History and Geography
Ancient Punjab formed part of the vast Indo-Iranian region. In later years, it saw the rise and fall of the Mauryans, Bactrians, Greeks,
Sakas, Kushans and Guptas. Medieval Punjab witnessed the supremacy of the Muslims. Ghaznavi was followed by the Ghoris, the slaves, the
Khiljis, the Tughlaqs, the Lodhis and the Mughals. Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries marked a period of watershed in the history of
Punjab. Through teachings of Guru Nanak, Bhakti movement received a great impetus. Sikhism began as a socio-religious movement, which
was more interested in fighting evils in religion and society. It was Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Guru, who transformed the Sikhs into
the Khalsa. They rose to challenge tyranny and after centuries of servitude, established a humane Punjabi Raj based on secularism and
patriotism. Maharaja Ranjit Singh, in the words of a Persian writer, changed Punjab from Madam Kada to Bagh-Bahisht (from the abode of
sorrow to the garden of paradise). But soon after his death, the entire edifice collapsed due to internal intrigues and British
machinations. After two abortive Anglo-Sikh wars, Punjab was finally annexed to the British Empire in 1849.
The fight against the British rule had begun long before Mahatma Gandhi's arrival on the scene. The revolt found expression through the
movement of a revivalist or reformist character. First, it was the Namdhari sect, which believed in self-discipline and self-rule.
Later, it was Lala Lajpat Rai who played a leading role in the Freedom Movement. Punjab was in the vanguard of India's freedom struggle
on all fronts in India and abroad. Punjab's hardships did not end with Independence, as it had to face the misery of Partition with
large-scale bloodshed and migration. Besides their rehabilitation, there was the task of reorganisation of the State.
Eight princely states of East Punjab were grouped together to form a single state called PEPSU - Patiala and the East Punjab States
Union - with Patiala as its capital. PEPSU state was merged with Punjab in 1956. Later in 1966, Haryana was carved out of Punjab.
Situated in the north-western corner of the country, Punjab is bound on the west by Pakistan, on the north by Jammu and Kashmir, on the
north-east by Himachal Pradesh, and on the south by Haryana and Rajasthan.
Punjab State with only 1.5 per cent geographical area of country produces 22 per cent of Wheat 12 per cent of Rice and 12 per cent of
Cotton in the country. The cropping intensity of Punjab State is more than 186 per cent which has earned a name of "Food basket of the
country and granary of India". It has been pooling 40-50 per cent of rice and 50-70 per cent of wheat for the last two decades. In
Punjab per hectare consumption of fertilizer is 177 kg as compared to 90 kg at national level. Also Punjab State has been awarded
National Productivity Award for agriculture extension services for consecutively ten years from 1991-92 to 1998-99 and 2001 to 2003-04.
There are 2.04 lakh small-scale units in the State. These units produce bicycle parts, sewing machines, hand tools, machine tools, auto
parts, electrical items, sports goods, surgical instruments, leather goods, hosiery, knitwear, nuts and bolts, textiles, sugar,
vegetable oil, etc., giving employment to about 9.35 lakh persons. In large/medium sector there are 600 large/medium scale units. S
Nagar, Mohali in the vicinity of Chandigarh has emerged as an attractive destination for IT and IT enabled industries. Under the
Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme (IIUS). Government of India has sanctioned two projects namely Knitwear Cluster and Bicycle
Parts Cluster at Ludhiana for implementation in Punjab. The primary objective of the scheme is to enhance International Competitiveness
of the domestic industry by providing quality infrastructure through public/private participation in clusters/locations which have
greater potential to become globally competitive.
Punjab being an agrarian state, a very high priority is being given to agricultural Development. The water available in Punjab is much
less as compared to the land potential. Therefore, to maximise production per unit of water resources, it is emphasised to utilise
every drop of water available judiciously and carefully. Even Government of Punjab is taking up a number of projects for the
diversification of crop. Due to better irrigation management, an additional 0.97 lakh hectare of area has been brought under cotton
crop in various cotton growing districts of Punjab. The Geographical area of the State is 50.36 lakh hectares having a cultural area of
42.90 lakh hectares out of which 33.88 lakh hectares is commanded by a vast network of canal infrastructure having a length of 14,500
km of main and branch canals distributaries and minors.
Ranjit Sagar Dam is a multipurpose river valley project which has been constructed 8 km upstream of Madhopur Head Works. It comprises
of 160 metre high earth core-cum gravel shell dam on river Ravi with a gross potential to the tune of 3.48 lakh hectares of land.
