The narrow lane, the first stop for tourists visiting the historic Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar, has got a facelift. On April 13, 1919, this lane made the only entry and exit point to the Bagh.
Till now, tourists passing through it would hardly know that the lane they were passing through was blocked by British soldiers while opening fire on the masses gathered inside the Bagh.
Now, new sculptures of martyrs have come up on both high walls of the narrow lane. These sculptures represent ordinary Punjabis from different walks of life in the year 1919. They are sculptures of men, women, children — young and old — walking into the Bagh to never return.
“These sculptures will make visitors realise the people that walked into the Bagh on the day of Baisakhi in 1919. Earlier people walked this narrow lane without knowing its history. Now they will walk with history,” said Rajya Sabha member and the Trustee of Jallianwala Bagh Trust, Shwait Malik.
The lane has also got new floor and it has been partially covered from above to avoid the birds sitting on these sculptures.
Malik held a high-level meeting to review the ongoing beautification work in the Jallianwala Bagh on Friday, in which senior officials of the Union government laid down the details of the ongoing works.
Malik also visited a new gallery in which history of Punjab has been depicted along with history of freedom movement and Gadar movement.
The gallery also has a sculpture of first Guru of Sikhs Guru Nanak Dev, Sikh Warrior Banda Singh Bhadur and statue of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The famous ‘Shahidi Khu’ will now offer better view with glass shield. It was the well into which people jumped to avoid bullets.
Malik said, “The development works of Jallianwala Bagh will include a five-minute light and sound show, which will show the 3-D documentary as well as the sacrifices made by the martyrs in both Hindi and English for the visitors to fully grasp the relevance of the historic site. The martyrs’ well has been renovated along with work being done to erect beautiful plantations, lighting and musical fountains. Development work is being done to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Just 20 per cent construction work is remaining and Bagh will be opened for the public soon,” said Malik.
52 CCTVs will be installed and lily ponds will also be built in addition to getting the gallery air-conditioned and providing clean drinking water and high quality washrooms.