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Patiala Sightseeing

Qila MubarakSituated in the heart of the city
Qila Androon Located in the Vadodara district
Sheesh Mahal Positioned behind the Moti Bagh Palace
Moti Bagh Palace Located near Gurdwara Motibagh
Qila BahadurgarhPositioned just a kilometer and a half from the main gate of the Punjab University
Rajindera KothiSituated around the Grand Baradari
Baradari Gardenslocated in the north of old Patiala city
Lachman JhoolaLocated across the small Lake in front of Sheesh Mahal
Bir Moti BaghSituated on the outskirts of the city
Ijlas-e KhasLocated opposite Baradari garden
Shahi SamadhanLocated in BSNL park
Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib JiLocated in a small village named Lehal
Temple Kali Mata JiSituated along the Mall Road just opposite the famous Baradari Garden
Maiji Di SaraiLocated on the Sanaur – Dakala Road in Patiala
Mall RoadLocated in Patiala
Fun world Located along the Devigarh Road at Jaurian Sarkan

Qila Mubarak

Location: In the heart of the city
The most prominent and the most vital edifice of Patiala, Qila Mubarak, is the inaugural piece of architecture that marked the onset of the establishment of the city Patiala. Erected by the founder of Patiala; Baba Ala Singh in the year 1763, this fortress constitutes the center of the city. This cosmopolitan of Punjab has developed around the Qila Mubarak in a temple like structure where in the King and the aristocracy of the court be positioned in the center and the citizens encircling them according to their status in social strata. Qila Mubarak, the unparalleled archetype of Sikh Palace Architecture in India was originally constructed in mud as a ‘kachigarhi’ (a castle made out of mud). Subsequently, this kachigarhi was reconstructed in bricks as a ‘Pacca Qila’ after Baba Ala Singh’s conquest of Sirhind.
Sprawling over an extensive area of about 10 acres, the Qila Mubarak Complex was set up as a residential apartment for the royal family of the princely state of Patiala. This Fort Complex accommodates multiple sub edifices such as the Qila Androon (Interior Fort built by Maharaja Amar Singh), the Ran Baas (Guest house) and the Durbar Hall (Divan Khana). An outstanding example of master engineering witnessed in the Qila Mubarak is its underground sewerage system designed for draining all the waste water automatically. Darshani Gate, the magnificent main entrance of Qila Mubarak was built by Maharaja Narendra Singh. Maharaja Karam Singh constructed the prodigious Durbar Hall during his governance which is today converted to a heritage museum. This museum, renowned for its extraordinary collection of rare exhibits such as antique cannons, swords, shields, maces, the daggers of Guru Gobind Singh Ji and the sword of Nadir Shah is a must visit place in Patiala. Cannon Park situated inside the Qila Mubarak is an engaging terminus for those interested in guns and metallurgy.
Qila Mubarak is also noteworthy for its rich acquisition of the incredible murals portraying the Kangra and Rajasthani style of paintings. This 300 years old specimen of Sikh architecture is now in a diminished condition. It has been listed amongst the world’s 100 most endangered monuments by ‘World Monuments Fund’. ‘Archeological Survey of India’ and ‘Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage’ with the assistance of state and central government have undertaken the restoration mission of this peerless heritage of Punjab. ‘World Monuments Watch’ has also contributed by donating a preservation fund to the Qila Mubarak.

Qila Androon

Location: In the Vadodara district
Qila Androon, the ‘internal or interior fort’ is one of the sub edifices housed in the Qila Mubarak Complex. Constructed by Maharaja Amar Singh during his reign, Qila Androon is a section of Qila Mubarak which sufficed as the residential palace of the royal family of Patiala. Modeled as a series of multiple palaces, Qila Androon is in fact a single massive interconnected structure. The magnanimous gate, ornamented with intricately carved floral and geometric designs serves as the lofty entrance to the Qila Androon. Constructed in the unique fashion exhibiting the fine amalgamation Mughal and Rajasthani order of architecture, this royal complex is divided into 10 courtyards, each of them designed in a distinct and matchless way. Each of these courtyards is enclosed by a cluster of rooms and each of these groups is entitled with an exclusive name. For example, Sheesh Mahal, Rang Mahal, Chand Mahal, Jalau Khana, Toshakhana, Treasury, Prison, and so on. Other two residential chambers are named Putli Ghar and Bagh Ghar and the royal kitchen is called Lassi Khana. Qila Androon also bears an underground sewerage system. A small section of Qila Androon holds a British Construction. This building is classily endowed with gothic arches, marble fire places and built in toilets, the characteristics of typical colonial architecture. Qila Androon houses a place called Burj Baba Ala Singh where the fire dated back to the time of Baba Ala Singh is still kept alive. This is the very same flame brought by Baba Ala Singh from Jwalamukhi.

