Forts

Arki palace

Arki palace is located in Arki, India, a town in Himachal Pradesh .

The Arki palace was built between 1695 – 1700 by Rana Prithvi Singh, a descendent of Rana Sabha Chand. The Fort was captured by the Gurkhas in 1806. Rana Jagat Singh, the ruler of Baghal had to take refuge in Nalagarh. During this period from 1806 – 1815, the Gurkha General Amar Singh Thapa used Arki as his stronghold to make further advances into Himachal Pradesh as far as Kangra. Arki was the capital of the princely hill state of Baghal, which was founded by Rana Ajai Dev, a Panwar Rajput. The state was founded around 1643 and Arki was declared as its capital by Rana Sabha Chand in 1650.


Wall paintings

The Diwan Khana of the palace has very nice paintings in Kangra painting style. The paintings depict incidents from mythology, religion, history and culture etc.They include Kamdev’s arrows on Shiva, Kalia-Mardan which represent mythology whereas the paintings of Sikh-Mughal battles represent events of history.A painting of ships at Tellicherry Harbour is very attractive and it appears as if the painter has been to the South.The colours of these paintings are maroon, yellow and saffron. These paintings are expected to be nearly 200 years old during the reign of King Kishan Singh, but the colours are still maintained. However, these paintings are getting faded now and require immediate attention to preserve this rich but relatively neglected cultural heritage.

Accommodation and rest houses

There are few private hotel in Arki besides one PWD rest house and one forest dapartment rest house.

Bahadurgarh Fort

Bahadurgarh Fort is a historical fort, built in the year 1658 by the first settler Nawab Saif Khan but the fort was restructured by Maharaja Karam Singh of the historical princely state of Patiala in 1837.

Design and architecture

The fort is built in an area of about 2100 sq kilometers in a circular shape surrounded by two ramparts and moat. The fort was built in 1658 and later renovated between 1837 and 1845 in the cost of around ₹ 100,000 at that time.

The fort was named after Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Nanak.

Burail Fort

Burail Fort is a fort situated in present Sector 45 of Chandigarh, India. It was built during the Mughal period. It remained under the control of Mughal Faujadar up till 1712 AD. The Faujdar was very harsh to the public. He used to keep every newly married woman with him for few days before sending to her husband. People complained to Banda Bahadur against him. Banda sent Khalsa Army who captured the fort and killed the Faujadar.

Gobindgarh Fort

Gobindgarh Fort is a historic military fort located in center of the city of Amritsar in the Indian state of Punjab.

Reclaiming of the Fort

Eight generation descendants of Maharaja Ranjit Singh have staked claim on Fort Gobindgarh, besides they have also demanded from the government to bring back the relics of Maharaja Dalip Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh empire, from UK and cremate here according to the Sikh rituals. Jaswinder Singh , seventh generation descendant of Rattan Singh, the youngest son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh from his second wife Raj Kaur, along with other descendants, including Harvinder Singh, Tejinder Singh and Surjit Singh met chief secretary, cultural affairs, archeology and museum department in Chandigarh to stake their claim. He claimed that they were the legal heirs of the fort which was made during the period of Maharaja Ranjit Singh . He said they had also submitted government records in which their names had appeared. Some of the documents include sajra nasbe, kursi nama (which proves that Rattan Singh was born from the second wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and his son Rattan Singh . He claimed that they were also the owners of Bazar Gadweian, Katra Dal Singh , in front of main entrance of Golden Temple . Jaswinder Singh, who works with Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee said: ” My earnest plea goes to the Punjab government that the families who gave full support in enriching the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh through historical roles, their services and sacrifices are required to be appreciated in adequate measures”. In order to earmark the genuine heirs, he said, a high-level committee of historians need be constituted; thereby, to bring those families in recognition. “It is need of the time to consolidate the history with no more letting it lying scattered. It must be compiled in proper order for research in future times” he said. He said the family was of view that the moral remains of Maharaja Dalip Singh be brought here and cremated as par Sikh rituals.

History

Description about possession of Gobindgarh fort, Amritsar,Punjab

It was first known as the “Gujar Singh Fort” in the 1760s and 1770s by the Bhangi Misl rulers.

It was built with mud and renamed in 1805 when Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured it along with five big cannons, including the “Zamzama”, famously known as Bhangian di Top and later as Kim’s Gun. Ranjit Singh strengthened the fort and renamed it “Gobind Garh” after the name of Guru Gobind Singh tenth Guru of Sikhs.

The fort housed a treasury, armory and various other items of importance to the Maharajah. It kept the Sarkar Khalsa’streasury, including 3000 bags of provisions (food) and 12000 soldiers to guard it.

Sardar Shamir Singh was the first governor of the fort. His successor was faqir Fakir Azizuddin, under whose guidance the Fort was upgraded. After the rule of Ranjit Singh, control of the fort passed to the British empire, which installed an office of the Criminal Investigation Department. After the independence of India, the Indian army established a base in the fort.