Punjab Irrigation and Drainage Project Phase II with credit assistance from World Bank has been completed. Irrigation potential of the
existing irrigation system has been improved by completing the lining of 1,092 km length of channels, lining of 33,000 km of water
courses and modernisation of 295 canal regulation structures have been completed under the World Bank Project. Rehabilitation of 1,260
km length of Channels and 53 km new Channels have also been completed with state funds. The number of projects for raising the capacity
of 6 canal systems and raising the capacity of 3 canals of Bathinda Canal System amounting to Rs 18.83 crore have been completed.
Project for remodeling of UBDC System to utilise additional supplies available on completion of Ranjit Sagar Dam has been taken up
under AIBP Scheme. A total length of 298 km of main/branch canals out of 364.10 km and 1507 km length of lined/unlined
distributaries/minors out of 1,557.25 km length provided in the project has since been completed at a cost of Rs 140 crore. For early
completion of on-going UBDC Project, the balance work was taken up on war footing which the funds of Rs 20 crore were released by the
State government. The bottleneck of feeding required discharges in Kasur Branch Lower and Sabraon Branch Canal Systems has removed by
undertaking the remodeling of their parent channel, i.e., Kasur Branch Upper, thereby restoring adequate canal water supplies to the
vast agricultural area of UBDC System.
It is proposed to convert Banur Canal System from non-perennial to perennial for which the Project costing Rs 38.08 crore is under
sanction of NABARD. Similarly, the Project for side lining Main Branch Canal costing Rs 39.55 crore is also under sanction of NABARD.
Above all, a consolidated Project costing Rs 299.22 crore for increasing capacity of various channels of BML Canal System, Sirhind Canal
System, Sirhind Feeder System, Bist Doab Canal System and Eastern Canal System has been proposed for funding by NABARD, under which an
additional irrigation potential of 33,000 hectares besides providing better irrigation facilities and about 1,98,000 hectares is
targeted, thereby giving boost to food grain production in the State.
The backward Kandi Area in Punjab has been developed by construction of 11 Low Dams irrigating area of 12000 hectares and completion of
Kandi canal will irrigate are of 19867 hectares bringing on green revolution to the area. 1615 deep tubewell for irrigation purposes
and additional length of 3905 km water courses stands lined on the state. The impact water table in the southern part of state of
Punjab has been reduced by construction of new drains and renovating of existing 8000 km of drain, 1800 km of flood protection
embankments and about 3800 river training work have also been completed. Installation of shallow tubewells along Sirhind Feeder in the
most critical areas also helped arresting the seepage from the Canal. On the irrigation front about 60 per cent of the total irrigated
land is served private/government tubewells and remaining 40 per cent is irrigated through canals.
The construction of Bhakra Nangal Complex including Bhakra Dam, Bhakra Main line, Nangal Hydel Channel, Ganguwal and Kotla Power House,
Harike Barrage, Sirhind Feeder, remodelling of Madhopur Headwork into Barrage, etc., and Beas Dam at Pong have been some of the major
Irrigation and Hydroelectric Projects which have played a significant role in considerable enhancing the irrigation and power potential
of the State. Madhopur Beas Link was constructed to transfer surplus water of Ravi to Beas. A similar Beas-Satluj Link Project
envisages the utilisation of the Beas water for the production of electricity at Slapper and then this water to Gobind Sagar lake. The
Mukerian and Anandpur Sahib Hydroelectric projects are two important irrigation and power projects.
Ranjit Sagar Dam is multipurpose River Valley Project, comprising a 160 metre high earth core cum gravel shell dam on river Ravi, with
a gross storage capacity of a reservoir as 3,280 million cusecs. It provides additional irrigation potential of 3.48 lakh hectares of
land. All the four units of Ranjit Sagar Dam (4 x 150 MW) have been commissioned successfully. Annual generation from this project
shall be 2,100 MU's out of which 4.6 per cent of energy generated shall be supplied free of cost to Himachal Pradesh and 20 per cent
energy generated shall be supplied to J&K at genuine cost. By the completion of this dam water of all three rivers allocated to Punjab
under Indus Water Treaty will be harnessed. About Rs 500 crore per annum has started accruing and this project is likely to cover its
own cost by the next four to five years.
Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) has implemented a special programme of 2HP Solar Photovoltaic. Water Sets for irrigation
purposes in the state with financial assistance of Rs 41.45 crore from the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Government of
India. So far 1,700 of such solar water pumps sets have been installed in the state share FY 2000-01. Another 700 of solar pumps sets
are under execution. PEDA has also taken up the execution of eight Mini Hydel Projects with a total capacity 9.8 MW on canal falls as
technology demonstration projects. Another 44 Micro Hydel Projects with a total capacity of 36 MW have been allocated to private sector
on BOO basis.
