With the inauguration of 200-year-old heritage monument Maharaja Duleep Singh Memorial here on Sunday by Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, the Bassian village has no doubt turned into a tourist village.
Not only the village residents, but people from adjoining villages as well as from far off places are so excited with its opening that they reached to explore the memorial on Sunday.
Even on Monday, the flow of visitors remained high throughout the day. Visitors were of the view that this memorial has added a charm to their region and will keep all, especially the younger generation connected to Punjab's history.
Baldev Singh, an elderly visitor from Bassian who had come with his entire family, said, “We had never thought that this monument will get such an amazing facelift and will get beautiful parks with fountains, an open-air theatre and an inspiring museum on Maharaja's life, but thanks to those who made efforts to revive it. Saving our heritage means a lot.”
Similarly, Kuldeep Singh from Jatpura, which is a nearby village, said, “Most of the villagers have not seen any museums or such attractions, but its opening has offered a special exposure to Punjab's culture to the people. Moreover, the details of all pictures displayed in the museum have been written in Punjabi as well as English. Besides, it will also serve as a source of inspiration and entertainment for people.”
On the other hand, as Badal also announced that state government will come up with more such monuments and memorials in the near future, several villagers feel that before focusing more on monuments, state government should also ensure that all its citizens should get the basic needs and facilities.
“Clean drinking water, good roads, proper medical facilities, care for old, farmers' concerns and several other issues must not be ignored. There are many areas where people are suffering because of these issues,” said a group of farmers.
Gurbhajan Singh Gill, a noted Punjabi writer and chairman of Duleep Singh Memorial Trust (DSMT), said, “Citizens of the state hope that state's tourist and cultural affairs department will ensure to maintain the memorial forever through regular renovations.”
This trust played a vital role to bring the monument back to life by following the issue of its upgrade directly with CM.
Meanwhile, Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB), along with minister of tourism and cultural affairs Sohan Singh Thandal, will soon come up with its official opening and closing timings.
It has not been confirmed yet if there will be any tickets for admission to the memorial in future.
While DSMT is already out with brochures on this memorial, PHTPB will come out with their brochures on the same in the coming weeks. It is pertinent to mention here that there are no special transportation arrangements by the PHTPB from its tourist office in Ludhiana to reach this attraction, which is located on the outskirts of Bassian village.