Housing a memorial to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by the British forces, Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden that is located near the famous Golden Temple of Amritsar. It covers more than 6.5 acres of land which is associated with one of the darkest days in Indian history when British Officer General Dyer murdered thousands of innocent people who gathered for a peaceful celebration of Baisakhi. The garden is now being managed by the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial Trust.
Many big and small structures are still present inside the garden which resembles the atrocities that happened here. Amongst these structures, there is a wall that still bears the marks of the bullets that were hurled blindly at the innocent people and a well in which several people jumped to save themselves from this massacre. It is estimated that over 1000 people including, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims were killed in this brutal act. The atmosphere of Jallianwala Bagh is filled with an eerie calmness that gives a feeling of indescribable sadness and peace.
Although Jallianwala Bagh can be visited throughout the year, the temperature during the winter and summer seasons remains at its peak. So, the best time to visit Jallianwala Bagh is between the months of October and November and February and March.
Jallianwala Bagh was the private property of the family of one of the Five Beloved Ones in Sikhism, Himmat Singh, during the rule of the Sikh Empire over Punjab. It is said that was just a garden or a garden house. However, in 1919, it was just an uneven piece of land surrounded by a wall with only one exit.
The infamous British Army officer, General Dyer issued an order banning all public gatherings in Amritsar on 13th April 1919. However, thousands of people had gathered at Jalliawala Bagh to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Baisakhi, the main religious festival of the Sikhs. Men, women, and children of all religions were present at this gathering. General Dyer went to the gardens with his soldiers as soon as he heard about the assembly, blocked the only exit, and gave orders to his soldiers to shoot the unarmed crowd. The soldiers kept shooting for almost 10 minutes.
Hundreds of people were killed immediately by the bullets and several others died after being crushed in the stampede that took place because of the shooting. British officials declared that around 1200 were injured and 379 people had died but the Indian National Congress estimated that over a thousand people were killed and more than 1500 people got wounded.
Considered one of the most tragic events in Indian history, this incident came to be known as the Amritsar Massacre or the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. To honour the martyr of that fateful day, the Indian government established a memorial inside the garden in 1951.
Also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple is one of the most spiritual places in India and is the holiest shrine for Sikhs. Located right in the centre of the city, the stunning golden architecture of the temple is easily reachable from any part of the city and offers daily Langar that draws thousands of devotees and visitors each day.
Located 28 kilometres away from Amritsar and 22 kilometres away from Lahore, the Wagah Border divides India and Pakistan, which runs along the Grand Trunk Road. The prime attraction of this place is the Beating Retreat Ceremony or the Wagah Border Ceremony that occurs every day before sunset.
The first of its kind museum that focuses on the trauma and stories of the millions of people who suffered from the bloody incidents of a ruthless partition, the Partition Museum was recently opened up at Town Hall in Amritsar.
Home to arms, armour, outstanding paintings, manuscripts, century-old coins from the era of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, this museum was a summer palace that is now turned into a museum.
Jallianwala Bagh is located right in the heart of Amritsar which is well connected from all major cities via different modes of transport. Here’s how you can reach Jallianwala Bagh.
By Air - Amritsar has its own airbase known as Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport which is very well connected to major cities in India.
By Road - Amritsar is very well-connected to other Indian cities through a vast network of roads.
By Train - Amritsar has its own dedicated railhead which is well-connected to major cities in India.
Travel Tip - if you ever decide to visit Jallianwala Bagh, then be respectful to the martyrs and try to be as peaceful as you can while exploring the garden.
Q1 - When did the Jallianwala Bagh massacre happen?
Ans - The Jallianwala Bagh massacre happened on 13th April 1919.
Q2 - Who opened the fire in Jallianwala Bagh?
Ans - General Dyer of the British Army ordered to open fire on the innocent people present at Jallianwala Bagh
Q3 - What caused the Jallianwala Bagh massacre?
Ans - The infamous British Army officer, General Dyer issued an order banning all public gatherings in Amritsar on 13th April 1919. However, thousands of people had gathered at Jalliawala Bagh to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Baisakhi, the main religious festival of the Sikhs. Men, women, and children of all religions were present at this gathering. General Dyer went to the gardens with his soldiers as soon as he heard about the assembly, blocked the only exit, and gave orders to his soldiers to shoot the unarmed crowd. The soldiers kept shooting for almost 10 minutes.