Ludhiana lies on the old banks of the Sutlej River in the Indian state of Punjab. It is the biggest city in the state and an industrial centre of northern India.
Ludhiana’s economy is supported by a number of small-scale industries. It is Asia’s largest bicycle manufacturing hub, producing more than 10 million bikes every year. It is renowned throughout India as a textiles centre and its woollen products are particularly admired.
It is also an important centre for the manufacture of spare parts for cars and farm machinery. Spare parts for luxury German cars such as BMW and Mercedes are produced here as well as 60 per cent of India’s tractor parts. Ludhiana is also a big producer of agricultural products and centre for research and development in agriculture and its bi-products. It is home to the largest agricultural university in Asia, the Punjab Agricultural University.
In 2009, the World Bank rated Ludhiana as the city in India with the best business environment.
Ludhiana gets its name from the Lodhi dynasty that ruled in Delhi from 1451 to 1526 and is believed to have established present day Ludhiana in 1480.
Ludhiana is known among Punjabis as a shopper’s paradise, and many people travel here to buy big-ticket household items.
When to go:
The best time to visit Ludhiana is in the winter months from October to February.
- Visit the 500-year-old Lodhi Fort, which was built on the banks of the Sutlej River by Sikander Lodhi. Since the river has changed its course, the fort has largely fallen to ruin, but it’s still worth seeing the structure, which sprawls over 5 acres of land.
- Take some time to smell the roses at Nehru Rose Garden. Built in 1967, it is the largest rose garden in Asia, set over 30 acres. It has 17,000 plants representing 1,600 varieties of roses and several fountains. Its annual rose festival attracts visitors from all over India.
- Shop till you drop! Ludhiana is a famous shopping destination and the newly built MBD Neopolis Mall is just the place to get a fine woollen jumper, stock up on cotton t-shirts or maybe even buy a new bike or sewing machine!
- Time your visit for February when the Rural Sports Festival is on in Kila Raipur. The festival features bullock cart races, as well as various animal races including camels, dogs and mules, and apparently even ‘standing on galloping horses’ races!
- Take a trip to see the Sikh Gurdwara Charan Kamal at Kiratpur or the Gurdwara Manji Sahib at Alamgir: both important Sikh sites.
- Watch a game of ‘kabaddi’, an Indian sport hugely popular in Punjab. Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Stadium hosted a game in the 2011 Kabaddi World Cup.
- Pamper yourself with a luxury spa treatment at the Radisson Blu Hotel’s exclusive spa and salon.
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