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Traveling in Punjab independently and safely (need good advice)


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13 hours ago, ChardikalaUK said:

You're better off going to Amritsar, travelling from Delhi to Punjab is bloody long! You're looking at around 7 hours to Moga versus 2 from Amritsar. I recommend staying in Amritsar for a few nights when you land to see all the Gurdwaras and historical sites before you go to Moga. I stayed at a hotel called Hotel CJ International, you can actually see the Harmandir Sahib from the rooftop of the hotel. 

A lot of people, namely Hindus, speak Hindi in major Punjabi cities like Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana so try to deal with Sikhs as much as possible. Very few people wear Kurta Pyjamas so stick to western clothes. My wife and I used auto rickshaws in Amritsar with no problems regarding safety. 

You could find a hotel in Moga but if you're only there for one or two days then you might as well stay in Ludhiana. 

Amritsar airport to Moga is definitely more than 2 hours. It takes a lot longer usually than what's written on Google. Delhi to Punjab can be quite good depending on the route the car takes, some routes have better roads and are quicker. You won't feel tired if you stop along the way as well. 

Moga people and generally all southern districts all speak Punjabi, even the local Hindus. Only ones who won't might be Bihari labourers in cities. 

People in southern Punjab districts wear more Kurta Pyjamas than other districts, especially if you wear a white one, you'll blend right in. 

 

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There's also plenty of historical sites to explore in southern portion of Punjab, outside of mainstream Amritsar if you venture into those regions. 

Sirhind, Fategarh Sahib and Ropar

  • Ucha Pind Sanghol, thousands of years old - east Punjab's Harrapan heritage, ancient Bhuddist stupa's, Gandharan art
  • aam-khaas baagh complex
  • Bhora Sahib (only surviving Gurdwara portion with original architecture)
  • Sultanate era buildings with great stonework 

Ludhiana

  • Ghanta Ghar
  • Really nice and cheap museums (social history & rural life, Maharaja Ranjit Singh war museum
  • various Ludhiana forts.

Faridkot 

  • Tilla Baba Farid
  • Kila Mubarak dating back to 1215. 

Bathinda

  • Kila Mubarak - the oldest and most majestic fort in Punjab with a 19th century Gurdwara at the top
  • Hand written hukamnama's of Guru Gobind Sahib stored at Talwandi Sahib 
  • Smaller forts belonging to local rulers are present in certain tehsils 

 

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4 hours ago, 5aaban said:

Amritsar airport to Moga is definitely more than 2 hours. It takes a lot longer usually than what's written on Google. Delhi to Punjab can be quite good depending on the route the car takes, some routes have better roads and are quicker. You won't feel tired if you stop along the way as well. 

Moga people and generally all southern districts all speak Punjabi, even the local Hindus. Only ones who won't might be Bihari labourers in cities. 

People in southern Punjab districts wear more Kurta Pyjamas than other districts, especially if you wear a white one, you'll blend right in. 

 

As a Keshdhari Sikh it would be better to go to Amritsar given the current political climate. The OP clearly takes his safely seriously and Amritsar would be the safer option, not to mention Delhi has lots of Haryanvi and UP goondas. 

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6 hours ago, ChardikalaUK said:

As a Keshdhari Sikh it would be better to go to Amritsar given the current political climate. The OP clearly takes his safely seriously and Amritsar would be the safer option, not to mention Delhi has lots of Haryanvi and UP goondas. 

I came back from Punjab after spending 4 months. That isn’t the case, you’ll be safe at Delhi if you don’t bring up politics. Similarly, you’ll be unsafe at Amritsar if you bring up current politics. 

Haryanvi’s can be quite nice. I know Sikhs living in Haryana and our relations with them are good. 

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As other members have said, if you are going to Delhi airport then Indo-Canadian coaches is the safest bet. I would not rely on Taxis. If I remember correctly, the coach will take you to Ludhiana, it is comfortable and as it is also full of Apnay going to Punjab, you might be able to meet some other families or individuals going to Moga or the villages around. These would be good contacts in the local area and they would also understand the issues that people in your position face. The main coach will stop at Ludhiana and then a 4x4 will take you to Moga maybe a roadside Dhaba on the main GT road. From there you can get a local taxi to your hotel. The contacts could also help you connect with any lawyers who they have used who could help with any legal advice with your inheritance issues. 

