MAY BE IT IS A THOUSAND YEAR OLD: KALA MEHAR
Bhakna is yet another example of
indifference of Punjab's scholar to this fine subject of Archaeology.
Bhakna is merely 10 Kms away from the so called centre of learning the
Guru Nanak University Amritsar. And I can say with certainty that no
historian from University might have ever visited this village.
Since the Punjab mutinied
against Delhi centre only a few years ago, unfortunately every 'obedient
scholar' is focussed on only one point i.e the unity and integrity of
India. It is for this reason that Punjab's universities are not able to
focus on Punjab issues. You review the work of universities and you will
find this is the key to projects. Perhaps these scholars believe that
working on Punjab issues is again a war against India. I find many history
scholars devoted to projects such as freedom struggle. Surprising indeed
you won't find any historian coming out of the university campus to have a
glimpse of Punjab archaeology around. Every day we are loosing precious
monuments. You can't expect an illiterate farmer to protect your history.
I am sure it will surprise the Punjabis when I inform them that no
meaningful archaeological survey has ever been conducted by the Govt after
Anyone going to village Bhakna can't
ignore the Kala Mehar cluster of temples and tank because it is right on
the road from Amritsar to Bhakna village.
It is a legend that Kala Mehar was the
ancestor of the Sandhu tribe of the Jatts. It is also believed that Bhakna
village is named after a man who had seven brothers: Khasa, Cheecha ....
To me Kala Mehar is old site and must
have been the pleasure spot of some Jatt feudal or king. The kind of tank
the sarovar we find here is often attached to palaces. We also find a
separate enclosure for women folk to bath. The devotee Hindus also
confirmed that idols of dieties were installed in recent years. But in one
of the room ceiling and walls we find beautiful frescos of Hindu deities.
All that surprised me was presence of
'Kushan brand of big bricks' here and there though the structures are
built with Nanakshahi bricks. I can therefore believe that older
structures existed here which were later replaced with nanakshahi bricks.
May be the site is about a 1000 year old. Only an archaeologist can
Here are a few photographs from Bhakna
Kala Mehar the site at Bhakna right on the road: Stupid people
have added a new structure rather than conducting the restoration
work. I was told the Govt has given a grant
A Temple/ A room
A Temple/ A
The Hindu priest from Bengal going inside to fetch prasad for me. He
returns with a delicious apple
A Temple/ A
My camera peeps inside the basement room with no opening
A Temple/ A
room--There is a room below also with no opening. This again is a
proof of site being older than a 1000 years. A lot of earth filing
since the construction of original built.
there was once A Temple/ A room
A fresco : is it Brahma?
A fresco : It
is Shiva Parvati
A fresco : is it Inder?
A fresco : is
it Radha Krishan?
A zand tree
near an old tomb. Remember all Jatts were Hindus before the advent
of Islam and Sikhism
I am proud of my common people who respect all faiths: It is a
Muslim monument. In hurry I could not gather details
Kushan brand bricks seen scattered here and there. They tell the
structure might have been a 1000 year old
Historical Bhakna village a victim of
govt apathy, public ignorance
Written by Varinder Walia, The Tribune
Thursday, 14 July 2005
Rutted and bumpy four-kilometre
approach road from Amritsar-Lahore Marg takes you to the ancient village,
Bhakna, believed to be as old as Amritsar city itself. Bhakna is the
ancestral village of Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, founder-President of the
The village, once a centre of higher
learning, was also called Kashi in the olden days. Famous pandits from all
over the sub-continent used to visit Bhakna for discourses.
The magnificent ancient Krishna Temple
in the village, made with Nanakshahi bricks, which find mention in the
Punjabi folk songs, is considered enough proof of its historicity.
However, the ancestral village which
is only seven kilometers (crow fly) from the Pakistani border seems to
have been forsaken by the district administration and state as well. The
historical but neglected village, which is known for being a harbinger of
freedom movement, could not witness any development after independence.
The tall claims made by the then Chief Ministers Partap Singh Kairon,
Beant Singh and Parkash Singh Badal notwithstanding, the village is a
classic example of 'neglected countryside' in independent India.
Ram Lubhaya Sharma, a retired teacher
and president, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna Memorial Committee, said the
village was named after one of the seven bothers, born in the area. The
names of other brothers were Khasa and Cheecha (both villages bearing
these names are few kilometres from Bhakna).
The border village had a good Hindu
population of all castes that witnessed large-scale migration during the
heydays of militancy. The village had a bustling bazaar ' a great
attraction for adjoining villages, before it was hit hard by militancy.
Incredibly, the village has produced more than 300 teachers who have
excelled in the field of education. Credit for making Bhakna as one of the
most educated villages of the state goes to Baba Bhakna who had made
special efforts in this regard throughout his life. Even in his old age,
Baba Bhakna would impart education to the wards of freedom fighters,
providing them boarding and lodging in the village itself.
The villagers claim that Bhakna
village was once devastated during the olden days and the 'theh' (big
mound) on the outskirts is a testimony to this theory. Unlike Ucha Pind
Sanghol, archeological department has failed to carry out any excavation
of the big mound to establish its prehistoric civilisation. It is believed
that after the large-scale destruction, the Bhakna village was moved to
the adjoining plains.
The beautiful frescos in the ancient
Hindu temple in this border village stand damaged, thanks to the
indifferent approach of its caretakers. The magnificent talab (holy tank),
made of Nanakshahi bricks, is also in bad shape. The temple complex, made
of Nanakshahi bricks, houses Shiva, Krishna, Sandhu and Hanuman temples.
It has been whitewashed from inside and outside without caring about its
heritage importance. The name of this historical temple also finds mention
in the Punjabi folk songs. The temple was considered a great landmark in
the border belt. The temple complex also houses the religious place,
believed to have been constructed in the memory of Kala Mehar, ancestor of
Sandhus. Shockingly, the idols of Krishna, Hanuman and other gods and
goddesses have been freshly painted. The publicity material written on the
outer wall of the structure is an eyesore.
The village is a true example of
'unity in diversity'. Even as ten million people, including Hindus,
Muslims and Sikhs, were massacred during the communal frenzy at the time
of Partition, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna formed Aman Sabhas (Peace
Committees) and helped to send many Muslims safely to the newly-created