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40 Artillery Division

The 40th Artillery Division, India's sole 'pure' artillery division, is deployed in the Northern Command and forms part of the 1 Strike Corps based in Ambala, 200 km north of Delhi. The 40 Artillery Division is stationed at Ambala Cantonment, Haryana. Many secondary sources refernce this unit as 30th Artillery Division.

Ambala is a major railway junction in northern India after the national capital Delhi. The district headquarter is situated in Ambala City. Other towns are Ambala Cantt., Barara, Naggal, Mulana, Saha and Shahzadpur. The total area of Ambala district is 1569 sq kms and its population is 11,06,000. It is famous for its big army cantonment, air force base and a very busy railway junction.

G.T. Road (NH-1) passes through Ambala Cantt, hence it is easily reachable by road transport as well. Situated about 200 km north of Delhi, this town is well connected by the rail and road network. The town is home to many Gurdwaras (Sikh temples), some of which have historical importance. The Badshahi Bag Gurudwara, Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Manji Sahib Gurudwara, Labhuwala Talaah, and Sangat Sahib Gurdwara are worth visiting. Patel Park in Ambala Cantt and City Park in Ambala City have beautiful gardens. The Subhash Chandra Bose Park in Subhash Colony, Ambala Cantt has become a popular site for city dwellers.

Ambala district is located on the North-Eastern edge of Haryana surrounded by Yamunanagar to the South-East, Kurukshetra to its south, Patiala and Ropar districts of Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to the west. The Shivalik Range of Solan and Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh bound the Ambala district in the North and North-East. The history of the district dates back to 14th century AD and is believed to have been founded by Amba Rajput during this period. Yet another legend says that the District has got its name after goddess "Bhawani Amba" who's Temple still exists in Ambala city. The economy of the district largely depends on agriculture. The other sources of income are: trade and commerce, manufacturing & household industry etc. The district has been one of the fastest developing towns of Haryana owing to its scientific & surgical instruments manufacturing industry. It is also famous for its wholesale cloth market, which sells one of the best cloths in the region and at the cheapest prices.

The Ambala District has claims of being one of the Historical famous Districts of Haryana State . The District was explored during British period by A.C.Cunningham and C.Rodgers and later by B.B.Lal and many others. On the basis of various literary and archeological evidences it is possible to give an outline of culture and History of Ambala District.The earliest literacy reference to the region comprising the Ambala District in the Taittiriya Aranayaka which mentions Turghna as the bordering region towards the North of Kurukshetra. This locality identified with Shrughna Sugh also finds mention in Panini (Ancient Indian Literature). It is surmised that Ambala District to have been founded by Amba Rajput during the 14th century AD. Another version is that the name is a corruption of Amba Wala or the mango-village judging from mango groves that existed in its immediate neighborhood. Still another version is that the District has taken its name after goddess "Bhawani Amba" whose Temple still exists in Ambala city.

Under the Muslims, district formed a part of Kutab-Bin-Abak Empire. The region also witnessed the invasion of Timur. In 1450 Bahlol Lodhi the then governor of Punjab brought the area under his Sway till Babur's invasion in 1526. Akbar's reign was full of events in Din-E-Akbari .It is mentioned that mahals of Ambala to be part of Sirhind of Delhi suba. After the Aurangjeb death the political position and various forces rose in opposition to the Empire. Banda Bahudar, a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh launched a fierce attack on Ambala area (1709-10) however he lost to Mughals at Sadhaura in 1710. After Banda ,Khidmat, a Mughal official governed the Ambala Terrritory till 1739. When Nadir Shah's invasion a dark period followed with the division of Ambala in to small principalities Abdali held this area from 1757 onwards. The restive sikhs in 1763 came in possession of this territory after slaying Abdalis Governor. In short, during medieval age this reign was full of Political activities and Turmoil's.

The advent of British Rule Marked the growth of Sikh Power in this region and the consequent destruction by British in 1805. The British in order to increase their sway beyond Yamuna took the Chiefs in Ambala under their protection. The British Controlled the affairs of all states in the region in a most effective manner through the political agency at Ambala. In 1845, the Sikh chief showed passive obstruction or open hostility to the British. The result was the police jurisdiction of most of the chief as well as transit and custom duty were abolished and a commutation was accepted for the personal service of the chief of his contingent. The political agency of Ambala was transformed into Commissionership under the commissioner of the cis-Satluj states. By 1846 several chiefships had lapsed owing to their failure to have male heirs and the so called break down of administrative machinery. The British acquired strips of territory around Ambala district in 1847. In 1849, Punjab was annexed and then it was declared that expect Buria and Kalsia all chiefs would cease to hold sovereign powers.

The Ambala district played a significant role in uprising of 1857. Ambala was a military depot of great Importance then. Sham Singh ,a sepoy of the 5th Native infantry told Forsyth, the then Deputy Commissioner Ambala, in the end of April 1857, that a general rising of the Sepoys would take place in the beginning of May. He was proved Correct at approximately 9 A.M.on Sunday 10th May 1857 an Indian regiment the 60th Native Infantry rose in open revolt at Ambala followed by 5th native infantry at 12 noon but the Britsh were too alert and suppressed the revolt. Like the sepoys, the civil population was also badly affected. Indeed everyone among them irrespective of their caste, creed and religion stood against Britishers and played a significant Role in Struggle.

The people of Ambala helped government in its war efforts. The village peasants gave recruits to Army but in the period following the first world war they were rendered jobless and a feeling of discontentment creeped into them. Mahatma Gandhi found a great opportunity and launched an all India agitation in 1919.The Post war Scenario witnessed a great deal of Political activity in Ambala District.Like in other parts of India, people opposed Rowllatt Bills. The people over here opposed the Bills and passed resolution condemning the government action. After the arrest of Mahatma Gandhi and Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy some voilent disturbances also took place at number of places. The burning of the office of a military regiment 1/34 Sikh Pioneer at Ambala Cantonment was indeed very serious. The people contributed shoulder to shoulder with Gandhi's Non Co-operation movement. But in 1922, the Movement was withdrawn as a result of Chauri-Chaura Incident.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:41:18 ZULU