‘Haryana’s Heritage Aerodrome in Tatters’

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Former Home Minister ‘Iron Man of India’-Vallabh Bhai Patel had also come to Loharu by this Aerodrome at the time of Loharu State Merger with India.

Aditya Sangwan, Filmmaker

Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
Leonardo da Vinci writes these lines back in starting of 16th century. The most ambitious aim of Human was flying at that time and in December 1903 Wright Brothers made it to the sky in North Carolina of America.

Just after 28 years of that once upon a time used to be a princely state ‘Loharu’ witnessed first flight. On 21st September 1931 an Aircraft of Delhi Flying Club touched the golden soil of this township.

Loharu Aerordrome was built in 1931 by Last Nawab of Loharu Aminuddin Ahmad Khan.

Willingdon Airfield (Today’s Safdarjung Airport, first airport of Delhi) was established in 1929, just after two years of this Loharu Airdrome was established.

Though the first plane touched down Loharu was in 1931. British government also declared Loharu Aerodrome as an Emergency Landing strip for the Royal British Air force posted in New Delhi.

So, very often Royal Airforce’s plane land there at the time of weather disturbance in New Delhi.

Loharu Aerodrome had Tiger Moth Aircraft at that time. People also said ‘once a big Aircraft of Royal Airforce came to Loharu Aerodrome and due to technical errors that stayed here many days, and people came to see that from villages.

In those days seeing a aircraft was a big thing. First Aircraft touched down Loharu Aerodrome was on 21st September 1931. Before this there was an announcement in the local villages that some Instrument which flies will come to Loharu, so many people gathered there to see it. And local call it ‘Cheel- Gadi’.

There was some kind of tradition in Loharu that each year on the first day of January there happens to be a ‘Joy Ride’ on Aerodrome in which any person can ride the Aircraft with Pilot after paying some kind of fees, many people of that time enjoyed it.

Former Home Minister Vallabh Bhai Patel had also come at Loharu. Photo credit: Aditya Sangwan

Former Home Minister who was called ‘Iron Man of India’-Vallabh Bhai Patel had also come to Loharu by this Aerodrome at the time of Loharu state Merger with India.

Chief Pilot Instructor of ‘Delhi Flying Club’ also came to Loharu Many times. Former chief minister of Odisha ‘Biju Patnaik’ also came to Loharu Aerodrome in his flying days.

This Aerodrome was the first Aerodrome of Haryana (Eastern Punjab of British India). This Aerodrome was most probably 5th or 6th oldest flying Station of India. This Aerodrome was in use till the 60’s.

Two Buildings were also there on Aerodrome for some sort of Control, a tunnel was also made from Aerodrome to Loharu Fort, to escape from the fort at the time of trouble.

Today, this Aerodrome is in complete ruin.

The aerodrome is buried under the farm lands but its ruins are still present to describe its history.

I appeal before the state government that it should make efforts to preserve the old heritage and it could be turned into a tourist hub if the Loharu palace and its related heritage are revived, maintained and preserved.

Photo credit: Aditya Sangwan

It could also become a means of livelihood for the local economy”. I have also shot a documentary on Loharu fort and on the issue mentioned above.

“I have started a video series on the history of Loharu by the name of ‘Loharu Tales with Aditya Sangwan’ in which I have explored this Aerodrome and made a expository documentary video on it. And my main aim to make this series is just to aware the people of Loharu about their history..And recognize Loharu on Global Map as a tourist hub”.

Aditya Sangwan, Filmmaker

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