23 Sep 2013

Land Of Martyrs : Ferozepur, Punjab

Land Of Martyrs : Ferozepur, Punjab

Popularly known as “Shaheedon ki Dharti”, ferozpur is a district of Punjab located at a distance of 119 kms (almost an hour) from Amritsar. Founded by muslim ruler sultan firoz Shah Tughlaq and named after a Rajput of bhatti clan, feroze khan in 16th century, it serves a great platter to the patriotic people of our country. Popular for many of its ‘independence’ stories, people are attracted to visit ferozepur to witness the memorials of legendary bhagat singh, rajguru, sukhdev , the famous jain temple and on the top of all Hussainiwala border (Indo-pak).

The exploration of ferozepur for a tourist begins from the Indo-Pak border, known as Hussainiwala border, where Indian jawans can be seen on one side and Pakistani on the other. A diagonal line (most of the borders are) which revives the past, the time of partition, the time when this line was tried to be made in the hearts of folk. Its more of sight seeing destination these days with parade show every evening of approximately 40 minutes followed by the flag lowering ceremony. With patriotic songs in the air and people enjoying the old culture, nothing beats the scene.

Just a kilometer away from the border stands the National Martyrs memorial of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The legends’ memorials are built as an honor for their undying efforts for the independence of India.

The second most famous destination of ferozepur is the Jain Mandir. Located in zira in ferozepur district, the temple has statues that are believed to be around 1200 years old. It was renovated in 2006 and was reopened on the occasion of Saint Shri Nityanand Surishwarji Maharaj’s anniversary.

Besides this, worth a visit destination is Anglo Sikh War Memorial .It was built by the Punjab Government to honour the soldiers who died while fighting against the British army at Mudki Ferozeshah Sabhraon and Chellianwala.

It is a three storeyed building designed where tourists can see quotes carved on bronze, relating to the wars of Shah Mohammad and the Cunningham’s history of Sikhs. The Anglo Sikh War weapons from the Museum of Patiala are also displayed there. The Memorial Hall also has paintings by the famous artist, Kirpal, portraying the wars of Ferozeshah Sabhraon, Chellianwala and Mudki. People with affinity towards rich culture can satisfy their vanity there.

Yet another worth destination for the people with a religious bent is Pothimala building. Built under the supervision of Guru Jiwan Mal in 1745, it is situated in the Guruharsahai Village. The building has beautiful wood carvings on the walls as well as on the ceilings. This site is very famous for the Annual Mela, when worshippers can see Guru Nanak’s padam, topi, pothi and mala.

Well apart from national martyrs memorial, ferozepur also offers Saragarhi memorial Gurudwara and barki memorial which are built in the honor of the soldiers (former one being for the sikh soldiers) who sacrificed themselves.

The Barki memorial is a part of the Saragarhi Complex and has a pillar in the middle, a water fountain in the north, a Barki milestone and a Patten tank in the south. The pillar is made of gneiss and white and red sandstone and has a height of 27 ft. The mouldings and relief carvings exhibit a classical Indian architectural style.

Not only does it offers religious and patriotic tourist spots but it has something in store for the adventurous wildlife lovers as well. Yes, the harike wildlife sanctuary and the Chakk sarkar forest belt.

The Harike Wildlife Sanctuary , also known as the 'Hari-ke-Pattan', is located at the confluence of River Sutlej and River Beas, along the Ferozepur-Amritsar border. This sanctuary is home to many birds, including migratory birds from various regions like the Arctic region and Siberia.. During the migratory season, travellers can spot around 45,000 ducks, in addition to shoveller, common teal, pintail, brahminy duck and wigeon. Other animals like the jungle cat, Indian wild boar, common mongoose, smooth Indian otter and jackal can also be spotted here. Its noted that tourists can see 27 different species of fish and 7 breeds of turtles in this sanctuary.

Well now the foodies time. Ferozepur is a very traditional place in itself. With a tinch of old culture and the village kind of food style, people there are still fond of sweets (typical mithai) and hence you can see a lot of sweets shops on the way to border, (probably because at the time of melas people from near places celebrate the traditional way only). The lifestyle of people there is now showing a shift though.

 

So people visiting Amritsar for Wagah cannot escape the essence of what ferozepur offers at just an hour’s drive. Well the best months to visit is October to march i.e. the winter season (as summers are very hot there). The hospitality of the people there and the ethnics is second to none. Much of an affordable journey for the family, Ferozepur, the land of martyrs calls you this season. Visit the memorials, pay your homage and feel the essence of soil and be a pure Punjabi.

                                                                                                                            -Himani Puri

 


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