The early history of the Patiala state is considered more of a myth than fact. Baba Ala Singh, a man with vision and courage assumed the leadership in 1714 and carved out an independent principality from a petty Zamindari of 30 villages. His successors were instrumental in the expansion of Patiala into a big state. The state's borders touched the Shivaliks in north, Rajasthan in the South and upper courses of the Jamuna and Sutlej.
The state of Patiala assumed prominence on the Indian map during the reign of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (1900-1930). The rich architectural legacy of the place is to his credit only. Also his son facilitated the process of natural integration of the state by signing the instrument of accession.
The erstwhile capital of one of India's richest princely states, Patiala is an ancient city with a modern face. Amidst modern institutions and buildings, concrete roads and gardens stand the magnificent forts and palaces dating back to the 18th century.The present day city can also be descried as commercial center for consumer goods.
Places to Visit
Rajpura, located midway between Patiala and Chandigarh. It is an old Mogul outpost with a dilapidated fort. It is an important town today. It has manufacturing units for cables, tyres and a whole range of agro-products.
It is renowned for its Old Palace that has now been converted into a Government College. The Royal Guest House and High Court Complex located here have also become parts of a public School. Hira Mahal, the residence of the ruling family preserves antique cars, and fascinating murals on the inside walls.
Built in 1764, by Maharaja Amar Singh, the fort has two portions. Qila Androon is the inner fort and Qila Mubarak, the outer. The gate of Qila Androon is done in lime plaster with geometrical and floral designs on it. Inside the fort are two painted chambers illustrating scenes from Hindu mythology and portraits of Sikh Gurus in Patiala style. Also a part of the fort is a museum of chandeliers and famous weapons.