Punjab is a historical state ruled by several many valiant rulers which also resulted in some inpressive and exquisite plush palaces, forts, and monuments. All of these have been preserved well and make for amazing tourist sites holding unprecedented tourist value.
Here are 10 best forts and palaces you must visit to make your Punjab tour fulfilling and a great success :
This is a famous fort built by the Bhangi Misi Rulers during 1760s. Also referred to as the Gujar Singh Fort, Gobindgarh Fort is a military fortress holding great historical significance. It is located in the centre of the holy city of Amritsar.
Originally, Gobindgarh Fort was constructed of mud. Later on, it was captured by great Maharaja Ranjit Singh to be renamed as present day Gobind Garh. The name is a tribute to Guru Gobind Singh, the reverred religious Sikhism figure.
The transformation from mud fort to a building of lime andis and bricks was done under the guidance of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A parapet and 2 doors are an integral part of each room. There are two entrances to this fort :
Nalwa Gate - The main entrance
Killer Gate - The back entrance
The fort preserves a treasury, armory, and various other belongings to the Maharaja. Legends have it that the fort comprises of a hidden underground tunnel that opens straight towards Lahore, in Pakistan.
The Palace is mainly renowned for its unique and well maintained flower garden. It is located centrally as a double storeyed building. Ram Bagh Garden also makes for an integral member of major heritage travel destinations from the state of Punjab.
Spread across a vast expanseof 81 acre and home to rare flower species and many unique valuable trees, the palace is a famous tourist destination. The palace is also known as the Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and situated on the central part of the garden.
The garden is named after Sikh Guru Ram Das as a tribute and designed keeping in mind the beautiful style of Shalimar Bagh in Lahore, Pakistan. You would be mesmerised by the beauty of garden and palace.
Qila Mubarak in Bathinda
Your Punjab tour is not complete without having a close look at this amazing heritage tourist attraction in Bathinda. Also referred to as 'Bhatinda Fort', the beautiful tourist spot was constructed by Maharaja Ala Singh in the year 1764. This is the spot the first woman ruler of Delhi, Rajia Sultana was imprisoned.
The Bhatinda Fort is divided into two primary parts :
The Qila Androon served as the residence for the royal family. Tourists love to have a look at breathtaking blend Mughal and Rajasthani architectural marvels integrated for embellishment of Androon. The fort has a special Darbar Hall which has been converted into a small museum. It contains all prominent arms and armours used by the kings of that era. It is quite a thrill to have a look at these priceless arms preserved so well through the ages.
The Sheesh Mahal or Palace of Mirrors is built by Maharaja Narinder Singh in the year 1847. It is an incredibly exquisite royal residence that speaks volumes of grandeur and princely stature of Kings in Punjab. The building comprises of 3 storeys situated right behind Moti Bagh Palace. It looks amazingly impressive. There is section designed with glass in different colours and mirror works.
The palace is ranked as one of the best places to visit in Punjab. It comprises of a centrally located artificial lake. It is accompanied by a small yet very beautiful bridge running over. Also referred to as the Laxman Jhula, the lake is bordered on both sides by eye catching dancing fountains and well maintained garden laden with exotic flowers. There is a museum inside the palace exhibiting the royal pictures, arms, and various things used by the royal kings and queens.
Qila Anandgarh Sahib
The fort is located centrally in Anandapur District, Punjab and serves as prominent historical monument. The construction of this fort was done by Guru Gobind Singh. Qila Anandgarh Sahib is one of the five major and historically significant qilas built to ensure protection for the Sikhs from invaders. Measuring 800 m, the qila also has a Gurudwara.
The Qila with other major forts located in Anandgarh district culminates for a fantastic tour circuit for the Sikhs. These forts are known as :
These forts are connected with each other through an underground passage.
Located around 6 km from the main Patiala City, Bahadurgarh Fort is a very famous historical landmark in Punjab. Orignally built by Nawab Saif Khan in the year 1658 AD, the palace was renovated by Maharaja Karam Singh in the year 1837.
The name of this fort was given by the Maharaja as a tribute Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur as it served the residence of Guru for a few months prior to proceeding to Delhi. Interestinly, it comprises of a Gurudwara and a mosque. The round walls and a moat bordering Bahadurgarh Fort makes it more beautiful.
The Palace of Maharaja Sher Singh
This is a beautifully built palace situated conveniently in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. It is a 19th century heritage building. Made from mud plastering, this palace looks extremely beautiful. Earlier, it contributed as an integral part of Anarkali Building. Later on, it was reconstructed with the elegance and captivating beauty of Shalimar Bagh Garden of Lahore in Pakistan. The interiors of this palace is beautifully decorated using ancient paintings portraying royal family of Punjab and their lifestyle. The palace comprises of two-storey structure. It is designed using round bastions in all corners. Presentl, the palace is owned by Union Baring Christian College. It serves as the administrative block of the college.
This is undoubtedly a dynamic, impressive, integral, and inseparable part of Punjab tourism. Hence, it should hold an important place on your Punjab sightseeing tour list. Also referrred to as the 'Paris of Punjab', the famous heritage building is situated conveniently in Kapurthala. The name Paris was give after majestic design of this palace inspird from famous Versailles and Fontainebleau.
Tourists are mainly impressed by the interior hall of palace, a unique amalgamation of plush Indian and chic French architectural styles. The grandeur of French architectural marvel is depicted by beautifully painted ceilings. On the other hand, plush Indian Decor is exuded by the Darbar Hall of this palace. Presently home to a popular museum preserving artefacts from European nations across the world collected by Maharaja, the palace was originally designed in 1906 by a French architect.
Phillaur Fort is a popular tourist destination located in Ludhiana, Punjab. It is also known as Ludhiana Fort. Construction way in the 17th century, the fort on the bank of beautiful River Sutlej was originally built as a serai. Later on, it was converted to a fort of mud.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh used this fort as his military. During the British Raj, the English used the fort as a Police Training Centre. Once inside the fort complex, you will be able to see many picturesque monuments including tombs and Pir-i-Dastgir shrine. These are dedicated to Shah Shuja family members. If you are on a visit to Ludhiana, a visit to this amazing fort and its complex is a must.
Qila Mubarak, Nabha, Patiala
Nabha is widely renowned for its amazing historic significance. It is a magnificent Sikh palace that primarily attracts tourists. The Qila Mubarak, an old fort dating three hundred years back is its major attraction. The fort is home to relics of Guru Gobind Singh, the Sikh Guru. It also contains religious manuscripts and many belongings of Guru Gobind Singh.
Interestingly, the fort is a beautiful blend of majestic Rajput and grand Mughal architecture. Ten beautiful courtyards enclose this fort. Each room within is given a name according to purposes served. Visitors will love to visit some of the rooms beautifully embellished with nice varieties of gilt, frescoes, and mirror.
When in Patiala, don't forget to visit this place. It will be a unique experience on its own