Located around 80 km from Amritsar, Jalandhar is a busy city located in the plains between the Beas and Sutlej rivers. The name Jalandhar means an area that lies under water and many believe that the name has been derived from its location between two rivers. It is one of the largest cities in the state and thus has no shortage of tourist opportunities. While visiting this city, one can go to the sacred town of Kartapur, which hosts an annual fair to celebrate Guru Arjan Dev’s birth. Nearby stands Nur Mahal, best known for the ruins of a beautiful medieval sarai (inn) built by Mughal queen Nur Jahan; and Phillaur, known for its fort and archaeological sites dating back to the Harappan period.

Other attractions of the place include St Mary’s Cathedral Church, the Gurdwara Chhevin Padshahi, and the Devi Talab, dedicated to Vrinda, wife of the demon king Jalandhar. Another town close to Jalandhar that is worth a visit is Nakodar. It houses two architectural marvels: the tombs of court musicians Mohammad Momin and Haji Jamal. The Pir of Baba Murad Shah, a sufi (Muslim mystic order) saint also lies here. A grand festival is held in September that attracts musicians and singers from all over the state. One of the oldest classical music festivals in the world, the Harballabh Sangeet Festival, is held in December.

Jalandhar served as the capital of Punjab until 1953 before Chandigarh acquired that status. Steeped in heritage and legends, it is mentioned in the Puranas (sacred Hindu literature) and the Hindu epic Mahabharata as well.

A legend says the region was once ruled by Danava Jalandhara, an offspring of River Ganga. Historically, the area around the city dates back to the Indus Valley civilisation, with numerous sites yielding traces of ancient settlements. Jalandhar was also home to many Buddhist viharas. Today, it’s one of India’s most prominent sports goods manufacturing hubs. About 318 major items are manufactured here, including cricket bats and balls, boxing equipment, hockey sticks and balls, inflatable balls, fishing equipment, carom and chess boards and other protective equipment.