Ambala is a city and a municipal corporation in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India. Ambala is a serene destination that is growing up to be an urban centre for development with the right touch of the tradition and culture, with unique location, at the borders of the states of Punjab and Haryana, lends it a bustling atmosphere. Ambala has two sub-areas: Ambala Cantonment also known as (Ambala Cantt) and Ambala City, approximately 3 kilometers apart, therefore it is also known as “Twin City”. Both the areas are just 3 kilometres away from one another, and to the world, the duo is called twin cities. The energetic vibe of this town is supplemented by a large presence of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force within its cantonment area. Ambala is also known to separate Ganges river network from the network of the River Indus and has two rivers surrounding it, namely Ghaggar and Tangri to the north and to the south. Due to its geographical location, the Ambala district plays an important role in local tourism. Tourists to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and Jammu & Kashmir have to cross through Ambala whether by road or rail.
On looking back at ancient Indian history, Ambala District was founded by Amba Rajput during the 14th century AD. Other reports say the city and district got its name after goddess “Bhawani Amba”, who has a temple in the city and is praised by devotees with an ardent love, whose Temple still exists in Ambala city. Ambala Cantt. is Ambala’s headquarter. It is a major junction, was established in the year 1843. After the British were forced to leave its Karnal Cantonment following the malaria epidemic of 1841–42 in as there were not any known effective means to control malaria epidemic in those days. Ambala Cantt. is an important centre for manufacturing of scientific & surgical instruments. Ambala was given the status of a district in 1847, which was then formed by merging the Jagir of hitherto independent chieftains, most of which included territories that were confiscated then by the British or had lapsed. In its 160 years of existence as a district, Ambala has witnessed many changes in its boundaries.
Ambala Air Force Base is one of the oldest and largest airbases that were inherited from the British by the IAF. In the 1947- 48 Kashmir Operations, this airbase served as a major point for the Spitfires and Harvards that were used and flown by the instructors from the coveted Advanced Flying Training School. It has been a frontline air base for many years and was attacked by Pakistan Air Force in 1965. Ambala is known for its Central Jail, where Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, was hanged, along with Narayan Apte, who was also a conspirator in November 1949. Today, the Airbase houses the ‘7 Wing’ with squadrons of Jaguars and MiG-21 Bisons. A unit of the French-madeDassault Rafale will also be based at Ambala air base.
Language & Culture :
Hindi and Punjabi are the official languages in the district and are spoken widely. Most of the youngsters in educational institutions, as well as many officials, are well-versed in English. Ambala places itself among the most promising cities and locations of northern India, and the beauty and charm of the people and locales remain matchless. “Cloth Market” is the charm of the city, which draws shoppers from surrounding areas. The cloth market has a dense cluster of 900-1000 wholesale shops. Ambala used to be a hub of hand-loom factories, man operated industry, which has almost vanished., is known for its art, pottery and handicraft items, throughout the country. One can find various types of beautiful earthen articles, which include decorative items, utensils, toys and much more.
Tourist Attraction :
Manji Sahib Gurudwara :
Ambika Devi Mandir :
Ambika Devi Temple is the oldest temples in Ambala and is associated with the origin of the place as it is believed to Ambala City derived its name from the ancient deity Goddess Bhawani Ambika. This old temple is dedicated to this deity and is located near the Old Civil Hospital. The temple was built before the British rule and houses the beautiful idols of the three deities Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. The temple is Octagonal shaped and roof is a dome. The paintings on the walls are now faded. The Goddess is worshipped with great devotion. Every year during Navratri, a grand festival is held in the temple that beckons a number of locals and tourists to visit here.
Jain Mandir :
The Jain Temple in Ambala is among one of the most sought after religious destinations in the region. It was founded by Shri Vijay Inder Jain charitable trust. It is located near Halwai Bazaar, Ambala city. e temple has four idols of the Jain deities. There are figurines of Chanda Prabhu, Parshavnath, Arihant and Shantinath. It is believed to house 2500 years old idols. The Jain festivals are celebrated with great devotion and in a big scale in this temple.
