Chandigarh, November 19: The lush lawns of Chandigarh Golf Club on Monday came alive with stories of exemplary valour and sacrifices made by the bravehearts of Indian defence forces in their line of duty.

More than 175 distinguished war veterans of the three armed forces, besides officers from civil services, descended in Chandigarh to participate in the Veterans Invitational Golf Tournament, being held as precursor to the Military Literature Festival to be held in the City Beautiful from December 7 to 9.

The specially crafted event, coming on the heels of hugely participated Cyclothon and Women’s Nature Trail Run yesterday, was amongst a series of competitions and activities being organised to build momentum prior to the much anticipated gala event next month.

The Military Literature Festival is a joint initiative of the Punjab Government, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, and the Chandigarh Administration led by V P Singh Badnore, in collaboration with the Indian Army. The contribution of Indian warriors in the World War I is the focus of the festival, which will highlight the battle accounts and valour of daredevil soldiers who recorded their names in the annals of rich military history.

Celebrated war veterans from across the country had been invited for the Golf tourney to come together and share stories of camaraderie and hardships endured during service years, besides tales of heroic deeds spanning over their professional careers.

The distinguished invitees include war historians, writers, scholars and defence experts, who would be lighting up the stage with their sharp insights and explanations on the various facets of intricate military warfare at the panel discussions to be held during the main event.

Earlier, a two-minute silence was observed in memory of celebrated 1971 Longewala War Hero Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri who had passed away on Saturday.

GOC-in-C Lt. General Surinder Singh inaugurated the event with ribbon cutting. Lauding the initiative taken by the MLF, General Surinder Singh said it would certainly provide a healthy platform to the retired defence officers to go down the memory lane and share their nostalgic moments. He asked the MLF to hold such events regularly to imbibe the spirit of friendship and amity amongst them.

Brigadier Surinder Singh was declared winner in the above 80 years category, while Major General B S Rathee emerged triumphant in the above 75 years category. In the 18 holes bracket, Balwant Brar won with Col. A S Bajwa, Darvesh Kumar and Colonel Penging finishing first, second and third runners up. In other prizes to be grabbed, Brig. Sukhdev Singh was adjudged winner in the straightest drive category, with Brig. H S Batth netted the ‘Nearest to Pin’ category.

The Golf event will be followed by a spate of other events to be held in Chandigarh, including Birding Rally November 24, another round of Golf Tournament December 3, Para Motor Display November 30 to December 01, Air Force Display & Skydiving Display November 30, Equitation Tattoo & Saragarhi Light & Sound Show November 30 & December 1, Military Equipment Display November 30 & December 1 and Braveheart's Ride December 2.