The artifacts include various types of swords, daggers, lances, arrows, pistols, muskets, rifles, shields, helmets and body armour that form an intrinsic part of the martial history and military heritage of Punjab
About 300 vintage weapons that were used by Sikh forces over the past four centuries have been displayed in a newly created gallery at the Punjab State War Heroes Memorial and Museum in Amritsar.
The artifacts include various types of swords, daggers, lances, arrows, pistols, muskets, rifles, shields, helmets and body armour that form an intrinsic part of the martial history and military heritage of Punjab. Regimental flags of a large number of Indian Army units have also been displayed alongside.
“The gallery has just been completed. In addition to vintage weapons we have also displayed some modern firearms,” Brig Satinder Singh (retd), Director Defence Services Welfare Department, Punjab, said. “A machine gun bunker with two light machine guns, sand bag protection and overhead camouflage nets has also been created to give visitors a feel of a forward outpost,” he added.
Located on the Amritsar-Attari road, the memorial and museum was inaugurated in November 2016 and is aimed at showcasing the military history of Punjab, the gallantry of soldiers hailing from this region, give a glimpse of various wars fought by the Indian Armed Forces and infuse a spirit of patriotism in the youth.
The museum’s plan includes several galleries dedicated to the ancient history of the region, including the Battle of Alexander and Porus, the Sikh Empire and the Anglo-Sikh wars; Jammu and Kashmir operations in 1947-48, Sino-India war of 1962, Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971, Kargil conflict of 1999 and other campaigns such as Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka and Operation Cactus in the Maldives.
Most of the weapons displayed in the new gallery were already in the Department’s possession and were lying at various establishments. Many of them, including a vintage artillery gun, required their appearance to be restored to their original condition.
American, Japanese and Chinese rifles, mortar and British machine guns that were used in various battles before Independence as well as a few present-day weapons line anti-aircraft guns, carbines, rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons have been put up along with the navigation light of PNS Ghazi, the Pakistani submarine that was sunk off Vishakapatnam in 1971.