The history of Ambala is quite interesting. There are many theories surrounding the name and origin of the place. It is believed that the city was founded by Amba Rajput, in the 14th century. Another theory states that the city gets its name from the words, ‘Amba Wala’, which translates to ‘mango village’, referring to mango grooves existing in the city. According to a third version, the district is named after a Hindu Goddess, known as ‘Bhawani Amba’. A temple in the city is dedicated to the Goddess. In 1843, Ambala Cantonment was established by the British, after they had to leave their Karnal Cantonment following a malaria epidemic. The district was formed in 1847, by merging estates of independent chieftains, confiscated by the British. Later, the British formed their Air Force Base in Ambala. After Independence, Ambala Cantonment has been serving as a major base of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. It has been a frontline air base for many years and was attacked by Pakistan Air Force in 1965. Ambala Central Jail, is the place where Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was hanged in November 1949.
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