My Journey to Canada: Part 9..........by Balwant Sanghera
March 14, 2021: A visitor can spend months visiting some of the most wonderful and historical places all over India. One never gets tired of looking at both the ancient and modern tourist attractions. I always find it fascinating to visit some of these tourist sites again and again.
During the last few visits to India in addition to visiting the beautiful places like the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Red Fort, Jaipur, Char Minar (Hyderabad), Patna, Nalanda, Bodh Gaya, Hazoor Sahib(Nanded), Ponta Sahib, Ajmer Sharif, Pushkar, and Shimla, etc. it has been a pleasure to visit some of the modern wonders like the Lotus (New Delhi), Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Memorial, Virasat-e-Khalsa (Anandpur Sahib) and Jang-e-Azadi Memorial (Kartarpur). The message and architecture of these marvels are just amazing. Take for example the Jang-e-Azadi Memorial at Kartarpur, near Jalandhar.
Recently completed Jang-e-Azadi Memorial is a memorial and museum in Kartarpur (near Jalandhar), was built by the Punjab government in memory of the contribution and sacrifices made by Punjabis in India’s independence movement. This spacious memorial spread over 25 acres costs around 200 crore rupees. It consists of an auditorium, movie hall, theatre, amphitheater, library, and a lot more. Research and seminar halls are an integral part of the memorial galleries.
The 1.5-hour long movie is an excellent illustration of the struggle of the freedom fighters. It is a very moving experience to watch this historical account of the Punjabi community’s struggle and fight for independence. The movie describes in detail an account of the Sikhs in particular from 1849 to 1947. This theme is depicted by another historical monument –Virasat-e-Khalsa- Museum of Sikhism- located in the holy city of Anandpur Sahib.
Inaugurated in November 2011, Virasat-e-Khalsa is a masterpiece of rich Sikh culture and religious history... It showcases the history and culture of Punjab. The heritage complex has been built to emphasize the eternal message of the ten Sikh Gurus. Virasat-e-Khalsa is the most visited museum on a single day in India. Nearly 5 to 6, 000 people visit this complex on any given day. It has been reported that it has set a record of 20,569 visitors in one day. So far more than ten million people have visited this museum. Not very far from here is a monument commemorating the sacrifices and accomplishments of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at Chappar Chiri in Mohali (Punjab) near Chandigarh. It is a fitting tribute to this brave soldier, fighter, and reformer.
Sikh warriors fought and won under Banda Singh Bahadur’s command the Battle of Chappar Chiri in May 1710. It was a fierce battle between the Sikhs and the Mughal Empire led by Wazir Khan. The memorial is located on a lush green lawn of 20 acres. The Fateh Burhj (Victory Tower) stands at 328 feet. It is the tallest victory tower in India. Completed in 2011 the Fateh Burj Memorial glorifies the valor and the victory of the great general. Like other memorials, this one too has become a very attractive tourist site and a reminder of the contribution of Banda Singh Bahadur. In addition to these very special memorials and museums in Punjab, many other places are also home to some of the wonderful historical and religious landmarks. The Lotus in New Delhi is one such attraction.
The Lotus, in New Delhi, is a Baha’i House of worship that was dedicated in 1986. It is notable for its flower-like shape. The lotus has become a prominent tourist attraction in the capital city of India. This vast place of worship is spread out over 26 lush acres of greenery.
It has nine sides and 27 free-standing marble-clad petals arranged in groups of threes. The beautifully landscaped grounds around the Lotus have some ponds and gardens. Solar power keeps it going. The Lotus gets more than 10,000 visitors daily and more than 4 million during the year. On my last visit to India, it was a pleasure for me to visit the Lotus. Sitting inside was so calm, peaceful, and relaxing. There is so much to see and do when one visits India.
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