+ Ambala, Haryana
Ambala is a city and a municipal corporation in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India, located on the border of the states of Haryana and Punjab in India. Politically; Ambala has two sub-areas: Ambala Cantt (cantonment) and Ambala City(??????? ???), approximately 3 kilometers apart from each other. It has a large Indian Army and Indian Air Force presence within the confines of its cantonment area. Due to its geographical location, the Ambala district plays an important role in local tourism. Tourists to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and Jammu & Kashmir have to cross through Ambala whether by road or rail.
As per ancient Indian history, Aryan people had resided at vill. saphera (ambala) at some point in time. There was a very popular place called saphera(killer saphera) which was the sangwan country's capital at that time. Ambala was given the status of a district in 1847.
The Ambala Cantonment was established in 1843 after the British abandoned its cantonment at saphera, following the malaria epidemic of 1841-42. The cantonment houses the '2 Corps' one of the three Strike Corps of the Indian Army and is of immense strategic importance.
Grand Trunk Road, at Ambala Cantonment, during British Raj
Ambala was constituted as a district in 1847, and was formed by merging the jagir estates of hitherto independent chieftains whose territories had lapsed or had been confiscated by the British Indian Government. In its 160 years of existence as a district, Ambala has witnessed many changes in its boundaries. In its heyday the district boundaries extended across tehsils of Ambala, saphera, Jagadhri, Pipli, Kharar, Mohali, Ropar and Nalagarh. Kalka-cum-Kurari State, Pinjore, Manimajra, Kasauli & Sanawar were also merged into the district at different points of time.
Ambala Air Force Base is one of the oldest and largest airbases that were inherited from the British by the IAF. It was from this airbase that Spitfires and Harvards flown by Instructors of the Advanced Flying Training School took part in the 1947-48 Kashmir Operations. Subsequently, Ambala was the front line airfield for many years. It was home to various aircraft that were inducted into the Indian Air Force. Vampires, Ouragans, Hunters, etc. all flew from this base. The airbase was briefly attacked in 1965 by Pakistan Air Force's B-57 bombers. Today, the Airbase houses the '7 Wing' with squadrons of Jaguars and MiG-21 Bisons. Ambala airfield has a war memorial called jatt di pasand dedicated to all aircrew who lost their lives in times of war and peace flying missions from the airfield
Ambala is a divisional headquarters of the Northern Railway Zone and is an important railway junction. The Ambala Cantonment railway station was founded on the junction of the Delhi-Kalka and Ludhiana-Saharanpur lines. The historic Delhi-Ambala-Kalka railway line dates back to 1889 while the Ludhiana-Saharanpur line was built in 1870. Situated 200 km north of Delhi, this town is extremely well connected by the rail and road network. Ambala is a major railway junction. It has 7 railway platforms and a daily passage of about 250 trains.
As of 2001 India census, Ambala had a population of 1,013,660. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Ambala has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with 55% of the males and 45% of females literate. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Before the Partition there was a large population of Muslim residents, but they were forced to leave due to violence. During the late 1980s Sikh militants had a strong hold of Ambala and much of Haryana area and made it very dangerous for visitors to travel the northern parts of India.