Archive for October, 2008

Beautiful Heritage of SARAI AMANAT KHAN AMRITSAR




PHOTO 1: DELHI DARWAZA OF SARAI AMANAT KHAN, AMRITSAR


PHOTO 2 : LAHORI DARWAZA OF SARAI AMANAT KHAN, AMRITSAR

PHOTO 3 : JAIL CELL OF SARAI AMANAT KHAN, AMRITSAR

PHOTO 4 : MAGNIFICIENT CIRCULAR DOME OF SARAI AMANAT KHAN, AMRITSAR

PHOTO 5 : RARE AKBARI PILLAR NEAR SARAI AMANAT KHAN, AMRITSAR

PHOTOS BY RASHMI TALWAR

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SARAI AMANAT KHAN , AMRITSAR


GATEWAYS OF OLD SARAI AMANAT KHAN , AMRITSAR

BY RASHMI TALWAR

AMRITSAR

“In exercise of power conferred by rule 32 of the ancient monuments archaeological sites and remains rules 1959 (of AMASR Act 1958)

The central government has declared the area upto 100 meters from the protected limits and further beyond it upto 200 meters near or adjoining protected monuments to be prohibited and regulate area respectively for the purpose of mining and construction.

No person can make any kind of construction/excavation/ mining operation within prohibited and regulated area without the written permission of the Director General, Archaeological survey of India, New Delhi.
Whosoever unlawfully undertakes any mining operation or construction shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or with both.
………Archeological survey of India (Chandigarh)

This blue warning board is written at the “SARAI AMANAT KHAN” MONUMENT

PRESENT STATE OF THE MONUMENT

However it was seen by this writer that the adjoining areas are being used as residences with new constructions. This was evident from the fact that while the monument and its adjoining areas are constructed with “NANAKSHAHI BRICKS” the new construction uses ordinary thick modern bricks . many of the adjoining portions are also being used as animal sheds and shelters.

Also the restoration work undertaken hardly gels with the structure’s construction . on many occasions movie production houses use the sarai in a historical backdrop . While the rooms in the arches are portrayed as jails without due permission from the ASI , they only connive with the local guardian of the monument and use the premises for photo shots . In the process many of the monument’s structures are misued by using nails and others articles to launch lights and other paraphernalia used for filming .

The beautiful ‘SARAI’ is situated in village Amanat Khan located 35 Kms South-East of Amritsar on Tarn Taran-Attari road.
The Gateways and Sarai was built by ‘AMANAT KHAN’, the Mughal noble and calligrapher of the magnificent Taj Mahal.

PROTECTED MONUMENT

The warning reads on the Protected Monument reads:

“This monument has been declared to be of National Importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological sites and remains Act 1958 (24 of 1958). Whoever destroys, removes, injures, alters, defaces, imperils or misuses. This monument shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to 3 months or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both”.

THE SARAI WAS BUILT ON A SERENE PORTION OF LAND

It comprises of small cells around a big quadrangle with two imposing Gateways known as LAHOURI DARWAZA –which is white inlaid with fine glazed tile and Persian calligraphy and on the opposite side is the DELHI DARWAZA of red sandstone of RAJASTHAN and file filigree work can be seen in the upper balcony . Both DARWAZAS are placed in the center of eastern and western wings.
A mosque, well and open space for horses and bullocks etc. were provided within the quadrangle.
It has a “prayer Chamber” and is entered through arched opening. The roof is spectacularly made with Nanakshahi bricks in a grand circular rising upto the dome

The spandrels of the arches are decorated with fine glazed tile work. The gateways, both similar in design, consist of two chambered central passage with rooms.
The façade has two arched recesses, placed on either side of the central opening above which are Projecting balconies, executed in triviate style.
The remaining portions are being decorated with arched recesses in low relief to the outer corners are added two octagonal towers crowned with Cupolas. The edges of the arches, the spandrels and two small panels are decorated with glazed tile-work. The colored designs show floral scrolls and GULDASTAS placed in between foliage. (Notification No. PN 19571 Dated 25.06.1928).

