Plan to get CM Amarinder’s ancestral house, Qila Mubarak, on UNESCO heritage site list
The Punjab government has mooted a plan to get included 250-year-old historic Qila Mubarak, the ancestral house of Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh in the list of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) world heritage sites. This was disclosed by Punjab tourism and cultural minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was here on Sunday. A team of the UNESCO, along with Sidhu, will visit Qila Mubarak on Tuesday in this regard.
The fort was first built by Baba Ala Singh, the founder of Phulkian royalty, to which Amarinder Singh belongs. It was first built as Mud Fortress in 1763 and later it was reconstructed with baked bricks.
Captain Amarinder always starts his election campaign by visiting Qila Mubarak where Burj of Ala Singh has been built.
Spread over nearly 10 acres, the Qila is situated in the heart of the city and it consists a Ran Bass (guest house) and the Darbar Hall, from where Amarinder’s anscestors ruled Patiala state, and 13 royal chambers with precious paintings on walls. The fort had underground water sewerage system. The Darbar Hall contains rare cannons, swords, a shield, a sword of Nadir Shah etc.
Presently, the Archaeological Survey of India, along with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), is undertaking restoration work. The Union government has sanctioned Rs 38 crore for its restoration work. Once it is notified as a UNESCO site, a large sum will be released to preserve it and develop it as a tourist site. At present, there are 35 UNSECO-declared world heritage sites in India, but not a single one is listed in Punjab.
“Persevering heritage is need of the hour, as like other foreign countries like Italy, France, England did. I will personally remain present during the visit of the team, so that we can put a better case to get the heritage site status for this Qila, which will boost tourism in Punjab”, said Sidhu, during his maiden visit to his home town.
He said that Punjab tourism will start “Maharaja circuit” tourism, in which cultural heritage of Patiala, Zind, Nabha and Kapurthala royal estates will be shown to tourists. “These places need good facilities to woo tourists, which the tourism department will provide,” he added. He said that a cultural policy is almost prepared and will be released soon.
Later Sidhu, who also holds the portfolio of local bodies minister, held a meeting with former member of Parliament (MP) Preneet Kaur, and chalked out a plan for development of the city and said that the work on the solid waste management plant will be started in two months, while a detailed development plan will be announced later.
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