I have always been fascinated by portrayal of rustic Punjab in our Hindi Movies and wanted to experience the whole gamut of seemingly fascinating depictions of farmers happily working in the fields, driving tractors, golden fields, rich food and the Punjab ’pind’ (loosely translated village community) thing. And though I have travelled extensively through North India (both on work and leisure), my travels to Punjab has been limited to Chandigarh (which is only technically part of Punjab) and Amritsar. So it was a lovely opportunity for me to travel to the Sangrur & Mansa regions of Punjab on a work trip. The previous week, I travelled back & forth through the heart of rural Punjab and experienced to the fullest, the ‘rustic’ Punjab. The experience has authenticated every portrayal of rustic Punjab for me as a traveler.
Since it was a road trip, I could take too many pictures of the trip as mostly I was on the road inspecting projects. However, I saw and experienced a lot of the ‘essence’ of rural Punjab; miles & miles of farmlands, farmers toiling on the fields, typical Punjabi cuisine including the very famous ‘lassi’ and so many more. I share with the readers some of the experiences I captured during my travels through the state & district highways of Sangrur & Mansa in Punjab.
Everywhere one goes in Punjab, there are farmlands, which is as should be because, Punjab is popular for being at the forefront of ‘agricultural revolution’ in India. Mansa is situated in the cotton belt of Punjab and popularly called the “Area of white gold”. Driving through Mansa region, it was a lovely sight to see pristine, milky white blooms of cotton by the highways.
Punjabi cuisine is famous worldwide and the best way to experience it is to travel the rural roads. We had a lot of authentic Punjabi food, most of all, Lassi!! It was a revelation, how lassi is made in Punjab (as opposed to the versions we have it elsewhere). We also saw lots of roadside shops making & selling jiggery (or gur) fresh from sugarcane. It was a fascinating process and more so, by the road side; to see a product made from scratch and sold at one place.
One of the highlights of the trip was spotting a neelgai/blue back deer by the road!!!
Punjab lived upto all its expectations and more and I cannot wait to go back there!