Ambala (/əmˈbɑːlə/), is a city and a municipal corporation in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India, located on the border with the Indian state of Punjab and in proximity to both states capital Chandigarh. Politically; Ambala has two sub-areas: Ambala Cantonment also known as (Ambala Cantt) and Ambala City, less than one kilometer apart, therefore it is also known as "Twin City". It has a large Indian Army and Indian Air Force presence within its cantonment area. Ambala separates the Ganges river network from the Indus river network and is surrounded by two rivers – Ghaggar and Tangri – to the north and to the south. Due to its geographical location, the Ambala district plays an important role in local tourism, being located 47 km (28 miles) south of Chandigarh, the state capital, 148 km (93 miles) southwest of Shimla, 198 km (121 miles) north of New Delhi and 260 km (155 miles) southeast of Amritsar.Gurudwara Manji Sahib is situated in Ambala.

Ambala Cantonment Railway Station
Ambala Cantonment Railway Station
Ambala is located in Haryana
Location in Haryana, India
Ambala is located in India
Ambala (India)
Coordinates: 30°23′N 76°47′E / 30.38°N 76.78°ECoordinates: 30°23′N 76°47′E / 30.38°N 76.78°E
Country India
Established14th century CE
Founded byAmba Rajput
Named forBhawani Amba (Goddess)
264 m (866 ft)
 • Total207,934 (UA)[1]
 • OfficialHindi
 • Additional officialEnglish, Punjabi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Telephone code0171
ISO 3166 codeIN-HR
Vehicle registrationHR 01 (city), HR 04 (Naraingarh), HR 54 (Barara), HR 85 (Cantonment), HR37 (commercial)
Ambala-Kos Minar
Kos Minar near Ambala along Grand Trunk Road in Haryana



The town is said to derive its name from Amba Rajput who supposedly founded it during the 14th century CE. According to another version, it is named after goddess "Bhawani Amba" whose temple still exists in Ambala city. Third version mentions that the name is a corruption of Amba Wala meaning the mango-village, from mango groves which existed in its immediate neighborhood.[4][5]

Classical era

Archaeological Surveyor C.J Rodgers found Indo-Parthian Kingdom coins as well as coins of Hunas, Mihirakula and Toramana which indicated that after the disintegration of the Mauryan empire, the area was taken over by Indo-Parthians and later was incorporated in the domain of the Hunas.[4]

Late medieval era

History of Gurudwara Panjokhra Sahib, Haryana 01
Gurudwara Panjokhra Sahib

In 1709, Battle of Ambala was fought and Sikhs captured Ambala from mughals.[6]

British colonial era

The Ambala Cantonment

GTRoad Ambala
The Grand Trunk Road, at Ambala Cantonment, during the British Raj

Ambala Army Cantonment was established in 1843 after the British were forced to leave its Karnal Cantonment following the malaria epidemic of 1841–42 in as there were not any known effective means to control malaria epidemic in those days. The cantonment houses the '2 Corps', one of the three Strike Corps of the Indian Army.

Ambala Air Force Base is one of the oldest and largest airbases that were inherited from the British by the IAF. It was from this airbase that Spitfires and Harvards flown by Instructors of the Advanced Flying Training School took part in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948. Subsequently, Ambala was the front line airfield for many years. It was home to various aircraft that were inducted into the Indian Air Force. Vampires, Ouragans, Hunters, etc. all flew from this base. The airbase was briefly attacked in 1965 by B-57 bombers of the Pakistan Air Force. Today, the Airbase houses the '7 Wing' with squadrons of Jaguars and MiG-21 Bisons. A unit of the French-made Dassault Rafale will also be based at Ambala air base.

Ambala Cantonment is location of historic European Cemetery.

Formation of Ambala district

Ambala was given the status of a district in 1847, formed by the merging of the jagir estates of hitherto independent chieftains whose territories had lapsed or had been confiscated by the British Indian Government. In its 160 years of existence as a district, Ambala has witnessed many changes in its boundaries. Previously, it extended across tehsils of Ambala, Saphera, Jagadhri, Pipli, Kharar, Ropar and Nalagarh. Kalka-cum-Kurari State, Pinjore, Mani Majra, Kasauli & Sanawar were also merged later into the district at different times.

