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Tourist Sights & Attractions

Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib

The villagers of Lehal donated land for the modest Gurudwara built on this elevated site, said to have been visited by Guru Teg Bahadur. The legend is that anyone who prays at this Gurudwara is relieved of his suffering ('dukhniwaran'). A new bigger building is now being constructed.

 

Kali Temple

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was inspired to build this temple and bring the 6-ft statue of Kali from Bengal to Patiala. This large complex attracts devotees, Hindu and Sikh, from distant places. A much older temple of Raj Rajeshwari is also situated in the center of this complex.

 

Panj Bali Gurdwara

Nawab Saif Khan, an admirer of Guru Teg Bahadur, Commemorated the guru's visit by building two gurudwaras, one inside the fort and the other across the road, now known as Panch Bali Gurudwara.

 

Ran-Baas

This building was probably a guest house. It has an imposing gateway and two courtyards, both with fountains and small tanks. A room in the first courtyard-with painted walls and a gilt throne-was probably for semi -formal audience. A few pavilions are set among painted walls on the upper storey. Facing each other across the courtyard are two exquisite chambers, one painted and the other decorated with mirror work.

 

Jalau Khana and Sard Khana (Cool Room)

Both were much later constructions. The Jalau Khana is a small, two storeyed building with a central hall in late Colonial style, where regalia were displayed. The Sard Khan provided an escape from the summer heat. A deep well inside it acted as a wind tunnel, bringing cool air into the ground-floor rooms and the basement. Outside, there is a formal garden with waterways and fountains.

 

Lassi Khana (Kitchen)

Another small, two-storeyed building with a central courtyard and a well.It adjoins the Ran-bass, and a passage links it to the Qila Androon. Local residents say that at one time this kitchen had the capacity to serve nearly 35,000 people every day, but following an economy drive, the Lassi Khana restricted itself to serving only a modest 5,000 people.

 

Shahi Samadhan

The Samadhan, where Maharaja Rajinder Singh once built a garden, now holds cenotaphs of erstwhile rulers, looked after by a mahant.

 

Mall Road

Baradari is the colonial area of Patiala. On one side of Mall road is the Baradari, and on the other is the walled city. All along the vibrant Mall Road are fountains and beautiful paved walkways, as well as goverment offices (all buildings conforming to one architectural style), entertainment spots, including cinema theatres and the Rajendra tank, and temples. (The Rajendra Tank is actually a large lake which once attracted migratory birds in winters. Boating facilities are available here.)

 

Rajindera Kothi

 

Rajindera Kothi: Set in the heart of the Baradari Gardens, this late 19th Century Palace built in colonial style by Maharaja Rajindra Singh till recently housed Punjab States Archives. PUDA is planning to exploit this building as a potential Heritage Hotel.

 

Ijlas-e Khas

Intended to be the Administrative Secretariat of the princely state, this beautiful building now houses the offices of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

 

Sheesh Mahal and Museum
Maharaja Narendra Singh was a great patron of literature, music and fine arts. He invited many painters from Kangra and Rajasthan to paint the walls of Sheesh Mahal. Their works depicting the vision in poetry of Keshav, Surdas and Bihari, both in line and colour, are a treat to the eye of the beholder.

The themes of these paintings embrace mythology, legends, Raga-Ragni, Nayak-Nayika and Bara-masa in Rajasthani style. These walls and ceilings are also rich in floral designs. The interior casts a Kaleidoscope phantasmagoria of myriad images and multi-coloured lights. The museum has a rich collection of miniature paintings of the middle of 19th century. Themes of these paintings are based on the Geet Gobinda or Jaya Deva's poetry. The Kangra paintings depicting the, Krishan Lila reflect the highest professional and delicate taste. Paintings displaying the Raga-mala of the Rajasthan schools and that of the Mughal give a visual meaning to the Ragas.

Besides miniature paintings, there are fine objects of Tibetan art particularly the sculpture of different kinds of metals. Ivory carvings of Punjab, royal wooden carved furniture, and a large number of Burmese and Kashmiri carved objects are also exhibited. One can see the huge portraits of the rulers of Patiala adorning the walls of museum hall. Some of the rare manuscripts can be seen here. Beside Janamsakhi and Jain manuscripts, the most valuable possession is the Gulistan-Bostan by Sheikh Sadi of Shiraz, which was acquired by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his personal library.

