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Ambala

Ambala

[uhm-bah-luh]
Ambala, city (1991 pop. 139,889), Haryana state, NW India. It is a district administrative headquarters, a military station, and a transportation center, with an airport and road and rail connections to Delhi. Ambala is an important cotton, sugar, and grain trading center, and its industrial production includes cotton, processed food, and flour. Local handicrafts of significance include bamboo furniture-making and cloth-weaving.

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.

History

As per ancient Indian history, Aryan people had resided at Ambala at some point in time. There was a very popular place called Sarudhna near Ambala, which was the Aryan country's capital at that time. Ambala was given the status of a district in the year 1847.

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.

Origins of the Name

There are quite a few interesting beliefs about the origin of Ambala:

  • Some historians believe Ambala owes its name to King Singh; the founder of Ambala who was an Amb Rajput
  • Some believe that itt was named after the goddess "AMBA" whose temple is located in the city
  • Ambala was originally called "Ambwala", Amb meaning mango in the native language (so, city of Mangoes)

Ambala at a Glance

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.

Transport

The district is very strategically located and serves as a gateway to Haryana for States of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, and U.T. Chandigarh. 5 National Highways (NH 1, 22, 65, 72 and 73) pass through Ambala. NH1 (Delhi-Amritsar-Attari/ Pakistan Border) is the most important highway to Delhi for the areas north of Haryana. NH22 starts from Ambala and links NH1 to Shimla and beyond right up to China border at Shipkila. NH65 also starts at Ambala and links NH1 to Hissar and onwards to Jodhpur & Pali in Rajasthan.

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.

Geography

Ambala is located at . It has an average elevation of 264 metres (866 feet).

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.

Industry and Business

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.

Education

Within the last decade, Ambala has seen the opening of not only the finest schools and colleges in the region but the Best ones also.

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)

Market

The wholesale textile market of Ambala City is famous all over India and it is the biggest wholesale market in Asia. The new textile market is situated near Aggarsain Chowk. The Galaxy mall is recently opened in Sector 7, Ambala City. It includes Fun Cinema, Spencers, Reebok,Madame,Archies,Hues, McDonalds. The Big Bazar in Ambala Cantt is one of favourite shopping option for people of all age groups. For western wear one can pay a visit to outlet situated at NH1 , which is a great place to hang on and relax in the evenings.

Places of interest

There are many shrines in and around Ambala City, Kaali Maata Mandir , popularly known as "kaali baadi "at Labbu wala talab on ghel road, Shiv Mandir near old civil hospital, including Bhawani Amba Temple (named after the goddess Bhawani)and most important shrine AMBIKA DEVI MANDIR near old civil hospital.The city name AMBALA is on this temple. राधा किशन मंदिर Radha Kishan mandir is an old temple situated at Radha Kishan Bazar in Ambala City. Ambala is home to many Gurdwaras (Sikh temples), some of which have historical importance. The Badshahi Bag Gurudwara, Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Manji Sahib Gurudwara, Labhuwala Talaah, Sat Sangat Sahib Gurdwara, Panjokhda Sahib Gurudwara in Panjhokhda village (7 km. far from ambala city) are the historical gurudwaras here. In Ambala Cantt, one can visit Patel Park, in Army area. Also there is Subhash Chandra Bose Park near Subhash Colony. There are not many places, though, to visit in Ambala. Patel Park with its natural beauty give a feel like of being in the forest and drive in army area with huge wide and clean roads ..

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.

  • Chandigarh is a 45 km (45 minutes drive) from Ambala.
  • Kalka is situated on the national highway (number 22) Ambala-Shimla.
  • Panchkula is a newly built city on the Ambala-Kalka national highway and Ambala-Kalka railway line near Chandigarh.
  • Pinjore comes under the Panchkula district and is known for its exquisite gardens.
  • Kurukshetra (the battle of Mahabharata was fought here) is also just 45 minutes drive from Ambala Cantt.

Ambala is also known as sikh jatt place & in the villages they have taste of punjab virsa as well as haryana's culture

  • KARNAL is situated on the national highway (NH-1) which is 80KM from ambala.

District Administration

  • The Deputy Commissioner, an officer belonging to the Indian Administrative Service, is the overall in-charge of the General Administration in the district. He is assisted by a number of officers belonging to Haryana Civil Service and other Haryana state services.
  • The Superintendent of Police, an officer belonging to the Indian Police Service, is responsible for maintaining Law & Order and related issues in the district. He is assisted by the officers of the Haryana Police Service and other Haryana Police officials.
  • The Deputy Conservator of Forests, an officer belonging to the Indian Forest Service, is responsible for the management of the Forests, Environment and Wild-Life in the district. He is assisted by the officers of the Haryana Forest Service and other Haryana Forest officials and Haryana Wild-Life officials.
  • Sectoral development is looked after by the district head/officer of each development department such as PWD, Health, Education, Agriculture, Animal husbandry, etc. These officers are from various Haryana state services.
  • In Ambala City there is a special court of CBI. All investigation of CBI in Haryana comes under this coutrt.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census, Ambala had a population of 139,222. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Ambala has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 55% of the males and 45% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Before the Partition there was a large population of Muslim residents, but they were forced to leave due to violence. 70% of the Ambala population are Sikhs. During the late 80's Sikh militants had a strong hold of Ambala and much of Harayana area and made it very dangerous for visitors to travel the northern parts of india.

References

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