Living up to it’s reputation as the ‘Manchester of India’, Ludhiana is an extremely busy and yet a beautiful city situated in the heart of Punjab. Being the hub of industrial activity in the state, this city is always full of enthusiasm and zest. But in the midst of all the hustle bustle it is hard to miss the hospitality and bursting energy of the vivacious Ludhianavis. The city and the localities present a perfect blend of traditional cultures of the past and a clear vision of the future. It gives a quintessential demonstration of what is it like to move ahead towards a revolutionary future without giving up it’s rich values.
It is a common delusion that there is not much to see or do in Ludhiana, so it seldom makes it to the itineraries of travelers visiting Punjab. This is a shame because the future city has so much to offer and is a home to more than 6 million people. Places to visit in Ludhiana boast a large collection of historically significant and futuristic sites waiting to be explored by tourists of all age groups.
But what are the places to visit in Ludhiana ?
Whether you are a religious traveler, history enthusiast, educational explorer, sports fanatic, a foodie or even a shopaholic; you can easily find a number of places that cater to your needs in this exuberant city that is bursting with excitement. So to get your travel bone tickling we have populated a list of things to do and places that you must visit while you are at the Lodhi’s city.
Explore the Ancient and Architectural marvel
The prosperous story of Punjab goes way back to the Indus valley Civilization. Over the centuries it has hosted many wars and is the birth place of Sikhism, consequently there are many historically and religiously significant places that can be visited in the state, quite a few of those places are stationed in Ludhiana
Being one of the city’s historic and popular places, Phillaur Fort is one of the most visited tourist spots in Ludhiana. It is situated on the banks of Sutlej River, around 14 kms away from the main city and now has been converted into a police academy.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum
Over the centuries “ the land of brave” has sacrificed it’s sons for the honor of the country. Hence, As a gesture to commemorate the gallant war heroes of all times, Punjab government established an international standard War museum, consisting of War Heroes Gallery, History Gallery, Air force and Navy Gallery, Uniforms Gallery, Signal and Medical Corps Gallery, Kargil Gallery and a Audio Visual Theatre.
Punjab Agricultural University Museum (PAU)
Patterned after the Land Grant College of America, Punjab Agricultural University is the largest agricultural university in Asia and is one of the largest in the world. It is simply humongous. Established in 1962, PAU covers an area of 1510 acres on main campus and 4615 acres at regional research stations. The perspicacious travelers who want to know about rural history and prolific soil of Punjab can visit the the Museum of Rural History and the Soils Museum at the PAU campus and it’s natural beauty makes it one of the best places to visit in Ludhiana.
Now operating as a regular mosque, Jama Masjid used to be the epicenter of political activity at the time of partition of India. It is managed by the descendants of a freedom fighter Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman, but was once handed over to hindus and converted into a temple right after the partition. Thousands of devotees throng the place to offer prayers on Fridays and on Eid-gah.
Engage in Cultural and Sports activities
Kila Raipur – Back to the Basics
Every year in the month of February, Kila Raipur hosts a much more exciting and thrilling version of Olympics, called the Rural Olympics. Thousands of people throng to this fair to witness or participate in various rustic rural games like Kabaddi, Wrestling and also Weight lifting, along with performing sports like Acrobatics, Twisting an Iron-rod by placing it on Adam’s apple, passing a tractor over the rib cage, cracking a big stone slab by placing it on the chest etc. Each year during this time, hundreds of sports enthusiasts, both Indian and foreigners, gather here at Ludhiana to witness this one of a kind sports event and view special breeds of bullocks, camels, dogs, mules and other animals competing in different events. You could even spot some Punjabi teams from Canada fighting it out. So if you are willing to catch some real action at the sports end, February is the best time to be here.
