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Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: School students learn about Indian architecture on heritage tour 

The students of Apeejay School, Model Town, paid a visit to Dakhni Sarai, an ancient Mughal rest house



Reading about India’s glorious culture in history books is not enough. To help students truly understand its magnificence, 152 students from Apeejay School, Model Town, Jalandhar were taken on an educational excursion to witness the architectural brilliance of Dakhni Sarai, an archeological site. The tour was organised as part of the celebrations for completing 75 years of Independence this year or ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to help children know about India’s rich history.

Located in Nakodar, about 25 km from Jalandhar, Dakhni Sarai was built by Mughal nobleman Ali Mardan Khan, during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. It is deemed one of the finest and best-preserved specimens of Mughal caravan sarais built along GT Road, which was built by Sher Shah Suri. The monument, with its majestic gateway, adorned with tiles and fine red sandstone screens, is a treat for the eyes. It further comprises a large quadrangular setting resembling the rest house of the times, outer walls which enclose a half-domed mosque, a well, geometric gardens, and rooms for travellers.

During the educational excursion, students enhanced their knowledge about architecture through first-hand experience of the archeological site. They drew sketches of the monument and filled the area with melodious echoes of “Saare Jahan Se Achha”.

Earlier, Apeejay Model Town had also organised a number of events and programmes for students based on culture, history, archeology, scenic sites, and heritage.

“We often go and see the palaces and forts where the royals lived. But exploring places like Dakhni Sarai, which were essentially built for commoners, gives one an insight into the older cultures,” said Ms Maninder, the faculty member in charge of the trip. She added, “Dakhni Sarai is a beautiful monument that gives insight into Mughal times. During the period, a lot of sarais were built for the soldiers of the kingdom to rest while travelling. Most of them were built along the old highway between Delhi and Lahore since it was a popular route. These sarais serve as an example of architectural excellence.”

Sharing more about the experience, class 8 student Mishti Nagar expressed, “We had a lot of fun as well as learned about a monument. I took notes as the teacher explained facts about Dakhni Sarai. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”

Added class 7 student Simarbir Kaur, “Maninder ma’am explained facets of Mughal architecture to us in great detail. She shared many interesting facts about how the grand monument was made at a time when there was no machinery. I learned a lot on that trip.” Kaur added they were asked to make note of all that they observed and share it with their class in the form of a write-up, painting, etc.

“This study tour was organised in a bid to apprise students of archaeological sites, heritage, and history so that they know about these important aspects of the past glory of the region and people. Students learned a lot during the visit to the historic and archaeological site.”

-Malkiat Singh, principal, Apeejay Model Town

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.