1857 rebellion

For their participation in first war of independence, the Chaudharys and Lambardars of villages who participated in rebellion were also deprived of their land and property, including 368 people of Hisar and Gurugram were hanged or transported for life, and fine was imposed on the people of Thanesar (Rs 235,000), Ambala (Rs. 253,541) and Rohtak (Rs. 63,000 mostly on Ranghars, Shaikhs and Muslim Kasai).[7]


Hanging of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse

In November 1949 Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse was hanged at Ambala Central Jail[8] along with Narayan Apte, a co-conspirator. Ambala Cantt is also mentioned in Kim (novel) by Rudyard Kipling.


As of 2011 India census, Ambala UA had a population of 207,934 consisting of 112,840 males and 95,094 females, a ratio of 843. there were 20,687 children 0-6 and Ambala had an average literacy rate of 89.31%, with 91.76% of males and 86.41% of females literate.[1]

Cloth Market

"Cloth Market" is the charm of the city, which draws shoppers from surrounding areas. The cloth market has a dense cluster of 900-1000 wholesale shops.

The market possesses a wide range of cloth items:

  • Hand-loom
  • Silk and Sarees
  • Suitings and Shirtings
  • All kinds of dress material

The areas surrounding the market thrive on this market for occupation. Market provides all kinds of cloth tailoring related and other transportation occupations to semi-urban areas around. This market remains closed on Thursday, Holi, Republic Day, Independence Day and Dussehra are the only other days the market remains closed.

Himachal Pradesh and Punjab are major parts from which shopkeepers come to this market. Silk and Sarees are one of the major type of cloth sold by volume. Ambala used to be a hub of hand-loom factories, man operated industry, which has almost vanished.

This market is regarded as the largest cloth trading market in the sub-continent (Asia).


Ambala has a large number of schools and colleges. Notable colleges include:-


Ambala is connected to all of the other major cities of north India including Delhi, Panipat, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar and Shimla. It is a big interchange for various commuters for all neighbouring states. The Ambala Cantt bus stand witnesses roughly 50,000 commuters daily.

National highway NH 1 popularly known as GT road passes through Ambala and connects it to National capital Delhi, Panipat, Ludhiana and Amritsar. NH 22 connects it to state capital Chandigarh and Shimla. National Highway 52 connects it to Kaithal, Narwana and Hisar. Apart from the Interstate service, Ambala also houses one of the oldest local bus service in Haryana, which is run by both Haryana roadways and private companies. Other means of local transportation include auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.


Bus service is the major means of public transport in this district. Ambala depot came into being on 1 August 1950. The office of the General Manager is situated in the premises the depot workshop at Ambala City. Ambala depot has a sub depot at Naraingarh.

Presently, Haryana Roadways, Ambala has 209 buses, which carry about 34.88 Lacs passengers daily and cover a distance of about 19.79 Lacs Km daily. Out of these, total distance covered on interstate routes is 24,711 km and 41,439 km are operated within Haryana every day. The total staff of the depot (including that of sub depot Naraingarh) is 1085.

New Bus Stand at Ambala Cantt was inaugurated on 12.7.1999 and the total land of bus stand is 6.7 acre. Bus stands in this district exist at Ambala City, Naraingarh and Barara as well. A sub depot level workshop has also been provided at Naraingarh. 'Yatri Niwas' exists in the campus of Ambala Cantt. bus stand for the convenience of the commuters who wish to stay for the night.

Besides, the Haryana Roadways buses, government has issued permits to private operators on local routes. Presently 51 such buses are plying in Ambala district. Bus stand is very near to Ambala Cantt Jn. (Railway station). Most of the buses plying on GT road (NH1) stop in front of Railway station.


