Culture and People / Food, Festivals and Events / Photography : Nature and beyond / Rural India

Moving through the bread basket of India…

Moving through the bread basket of India… Rural Punjab

Punjab is an Indo-Iranian word meaning ‘the land of five rivers’. Punjab lies at the cross-roads of the great civilizations of the world. Historically, the area west of Punjab was under the sphere of influence of the Persians, the east was the heartland of the Indian civilization, the south under the influence of the Arabs and the north under the Turko-Mongolian influence. The historical area of Punjab was defined to the east from the basin of the river Bias (including Dehli the capital city of India) to the basin of River Indus in the west. To the north it was bounded by the Himalayas of Kashmir and to the south it stretched as far as the plains of Cholistan and Rajasthan. Over different periods of history Punjab has seen its boundries expand and shrink. The high time for Punjab was during the reign of Mughal emperor Babur and later on the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, when the boundary of Punjab stretched from Dehli in the east to Kabul and Ghazni to the West.

Map of Ranjit Singh's empire at its peak.

Map of Ranjit Singh’s empire at its peak. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Boundaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh

English: Boundaries of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tragic incident of India’s partition occurred in 1947 – Punjab and Punjabi were the worst sufferer. When the centuries of foreign occupation of India ended with end of British rule, it was not before they decided to split the country on the basis of religion – they divided Punjab into two parts as the Indian state of Punjab and the Pakistani province of Punjab. Prior to partition the Punjab extended across both sides of what is now the India-Pakistan border, and its capital Lahore is now the capital of the Pakistani state of Punjab. Today’s Indian Punjab is about one-fourth of the Punjab that existed before partition.   Indian Punjab was further divided twice for administrative reasons.  In 1966, Punjab underwent another split. It was divided into the predominantly Sikh and Punjabi- speaking state of Punjab and the state of Haryana. At the same time some of the northern parts of the Punjab were hived off to Himachal Pradesh. The major city in the Punjab is Amritsar, the holy city of the Sikhs. Chandigarh, a new planned city, was conceived and built in the 1950s to serve as the capital of the new Punjab.  Chandigarh on the border of Punjab and Haryana, remains the capital of the two states, yet is administered as a Union Territory from Delhi. The Punjab’s per capita income is nearly double the All-India average. Although Punjabi’s comprise less than 2.5% of India’s population, they provide 22% of India’s Wheat and 10% of its rice. Punjab provides a third of all the milk production in India.

  • It is always a pleasure to travel in rural Punjab, recently covered more than 1000 km constantly on the road or in the lush green farms/fields of Punjab, from one village to another…
On the Road, Again...

On the Road, Again…

  • Fatehgarh Saheb has a deep emotional connect with Sikh religion, its here that execution of the two younger sons of Shri Guru Gobind Singhji took place in 1705 at the behest of Wazir Khan of Kunjpura, the faujdar of Sirhind.  Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib is named so, because it marks the conquest of the Sikhs in 1710 when under the leadership of Banda Bahadur, the Sikhs ran over the area and razed the fort built by Ferozshah Tughlaq to the ground.
Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib

Gurudwara Fatehgarh Sahib

  • The derogatory term Cattle-class only exist in Urban areas, the farmers give due consideration to the comfort of their cattle – mosquito net is provided to protect the cow…
Protection from mosquitoes

Protection from mosquitoes

  • The Kharif agriculture season was in full swing, fields were lush greens with a number of crops
The green beauty of Punjab

The green beauty of Punjab

  • Abundance of water across Pun-jab (which literally means land of 5 rivers) and extensive network of irrigation canals, has really made it possible for Punjab to be the bread-basket of India.
The foundation of Punjabi culture

The foundation of Punjabi culture

Crystal clear water

Crystal clear water

  • Farmers have very deep connection with agriculture and everything which helps them in carrying out their work.
Natural Tractor Shed

Natural Tractor Shed

  • The Cannabis / Marijuana plant is ubiquitous in rural India…
The Plant - It is easy to locate, anywhere in Rural India

The Plant – It is easy to locate, anywhere in Rural India

The Plant, beside the Rice fields

The Plant, beside the Rice fields

  • The farm fields were covered with bright green rice crop…
Blue sky and green fields

Blue sky and green fields

Lush green paddy fields

Lush green paddy fields

  • Railway line in the middle of farms…
Not going anywhere - Railway line in the middle of farms

Not going anywhere – Railway line in the middle of farms

Train-Crossing

Train-Crossing

  • There may be some Hollywood movie made without specially effects, and once in a while a Bollywood movie may come along without any song and dance, but I guess it is impossible to remove ‘Jatt’ from a Punjabi movie…
Every second film has Jatt in the title

Every second film has Jatt in the title

  • The Punjabi version of KFC – the food is not bad at all, specially the veggie stuff
Punjabi version of Colonel Sanders

Punjabi version of Colonel Sanders

  • Truly demonstrating the meaning of the Brand promise, the place literally meaning Friend’s restaurant, had staff literally treating the customer in a friendly and leisurely manner…
Mitran Da Dhaba

Mitran Da Dhaba

  • Amazing food on the road Deepak Dhaba is a must visit place if you are in this part of Punjab.
Deepak Dhaba - Amazing food

Deepak Dhaba – Amazing food

Gobhi Parantha with lots of butter

Gobhi Parantha with lots of butter

Delicious Punjabi food in Patiala

Delicious Punjabi food in Patiala

  • Yes I have a sweet tooth, and my decaying teeth will vouch for that, can never resist Desserts…
The sweet tooth

The sweet tooth

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