Backpacking Punjab: The land of rivers (& Haryana)

Backpacking Punjab: The land of rivers, of love, laughter & abundance

Backpacking Punjab: Home to the maeery Sikhs
Backpacking Punjab: Home to the merry Sikhs

Punjab, which literally means ‘the land watered by five rivers’; is a rich, colourful and merry place. Backpacking Punjab, the land of love, laughter & abundance, is a lively affair. This state packs in lush fields, breathtaking views of rural yet developed India, and a beautiful culture to lose yourself in. While astounding in its physical beauty, the real charm of Punjab lies in its human element. Punjab is home to the happy-go-lucky Sikhs, and 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. Find a home-stay in one of the many lush villages here, and chill out among mustard fields with the hospitable locals.

Backpacking Punjab: Home to the merry Sikhs
Backpacking Punjab: Home to the merry Sikhs

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 visit while Backpacking Punjab

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.

Jallianwala Bagh: This lies very close to the Golden Temple, and is a very popular public garden and a memorial. This bagh stands sentinel to a very dark day in the Indian history. During the British Raj (rule) in India, a company of some 150 British troops confined and opened fire and killed 400 innocent and peaceful locals on Baisaki (the Punjabi New Year) Day. The garden walls still bear the bullet marks, and the well in which people drowned to escape from the bullets, still stands to this day.
Backpacking Punjab: Gun shot marks at Jaliawalla Bagh
Backpacking Punjab: Gun shot marks at Jaliawalla Bagh

Wagah Border: A peaceful, international India and Pakistan border, which lies just 30 km West of the Golden Temple. The sunset ceremony of changing guards is worth a look, though, Wagah Border is swarming with tourists at the time.

Chandigarh: Enjoy the compulsively structured modern metropolis of Chandigarh before tripping into the alternate reality of Nek Chand Fantasy rock garden.

Backpacking Punjab: Yet religion & spirituality remain fiercely alive
Backpacking Punjab: Yet religion & spirituality remain fiercely alive

Places to visit while Backpacking Haryana

Pinjore Gardens: Loated at Pinjore in Haryana, in the extravagant, royal taste of Emperor Fadai Khan, was built the seven terrace Pinjore Garden. The main gate opens into the highest and first terrace, which has a palace built in the Rajasthani Mughal style. This palace is called Shish Mahal meaning mirror palace. Adjoining this is a romantic Hawa Mahal, meaning palace of wind. The next terrace has Rang Mahal, meaning palace of colours, while another terraces houses Jal Mahal, meaning water palace (or palace on water) and so on.

Read more about secrets on how to backpacking India on a budget here.

I hope you have an awesome time backpacking India. Feel free to hit me up with any questions related to solo travels here. I’d love to hear from you!

Bon Voyage!


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