Climate and Culture
- Spring: The climate remains the most enjoyable part of the year during the spring season (from mid-February to mid-April). Temperatures vary between (max) 16 °C to 25 °C and (min) 9 °C to 18 °C.
- Autumn: In autumn (from Mid-September to mid November.), the temperature may rise to a maximum of 30 °C. Temperatures usually remain between 16° to 27° in autumn. The minimum temperature is around 11 °C.
- Summer: The temperature in summer (from Mid-May to Mid-June) may rise to a maximum of 48 °C (rarely). Temperatures generally remain between 35 °C to 45 °C (94 – 112F).
- Monsoon: During monsoon (from mid-June to mid-September), Pathankot receives moderate to heavy rainfall and sometimes heavy to very heavy rainfall (generally during the month of August or September). Usually, the rain bearing monsoon winds blow from south-west/ south-east. Mostly, the city receives heavy rain from south (which is mainly a persistent rain) but it generally receives most of its rain during monsoon either from North-west or North-east. Maximum amount of rain received by the city of Pathankot during monsoon season is 195.5 mm in a single day.
- Winter: Winters (November to Mid-March) are mild but it can sometimes get quite chilly in Pathankot. Average temperatures in the winter remain at (max) 7 °C to 15 °C and (min) 0°C to 8 °C. Rain usually comes from the west during winters and it is usually a persistent rain for 2–3 days with sometimes hail-storms. Pathankot received snowfall in 2012 after almost 55 years.
The south-west monsoon generally arrives in the first week of July and continues up to the end of August. About 70% of the rainfall in the district is received during the period from June to September and as much as about 18% rainfall occurs during the period from December to February.
Relative humidity is generally high in the mornings, exceeding 70 percent except during the summer season when it is less than 50 per cent. The humidity is comparatively less in the afternoons. The driest part of the year is the summer season when the relative humidity in the afternoons is about 25 per cent or less.
Winds are generally light with some strengthening in the summer and early part of the monsoon season. In the post-monsoon and cold season, winds are light and variable in direction in the morning and mostly from the west or north-west in the afternoons. In April and May, winds are mainly from direction between north-west and north-east in the mornings and between west and north-east in the afternoons. By June, easterlies and south –easterlies also blow and in the south-west monsoon season. Winds are more commonly from directions between north-east and south-east.
It is a fact that the culture of Pathankot is dominated largely by Punjabi traditions. Yet, the city’s close proximity to Jammu-Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh has made a difference in the way people lead their life in this great city. For ages, the Punjabi population of Pathankot has come in close contact with the residents of the two mountainous states. Those interactions have led to interchanging of ideas and values. Consequently, one can witness an influence of the Dogra and Himachali customs in the culture of Pathankot.
Influence of the history and geography on the culture of Pathankot
The history of Pathankot has also shaped the city’s culture in a unique way. For ages, they had to face enemy assaults and this has taught them to stand united against all odds. Popularity of akhras and gatkas may also owe their origin to their strenuous past.
Moreover, the nature of the land in and around Pathankot is such that the people had to work hard to earn their living. This has infused in them a spirit of hard work combined with a jest for living. People here are mostly business oriented. Though profit and loss is a matter of importance to them, they are not solely guided by them. Like rest of Punjab, the people here are open hearted and gay. Singing and dancing is almost a part of life for the people of Pathankot and this can be witnessed in their daily lives.
Singing and Dancing in Pathankot
Indeed, singing and dancing play a big role in the life of the people of Pathankot. Slightest provocation tears away their hardcore businessman image and reveals their true self. Indeed, they burst out in songs when they are happy; in sadness too they express their feelings with songs. Dancing too is an important medium of expression for the people of Pathankot. Bhangra, one of the community based dances of Punjab, is also a form of self expression for the people here.
Other dance forms popular in Pathankot:
Apart from Bhangra, many other types of folk dances such as Giddha, Jhuamr, Luddi etc are practiced in Pathankot region. Among them, Giddha is meant only for women and may have been imported from adjoining Himachal Pradesh. In Pathankot, Giddha is generally accompanied by songs called boli, which expresses a wide range of topics. Indeed, everything from day to day family drama to political views can be expressed through this art form.
Gatka is another popular dance of this region. It is a martial dance involving weapons such as swords, daggers and sticks. Gatka is generally performed on different Punjabi festivals; today they are also performed on joyous occasions such as weddings.
Drama Clubs and Akhras in Pathankot
There are also quite a few drama clubs in Pathankot; however, in most of them male actors are forced to take part in the female roles because women hardly take part in such plays. Wrestling clubs known as the Akhras too are part of culture of this city. It is to be noted that, traditionally wrestling does not fall under the category of sports in Pathankot. It is a form of art that one has to learn from a Guru. Although the youngsters are now taking up modern sports, quite a few masters still run their akhras in different part of the city.
Festivals and Fairs in Pathankot
Along with songs and dance, festivals also occupy a big place in the culture of Pathankot. However, among all Punjabi festivals Baisakhi is celebrated with gusto in Pathankot. In general, such celebrations go on for three days and a fair is also held to mark the occasion. Other than that, Shivaratri is a big festival here. It is celebrated in different Shiva temples in town. Month long fairs are also held at Mukteshwar, located at a distance of 22Km from the city on the banks of river Ravi. Other than that, Navratra and Ramlila too occupy a pride of place in the city’s calendar. Besides, Gurupurab, Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary is also a big occasion here.
A culture that has embraced modernity without giving up age old tradition:
Indeed, Pathankot is a city where different cultures live side by side. Since time immemorial, different communities have cohabited here peacefully and this has shaped the culture of the city in a unique way. However, if you truly want to learn about the culture of Pathankot, you will have to walk through the narrow lanes of the old city area. It is here you will witness how traditions live side by side with modernity. You will also feel how a strong community feeling binds the people together even in these days of individualism. People here have embraced modernity without giving up the tradition