Medal Gallery set up in the Sheesh Mahal has on display the largest number of medals and decorations in the world, numbering 3,200. Collected by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh from all over the world, his illustrious son Maharaja Yadvindra Singh gifted the entire priceless collection to the Punjab Government Museum. Among the most important, one may mention The Order of the Garter (England) of 1348 A.D., The Order of the Golden Fleece (Austria) founded in 1430 A.D. The Order of St. Andrews (Russia) founded in 1688 by Peter the Great; The Order of the Rising Sun (Japan) and Order of the Double Dragon (China) and The Order of the White Elephant (Thailand). The collection contains medals from Belgium, Denmark, Finland and host of other countries of Africa and Asia.

On the advice of the Europeans, Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Maharaja Dalip Singh also issued medals, which are studded with precious stones. Some of them display miniature paintings of the Maharaja in profile in the centre. Inspired by his hobby, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh instituted Orders and Decorations, which carry portraits of Guru Gobind Singh, Radha Krishan etc. These medals reflect religion, culture and art of many countries in metal and are great sources of history.

Besides medals, there is a rare collection of coins. This numismatic collection presents a vast range from the punch-marked coins to those issued by the princely states in the 19th century. It is a total numismatic history reflecting upon country's trade, commerce, science and metallurgy.

 

Qila Mubarak

The Qila Mubarak complex stands in 10-acre ground in the heart of the city, and contains the main palace or Qila Androon (literally,'inner fort'), the guesthouse or Ran Baas and the Darbar Hall. Outside the Qila are the Darshani Gate, a Shiva temple, and bazaar shops, which border the streets that run around the Qila and sell precious ornaments, colorful hand-woven fabrics, 'jootis' and bright 'Parandis'.

The Qila Mubarak was first developed as a mud fort or Kachi Garhi. Baba Ala Singh constructed the Pacca Qila after his conquest of Sirhind. From the receipts of the octroi on the merchandise passing through his territory of the G.T. road, he constructed the Qila. Ala Singh built the present Qila is divided into two parts- one, the Qila Androon, the interior portion. Situated on a mound, it ascends as one moves into it. While the other i.e., between the Qila Androon and outer walls with the secretariat on the left and Darbar Hall on the right, was built by Maharaja Karam Singh.

The Darbar Hall is now converted into a mini museum where rare arms and armours including a sword of Nadir Shah known as 'Shikar Gah' are on display. Most precious pieces of art are the rich collection of tree-like chandeliers made of Bohemian cut-glass emitting prism like radiant splendour and sheen. To those interested in metallurgy and guns, a visit to the Cannon Park within the premises of the Qila Mubarak would certainly be a thrilling experience of lifetime. The murals inside the palaces are rare specimen of the Kangra and Rajasthan paintings.

 

Qila Androon

The entrance is through an imposing gate. The architectural style of this palace is a synthesis of late Mughal and Rajasthani. The complex has 10 courtyards along the north - south axis and each courtyard is unique in size and character, some being broad, others very small and still others mere slits in the fabric of building. Though the Androon is a single interconnected building, it is spoken of as a series of palaces. Each set of rooms makes a cluster around a courtyard, and each carries a name: Sheesh Mahal, Toshakhana, Jalau Khana, Chand Mahal, Rang Mahal, Treasury and Prison. Ten of the rooms are painted with frescoes, or decorated intricately with mirror and gilt. In a tiny portion of the complex is a little British construction with Gothic arches, fire places made of marble and built-in toilets perched on the Mughal Rajasthani roof!. Burj Baba Ala Singh even today has a fire smoldering ever since the time of Baba Ala Singh, along with a flame brought by him from Jwalaji.