Hanuman Mandir :
Hanuman Mandir was built 250 years ago. The artistic engravings and sculptures beautifully adorn the park. It is much frequented by pilgrims and is situated on the old Grand Trunk Road. The artwork is much in tandem with the art of the Mughal School of painting. People visit this temple, especially on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Hanuman Jayanti . It is also known as Shree Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir which is located near to railway station.
Rani Ka Talab :
Rani kaTalab is a famous attraction in Ambala city and is located near the Ram Bagh, is a 400 year old scenic and historic pond and is situated in Ambala Cant and is manned by the army. It was built by Raja Ranjit Singh about 400 years ago. It is surrounded by Kailash Mandir and Indra Park for travellers to stroll around. It is said that the king dug up two ponds with the names Raja kaTalab and Rani kaTalab.now Raja Ka Talab has been carved out into a modern park known as Patel Park. The pond has eight bathing areas and every day a number of devotees take a dip here before entering the temple.
How To Reach :
By Air : Nearest Airport is Chandigadh (37 km) which is well connected to all major city of Country. And Nearest International Airport is Delhi (200 km) which is well connected to Landon, Dubai, Abu dhabi and all of Countries.
By Rail : Ambala has its oven railway station which is well connected all major city of Country.
By Road : A good network of roads connects it from different cities of the Country
Image copyright by commons.wikimedia.org,hi.wikimedia.org, justdial.com, flickr.com
The ancient, heritage city of Panipat is nestled right in the heartland of Haryana, in North India. It is the foremost historic city of importance after Delhi and is a battleground town close to the banks of the river, Yamuna, is the location of three historic battles that shaped Mughal history. Panipat, a district head-quarter is situated on National Highway No.1 at a distance of 90 km from Delhi. The battles fought at the city in 1526, 1556 and 1761 were turning points in Indian history. Panipat is famous for textiles and carpets. It is also known for its world famous pickle ‘Pachranga International’. Panipat is popular in the country by the name of ‘City of Weaver’. It is also home to many industries such as Indian Oil Co. Ltd. (IOCL) Refinery, NTPC Thermal Power Plant and National Fertilizers Limited. It is the biggest centre for cheap blankets and carpets in India.
History of Panipat :
As found in the epic Mahabharata, Panipat was one of the five cities founded by the Pandavas. The ancient name of the town was Pandu Prastha. Also, the initial canto of the Bhagavad Gita is probably referencing to Panipat as the famous Dharmakshetra. It was an important centre for Sufi saints, Muslim scholars and Moghal rulers. Three pivotal battles have been fought on the land of Panipat. First in 1526 between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi, Second in 1556 between Akbar and Hemu and the Third in 1761 between Durrani Empire and Maratha Empire. Panipat was formed as a district in 1824. As the biggest centre of ‘shoddy yarn’ in the world, and exporter of handloom products to developed countries such as Japan, Canada, Australia and Germany, Panipat has earned a pride of place in the international market for its handloom products.
First Battle of Panipat :
The first battle of Panipat saw emergence of the Mughals, mightiest power in Indian History. According to legends it was the oldest Indian battles to have used gunpowder firearms and field artillery. The first battle of Panipat was fought on 21st April, 1526. This battle was fought between Ibrahim Lodhi, Sultan of Delhi and the warlord of Timurid, Zaheeruddin Babur. Babur’s force defeated Ibrahim’s much larger force of over one lakh (one hundred thousand) soldiers. This first battle of Panipat thus ended the ‘Lodi Rule’ established by Bahlul Lodhi in Delhi. In the end, it was Babur who emerged victorious and established the Mughal Empire, while Ibrahim Lodhi perished in the Battle.
