Finally, there is a one-stop destination for those looking to experience the traditional Punjabi lifestyle and culture.
The state government’s ambitious ‘heritage village’ project—‘Sadda Pind’— is a reality, 11 years after it was envisaged.
Spread over 12 acres and built at a cost of around Rs 20 crore, ‘Sadda Pind’ takes the visitor to the Punjab’s rustic rural settings in an era untouched by modernity. The ‘pind’ will play host to deputy CM Sukhbir Badal for a dinner on October 24 and will be formally launched on November 1.
Sadda Pind offers a peep into the rural Punjab—men preparing cattle feed, women weaving on the ‘charkha’ (spinning wheel) or making dung cakes.
Will revive the forgotten Punjabi heritage
On the streets in the ‘pind’, women will be seen working on traditional Punjabi handicrafts such as ‘parandas’, ‘phulkaris’, ‘durries’ and ‘juttis’. There is a ‘Sangeet Ghar’ whose boundary wall is decked up with old music records. The cultural activity in-charge of the village, Baljit Kaur, with her team, will play traditional folk musical instruments such ‘tumba’, ‘algoze’, ‘chimta’, ‘dhol’, ‘nagara’, ‘gagar’ etc. to the visitors. The premises have pictures of legendary Punjabi artists, including Jagjit Singh, Hans Raj Hans and Dev Anand.
“The most unique thing about this destination is that it is also a residential village resort where one can book his or her private room to witness the traditional Punjabi rustic life, its colourful culture and lip-smacking cuisines,” shares Ish Gambhir, the managing director of JMD Heritage Lawns, who has been given the charge of the village.
There will be an entry ticket that will include one meal (either lunch or dinner) and the tourist can relish unlimited Punjabi food at ‘Chayee Ji KaVehra’, the ‘dhaba’ at the resort.
Evenings will have live performances of ‘bhangra’, ‘jhumar’, ‘kikli’, ‘gatka’ and ‘gidda’.
How it took shape
Former V-C of Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) SP Singh had conceived the project in 1998, following which a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the varsity and the government to actualise it.
As per the MoU, the university allocated 12 acres along the GT Road and the foundation stone of the project that aimed to showcase the culture of pre-Independence rural Punjab was laid in 2003 and it was to be completed by 2011. However, work on the project went on a snail’s pace before it was handed over to Ish Ghambir, who completed the project in about 18 months.
Now, his agency will pay an annual rent of around Rs 2 crore to the university and the GNDU will pay 10% of the income (around `19 lakh) to the department of tourism. The government has already spent more than `10 crore on the project and the private firm too has spent a few crores on its renovation. After 30 years, the entire village will be transferred to the university.
Ghambir said the village will be giving employment to more than 300 people, who will work in two shifts as the village will be open from 11am to 11 pm. Students of hospitality industry will be employed to apprise the foreign tourists.