Punjab, the exuberant and fertile land of five rivers, has always been India’s northern gateway. During the days of the Rig Veda, this land was called ‘Sapt-Sindhu’ – the land of seven rivers, namely the Sindh, Jhelum,
Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, and Saraswati. The history of Punjab dates back to the times of the
Indus Valley civilization and the arrival of the Aryans. Lord Krishna delivered the immortal message of Gita at
Kurukshetra, which was within the boundary of Punjab till recently.
Punjab is situated in the north-western corner of India. The city of Chandigarh is the joint administrative capital of Punjab and Haryana. The population consists mainly of Punjabis, Jats and
Rajputs. Punjabi, the principal spoken language of present-day Punjab, is also the official state language. The majority of the population follows Sikhism, a faith originated from the teachings of Nanak, the first Sikh Guru.
The culture is best reflected in its folklore, ballads of love and war, fairs and festivals, dance, music and literature. Punjab holds numerous religious and seasonal festivals such as
Dussehra, Diwali, and Baisakhi, as well as the anniversary celebrations in honor of gurus and saints. Bhangra, jhumar, and sammi are the popular dance forms.
Punjab is also famous for handicraft products. Young girls in the villages weave durries in attractive designs. Needlework of Punjab is unique. Baghs, phulkaris, rumals and scarves are intricately designed in rich traditional patterns and motifs. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people and it forms the backbone of the economy. More than 80 percent of the land is cultivated. The major crops are wheat, maize (corn), rice, pulses (legumes), sugarcane, and cotton.
Chandigarh has excellent air service linking it with Delhi, Srinagar, Kullu, and Shimla.