Punjab opens doors to tourists

Initiative is expected to attract local and foreign travellers to the province

Asif Mehmood January 12, 2022
Sikh pilgrims arrive to take part in a religious ritual on the occasion of the 481st death anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur near the India-Pakistan border on September 22, 2020. AFP/FILE


The Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP), with the beginning of the new year, has once again opened the province to local and foreign tourists.

In a bid to promote tourism, the department has launched a bus service running from Lahore to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, and various other places of religious and historic significance across South Punjab.

Per itinerary, this bus service will take one day to tour Kartarpur, while the remaining places will be covered in a period of three days.

According to the tourism secretary, a bus service for Pakpattan, Nankana Sahib, Hassan Abdal, and Kasur is also to be started in the second phase of the programme.

Tourists visiting the area believe that opening doors to religious tourism and increasing access to places of historical significance is a wonderful idea. “This will help project the historical and cultural heritage of Punjab to the world,” opined one tourist.

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Recently, the Punjab Tourism Development Corporation had also organised a tour, via its bus service, for journalists and local tour operators to vist the said religious places.

The first destination of the tour was the city of Multan, which is home to the shrines of Shah Shams Sabzwari, Hazrat Bahauddin Zakaria, and Hazrat Shah Rukn Alam, and Hussain Agahi Bazaar. While the itinerary for the second day included visiting the city’s blue-pottery factories and the ancient, royal mosque in Bahawalpur, which is known as the city of nawabs. While on the third day, a visit was arranged to the Nawab family’s graveyard in Ahmadpur Sharqiya and the historic fort of Dravidian.

Appreciating the provincial government’s initiative, Local historian Mohsin Faraz, who was also part of PTDC’s tour, said that initiatives like such can open new avenues of development and prosperity in Punjab. “This is a region with a wealth of history and culture and promoting tourism here will let the world experience and appreciate all that South Punjab has to offer,” he expressed.

Speaking in the regard, PTDC’s zonal officer in Multan Misbah Ahmed, said that tourists have been flowing in non-stop ever since the initiation of the programme, and appear most excited to vist the fort of Derawar as the Cholistan Jeep Rally ends here. “TDCP has built resorts here which will be handed over in the next few months after completion. In addition to that, we have also built the Tent City here, and like the Cholistan Jeep Rally, the tourist bus service will now be a regular feature for South Punjab. Accommodation, food, and transport will also be provided to the tourists as per their wishes,” he informed, while speaking to The Express Tribune.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2022.


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