Jalandhar – the City of Sports

India being one the diverse countries of the world with a lot of different cultures all mixed up living as one. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, and the second-most populous country with over 1.

2 billion people, and also the most populous democracy in the world. As of 2011, with an estimated population of 1. 21 billion, India is the world’s second most populated country after China.The Indian history goes way back to the time when the Englishmen’s ruled over India and once called it “The Golden Sparrow” and that saying has emerged to be true as India, now as we see it, has become a developed nation from a developing nation.

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With a total of 28 states and 7 union territories, India has changed a lot cultural-wise as well as architectural-wise. All these states played their own crucial role in building up India’s reputation to this high level. A lot of changes could be seen in India which were not to be seen as of 20 years from now.Out of all these states, I believe that Punjab has played, if not more but equally, important role in the development.

Since Punjab is a big state so specifically talking I would say Jalandhar city, after Chandigarh, has been one of the main cities to put an impact on the Indian development. As of 2011 census, Punjab has a total population of 27,704,236 Jalandhar, also known as a City of Sports, is a city in Jalandhar District in the state of Punjab, India. It was called “Prasthala” at the time of Mahabharata and “Jullundur” in British times. It is also said that the city is named after a demon king, Jaldhar, from the Puranas andMahabharata times.

According to another source, Jalandhar was the capital of the kingdom of Raja Lav, son of Lord Rama. According to yet another source, Jalandhar is said to have derived its name from the vernacular term ‘Jalandhar’, meaning ‘area inside the water’, i. e. the space lying between the two rivers Sutlej and Beas.

Jalandhar, besides Multan, is one of the oldest surviving cities of the Punjab region. Jalandhar was captured by the Faizullahpuria confederacy in 1766. Ranjit Singh annexed it in 1811, and in 1846, it became the headquarters of the territory acquired by the British after the first Sikh War.During British rule, Jalandhar city became the headquarters of the Division and District of the same name.

It was also the capital of Punjab from India’s independence (1947) until Chandigarh was built in 1953 which became the new capital of Punjab. Today, Jalandhar is one of the important tourist destinations and one of the fast growing industrialized sectors of Punjab. The first language spoken by majority of the people in the city is Punjabi. Jalandhar also being my hometown and after nurturing 16 years of my life, I have experienced a lot of changes being made, cultural-wise and also architectural-wise, myself.

Now talking about some of the ancient structures which could be still found in some part of Jalandhar. Like the first one being is the Tomb of Mohammed Momin which is located in Nakodar, a municipal council in Jalandhar district of Punjab. The Tomb of Mohammed Momin was built over the mortal remains of Ustad Muhammed Momin , a tambura player in the service of Khan-I-Khanan. Standing on an octagonal platform and approached by a flight of steps on two sides, it is square from inside and octagonal on outside.

Surmounted by a pinnacle, the hemispherical dome sits over a low cylindrical drum and is relieved by four cupolas.Each of the longer face is pierced by deep recesses while the shorter by half octagonal recesses placed one over the other, all covered by pointed arches. The entrances are on the northern and southern recesses while the other recesses are blocked with pierced tracery screens. The middle portions of the panels on the exterior and the arch spandrels are decorated with geometric design in glazed tile work.

The upper and lower panels are framed in lines of red plastered bricks, containing painted designs showing guldastas, a bouque. Originally within the burial chamber re two elegant sarcophagi of sienna colored marble inlaid with white marble inscription, which are now lost. This whole description is enough to show that the structure is pretty old and built in a old traditional way. Also, another tomb being is the Tomb of Haji Jamal.

This tomb was raised over the mortal remains of Haji Jamal, a pupil of Ustad Muhammed Momin, the tambura player mentioned above. The tomb stands in the middle of the square platform, paneled on all sides with deep recesses concealing two flight of steps on each side.Each of the four faces has octagonal recesses covered by pointed arches. The southern one gives access to the burial chamber while the remaining ones are closed with pierced tracery screens.

