In the history of India’s struggle for Independence, one particular events stands out among the rest, both for its brutality and the impact it had on the future course of events related to the independence movement. This is the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, also known as the Amritsar Massacre, which occurred on 13th April, 1919. On this day, thousands of men, women and children had gathered at this enormous garden to protest against the imposition of the Rowlatt Act. However, General Reginald Dyer, under the assumption that the gathering was in fact a conspiracy against the British government, ordered his troops to open fire at the protestors. It is said that the firing lasted for almost 10 minutes, during the course of which, thousands of people jumped into the well to escape being hit by the bullets.
Indeed, today, it is a moving sight to come across. Today, a memorial designed by the American architect Benjamin Polk stands on the very site where the tragedy occurred, always reminding us of this unfortunate episode in India’s history. The walls of the Jallianwala Bagh bear the bullet marks till today, while the well has been renamed as Martyr’s Well. A light and sound show is held here every evening which recreates the act of 1919 and is narrated by Amitabh Bacchan, a distinguished actor of Bollywood.
Jallianwala Bagh is located just five minutes away from Golden Temple and should definitely be visited upon your visit to Amritsar.