Construction

Side view of Gobindgarh fort, Amritsar,Punjab

Gobindgarh Fort is constructed of bricks and lime, and is laid out in a square. Each of its corners has a parapet and two doors. It has 25 cannons mounted on its ramparts. The main entrance, Nalwa Gate, is named after Hari Singh Nalwa. Killer Gate is the back entrance. An underground tunnel runs towards Lahore.

Kesgarh Qila

Kesgarh Qila (Punjabi: ਕੇਸਗੜ੍ਹ ਕ਼ਿਲਾ, Hindi: केसगढ़ क़िला) is the name given to the fort that the tenth Master constructed in Anandpur Sahib. The fort is now the Takhat called Kesgarh Sahib. This Gurdwara was one of the five forts constructed by Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib for the defense of the Sikhs. The Guru spent 25 years at Anandpur Sahib and to protect the Sikhs from the hill Rajas or Mughals, the Guru began the construction of five defensive Qilas (forts) all around the town.

The five Panj forts, Qilas, constructed by Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib are:

  1. Kesgarh at the center (now a Takhat),
  2. Anandgarh (fort of bliss) 31°13′54″N 76°30′16″E
  3. Lohgarh (fort of steel) 31°13′39″N 79°29′39″E
  4. Holgarh (fort of colour) 31°14′20.8″N 76°29′9.3″E
  5. Fatehgarh (fort of victory) 31°14′28.5″N 76°29′52.37″E

All the forts were joined together with earthworks and underground tunnels. The construction began in 1689 and took over ten years to complete.

Kotla Nihang Khan Fort

Kotla Nihang Khan Fort,is a fort located in village Kotla Nihang Khan nearly 3 km. from Rupnagar city of Punjab, India.Kotla Nihang Khan was the headquarter of the Afghan Zimindar ruler Nihang Khan who ruled over 80 villages in the 17 Century.The village and the fort is named after this local chief, Nihang Khan who was contemporary and associate of 10 Guru of Sikhs sri Guru Gobind Singh.This place has a great sinificance in the history and memories of Sikhs due to supporting role of Nihang Khan for the Sikhs especially during war period crisis. Nihang Khan had cordial relations with Guru Gobind Singh that is why Guru ji visited this fort three times in his lifetimes as a shelter place during various wars periods.Guru Gobind Singh first visited Kotla Nihang Khan while returning from Paonta Sahib to Anandpur Sahib. eHe again passed through this place while returning from viewing the solar eclipse in Kurukshetra 1702-1703. The third visit was on 6 December 1705 when Guru Gobind Singh, after crossing the Sarsa river, on being forced to leave Anandpur, reached Kotia Nihang Khan, after detaching 100 of his warriors under Bhai Bachittar Singh to cover the forces of enemy following him . He safely reached in Nihang Khan’s residence, Kotla .While relaxing in Nihang Khan’s house, he waited for Bhai Bachchittar Singh. But most of the Sikhs with Bhai Bachchiittar Singh were killed in war and Bhai Bachchiittar Singh himself was seriously wounded and was taken to Nihang Khan’s house by Sahibzada Ajit Singh the elder son of Guru Gobind singh and Bhai Madan Singh where he died despite being cared by Nihang Khan and his daughter Mumtaj.

Present Status

At present the fort is under private ownership.Most part of the original structure of the fort has been destroyed and very minor part is visible and that too in the form of ruines as is seen in box above .However a memorial of Bhai Bachittar Singh is being constructed here by purchasing some land of fort from the present owner of the fort.

Manauli Fort

Manauli Fort is located in the Manauli village of Mohali district, Punjab, India. It is 11 km from Mohlali city and nearly 4 km away from International Chandigarh Airport Road Mohali. Manauli is a small village with a population of 3,919 and 693 households (2011 Census). As per land record area of the village is 738 hect. (s.no. 85). The fort is 20 feet above the village habitation level.

Manimajra Fort

Manimajra Fort, is a fort situated in Mani Majra town of Chandigarh city of Indian Union. It is over 360 years old Fort and became more popular with the shooting of the Oscar-winning movie Zero Dark Thirty.

History

As per Mahan Kosh, popularly known as Encyclopaedia of Sikhism Mani Majra was a town of (then) district Ambala district of Punjab Province which was conquered in 1821 by a local zimindar Greeb Dass along with 49 other villages and made it the capital of his this newly created State. The State was ruled lastly by Bhagwan Singh of clan of Gareeb Dass.As the Bhagwan Singh was having no issue therefore Government controlled the property of this fort.

Ownership

Presently the property is owned by Meharwal Khewaji Trust alongwith other related properties.The ownership of this property is under controversy and the case is under trail in the court.

Present condition

Present condition of the fort is not good and it is deteriorating day by day. The premises is being used as playground or for parking of vehicles by people living in adjoining area.The walls are in decaying form and weed growth is visible on the walls (see pics in Gallery).

Payal Fort

Payal Fort is a fort built by Maharaja Amar Singh of Patiala in Payal with the co-operation of the Mughals in 1771. At present, a public girls high school is being run from the fort.

This historical fort has been handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India after removing illegal encroachments.

