Patiala’s sway over the Malwa area extended beyond merely political influence. Patiala was equally the set of religious and cultural life. Educationally, Patiala was in the forefront. Patiala was the first town in this part of the country to have Degree Collage-the Mohindra College-in 1870. The famous printing of Munshi Nawal Kishore was also established here in the seventies of the 19th century. Patiala has had a culture of its own, evolving into a distinct “patialavi” culture. Patiala has also seen evolution of a distinct style of architecture. Borrowing from the Rajput Style, its beauty and elegance are, however, moulded according to the local coloring.
With the active patronage of the erstwhile rules of Patiala, a well established style of Hindustani music called ‘the Patiala Gharana’ came into existence and has held its own up to the present times. This school of music has had a number of famous musicians, many of whom came to Patiala after the disintegration of the Mughal Court at Delhi in the 18th century. At the turn of the century, Ustad Ali Bux was the most renowned exponent of this Gharana. Later his sons, Ustad Akhtar Hussain Khan and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan achieved world wide fame and brought glory to the Patiala Gharana. This school of music continues to get the patronage of the State though the North-Zone Culture Centre, established at Patiala.