Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden in Amritsar famous for one of the most tragic yet landmark events in the history of India. This is where the Amritsar Massacre of 1919 took place.
The British Army soldiers upon receiving orders from General Dyer opened fire on a huge, unarmed gathering of men, women and children on April 13, 1919.
There is a well inside Jallianwala Bagh into which many people including children jumped to save themselves from the firing. The garden also houses a memorial built in honour of the massacre victims. The portion of the wall with bullet marks along with the well is preserved as a memorial. A light and sound show is hosted here every evening. The act, narrated using actor Amitabh Bachhan’s voice, recreates the events of 1919 that took place at Jallianwala Bagh and is quite an interesting and stirring experience. But don’t forget to bring mosquito repellent if you plan to attend the show! During World War I, British India contributed to the British war effort by providing men and resources. Millions of Indian soldiers and labourers served in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, while both the Indian administration and the princes sent large supplies of food, money, and ammunition. However, Bengal and Punjab remained sources of anticolonial activities. Revolutionary attacks in Bengal, associated increasingly with disturbances in Punjab, were significant enough to nearly paralyse the regional administration. Of these, a pan-Indian mutiny in the British Indian Army planned for February 1915 was the most prominent amongst a number of plots formulated between 1914 and 1917 by Indian nationalists in India, the United States and Germany. The planned February mutiny was ultimately thwarted when British intelligence infiltrated the Ghadarite movement, arresting key figures. Mutinies in smaller units and garrisons within India were also crushed. In the scenario of the British war effort and the threat from the militant movement in India, the Defence of India Act 1915 was passed limiting civil and political liberties. Michael O’Dwyer, then the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, was one of the strongest proponents of the act, in no small part due to the Ghadarite threat in the province
At 9:00 on the morning of 13 April, the traditional festival of Baisakhi, Colonel Reginald Dyer, the acting military commander for Amritsar and its environs, proceeded through the city with several city officials, announcing the implementation of a pass system to enter or leave Amritsar, a curfew beginning at 20:00 that night and a ban on all processions and public meetings of four or more persons. The proclamation was read and explained in English, Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi, but few paid it any heed or appear to have learned of it later.Meanwhile, the local CID had received intelligence of the planned meeting in the Jallianwala Bagh through word of mouth and plainclothes detectives in the crowds. At 12:40, Dyer was informed of the meeting and returned to his base at around 13:30 to decide how to handle it.
By mid-afternoon, thousands of Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus had gathered in the Jallianwala Bagh (garden) near the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar. Many who were present had earlier worshipped at the Golden Temple, and were passing through the Bagh on their way home. The Bagh was (and is) an open area of six to seven acres, roughly 200 yards by 200 yards in size, and surrounded by walls roughly 10 feet in height. Balconies of houses three to four stories tall overlooked the Bagh, and five narrow entrances opened onto it, several with locked gates. During the rainy season, it was planted with crops, but served as a local meeting-area and playground for much of the year. In the center of the Bagh was a samadhi (cremation site) and a large well partly filled with water and about 20 feet in diamete