PUNJAB HIGHLIGHTS

AMRITSAR

The Golden Temple at Amritsar is the spiritual centre for the Sikh faith, and the temple is often described as the most intensely religious place in India. The temple complex surrounds the lake, and at its centre the Harminder Sahib - the gold covered building from where the temple gets its name. 

But as well as the building, there is also the Langar Hall serving 50,000 people a day with free food as a symbol of equality practised by Sikhs. 

Study themes: Sikh religion and philosophy

 

AMRITSAR CITY

Amritsar City also offers the opportunity to explore the history of the region. Nowhere more so than the new Partition Museum. As well as a range of artifacts,  the real importance of the museum comes from its store of oral histories. These were recorded for posterity before many of the survivors of Partition would pass away. The stories recount the experience of being part of the largest mass migration in human history as India was partitioned and the state of the Punjab was divided in two. 

A walking tour of the city also lets you explore the historical buildings in the area, including Jalwania Bagh, the site of the Amritsar Massacre.

Study themes: Indian history, Partition of India, British Raj in India

CHANDIGARH

Chandigarh became the state capital after the previous capital city was lost during Partition. 

The city is India's first ever planned city and as such it has a very different structure and feel to any other city in India. Much more modern, less chaotic, greener and much cleaner, very much in the style of a Western New Town.

Prime Minister Nehru grasped the chance to create something startlingly radical. “Let this be a new town symbolic of the freedom of India,Unfettered by the traditions of the past". 

Chandigarh, all order, reason, and planning - it is an experimental Western city in an Eastern setting.

Study themes: New town development, Partition of India, Indian architecture

THE ROCK GARDEN

The Rock Garden is an awe inspiring and unique site of outdoor art. Created by Nek Chand, the site is over 3 acres and inhabited by all manner of sculptures created from rocks from the nearby Himalayan streams.

The theme for the site is one of reincarnation - Nek Chand decided to create a space where as the souls left the bodies of people recently passed, the souls could have a place in which to rest before they recommenced their journey ... and so the Rock Garden was born.  Within the garden Nek Chand has created numerous figures, some human some animal, for the souls to rest in before they continue their journey.  It is a stunning example of what one man can create.

Study themes: Indian art

SAHAULI

Sahauli village sits in the rural land just outside of Ludhiana one of the major urban centres. A visit to the village gives an insight into the lives of people in rural India. 

But at the same time you can get an insight into the culture of the Sikh population that has led them to embrace technological change. This has culminated in the region being known as the bread basket of India, and the main centre for the Green Revolution in India. 

Study themes: Green revolution in India, Technology in Agriculture, Groundwater resource depletion, Water conservation

LUDHIANA

Ludhiana is the major industrial city in the Punjab, and as such has become a site for large scale modern development and urban growth. We can trace this development through changes in the retail sector.  From the market area near the clock tower, to the high street shops of Chawri Bazaar, to the large scale malls developments like Western Mall. The city typifies the growth of the Indian middle classes and their increased consumerism, a real contrast to the rural community of Sahauli. 

Study themes: Growth of Indian middle class, Inequality, Increased affluence, Retail change

JALANDHAR

Jalandhar is the site of the Unique Home for Girls. It is an orphanage for girls, developed by a local Sikh woman - Bibi Prakash Kaur, who was herself abandoned as a child. 

Indian culture has long had a preference for male heirs, and this has led to baby girls being abandoned or aborted leading to a huge gender imbalance in India and in particular the Punjab. 

The orphanage offers a sanctuary for abandoned girls who are looked after until they are grown up and ready to leave. 

As well as giving an insight into the real effect of the patriarchal society in India, its also a chance to see the great work done by an Indian NGO to support its own citizens. 

Study themes: Gender Imbalance, Female Foeticide, Indian NGO's

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