BSF traps One Bangladeshi


AMRITSAR OCTOBER 24, 2008

BSF traps One Bangladeshi

RASHMI TALWAR

TARN TARAN (AMRITSAR ) October 24, 2008—

BSF’s 08 Battalion on Friday nabbed one Bangladeshi Nitin Bishna of village Janetta in Bangladesh while he was trying to cross over to Pakistan from the Khalra sector . BSF personnel Vipin Kumar nabbed the Bangladeshi at BoP (Border out Post) no 145 while he was attempting to cross the barbed wire. A case has been registered

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Rs 98,000 in Indian fake currency seized from Indo- Pak border village


AMRITSAR OCTOBER 24, 2008

Rs 98,000 in Indian fake currency seized from Indo- Pak border village

RASHMI TALWAR

TARN TARAN (AMRITSAR ) October 24, 2008—-

As much as 98,000 in fake Indian currency were seized from one Jatinder Singh of village Havellian Naushera Dhala on Indo Pak border, falling in the Tarn Taran district, on Friday. SP Special Narcotic Cell (TT) while talking to the press said that the SNC had set up a decoy and laid a trap for Jatinder son of Gurcharan Singh of the village. The deal between an SNC decoy and the smuggler was sealed at Rs 10,000 for fake currency of One lakh Rupees in Rs 500 denomination.
When Jatinder came with fake currency he was nabbed by the sleuths of the SNC informed SP SNC Gurpeet Singh. a case has been registered against the accused. According to SNC Paramjit Singh is the mastermind behind this gang of Indo Pak smugglers.

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DLH-CHD-AMRITSAR high speed train gets nod for pre-feasibility report from Lok Sabha


AMRITSAR OCTOBER 24, 2008

Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar high speed train gets nod for pre-feasibility report from Lok Sabha

RASHMI TALWAR

AMRITSAR

October 24, 2008———

Even as the issue Mumbai to Ludhiana freight corridor’s extension to Amritsar is held in abeyance the
Ministry of Railways has decided to conduct pre-feasibility studies for construction of high speed passenger corridors equipped with state of the art, signaling and train control system for Delhi – Chandigarh – Amritsar corridor . along with this studies would also be conducted for three other “high speed rail ” corridors including ‘ Pune – Mumbai – Ahmedabad’; ‘ Hyderabad – Dornakal – Vijayawada – Chennai’ and ‘Chennai – Bangalore – Coimbatore – Ernakulam’ .

The proposed section will be having dedicated tracks solely for running trains at speed of 300 to 350 kilometers per hour. These trains will have state of art technology, traveling comfort and on board services. The Rail ministry said presently, technology for such trains is not available with Indian Railways. Detailed requirement of technology will be assessed during the course of pre-feasibility study.

Till now, global tenders for engaging a consultant for Delhi– Chandigarh – Amritsar and Pune–Ahmedabad have been invited by Ministry of Railways.

Minister of State for Railways Dr. R. Velu informed in a written reply in Lok Sabha .

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VEER ZARA -Real life Indo -Pak Wedding SAGA first time in AMRITSAR




FIRST HINDU INDIAN BOY OF AMRITSAR MARRIES PAKISTANI HINDU GIRL OF PESHAWAR

A BIT OF PAKISTAN’S PESHAWAR BROUGHT TO AMRITSAR ESP FOR THE WEDDING THROUGH SOUND RECORDING OF TEMPLE BELL CHIMES OF ANCIENT MANDIR

BY RASHMI TALWAR

/Amritsar

October 13, 2008 —-

A 20-year old Pakistani bride, Anita Kumari in her bridal finery felt lucky and glowed under the shade of the “shaguni ” red duppata bespeckled with stars as she approached the wedding ‘mandap’, shyly stealing a glance at her groom Pawan Kumar (23), amidst sounds of “temple bell chimes” of her ‘maika’ in Peshawar. Complete with Hindu traditions of ghori , jai mala , saat pherey et al the wedding between a “Hindu Pakistani” girl Anita from North Western Frontier province’s capital city Peshawar and Pawan Kumar a Indian Hindu boy from Amritsar was solemnized with much fan fare in the city on Monday.

For the holy city this was a first wedding solemnized between a Indian Hindu boy and Pakistani Hindu girl.
The family of Pawan had migrated to India after Indo_Pak partition but kept alive their relations with relatives in their ancestral town of Peshawar Pakistan . The wedding was an arranged marriage and the bride’s s family had come with 13 relatives to the holy city for the wedding .

At the wedding ceremony Anita’s family had brought a bit of the bride’s ‘maika ‘( Peshawar ) in the form of sound recording of “temple bell chimes” from Peshawar Pir Rattan Nath Mandir – an ancient temple in Peshawar, played during the traditional “jai Mala” (exchanging garlands) ceremony of the couple .

The 400-year old temple in Peshawar is considered holiest among Hindus there with ancient idols of Lord Shiva , Shivling , Krishan –Radha , Ram –Sita –laxman and Hanuman besides Bahiron Nath and Mata where under security by Pakistan government, festivals of Dussehra , Diwali , Navratras and Shiv ratris are celebrated, says the temple in-charge Balwant Ram of Peshawar who had brokered the matrimonial match between the two families .

