We get information about history from books, some old evidence, and from the mouths of elders. But the information about the history of Amritsar comes from the tunnels found there. There is a city in Amritsar where tales of history are buried in the ground in the form of the tunnels of Amritsar. Whenever any excavation is done during the construction work, there are many tunnels that open the pages of history with them.
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) was getting excavation done here for the construction of a shoe house and parking near Sri Akal Takht Sahib. And then suddenly the soil there collapsed on its own. After removing the soil, it was found that there is a tunnel. This is not the first time such a tunnel has been found in Amritsar.
Following are the places where tunnels are found.
- In the year 2013, a tunnel-like structure was found under the Langar Hall of Sri Harimandir Sahib. But then it was not investigated by the Archaeological Department.
- When the Golden Plaza was being constructed outside Sri Harimandir Sahib. Then, there was talk of getting a tunnel here too, but even then this thing was suppressed.
- In 2006, a tunnel was found under a 200-year-old mansion in Katra Ahluwalia. It was five and a half feet wide. Even at that time, the construction work proceeded even before the investigation.
- In the year 2011, a tunnel was also found in Lohagarh while laying the sewerage pipeline by the Municipal Corporation. Then it was closed by calling it the old pipeline.
It is believed that during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, secret messages were delivered through tunnels. So if this is true, then such tunnels will be found in the future also and will tell the story of history. At present, the team of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is investigating the historical importance of this tunnel.
Historian Surinder Kochhar says, ‘The underground structure found near Sri Akal Takht Sahib is not a tunnel, but of a bungee. A bungee was a type of watchtower, with a dome above it and an underground roomy basement below. According to the news, this tunnel also looks like this style. Surendra Kochhar Ji further says that when the parikrama around Sri Harimandir Sahib was widened in 1949, the bungalows were broken and buried in the ground. Their remains are still present under the ground.
If his words prove to be true, then these tunnels of Amritsar (be it bungee or tunnel) are all our historical capital that needs to be saved.