Guru Nanak Stadium
Ludhiana more than just qualifies to be called as sports capital of Punjab , as many world class sports facilities have come up in the city lately. One of those sports infrastructures is the Guru Nanak Stadium. This Guru Nanak Sports complex provides some special modern facilities for games of Athletics, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, Gymnastics, Badminton, Table Tennis and other indoor games. There is an 8 path synthetic track with a two way warming up track. The track conforms to the international standards for conduct of any national or international meet. If you are a sports fanatic, this stadium is sure worth a visit.
Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan
Situated close to Ludhiana’s mini secretariat, Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan spreads over an area of 4 acres. It has an air-conditioned auditorium which is one of it’s kind in the city, a museum, art gallery, conference halls, well stocked library, shopping arcade and a theatre for staging plays.It is one of the projects of centenary celebrations of Khalsa. Hence, it is also one of the key attractions of the city.
Parks, Gardens and Recreational Places
Amaltas Tiger Safari – A rendezvous with the wild side
Situated at a distance of 6 kms from the main city, the Ludhiana Zoo covers an area of 25 acres. The main attraction of this zoo is that, unlike other Zoos where we see the majestic tigers in cages, here we can see them wandering freely in a dense forest along with black bucks, rabbits and lots of peacocks.
Nehru Rose Garden – Beautiful is an understatement
While you’re here, enjoy a morning walk amidst the lush green fields of the Asia’s largest rose garden that is located right in the middle of the city. Nehru Rose Garden, is spread across 27 acres and has more than 17000 plants including 1,600 varieties of roses and several fountains. This is where one of the most cultural events of the city, the Annual Rose Festival, takes place each year and is a key attraction for tourists from all over the world.
Shop, Shop and Shop some more!
It is a very well acknowledged fact that shopping is a must to any trip and this city is no exception to it. The largest city of Punjab serves a lot to the shopping interests of the shopaholics. The local markets boast extensive collections of Phulkari art, Punjabi Juttis, Jewellary, Parandis, Inlaid furniture, Woolen Shawls, Hosiery products and many more innumerable items to take back home. The main local market, Chaura Bazar, is a “shopper’s paradise” and another famous market for shopping is Ghumar Mandi road. All that you got to do is search for exclusive patterns found in these local markets and you are good to go.
The thrill of shopping isn’t limited just to the local markets as there are many world class shopping malls like MBD Neopolis, Waves which can be explored as well.
Sample the delicious Punjabi cuisine
There is nothing like having a gastronomical delight while travelling to different places. Food makes any trip great or flop but it is the last thing that anyone should worry about when travelling to Punjab. When in Punjab one should totally rule out eating at any MNC food joint chains and instead they should go for various cuisines that the state is famous for. Punjab and Punjabis are all about food, as they love eating and are equally passionate about making others eat as well.
Ludhianavis have this mad eccentric love for food, so much so that they even have this community of food lovers called the ‘Foodologists’ in Ludhiana. There is an endless list of places to relish the local and other delicacies. So while you are at Ludhiana, do not miss a chance to try the famous Pandit Paranthe serves Paranthe “24 x 7” in Ludhiana and pay a visit to the Bukhara as well to try their lip smacking kebabs and tikkas, the food here is so scrumptious that it is safe to call this place the ‘Mecca’ for meat lovers. Also, a visit to the Basant Sweets is a must to try their world famous Rabri coated Malai Kulfi or you can even go to the Friends Dhaba to relish the local Punjabi food. And if you wish to experience fine dining at the city, Bistro Flamme Bois and The Frog Prince are ideal places that offer European, Continental, Mexican, Lebanese, Italian and American cuisines.
And in the end…
The city of Ludhiana is well-known for it’s dynamism and activity. It is a busy city, always buzzing with sounds of the traffic and voices of street vendors. It has a number of regional fairs and festivals, which exhibits the amusing vision of celebrations in the city. The inhabitants are friendly and cordial. With their welcoming nature and acceptability, they make the visit to the city even more fascinating. Come to Ludhiana to experience the colorful cultural festivals of Punjab, to witness the emergence of the Youngistan and see what future India is going to be like.