Gobindgarh Fort located in Amritsar Punjab is a magnificent monument that is one of the major attractions of Amritsar. Over the course of its lifetime, the ownership of Gobindgarh went on to changed hands from being under the control of Misls, Maharaj Ranjit Singh to the British army after independence with the Indian army and later was made open to the public.
The credit of its current appearance and later construction goes to Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who reconstructed the fort in 1809 with the purpose of protecting the city and the holy shrine Gurudawara Harmandir Sahib from invaders. Maharaja Ranjit Singh named this fort named after 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji henceforth the fort came to be known as Gobindgarh fort.
History of Gobindgarh Fort:
Misls ruled the Punjab in 18th centurey; in the 1760s Gujjar Singh Bhangi (a local chieftain) built a mud fortress here and named it named Bhangian da Qila.
By 1809 Misls were in a financial crunch, ruler of Amritsar Gurdit Bhangi asked Arur Mal a trader to pay nazrana/ tribute. Arur Mal did not want to contribute hence he conspired to take them off the throne. He planned with Shaikh Kamaluddin and involved Ranjit Singh to take over the fort.
The Bhangis had famous cannons Bhangia di Tope also called Zamzama. Maharaj Ranjit Singh asked them to surrender the cannons when Gurdit Bhangi and his mother denied doing so, Ranjit Singh attacked and took over the fort and the cannons and in return gave the few villages to live by.
The fort remained in possession of Maharaja Ranjit Singh till 1849, after Anglo Sikh war of 1849 the Gobindgarh Fort came in possession of the British. After independence, the fort was used by Indian Army. As the fort holds great historical significance it was finally made to open the fort for the public, several museums are housed in the monument.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh used this for various purposes like, his residence, as a base for his army, as storage of grains and his weapons also Kohinoor diamond is said to have been kept here by the king. During the partition of India, the fort was turned into a camp for immigrants who came from Pakistan.
Architecture of Gobindgarh Fort:
Gobindgarh Fort is built in an area of about 43 acres. The fort is built of brick and limestone. The fort has two entrances, the primary entrance is called Nalwa gate, and the other gate is named Keelar Gate. Other than this fort includes ramparts and four bastions. It is said that Keelar Gate is linked with Lahore tunnel.
Some of the structures built within the fort were built by the British these include Phansi Ghar, Darbar Hall and Hawa Mahal.
Other Attractions of the Fort include:
Live show called Spirit of Punjab
Museums: Toshkhana coin museum, ancient warfare museum
Shops and restaurants: Haat bazaar, Ambarsari Zaika
Lights shows: The fort hosts several light and sound shows. These shows that take you back in history. Lights and sound shows like Sher e Punjab, Kanda Boliya ne (whispering walls) are unique feature of this fort. The public have been appreciating efforts made in bringing back for the current generations.
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