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Ludhiana
India: Culture | Cuisine | Cinema | Sports | Festivals | Ayurveda | Yoga | Tourism
 

Ludhiana city was founded in the time of Lodhi dynasty which ruled in Delhi from 1451-1526 A.D. The legend goes that two Lodhi Chief Yusaf Khan and Nihand Khan were deputed by Sikandar Lodhi (1489-1517 A.D.) to restore order in this region. They camped at the site of present city of Ludhiana which was then a village called Mir Hota. Yusaf Khan went across the river Sutlej in Jalandhar Doab to check Khokhars who were plundering the Doab and made a settlement at Sultanpur while Nihand Khan stayed back and founded the present city at the site of village Mir Hota. The new town was originally known as Lodhi-ana, which means the town of Lodi's. The name later changed to the present name Ludhiana.

Tourist Attraction

Lodhi Fort

The over 500-year-old Lodhi Fort, constructed by Muslim ruler Sikander Lodhi on a strategic location along the banks of the Sutlej in the city, has gone to rack and ruin, thanks to the official apathy as well as the indifferent attitude of the city residents towards it.

The once-strong citadel, basically a military fort, which withstood many an invader, has crumbled under the onslaught of the elements in the last five centuries. The process has been considerably hastened due to the lack of any protection offered by the Ludhianvis. The Archaeological Survey of India has also not helped matters by denying 'A Protected Monument' status to the fort even though a Supreme Court order calls for bringing all over 100-year-old historically important buildings into this category.

Mughal Sarai at Doraha

Time has taken off the ostentatious exuberance and esteemed magnificence of the Mughal Sarai of Doraha. Still much could have been preserved and another retained but for the indifferent attitude of the government, which has proved to be more devastating than the onslaught of time that the Mughal Sarai had to suffer. ughal Sarai, built by Sher Shah Suri in 17th century A.D, was a much sought-after place for fatigued travellers during Mughal rule . The respite offered by the sarai was unmatchable. But today, for a few inquisitive Ph.D. research scholars and several Muslim devotees, the sarai carries little significance for the dwellers around. On a casual visit to the place, one finds a small group of people playing cards, a fatigued worker resting under the shade of a tree or a gardner working.

The Sarai is approximately 168 m. square enclosure of battlement walls with octagonal bastion at each corner. There are imposing gateways in the centre on northern and southern sides. The northern gate has only remains of floral designs while the southern gate has flora and fauna paintings. Both gates are connected with a kachha pathway. The northern and southern sides of the sarai has 20 rooms each whereas eastern and western sides has 30 rooms each with a suite of three rooms in the centre. On the north-east corner of the sarai, there are some rooms which might have been a ‘Hammam.’ One can enter this Hammam, through a barrel- vaulted corridor. Many rooms have ceilings specially designed for light and ventilation. The walls and ceilings of these rooms were richly painted with designs executed in bright colours, the traces of which are still visibly.

Each corner of the sarai comprises a central room. All the rooms as well as galleries, are provided with slanting ventilators. On the western half of the sarai, now in utter ruins, is a mosque mounted with a dome. The front view of the mosque was richly painted, the traces of which still survive. There is also a single storeyed structure adjoining the wall of the mosque, now in ruins, probably meant for mullah’s residence. The big compound is being maintained as lawns by the department of archaeology. The sarai is protected under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments archaeological sites and remains Act, 1964.

The very entrance of the sarai holds a defaced notice board that itself defies the instructions being put on it. It warns a penalty of Rs 5,000 or 3 years of rigorous imprisonment to anyone who destroys, removes or impairs any part of the sarai. The inner building is crushing more and more with each passing day. The lack of maintenance and upkeep speaks volumes of government apathy through its failure to allot any budget for the purpose. The paste coming out of the walls, the vanishing wall paintings, the faded carvings on the ceilings are a proof of the ‘neglected’ glory of ancient India.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum

As a gesture of tribute to the gallant soldiers, Punjab Government is in the process of establishing a War Museum of International standard at Ludhiana, consisting of History Gallery, War Heroes Gallery, Uniforms Gallery, Air Force and Navy Gallery, Signal and Medical Corps Gallery, Kargil Gallery and a Audio Visual Theatre.

