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Timings : 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (closed on Monday)

Time Required : 2-3 Hours

Entry Fee : No entry fee

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Qila Mubarak, Bhatinda Overview

Qila Mubarak is a monument of great historical importance and is situated in the city of Bathinda in Punjab. The origin of the fort can be traced back to the period between 90 and 110 AD, and it is the oldest surviving fort in India, known to historians. This majestic piece of architecture merges perfectly with the surrounding desert area and looks subtle and elegant. This is perhaps why the Qila Mubarak continues to be a significant tourist attraction in Punjab till date.

Since the opulent fort is located en route from the northwest, it was also known as Tabar-e-Hind or the gateway to India. Owing to its robust structure, it served an essential role in the defence strategies of Punjab. Razia Sultana, the first lady ruler of the Delhi Sultanates, was kept imprisoned in this fort after she was defeated and dethroned. Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs, had also visited this place. These historical associations make the Qila Mubarak a place of particular interest, especially amongst history lovers. Moreover, some people choose this site as a picnic spot as well. Due to the calm and serene atmosphere of the fort, it is a great place to get a glimpse of history in Bathinda.

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History of Qila Mubarak

The construction of the mighty fort took place during the reign of the Kushanas. The Kushana ruler of Northern India, Kanishka had built this fort along with Raja Dab. Qila Mubarak has acted as a witness to numerous battles and invasions that have shaken the state of Punjab for centuries. 
The Qila Mubarak was constructed between 90 and 110 AD by Raja Dab, who was the ancestor of Vena Pal. The bricks that have been used for the construction of the fort date back to the Kushana period, at the time when the emperor Kanishka ruler over the northern part of India. The primary purpose of the construction of the Qila Mubarak was to ensure that the Huns do not invade the kingdom of Emperor Kanishka. In the later years, however, different rulers of the area did various alterations to the main structure of the fort.
After King Jaipal committed suicide in the 11th century, Mahmud Ghazni captured the magnificent fort. If legends are true, Razia Sultan had jumped off from the balcony of the fortress so that she could gather her army and fight against the enemies. Later on, she was imprisoned on her defeat and dethroned at the same fort. The tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, also visited Qila Mubarak in the year 1705. A Gurudwara was later on constructed within the fort to commemorate his visit. The rulers of the Patiala Dynasty also used the regal fort for residential purposes. Maharaja Ala Singh captured it in the 17th AD and renamed the fort as Fort Gobindgarh.

With the passage of time, the majestic structure of the fort has collapsed and is now in ruins. Restoration is thus, currently underway to revive the fortress and to preserve it as an important token that bears testimony to the rich Indian history.

Structure of Qila Mubarak

A majestic and old-fashioned doorway welcomes visitors to the Qila Mubarak and gives them a regal feel. Qila Mubarak is also one of the highest forts that have been constructed with small bricks. Owing to its height, the fort provides the visitor with a panoramic view of the entire town of Bathinda. It also houses two Gurudwaras inside the main complex. The prison in the enchanting fort which was constructed to imprison Razia Sultan is also a source of major interest among tourists.

Tips For Visiting Qila Mubarak

You can hike along the walls of Qila Mubarak. However, it is allowed only from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM. 

How To Reach Qila Mubarak

To reach Qila Mubarak, you would first need to reach the city of Bhatinda, which is easily accessible by train, flight or bus. The nearest airport is in Chandigarh, and you will have to travel by bus or train from Chandigarh to reach Bhatinda. Bhatinda has a prominent railway junction and is connected to many other parts of India.

The Qila Mubarak is located in the centre of the city, quite close to the railway station, and can be reached from there via autos, cabs or public transport.

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