 

For the coach you will be given a seat number, you might be lucky and find someone going to Moga in one the seats close by. If not the coach stops at Haveli restaurant at Karnal for food so you can use that as an opportunity to ask fellow members if they are from Moga. Otherwise the coach apart from the driver it also has a assistant who gives out water bottles during the drive up to Punjab so you could ask him if he could make an announcement to ask which passengers are going to Moga. If not, you will meet the passengers going to Jagroan and Moga in the smaller 4x4 or the smaller minibus which take passengers off the main coach onto to there. 

 

Try not to have too much luggage with you. Just take the clothes that you need to wear of the length of your trip. This will make you more flexible if you need to move to another location for any reason.  Do not take any gold Karas or any gold necklaces etc. There is a epidemic of snatchings by motorcycle borne thieves and apart from the loss of gold it is possible that you could get injured if you get targeted. 

 

Make sure you buy travel insurance especially if you are going for longer than a week in case you get injured or face a health emergency. If you do not have it then some of the  doctors and clinics there will take advantage of you. If your inheritance issues is to do with closing bank accounts or fixed deposits (FDs). Some banks are good but others are complete har@mzadas. Punjab National Bank are of the har@mzada variety. Make sure you know before hand what documentation you need in order to take any money out of a bank account of the person you are inheriting from. 

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13 hours ago, proactive said:

 

As other members have said, if you are going to Delhi airport then Indo-Canadian coaches is the safest bet. I would not rely on Taxis. If I remember correctly, the coach will take you to Ludhiana, it is comfortable and as it is also full of Apnay going to Punjab, you might be able to meet some other families or individuals going to Moga or the villages around. These would be good contacts in the local area and they would also understand the issues that people in your position face. The main coach will stop at Ludhiana and then a 4x4 will take you to Moga maybe a roadside Dhaba on the main GT road. From there you can get a local taxi to your hotel. The contacts could also help you connect with any lawyers who they have used who could help with any legal advice with your inheritance issues. 

 

For the coach you will be given a seat number, you might be lucky and find someone going to Moga in one the seats close by. If not the coach stops at Haveli restaurant at Karnal for food so you can use that as an opportunity to ask fellow members if they are from Moga. Otherwise the coach apart from the driver it also has a assistant who gives out water bottles during the drive up to Punjab so you could ask him if he could make an announcement to ask which passengers are going to Moga. If not, you will meet the passengers going to Jagroan and Moga in the smaller 4x4 or the smaller minibus which take passengers off the main coach onto to there. 

 

Try not to have too much luggage with you. Just take the clothes that you need to wear of the length of your trip. This will make you more flexible if you need to move to another location for any reason.  Do not take any gold Karas or any gold necklaces etc. There is a epidemic of snatchings by motorcycle borne thieves and apart from the loss of gold it is possible that you could get injured if you get targeted. 

 

Make sure you buy travel insurance especially if you are going for longer than a week in case you get injured or face a health emergency. If you do not have it then some of the  doctors and clinics there will take advantage of you. If your inheritance issues is to do with closing bank accounts or fixed deposits (FDs). Some banks are good but others are complete har@mzadas. Punjab National Bank are of the har@mzada variety. Make sure you know before hand what documentation you need in order to take any money out of a bank account of the person you are inheriting from. 

 

Thank you for the advice Veer Ji.

I don't even have any interest in claiming any inheritance. I am basically stuck going because my relatives have been negligent and they apparently can't do anything with the property unless I formally inherit it and then give them power of attorney. Apparently, it was jointly in the name of my father and the other involved parties. They insist that if I don't go to Punjab and fill out the paperwork there, they cannot do anything with the land. I find that difficult to believe, considering how corrupt India is.

Anyway, as I said, I have no interest in any of this and I would not go to Punjab if it was just something in my name. But they have made me out to be the bad guy who is inflicting unfair harm on them by not going, so I am stuck.

To be honest, I am still tempted at times to just tell my relatives to <banned word filter activated> off and deal with it themselves somehow. I really do not want to go to India.

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No probs.

If you want to check on the ownership of the land you can look it up the Punjab land records website. You can choose the village and then you can search by owner through putting your father's name and checking that it is him by noting your grandfathers name in the results.

http://jamabandi.punjab.gov.in/

You can print off the jamabandi records and associated Intekaal records (this is when some land has been sold or inherited), probably best thing to do would be to approach a lawyer who knows Punjab land laws and he could advise you whether what you relatives are saying is right or wrong. In UK we have a guy called Balwinderjit Turna who is really good, if you phone him you can ask if he can refer you to someone in USA or California who could check the jamabandis and intekaals  for you. 

https://indianbusinessdirectory.co.uk/indian-law-practice-ltd-handsworth-birmingham-west-midlands-uk/

 

 

 

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