The first ever festival to celebrate the heritage of Sangrur began with a homage to its past rulers on Friday.
The three-day Sangrur Heritage and Literary Festival that will see many prominent faces, including Raj Mohan Gandhi, Captain Amarinder Singh, Khushwant Singh and Surjit Patar, over the next two days, was kicked off
with a ‘kirtan darbar’ by Padma Shri-awardee Bhai Nirmal Singh Khalsa at Baradari in Banasar Bagh on Friday morning.
It was followed by homage to the founders of Sangrur and its previous kings by the 13th Punjab Regiment band at Shahi Samadhan. The band paid a melodious tribute to the founder of Jind state, Maharaja Gajpat Singh, and the most popular king of Sangrur, Maharaja Ranbir Singh.
The festival being organised by the Sangrur Heritage Preservation Society is first of its kind. The chief of the society, Karanvir Singh Sibia, said that initially they were planning to celebrate a single day event on Sangrur Day. “However, to do something remarkable, we had to do things differently. So, this festival was conceived,”he said.
Talking to HT, Gobind Singh Grewal, nephew of Maharaja Satbir Singh, said he was happy to remember the ancestors in such a way and to listen to stories about their bravery. He said Sangrur held a significant place in his life, as the town gave him the tag of being a royal.
The earliest settlement at the site of present Sangrur is believed to have existed in 2,300 BC. However, the place came to be recognised by its present name in 1774. Its fertile soil attracted various rulers.
The last person to be crowned the king was Maharaja Satbir Singh, who chose not to rule. Shahi Samadhan of the erstwhile Jind state’s rulers is over 125 years old and is undergoing restoration work.