you are visiting Indian capital city - Delhi, there are several genuine
reasons to pay a visit to the nearby state of Haryana. Of course, due to its
location close to Delhi, Haryana has gained much popularity in the tourist
map of India, but the state itself offers a number of attractions which
attract thousand of tourists every year. From charming tourist destinations
to tranquil pilgrimage centres, from traditional arts and crafts to modern
technologies, from golfing to exciting adventure sports, Haryana offers
plenty of attractions for visitors.
Situated in northern part of India, Haryana is bordered by the states of
Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the north, Rajasthan in the west and south
and Uttar Pradesh in the east. Haryana itself surrounds Delhi from three
sides, forming the northern, western and southern boundaries of the National
Capital Region. For administrative purpose, Haryana is divided into four
divisions namely - Ambala, Gurgaon, Hisar and Rohtak and it spreads
over an area of 44,212 sq. kms. The Union territory of Chandigarh is its
capital, while the cities of Gurgaon, Panipat, Faridabad and Panchkula are
industrial hubs of the state.
So, while you visit Delhi, must head towards Haryana to see some of the
wonderful locations as well as tourist attractions of India. Undoubtedly, a
trip to Haryana will add more to your memorable journey of India.
Haryana - History
The region of Haryana is one of the oldest known areas of settlement in
Indian subcontinent. History of Haryana can be divided into four parts
namely Ancient period, Medieval period, British India and Independent India.
Ancient Period :
In the ancient period the Saraswati river
flowed through the northern part of the state and many believe that the dry
Ghaggar-Hakra river was the river bed of the ancient Saraswati river. During
the Indus Valley Civilization, a number of settlements were concentrated
along this river bed. The Vedic Civilization also flourished on the banks of
the river Saraswati and the hymns of Rigveda were written here. The great
epic of India, Mahabharata mentions Haryana as Bahudhhanyaka (land of
plentiful grains) and Bahudhana (land of immense riches). In truth, many
places mentioned in Mahabharata now correspond to modern cities in Haryana
that include Panprastha (Panipat), Prithudaka (Pehowa), Tilprastha (Tilput)
and Sonaprastha (Sonipat).
Medieval Period :
In 7th century A.D, after defeating the
Huns, King Harshavardhana established his capital at Thanesar close to
Kurukhestra. Following the death of king, the kingdom disintegrated but the
region remained important for the rulers of Delhi. In the 12th century A.D,
Prithviraj Chauhan established a fort at Hansi. Later Mohammed Ghori
conquered this area in the 2nd Battle of Tarain, after his death, the Delhi
Sultanate was established that ruled over the region for several centuries.
The three well-known battles of Panipat took place near the modern town of
Panipat in the year 1526, 1566 and 1761. In the first battle of Panipat,
Babur, the ruler of Kabul defeated Ibrahim Lodi of the Delhi Sultanate and
marked the beginning of Mughal Empire in India, while the third battle
marked the end of Maratha empire in India.
British India :
During British regime, most of Harayana
was the part of the Punjab province and some parts were under the princely
states of Nabha, Jind and Patiala. In the Indian rebellion of 1857 several
leaders from Haryana including Rao Tula Ram participated actively.
Independent India :
After India's independence,
Haryana remained a part of Punjab. On 1st November, 1966 the eastern portion
of Punjab was carved out as the separate state of Haryana. The union
territory of Chandigarh was declared the state capital.
Of course, Haryana has few tourist destinations but they offer several
attractions for tourists visiting the state. If you're going from Delhi
to any popular destination in north - Agra, Jaipur, Amritsar, Kashmir
etc. you have to cross Haryana. Chandigarh
the capital city of the state, houses a number of tourists attractions.
Gurgaon, Panipat, Ambala, Faridabad and Panchkula are some of the other
important destinations of the state.
Haryana - People & Culture
Since ancient time, Haryana has been a 'Gateway to North India'
and the state has witnessed the invasion of the Muslim rulers, battles of
the Marathas and the Sikhs. From the ancient period to the present, religion
has remained the basis of the structure of the Haryanavi society. Haryanavi
people are known for their simple, straight-forward, enterprising and
According to the 2001 census, the population of Haryana is 21,082,989 that
include 88% Hindus, 6% Sikhs, 6% Muslims, 0.3% Jains and 0.1% Christians.
The population of Haryana is divided into a number of castes including the
Brahmins, the Jats, the Rajputs, the Ahirs and the allied agricultural
communities. Haryana's economy is based on agriculture and about 80% of
its people are dependent of agriculture for their livelihood.