Ambala is a divisional headquarters of the Northern Railway Zone and is an important railway junction. Ambala Cantt station is among top 100 booking stations of India. The city is served by three railway stations:

The Ambala Cantonment railway station was founded on the junction of the Delhi-Kalka and Ludhiana-Saharanpur lines. The historic Delhi-Panipat-Ambala-Kalka railway line dates back to 1889 while the Ludhiana-Saharanpur line was built in 1870. Situated 200 km north of Delhi, this town is well connected by the rail and road network.

Ambala cantt railway station is main station of the city and is well connected with major cities of India like Delhi, Jammu, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Panipat, Lucknow, Kanpur Howrah, Patna, Mumbai, Jaipur, Ajmer, Surat, Chennai, Pune and many more. Kalka-Shimla Railway which is UNESCO's World Heritage site also comes under Ambala division.

Ambala Cantonment Railway Station serves maximum Shatabdi Express after New Delhi. Ambala railway station was mentioned in the famous story 'The Woman on Platform 8' by Ruskin Bond, although in reality, there in no platform no 8 in Ambala Cantt.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 lakh and above" (PDF). Census India. Retrieved 29 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Report of the Commissioner for linguistic minorities: 52nd report (July 2014 to June 2015)" (PDF). Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. pp. 85–86. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ IANS (28 January 2010). "Haryana grants second language status to Punjabi". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  4. ^ a b Haryana Gazateer, Revennue Dept of Haryana, Capter-V.
  5. ^ Bajwa, J.S.; Kaur, R. (2007). Tourism Management. APH Publishing Corporation. ISBN 9788131300473.
  6. ^ Sagoo, Harbans (2001). Banda Singh Bahadur and Sikh Sovereignty. Deep & Deep Publications.
  7. ^ Satish Chandra Mittal, 1986, Haryana, a Historical Perspective, p58.
  8. ^ The Times (London), page 3, 16 November 1949
  9. ^ "Ambala City Population Census 2011 - Haryana".

External links

Media related to Ambala at Wikimedia Commons

Ambala (Lok Sabha constituency)

The Ambala Lok Sabha constituency (Hindi: अंबाला लोकसभा निर्वाचन क्षेत्र) is one of the 10 Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in the Haryana state in northern India. This constituency covers the entire Panchkula and Ambala districts and part of Yamunanagar district. It is reserved for the Scheduled caste candidates.

Ambala Air Force Station

The Ambala Air Force Station is an air base east of the urban Ambala area. It is used for military and government flights. It is also used to fly in politicians and other key people.

Ambala Cantonment

Ambala Cantonment is a cantonment town in Ambala district in the state of Haryana, India. It is 200 km north of Delhi and 55 km southwest of Chandigarh. This cantonment was established in the year 1843 and is an important centre for manufacturing of scientific & surgical instruments.

Ambala Cantonment Junction railway station

Ambala Cantonment railway station is a junction station at the junction of Delhi-Kalka line and Moradabad-Ambala line cum Ambala-Attari line

Ambala-Bathinda line and Ambala Una Himachal line . It is one of the busiest railway station in India in terms of frequency of trains. It is located in the Indian state of Haryana. It serves Ambala Cantonment and Ambala. Around 300 trains start, end, or pass through the station daily.Northern Railways Ambala railway division is named for the station.

Ambala Chandigarh Expressway

Ambala Chandigarh Expressway is four-lane 35 km long, high-traffic density corridor of Ambala-Chandigarh section (km 5.735 to km 39.960 on NH-152 and 0 km to 0.871 km on NH 5) on BOT basis, was completed in 30 months at a cost of ₹2.98 billion (US$41 million) The expressway has been operational since December 2009 and was constructed by the GMR Group with assistance from the World Bank.

Ambala district

Ambala district is one of the 22 districts of Haryana state in the country of India with Ambala town serving as the administrative headquarters of the district. It borders district Yamunanagar to the east, district Sirmaur and district Panchkula to the north, district Mohali and district Patiala to the west, and the district of Kurukshetra to the south.

