Punjab

I got to spend a few days in the northern state of Punjab which is a train ride away from Delhi and MUCH cooler than Delhi (since it’s further north and mostly rural).  The train ride from Delhi was relaxing and amusing. Although I was told to NOT eat the meals on the train, I did, and it was delicious! I thoroughly enjoy the train experience in India and the train system is so well connected and organized that it’s easy to use to travel all over. Seeing images of  urban and rural Indian life through the windows of the train is an experience for all travellers! I even got to witness a man taking a dump on the railway tracks.
Lunch on the train

First stop was Ludhiana where the train station was pure chaos. Ludhiana is an industrial city with no airport (but apparently they have been building one but it hasn’t been used to politics, but no one really knows!) and is the centre of bicycle production. I got to stay at one of two best hotels in this city, yet the internet was still wonky. For an industrial hub it lacks business services (like internet!) and makes me wonder how things work in India at all.

The city was much darker than I thought; it’s truly an agricultural society where most people live in the fields and the ‘city’ is the urbanized centre. The city of Ludhiana is grey and concrete, hence not very welcoming. Also there is absolutely nothing to do! I was glad we only spent a night here.

Images from the train window
Chandigarh

Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab and Haryana, and is a planned city with gardens and organized roads.  There are constant power outages and I got to actually shop by candlelight since businesses don’t shut down just because the power does. The city is organized into sectors and Sector 17 is the commercial shopping district.  The Rose Garden and the Rock Garden are the main attractions since the roses bloom here in December and January.
However I found that Chandigarh was not as lively at night as other Indian urban centres.

Chandigarh has the highest income capita in India and its evident from looking at the homes and observing how clean the streets are here. It’s a great place to visit if you need an escape from the chaos that is India since it’s not overwhelming and the people here were friendly.

The Ludhiana train station – everyone wants to carry your luggage for a price
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