119 years of Trust REGIONAL VIGNETTES
These features were published in the Saturday Plus section of The Tribune between July 1998 and May 1999.


Land of scenic and architectural splendour
By Balkrishan Prashar
THE historic town of Chamba, majestically surrounded by lush greenery, has a rich past and an ancient culture. Babbling brooks and rippling rivers further garnish the scenic splendour of this town which is a favourite haunt of art lovers, archaeologists, environmentalists and researchers throughout the year.

The splendours of princely Kapurthala
By G.S. Aujla
MAHARAJA Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala can be called the Shah Jehan of Punjab keeping in view his interest in creating glorious edifices. During his reign as a sovereign ruler for 58 years and a ruling prince for 71 years, he transferred the best architectural features from Europe to the princely state of Kapurthala exhibiting the best blend of the exotic and the indigenous.

Industries need better infrastructure
By Jasmine Sandhu Sandhawalia
KAPURTHALA, called the Paris of Punjab during the erstwhile princely rule, attracted industrial units as the then Maharaja granted various privileges which with the passage of time were withdrawn for one reason or the other. However, the Kapurthala area still holds a place in the industrial sector.

No more Paris of Punjab
A Kapurthala state, known as the Paris of FTER the merger of India, into Pepsu, the town has not made the desired progress in the fields of education, medical health, sports, housing and cultural activities.


City of temples is now land of refugees
By M. L. Kak
THE land of temples, as Jammu is popularly called, has seemingly lost its historical grandeur as it has turned into a "land of refugees" after Partition. The city and its adjoining areas have become a home for refugees from West Pakistan, occupied Kashmir, migrants from the Kashmir valley and from neighbouring hilly regions.

Economy banks on pilgrims, tourism
IN the absence of major industries in Jammu, the economy of the area banks on pilgrims and the tourist traffic to Kashmir. Even if each pilgrim to the Vaishno Devi shrine spends Rs 100 per day while travelling from the city to Katra, it means an annual turnover of nearly Rs 40 crore for traders, hoteliers, and bus and taxi owners.

Civic problems plague Jammu
THE mushrooming of unplanned private colonies, defective road alignments and the lack of parks and gardens have deprived Jammu of its pre-Partition glory when people from Sialkot came to the city of temples to have a sound sleep at night amid the cool breeze blowing from the Shivalik and Trikuta hills.

A land of peace, ironically known for wars
By Amita Sharma
It is one of the biggest ironies of history that plains of Panipat are more known for the wars that were fought there than for the men of peace and harmony that it has produced over the ages.

The Gazetteer’s Panipat
By Lalit Mohan
One hundred and sixty years ago, the compiler of the East India Gazetteer, Walter Hamilton, quoted two reasons for Panipat’s claim to fame.

House of looms, industry
WHEN Mahatma Gandhi visited Panipat in 1947, he asked the people to take to the charkha. Since then the handloom industry has flourished in Panipat.

Town minus amenities
THE historical town of Panipat is in a state of utter neglect. Mounds of uncovered garbage are a common sight in all localities. As there is no proper drainage system, the stench emanating from the open drains pollute the area.


The cradle of Indian culture
By D.R. Vij
KURUKSHETRA can rightly be called the cradle of ancient Indian culture. In the hoary past, the Vedas and Upanishads were recited by seers, saints and scholars on the banks of the holy Sarasvati.

Rice bowl of Haryana
THE district’s economy is based on agriculture. Kurukshetra, the land of Mahabharata, is one of the leading districts of the country in the production of foodgrain.

A town not fit for its temples
KURUKSHETRA, the holy town famous for its tanks and temples, is plagued with problems. Fear of floods has always haunted residents of this district.

The modern face of Ang Kshetra
By K.G. Dutt
THE historic town of Karnal dates back to the Puranic age. Its name is derived from Karna. Earlier it was known as Ang Kshetra in the Puranas and the Vedas.

