Qila Mubarak, Bhatinda

Qila Mubarak, Bhatinda Overview

Qila Mubarak is a monument of great historical importance and is situated in the city of Bathinda in Punjab. The origin of the fort can be traced back to the period between 90 and 110 AD, and it is the oldest surviving fort in India, known to historians. This majestic piece of architecture merges perfectly with the surrounding desert area and looks subtle and elegant. This is perhaps why the Qila Mubarak continues to be a significant tourist attraction in Punjab till date.

Since the opulent fort is located en route from the northwest, it was also known as Tabar-e-Hind or the gateway to India. Owing to its robust structure, it served an essential role in the defence strategies of Punjab. Razia Sultana, the first lady ruler of the Delhi Sultanates, was kept imprisoned in this fort after she was defeated and dethroned. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, had also visited this place. These historical associations make the Qila Mubarak a place of particular interest, especially amongst history lovers. Moreover, some people choose this site as a picnic spot as well. Due to the calm and serene atmosphere of the fort, it is a great place to get a glimpse of history in Bathinda.

Bathinda (Punjab): The historical Qila Mubarak of Bathinda, residing in the famous city of Punjab’s Malwa region holds a special place in India for its unique and elegant architecture. This Fort’s architectural marvels tells the tales of valour, all in their own way, bear testimony to the glory that Punjab’s region Bathinda (Malwa)is. A wonderful view of Bathinda from its top mesmerizes everyone that further increases the aesthetic aspect.

The huge door and big walls tell the story of the fort’s grandeur. According to historians, the fort of Bathinda was built by King Dab. It was earlier known as Vikramgarh fort. The fort was later renamed as Jaipalgarh by King Jaipal. It is said that King Dab was the descendant of Vinaypal. There was a time when even Mohammad Ghaznavi, Mohammad Gauri and Prithviraj Chauhan also won over the fort. As a result, this fort is also known as Tabaar-e-Hind.

Darshan Singh Sohi, Member, Malwa Heritage Foundation says, ” The fort was very vibrant during the rule of King Vinaypal. The city of Bathinda was happily inhabited during the rule of Vinaypal. It had fortresses and armies as well. When we read the history, we find that when Mahmud Ghaznavi attacked the city, the first attack was launched on Anangpal. It is said that Anangpal lost to Mahmud Ghaznavi and committed self-immolation by jumping on the funeral pyre inside the fort. This fort has a long history. It’s every nook and corner has a story to tell. This fort was also ruled by the Bhatti kings, who renamed the city as Bathinda.”

In the Middle Age, Bhatti Rao Rajput rebuilt Quila Mubarak and renamed the fort as Bhatti Winda. Thus, the city was first renamed as Bhatinda and then Bathinda. When Guru Gobind Singh Ji came to the fort in 1707, then the fort was named as Fort Gobindgarh. Not only this, when Razia Sultana, the first female ruler of the Delhi came to Bathinda in 1239 to crush the rebellion by Governor Altunia, she was imprisoned by Altunia at Bathinda Fort. She was imprisoned in this fort’s Rani Ki Mahal area for about two months,” said Darshan Singh Sohi, Member, Malwa Heritage Foundation

After the death of Altamus, his daughter Razia Sultana became the first Empress of India. Seeing a woman becoming the ruler, the governors of every state started opposing Razia. Razia’s military chief Yakut, who is said to be in love with her, was killed when he attacked Altuna. Altunia forcibly married to Sultana. One day Razia Sultana managed to escape by dodging. It is said that Altunia’s army chased and killed her, he added.

The people of Bathinda consider Quila Mubarak as the pride of not only Bathinda but the whole of Punjab. The residents here say that the beauty of the Quila Mubarak is deteriorating due to the negligence of the administration and the government.

Tarsem Garg, a Local Resident says,” The Qiila Mubarak is the pride of Bathinda but nowadays its condition is bad. At some places, its walls have fallen due to heavy rains. The government is not paying as much attention to this heritage as it should. We urge the governments to develop the Qila Mubarak as a tourist destination.”

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