Ambala (Hindi: अम्बाला, Punjabi ਅੰਬਾਲਾ ) is a city and a municipal council in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India. The city is located on the border of the states of Haryana and Punjab in India. Politically; Ambala has two sub-areas: Ambala Cantt (cantonment) and Ambala City, a few(10-12) kilometers apart from each other. It has a large Indian Army and Indian Air Force presence within the confines of its cantonment area. Due to its geographical location, the Ambala District plays an important role in local tourism. Tourists to Himachal Pradesh , Punjab , Chandigarh and Jammu & Kashmir have to cross through Ambala whether by road or rail.
The Ambala Cantonment was established in the year 1843 after the British abandoned its cantonment at Karnal, following the malaria epidemic of 1841-42. The cantonment houses the ‘2 Corps’ one of the three Strike Corps of the Indian Army and is of immense strategic importance.
Ambala was constituted as a district in the year 1847, and was formed by merging the jagir estates of hitherto independent chieftains whose territories had lapsed or had been confiscated by the British Indian Government. In its 160 years of existence as a district, Ambala has witnessed many changes in its boundaries. In its heyday the district boundaries extended across tehsils of Ambala, Naraingarh, Jagadhri, Pipli, Kharar, Ropar and Nalagarh. Kalka-cum-Kurari State, Pinjore, Manimajra, Kasauli & Sanawar were also merged into the district at different points of time.
Ambala Air Force Base is one of the oldest and largest airbases that were inherited from the British by the IAF. It was from this airbase that Spitfires and Harvards flown by Instructors of the Advanced Flying Training School took part in the 1947-48 Kashmir Operations. Subsequently, Ambala was the front line airfield for many years. It was home to various aircraft that were inducted into the Indian Air Force. Vampires, Ouragans, Hunters, etc. all flew from this base. The airbase was briefly attacked in 1965 by Pakistan Air Force's B-57 bombers. Today, the Airbase houses the ‘7 Wing’ with squadrons of Jaguars and MiG-21 Bisons. Ambala airfield has a war memorial called 'Frozen Tear' dedicated to all aircrew who lost their lives in times of war and peace flying missions from the airfield.
Today’s Ambala District with an area of 1568.85 km² is a pale shadow of its original immense size.
The Ambala District now comprises two subdivisions (Ambala & Naraingarh) and three tehsils (Ambala, Barara & Naraingarh). It has a population of 12 lakhs, which is about 5% of the total population of Haryana. It is bound by Mohali and Patiala districts of Punjab, Sirmaur District of Himachal and Yamunanagar & Kurukshetra districts of Haryana. Ambala district is represented by 5 Assembly Constituencies and 1 Lok Sabha Constituency.
Ambala is a divisional headquarters of the Northern Railway Zone and is an important railway junction. The Ambala Cantonment railway station was founded on the junction of the Delhi-Kalka and Ludhiana-Saharanpur lines. The historic Delhi-Ambala-Kalka railway line dates back to 1889 while the Ludhiana-Saharanpur line was built in 1870.
Situated 200 km north of Delhi, this town is extremely well connected by the rail and road network. Ambala is a major railway junction. G.T. Road (NH-1, National Highway 1) passes through Ambala Cantt and Ambala City.
Ambala district has industries in metal casting, kitchen mixer grinder manufacturing, and submersible motor pump manufacturing. It is also famous for its wholesale cloth market, which sells some of the best cloth material. Ambala district would soon have a 2500 acre (10 km²) SEZ that would be developed by K. P. Singh promoted DLF Universal Limited.
Due to its strategic position Ambala has been travellers favourites stop over place to eat. The most famous places to have the best delicacies are Hotel Amar Palace, Choupal, The USA Gardens, Maharaja, RGs, Jain Soda Water and Standard Restaurant. The famous Banquet Hall for meetings, conferences and wedding is Shagun Banquets.
Schools like Army School, S.A Jain senior Model school, Air Force School, S.A.Jain Girls School, Bhartiya Public School, Convent of Jesus and Mary, SD Public School(all in Ambala Cantt), and P.K.R Jain Sr.Ser. Public School,DAV Public School(Ambala City), Dua Memorial National Schools in Ambala City and Cantt, have been known for their academic results in Tenth and Twelfth CBSE Board examinations. Of these, Army School boasts to be the best in the region for its excellence. Its hardworking and efficient staff [Mrs. Kum Kum Chopra (Eng), Mrs. Neeraj Taneja (Phy), Mr. J. Varghese (Eco), Mr. Harmeet Singh (Maths), Mrs. Nirmal Sharma (Hindi) and etc..] has been the key reason for this achievement. The school has been known for its great disciplinarian nature and also for it academics merged with extra curricullar activities. In Ambala City there are two Polytechnics: Government Polytechnic, and Kalpna Chawla Government Polytechnic for Women. Both of them provide Haryana Government Recognised Diplomas and come under the Directorate of Technical Education, Haryana.
The opening of Medical and Engineering Colleges in and around Ambala have made it a hot-spot for students throughout Haryana. Ambala boasts of having one of the four medical colleges in the state. This Medical College comes under MMEC MMEC hosts many courses, both in Engineering and Bio-Sciences. Another Engineering College in Ambala is ACE, Ambala College of Engineering & applied research. Other colleges in Ambala are S.D.College, G.M.N. College, Government Post Graduate College, in Ambala Cantt, D.A.V.College,M.D.S.D College, S.A.Jain College in Ambala City. S.D.College ranks among the best in the region. Shri Atmanand Jain Institute of Management and Technology (AIMT) which is located in Ambala City, is one of the premier institutes in Haryana. It offers two courses MCA (Master of Computer Application) & MBA (Master of Business Administration)
These are associated with Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur and Guru Hargobind respectively.ICHHA POORAK DHAM इच्छा पूरक धाम is a Gurudwara dedicated to Shaheed BABA DEEP SINGH JI is situated at village Devinagar,2 kilometers away from Ambala City.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gurudwara_ICHCHHA_POORAK_DHAM.jpg
There are also the popular Muslim shrines of Lakhi Shah and Taqwal Shah, Saint Paul's Church and a British, Christian cemetery. Patel Park in Ambala Cantt and City Park in Ambala City have beautiful gardens.
Ambala is also known as sikh jatt place & in the villages they have taste of punjab virsa as well as haryana's culture