From being a small village called Meer Hota in 1481 to later Lodiana and now Ludhiana, the city has never been caught napping. Under theYodhas from the first to the fourth century, it later came under the rule of Samudragupta. But the Original Ludhianavis settled here much later in the ninth century. There were the Rajputs from the ninth century. There were the Rajputs from the south and then the Turks and the Afghans who took the Bet area of Sutlej on lease from Mohammad Gami. Later, the Sidhus, Gills, Sandhus and the Grewals came from the jungles of Jagraon and camped here.
Early Settlers: Sikandar Lodhi sent Yusaf and Nihang to stop the approaching Baloachs. They crossed Sutlej and after defeating Khokhars of Doaba, established Sultanpur Lodhi. Nihang stayed back at village Meer Hota as Naib. He was the one who changed the name of the village to Lodiana. Later, his grandson, Jalal Khan, built the Lodhi Fort there. His two sons Aloo Khan Khijar Khan divided among themselves the area around the fort but were dethroned by Babur who even demolished Nihang's tomb. That didn't end the travails of this town. During Akbar's reign, it was a tehsil along with Tihara.
Events and Festivals :
Kisan Mela: Every year, the Punjab Agricultural University organizes a Kisan Mela in Ludhiana. At the festival, new techniques of farming are shown to the farmers. New hybrid quality seeds of food grains are displayed and sold.
Prof. Mohan Singh Mela: This is a cultural festival where artists, writers, poets and dancers from all over Punjab gather and perform. The aim of this festival is to promote Punjabi culture, language and literature.
Some other festivals that are celebrated in Ludhiana are the Chhapar Festival, Baisakhi and Guru Purab.
Ludhiana has very hot summers and very cold winters. The monsoon visits this city around July and extends up to the beginning of September. Winters generally set in around November, when it becomes very cold during the night. But the city produces and exports hosiery and woolen products. If you can stand neither extreme heat nor cold, the best time to visit Ludhiana is from February to mid April. Thus, cotton clothing is apt for summers and woolens are required for winters.
Macchiwara:In the village Machhiwara about 35 km from Ludhiana, is the Gurudwara Charan Kanwal named after the Guru's feet that are compared to the lotus flower. When Aurangzeb's army attacked the fortress of Chamkaur Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh successfully resisted their onslaught and slipped away into the forests of Machhiwara. The Mughal forces got wind of his whereabouts and Guru Gobind was saved by two of his Muslim devotees who disguised him as their Muslim prophet. The place where the Guru rested is where the Gurudwara stands today.
Alamgir: Ten kilometers away from Ludhiana is Alamgir, where the Gurudwara Manji Sahib is situated. It is believed that the two Muslim devotees placed a cot here, in which the Guru was being carried. There is a ten feet deep tank near the Gurudwara where, according to a legend, Guru Gobind Singh shot an arrow into the parched land, which miraculously yielded water.
War Museum, Ludhiana
Guru Nanak Bhawan, Ludhiana
Historical Fort in Ludhiana
Killa Raipur: Twenty kilometres away from Ludhiana is Killa Raipur, which is famous for the Rural Olympics held there. Here, the local population comes to watch the village youth display their sporting skills. The event is held in mid-February.
The competitions are essentially of three types in the rural meets. Purely rural games are kabaddi, wrestling, and weight lifting. The performing sports are acrobatics, twisting an iron-rod by placing it on the Adam's apple, passing a tractor over the rib cage, cracking a big stone slab by place it on the chest. There are even more off beat feats, as seen where a young lad applied surma (kohl) on his eyes, with a knife held between his legs. And then there are the modern sports like athletics, hockey, football, volleyball, handball, cycling.
Jallandhar: Thirty-four kilometres away from Ludhiana is Jallandhar, the 'Sports City of India'. Jallandhar boasts of many historic monuments. Prominent among them are the mausoleum of Imran Nasir, the fort at Phillaur which once served as Maharaja Ranjit Singh's line of defence against the British, a Shiv Mandir which dates back to the Lodhi era and the Gurdwara at Kartarpur nearby. The Gurdwara was built by the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev in 1656. Every year, a fair is held on the birth anniversary of the Guru when a large number of devotees gather to pay homage.
Attractions and Places to Visit in Ludhiana
The Fort: The fort lies to the northwest of the city of Ludhiana. The main attraction of the fort is the shrine of Pir-i-Dastgir, also known as Abdul Kadir Galani. It draws both Hindu and Muslim pilgrims.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum: Then there is the other tourist attraction of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh War Museum. The foundation of this museum was laid in 1990. The museum was planned to create general awareness about the defence services, not only for its role in defending the country but also in strengthening the bonds of national integration and unity.
The museum, though not yet complete, has regular shows in a light and sound hall. This presentations showcase the stories of bravery of Indian especially Punjabi soldiers in upholding the pride of the motherland.
Punjab Agricultural University: On the outskirts of the city is the world famous Punjab Agricultural University, which is modelled on the Land Grant of America. The University has a Rural Museum, which houses local arts and crafts and objects belonging to the ancient times. The University also organizes a Kisan Mela every year.
How to Reach Ludhiana
By Air: The nearest operational airport from Ludhiana is in the state capital Chandigarh, 100 km away.
By Rail: There are regular trains for New Delhi and Amritsar from Ludhiana Railway Station.
By Road: Ludhiana is situated on the Amritsar-Delhi Grand Trunk Road. New Delhi, Amritsar, Chandigarh and other major cities in Punjab are well linked with Ludhiana through road. The city lies about 305 km northwest of Delhi and is 100 km away from Chandigarh.