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Category Archives: Colonial Punjab
On the lower Mall Road, inside the grounds of Punjab Secretrariat towards the south of the old city in Lahore, lies one of the more unexpected Mughal tombs, that of Anarkali, the former slave and lover of Prince Salim. According … Continue reading
In the centre of the dusty town of Kapurthala is a bizarre sight that hark back to the opulence and extravagance of the nineteenth century Sikh maharajas. The Jagatjit Singh palace, set within a 200 acre park has a spectacular architecture based on the Palace … Continue reading
Anglo-Sikh War SiteBattle of Ferozeshah – 21-22 December 1845 Following Mukdi, the British Army proceeded northwestwards with a view to joining forces with the besieged British garrison of Ferozepore. The Sikh Army did not prevent the meeting of the two … Continue reading
Jaito was founded by Bhai Jaita of the Sidhu clan. On this place situated near a fort, is the Gurdwara Gangsara built in memory of Guru Gobind Singh who visited here in 1705.
Maharaja Hira Singh constructed the Gurdwara whose sarovar or tank is popularly known as “Gangsar”. About a mile and a half north of Jaito is Gurdwara Tibbi Sahib where Guru Gobind Singh used to organize and participate in the evening recitation of Rehras. Both Gurdwaras have extensive land sanctioned to it by the Nabha rulers. Jaito’s cattle markets are well renowned. People come from far distances to buy and sell their herds. Continue reading
The 40,000 Sikh infantry massed against Smith’s 10,000 men at Aliwal covered a frontage of about two miles connecting the villages of Aliwal and Bundri. They were supported by 37 pieces of artillery and flanked by cavalry. In the initial stages of the battle Smith’s forces advanced and took Aliwal. The capture of Aliwal meant the loss of the Sikhs’ best ford across the Sutlej, they therefore had to recapture it and attempted to do so with a body of 1000 cavalry. Smith saw this threat and immediately dispatched a squadron of 16th Lancers and a squadron of the 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry. Continue reading
Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his paternal uncle, Sardar Ajit Singh were from the village of Khatkar Kalan. Ajit Singh was a talented orator and an active revolutionary. In 1907, he was arrested in connection with the peasants’ agitation and exiled to Burma. Fearing unrest he was brought back and after some time he left Punjab for Iran. Later, he moved to Turkey and finally settled in Brazil till the end of the First World War. During the Second World War he went to Germany and addressed the Sikh soldiers and other Indians asking them to participate in the struggle to remove the British from their homeland. After the defeat of Germany he was jailed and was later allowed to return to India because of his health. He died at Dalhousie in August 1947. Continue reading
Khalsa College is a historic educational institution in the northern Indian city of Amritsar in the state of Punjab, India. Founded in 1892, the sprawling 300-acre (1.2 km2) campus is located about eight km outside of the city center on the Amritsar-Lahore highway (part of the Grand Trunk Road), adjoining Guru Nanak Dev University campus, to which Khalsa College is academically affiliated. Continue reading
In Ludhiana district, another revolutionary was born in the village of Sarabha. Sardar Kartar Singh Sarabha was a talented student who went to the USA to study chemistry. Disturbed by the discrimination against non-whites, he turned into a strong anti-racism activist and an ardent nationalist. He joined the Ghadar movement and used to bring out the’ Ghadar’ newspaper in San Francisco. Continue reading
The town of Malerkotla was divided into two parts – Maler and Kotla. Maler may have been named after an individual named Malher Singh who is said to have constructed a Kaccha fort here called Malhergarh. The town of Malher was founded by Sadr-u-din in 1466, an Afghan. A pious man and disciple of Peer Rukha Alam of Multan (Pakistan), he left the Peer and settled at Bhumsi in the remains of the Malhergarh fort. Behlol Lodhi stayed here on way to Delhi and was so impressed with him that on becoming King of Delhi, he married off his daughter Taj to Sadr-u-din and gave him 68 villages in dowry. Around the hut of Sadr-u-din emerged a Basti named Malher after the fort Malhergarh. Continue reading
The Wagah Border, approximately 28 kms west from Amritsar on the NH1, was the only road link between Pakistan and India before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir in 1999. The controversial Radcliffe Line in 1947 was drawn … Continue reading
The history of Sunam goes back to the Vedic period, when its name was Surajpur supposedly by the mythical Saraswati River. The modern town was built within the walls of an old fort into which its inhabitants were driven to take refuge. It is divided into two parts, one in the citadel of the fort and the other on the lowland around it. Though now of little importance, Sunam has played a significant part in the history of the Punjab after the Muhammdan invasion ; Al-Baruni mentions it as a famous place of that period. Continue reading
The city of Patiala was the capital of a Princely State and became a symbol of the royal lifestyle during the Raj. This most important city of the Malwa region of Punjab, south of the Sutlej river, has been a repository of cultural and architectural heritage in its 300 year history. Continue reading
This huge tree with lush green canopy and wide girth is located along northern boundary of the Ram Bagh. This place has an important place in the history of the holy city of Amritsar. In 1871, four members of the Kooka community objected to hawking of beef nearby the Golden Temple Continue reading