Chandigarh: The tourists wandering for Punjab’s new destinations to explore state’s rich and vivid culture will have to wait for yet a little while longer. Despite having everything in place, the state government’s ambitious Heritage Village project ‘Sadda Pind’ is yet to be ‘fully’ operational for public. Likely to miss another deadline on August 24, the project will now be ‘fully’ open for public in October this year. The state tourism department, which is the guardian of the project, had set August 24 as deadline, but after the private player’s request two days back it has been delayed till October.
Managing director of JMD Heritage Lawns Ish Gambhir said that the village resort is in the final stages of execution. Sadda Pind is spread over 12 acres behind the Guru Nanak Dev University on the road to the Attari-Wagah joint check-post. “We have sought more time from the tourism department as we are busy with the recruitment process. The main challenge is to find the folk artistes who will entertain the public at ‘Sadda Pind’. We are in process to hire around 250 people in hospitality, operations and administration. The entire process will take almost one more month and the project will be open for general public at any date of October,” said Gambhir.
Civil engineer of the project Davinder Singh said the theme park will bring traditional Punjabi village to life. “Sadda Pind is a tourist destination where the old can reminisce their childhood spent in the cultures and customs of Punjab, the young can reconnect with their roots, and adults can enjoy the performances on display,” he said.
Coming up on the Amritsar bypass, en route to the Attari-Wagah border, the Heritage Village ‘Sadda Pind’ will showcase Punjab’s rich culture and tradition. The project was initiated almost five years back after the Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal laid its foundation stone. “The village resort will feature traditional artisans and rural workers. Sadda Pind expects to see thousands of tourists and visitors every day. The theme park will have several shops where the people of Punjab can sell their traditional crafts to visitors who wish to buy them,” said an officer of state tourism department.
Officials also said that they want to pack the resort with vibrant lights and sounds while displaying live performances of bhangra, jhumar, kikli and gidda. “Just like our old Punjabi villages, Sadda Pind will have numerous other attractions like live houses of sunar, lohar, kissan, sarpanch, zamindar, nambardar and tangewala,” they said.
Officers further added, apart from the mela (fair), there are also 21 traditional guest rooms in realistic village houses made of brick and stone for those who want to experience the village nightlife. Each house will feature the life of a real rural artisan within authentic rustic interiors and décor. Sadda Pind also offers unlimited Punjabi food at ‘Chayee Ji Ka Vehra’, the dhaba at the resort.
Tourists can also enjoy Punjabi culture in the grocery store, baraat ghar, daak ghar and the village haveli. The village is recruiting hundreds of folk artists, dancers, performers and tongawallas to contribute to the everyday festivities at the resort. This cultural endeavour will revive folk artists and the Punjabi handicraft bazaar and boost the business of local artists. The village will be chockfull of potters, weavers, blacksmiths and other artisans who make parandis, juttis, phulkaris, clay toys, musical instruments, durries, agricultural implements and shawls, according to the officials.
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