Punjab is an extremely
industrious and understands the dignity of labour, making this one of the most
prosperous States in India. The resultant affluence is delightfully evident in
the Punjab villages - neat roads, brick and mortar ('pucca') houses with TV
aerials stuck atop their roofs and Maruti cars parked next to the tractors. The
women love to dress up in clothes lined with shimmering gold and silver threads
The colossal 226m high Bhakra Dam, the highest dam in the India,
has been described as a 'temple of modern India'. It provides water and
electricity to the State, and has helped the farmer rise to his full potential
and usher in the green revolution. Initially only a wheat growing region,
Punjab is now a major rice producer as well.
The Sikh faith came into
being in the Punjab. To the Hindus and Sikhs, Amritsar is synonymous with the
holiest shrine of Sikhism, the Harmandir Sahib or Golden Temple. It calls to
the devotee in all corners of the world. A double storey marble structure, its
dome is covered with gold, as indeed are those of many Sikh temples
(gurudwaras) all over the country. This is due to the devotion of the people
for whom offering a part of their earnings is very important. Manual labour or
'kar seva' is another very important offering. It may be in the form of
sweeping and washing the gurudwara premises, cooking or actually bricklaying
and building the place.
Ludhiana is famous for its woollens. Big and
small business houses abound, all making the softest of woollens for the
fashionable. And 'Made in Ludhiana' is a mark of excellence. Bicycles, on which
millions of Indians depend, are also made here by the world's largest
manufacturer of bicycles, Hero Cycles.
The State produces 10% of the
milk in the country, though having only 1.5% of the land. The robust Punjabi
loves his milk, butter and giant sized glass of 'lussi' (yoghurt churned with
water and flavoured with salt, cumin seed powder and coriander leaves). He also
loves to eat his 'maa-dee-daal', 'sarson-da-saag' and 'makki-dee-roti'. There
is no point in describing these. One has to have them served piping hot at any
of the multitude of roadside open air cafes called 'dhaabas'.