Patiala (ਪਟਿਆਲਾ) is a city located in south-eastern Punjab, in northern India. It is the Second largest city in the state. The city is the administrative capital of Patiala district. Patiala is located around a castle named Qila Mubarak (the Fortunate Castle). It was constructed by a militiaman, Baba Ala Singh in 1763. Patiala is a SAD-Party stronghold. In popular culture, the city remains famous for its traditional turban (a type of headgear), paranda (a kind of tasselled tag for braiding hair), patiala salwar (a type of female trousers), jutti (a type of footwear) and Patiala peg (a measure of liquor). The first Indian astronaut, Rakesh Sharma, was born in Patiala. It has an average elevation of 250 metres (820 feet).
Qila Mubarak Complex, The Qila Mubarak complex stands in 10-acre ground in the heart of the city, and contains the main palace or Qila Androon (literally,'inner fort'), the guesthouse or Ran Baas and the Darbar Hall. Outside the Qila are the Darshani Gate, a Shiva temple, and bazaar shops which border the streets that run around the Qila and sell precious ornaments, colorful hand-woven fabrics, ‘jootis’ and bright ‘Parandis’. It was the principal residence of the Patiala Royals until the construction of Old Moti Bagh Palace. The architectural style of this palace is a synthesis of late Mughal and Rajasthani. Though the Androon is a single interconnected building, it is spoken of as a series of palaces. Each set of rooms makes a cluster around a courtyard, and each carries a name: Topkhana, Qila Mubarak, Sheesh Mahal, Treasury and Prison. Ten of the rooms are painted with frescoes or decorated intricately with mirror and gilt. In a tiny portion of the complex is a little British construction with Gothic arches, fireplaces made of marble and built-in toilets perched on the Mughal Rajasthani roof. Every year its decorated beautifully for the Heritage Festival.
Sheesh Mahal, A part of the Old Moti Bagh Palace built in the 19th century by the Maharajas is the famous Sheesh Mahal, literally meaning the Palace of Mirrors. The mahal contains a large number of frescoes, most of which were made under His Highness Maharaja Narinder Singh. A lake in front of the palace adds to the beauty. Lakshman Jhula, a bridge built across the lake, is a famous attraction among the tourists. A museum housing the largest collection of Medals from the World collected by His Highness Maharaja Bhupinder Singh is also place here.
Baradari Gardens, The Baradari Gardens is located in the north of old Patiala city, just outside Sheranwala Gate. The garden complex, set up during the reign of Maharaja Rajindera Singh has extensive vegetation of rare trees and shrubs and flower dotted with impressive Colonial buildings and a marble statue of Maharaja Rajindera Singh. It was built as a royal residence with a cricket stadium, a skating rink and a small palace set in its heart named Rajindera Kothi which after extensive restoration opened as a heritage hotel run by Neemrana Hotels group in 2009.
Culture And Traditions:
Patiala's sway over the Malwa area extended beyond merely political influence. Patiala was equally the set of religious and cultural life. Educationally, Patiala was in the forefront. Patiala was the first town in this part of the country to have Degree College - the Mohindra College - in 1870. Patiala has also seen evolution of a distinct style of architecture. Borrowing from the Rajput style, its beauty and elegance are, however, moulded according to the local traditions.