Over the centuries, people of the state have survived several upheavals but
they have still retained their traditional glory, old religious and social
traditions. Haryanvi people celebrate several festivals with high pomp and
gaiety and traditional fervour. Haryana is known for its folklores and
folksongs which reflect the beliefs and piety of the state people. You will
find the glimpses of Haryana's culture and art forms in mines, dramas,
ballads and songs.
Haryana - Cuisine
Just like the Haryanavi people, the cuisine of the state is simple, robust
and linked to the rich culture of the land. It's a fact that cuisine
always evolves out of a certain cultural context, as Haryana has agrarian
culture so it has retained a simplicity in its cuisine. Haryana is called
the 'Land of Rotis (breads)' and people are fond of eating
different kinds of rotis that include wheat rotis and baajre ki roti.
Vegetables are the main stay of the Haryanvai food but people also like
non-vegetarian dishes. Haryana is famous for its cattle wealth so cow and
buffalo milk are used in most of the Haryanvi cuisine. Some of the
specialities which you should savour during your trip to Haryana include
Kachri ki Sabzi, Singri ki Sabzi, Hara Dhania Cholia, Methi Gajjar, Kadhi
Pakora, Mixed Dal, Khichri, Bathua Raita, Tamatar Chutney, Besaln Masala
Roti-Makhan, Bajra Aloo Roti-Makhan, Bhura Roti-Ghee, Mithe Chawal, Kheer,
Churma and Malpuas.
Haryana - Fairs and Festivals
and festivals form an important part of Haryana. Several fairs and festivals
are celebrated throughout the year which add more charm to the beauty of the
state. Some of the popular fairs and festivals of Haryana include Surajkund
Crafts Mela (February), Teej Festival (March), Holi (March), Crafts Mela -
Karnal (March, October), Baisakhi Festival - Pinjore (April), Mango
Mela - Pinjore (June-July), Haryana Tourism Day (September), World
Tourism Day (September), Pinjore Heritage Festival (October), Haryana Day
(November), Geeta Jayanti Samaroh (November/December), Surajkund Crafts Mela
- II (December) etc.
Haryana - Shopping
If you are on a trip to the state of Haryana, then don't forget to do
some shopping. Haryana offers a variety of exquisite handicrafts which has
gained nationwide fame. So, handicraft items are a must-buy item for you
while you do shopping in the state. You will find a good collection of
handicrafts in Surajkand Crafts Mela, which is held by the State Government
every year in the month of February.
Apart from this, you can shop handicraft products at the Government Emporia
at reasonable prices.
Popular shopping items of the state include Phulkari Shawls, Punja Durrie,
Jewellery, Brass ware, Metal ware, Leather Craft (Tilla Jutis), Terracota,
Ceramics, Mudha (Basketry), Block Printed fabric, Embroidered fabric, Dolls
and Soft Toys, Sandal, Wood carving, Jute Craft and Carpets. Gurgaon, a
modern city of the state is dotted with big shopping malls and departmental
stores, where you can buy almost everything of daily use. Haryana is
well-known for its handloom products, the town of Panipat is famous for its
exquisite hand-tufted woolen carpets.
The climate of Haryana is continental in character with extreme hot and
cold. The summer season remains very hot and the temperature soars to a high
of 46oC. Winters are quite cold and the temperature drops below 0oC
sometimes. April to June are hot months, while November to February are cold
months. Monsoon arrives the state by late June and remains till end of
September. Most parts of the state observe little rainfall except the parts
of Karnal and Ambala districts.
Best Time to Visit
Best Time to visit Haryana is between October to March.
Haryana - Transportation
Chandigarh airport is the main airport of
Haryana which is well-linked with the important cities of North India. Some
destinations of Haryana are very close to the Indira Gandhi International
Airport (Delhi), you may reach those destinations by hiring a taxi or car.
Chandigarh railway station is the major
railhead of the state which is served by several trains from rest of the
country. Delhi has three main railway stations - New Delhi, Old Delhi
and Hazrat Nizamuddin, which are easily accessible from any part of Haryana.
National and State Highways connect important
destinations of Haryana with each other and neighbouring states. State
transport and private buses run within the state and also to Delhi, Punjab
and other nearby states.
Local Transport :
Cars, taxis, buses, auto-rickshaws are
modes of local transport in Harayana.