Second Battle of Panipat :
The Second Battle of Panipat was fought on 5 November 1556 between the forces of Akbar and Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, a Hindu King of Delhi. The Hindu Hemu, the last minister of the Afghan kings who had regained control of Delhi and Agra after Humayun’s death. Taking the advantage of Humayun’s death he was successful in capturing the reigns of Agra and Delhi without much difficulty. This victory of Adil Shah and Hemu didn’t last much as Bairam Shah, who was the chief Minister and guardian of Akbar proceeded with a large army towards Delhi. This king, also known as Vikramaditya had won 22 battles against the Afghan rebels from 1553–1556 from Punjab to Bengal, and had his coronation at Purana Quila in Delhi on 7 October 1556 and had established ‘Hindu Raj’ in North India. Chandra had a large army, and initially his forces were winning, but suddenly Hemu was struck by an arrow in the eye and he lost his senses. On not seeing him in his howdah on the back of an elephant, his army fled. He was executed shortly thereafter. His head was sent to Kabul to be hanged outside Delhi Darwaza, and his torso was hanged outside Purana Quila in Delhi. Thus, it was this ferocious battle that reestablished the strong Mughal Empire which had a powerful reign of Akbar to create history.
Third Battle of Panipat :
The third battle of Panipat was fought on 14 January 1761 between Ahmad Shah Abdali and Sadashivrao Bhau Peshwa of Pune. The Afghans had a total strength of 125,000 soldiers, and the Marathas had 100,000 soldiers and 25,000 pilgrims. During the eighteenth century the parallel decline of Mughal Empire and defeat of Marathas in the battle of Panipat saw a new beginning of the colonial rule in India. The Maratha soldiers were unable to get food because of non-cooperation of other empires of Hindustan and this resulted in having to eat the leaves off trees to survive. The Afghans were supported by Najib and Sujaudolla for the supply of food, and the Maratha had pilgrims along with them, who were unable to fight, including female pilgrims also. This battle resulted in a bad defeat for the Marathas and was followed by the British conquest of India. On the single day of 14 January, more than one lakh (100,000) of soldiers died resulting in the victory for the Afghans.
Along with being a significant historic destination of India, Panipat is also the biggest centre of Shoddy Yarn in the world. Its Samalkha subdivision is also famous as a Foundry of Agricultural instruments. With its rich history, dating back to the times of the Mahabharata, it is but natural that Panipat should be full of interesting places to visit. The government has made it easier for the tourist by setting up a museum, where the visitor can have a comprehensive look at all the significant events and the relics that the rich history of the place has given rise to. Panipat also has some significant tourist destinations like Hemu Samadhi-Sthal, grave of Ibrahim Lodhi, Kabuli Bagh, Devi Mandir, Salar Gunj Gate as well as the famous Tomb of Bu Ali Shah Qalandar.
Tourist Attraction :
Devi Temple :
The Devi Temple of Panipat exists on the banks of a large tank and is dedicated to a local goddess, has been an important part of the folklore in Hindu culture. This temple is known for its unique architecture and ancient sculptures. The temple is about 250 years old. Located quite centrally in tehsil camp Panipat, Devi temple is a must visit while you are in Panipat Besides this a Shiva temple believed to have been built by a Maratha warrior named Mangal Raghunath who had remained in Panipat after the battle, also exists as a popular pilgrimage destination.
Tomb of Bu-Ali Shah Kalandar :
Standing deftly for seven hundred years, this tomb is also known as Dargah of Shah Kalandar Khizar Khan, the son of Allau-din Khilj was born in 1190 A.D about 700 years ago. Enclosed at Qalandar chowk, this is one tomb, whose architecture matches the likes of Ajmer Dargah, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah at Delhi among others, but is largely unexplored as of now. This tomb is visited by a large number of Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, especially on Thursdays. Every Thursday prayers are offered at the Dargah of Shah Kalandar Khizar Khan, son of Allah-uh-din Khilji, the tomb attracts a lot of crowd who come here to offer prayers.
Tomb of Ibrahim Lodhi :
Ibrahim Lodhi was the Afghan Sultan of Delhi who was killed by the Turco-Mongol warlord Babur in April 1526 in the First Battle of Panipat, is situated near the Tehsil office of Panipat. It is a plain rectangular structure built on a high platform. The Grave of Ibrahim Lodhi is certainly not a minor site to many of the tourists visiting Panipat. A much-venerated site. The British government rebuilt the original tomb, and an inscription that carried Ibrahim Lodhi’s life history and contributions was incorporated in the mausoleum. Another memorial, however, is said to have existed which used to be a place of pilgrimage for the people of Gwalior since Vikramaditya, the last Raja ( king of the old dynasty ofGwalior, fell in the same battle. This memorial, according to Alexander Cunningham, was destroyed when the Grand Trunk Road was made.
