Jallianwala Bagh Massacre – Overview & History of this place

Jallianwala Bagh is located just next to the Golden Temple complex. It is located at less than 500m of distance from Golden Temple in Heritage Street. You can visit this place by walk while enjoying the cultural stores and shops in Heritage Street.


The Massacre took place on 13th April 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh located in Amritsar. Jallianwala Bagh Massacre is also known as Amritsar Massacre, when the troops of British Indian Army fired on unarmed people gathered on the occasion of Baisakhi festival. Baisakhi is a cultural festival celebrated in Punjab every year on 13th April. On 13th April 1919 at 9 A.M. Colonel Reginald Dyer (Military Commander of Amritsar) announced the implementation of rule to visit or leave Amritsar with permission. A curfew started and city officials banned the public gathering and meetings of 4 or more people. In the meanwhile, the local officials got the news of planned meeting at Jallianwala Bagh through detectives. Colonel Reginald Dyer was informed about this planned meeting in Amritsar.

By afternoon, thousands of people including Sikhs, Hindus & Muslims gathered. Some people joined meeting, who worshiped at Golden Temple and were passing through on their way to home. There were five entrances of the Bagh with 6-7 acres of the open land. Bagh was surrounded by walls and nearby houses. The local police closed the Baisakhi fair at 2 in afternoon. Thus more people gathered at Jallianwala Bagh estimated around 25,000 in counting. Both Colonel & Irving (Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar) were aware of the meeting. The civil authority of Amritsar and Deputy Commissioner Irving sent local police to disperse the crowd peacefully.

The meeting started at scheduled time in Jallianwala Bagh. Colonel Reginald Dyer arrived at Bagh with force of 90 people including Sikh, Baluchi, Gurkha. Force was armed with rifles & .303 Lee–Enfield bolt-action rifles & armoured cars armed with machine guns. The main entrance and  exits of Bagh was blocked by armoured cars.

Dyer then ordered his troops to start firing towards the densest areas of crowd. Troops continued to fire for approx. 10 minutes. Cease fire was ordered when ammunition was almost exhausted. People died in stampedes and many jumped into the well in Bagh. Many left wounded there because they fallen down and couldn’t move. The official number given by British is 379 deaths in massacre. But Indian National Congress concluded the number of more than 1500 in separate inquiry with approx. 1000 being killed and rest left wounded. Dyer finally found guilty in British inquiry and forced to resign his command.

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Image
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre (Source: Flickr)

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Revenge – Assassination of Michael O’Dwyer

Michael Francis O’Dwyer endorsed Colonel Reginald Dyer’s activity of the Massacre done in Amritsar and said it a “Right Action”. Michael O’Dwyer was British lieutenant Governor of Punjab (India) from 1912 to 1919. He who ordered & approved Colonel R. Dyer’s action of massacre and was believed to have been the main planner behind massacre. Sardar Udham Singh, a freedom fighter from Sunam (Punjab) was available in meeting held at Jallianwala Bagh and had himself been wounded in massacre. On 13 March 1940 S. Udham Singh shot & killed Michael O’Dwyer at Caxton Hall in London.

Udham Singh Image
Shaheed Udham Singh

Singh got arrested and said below lines to court at his trail:

I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?

Singh was sentenced to death and hanged for murder on 31 July 1940. Indian Govt. after independence gave the title of “Shaheed” to S. Udham Singh.

When did Jallianwala Bagh Massacre happened?

Jallianwala Bagh Massacre took place on 13th April 1919 at 9AM on the occasion of Baisakhi. Baisakhi is a cultural festival celebrated in Punjab every year on 13th April.

Jallianwala Bagh Timings

Jallianwala Bagh remains open from 6AM – 7PM in Summer season. However the management changes the time in winter from 7AM – 6PM. Visit once to see & read the History of Jallianwala Bagh. Entry to Jallianwala Bagh is absolutely free.

Also Read: Controversies on Jallianwala Bagh