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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jallianwala Bagh – A trip into India’s bloody past!!

Of days gone by...this February during my solo all India motorcycle journey


I was in the busy bazaar road of Amritsar that leads to the Golden Temple, the holy shrines of the Sikhs. The entire market road is dotted with vibrant colours, musical instruments and shops that serve you the famous Amritsari kulchas. But as I was ambling through, my eyes read a sign that said Jallianwala Bagh Memorial. History lessons from school days and stories of the British Raj came floating into my mind as I read this sign. Without battling an eyelid, I made my way into this place which has had such a bloody past.

Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden that houses a memorial of national importance. It was established in 1951 to commemorate the murder of peaceful celebrators on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13, 1919 in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre.


As I entered this place, I was shocked to see the place brimming with people. It look liked a picnic spot with kids playing Frisbee and cricket. Others were catching up on old stories or taking a power nap. I pushed these scenes to the back of my head and began to explore the place in earnest. As soon as I entered I could see a huge stone structure. This is the war memorial. About a short distance from the entrance is the flame of peace. There is a museum to the west of the entrance that depicts the jallianwala bagh massacre and the horrific story. In the centre east of the garden are the walls with the bullet marks. I get the creeps if I even try to visualize this massacre.



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