PEDA has also commissioned 200 kwp Solar Photovoltaic Grid Interactive Power Plant at village Khatkar Kalan, Distt. Nawanshahar at a
total cost of Rs 4.5 crore with 67 per cent grant from MNES Govt. of India. This project has been dedicated to the nation on 23 March
2003 by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Honourable President of India. PEDA has also been sanctioned 1 MW Biomethanation cattle dung based
demonstration power project at Haebowal Dairy Complex (Ludhiana). The cost of this project is Rs 14 crore (approx). MNEX has provided
50 per cent grant for this project. This project was commissioned on 3 November 2004. The work of Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute
of Renewable Energy on Jalandhar-Kapurthala Road with grant of Rs 38 crore from MNES, is also under execution.
Roads: Public Works Department Building and Roads branch has been responsible for assets of State Government in terms of roads,
bridges and buildings.
The total Network Length is 50,506 km. Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board was established as a statutory body in 1998 with the
enactment of PRBDB Act (No. 22) of 1998 with a basic aim of mobilising additional resources for state roads.
Railways: The length of the rail routes passing through the State is around 3,726.06 km. Rail communication with Pakistan also
emanates from Punjab (Amritsar).
Aviation: There are Four Civil Aviation Clubs at Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar and Jalandhar, one domestic airport at Chandigarh;
International Airport at Rajasansi (Amritsar) and two aerodromes at Patiala and Sahnewal (Ludhiana).
Fairs and Festivals
Besides festivals of Dussehra, Diwali, Holi, other important festivals/fairs/melas are Maghi Mela at Mukatsar, Rural Sports at Kila
Raipur, Basant at Patiala, Hola Mohalla at Anandpur Sahib, Baisakhi at Talwandi Saboo, Urs at Rauza Sharif at Sirhind, Chappar Mela at
Chappar, Sheikh Farid Agam Purb at Faridkot, Ram Tirath at Village Ram Tirath, Shaheedi Jor Mela at Sirhind, Harballah Sangeet Sammelan
at Jalandhar and Baba Sodal at Jalandhar. In addition to above fairs and festivals, 3 heritage festivals at Amritsar, Patiala,
Kapurthalla are also celebrated every year and are very popular among the tourists.
Punjab is recognised as the granary of India and also enjoy, a fairly high per capita income. However, the State has to infuse
additional funds for ensuring balanced development. Tourism, International and domestic, offers the best prospects of helping the State
both in the short term and on a long term basis earn substantial amount of revenue for meeting necessary requirements of the State. It
has to be recognised that tourism not only generates employment, it also upgrades human skills and the infrastructure created for
tourism is used by all other sectors of the economy. Therefore, development of tourism must not be viewed in isolation and the State
must adopt an integrated approach for its development.
Since tourism is a composite sector, its development presupposes participation of different agencies and necessitates cooperation and
coordination at different level. The State recognises that uncontrolled growth of tourism can damage not only our cultural heritage but
also our social and cultural values. Therefore, the State would introduce suitable legislation for an orderly and regulated growth of
tourism and promotion of culture of Punjab.
The State Government has announced new Tourism Policy to develop tourism as the major industry of Punjab by providing leadership and
organisational and strategic direction, to improve the quality of the tourism product, to develop places of tourist interest, to
provide necessary facilities for all categories of tourist and pilgrims, to market Punjab Tourism products internationally and
domestically so as to provide employment and for the economic, environment, social and cultural benefit of our citizens with the
following objectives to achieve the desired results envisaged in the document.
The State has a large number of places of tourist interest some of which include Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir, Jallianwala bagh in
Amritsar, Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Khalsa Heritage Complex at
Anandpur Sahib, Bhakra Dam, Qila Androon and Moti Bagh Palace at Patiala, Wetland at Harike Pattan Sanghol for archeological importance
and Chattbir Zoo, Mugh. Complex at Aam Khas Bagh and Rauza Sharif of Sheikh Ahmed at Graves of Afghan Rules, Sodal Temple at Jalandhar
commemorative Maharishi Balmiki Heritage.
The state also has a large number of places of tourist interest, some of which include Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir, Jallianwala Bagh
in Amritsar, Takhat Keshgarh Sahib and Khalsa Heritage Complex at Anandpur Sahib, Bhakhra Dam, Quila Androon and Moti Bagh Palace at
Patiala, Wet land at Harike Pattan, Sanghol for archaeological importance and Chhatbir Zoo, Mughal Monument Complex at Aam Khas Bagh,
and Roza Sharif of Sheikh Ahmed at Sirhind with graves of Afghan Rulers, Sodal Temple at Jalandhar, and Ram Tirath Commemorative
Maharishi Balmiki's heritage.