The months of April & May has been travel heavy and it was all on work. I went on two quickie tours of Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, but since I hardly went on site & mostly in meetings, so there is nothing much I have to share in terms of either experience of these two states (both of which I haven’t travelled to before) or in terms of images.
Right now, I am touring Punjab and I mean really touring!! I have been travelling into the rural heartland of Punjab, for the very popular program by Government of India’s Rural Development Ministry – The ‘Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yatra’ (called PMGSY in short) which has developed rural roads all over India. It is one of the most successful road development programs in India and it was a pleasure to visit a state which has especially performed well on PMGSY since it has been launched.
I travelled in three districts – Patiala, Nabha and Ropar. While Patiala & Nabha are in the plains, parts of Ropar are hilly as it shares its boundary with Himachal Pradesh.
Patiala is a historic city, as it was ruled by the royal family of Patiala and as many heritage buildings. As my focus was on rural roads, I just passed by the Patiala city & only glimpsed the heritage buildings from outside. However, I did manage to shop from Patiala city’s oldest market ‘Adalat Bazaar’ and I recommend anyone who has a bit of time while visiting the city to do the same. In particular, the market has some really good shops selling the traditional ‘phulkari’ embroidery garments and it is something of a collectible!
The rural roads (or PMGSY roads as well them) in Punjab have been constructed well and it shows in the riding quality. The landscape at some places was very scenic.
Traveling to Ropar district was a very interesting experience for me as I got to travel on hilly roads within Punjab! Actually very few people are aware (including me) that Punjab also has some districts which have hilly terrain. We generally associate Punjab with vast plains & agricultural fields.
The Shree Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara & associated religious/historic monuments of Sikhism are located in the district and it was my good fortune to visit the Gurudwara and the Virasat-e-Khalsa heritage memorial (will write separate post on my experience!!).
Overall, rural Punjab
experience has been everything I had hoped for & more!!