CHAPTER XIX PLACES OF INTEREST

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1 CHAPTER XIX PLACES OF INTEREST Moga was formed as a new district on 23 November 1995 by carving out Moga and Nihalsinghwala Subdivisions of Faridkot District and some area of Zira Tahsil (45 villages of Zira Tahsil, 47 villages of Makhu Sub Tahsil along with the whole of Dharmkot Sub Tahsil). At present the district comprises three tahsils/subdivisions viz. Moga, Nihalsinghwala and Bagha Purana and two sub tahsils namely Dharmkot and Badhni Kalan. Moga District falls under the jurisdiction of Firozpur Division. The district lies in the west of Punjab and is surrounded by Jalandhar District in the north, Firozpur District in the north-west, Faridkot District in the west, Ludhiana District in the east, Sangrur District in the south-east and Bhatinda District in the south. It is situated 30 o 29 and o north latitude and 74 o 54 to 75 o 25 east longitude. It spreads over an area of 2,235 sq. km. It is 4.44 per cent of the total area of the Punjab State. Tahsil wise description of important historical and religious places located in the district is given below: Moga Moga is the district/subdivisional headquarter of the district. It is 57 km east of Firozpur with a railway station and a number of pucca roads leading to Ludhiana, Amritsar through Harike, Dharmkot, Firozpur and Kot Kapura. The population of the town as per 2001 Census was 1,35,279. Moga is said to have been inhabited by the Gils. It was a village of mud houses and shops. The town was divided into two parts or pattis each had a single small bazar mostly mud shops. It was connected with rail in The construction of railway has brought great prosperity for Moga in its train. Due to its location in a fertile tract a flourishing grain market was founded by Major Barton. Since then it has emerged as a biggest grain market in the State. Besides being the most important market for agricultural produce the area produces ample quantities of good quality milk. Taking advantage of this facility, a big concern under the name of Food Specialists, Ltd. viz.nestle was established in the town in 1961.Nestle is one of the biggest private companies in milk business in Punjab. The main products of Nestle India Ltd; are: condensed milk 434

2 PLACES OF INTEREST 435 powder, infant milk food, weaning foods, standardized milk, vending mixes, noodles, cubes, soups, ghee and coffee, etc. Nestle s contribution to recreation of prosperity on an on-going and sustainable basis has not only transformed Moga into a prosperous and vibrant milk district today, but also a thriving hub of industrial activity. Nowadays, the town is one of the most important primary assembly markets in the State viz. radio assembling, bus/truck body building and tractor parts, etc.. It has quite a number of establishments manufacturing oil-engines, bullock shoe-nails, agricultural implements like disc-harrows and ploughs, sub soiler, spray pump, augars, straw-reaper, post hole digger, potato digger, automatic potato planter, fodder reaper, fertilizer spreader, wood screws, motor parts, thrashers, combine harvesters, etc. Cotton ginning and pressing, rice husking and oil seed milling are among the usual types of processing industries. The large, medium and small scale industries located in the district play a vital role in the economic development of the State. Nestle India Ltd., SkyLark Ceramics Ltd. and Amar Solvex Private Ltd. are the important industrial units of the district. Coffee, nestle milk products, agricultural implements manufactured at Moga are exported out of the State. The town is well connected with road transport and have very good educational and medical facilities. Three degree colleges viz. D.M. College, Moga, Guru Nanak College Moga, S.D. College for Women Moga, two professional colleges namely D.M. College of Education, Moga and District Institute of Education and Training Moga and one engineering college viz. Lala Lajpat Rai Institute of Engineering and Technology, Moga cater to the educational needs of the people of the area. Satya Sai Murli Dhar Ayurvedic College, Moga and Indo-Soviet Friendship College of Pharmacy, Moga situated in this town are imparting medical education to the people. Dhudike The village Dhudike is located to the south of village Ajitwal from Jagraon G. T. Road. It lies 3 km from Ajitwal railway station on the Ludhiana-Firozpur railway line and is linked with a pucca road between Moga and Jagraon, some 16 km from either town. The village has one rural hospital and one degree college viz. Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Government College, Dhudike. Dhudike was the sub centre of Ghadar Movement from where nine Ghadari Baba s belong. Two Ghadari Baba s of this village were sentenced to death on 18 June 1916 at Lahore for Lahore Conspiracy case, two were given life time imprisonment, two were imprisoned for three years and one was jailed for six months.

