INTACH begins listing of heritage monuments in Jalandhar : The Tribune India

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INTACH begins listing of heritage monuments in Jalandhar

To be done across state; will collaborate with district, state administrations to publish gazetteers

INTACH begins listing of heritage monuments in Jalandhar

Imam Nasir Mausoleum building. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Avneet Kaur

Jalandhar, February 27

The Punjab chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), led by Maj Gen Balwinder Singh (retd), has embarked upon a significant endeavour to list and classify both protected and unprotected heritage monuments and sites across Punjab, commencing with the city of Jalandhar.

Archna Sharma, a conservationist architect from Delhi, has been actively engaged in surveying and documenting heritage sites throughout Jalandhar district.

Maj Gen Balwinder emphasised the rich historical tapestry of Jalandhar, noting that while the district may not initially appear as a prominent historic destination, it houses a plethora of narratives waiting to be discovered.

Jalandhar Cooperative Bank building. Tribune photo

He said the collaborative effort between Archna Sharma and Harpreet Bal, nodal officer for Punjab listing, led to the documentation of over 300 heritage sites within the district. “Exploring the roots of Jalandhar reveals its early mention during the reign of Kushanas,

particularly under King Kanishka, with significant events such as Buddhist councils and the region’s portrayal in the travels of Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang,” he said.

Divulging more details, INTACH members said throughout history, Jalandhar witnessed transformations under various rulers, from the capture by Ibrahim Shah of Ghor to its development during the reign of Sher Shah and the Mughals. Notable developments included reinforcement of the Grand Trunk (GT) Road and construction of bridges and sarais.

“Transitioning through Sikh rule and eventual British dominion, Jalandhar played a pivotal role in historical events such as the Anglo-Sikh War of 1845-46 and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The region’s heritage extends beyond political upheavals, boasting significant religious sites such as Shaktipeeth of Shri Tripurmalini, mausoleum of Imam Nasir and Golaknath Church, each encapsulating centuries of spiritual and architectural heritage,” they said.

Beyond Jalandhar city, neighbouring towns like Kartarpur, Nurmahal and Phillaur are treasure troves of cultural and historical significance, housing revered gurdwaras and educational institutions dating back to the mid-19th century.

Architecturally, the region is characterised by historic houses with courtyard planning and colonial brickwork, reminiscent of Kapurthala’s architectural marvels. However, many of these structures are facing neglect and decay, highlighting the urgent need for preservation efforts. Maj Gen Balwinder Singh (retd) said after the completion of district-wise documentation, INTACH would collaborate with district and state administrations to publish gazetteers for the preservation and conservation of these invaluable heritage resources.

“Through this initiative, we aim to safeguard both tangible and intangible heritage elements embedded within Punjab’s cultural landscape,” he said.

Transformations under various rulers

INTACH members said throughout history, Jalandhar witnessed transformations under various rulers, from the capture by Ibrahim Shah of Ghor to its development during the reign of Sher Shah and the Mughals. Notable developments included the reinforcement of the Grand Trunk (GT) Road and the construction of bridges and sarais.

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