Patiala is not just another city, situated in the south-east of Punjab; it is one of the princely states also known as the city of newspapers. Just 65 km from the capital city, Chandigarh, it is no less than a jewel in the crown of Punjab.
Known for its art, monuments, cuisine and hospitality, this city is a perfect holiday destination. Home of many eminent personalities, Patiala is the most peaceful city of Punjab, this statement is not backed by facts and figures but my personal life experiences from my four year stay in Patiala.
Patiala is the perfect blend of culture and art, a relatively young city on the shores of becoming the next best thing.
World renowned Patiala peg has become a synonym for a whisky glass filled to the brim. Patiala peg which is said to be 50% greater than a normal peg has found its rightful place on Tantra t-shirts, Bollywood songs and in the hearts of people around the globe.
Rejuvenate your taste buds with Patiala’s toothsome, flavoursome, delicious cuisine. Here is a list of Patiala’s finest eating joints, let your taste buds go gaga over Patiala’s finest delicacies.
· There is no better way to start your day than a garma garam Paratha. Patiala’s version of “parantha walli galli” can be found opposite to Rajendra Medical College or near the Bus Stand.
· A huge glass of Kanwal lassi, will tranquilize your senses. The thick, creamy, sweetened lassi is the second best thing in the world. The sheer size of the glass follows the classic example of the Patiala peg. With myriad number of flavours to choose from, there is something for every tastebud. Mango, banana, strawberry, peach no one can have just one.
· Those with a sweet tooth, the famous Jalebi walla at the Goushalla Road is a must visit.
· Summers are incomplete without Milk shakes. Fruits shops near Atank in Adalat bazaar are the best in the business. Patiala’s trademark of huge glasses continues with half glass filled with cashew, pista and badaam.
· Cholle bhature at historic sherawalla gate are always a delight.
· Patiala 22 No. Pathak, is the buzz spot of the town. What makes it more special is the ‘Bombay Paav Bhaji Walla’, the peak hours begin around 7:30 and by 9 it’s all over. Be the early bird or wait in a queue. The aroma of paavbhaji will mesmerize you and your grueling stomach.
· The first best thing in the world: Chawla’s boneless cream chicken with rumali roti, and believe me their rumali roti will put your handkerchief to shame. The skilled cooks and their ingenious style of bread making creates finger licking cuisines. Make space for some delicious fruit cream. For those who already have dinner plans, I will suggest a quick bite of their reshmi kabaab.
Green and beautiful Baradari gardens with their fountains, huge trees you can climb on, joy rides for children, flower husbandry are worth a visit. A walk in the park will clear all the dueling thoughts in your mind.
The best way to see the city is by travelling on rickshaws, there is nothing extraordinary in rickshaws but the ride is priceless.
The buck stops here in Patiala:
Phulkari, traditional Jootiyan, Patiala salwaar, colourful Parandas, Bangles and Chunnies embroided in Gold thread, things a master card can buy. The local markets of Patiala lie in the heart of the city, Adalat bazaar, annardana chowk, are abuzz with activity since early morning. When it comes to apparel Patiala has an ethnic blend of new and old, traditional and modern, a long lasting tradition of salwaar and phulkari mixed with the latest brands who have found their abode in this young city.
Patiala with its cafe’s (CCD), hookah joints (Nawabs), fast food chains, local markets is all set to become a big city with even bigger hearts.
If you are coming from far off places reaching the princely city can be difficult as direct connectivity to the city is limited, but Ambala just 54 km from Patiala is a hub of connectivity with connecting trains and buses from nearly every part of the country. Round the clock bus services from Ambala and Chandigarh to Patiala are easily available.
Finding an abode is never a problem, you can easily find guesthouses, reasonable hotels near the bus stand or railway station.
For those who are ready to throw in some extra penny, the Baradari Palace situated near baradari gardens is a perfect place to crash in.
The best season to visit Patiala is Feb-April or October-November. Mid November and mid March collides with Thapar University’s (Patiala’s engineering college) Cultural and Technical fests, the star night is an attraction which can’t be missed. Be it a weekend trip, a weeklong vacation, you can’t ignore the Patiala Calling.