With the thoughts of serenity and the divinity of Golden Temple I headed towards the Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar. The park is very close to the temple and I walked through a narrow lane which leads to the park. I felt gloomy with its appearance itself and there was a complete silence of a graveyard in the park. My thoughts went back to 1919 when thousands of innocent people were shot dead.
The thought of the horrified incident made me very unhappy for a minute and my heart immersed in melancholy for a moment. The history explains the incident, on 13th April 1919 more than 20000 people gathered in the park in protest against British for the arrest of freedom fighters and freedom fight leaders. The park has only one entrance and innumerable numbers of women and children were gathered in the park.
The British General Reginald Dyer closed the entrance of the park and attacked the crowd with Gurkha riflemen for 10 minutes. Around 1650 rounds were fired which killed several innocent people and many were left injured badly. This massacre was an unforgettable event in the history of India.
Jallianwala Bagh was built in 1951 to pay homage to the death of innocent people by British which remains as a dark event in the history. We entered into the park where the horrified incident occurred and a memorial was built for the remembrance of thousands of these innocent people. The park is open from 6 am to 9 pm to the public all days. I paid my homage for a while for the souls who died in the park. The walls of the park still speak the story of Jallianwala Bagh massacre and it reveals this blood stained history with its bullets marks on it.
Then I walked to the martyr’s well where several people jumped into the well to escape from bullet. Though the well was closed it remains as a witness for this cold blooded incident.
I was bit tired of walking for a long time and refreshed myself by having Lassi and satpura from the street. The street food was very tasty and I visited Akal Takht and retired to my room indulging in the thoughts of Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh massacre.
By then, we were quite tired and wanted to refresh and walked out to the number of eateries available on the street. I wanted to have lassi, a special drink of yogurt and sugar, topped with cream (malai) and saffron. My friends had satpura, a type of biscuit served with chutney.
After that, we headed to our next sightseeing place, Akal Takht Amritsar.
A trust was founded in 1920 to build a memorial at the site after a resolution was passed by the Indian National Congress. In 1923, the trust purchased land for the project. A memorial, designed by American architect Benjamin Polk, was built on the site and inaugurated by President of India Rajendra Prasad on 13 April 1961, in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders. A flame was later added to the site.
The bullet marks remain on the walls and adjoining buildings to this day. The well into which many people jumped and drowned attempting to save themselves from the bullets is also a protected monument inside the park
"The incident in Jallian Wala Bagh was 'an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation"...Winston Churchill
It started a few months after the end of the first world war when an Englishwoman, a missionary, reported that she had been molested on a street in the Punjab city of Amritsar. The Raj's local commander, Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, issued an order requiring all Indians using that street to crawl its length on their hands and knees. He also authorized the indiscriminate, public whipping of natives who came within lathi length of British policemen.
On April 13, 1919, a multitude of Punjabis gathered in Amritsar's Jallian wala Bagh as part of the Sikh Festival "Baisakhi fair" and to protest at these extraordinary measures. The throng, penned in a narrow space smaller than Trafalgar Square, had been peacefully listening to the testimony of victims when Dyer appeared at the head of a contingent of British troops. Giving no word of warning, he ordered 50 soldiers to fire into the gathering, and for 10 to 15 minutes 1,650 rounds of ammunition were unloaded into the screaming, terrified crowd, some of whom were trampled by those desperately trying to escape.
"The Indians were 'packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies'; the people 'ran madly this way and the other. When fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for eight or ten minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion".....Winston Churchill
Dyer then marched away, leaving 379 dead and over 1,500 wounded.