Ambala division

Ambala Division is one of the six divisions of Haryana State of India. The division comprises the districts of Ambala, Kurukshetra, Panchkula and Yamuna Nagar.

Ambala language

Ambala is a Sambalic language spoken in the Philippines. It has more than 2,000 speakers (Ramos 2004) and is spoken within Aeta communities in the Zambal municipalities of Subic, San Marcelino, and Castillejos; in the city of Olongapo; and in Dinalupihan, Bataan (Ethnologue).

Reid (1994) reports the following Ambalà locations, from SIL word lists.

Maliwacat, Cabalan, Olongapo, Zambales

Batong Kalyo (Pili), San Marcelino, ZambalesHimes (2012) also collected Ambala data from the following locations.

Pastolan, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

Gordon Heights, Olongapo City

Ambala railway division

Ambala railway division is one of the five railway divisions under Northern Railway zone ( NR ) of Indian Railways. This railway division was formed on 1 July 1987 and its headquarter is located at Ambala in the state of Haryana.

Delhi railway division, Firozpur railway division, Lucknow NR railway division and Moradabad railway division are the other railway divisions under NR Zone headquartered at New Delhi.

Ambala–Attari line

The Ambala–Attari line is a railway line connecting Ambala Cantonment in the Indian state of Haryana and Attari in Punjab. The line is under the administrative jurisdiction of Northern Railway.

Bathinda–Rewari line

The Bathinda–Rewari line is a railway line connecting Bathinda in the Indian state of the Punjab and Rewari in Haryana. There are links to Sadulpur and Rohtak also. The line is under the administrative jurisdiction of Northern Railway.

Chandigarh–Sahnewal line

The Chandigarh – Sahnewal line (also referred to as the Chandigarh-Ludhiana line) is a railway line connecting Chandigarh and Sahnewal, the latter in the Indian state of the Punjab . The line is under the administrative jurisdiction of Northern Railway.

Delhi–Kalka line

The Delhi–Kalka line is a railway line connecting Delhi and Kalka. It connects to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Kalka–Shimla Railway.

Delhi–Meerut–Saharanpur line

The Old Delhi – Meerut – Saharanpur line is a railway line connecting Old Delhi and Saharanpur. This page includes the Meerut - Khurja link. The line is under the administrative jurisdiction of Northern Railway.

Jodhpur–Bathinda line

The Jodhpur–Bathinda line connects Jodhpur, in the Indian state of Rajasthan to Bathinda in the Punjab, via Dabwali Railway in Haryana. During the British Raj, Bathinda was on the Delhi-Karachi line and after independence and partition of India in 1947, it is on the Delhi-Fazilka line. This line operates under the jurisdiction of North Western Railway.

Moradabad–Ambala line

The Moradabad – Ambala line (also known as Moradabad - Ambala main line) is a railway line connecting Moradabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and Ambala Cantonment in Haryana. The line is under the administrative jurisdiction of Northern Railway.

Muslim Rajputs

Muslim Rajputs or Musulman Rajputs, are patrilineal descendants of Rajputs of Northern regions of the Indian subcontinent who are followers of Islam. Today, Muslim Rajputs can be found in Northern India and some parts of Pakistan. They are further divided into different clans.

Sushma Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj (pronunciation ) (born 14 February 1952) is an Indian politician and a former Supreme Court lawyer. A senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party, Swaraj is serving as the Minister of External Affairs of India since 26 May 2014; she is the second woman to hold the office, after Indira Gandhi. She has been elected seven times as a Member of Parliament and three times as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. At the age of 25 in 1977, she became the youngest cabinet minister of north Indian state of Haryana. She also served as 5th Chief Minister of Delhi from 13 October 1998 to 3 December 1998.In the 2014 Indian general election, she won the Vidisha constituency in Madhya Pradesh for a second term, retaining her seat by a margin of over 400,000 votes. She became the Minister of External Affairs in the union cabinet on 26 May 2014. Swaraj was called India's 'best-loved politician' by the US daily Wall Street Journal.

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