Anita wearing a heavy mauve and gold lehenga made in Amritsar complete with wedding “chora” while talking to The Pioneer said “my friends and cousins in Pakistan were envious of the fact that I was marrying an Indian. For Pakistani Hindu girls the fascination for India extends even to getting Indian grooms.” she laughed and “Yes I feel lucky” she added .

On a solemn note, having seen the hassles that her family went through, Anita said, visas should be eased for weddings between the families of both countries and also for relatives residing on both sides of the Indo Pak border. The bride’s family including the bride herself has got the visa only for 45 days, in India .

Anita and her family including her aunts and their children are Hindus but have for the first time witnessed the grandeur of the “big fat” Hindu wedding for real in India.

” We have seen grand Indian weddings only in Indian movies . Islamic Weddings in theocratic Pakistan are mostly low key affairs with limited dishes and ostentation reduced to a minimum, so minorities communities there too have followed the majority communities diktats and adhered to simplicity even in various traditions , financial status also being a major factor”, says Anita’s father Inder Prakash who is a general merchant in Peshawar.

The bride’s mother Giani devi could not make it for the wedding due to ill health but her aunts Jasodha and Kamla besides their other relatives made up the guests from Pakistan from the bride’s side .

The groom’s father Dhian Chand a kiryana merchant in Amritsar said nearly 1000 Hindu and Sikh families reside in Sind Pakistan . “While many Peshawaris came with us to India in 1956 after Indo –Pak Partition . They kept on percolating in year 1970, then after the Indo Pak war of 1971, again the migration of Peshawaris started to India in 1980 before militancy took roots in Punjab and stricter conditions followed . Even today the mindset among Peshawari Hindus is to migrate to India . Comparing themselves with their counterparts in India they too want to settle here . “When asked if this was another way to migrate the family said “we have only strengthened bonds between our families with a “sacred marital thread” which is pious to both our families . We as families have exchanged visits over the years and now felt we could conjoin our children in holy matrimony”.

Two years back Pawan, his father and his mother Indu Prakash had gone to Peshawar where the bride side had liked the boy and had said yes to the wedding between their children although the girl is a plus-2 and the boy is a matriculate .

DUSSEHRA EFFIGY MAKER



DUSSEHRA SPECIAL

For 46-years he has smiled when his creations goes up in flames

Father a master craftsman in Lahore used to be fondly referred as ‘Lahori’ Ram

Rashmi Talwar/Amritsar

October 4, 2008———
On Thursday, the 9th of October, Harbans Lal (62) would see his month long hard work go up in flames ,he would smile and also ‘rejoice’ along with thousands of onlookers that the evil creation has been destroyed in full public view.
Harbans, has been a master craftsman for over 46 years in making of effigies of Ravan, Meghnath and Kumkaran—symbolic of the evil brothers who are set aflame on every Dussehra festival as a symbol of destruction of evil and the dominance of good, as enshrined in Epic Ramayana and celebrated for eons .
Talking here to The Pioneer Harbans says although he earns a measly sum of Rs 150 of labor daily, for the month that takes to form the three big effigies, he not only enjoys his work but is never disheartened as he holds religious sentiments for this work along with familial ties with the creations. His three sons also help him.

Harbans says his father ‘Lahori “Ram” too was a master effigy maker before partition and had created effigies over the years in Lahore, Pakistan during un-partitioned India when Dussehra was celebrated with much gusto in the open parks of Lahore, that had a sizeable Hindu population, He was fondly referred to as ‘Lahori “Ram” –(the Ram of Lahore who killed Ravan –the evil), Harbans explains affectionately
While the effigy of Ravan would zoom upto 90 feet, the other two would remain as at 70 feet each.
The three effigies cost a total of about 4.5 lakhs contributed by people. As much as 350 metres of cloth, quintals of paper including colored paper , 10 quintals of bamboo, 30 kilos of seba (jute) and 7000 patakas in each, make up the effigies that takes only a maximum of 5 minutes to be reduced to dust, at the crack of dusk on Dussehra Day.

Last year was the first for him when one of his effigies lost balance but was handled deftly with cranes , says Harbans .
At other times of the year Harbans along with his sons Naresh , Ashwani and Deepak make different sizes and shapes of kites including patangs, pari’s, paddar , gudda and others . In the lean period they sell ‘amm pappar’ (mango preparation ) and others eatables he adds.

“But making Butts (effigies) remains my first love since I was 17 years old and helped my father make them” says he .

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