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Bhatinda Airbase

Bhatinda Air Base [IATA code BUP] is located in the state of Punjab. This facility is reportedly a forward operating base for the Prithvi missile. Other Indian Air Force activities at this station are not readily apparent from the open literature. No aircraft squadrons are known to be based here.

The Indian Army's Western Command has major facilities at Chandigarh, Jalandar, Bhatinda, Delhi, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Bikaner and Ambala. The 1965 and 1971 Wars demonstrated that the area under General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Western Command was too vast for effective command. Accordingly, in 1971, duplicate headquarters with duplicated staff were set up at Shimla and Bhatinda. After 1971, Headquarter Northern Command was established at Udhampur, taking over responsibility for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Sihmla was considered unsuitable for Headquarters Western Command and so was moved to Chandigarh with Punjab and Northern Rajasthan under its jurisdiction. In the Indian context, Command Headquarter can be likened to a Field Army or even an Army Group Headquarter with a General Officer Commanding-in-Chief presiding over matters in the rank of a (three-star) Lieutenant General. Next the line are the Corps Headquarters, which are Field Army Headquarters elsewhere. The Indian Army's combat formations are now grouped and tailored under many such Corps Headquarters (with some forces being retained under static Area Commands).

Goods are transported both by road and rail. National Highway No.15 runs between Bhatinda and Kandla.

Takht Sri Damdama Sahib is situated in the village of Talwandi Sabo near Bhatinda. This is where Guru Gobind Singh stayed for nearly a year and compiled the final edition of the Guru Granth Sahib known as the Damdama Sahib Bir in 1705. It is one of the Five Gurdwaras known as the Five Takhts (Thrones) which have a very special significance for the Sikh community. They are considered the seats of Sikh religious authority.

The Sikh militant movement is no longer active in Punjab. Virtually all of the militant groups in Punjab pursued their campaign for a separate state of Khalistan through acts of violence directed not only at members of the police and security forces but also specifically at Hindu and Sikh civilians. Although the situation in Punjab has returned to normality, acts of violence continue. In July 1997, 33 persons were killed and 65 injured when a bomb exploded on a train in the Bhatinda area.

Construction of the Bhatinda refinery, near Phulo Kari village in Bhatinda district, began in 1998. This is a joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation.


Imagery of the Bhatinda Airbase
Click on the small image to view a larger version

Overview of South Asia with India in the center

CIA Map of India

Tactical Pilotage Chart of Bhatinda Airbase in relation to Northern India.

Tactical Pilotage Chart of Bhatinda Airbase.

Ikonos Browse imagery of Bhatinda Airbase, as of 6 March 2002

Ikonos Browse imagery of the Bhatinda Airbase, as of 6 March, 2002



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