With the architectural beauty of Harmandir Sahib still lingering on, we headed to Jallianwala Bagh Amritsar, which is just a walking distance of five minutes from the temple. The narrow lane took us to the park premises, which adorned a grave and gloomy look. Our mind raced back to the gruesome incident of 1919 and our hearts sank into deep melancholy. I could not believe how a city like this staggered on until now bearing the weight of violent history.
The park was built in 1951to memorialize the death of innocent people, including women and children at the hands of British. A dark event in the history, it is called Jallianwala Bagh massacre or Amritsar massacre. The park is open to public on all days from 6 am to 9 pm.
Standing near the entrance, I read the memorial tablet and it took me to that day on 13th April 1919 when a large number of people of about 20000 gathered in this place to take part in the protest of the arrest of the freedom struggle leaders. The gathering included innumerable women and children.
It was then British General Reginald Dyer came here with Gurkha riflemen and started firing at the crowd for about ten minutes, which was around 1650 rounds of firing killing many people and leaving many severely wounded.
We stood near the memorial and prayed for the souls of those who sacrificed their life. The place from where the firing happened was marked with a conical structure. Furthermore, the walls of the park that told the story of the shocking incident had the bullet marks revealing the blood-stained history of our country.
After paying homage at the memorial, we walked around the martyr’s well, in which people jumped to escape the bullets. The well was closed; nevertheless, it stands as a structure that still withstands the horrified incident of the past.
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.