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Situated in Bhatinda city of the present Indian state of Punjab, Qila Mubarak is a monument of great historical importance. The presence of the fort can be traced back to the 90-110 AD. Razia Sultana, the first and only lady ruler of the Delhi Sultanates was kept imprisoned in this fort after she was defeated and dethroned. The construction of the fort was done during the reign of the Kushanas. The Kushana ruler of Northern India, Kanishka had built this fort along with Raja Dab.
The city of Bhatinda exists since the prehistoric times of about 50,000 BC which was the Stone Age in northern India. During this period, stone implements such as axes were developed. The reminiscences of artefacts of the period are now traceable in the present day Bhatinda district. About ten thousand years later i.e. in 40,000 BC people started to live in huts built by them in the regions of north Punjab and Bactria. Further civilization occurred over the years and by 7000 BC people of this region started cultivating barley and also raised goats and sheep. Mud-brick houses were developed in the area and villages developed. Some of them are even existent even today and tourists from across the globe come to visit the villages. Over time the residents of this region learnt to make different kinds of artefacts and by around 5500 BC they were making pottery items from clay. This technique though has become rare but not extinct at present.
With further civilization villagers in the 3000 BC started farming here and the present day Bhatinda region started gaining its shape. Many of the farming areas can be found even today. Ploughs that are used at some places of Bhatinda at present has its origin in 2600 BC. By 1500 BC, the cities were emptied but the villages remained and grew quite well. During this period, the appearance of the Indo-Aryans in the history of Bhatinda took place. The Indo-Aryans got spread well in this region by 800 BC. They started clearing forests to develop agricultural lands for their survival and flourishing of their race. Elephants were being used by the people of this region in warfare by 600 BC.
In 125 BC, Sakas invaded the entire region of Punjab. The Sakas were Scythian tribes and they came from the areas of Sind and Baluchistan. The Kushanas got to power once again in the 15 AD. Thereafter, the Kushanas started spreading their territory far and wide. In the 90-110 AD, the great Kushana emperor Kanishka along with Raja Dab built the Qila Mubarak Fort. Batti Rao in 179 AD established Bhatinda town where Qila Mubarak lies today.
Qila Mubarak is in itself a great attraction for the tourists visiting Bhatinda. The fort is as discussed is full of historical significances. The fort has many stories to lend to its visitors. It gives goose bumps to one to know they are visiting a place where great rulers like that of Kanishka, Razia Sultana, Sultan Mahmud, Prithvi Raj Chauhan and others had once walked through.
The Qila Mubarak has an old fashioned doorway which might give you the royal impulse. The best part of this you would be able to find huge number of pigeons flocking in this wrecked part of the majestic fort.
It is one of the highest forts built with small bricks. That is why; it gives a spectacular view of the Bhatinda town from the top of the Qila Mubarak.
In the Qila Mubarak complex there are other attractions as well. Firstly, this place has got two Gurudwaras inside the fort complex because the Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru of the Sikhs had visited this place.
The prison that was built to imprison Delhi’s Sultana Razia is also present inside and is a great attraction for the visitors of this fort.
Due to the calm and serene atmosphere of the fort this is a great place to pass your time during your stay in Bhatinda. Moreover, some people choose this place as a picnic spot as well.
To reach Qila Mubarak you would need to first reach the city of Bhatinda. You may reach the city by train, flight or bus. The nearest airport is in Chandigarh and you will have to travel by a bus or train from Chandigarh to reach Bhatinda. Bhatinda has a big railway junction and is connected to many other parts of India.