Architecture

  • Qila Mubarak
  • Moti Bagh Palace
  • Sheesh Mahal and Museum
  • Government Mohindra College
  • Baradari Gardens
  • Bahadurgarh Fort

Qila Mubarak

Qila Mubarak Patiala

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. The present Qila is divided into two parts- one, the Qila Androon, the interior portion, was built by Ala Singh. 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 life time. The murals inside the palaces are rare specimen of the Kangra and Rajasthan paintings.

Moti Bagh Palace

Sheesh Mahal Patiala

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 stone-walls, 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.

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.

Sheesh mahal Front Look

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.

Government Mohindra College

Mohindra College Patiala

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.

Baradari Gardens

Baradari Garden

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.

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.

Bahadurgarh Fort

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 Panj Bali Gurdwara.The Bahadurgarh Fort was constructed by Maharaja Karam Singh during 1837-45 at a cost of Rs. 10, 00,000. Its circumference is one mile, 536 yards and 2 feet.

Gates of Patiala

Maharaja Narendra Singh (1845 – 1862) fortified the city of Patiala by constructing ramparts and ten gates around the city:

  • Darshani gate – Main entrance of Qila Mubarak
  • Lahori gate
  • Nabha Gate
  • Samania Gate
  • Sirhindi Gate
  • Safabadi Gate
  • Sheranwala Gate
  • Sunami Gate
  • Top Khana Gate
  • Sanauri Gate