 

Darbar Hall

Used for large audiences and important public occasions, the Darbar has been converted into a museum displaying dazzling chandeliers and armor, including the sword and dagger of Guru Gobind Singh and Nadir Shah's sword. The hall was built on a high plinth over a network of tunnels, which were service conduits. The facade gives the impression of a double-storey building, with 'upper storey' windows and a balcony at the first floor level, but the delicately worked wood-and-glass doors open into a huge 15m-high chamber. At the far end is a raised platform, where the Maharaja sat. The wooden framework of the ceiling holds decorated Plaster-of Paris tiles painted in Arabic style and the ceiling is hung with a fabled collection of chandeliers.

 

Moti Bagh Palace

The next great architectural landmark is the Moti Bagh Palace constructed in 1847 by Maharaja Narendra Singh at a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs; Maharaja Narendra Singh was as great a builder as Swai Jai Singh of Jaipur. The Moti Bagh Palace was designed on the pattern of Shalimar Gardens of Lahore with terraces, water channels, Sheesh Mahal and beautiful garden. It is a four storeyed structure with massive stonewalls, arched openings, filtered and ornamental grills and crowning domes.

The rear part of the palace has been developed into an amusement park, which offers many attractions to the young and the old alike. In the foreground of the Sheesh Mahal, there is a huge tank with two towers on both sides. Along with it is the suspended rope bridge popularly known as Lakshman Jhula, which connects the palace with the Bansar Ghar housing the Natural History Gallery. Here the stuffed animals and birds are displayed. The rest of the palace now houses the most prestigious Subhash Chander Bose National Institute of Sports.

 

Lachman Jhoola
Across the small Lake in front of Sheesh Mahal is a magnificent suspension bridge which being a replica of the famous Lakshman Jhoola at Rishikesh, is also named as Lachman Jhoola. It links the Sheesh Mahal with the Banasar Ghar on the other side of the lake. The Banasar Ghar now houses the North Zone Cultural Center and a hall for setting up exhibitions.

 

Mai Ji Di Saraan
It is an interesting monument, which was originally built as a saraan to provide a resting place for the weary travelers. It speaks of the legendary service to humanity of Mai Aas Kaur. This monument now houses the criminal investigation agency office.

 

Baradari Gardens

Situated in the north of the old Patiala city, just outside the Sheranwala Gate, the Baradari Gardens is built around the Baradari Palace constructed as a residence for the crown Prince Rajinder Singh. A great lover of nature, the crown Prince brought all kinds of saplings of rare trees and planted them here in the garden. The huge fruit trees, the Fern House and the Rock Garden stand testimony to his interest. The Baradari Palace now houses the Punjab State Archives, a repository of rare documents of historical importance.

 

Barandari Cricket Stadium
This cricket ground, which is now more than 100 years old, is one of the finest grounds with arguably the greenest cover around it, set amidst the sylvan Barandari Gardens.

 

Government Mohindra College

Maharaja Mahendra Singh was a great patron of modern education. He established this college in 1870 for the people of Patiala. Its building is a wonderful piece of architecture. Famous for its architectural excellence, the institution for a long time was the only one between Delhi and Lahore. Serving as a major institution of higher education, many students from neighbouring states and as far as Delhi used to come to Patiala for receiving education.

 

Bahadurgarh Fort

At a distance of one and half kilometer from the main gate of Punjabi University, It is named so to commemorate the holy memory of Guru Tegh Bahadur who paid visit to this place at the invitation of another holy person Saif Khan. The four wails of the fort enclose the village Saifabad located on the left side of the Rajpura-Patiala Road. Saif Khan, a relative of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, after holding several important offices, became a hermit and settled down here. After his death he was buried here. His tomb behind the fort, a structure of 177 x 177 ft. is in a state of neglect. Notwithstanding this, his followers still lit a lamp on the tomb every Thursday. The two inscriptions in the fort testify that the village and the mosque were founded in 1668 during the reign of Aurangzeb. As the tradition goes, Nawab Saif Khan was a great admirer of Guru Teg Bahadur. He invited him to spend rainy season here. His visit is commemorated by two gurdwaras- One inside the fort and the other outside across the road. It is famous as Maharaja Karam Singh constructed Panj Bali Gurdwara.The Bahadurgarh Fort during 1837-45 at a cost of Rs. 10, 00,000. Its circumference is one mile, 536 yards and 2 feet.