This International level War Museum, located on GT Road, Ludhiana – Amritsar Highway (NH-1), about 5 KM from Ludhiana Railway Station, near Hotel Amaltas, was instituted in 1999 on a 4 acres plot with a few bare essentials, today stands strong. At the very entrance stands a huge statue of maharaja Ranjit singh sitting proud and magnificent on a throne. Towards the right and left of the statue one can find tanks, apec car, anti-aircraft gun, car scout and an old sukhoi fighter aircraft, along with a massive model of the ins vikrant. Walking up several steps one is lead into the entrance hall, where on the right is a line of portraits of Punjabis, who have been awarded the Paramvir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra. On the left is a line of portraits of generals, admirals, and air chief marshals belonging to Punjab. Besides this, the museum comprises several galleries. Many of these are still awaiting material to be displayed. A huge gallery displays various uniforms of the British era Indian army; air force and navy. They also depict the different stripes, medals and ranks worn by the officials. Another gallery displays portraits and busts of Punjab’s army men who had fought and got laurels in the three wars in 1948,‘65, and ‘71. The six busts that stand in the gallery are of officers who had received Victoria Cross. Yet another attraction of this museum is the light and sound show, which, through the effects of light and sound, depicts war of independence and the role of Punjabis in it. A sonnet lumiere (Light & Sound Show) on permanent basis has been installed at the War Museum to perpetuate the memory of those brave sons of the motherland, who have sacrificed their lives in the freedom struggle of India with an aim to create sense of patriotism and nationalism among the people of Punjab, especially younger generation.

Museum of Rural Life of Punjab

The Museum of Rural life of Punjab in the campus of the Punjab Agricultural University is one of the must-sees for any tourist of Punjab. This museum displays the Punjabi Culture to its best. The PAU is perhaps, the only university in India to have a museum like this.

The museum assumes much importance since the rural Punjab is changing fast. The old traditions and customs, which were rampant till the last decade, are now losing their stand with the intervention of the technology. Women fetching water in gaggars (the bronze pot) from the village well are no more seen. Old bronze utensils are now antique pieces. Spinning is no more done. Women do not embroider phulkari. In the fields with the arrival of advanced technologies, the electric motors and pumps have replaced the Dhingli and Charsa by mechanical threshers. All such traditional items, which once lent charm to the Punjabi culture, are now nowhere to be seen. But the university museum preserves them all for those who still want to cherish the old, lovely memories as well as for those who are anxious to know about rural Punjab. The whole credit for building up this museum goes to Dr. M.S. Randhawa, the first Vice Chancellor of this University. It was he who conceived the idea and initiated the project. He decided suitable design for the building and collected the old objects from small ancient villages and towns like Sultanpur Lodhi, Rahon, Goindwal, Zira and Sunam.

Guru Nanak Stadium

It has been built at a cost of approx. Rs.15.4 crore. It is flood lit and has a capacity for 1500 spectators. There is a provision of 8 lane synthetic track with a two lane warming up track. The track conforms to international standards for conduct of any national or international meet. It has a well-maintained football ground which hosts the Annual National Football League (NFL) matches.

Tiger Safari (Zoo)

Zoo in Ludhiana known as Tiger Safari is situated on GT Road (Ludhiana-Jalandhar Highway); it is 6 kms from the main city. Tiger Safari here is stretched out on 25 acres. Since tigers have delighted 1993 people here, black bucks, sambhars, rabbits and lots of peacocks in the safari. Majestic tigers roaming about in the dense jungle offer a thrilling experience.

The visitors visit Tiger Safari, War Museum and Hardy’s World in one round. Watching tigers basking in the sun amuses the visitors. It is indeed good picnic spot. Yet not many people visit it on the weekdays.

The Wild Life Department has given the contract of conducting the visit to safari to a private company. The company has two buses. If one bus does not return within 10 minutes, the other bus leaves for its search. In case animals take ill, PAU veterinary doctors or the Director, Chattbir Zoo, are consulted. Mostly the tigers sit lazily with a far away look in their eyes. At 5 o’clock, a bell is rung. It is dinnertime for the tigers. The smell of meat takes them to the enclosure where they are locked for the night. The two watering holes are cleaned on Mondays when safari remains closed. At the entrance, scores of peacocks move about. They keep tigers active for they love chasing them.

 
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