A picture of filth, squalor
THE historic city of Karnal, once termed City Beautiful of Haryana is today a picture of filth and squalor. It lacks civic amenities, thus citizens are naturally upset with the administration.


An important Arya Samaj centre
By Vimal Sumbly
HISAR is situated about 150 km north-west of Delhi. It is believed that the town was founded in 1354 by Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

The academic capital of Haryana
THE town may rightly be called the academic capital of Haryana. There are two famous universities here, besides four degree colleges and several other educational institutions.

Industry facing crises
THE town is one of the important centres of steel industry in the country. The credit for this growth goes to OP Jindal, one of the doyens of the steel industry in India.

The town presents a dismal picture
Hisar is a fast developing town. According to municipal officials, about 20 new colonies were registered in the town recently.

Its elegant domes tell tales of gone by grandeur
By Jatinder Sharma
THE name of Rohtak is said to be a corruption of Rohtasgarh, a name still applied to the ruined sites (also called Khokrakot) of two older cities, one lying immediately north of the present town, and the other about three miles to the east.

Premier educational centre
THOUGH purely an agricultural district, Rohtak town can in no way be considered educationally backward. The town has today become the premier educational centre in the state.

Newspapers & periodicals
A LARGE number of newspapers and periodicals were published in Rohtak district during the pre-Partition period. Two of these papers-- Jat Gazette and Haryana Tilak-- played a major role in the freedom movement, and in the growth of journalism in this district.

Vast scope of milk, agro-based units
ALTHOUGH Rohtak is situated virtually next door to Delhi, and is connected with it both by road and rail, it has failed to develop industrially.

No civic body worth its name
THE Rohtak Municipal Committee is among the oldest civic bodies constituted in 1885 under the Punjab Municipal Act, 1884.


Where thousands throng for darshan
By Bijender Sharma
HUNDREDS of years ago the town was an international seat of trade and business. Now it is known for its religious sanctuary the world over. Ruins of substantial buildings still remain.

A distinctive community
AMONG the religious orders in the hills, the most remarkable are the Gosains, who are found mainly in the neighbourhood of Nadaun and Jawalamukhi, but are also scattered in small numbers throughout the district.

A task well begun but half done
ONCE bustling with activity in connection with the drilling operations of the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, this township is now confined to the flow of pilgrims to the holy shrine of Jawalamukhi.

Cleanliness drive needed immediately
DESPITE the local nagar panchayat’s claims to the contrary, the town is fast losing its "religious maggot" thanks to garbage littered in different parts.

A tourist resort with unrealised potential
By Ankur Bansal
KASAULI, a small hill town, is located between 30/54’ north latitude and 76/78’ east longitude. Overlooking the plains, it is about 6000 feet above sea level in the south of Shimla hills. It is 12 km from Dharampur, a haunting place on the Kalka-Shimla highway (NH-22).


From an obscure hamlet to a renowned hill resort
By Rakesh Lohumi
IT has been a long and eventful journey for the Queen of Hills — from an obscure hamlet "Sheyamlah" to a bustling, internationally- acclaimed hill resort known as Shimla.

Queen of Hills now a concrete jungle
THE Queen of Hills has lost much of its imperial grandeur and scenic charm since Independence. The transition from being the imperial capital to its present status of being the headquarters of the native hill state has not only completely changed its face but also its character.

Tourism boom a major boost to economy
ALTHOUGH Shimla continues to be a town of the middle class, economic activity has been fast picking up, particularly since 1971 when Himachal Pradesh became a full-fledged state.

Once an important mart of region
By Jatinder Sharma
BHIWANI town is said to be the creation of the British. At the beginning of the present century, when Delhi territory came under British rule, Bhiwani was an insignificant village.

Academic centre of Haryana
EDUCATIONALLY, Bhiwani has developed tremendously after Haryana came into existence in 1966.

Civic body facing crisis
THE municipal committee at Bhiwani is perhaps among the oldest civic bodies of the state. It was established in 1864 when the town had a population of approximately 30,000 and its area was confined to the boundary wall raised around the town.

