When I visited Amritsar I was fortunate enough to meet this auto-rickshaw driver who took me around to some not so popular places in and around Amritsar. One of those was Pul Kanjari, also known as Pul Moran which is around 35 km from Amritsar. Maharaja Ranjit Singh is been credited to built this architecture during his visit to Amritsar and it was a place for leisure and relaxation. This historical site is the end of the village. Once you cross this place all you would be seeing is The India-Pakistan Border and our BSF Jawans. It is a well-protected and a restricted area and you could be actually experiencing the thrill to have a look at the war zone.
The story of this architecture begins with Moran who was a Muslim dancer performing in the Royal Court of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. She has to regularly cross a small canal to reach the Royal Court. And the incident which led to the construction of this bridge was that one fine day she lost her silver sandals gifted by Maharaja Ranjit Singh while crossing that canal. When then refused to perform in the Royal Court, Maharaja Ranjit Singh ordered to construct the bridge on the canal. Since the bridge was built for Moran who was a dancer and dancer were known as Kanjari the place is known as Pul Kanjari or Pul Moran. It is said that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was in love with Moran and was also about to marry her even though she belonged to a lower caste. For this, he even received punishment from Akal Takht which he gladly accepted. In short, this architecture is one another symbol of love.
During the Indo-Pak wars, Pul Kanjari was captured by the Pakistani Army and after recapturing by the Indian Army it has been now under the care of the Government of India. The place has been renovated and open to tourists. However, the bridge was destroyed during the wars.
The Pul Kanjari has a sarovar or as we can call it a water pool that is usually empty for the most part of the year now. The water was drawn from the nearby canal to use. The open space was usually used by the gents and the covered one was reserved for the ladies.
The Shiva Temple made of Nanakshahi Bricks can also be seen at the site but since we found it locked from the outside I couldn't have a look at the temple from the inside. Baradari (the house with 12 doors) was a stay house for the Maharaja, the ruins of which can still be seen.
Another important site to visit in this village is the nearby War Memorial which is built in honour of sacrifices made by the soldiers defending the Pul Kanjari. L/Naik Shangara Singh is a significant soldier from a Sikh Regiment who is known to snatch a medium machine gun (MMG) from the Pakistani Army. His heroic act has been portrayed at this war memorial.
A walk or drive through this village is itself satisfying as you will see the green fields throughout. The locals with local costumes and what I can call a pinch of the real Punjab.
This village of Pul Kanjari is rich in history and holds a prominent place in the Indo-Pak wars. If one ever visits Amritsar or Wagah Border, this place should go into the list of visiting places. Simple and elegant. Moreover, it symbolizes love and patriotism.
How to reach Pul Kanjari
After crossing Atari, after around 500 yards there is a road on the right side where at the end of the road there is Pul Kanjari. There are chances Google Maps might fail you to find this destination so it's better you take the help of a local guide. The place is in remote interior and thus there are no many travel options apart from you having your own vehicle or hiring auto. The place though under UNESCO hasn't reached the travellers' fame yet and thus wouldn't be crowded. The place would be peaceful most of the time and it is a good place for photography. You wouldn't find any place to eat nearby so carry your own water and snacks while traveling. Happy Journey :)