Skirted by the Ghaggar river in the north and the Tangri river in the south, the city of Ambala, in Haryana, holds great historical prominence. It is believed to be the region where the powerful Buddhist centre of the Ashokan empire flourished. It was then called Shrughna (modern-day Sugh). Visitors to the city make a beeline for the Bhawani Amba Temple, dedicated to Goddess Amba. There are several other temples, gurudwaras and churches in the vicinity that can be explored. Boasting bustling markets, Ambala draws visitors for its lively and vibrant shopping scene. The Cloth Market is a great stopover, which is lined with about 1,000 shops selling a fine selection of clothes at wholesale rates. From silks to handlooms, you will be spoilt for choice. The city also hosts a Science Market, where you can shop for a plethora of surgical instruments and science equipment. Its gold jewellery and linen items are also quite popular.

Historical records say that the city was founded by Amba Rajput in the 14th century AD, after whom it was later named. Another legend, which gives an alternate version of how this place got its name, suggests that it is a rough variation of ‘Amba Wala’ or the mango-village, as there have always been a large number of mango groves around here. Still another version suggests that the place gets its name from the local goddess Bhawani Amba, who is still revered in the city. Ambala also boasts a great culinary scene and its street food is quite delicious. Ambala can be also seen as the launching pad for exploring Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh and Jammu and Kashmir. 

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