The neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana were carved from the Indian half of Punjab province in the aftermath of Partition in 1947. Since then, Punjab has grown from strength to strength as the homeland of India’s fabulously welcoming Sikh community, while Haryana has emerged as a dynamic hub for business and industry. Both share the same capital city, Chandigarh, which is geographically seated between the two states.
Studded with gleaming gurdwaras (Sikh temples) – including the overwhelming Golden Temple in Amritsar – Punjab has become a popular stop on the traveller circuit. Haryana, on the other hand, is more of a touristic mystery. The hinterland around the two states is dotted with fascinating, rarely visited historical towns that tell tales of battling empires and playboy maharajas, while some of India’s most alluring abandoned forts hide among their dusty bazaars.