Pul Kanjari is situated 35kms away from Amritsar on Amritsar-Lahore road, near the villages of Daoka and Dhanoa Kalan on the Wagha border. Pul Kanjari is famous a World heritage sight declared by UNESCO. It is one among the heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, where he used to take rest while passing by along with his royal troop. During his reign, Pul Kanjari was an important trading centre and the king used to stay there for few days when travelling between Lahore and Amritsar. The legend has it that the village was named after a pul (bridge) that was built by the king for a dancer Moran. It is said that one day while crossing the canal one of her shoes fell into the water which vexed her a great deal and a bridge was constructed on her insistence. This fortress also contains a bathing pool, a temple, a Gurudwara and a mosque which were the secular concern of the Maharaja. The village has a monument built in memory of the Jawans who lost their lives in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
People used to come to Pul Kanjri from far-flung areas, including Amritsar and Lahore, for shopping. Basically, the town was inhabited by Arora Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus who lived happily till Partition. The historical town has been reduced to a tiny village now. Those who survived the bloodbath in 1947 left the place and settled in Amritsar, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of the country. But every year on August 22 (mid August), they come here to pay tributes to their ancestors and perform akhand path in the memory of those who had died.
The name ‘Pul Kanjari’ sounds rather odd as ‘Pul’ means a bridge and ‘Kanjari’ is a dancing woman or girl. There is a strange story behind this name and it relates to the Maharaja and his favourite ‘Kanjari’ called Moran.
It is said that once as she was coming from Lahore on horse she lost one of her silver sandals in the canal which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan to carry the waters of the Ravi to Lahore to irrigate the Shalimar Gardens. Moran was furious as the pair of sandals was presented by the Maharaja.
Disappointed as she was over her loss, she refused to perform before the Maharaja. The maharaja immediately ordered a bridge to be built over the water channel and the township thus came to be known as Pul Kanjari’. The channel has since dried up as the waters of the Ravi are no longer carried to Lahore.