Panipat Museum :
The Panipat Museum is the most popular attraction of Panipat which is home to a lot of precious artefacts and showcases the history of the region. This museum was established with the main purpose of imparting information about the three legendary battles of Panipat held in 1526, 1556 and 1761 which marked the turning point in Indian history. The display of antiquities, inscription, sculptures, arms and armors, pottery, old and valuable documents, jewellery and art and craft objects, have been augmented by maps, writeups, and photographs and translides, etc. These include Sadashivrao Bhau, Peshwa Vishwasrao, Jankoji Rao Scindia, Shamsher Bahadur I (Krishna Rao) – son of Bajirao I and Mastani, Ibrahim Lodhi, Tukoji Shinde, Hemu, Vyankatrao Wable – a local hero also known as Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya called so after winning 22 continuous battles and who belonged to Haryana, Raja SurjaMal of Bharatpur, Vikramaditya (Vikramajit) of Gwalior, Maharaja of Patiala, Sher Shah SURI. A large number of contemporary weapons, armory, guns, etc. have been acquired through loan from the Archaeological Survey of India. A few important miniatures are also present in the galleries of this museum in the form of enlarged photos of Babur-Nama and Akbar-Nama.
Kabuli Bagh Mosque :
The garden of Kabuli Bagh is situated at a distance of 2 km from the city of Panipat. The most popular feature of this garden is the Kabuli Shah Mosque, built by Babur to celebrate his victory over Lodhi. The first Mughal monument in India, the impressive edifice is named after Babur’s wife Mussammt Kabuli Begum which nestles cozily inside an enclosure. The gateway is built with red sandstone and has intricate work on the huge arch. A few years later, of the construction of this tomb, a masonry platform was added to it called the Chabutra, by Humayun after he defeated Salem Shah, near Panipat. The mosque has octagonal towers on its corners and an entrance to the north. The bagh attracts a lot of tourists for its historical importance and beauty alike.
Panipat is home to more than 50 senior secondary schools, most notable are Nalwa Public School, Nalwa College of Education, SD Vidya Mandir, DAV Cent. Public School, HUDA,Delhi Public School, Panipat Refinery and D.A.V. Public School, Thermal G D Goenka Public School. There are half a dozen colleges providing courses from undergraduate to graduate level; some of the well known are S.D (PG) College (which also offers PhD courses) at G.T Road Panipat, Arya (PG) College G.T Road Panipat and I.B (PG) College, G.T Road Panipat. There are also several engineering colleges, including NCCE Israna.
How To Reach :
By Air : Nearest airport is Indira Gandhi International Airport (94 km). which is well connected to all major city of India.
By Rail : Panipat is well connection of Railway by all major city of India.
By Road : As well as railway panipat is well connected to all major city of India by Road way.
Image copyright by commons.wikimedia.org, hi.wikipedia.org, tripadvisor.co
Kurukshetra is a city in the state of Haryana, India. It is also known as Dharmakshetra(“Holy Place”). Kurukshetra About this sound pronunciation is a land of historical. According to the Puranas, Kurukshetra is named after King Kuru, the ancestor of Kauravas and Pandavas, as depicted in epic Mahabharata. The importance of the place is attributed to the fact that the Kurukshetra War of the Mahabharata was fought on this land and the Bhagavad Gita was preached on this land during the war when Lord Krishna found Arjuna in a terrible dilemma.
Venue of the epic battle Mahabharata, Kurukshetra occupies pride of place in Indian religious mythology and literature.For thousands of years, from the days of the Mahabharata, people have been congregating at Kurukshetra for salvation. A dip in the holy tanks of the Brahma Sarovar or Sannihit Sarovar here, is said to do the trick, which makes it one of the holiest pilgrimage centres in India. Kurukshetra is the land between the holy rivers Saraswati and Dhrihaswadi where the Vedic civilization was born. A place of myths, legends, great battles, empires and the canvas of the epic Mahabharata, It is a city of holy tanks and lakes and though it is a modern, well-developed town, its character is unmistakably religious. The climate of the district is very hot in summer (up to 47 °C) and cold in winter (down to 1 °C) with rains in July and August.
