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Living and Learning in Punjab

Updated on: Apr 30, 2013
Living in Punjab About Punjab State About the history of Punjab Entertainment in Punjab Culture in Punjab Cost of Living in Punjab Food in Punjab Transportation in Punjab Sports in Punjab Languages spoken in Punjab Schools in Punjab Punjab Education

Punjab is a state in northwest India, forming part of the larger Punjab region. It is bordered by Himachal Pradesh to the east and Haryana to the south and southeast. Rajasthan borders the southwest region of Punjab and the Pakistani province of Punjab borders it on the west. It is also bounded in the north by Jammu and Kashmir. The state capital is located in Chandigarh, a union territory that is also the capital of the neighbouring state of Haryana.

Major cities of Punjab include Amritsar, Jalandhar, Anandpur Sahib, Ludhiana, Patiala, Tarn Taran Sahib, Nawanshahr, Firozpur, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur and Ajitgarh. Punjab is the only state in India with a majority Sikh population. Punjab has many institutions of higher education, which provide both undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all streams like that of the major arts, humanities, medicine, science, veterinary science, engineering, law and business.

The major industries of Punjab include sewing machines, cycles, engineering goods, hosiery and knitwear, agricultural implements and sport goods, to name a few.


Punjab has many entertainment and relaxation options. You can hang out in malls, markets, tourist spots at dams or see the border areas (Wagah, Husianiwala, Pul Kanjri). You can also visit archaeological destinations like the Indus Valley Civilisation site at Ropar; explore wildlife, zoos and wetlands; museums, palaces, temples, gurudwaras and a plethora of gardens.

Cost of living

The cost of living depends upon your choice of lifestyle and how much you can afford. Below, mean prices for typical items are listed below for the state capital, Chandigarh, from Numbeo.

Inexpensive restaurant meal

Meal for 2, mid-range restaurant

Apartment in city centre (1 bedroom)

Apartment outside city centre (1 bedroom)

International release cinema ticket

One-way ticket, local transport

Taxi start, normal tariff

Gasoline, 1 liter

Basic utilities

Mean cost in rupees













In Punjab, public transport means include buses, auto rickshaws, Indian railways and the international rail connection to Pakistan, the Samjhauta Express. The state has a large network of multi-modal transportation listed below:

By Rail
Almost all the major and minor cities of Punjab are linked through railways. Amritsar is the largest railway station, with trains connecting to major cities.

By Air
Punjab has six major airports. Domestic airports are at Ludhiana, Patiala, Pathankot, and Ajitgarh. The international airport, Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar is the largest and most important airport in the state and also the second busiest in north India after Delhi Airport.

By Road
Cities and towns in Punjab are connected with the four-lane national highways. The Grand Trunk Road (NH1) connects Kolkata to Peshawar through Jalandhar and Amritsar. Another major national highway connects Punjab to Jammu through Hoshiarpur and Pathankot. The national highways passing through the state have 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, National Highway 10, National Highway 15, National Highway 1A, National Highway 20, National Highway 21, National Highway 22, National Highway 64, National Highway 70, National Highway 71 and National Highway 95.

The state

Punjab is known for its cuisine, culture, ancient civilization, spirituality and history that incorporates Sikhism, Islam and Hinduism. Historic attractions include royal Punjabi palaces, historic battle sites, shrines, temples and other examples of Sikh architecture.


The major language spoken is Punjabi. Indian Punjabi is written in the Gurumukhi script while Pakistan uses the Shahmukhi script, which is closer to their Urdu script. The Majhi dialect is considered to be the standard accepted version of Punjabi and is shared by both countries.


Punjabi culture is well-known for its tolerant and progressive approach to life. Communities hold great pride in their traditions and rituals. Punjab boasts one of the world's first and oldest civilizations - the Indus Valley Civilization. In Punjab, festivals are celebrated by many. Some famous fairs and festivals are Lohri, Gurpurb, Baisakhi, Diwali at the Golden Temple, Hola Mohalla, and Shaheedi Jor Mela at Fatehgarh Sahib.


Punjabi cuisine can be both non-vegetarian and completely vegetarian. One of the main features of Punjabi cuisine is its diverse range of dishes. Punjabi food prepared at home concentrates on preparations with whole wheat, rice and other ingredients flavored with masala, whereas Punjabi cuisine in restaurants use large amounts of ghee, with liberal amounts of butter and cream.

Lahore and Amritsar has stuffed parathas and milk products and the area is well known for the quality of its milk products. Certain dishes are exclusive to Punjab, like sarson da saag and makki di roti. The main masala in a Punjabi dish contains onion, garlic and ginger. Tandoori food is a Punjabi speciality for non-vegetarian dishes. Popular Indian items favored by non-Indian customers like tandoor, naan, pakoras and vegetable dishes with paneer are all originally Punjabi.


Punjab is a state that produces sportsmen and sportswomen in a variety of sports, mainly in football, cricket, kabbadi and hockey. Punjab has provided the country with hockey legends, cricketing heroes, wrestling champions, shooting stars and more. The variety of sports has increased over the years.

Lal Shah Bokhari, Balbir Singh Dosanjh, Balkrishan Singh, Gagan Ajit Singh, Ajit Pal Singh, Prabhjot Singh are a few names of well-known hockey players who practiced on Punjabi soil and made Punjab the hub for Indian Hockey. Navjot Singh Sidhu, Yuvraj Singh, Bishen Singh Bedi, Lala and Mohinder Amarnath, Harbhajan Singh, and Dhruv Pandove are some of the names who have excelled in cricket. Milkha "Flying Sikh" Singh, Vijendra Kumar, Harveen Sarao, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa and Jeev Milkha Singh are some of the other sportsmen that have won accolades in India and abroad in their respective sports.

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