The interior of the fort is deteriorating.

Qila Mubarak

Qila Mubarak (Punjabi: ਕ਼ਿਲਾ ਮੁਬਾਰਕ, Hindi: क़िला मुबारक, Urdu: قلعہ مبارک‎), is a historical monument in the heart of the city of Bathinda in Punjab, India. It has been in existence from 90-110 AD in its current place. It was here that Razia Sultan, the first woman to take charge of the Delhi throne was incarcerated on her defeat and dethroned. The bricks of the fort date back to the Kushana period when emperor Kanishka ruled over Northern India/Bactria. Raja Dab, along with emperor Kanishka, is believed to have built the fort.

History

Bathinda Fort in 1906
History of Qila Mubarak and Surrounding Areas
Year Event
50,000 BC Stone tools such as the hand axe were developed in northern ancient India; artifacts have been found in the modern Bathinda district.
40,000 BC People begin living in man-made shelter huts in northern Punjab and central Asia (Bactria)
7000 BC Evidence of people growing barley in this area and raising sheep, goats. People begin living in mud-brick dwellings in villages; some of which are still in existence.
5500 BC Inhabitants learn to make pottery from burnt clay, a technique that is scarce but still alive today.
3000 BC Farming villages begin appearing in the Bathinda area, most of which still exist today.
2600 BC Farmers in the area make use of the plough; exactly as it is still used in some Bathinda areas today.
1500 BC Cities of the area are abandoned but the rural villages thrive and survive; Indo-Aryans arrive in the area.
800 BC Indo-Aryans spread in the area and begin clear-cutting forests
600 BC Area inhabitants begin use of elephants in warfare.
125 BC A Scythian tribe known as Sakas invaded Punjab from Baluchistan and Sind.
15 AD The Kushan Kingdom was restored in the area.
90-110 AD Emperor Kanishka and Raja Dab built it.
179 AD Bathinda town was established by Bhatti Rao.
1004 AD Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni captured it.
1045 AD Pir Hazi Rattan settled here for meditation.
1189 AD Sultan Mohammed Ghori captured it.
1191 AD Emperor Prithvi Raj Chauhan recaptured it.
1240 AD Razia Sultan imprisoned here.
1515 AD Guru Nanak Dev visited this place.
1665 AD Guru Teg Bahadur visited this place.
1705 AD Guru Gobind Singh visited this place.
1835 AD Maharaja Karam Singh built a Gurdwara here.

Fort repairs

Currently, a team working with the Akal Society of America, after conducting an extensive two year survey of the site has submitted a proposal of repairs to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The proposed repair work will be funded by external funds provided by the ASA though the former Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, announced a government contribution of Rs. 12,500,000 (US$275,000) for Qila Mubarak’s repair on June 21, 2005 at a ceremony held to mark the tercentenary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh’s visit to the fort. While awaiting final approval (which as been granted on the state level in Punjab, but not yet by the ASI), minor internal repairs are in progress at a slow pace. As on 20-02-2011, the fort is closed for repair work. While visiting it is advised to check beforehand.

This fort is extra ordinary in its exitance, currently under Archaeological survey of India. The repair work has been finished and the fort is now there to welcome tourists.

When Babur came in India for the first time, he came here with cannons. Four of them are here in this fort that are made up of an alloy of silver,gold,copper and iron.

Qila Mubarak, Patiala

Qila Mubarak (Punjabi: ਕ਼ਿਲਾ ਮੁਬਾਰਕ) (Quila means fort) located at Patiala is a rare and outstanding example of Sikh Palace architecture in India.

There is a great collection of different type and sizes of mirrors in Darbaar hall. The great and beautiful paintings of Sikh rulers is also an attractive part of Darbaar hall. No one can neglect the beauty of the imposing art work, done with glass by giving different colours, of Androon hall.

History

Quila Mubarak was first built as a kachigarhi (mud fortress) by Baba Ala Singh in 1763, who was the founder of the Patiala dynasty. Later, it was reconstructed in baked bricks. The interior portion of Quila, which is known as Quila Androon is built by Maharaja Amar Singh.

Quila Mubarak complex

The residential palace of Royal family of Patiala, Qila Mubarak complex is built in 10-acre (40,000 m2) ground in the heart of the city. The whole complex contains Ran Baas(Guest house) and the Darbar Hall (Divan Khana) besides Quila Androon. There is also underground sewerage system in the Quila.

Quila Androon

Quila Androon has 13 royal chambers with scenes from Hindu mythology painted in the Patiala art style.

Museum of Armoury & Chaneliers

The Darbar Hall contains rare cannons, swords, shields and maces, daggers of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, sword of Nadir Shah.

Restoration work

Being 300-year-old building, the Quila is in a bad shape and has been damaged a lot. World Monuments Fund had listed Quila Mubarak in list of world’s 100 “most endangered monuments” in year 2004.

Restoration work of Quila has been undertaken by Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage, Archaeological Survey of India with the help of Punjab state and central govt. World Monuments Watch has also funded preservation of this monument

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