India has innumerable Quiet Destinations that are amazing for quite unusual reasons. In a series of write ups I shall bring you information on these cities worth visiting. First in this series is Phagwara which I bet none of you have heard of.
This city, which is an example of peaceful coexistence among communities that are the most enterprising in the world, just waits to be rediscovered by world tourism and tourists will find that this city offers many wonderful places to stay including five star Ecotel hotels providing the best amenities of international standard.
Phagwara, Jalandhar, Punjab, a city in History since the 6th century BC
is in the Guinness Book of Records for the weirdest of reasons!
A tiny Indian bodybuilder who is less than 3 feet tall and considered the world’s smallest is causing a huge stir in his hometown and gaining international recognition. Aditya “Romeo” Dev of Phagwara, India, is a little person only 2 feet, 9 inches tall and he weighs less than 20kilograms. “I’ve been training as a bodybuilder for the last two years, and by now I think I must be the strongest dwarf in the world,” says Dev. In 2006, after months of intense exercise, the Guinness Book of World Records named Dev the smallest bodybuilder on the planet. Just one glorious example of how enterprising the people of Punjab are; nothing, just nothing under the sun can stop them, not even any God-sent disabilities!
From the middle of the 6th century B. C. up to A. D.1150 the Bist Doab Jalandhar, which included the territories of the present districts of Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur, was dominated by three tribes, viz. Tilakhalas, Trigarttas and Yaudheyas who fought bravely in the Kurukshetra War, lent their support to the army of Duryodhana against the Pandavas—but were ultimately defeated on account of the other side being too strong- again a little weird reason for a city to be in History!
Phagwara was rebuilt as a market town by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, the greatest of our Builder kings who had built one of the 7 wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal too. Over time, some people of Phagwara started farming and Phagwara took on a rural character. Phagwara Sharki covers the original rural Phagwara, which now is only covered by the area surrounding Sukhchainiana Gurdwara (Sukhchain Nagar) where some people continue to farm the land.
Phagwara is located on the Delhi-Amritsar National Highway Shershah-Suri Marg (NH1) and also on the main railway link between Amritsar-Delhi and Delhi-Jammu. It is located between two big cities, Ludhiana(38 Kms) and Jalandhar (21 Kms).Phagwara is 76 miles (123 Kms) away from Chandigarh and 220 miles (355 Kms) from Delhi. Phagwara is a junction with rail and road link to other cities like Banga, Hoshiarpur, Phillaur and Nakodar . Most of the major trains like the Shatabdi Express, Shan-e-Punjab, Swarna Shtbdi, and Paschim Express stop at Phagwara station. Nearest International Airport is Raja Sansi International Airport, Amritsar.
Phagwara has an average literacy rate of 77%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 73%.
It is the main industrial place in the Kapurthala District because of its coveted location on the National Highway. This city has various industries like Wahid Sandhar Sugar Mills Limited, Jagjit Cotton Textiles (JCT) Mills Limited, The Sukhjit Starch & Chemicals Limited and many small scale industries manufacturing Electrical Accessories, Machine Tools, Agricultural Implements and Rubber. It is famous all over the world for Oil Engine Parts manufacturing.
Bazar Bansanwala, Sarafan Bazar and Gaushalla Bazar are shopping centres for Clothing & Jewellery. A large percentage of Punjabi NRIs belong to Phagwara. It is also Banking Hub of Kapurthala District with more than 45 banks and 100 branch offices and is in the Top list of Indian Suburban Cities in Banking Business.
Phagwara is famous for holy places like Shiv Mandir at Nimawala Chowk , Hanuman Mandir on G.T. Road and Sri Durga Mandir at Sarafan Bazar. Vishwakarma Mandir situated at Banga Road is one of the oldest sacred places. Phagwara has many historical and holy Gurdawaras like Sri Sukhchainana Sahib at Sukhchainan Nagar, Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi Chaura Khoo in the interior of the town and Gurudwara Sri Guru Ravidas Maharaj on G.T.Road. There are mosques at Gaushalla Road and Palahi Road and Churches too at G. T. Road and Hoshiarpur Road.