3 436 MOGA Dhudike is not only the historical village of Moga District but it is also the birth place of Punjab Kesri Lala Lajpat Rai one of the most prominent patriots of India. Punjab Kesri Lala Lajpat Rai was born on 28 January 1865 to Munshi Radha Krishan and Gulab Devi at village Dhudike (his maternal village) district Moga. His birthday is celebrated every year in this village which attracts a large number of persons. Lala Lajpat Rai immensely contributed in attaining India s Independence. In 1920 after his return from America, he plunged into the Non Cooperation Movement which was launched in response to the Rowlatt Act in principle. The movement was led by Lala Lajpat Rai in Punjab and he soon came to be known as Punjab Kesri (The Lion of Punjab). On 30 October 1928, to boycott the arrival of the members of the Simon Commission in Lahore, a peaceful procession, headed by Lala Lajpat Rai was launched. Intercepting the march, Superintendent of Police, Scott ordered his police force to lathi charge at the activists. The police targeted Lala Lajpat Rai, in particular, and hit him on the chest. The confrontation left Lala Lajpat Rai with severe injuries and also led to his death. A memorial cum museum has been erected here in the memory of the great freedom fighter which also contains photos of the patriots who participated in Ghadar Movement. Daroli Bhai The name of the village has been transcribed after the name of Gujjar woman, Daroli. Daroli Bhai is an important historical place and is situated at a distance of 13 km from Moga on the Moga-Firoz Shah road. Various historical places associated with the visit of Guru Hargobind Sahib located in this village are described below: Gurdwara Guru Ka Mahal (Gurdwara Attari Sahib).- The history of this Gurdwara is associated with the visit of Sixth Guru Hargobind Sahib and his family. Bhai Sai Dass brother-in-law of Guru Hargobind Sahib constructed a palatial house and requested Guru Ji to visit the house. Guru Hargobind Sahib visited this place on the spiritual request of Bhai Sai Dass and stayed here for sometime. During this stay the eldest son of Guru, Baba Gurditta Ji was born where now a magnificent Gurdwara named as Janam Asthan Baba Gurditta Ji stands. Some personal belongings of Guru Hargobind Sahib viz. the chola or gown, kachhehra, shawl of Mata Damodari Ji and an iron hot plate are preserved and displayed here for the devotees. It is said that Guru Ji cooked chapattis on this hot plate, when he founded a free kitchen on Baisakhi day in this village.

4 PLACES OF INTEREST 437 Besides the personal belongings of Guru Hargobind Sahib, a handwritten copy of Shri Guru Granth Sahib containing Mohr of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and Rag Mala is also preserved and displayed here for the devotees. At the time of Bhangani War this Bir was consigned by Guru Gobind Singh Ji to river Yamuna at Paunta Sahib.The Bir remained in Yamuna for nine days and about four hours. After the war Guru Ji sent five Sikhs to Yamuna and prayed their trust may be returned. The supplication was accepted and with the trap of water the Bir reached on the bank of the river. After occupying it, the Sikhs presented the Bir to Guru Sahib, who entrusted this Bir to Bhai Nand Chand Ji wazir of Guru Gobind Singh s army after the victorious end of Bhangani War. Gurdwara Dehra Sahib (Angitha Sahib).-Gurdwara Dehra Sahib (Angitha Sahib) has been constructed in the memory of Mata Damodari Ji wife of Guru Hargobind Sahib who breathed her last in village Daroli Bhai. The place where cremation ceremony of Mata Damodari Ji was peformed was bestowed by Guru Hargobind Sahib as Kashi. Later on cremation ceremonies of other near relatives of Mata Damodari Ji were also performed at this place. Besides these Gurdwaras, Gurdwara Hargobind Sahib and Smadh Baba Des Raj Ji are also located in this village. Dharmkot Dharmkot is a small town situated on the National Highway Moga to Jalandhar. It is an oldest town which was known as Kutabpur. In 1760 its name was changed from Kutabpur to Dharmkot by the Sikh Chief Tara Singh Dallewala when he subdued the ilakas of Karial and Jalalabad. He built a fort and established himself here. During the nineteenth century the headquarters of tahsil were located at Dharmkot but during the later half of the nineteenth century tahsil headquarters were shifted to Zira. At that time the town was located a few miles away from the Grand Trunk Road between the two towns Karial and Jalalabad and was a flourishing trade centre. In 1980 Dharmkot was converted into sub tahsil of Zira Tahsil of Firozpur District but on 5 November 1999 it was transferred to the Moga District. The town has Class III municipal council. The population of the town as per 2001 Census was 15,399. The town is famous for manufacturing agricultural implements, monoblock motors, cattle feed and wooden furniture. Main items exported from the town are, rice, wheat and sugarcane. One

