Lost glory of Pul Kanjari restored

Maharaja Ranjit Singh along with his royal troops used to stop over during his travels between Lahore and Amritsar.

The name ‘Pul Kanjari’ sounds rather odd as ‘Pul’ means a bridge and ‘Kanjari’ is a dancing woman or girl. There is a strange story behind this name and it relates to the Maharaja and his favourite ‘Kanjari’ called Moran.

It is said that once as she was coming from Lahore on horse she lost one of her silver sandals in the canal which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan to carry the waters of the Ravi to Lahore to irrigate the Shalimar Gardens. Moran was furious as the pair of sandals was presented by the Maharaja.

Disappointed as she was over her loss, she refused to perform before the Maharaja. The maharaja immediately ordered a bridge to be built over the water channel and the township thus came to be known as Pul Kanjari’. The channel has since dried up as the waters of the Ravi are no longer carried to Lahore.

It was said that the town had a bustling trade centre and traders from Lahore and Amritsar often came here. The partition wrecked havoc on the village. People had to migrate to Amritsar, New Delhi and even Mumbai. Some of them come here every year in mid August when a fair is held and all those who lost their lives in 1947 are remembered.

To bring back its lost glory, the BSF has decided to develop the heritage site on its own. ”we know we cannot restore its past glory but an effort can be made in this direction,” BSF Commandant Pradeep Katyal said while talking to inside the Baradari which houses the BSF border outpost.

The village is being developed to attract tourists who come to witness the daily beating retreat ceremony at the Wagah check post which is just three km from here, Katyal said.

Katyal also points to the development plan of the Punjab government which envisages developing Gen Shyam Singh Attari’s Samadhi and Mahal, Rajasansi village, Sari Amanat Khan Village, Ram Tirath Temple and Pul Kanjari.

The BSF have also approached the army authorities for renovating the memorial built on a small hillock in the memory of soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1971 war. A fierce battle was fought here in 1971 and the village was captured by Pakistan but later on the Indian Army launched a massive assault to drive out the enemy.

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