Phagwara People belong to different religions and so according to their religious believes many festivals are celebrated here like Lohri, Dushera , Diwali , Guru Nanak Dev ji Birthday , Guru Ravidas’s Birth anniversary, Ram Naumi, Id, Christmas , New Year Eve by organising big processions every year.
We could follow the example of Punjab for converting its garbage and solid waste into electricity. North India’s biggest non-chemical solid waste-management plant is in Jalandhar. Simply put, this plant converts tonnes of garbage to create waste-based fuel. This fuel is used to power a medium-sized thermal unit. The plant also supplies fuel to the three cities of Ludhiana, Amritsar and Jalandhar. Besides generating electricity, the waste is broken up and its useful ingredients are converted into a high-quality fertiliser for farming purposes. Moreover, opening these plants resulted in demand for manpower to run them creating more jobs for the local youth
PLACES OF INTEREST
Imam Nasir Mausoleum and Jamma Masjid
The 800 year old beautifully designed mausoleum of Imam Nasir is located in the heart of Jalandhar. The Jama Masjid nearby is said to be 400 years old.
Devi Talab Mandir
Devi Talab Mandir is located about one km from the railway station. The old Devi Talab has been renovated and a new temple has been built in its centre. An old temple of goddess Kali also stands by the side of the Devi Talab. The gilded Mandir is famous for the ‘Hariballabh Sangeet Sammelan’ held every year in December for the past 125 years. Famous classical music exponents – both instrumental and vocal -come together and perform at this gathering. In Devi Talab, there is a large 200 year old masonry tank held sacred by Hindus.
The temple situated at Gur Mandi near Imam Nasir mausoleum dates back to the Lodhi Era. Believed to be built by the Nawab of Sultanpur Lodhi, the mandir is a blend of Muslim-Hindu architecture. The main gate is built in the style of a mosque while the rest of the building is in Hindu style. There is a legend that when Jalandhar was Nawabs territory, he had eyed a newly married Hindu girl who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva saved her honour in the form of a serpent. Awed by the appearance of this serpent the Nawab apologised to the girl and built the temple on her bidding.
Thousands of devotees throng this temple during ‘Anand Chaturdashi’ in September. The child Deity here is believed to grant wishes of devotees.
Gurdwara Chhevin Padshahi
The sixth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind visited Jalandhar during his tour of Doaba area and he was received by a holy Muslim saint, Shaikh Darvesh. Gurdwara Chhevin Padshahi in Basti Shaikh, is situated at the same spot where the meeting was held. The great Guru had in depth discussion with Shaikh Darvesh about spiritual matters which created good impact on the holy man. A handwritten copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib prepared sometime between 1715 and 1728 by the great Sikh scholar and martyr Baba Deep Singh is kept here.
St Mary’s Cathedral Church
St Mary’s Cathedral with its rare cosmo-culture design is a tribute to the Punjabi tradition. This Cathedral at Jalandhar Cantonment, initiated by representatives of His Holiness Pope John Paul II is the only one of its kind in the East. The old church dedicated to St. Patrick was built in 1947 and the foundation stone for the new church was laid in 1986.
Tulsi Mandir, earlier known as Temple of Vrinda, is an ancient monument in the city located in the Kot Kishan Chand locality. It was built in honor of Vrinda, wife of the demon Jalandhara. The tank on the side of the temple is said to have been the bathing place of Jalandhara.
Desh-Bhagat Memorial Hall
Desh-Bhagat Memorial Hall has been constructed to perpetuate the memory of martyrs in the fight for freedom from the British rule.
Wonderland Theme Park is an amusement water park with water games and water rides. The Park spreads over 11 acres with many thrilling rides offering healthy entertainment to all age groups. The park is located about 6 kms from Jalandhar Bus terminus and 8 kms from the Railway Station on Nakodar Road. The water ride includes bumper cars, flying jets, horror house, boating, kiddies’ boating, play house, flying dragon and a slide splash. The wave pool is another attraction of the water park. There is an aqua dance floor, where boys and girls enjoy dancing on the tunes of the latest Punjabi hit numbers underneath a canopy that has artificial clouds from where the water comes down like a rainfall. Entrance time is between 9.00am to 10.00pm in dry park and 12.00pm to 8.00pm in water park. Dry Park is open throughout the year. Waterpark is closed in winter.
WELCOME TO PHAGWARA