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Jallian Wala Bagh, Amritsar

Jallian Wala Bagh Overview

This place noted for its most notorious massacre under British rule. It is 400 meters north of the Golden Temple. The British General Dyer was the Lieutenant Governor of the province in 1919. He banned all meetings and demonstrations led by Indians against the economical set back by World War I. On 13 April 1919, pilgrims poured into Amritsar to celebrate the Baisakhi festival, a holiday in the Sikh calendar. In the afternoon thousands of people gathered at Jallian Wala Bagh to celebrate the Baisakhi. This ground surrounded by high walls on all sides has only a narrow alley for access. General Dyer personally led the troops to the sight and ordered his men to open fire without any warning. It resulted in the death of 379 and injured more than 1200. India was outraged by Dyer's massacre. Gandhiji, called for a nation wide strike and started the Non-cooperation Movement, which became an important mile stone in the struggle for India's Independence. Today this ground has been changed to a park and it has a pleasant garden. There is a narrow path between the houses which leads to the lawn of the park. At the entrance there is a memorial plaque which recounts the history. There is a well on the north side in which many people who tried to escape from the bullets were drowned, and remnants of walls have been preserved to show the bullet holes. At the east end of the garden there is a large memorial built in memory of those who died here.

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