Qila Mubarak of Bhatinda Punjab is considered one of the oldest surviving forts of India. The history of Qila Mubarak dates back to 90-110 AD. It is believed that Qila Mubarak was built by the Kushana Empire along With Raja Dab. Originally Qila Mubarak was built of mud bricks, later changes on the structure were done by different rulers in different eras. The bricks used in the construction of Qila Mubarak belong to the Kushana period.
Qila Mubarak was built with a motive to defend king Kanishka’s kingdom against the Huns Invasion. It is said that the fort was built along with efforts of Raja Dab and Kushana Empire.
History of Qila Mubarak:
Bhatinda is an ancient city that has been mentioned in ancient texts like Mahabharata and Rigveda. It holds great significance not only because it has witnessed making and breaking of many rulers. This site was also part of one the earliest civilizations ‘Indus valley civilization’. In Bhatinda, one can find a number of historical monuments one of them is Qila Mubarak. The word ‘Qila Mubarak’, roughly translates to Auspicious Fort.
Qila Mubarak bears the history of centuries; it indeed has a lot of stories to tell. The top of Qila Mubarak commands a majestic view of Bhatinda town.
One of the most significant historical events that happened in this fort included dethroning and imprisonment of the first and only female Emperor of Delhi Razia Sultana.
In the year 1705, the 10th Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji visited the fort, later to commemorate his visit a Gurudawara named Gurudawara Qila Mubarak sahib was built here.
Qila Mubarak was taken over by Patiala dynasty in the 18th century; Maharaja Ala Singh used this fort as the royal residence and named it Gobindgarh Fort.
Architecture of Qila Mubarak:
The architectural style of Qila Mubarak is a little different from most forts. And that is because of the fact that initially it was made with an intention to station armies.
Back in the day, Bhatinda used to be covered the long stretches of sand dunes, which made it look like Rajasthan instead of Punjab. Amidst the sand dunes of Bhatinda Qila Mubarak used to appear like a boat from a distance.
The fort commands a majestic appearance. The regal old-world entrance of the fort leads one into the fort. The inner section of the fort is called Quila Andaroon. The fort houses different apartments including – Rajmata Palace, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Mahal, Rang Mahal or palace of colors, Palace of the moon, Moti Mahal and Jali wala palace (a place for royal prisoners), etc.
Other features of the fort include Putli Ghar (puppet house), Bagh Ghar (Garden house) and underground sewage system. For summers a special room was built in the fort that kept the temperature inside this room cooler than outside. To achieve this, connecting tunnels to flow cool air in the room was installed in the room.
Qila Mubarak fort had a massive kitchen. The royal kitchen prepared food for all the officials, everyday food for about 35000 people was prepared in the Kitchen which was called Lassi Khana.
Today, the fort is taken care by Archaeological Survey of India and falls under the category of the monument of national importance.
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