Its inner chamber is octagonal where as the outer plan is square having octagonal turrets surmounted with domed cupolas added to the corners. A bulbous dome crowned with pinnacle sits over a high drum and is balanced by the four cupolas crowning the turrets at the corner. The facade is divided into red stucco covered brick framed panels and painted with white lines.The larger panels are filled with flower pots and the smaller with geometrical designs.

The broad belts between the panels are ornamented with diper designs in tiles of different colors. The octagonal towers and the battlements as well as the pinnacles of the domes are ornamented with glazed tiles. A lot of similarities could be seen in these two respective tombs with style used to build the tombs and also the interior too. From here itself we could see how the old architecture looked like with traditional style and not modernized at all.

The small town Nurmahal, situated near Jalandhar, is famous for Serai Nurmahal, which was constructed for the travelers visiting the town and is yet another famous ancient structure. It is a historical inn, built by Nurjahan as an oriental example of oriental architecture. Nurjahan, the wife of Mughal Emperor Jehangir, built it with the help of Nawab Zakariya Khan, Governor of the Doab, between 1619 and 1621 A. D.

The whole structure of the Serai Nurmahal is in the form of quadrangle, consisting of 140 cells, spread over the four sides of the structure.Serai Nurmahal has two-storied towers, which are octagonal in shape, with three cells on the basement. Between the two gateways, the eastern one is simple, while the western gateway is beautifully embellished. The entrance is arched and its spandrels are beautified with lotus medallions.

On either side of the spandrels are projecting domed balconies, supported on four pillars topped with carved brackets. The space in between the pillars is closed with low stone railings, showing fine pierced tracery work. To the corner of the gates are added guldastas, which rise above the battlements of the terrace.There is also a well and a mosque in its quadrangle.

The decoration of tiles in beautiful patterns is another main attraction of the Serai Nurmahal. Now talking about some of the holy places, let’s start with the extremely famous Devi Talab Mandir. Situated in the heart of Jalandhar city, it is believed to be more than 200 years old. The temple is surrounding by waterfalls.

The old Devi Talab has been renovated and, now in the centre, new temple has been built along with a model of Amarnath Yatra also been built in the premises.An old temple of goddess Kali also stands by the side of the Devi Talab. The respective temples in the Devi Talab mandir are built in the old traditional way with triangular-shaped exterior and spiritually-filled interior depicting the presence of goddess in there. Another holy place being is the Gurdwara Chhevin Padshahi which is located in the Basti Shaikh part of Jalandhar city.

It is said that the Gurudwara is built on the spot where Guru Hargobind Ji granted interview to a Muslim holy saint popularly known as Shaikh Darvesh.The Gurudwara is shaped like a traditional temple of Sikh culture with a dome-shaped structure preserving the Sikh heritage. St. Mary’s Cathedral Church is yet another holy place which is a must-seen tourist place and also proving Jalandhar’s diverse culture.

The Church was constructed by John Macodnnel in 1947, in the memory of St. Patrick. In 1955, the Catholic Mission of the Indian Punjab was raised to the status of Apostolic Prefecture, with its headquarter at Jalandhar. The church in the city subsequently became the Cathedral or the Mother Church of Punjab.

The demolition of the Old Church began on 15th February, 1987. In 1987, the foundation for the New Church was laid. St. Mary’s Cathedral Church has been designed in a way to highlight the secular character of our motherland.

Special importance was given to the architecture of the church, so that it reflected the secular character of the country. Now for the Muslim culture, Jalandhar has Imam Nasir Masjid and the Jamma Masjid which is situated in the center of the city. This dual structure is an architectural marvel of the by gone golden days.Both the huge structures reveal the high artistic caliber and engineering skills of the people of the ancient times.

The lavish buildings wear a colorful look on the days of Muslim festivals. The gardens of the huge structures are decorated with colorful lights that impart a heavenly look to the place. The devotees derive immense satisfaction by praying in the Jamma Masjid. One of the most exquisite piece of architecture of the olden days, the dual structures of the “Immam Nasir Masjid and Jamma Masjid” of the Jalandhar city is a sight of delight for almost all the visitors.

