Faridkot Fort: A reminder of Punjab's royal past

This Fort stands as a testimony of the Barar Sikh Dynasty, which reached the pinnacle of its glory under Raja Hamid Singh.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 12:55 IST

Today, they may exist only in name, but the royal families of Punjab, that trace their roots to the mid 16th century, in their magnificent palaces still hold a reflection of the erstwhile grandeur of the past. One such fort is the palace and fort of the 'Barar Sikh Dynasty' at Faridkot.

The Faridkot Fort and Palace that stand as a testimony of the Barar Sikh Dynasty, which reached the pinnacle of its glory under Raja Hamid Singh, are known to have been built between 500 and 700 years ago by the Kapuras who trace their lineage back to the Phulkian chiefs of the region around the 13th century.

Reflected in the walls of the fort and the palace is the age of the Rajas of the Punjab, their personal opulence, their feudal battles for succession, and their essential aura.

Talking about the fort and its history, Col. Balbir Singh, Chariman, Maha Rawal Khewaji Trust, Faridkot, said, "In the olden days, residential colonies also existed within the fort boundaries.

Whenever there was attack, people would gather at one place and the fort became their protector. In that time the fort was full of life. Gradually that culture changed and people started to venture out".

Though several parts of the magnificent fort are today in a state of decay, the palace still houses ancient artefacts that have been collected and preserved that bear witness to the days when Indian royalty lived in opulence and grandeur.

Urgent steps are required towards preservation and maintenance of this symbol of a rich heritage, and the Maha Rawal Khewaji Trust is now working to convert the palace into a museum, so as to preserve its heritage.

"We are in the process of creating a museum with a photo gallery or whatever we have like the weapons, the rare books. In addition, we are adding a library of rare books, basically reference books.

The old vintage cars, the military vehicles and the state coaches etc will also be showcased. Hopefully in a near future we will be able to open the doors to the public so they can see their heritage and be proud of it," said Col. Balbir Singh.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 12:55 IST