Gurdaspur (Punjab) [India], September 28 (ANI): The Nawanpind Sardaran village, located on the banks of the UBDC canal has been presented the "Best Tourism Award" by the Union Ministry of Tourism as it has been preserving its 125-years-old havelis (ancestral homes) with utmost care and dedication, reported Khalsa Vox.
The award was bestowed at the Pragati Maidan which marks a momentous occasion for this quaint village.
Nawanpind Sardaran village first came into the spotlight in the year 2019 when Bollywood actor Sunny Deol expressed a keen interest in staying at the haveli during his election campaign.
While, initially, it was supposed to be a brief two-day long visit, Deol and his entourage got captivated by the charm and character of the havelis and extended their stay for nearly two months, reported Khalsa Vox.
Later, other Bollywood personalities, including Deol's father, Dharmendra also joined them and couldn't help themselves in praising the village.
Such was the allure of the havelis that a filmmaker even hinted at the possibility of crafting a cinematic tribute to these architectural gems.
The Sangha sisters are the backbone of these havelis as they have been diligently maintaining these historical havelis.
The Nawanpind Sardaran village emerged as the undisputed champion out of 750 villages from 31 states and union territories, which contested for the award and out of the 35 that made it to the shortlist, Furthermore, these selected villages were recognized for their exemplary collaboration with the Tourism Department in preserving their heritage, reported Khalsa Vox.
Going back, the story of Nawanpind Sardaran's havelis, namely 'The Kothi' and 'The Pipal Haveli,' dates back 125 years when they were first constructed by a family led by Sardar Narian Singh. Moreover, Narian Singh's legacy was carried forward by his son, Sardar Bahadur Beant Singh, who also founded cooperative societies in Punjab.
Today, these havelis have grabbed the attention of both domestic as well as international tourists.
After Sardar Narian Singh, the responibility of these havelis fell into the hands of former Indian Air Force officer Gupreet Singh Sangha and his wife Satwant Sangha.
Currently, the Sangha sisters take care of these ancestral homes, according to Khalsa Vox.
Gursimran Sangha, one of the five sisters, expressed her elation at the award stating,"Our hard work has finally been recognized by the Union government. It is a red-letter day for my family." "The main thing about living in a 125-year-old house is that its walls are alive. Our havelis do not belong to people, people belong to them," she said.
Moreover, the award does not only honour the Nawanpind Sardaran village but also highlights the key role played by the Sangha sisters in preserving these havelis. (ANI)