Bathinda district,Punjab

Bathinda district is in Punjab, India. The districts encompasses an area of 3,344 square kilometres. It is bounded by Faridkot district and Moga district on the north, Mukatsar district on the west, Barnala and Mansa districts on the east, and the state of Haryana on the south. Bathinda is cotton producing belt of Punjab.

History of Bathinda district,Punjab

The etymology of “Bathinda” is uncertain. According to Khalifa Muhammad Hassan, author of History of Patiala, the ancient name of the city was Bikramgarh. According to Ibn Battuta it was known as Batrind. It is generally believed that Bathinda was built by Bhati rajput kings, who were the rulers of Punjab in 6th century AD. They called the city Whatinda or Bitunda after their surname which finally become known as Bhatinda. Bhatinda was changed to Bathinda to conform to the phonetical expression as locally pronounced.According to Henry George Raverty, Bathinda was known as Tabarhindh (Labb-ut-Twarikh). The earliest mention of Tabarhindh occurs in the Jami-Ul-Hakayat written about 607 Hijri or 1211 AD.

In 1004, Mahmud of Ghazni besieged the local fort, which was located on the route from the northwest into the rich Ganges valley.

In 1189, Muhammad Ghori attacked and occupied the fort of Bathinda. Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the ruler of this region, managed to recover possession of the fort thirteen months later in 1191 after the first battle of Tarain.

After the death of Muhammad Ghori, Delhi Sultanate was established. The fourth Emperor – Iltutmish, on his death-bed nominated his daughter Raziya as his heiress. Raziya became the next and the first Empress of India and was known as Razia Sultan. Her childhood friend named Malik Altunia, the governor of Bathinda, joined a rebellion by other provincial governors who refused to accept Razia’s authority. She was imprisoned at the Bathinda fort in April, 1240. She was released in August and later died in October 1240. While in prison Razia Sultan was allowed to go to Hajirattan mosque to offer prayers on Fridays in a special palki.

The city later came under the control of the Sidhu-Brars, who were thrown out of Bathinda during Lodhi’s rule but were restored to the area by Babur. A few years later, Chaudhary Roop Chand Brar, a Jatt Sikh, came into the scene. Chaudhary Phul Brar, the second son of Chaudhary Roop Chand, started the practice of langar (community kitchen) for the people in the Lakhi jungle area. The city of Bathinda was visited by the tenth Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh. He halted at the mausoleum of Haji Rattan, a celebrated Muslim saint, which was 2 km outside the city. He visited and surveyed the strategic importance of the Bathinda Fort.

In circa 1754, the town was conquered by Maharaja Ala Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala and since then it followed the history of erstwhile princely state of Patiala. With the dawn of independence and merger of Patiala and East Punjab States into a division called PEPSU, Bathinda become a full-fledged district with headquarters at Bathinda city.

Places of interest in Bathinda district,Punjab

Bathinda has a rich religious and cultural heritage. There are a number of places worth visiting in and around the city. Many of them are deeply associated with various religious beliefs. Damdama Sahib

Damdama Sahib is one of the Five Takhts or Seat of Temporal Authority of Sikhism. It has been built at the site where Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, prepared the full version of the Sikh Scriptures, called Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in 1705. Located in village of Talwandi Sabo, 28 km to the southeast of Bathinda, the gurdwara was officially recognized as the Fifth Takht of Sikhism, on November 18, 1966.

Maiser Khana Mandir

Maiser Khana Mandir is located 29 km from Bhatinda on Bhatinda-Mansa Road. According to a legend, it was here that the Jyoti of Mata Jawala (the divine apparition of a Mother Goddess) appeared to a poor devotee, who could not reach the temple at Jawala. Each year, two fairs are held here, visited by lakhs of devotes across the globe.

Qila Mubarak

This is one of the oldest and highest small brick monument. It also contains two gurudwaras as the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh visited the place.

Bahia Fort

This was built in 1930 in front of the main Fort by S. Balwant Singh Sidhu. It belongs to a group of 22 villages, so called Bahia Sahib. It was as official residence of armed forces of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala State. Now it has been converted into a Four Star Hotel.

Lakhi Jungle

This is situated 15 km away from Bathinda and on the way to Muktsar. A forest having old Gurudwara enjoyed the touches of Shri Guru Nanak Dev who recited one lakh holy Paths of Shri Japuji Sahib. Therefore, it was called Lakhi Jungle. Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh also visited this place.

Rose Garden

This garden boasts of large number of varieties of Roses. It is very near the city and is visited by large number of people on weekends. The 10-acre (40,000 m2) garden is located close to Thermal Plant. It has a vast variety of rose plants and is a good picnic spot.

Zoological garden

It is a plant nursery of the forest department located approximately 10 km away from the Cantonment and is a popular picnic spot. This place is a small zoo in the midst of a small forest.

Chetak Park

A beautiful garden built in Bathinda Cantonment is popular among children’s and others. It has a lake and boating facility.

Mazaar of Peer Haji Rattan

It is one of the most revered place of worship in the city. There is something unique about this place. At this place a mosque and a Sikh gurudwara share the same wall and a temple is also very close by. It exhibits the religious harmony among the people of this city.