5 438 MOGA industrial training institute for women located at Dharmkot is providing technical education to girl students in different trades. Nihalsinghwala Nihalsinghwala is tahsil/subdivisional headquarter of the Moga District. It was formed as a sub tahsil on 1 January 1976 of Moga Tahsil of Faridkot District. On 20 July 1995, Nihalsinghwala was excluded from the Moga Tahsil/Subdivision and was made a separate tahsil/subdivision of the Faridkot District. On the formation of Moga as a new district on 23 November 1995, Nihalsinghwala Tahsil/Subdivision was transferred to the Moga District. Important religious and historical places located in the subdivision are detailed below: Gurdwara Lohgarh Sahib.- Gurdwara Lohgarh Sahib is situated in village Dina (tahsil/subdivision, Nihalsinghwala) of the Moga District. It is located on the Barnala-Nihalsinghwala road. It is 15 km from Nihalsinghwala and 13 km from Bhadaur. After evacuating Anandpur Sahib in December 1705 A.D., Guru Gobind Singh ji came here and stayed for a few days. Guru Ji was served with devotion by Chaudhari Shamir and Lakhmir, grandsons of the local Chief Rai Jodh who fought on the side of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji in the battle of Mahraj in December 1634 A.D. At this place namely Kangar 2 km south of Dina, Guru Gobind Singh Ji wrote the famous letter in persian language called Zafarnama to Emperor Aurangzeb. The commemorative shrine established here is named Gurdwara Lohgarh Sahib. To commemorate the memory of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, a big religious fair is held here every year on 13 and 14 January. Here Guru Gobind Singh Ji discarded his blue dress of Uch Ka Pir. Till then, very few people know that Uch Ka Pir was none else but the tenth master. Nawab of Sirhind Wazir Khan also got the news about the Guru and consequently directed the Chaudhary to arrest the Guru and send him to Sirhind. A man of steadfast faith Shamir after consulting his brother write back Just as you hold your Pir in high respect, we too are dedicated to the service of our Guru, since he loves all, we cannot carry out your orders and we would beg to be excused. Gurdwara Nanaksar, Takhtupura.- Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib is situated in village Takhtupura, tahsil Nihalsinghwala. It is 32 km south east of Moga and is 3 km from the main Moga-Barnala road