All the above mentioned holy places of their respective religion show the diversity in Jalandhar city. All men and women of any religion are highly invited to visit any of the above holy places despite of whatever religion they belong too. There are no cultural boundaries placed on people to worship any religion. That being said, now comes the modernized side of Jalandhar.

Pushpa Gujral Science City is one of the best examples to start with. Covering about 72 acres of land on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala Road, this Science City is the biggest project of its kind in the whole Northern India.The city was built with the aim of educating the masses about the wonders of science in the most pleasant and entertaining manner. It helps in shaping the inquisitive mind of the youth in particular, by presenting the marvels of science and technology for public appreciation and understanding.

Almost every branch of science is exhibited in the Pushpa Gujral Science City, right from physical, applied, natural and social sciences to engineering, technology, agriculture, health sciences, energy industries, human evolution, ecosystem, Jurassic parks, nuclear science, information technology and biotechnology.Let’s go over some of the main attractions in bit detail. Firstly, is the Dome theatre which has a large format films projecting on a 23 meter-titled dome. The system uses 15 perforations and 70 mm film to shoot and project images with incredible sharpness.

Semi-circular giant dome screens produce huge images that soar and swoop above, beside and behind you, to give you a spectacular, immersible experience. Next one on list is the Simulator, which is a 30-seater Flight Simulator providing visitors a sense of adventure, through virtual expeditions to unknown places.It is a theatre-style ride simulator, where you can sit in the capsule and watch the computer generated film on the screen. The film appears so real that you begin to feel like being in the other world.

Another one is the Laser theatre, which consists of a presentation of laser shows, which demonstrate the use of lasers in the field of scientific entertainment. It is very exciting, owing to the rarity of the actual usage of lasers in the country. These shows can take the visitors to the wonderland, where they will be able to experience the sudden shots of fog, with mind-boggling mix of sound and laser beams.Last but not the least is the dinosaur park which covers 2.

63 hectares of the land of the Science City. This park brings out the evolution of dinosaurs and the probable reasons for their extinction. The park is divided into three periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. All the varieties of dinosaurs are exhibited here, starting from the smallest known dinosaur “Compsognathus” to the giant dinosaurs like “Seismosaurus”.

Besides the above-mentioned attractions, there is also a kid’s park, which contains swings, rides, bouncers etc. There is also an artificial lake that allows the visitors to indulge in boating.With all the above-listed attractions and many more, the Pushpa Gujral Science City is a must visit tourist spot in Jalandhar. Now comes, what I think, the most amazing characteristics of Jalandhar city which is the entertainment.

With a bunch of theaters and other hang-out places, I don’t think it would be hard for anyone not to stay in Jalandhar city. Cinemas like Sutlej Cinema, Pritam, Cine Payal, Lal Rattan and Mini Lal Rattan, Jyoti, Sant Cinema, Naaz Cinema have contributed already in entertaining the public of Jalandhar and are now closed.Replacing their places are new modernized cinemas with built-in mall. These include the Centrum Jyoti Mall, the Sarb Multiplex, Viva Collage Mall, Ansals Plaza and lastly is the Mall of Jalandhar and soon to join the race is the Galleria which is still under construction.

The Centrum Jyoti Mall has a dazzling wedding floor, exclusive Jewellery outlets, vivid hi-fashion and lifestyle stores, and trendy Boutiques of world’s leading brands all in one to make Centrum a complete shopping destination. The pub and the dance floor add even more brightness to it and the dedicated kids play zone makes he young ones scream with joy.To top it all, there’s a roof-top Food Court offering mouth-watering delicacies in pleasant open-air environment. The Sarb Multiplex in itself is a mesmerizing place with a theatre inside adjoining with a food court, a lounge and a beautiful garden with different seasonal flowers.

Next one is the Viva Collage which is an all-under-one-roof retail destination – an integrated shopping, entertainment and leisure complex with a multiplex at Jalandhar, spread across 6,50,000 sq. t.. With a best location, only 7 kms from Jalandhar City Centre on the 100 ft wide national express highway NH-1 / GT Road, Viva Collage Mall has become the main crowd gathering place.