Sheesh Mahal

Location: Behind the Moti Bagh Palace
The term ‘Sheesh Mahal’ can be explained as the palace which is decorated with mirrors. Constructed in the year 1847 by Maharaja Narinder Singh as a part of Qila Androon, the dazzling Sheesh Mahal is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions of Patiala. Positioned behind the Moti Bagh Palace, Sheesh Mahal is believed to have been designed by the Maharaja Himself. Sheesh Mahal is a three storied construction that was used by the Maharajas of Patiala as their royal abode. The entire Palace is ornately decorated with elaborate mirror work and multicolored glass. Maharaja Narinder Singh imported painters and artists from Rajasthan and Kangra who decorated the walls and the ceilings of the palace and imparted it an ornamental look. The floral patterns and other baroque designs painted on the walls of this mirror palace are as ostentatious as it was the personification of the chimera presented by Surdas, Keshav Das and Bihari Lal in their poems.
An artificial lake across which the popular bridge of Patiala; the Lakshman Jhoola is built is nestled in the center of the Sheesh Mahal. The lake, fringed by flamboyant fountains and aureate gardens renders a real theatrical prospect. Today Sheesh Mahal houses a museum celebrated for its rich collection of archaic and exquisite memorials of bygone era. The paintings displayed in the Sheesh Mahal Museum elucidate the episodes related to ‘Krishna Lila’ described by Jaya Deva in his Geet Govinda. The Kangra Style Paintings adhered on the walls of the palace also portray the scenes of Krishna Lila in a very graceful manner. Other artistic objects such as Punjab’s Ivory Work, Tibetan Art, Kashmiri Art and wooden furniture belonging to the royalty of Patiala are also amongst the exhibits of Sheesh Mahal Museum.
The international medal collection dated back to the age of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and Maharaja Yadwinder Singh is also displayed in Sheesh Mahal. This collection comprises of 3200 medals from 12th to 20th century and the Victoria Crosses. Another attraction of Sheesh Mahal is the collection of coins dated back to 19th century. The walls of the museum are adorned with the large portraits of the Kings who ruled Patiala. The North Zone Culture Centre inaugurated on 6th November 1985 by the then Prime Minister of India Mr. Rajiv Gandhi is also housed in Sheesh Mahal. It is also acclaimed as the venue of multiple annual festivals celebrated in Patiala.

Moti Bagh Palace

Location: Near Gurdwara Motibagh
Another paradigm of architectural expertise of the princely state Patiala is the Moti Bagh Palace. This aureate edifice was constructed by Maharaja Narendra Singh in the year 1847 at the expense of Rs 5 Lakhs. The Moti Bagh Palace, considered as one of the largest residential structures in the world was fashioned after the enchanting Shalimar Gardens of Lahore. This palace accommodates several terraces, multiple water channels, artistically landscaped and ornamented gardens and the much praised Sheesh Mahal. Moti Bagh Palace annexed with mammoth stone-walls, towering domes, arched entrances and ornamental grills is an imposing structure built in four stories. Till late 40s, Moti Bagh Palace furnished as the chief residence of the royal family of Patiala. Later, they were shifted to the newly constructed Moti Bagh Palace. After the independence of India, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh presented the new Moti Bagh Palace to the Government of India. Government divided the palace into three sections and established there a museum, a taxidermy gallery, and the North Zone Cultural Centre. Today, the famous Netaji Subhash National Institute of Sports (NIS) is housed in the east wing of Moti Bagh Palace.