6 PLACES OF INTEREST 439 between village Lohara and Bilaspur. The place has been sanctified by the visits of three Sikh Gurus viz. Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Separate shrines dedicated to each one of them are located there around a beautiful sarovar in the premises of Gurdwara Nanaksar. Gurdwara Sahib Patshahi Pehli is on the bank of sarovar, which commemorates the visit of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Guru Ji came to this village alongwith Bhai Mardana and Bhai Bala. Guru Ji had a dialoque with Sidh Yogis who lived on a nearby mound. Gurdwara Sahib Patshahi Chhevin marks the site of the camp where Guru Hargobind Sahib stayed when he came after winning the battle of Mahraj in the 1634 A.D. Gurdwara Sahib Patshahi Dasvin located on the eastern side of the sarovar is associated with the visit of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Guru Ji came here on his way from Chakar to Dina in December 1705 A.D. He is said to have bathed in the sarovar. Every year Jor Mela is organized in a big way from 13 January to 17 January. Gurdwara Gurusar, Lopon.- This Gurdwara is situated in village Lopon, tahsil Nihalsinghwala in the memory of Shri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Guru Ji stayed here for two days. A new building of Gurdwara was constructed in Gurdwara Aaduporh Sahib.- Gurdwara Aaduporh Sahib is situated in village Machhike 3-4 km away from the main Barnala- Moga road and is near village Bilaspur and Himmatpur. The Gurdwara Aaduporh is a historical shrine commemorating the visit of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji. Guru Ji came to the site while riding his horse, where now the present Gurdwara Sahib stands. At this place, Guru Ji met a holyman whose name was Aadu and asked him about the well being of the villagers. Aadu apprised Guru Ji that the village faces acute water problem hence the village development was suffering. On hearing the problem, it so happened that Guru Ji s horse struck on the ground with porh (Horse s hoof) and then water started pouring out of the earth. The water was sweet and in plenty. Thus, Guru Ji blessed the place with adequate water and left for Bilaspur. The historical well is located in the Gurdwara premises. Gurdwara Malla Sahib, Patshahi Chhevin.- Gurdwara Malla Sahib is situated in village Himmatpura once known as Jusampura of district Moga. It is 3 km from canal bridge on Moga-Barnala road. The village is 8 km from Machhike, Takhtupura as well as from Bhadaur. Gurdwara Malla Sahib is dedicated to Guru Hargobind Sahib, who had

7 440 MOGA come to the village Himmatpura from village Bali located about two kilometers away. On hearing of Guru Hargobind Sahib s arrival, a large number of people gathered to get his blessings. In that congregation, villagers from nearby place named Jusampura, came to Guru and requested him to bless their village by paying a visit there. Guru Ji expressed his inability, however he told them that he would come to their village as and when possible. Thereafter they went back but interestingly enough, one of the villagers had managed to steal the saddle of Guru s horse. Next day Guru Ji was told about the theft. On the following day Guru Ji went towards their village Jusampura. The villagers extended whole hearted hospitality to Guru and requested forgiveness for the saddle mischief by saying that the man who had taken the saddle was mad. When Guru noticed that the saddle thief had returned the saddle back without one of its pedas (gold ring), he expressed his unhappiness over the thief s behaviour. Leaving the place Guru blessed the villagers for their prosperity. Guru also changed the name of the village Jusampura to Himmatpura. Badhni Kalan On 21 December 2001 Badhni Kalan was formed as a new subtahsil within Nihalsinghwala Tahsil of Moga District. As per 2001 Census, the population of the town was 6,366.The main exports of this town are wheat, paddy and cotton. The villages comprising this ilaka were formerly held by Rai of Raikot. They appear to have been part of pargana Tihara. The zamindars were Dhariwal Jats. A daughter of one Mehr Mitha of this tribe was married to the Emperor Akbar. On her father he conferred the title of Mian and gave him a jagir of 120 villages, of which Kangar was the centre. On the fall of the Empire, the Chiefs of Patiala and Nabha despoiled the Mian family of a great part of their possessions. The remainder, known as ilaka Badhni, was seized by Ranjit Singh and given by him to his mother-in-law, Sada Kaur, who was the daughter of a zamindar of Raoki in the same ilaka. The descendants of Mehr Mitha, though they were never converted to Muhamadanism, still retain the title of Mian. A few acres of land are all that now remains to them of their former possessions. The fort of Badhni was built by Mian Himmat Khan, the descendant of this family. During British period Badhni was district headquarter but in 1847 Badhni District was broken up and its areas were added to the Firozpur District which also included Dharmkot, Kot Isa Khan, Badhni, etc.

8 PLACES OF INTEREST 441 Bagha Purana Bagha Purana is the tahsil/subdivisional headquarter of the Moga District situated on the Moga- Kot Kapura road at a distance of 16 km from Moga. It was formed as a tahsil/subdivision on 23 December 1997 by carving out some areas of Moga and Nihalsinghwala Tahsils/Subdivisions. As per 2001, Census the population of the town was 21,596. One large and medium scale industry namely Markfed Modern Rice Mill is located in the town. Main items of export from the town are wheat, paddy and wooden furniture, etc.

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