Ansals Plaza is also an incredible example of the great architect of Jalandhar as this plaza/mall includes a huge range of branded clothing stores, foot wear, and an amazing food place. On top of that, it is located right opposite of Haveli, a famous Dhaba (restaurant) and the Lucky Dhaba, equally famous as the Haveli.Haveli dhaba itself has an outstanding architected structure, keeping it like the old traditional way but depicted in a modernized way. Now talking about one of the most modernized mall in Jalandhar is the Mall of Jalandhar where opportunity takes a world class form and entertainment takes a whole new meaning.

Strategically located on Nakodar Road, near the famous Guru Ravidas Chowk and with close proximity to the catchment area of Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar and Model Town, The Mall of Jalandhar promises to be an excited retail destination. For the woman of the house, there is a hypermarket.For the brand conscious, there are big names from India and abroad. For the movie buff, there is the international style multiplex.

For the shopaholic, there’s the best of brands. The mall also includes 3 anchor stores, 4 multiplex, food court, kids’ zone, specialty restaurants and parking lot for over 900 cars. This mall represents a huge change in the Jalandhar’s entertainment category. This mall is definitely one not be missed.

Nowadays it seems to be like a fashion of having a mall with built-in cinema including food court and other commodities.The life of common people had been mad much easier as everything is provided in one shelter. Not just the entertainment buildings are modernized but even the educational and also the hotels are high-leveled enough to match the outside world standards. As in education wise, Jalandhar city has a number of highly-efficient schools to educate the children’s for the better future.

Some of the schools/colleges are MGN public school, Guru Amar Dass public school, APJ public school, Layallpur Khalsa college for men and separate for women, HMV college, DAV public school and college, Doaba college, and KMV college.The structures of these building are one of each kind as it makes the educational view of the students more eased out. Also, the newly constructed Medical College names PIMS, which is like within 2 miles of radius from my house in Jalandhar, has a unique architect. Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) was envisaged by the Govt.

of Punjab in 1999 with a view to establish a Medical College-cum-Teaching Hospital equivalent to the standards of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in terms of clinical expertise and top-of-the-line tertiary care.Spread over a vast campus of more than 55 acre of Jalandhar’s surface. PIMS aims to be one of the leading healthcare and education institutions in the country and provide niche facilities for various departments. Vision to serve one and all along with reaching out to the masses, especially in Punjab remains one of the founding principles of this institute.

It is only by providing accessible and affordable healthcare can the stigmatized approach towards model institutes can be changed and PIMS envisions itself taking a lead in it.Jalandhar city also has a big book market where a variety of books can be bought or sold. This market area is known as Main Hira Gate or Adda Tanda Road. Modern Book Depot, Subhash Book Depot and Gupta Book Depot are some of the oldest bookshops.

These are pretty crowded places found in Jalandhar city and yet a lot business is done from this place. Jalandhar also have a number of hotels for visitors to stay in and mostly all these hotels are well structured.Like the Radisson hotel is one of them which is situated in the heart of one of India’s foremost industrial cities, making it the only international five-star hotel in Jalandhar. Located near many exciting attractions and only three kilometers from the Jalandhar railway station, the Radisson is ideal for business and leisure travelers.

Enjoy our five-star amenities, including wireless Internet, Business Centre, Wellness Centre, outdoor pool and a level of personalized service. Another one is the Hotel Maharaja Residency which is a three star rated hotel in Jalandhar.It has a Walking distance from Jalandhar Railway Station and accommodates you proximately to all government offices, International sports market, cultural centers, commercial and business units, Blending contemporary design with traditional Punjabi elegance. Besides these hotels another hotel named Maharaja Residency is highly popular which focuses on delivering the best value, quality and superior customer services.

Maharaja Residency hotel’s spacious guest rooms and suites are equipped with expected deluxe amenities. Guests can choose from a variety of rooms and suites, some offering panoramic city views.The lavishing hotel rooms will certainly win your heart. No matter if you are on business trip or simply driven by the desire to discover India.

