The small city of Ropar situated at a distance of 40 kms from Chandigarh on way to Anandpur Sahib occupies a prominent place not only in the ancient and medieval history of India but an equally conspicious place in the modern history also. It was here under a ‘peepul’ tree that a memorable meeting between Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Lord Williiam Bentick took place on October 31, 1831. The time worn old tree was uprooted in a storm a few tears back.
Ropar once called ‘Rup Nagar’ is situated near the Satluj between Nangal and Chandigarh. The history of this town goes back into antiquity and recent excavations point to it as one of the oldest towns in Punjab. The relics excavated show that the town has flourished in the past with a very advanced civilization similar to the ‘Harappa and Mohenjodaro’ civilization.
It was here in 1874 that the famous Sirhind canal was channelised from the left side of the river Satluj. The lake formed by the Ropar head works constitutes a major tourist attractions. At a distance of about 12 kilometers from here on the way to Nangal lies the Sirsa aqueduct. Nearby are the Guru Gobind Singh Thermal Plant and the Power Houses of Kotla and Ganguwal.
Its archaeological Museum and Super Thermal Plant are famous.
250 species of migratory birds visit the Sutlej water-body wetland, which is marked by a picturesque tourist resort here.
The valley from Ropar, through Kiratpur Sahib and Anandpur Sahib is full of Gurudwaras. Information about them is available at Sri Takht Kesgarh.
Situated on the left bank of the river Sutlej at a distance of about 41 kms. from Ropar on the Chandigarh – Nangal Road, Anandpur Sahib, the abode of peace with its numerous Gurudwaras stands out in picturesque relief against the Naina Devi mountain range.
Founded by Guru Tegh Bahadurji, the ninth Sikh ‘Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the tenth Guru had baptized the first five Sikhs called ‘Panj Piare’ here.
The festival of Hola Mohalla celebrated here is renowned worldwide for the splendor of martial display exhibited by the Nihangs. During the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of the Khalsa (1999) Anandpur Sahib is being put as a must on the tourist map of India.
Some of the more important Gurudwaras are :
Takht Kesgarh Sahib – The Khalsa was born here.
Gurudwara Anandgarh Sahib Fort and residence of Guru Gobind Singh Ji with remarkable paved well.
Gurudwara Damdama Sahib place of coronation of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Harassed Kashmiri Pandits of the valley have raised a memorial at Gurudwara Thara Sahib where their forefathers had come to seek Guru’s protection against the tyrannical policy of forcible conversion to Islam by Emperor Aurangzeb. It was here that Guru Tegh Bahadur had taken decision to embrace martyrdom at Delhi, the event, which as the history of India proves, defeated the design of the Mughal Emperor to convert India into Dar-i-Islam (the home of Islam).
There is much to see at Bhakra and Nangal, pre-eminently the world’s highest straight gravity Bhakra Dam.
Gurdwara Sri Bhatha Sahib, Gurdwara Sri Pataal Puri Sahib, Kirtpur Sahib, Gurdwara Sri Parivar Vichora (Ropar) where Sri Guru Gobind Singh got separated from his family, Gurdwara Sri Keshgarh Sahib, Anadpur Sahib (birth place of Khalsa) and Gurudwara Katalgarh Sahib (Sri Chamkaur Sahib) are the holiest places of Sikhs. In addition a new industrial belt is coming up after crossing River Sutlej on Ropar-Nawan Shehar Road, where large number of industries such as Swaraj Mazda Ltd., DCM Engineering Works, Ranbaxy, Max India Ltd., Maxon India Ltd. and Montary India have been set up. There is also a Thermal Plant put up by Punjab State Electricity Board at Ropar. Besides cement plant has been set up by Ambuja Group of Industries near Thermal Plant at Ropar.
How To Reach
Ropar is connected by train to Delhi and Una via Nangal by Himachal Express.
There is vast network of bus services of Punjab, Himachal, Delhi, Haryana, Pepsu, Chandigarh, U.P., J&K, Rajasthan State Roadways, apart from private operators. Important destinations include Delhi, Shimla, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Rishikesh, Kulu, Manali, Dharmshala, Jammu, Naina Devi and Vaishno Devi.
Chandigarh 42 Kms.
New Delhi 290 Kms