Industrial growth sluggish
BORDERING the desert state of Rajasthan, Bhiwani has been catapulted to the industrial map of Haryana.


A neglected reminder of the Raj
By Romesh Dutt
DAGSHAI cantonment is situated atop a 6,078-feet-high hillock, that stands, sphinx like, astride the Kalka-Shimla national highway at a point about 10 km from Solan.

No civic management worth the name
THE district administration celebrated the silver jubilee of the foundation of the district of Solan in 1997 with great fanfare. The 150th anniversary of the creation of Dagshai, as we know it today, fell in the same year.

A prominent market town of yesteryear
By Romesh Dutt
SABATHU, the third oldest cantonment in the country, is situated 22 km from Solan, on a narrow, 4000-foot-high ridge, overlooking a range of undulating valleys, criss-crossed by the Kuthar, Kuhni and Gumber streams.

Museum that showcases heroic deeds of Gurkhas
BUT for the shifting of the 14 Gurkha Training Centre (14 G.T.C) from Clement Town, Dehra Dun in 1960, Sabathu too would have become as desolate as Dagshai is today.

Gateway to Shimla Hills, now a decaying town
THE town of Panipat has a locality called Sabathu Mohalla. This name was reportedly given to it after a local trading family made a fortune in the once prosperous Himachal town.


Once considered the best planned city of India
By Romesh Dutt
NAHAN, the capital of the erstwhile state of Sirmur, nestles in the last outposts of the Himalayan ranges at an altitude of 3057 feet, offering panoramic views of the expansive plains below and of majestic moutain tops on the sides. Its charms are summed up best in a local folk couplet: Nahan shehar hai nagina: Aaye din ko rahe mahina. (People who come to Nahan for only a day, often linger on for months here).

Talaabon ka Shehar faces water scarcity
NAHAN town today is like a tear arrested on the cheek of some beautiful maiden. Resplendent. Yet hiding a thousand tales of woe.

Abode of secularism
DEEP-ROOTED secularism, ancient shrines, an array of taals (water ponds) form the core of the rich cultural heritage of Nahan.This town is perhaps the only town in the subcontinent, where Shias and Sunnis jointly take out Tazias on the occasion of Muharram and where people of all faiths have lived in perfect harmony, even jointly celebrating each others’ festivals all through its history.

A town replete with religious & heroic feats
By K.G. Dutt
THE historic city of Kaithal has a rich past. Its history is replete with religious, cultural and heroic incidents which have had a bearing on Indian history.

A rich past but miserable present
THE town of Kaithal, with a more than one lakh population, presents a neglected and dirty look. It faces a number of problems which have not been seriously tackled by the administration.


The town was once called Chhoti Kashi
By Ravinder Sud
HOSHIARPUR town is well known for its religious and educational activities in the northern India. The town was once called Chhoti Kashi, due to its renowned Brahmleen saints Hari Baba Ji and Swami Kathustha Nand.

A centre of learning
HOSHIARPUR has the distinction of having the highest literacy rate in the state. The Arya Samaj, under the leadership of the late Ram Dass, Rala Ram, Lala Devi Chand and Balbir Singh, played a significant role in spreading education by opening a number of educational institutions in and around the city.

Poor sanitation, congested roads major irritants
ACCORDING to the 1991 census, Hoshiarpur town had a population of 1,22,258. But at present the population is more than 1,50,000. The town, situated within a radius of 35.89 square km, is surrounded by choes due to which it could not expand like other cities in Punjab.


The town was once an important trade centre
By Manoj Dhiman
TODAY’S sleepy old town of Ferozepore, known more for its cantonment, was once an important trade centre.

Need to promote industry
FEROZEPORE residents are glad to learn that there is a move to reopen Hussainiwala border. They feel that the town will become prosperous when that happens.

Shaheedon ki dharti
FEROZEPORE is called ‘Shaheedon ki dharti’ (the land of martyrs). Even today one can see the building in Toori Bazaar which was used as the secret headquarters by the revolutionary trio — Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.