Ludhiana's history can be traced to the Lodhi Dynasty. Over the years, it was ruled by the Yodhas, the Guptas and the Rajputs. During the early 19th century, it came under the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Eventually, the British too over the city and made it an important cantonment.
Present day Ludhiana major industrial center of northern India. So much so that it is known as the ‘Manchester of India’. It has 8 large integrated knitwear factories, about 6,000 small to medium-sized knitwear factories, 10 big hosiery yarn mills and 150 small- to medium-sized worsted and woolen yarn mills. Other manufacturing units include machine tools, sewing machines, generators, diesel engines, tyres and tubes, and other consumer goods. The export market in Ludhiana is worth 40 million dollars. It is one of the richest cities in the country and has been nicknamed ‘Merc City’.
Ludhiana’s countryside provides a charming glimpse into rural Punjab. Swaying mustard fields, expanses of green, rustic folk in colourful outfits performing the local dances, Bhangra and Gidda, are a common sight. If you happen to visit during April, you can be part of the Baisakhi (harvest) festival. Remember to sample the delicious Makke ki roti (a type of corn bread) and Sarson da saag (a spinach delicacy).
The best time to visit the city is during autumn. The weather is pleasant in October and there is a nice nip in the air.
Lodhi Fort - This 500 year old fort is located on the banks of the Sutlej. It was built by King Sikander Lodhi. The fort is a stark reminder of the city’s glorious past. Though it is in ruins, it continues to draw a large number of visitors.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum – This sprawling museum is home to 12 galleries, and boasts of a fine the display of coins, paintings, and royal paraphernalia. Be sure to check out the following galleries here: Ancient History, Costume Gallery, Hero's Gallery, and Kargil Gallery.
Punjab Agriculture University – This is the biggest agricultural university in Asia. It was founded in 1962 on the outskirts of the city. It was modelled after the famous Land Grant College of America. Its museum is a must-see. The museum building looks like one of the the traditional houses in rural Punjab. Its long path, flanked on both sides by water channels makes for a lovely sight.
Gurudwara Shrimanji Sahib Alamgir - Situated 10 kms from Ludhiana, this gurudwara is built on the spot where Guru Gobind Singh took shelter during battle. It is believed that the Guru shot an arrow into the parched earth to produce a stream of water. Every year in December, a fair is held and devotees throng to this Gurudwara.