Come and experience the array of authentic restaurants and bar offering both Indian and international cuisine in a unique resort atmosphere that promises peace and tranquility. Taj food court is a highly popular restaurant with all the different varieties of food. It doesn’t matter if you want to just snack on some light food or munch on some heavy stomach filling food, Taj got it.Being few minutes away from my house, this was one of my favorite spots to go with my friends all the time.

Taj restaurant is also right next to the PIMS medical institute. Besides Indian restaurants, Jalandhar have successfully accomplished the opening of a big number of foreign restaurants. These restaurants include the world-wide famous McDonalds, KFC, Subways, etc. Exactly the same kind of food can be found on these restaurants as if you were in a foreign country.

Talking about the residential view of Jalandhar would definitely be interesting.Some of the colonies found in Jalandhar are Urban Estate Ph-1, Urban Estate Ph-2, Model Town, Jawarhal Nagar, Basati Sheikh, Choti Baradari, Vadi Baradari, Defense Colony, Cantonium, Kaniyavali and a lot more. Some of these were recently (tracking back 5-6 years) built like the choti and vadi baradari. In these two respective colonies the architecture of the house is a lot more modernized than the other colonies and the reason behind this could be the inspiration from the outside world.

Houses in these colonies are much expensive and harder to get.Out of all these Model Town is one of the most expensive one would be Model Town since a number of branded stores can be found there, for example Puma, Levis, Calvin Klein, Blackberry, Reebok, Nike etc. Model Town is another interesting spot to spend some time. Besides clothing store, Model Town has a variety of food too which includes KFC and Subways too.

For music lover there is also a place called Planet M found in Model Town. The Jalandhar District consist of 5 tehsils/subdivisions viz. Jalandhar-I, Jalandhar II, Nakodar, Phillaur and Shahkot. Besides, there are 5 sub-tehsils, viz.

Adampur, Bhogpur, Kartarpur, Goryan and Nurmahal. The district is divided into 10 development blocks, viz, Jalandhar East, Jalandhar West, Bhogpur, Adampur, Nakodar, Shahkot, Phillaur, Nurmahal, Lohian and Rurka Kalan. Jalandhar has numerous hospitals, including Mahajan Eye Hospital, Thind Eye Hospital, Patel Hospital, Tagore Hospital, Oxford Hospital, Pruthi Hospital, Guru Nanak Mission Hospital, Ruby Hospital, and Ghai Hospital. Although each hospital has its own identity, Mahajan Eye Hospital and Thind Eye Hospital are on the world map for their Lasik treatments.

Dr. Dilbag Singh Athwal, a renowned scientist in plant breeding, developed India’s first high-yield wheat, Kalyan. The wheat he named after his native village Kalyanpur, 6 miles (9. 7 km) southwest of Jalandhar.

Later, Dr. Athwal headed the International Rice Research Institute and the International Agricultural Development Service. Dr. Athwal took early retirement from his position as senior vice president Rockefeller Institute.

The village Kalyanpur (now part of Jalandhar) has produced prominent scientists including Dr. Raghbir Singh, Dr.Rajbir Kaur, and Dr. Iqbal Singh Athwal.

Jalandhar is also the world’s biggest manufacturer of leather tool pouches and aprons; major American and European customers buy from factories in Jalandhar. It is the biggest supplier of sports material in the country. An international sports market is situated in Jalandhar. Major sports brands such as BAS Vampire, Bhaseen’s Baspo, JJ Jonex, and Syndicate Sports come from this part of the world.

Jalandhar is also known for thrust bearings and ball bearings; brands such as BKE, IBI and KKK belong to the city.Jalandhar also has an electrical goods industry. Manufacturers like Hazel India, Standard Switchgears and Apex Electricals are located in Jalandhar. From all the above information, we could see how Jalandhar has changed drastically with a lot of new inventions made and also the introduction of a whole new era of architecture.

From old ancient tombs to all new mall/plaza, from old temples to new colonies and a lot more. One cannot be proved wrong if we say that Jalandhar has a big hand behind the modern India.

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