it. The tank is built in such a way that it meets the needs of animals, women and men making it accessible to all. The temple, on the other hand, has beautiful frescoes covering its inner walls. They depict the daily lives of the people and Hindu mythology. You can witness the recurrence of floral motifs in the frescoes. The War Memorial nearby commemorates the soldiers who laid down their lives to protect Pul Kanjri Village during the 1971 Indo-Pak War. These stories of unity and strength against ordeals is what helps restore our faith in the country.
Seek peace at Devi Talab Mandir
Seekers of peace and spirituality can rest assured because we have got the perfect place for you to regain some inner peace. The Devi Talab Mandir is in the heart of Jalandhar City is a beautiful place of worship. The mandir is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is believed to be 200 years old. The location is one of the 51 Shakti Pithas as people believe that the Sati’s right breast fell here. The mandir holds great historical significance and provide a place where people can find their inner self. The temple has been renovated in recent years but it has not compromised on its beauty.
Within the temple premises, there is also an ancient temple of Goddess Kali and an old tank which is considered sacred by devotees. You can visit the temple to pray and marvel at the architectural design of the temple post lockdown. The mandir looks incredibly beautiful at night lit with lights that reflects in the water body nearby.
Witness Sikh Architecture at Qila Mubarak Complex
The Qila Mubarak Complex is a popular destination to explore in Patiala. It served as the residential palace of the royal family in Patiala and is the epitome example of Sikh Architecture. It is around this historical landmark that the city of Patiala developed. Maharaja Ala Singh built this in 1764 and originally constructed it as a kachhi garhi or a mud fort. It was later developed into a pakka qila. The architecture of this complex shows influences of a blend of the late Mughal and Rajput styles.
The complex has two parts – one is the inner part, Qila Androon and the outer part, Darbar Hall. Moreover, the architectural design was quite resourceful as it also had an underground sewage structure within the Qila. The complex is a mixture of a fort and a palace. This beauty Patiala is a one and half hour drive from Chandigarh.
Enjoy the Drive to Ranjit Sagar Dam
The Ranjit Sagar Dam is the established powerhouse of Punjab. People know it as Thein Dam locally. One of the fascinating aspects of the dam is its construction. It has been constructed on River Ravi which flows along the borders of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The dam functions for irrigation purposes and power generation. The location and the man-made lake provide a scenic landscape that attracts people. It is located in a very beautiful and idyllic location.
You can see the diverse flora and fauna in the area which includes migratory birds, foxes, rabbits, hares and so forth. The drive from Pathankot to Ranjit Sagar Dam in itself exposes the traveller to picturesque landscapes. To enter the dam, one needs a permission slip from the authorities at Juigal barrier. You will need to present a government-issued identity proof to obtain the slip.
On another note, Woovly requests the countrymen to stay inside their houses and follow the guidelines issued by the government. In these times of need, please help the needy and do whatever is under your capabilities to help the country.
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