Forts in Punjab

The charming state of Punjab is a quixotic amalgam of the bucolic farmlands and bustling urban cities. The state has an age-old history whose narratives are personified by the multitude of forts and palaces.

Punjab, an erstwhile princely state of India and the former empire of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is opulent in majestic and lavish palaces and crenellated forts.

The state, which played an active role in India's tumultuous struggle for Independence, was also a mute spectator to the horrors of the Jalianwala Bagh massacre.

Punjab has innumerable forts that are surrounded by rampart, crenellated walls and paint a vivid picture of the state's martial history. Among the various noteworthy forts of Punjab, the 700-year-old Faridkot Fort deserves special mention.

The interiors of the ancient fort are exquisitely decorated with Rajashthani style mirror work and are certainly worth a visit.

Anandpur Sahib Fort

Expounding the sacred message of Sikhism, Anandpur Sahib stands on the north-western corner of Chandigarh. As the motherland of Khalsa, the place has a significant religious prominence. Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji was believed to have brought the holy place into being in 1664.

Once owned by the rulers of Bilaspur, the spot of Gurudwara Anandpur Sahib was sanctified by the evolution of Khalsa 300 years back. Spending 25 long years of his life in the place Guru Gobind Singh Ji made Anandpur Sahib a land of spiritual freedom and religious ecstasy. Previously called as Chak Nanki, the place is surrounded by five huge forts that were built in the time of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Ji.

Bahadurgarh Fort

Punjab, a land shrouded in history that dates as far back as the primordial Harappan civilization abounds in forts and fortresses, lone raconteurs of the state's glorious maritime history. Among the notable forts and citadels of Punjab, the Bhadurgarh Fort occupies a special place in history.

The 123-year-old fort is located a mere 6 km away from Patiala. The construction of the ancient fort began as early as 1658 under the patronage of Nawab Saif Khan and was completed during Maharaja Karam Singh's tenure. The fort architecture consists of two circular battlements that are encircled by a 25 feet deep and 58 feet wide moat, filled with water that serves as an initial impediment to invaders. The crenellated outer wall stands 110 km apart from the robust inner wall. The imposing walls stand tall at a height of 29 feet.

The beautifully planned citadel is currently under the jurisdiction of the Punjabi police force and serves as their training academy. The towering and majestic fort took eight years to be completed and incurred a net expenditure of one million rupees in Indian currency. The perimeter of the fort nearly covers a distance of 1 1/13 miles.

Faridkot Fort

The charming and picturesque state of Punjab has a saga of suffering and trauma. The city, with its age-old history was an active player in India's tumultuous struggle for freedom. The innumerable forts and fortresses of the state evince the ravages of war. Faridkot Fort is one such primordial fort.

The ancient forts and fortresses, flaunting the state's glorious martial history have been rendered obsolete and are superseded by new technologies that can resist the air attacks. However, the combatant power of the ancient citadels should not be undermined. Garrisoned troops, firing from behind thick, impregnable and well-fortified walls have been known to be the success factor behind several victories.

The forts and fortresses of Punjab were no different from its counterparts in the other parts of the country and varied in size and strategic positioning, depending upon the need of the moment. Almost all of them were surrounded by water-filled moats that severed as an initial impediment for invaders. The imposing and crenellated outer walls contained battlements and turrets with small openings through which missiles could be fired. The inner courtyard comprised of the military offices and the royal residence.

Shahpur Kandi Fort

The beautiful state of Punjab with its rambling farmlands and sprawling meadows abounds in cultural splendor. Apart from religious edifices and tourist attractions, Punjab boasts of magnificent martial conquests. The city abounds in majestic forts and fortresses of which the Shahpur Kandi Fort deserves special mention.

Shahpur Kandi Fort is strategically sited a mere 7 km from Pathankot, the confluence of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir and is the terminal city of Punjab that links Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country and thus endows the city with its elite status.

Punjab, the smiling soul of India has always been vulnerable to external attacks and hence is fortified with adequate forts and fortresses with imposing crenellated walls encircled by deep trenches, moats and drawbridges.

Phiilaur Fort

Traces of the glorious records of Punjab's martial history can be found in the annals of history. The city whose history dates as far back as the days of the Harappan civilization has a traumatic past of raging battles. Phillaur Fort is a historically eminent fort that adds another feather to Punjab's cap.

Located in Ludhiana, the splendid architecture of Phillaur Fort was the brainchild of Dewan Mohkam Chand and built by a dexterous Italian engineer. Dewan Mohkam Chand, a former general serving during the tenure of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and credited with several acts of courage and valor.

During the chaotic days when India was a British colony, the fort was strategically built along the British border and like its counterpart in Bhadurgarh, it currently serves as a police training academy and houses the state's Fingerprint Bureau.

The large barbican easily distinguishes Phillaur Fort. It was a primary artillery arsenal and armory until the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. The fort also had a deployment of garrison and is one of the few bastions of Punjab that played a significant role in India' s struggle for independence.

Located in Phillaur, a small town that was initially named Phulnagar after a Sanghera Jat Phul, political and military exigencies forced the conversion of a homely serai into a rampart fort with bastions and turrets.

Phiilaur Fort, a majestic citadel guarding the town from possible invasions and attracts recounts the wonderful narratives of the glorious martial history of the brave and gallant Sikh warriors.