There are about 360 Tirthas of religious and historic importance. The foremost among the Kurukshetra tirthas are Brahmsarovar or Kurukshetra Tank, Sannihit Tank, Sthanesvra Mahadev Mandir, Jyotisar, Baan-ganga, Bhisam Kund (Narkatari) Chandrakupa, Nabhi Kamal, Bhadarkali Mandir, Arnai Temple, Prachi Tirath Pehowa, Saraswati Tirath Pehowa, Prithduk Tirath Pehowa, Rantuk Yaksh Bir pipli, Karan Ka Tila,etc. Major attractions of this city include Kalpana Chawla Planetarium, Bhor Crocodile Park and Krishna Museum that attracts large number of travelers from all over the country. December-January is considered as a vibrant time when many visitors coming to the city just to celebrate Kurukshetra festival and Lohri. It is one of the amazing tourist destinations where one can explore the ancient history of India.
Kurukshetra Attraction :
Brahma Sarovar :
Hinduism stresses on having a bath in the sarovar for internal and external sanctity, purity and bliss forever. Most religious places have water tanks or sarovars in the vicinity of temple or gurdwara. Every year lakhs of people come to take a holy bath at Brahma Sarovar on the occasion of “Somavati Amavasya” (Sacred No-Moon Day that happens on a Monday). Brahma sarovar, as the name suggests, is associated with lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe. It is supposed to be the world’s largest man-made pond. The world’s largest chariot of bronze is placed in purushotam bagh in the center of Brahma Sarovar. It is believed that when Duryodhan lost Mahabharta war, he tried to hide in this lake. The northern bank of the Sarovar nestles a shrine to Lord Shiva and legend has it, that the Linga at the shrine was placed by Lord Brahma himself. Truly historic, this water tank is mentioned throughout various ancient texts, making it a must see destination.
Shri Krishna Museum :
Founded in 1987, Krishna Museum houses various artifacts of Lord Krishna and Krishna’s incarnations from 1st Century AD to 11th Century AD. Situated near Brahma Sarovar and set up by the Kurukshetra Development Board, it is one of the finest museums on the theme of Krishna. It has a collection of wide variety of beautiful sculptures, paintings and other artistic creations relating to the legend of Krishna. The museum housing six galleries also showcases the statues in the forms as described in the Bhagavata Purana and Mahabharata. The exhibits in the galleries consist of exquisite woodcarvings, wooden panels, bronze casting, ivory works, palm- leaf etchings, stone sculptures, archaeological artifacts and miniature paintings. There is also a tableaux made from Papier-mache and clay, based on Bhagavata and Mahabharata. It has some historical artifacts and paintings depicting the Mahabharata war.
Jyotisar is a town on the Kurukshetra-Pehowa road, 5 km west of Thanesar in the Kurukshetra. Jyotisar is an important place of religious tourism. The holy land of Jyotisar is believed to be the cradle of Hindu civilisation and culture. The famous site where Bhagavad Gita was delivered to Arjuna. A beautiful marble chariot depicting Lord Krishna delivered the eternal message of Gita to Arjuna, canopied by a Banyan tree exists at the site. A mango shaped lake has been constructed here with covered bathing ghats for ladies. Cement parapets and enclosures have been built for protection. A light and music show is organized by the tourism department at the site, on a regular basis, which recreates episodes from Mahabharta.
Sannihit Sarovar :
One of the most venerated sites in Kurushekthra is the Sannihit Sarovar, which is believed to be the meeting point of seven sacred Saraswathies. It is believed to be the abode of Lord Vishnu. Devotees seldom spare a chance to get a dip here since it holds the myth that a dip in the holy waters of this Sarovar takes away all their sins. Sarovar spreads to a large expansion of 550 ft in breadth and 1500 ft in length. Devotees gather here to offer their reverence and prayers to their departed souls. Kumbha Mela in the Sarovar attracts thousands of devotees and visitors each time. Amidst chanting of Vedic mantras, the pilgrims take a dip in the Sarovar when the eclipse starts. Many people come here for salvation on such occasions. Kurukshetra has been the germinating ground of the essence of Hinduism. It is one of the holy towns that have borne the imprint of Lord Krishna`s footsteps.
Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb :
Charming in stature and instilled with delicate Persian overtones, this tomb consists of the mortal remains of the great sufi saint, Sheikh Chilli. Sheikh Chilli’s Tomb is located in Thanesar , This beautiful tomb and the madarasa (school) are associated with the Sufi saint Abdu’r-Rahim alias Aabd-ul-Razak, popularly known as Shaikh Chehli (also pronounced Chilli) believed to be the spiritual teacher of the Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shahjahan. The tomb, overlooking the madarasa and standing on an artificial terrace, is octagonal in shape with the entrance in the south. There is a mosque called Pather Masjid (Stone Mosque) that was built in red sandstone. On the north side are the Mughal Gardens, there is also a second smaller tomb said to be dedicated to the saint’s wife. The museum within the complex contains some rare artefacts from nearby archaeological sites from various eras of civilization and is truly fascinating to explore.
Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple :
It is said that the Pandavas obtained the blessings of Lord Shiva in Sthaneshwar Mahadev Temple situated in Thanesar. It is also believed that the sacred waters of the tank cured Banasura’s long-term leprosy. Hence a visit to Lord Shiva’s temple here at Sthaneshwar tops pilgrim’s itinerary. Archeologists trace the architecture of the temple to Sthaneshwar, an ancient capital of Harsha Vardhana. One can see the roof of the temple shaped like an amla dome with lofty pinnacles. The temple houses an ancient statue of the Shiva Linga which is believed to be the first idol of Shiva in the phallic form.
How to Reach :
By Air : The nearest airport to the city is Chandigarh airport which is located at a distance of 91 km from Kurukshetra.
By Rail : Kurukshetra has its own Junction which is well connected with all major cities of India.
By Road : There are regular buses from all major city of India.
Image copyright by kurukshetraonline.in, Commonwikimidia.org
Curiosity, the passion to collect homogeneous objects, the search for the rare, unique and often elusive is what impassions all collectors. This is where it all started for the Heritage Transportation Trust. Registered under the Indian Trust Act (1882) as a non-profit organisation it was conceived to document, exhibit, educate and disseminate information about transportation. In collaboration with five other trustees, we have brought together a passion for collecting all forms of objects related to transportation in India. After over two decades of research about the evolution of the modes of transportation that formed the plinth of the collection in possession of the Trust, the Heritage Transport Museum was initiated as India’s first comprehensive transport museum. The museum showcases the evolution of transportation in India and sets a benchmark in interpretation, exhibition and in communication. As the first private museum of its scale in India, it is conceived as a didactive space that engages visitor participation in learning while remaining a family experience.
Vehicles that have become a part of the history and heritage of India are beautifully displayed here at Heritage Transport Museum, the one of its kind museum in country. The exhibition gallery displays about 100 historically significant and artistically inspired modes of transport used in India, mostly one-of-a-kind models dating from the turn of the 20th century. With its dramatic displays, in-depth interpretation, extensive collection and exciting opportunities for visitor participation, the museum is sure to take you back in time. The museum aims to be an evolving space that would seasonally change and adapt its spaces to ensure that repeat visitors would always have something new to view.
The Heritage Transport Museum is situated on a three acre plot, off National Highway 8 at Tauru-Gurgaon. A built up area of over 90,000 square feet of air conditioned space spread over four floors houses the exhibition galleries, library and reference centre, conference rooms, mini auditorium, the museum shop, and a restaurant facility.
The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has accorded a grant of Six Crores to offset the cost of construction of the museum building. The remaining investment is the fruit of corporate and individual donations and sponsorships.India may now boast of the anti-museum, a space for fun and learning, experiential and yet experimental.
Image copyright by dailymail.co.uk, gqindia.com