Qila Bahadurgarh

Location: Just a kilometer and a half from the main gate of the Punjab University
Qila Bahadurgarh, positioned just a kilometer and a half from the main gate of the Punjab University at the erstwhile Saifabad village, is named after the reverent Guru Tegh Bahadur, the 9th Guru of Sikhism. This Qila, originally known as the Saifabad Fort was rechristened commemorating the visit of Guru Tegh Bahadur to Saifabad. Saif Khan, a relative of the well known Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had given up all his royal status and property and settled down at Saifabad. He lived the pious life of a hermit and was respected as a sage by the villagers. Saif Khan had invited Guru Tegh Bahadur to come and pay a visit to the village Saifabad.
Guru, respecting his invitation did arrive at the small hamlet Saifabad, located to the left of Rajpura-Patiala Road. In the memory of his blessed advent, the Saifabad Fort was renamed as Qila Bahadurgarh by Maharaja Amar Singh after the visit of Guru Tegh Bahadur. The Fort Bahadurgarh is built enclosing the village Saifabad. The holy sage Saif Khan lays buried in the Qila Bahadurgarh. The archeologists have discovered two inscriptions in the fort which say that the village Saifabad as well as the Qila Bahadurgarh were established in the year 1668 during the rule of Aurangzeb. The fort was renovated by Maharaja Amar Singh and later by Maharaja Karam Singh. The present Qila Bahadurgarh is the one that was revamped by Maharaja Karam Singh.

Rajindera Kothi

Location: Around the Grand Baradari
Rajindera Kothi, popularly known by another appellation ‘Baradari Kothi’ is the regal palace set up by Maharaja Rajindra Singh in the year 1876. Completely designed in the colonial style of architecture, Rajindera Kothi is erected around the Grand Baradari situated in the midst of the famous Baradari Garden. Grand Baradari is a 12 arched open pavilion enclosed by the Baradari Garden. Maharaja Rajindra Singh, not continuing the traditional of using the Qila Mubarak as the Royal Residence, established this garden palace in late 19th century and shifted the royal quarters from the Qila Mubarak to the Rajindera Kothi. This sprawling edifice was designed and engineered by the younger brother of the Maharaja Rajindra Singh; Kaur Sahib Ranbir Singhji. After the demise of Maharaja Rajindra Singh, his successors continued the practice of dwelling at Rajindera Kothi. After the independence of India, Rajindera Kothi harbored the Punjab States Archives till recently. At present, the Rajindera Kothi is undergoing the process of being converted to the first heritage palace hotel of the state of Punjab.

Baradari Gardens

Location: In the north of old Patiala city
Baradari Gardens, laid down encircling the legendary Rajindera Kothi (Baradari Kothi) is an arresting and bewitching Arcadia clogged with immeasurable and unfathomable nature pulchritude. This photographic and panoramic garden is christened after the Grand Baradari enclosed by the Rajindera Kothi. Positioned in the northern Old Patiala near the Sheranwala Gate, Baradari Gardens was landscaped during the governance of Maharaja Rajindra Singh in later half of 19th century. This extravagant garden is remarkable for its rich collection of rare shrubs and trees. Maharaja Rajindra Singh was a lover of nature and beauty. He collected the rare varieties of saplings, floral plants, shrubs and fruit trees from every corner of the country and cultivated them in this garden. A cricket stadium and a skating rink were also set up in the Baradari Gardens by the Maharaja. Today the Baradari Gardens house a wonderful statue of Maharaja Rajindra Singh sculpted out of marble. A Fern House and a Rock Garden are also established in the Baradari Gardens.

Lachman Jhoola

Location: Across the small Lake in front of Sheesh Mahal
Lachman Jhoola is a breathtaking suspension bridge that is constructed across a small artificial lake set up in front of the Sheesh Mahal in the Qila Androon. This suspension bridge that connects the Sheesh Mahal with the Bansar Ghar is the miniature of the famous Lakshman Jhoola of Rishikesh.

Bir Moti Bagh

Location: On the outskirts of the city
Bir Moti Bagh, originally a hunting preserve of the Maharaja of Patiala is situated on the outskirts of the city. Spread over an expansive area of about 1,600 acres, Bir Moti Bagh is today converted to a wildlife sanctuary. Most of the Bir Moti Bagh is still a forest that shelters the wild animals in their natural habitat. A deer park, a zoo and a pilot project on medicinal plants are also established in various sections of Bir Moti Bagh.

Ijlas-e Khas

Location: Opposite Baradari garden
Ijlas – e Khas, originally constructed with an objective of making it the administrative secretariat of the princely state of Patiala, is located near Sheranwala Gate. Today this historical edifice accommodates the office of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB).

Shahi Samadhan

Location: in BSNL park
The meaning of the term ‘Shahi Samadhan’ is the ‘Royal Burial’. Maharaja Rajinder Singh had built a garden at this place during his governance. The Shahi Samadhan was constructed there later. Today, Shahi Samadhan holds the cenotaphs dedicated to several erstwhile rulers of Patiala. A Mahant presently looks after this complex.

Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib Ji

Location: In a small village named Lehal
Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib Ji, a foremost pilgrim destination of Patiala is located in a small village named Lehal. Earlier an independent village, Lehal has now become a part of Patiala city. As per the tale connected with the background of this holy place, which is also testified by a manuscript preserved in the same Gurudwara, a ‘Jhivar’ of Lehal named ‘Bhag Ram’ had waited upon Guru Tegh Bahadur when he paid a visit to Saifabad. Guru Tegh Bahadur was quite pleased with his services. At that time Bhag Ram requested the Guru to also visit his village Lehal. He appealed the Guru to bless the people of Lehal and rescue them from a calamitous disease that was prevailing there since long. Guru Tegh Bahadur granted his wish and visited Lehal on 24th January 1672. During his visit to Lehal, Guru Tegh Bahadur had rested under a banyan tree grown alongside a lake. The disease subdued as he entered the village and the people were saved from the disaster.
After his departure, the place where the Guru had rested came to be known as Dukh Nivaran. The term ‘Dukh Nivaran’ means the ‘eradicator of sufferings’. Later, a Sikh Temple which is today known as the Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib Ji was constructed at the very vicinity. The lake (sarovar) that is situated adjacent the Gurudwara is believed to be a miraculous lake possessing the healing qualities. Raja Amar Singh of the state of Patiala set up a garden beside the Gurudwara and entrusted it to Nihang Sikhs. The present building of the Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib Ji and the Sarovar are the one that were constructed by Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. Earlier, Patiala State Government used to look after this Sikh place of worship who later handed over the charge to Dharam Arth Board of the Patiala and East Punjab States Union. Presently the management of Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib Ji is run by the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee.

Temple Kali Mata Ji

Location: Along the Mall Road just opposite the famous Baradari Garden
Situated along the Mall Road just opposite the famous Baradari Garden, this exalted temple of Goddess Kali is a noteworthy Hindu pilgrim place in the city of Patiala. Set up by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh in the year 1936, this is an important shrine dedicated to Kali Mata Ji, the Goddess of destruction. A gigantic 6 feet high statue of Goddess Kali is placed in the sanctorum of this temple. It is believed that this massive idol of the Goddess was brought all the way from Calcutta to Patiala. Along with the idol, a sacred flame known as ‘Pawan Jyoti’ was also brought by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh from Bengal. Due to matchless artistry of the interiors of this temple, it is declared as a National Monument. An ancient shrine dedicated to the Goddess Raj Rajeshwari is also located in this temple complex.

Maiji Di Sarai

Location: On the Sanaur – Dakala Road in Patiala
Maiji Di Sarai, a beautiful edifice painted in red is located on the Sanaur – Dakala Road in Patiala. Originally this building was set up as a ‘Saraan’ that would provide a resting place to the tired and exasperated travelers. Maiji Di Sarai is an example of the great service offered to humanity by Mai Aas Kaur. Today Maiji Di Sarai houses the criminal investigation agency office.

Mall Road

Location: In Patiala
Mall Road, the most hustling bustling and the most happening hangout spot in Patiala is the most popular and a must visit destination here. Adorned with paved walkways and beautiful fountains, Mall Road is the most sought after place both for the tourists as well as the citizens of Patiala. The celebrated Baradari Garden is located on one side of the Mall Road and on the other side is placed the walled city. A number of entertainment and recreational outlets, cinema theatres, government offices, several temples and the famous Rajindra Tank are also located here. Tourists enjoy boating in the Rajindra Tank.

Fun world

Location: Along the Devigarh Road at Jaurian Sarkan
Located along the Devigarh Road at Jaurian Sarkan, Dhillon’s Fun World is the biggest Water and Amusement Theme Park of North India. Fashioned after the White Water of Canada, this Fun World is well equipped with all the modern water and dry rides. You can enjoy the breathtaking rides such as, Speed Slides, Giant Octopus shape Water Slides, Wave Pool, Mushroom Fountain, Water Games, Family Pools, River Rafting Speed Slides, Rain Dance, Break Dance, Rain Forest, Bumper Car, Revolving Tower, Horror House, Anaconda Hole, Caterpillar, Sun & Moon, Columbus, Baby Train, Multi-cuisine Restaurant, Prty Hall, Pub, etc. This amusement theme park is a perfect hangout that offers unlimited fun for the entire family. This is the most ideal weekend getaway from Patiala where you can relax and enjoy away from the everyday tensions.