Patiala is relatively a young city of royal heritage and rich tradition. Founded in 1764 by Baba Ala Singh, a soldier par excellence on an ancient mound, "PRASTHALA", frequently referred to in the Mahabharta epic, Patiala has since then acquired a place of eminence in political, social, religious, music and fine arts, cultural, academic and military spheres.
It was Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (1900-1938) who gave Patiala State a prominent place on the political map of India. Later at the time of Indian independence his son Yadvindera Singh took a patriotic lead by signing the instrument of accession facilitating the process of national integration.
There after Patiala has continued to occupy an important place in regional politics. The Capital of Princely state Patiala has magnificent Forts, Palaces, extensive gardens like Quilla Androo Sheesh Mahal, Moti Bagh Palace, Baradari Garden, Art Galleries and National Institute of Sports. Baradari Gardens, Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, Temple Kali Devi, which on account of the rare murals on its walls, has been declared a national monument.
Patiala, the previous capital of significant
state, has wonderful forts, palaces and gardens. Quilla Mubarak,
the fort which is the center of Patiala city, houses an inspiring
armory and chandeliers. Patiala city also produces some beautiful
handicrafts, especially the embroidery called phulkari. The
market is also charming, placed within the fort, with narrow lane
dedicated to selling one type of goods only so that all the shops in one
carry jutis or rural shoes while those in another carry only paradise or
decorative hair ribbons.
The previous history of the Patiala city state is measured more of a
myth than fact. Baba Ala Singh, a man with dream and daring assumed the
leadership in 1714 and carved out an independent principality
from a little Zamindari of 30 villages. His successors were
helpful in the expansion of Patiala city into a big state. The state's
borders touched the Shivaliks in north, Rajasthan in the South
and upper courses of the Jamuna River and Sutlej River. The state
of Patiala unspecified prominence on the Indian map during the reign of
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (1900-1930).
Patiala is now one of the principle city of Punjab. National Institute of sports (NIS), Head quarters of State Bank of Patiala, Panjab State Electricity Board, Public Works Department, Public Service Commission, Punjab State Archives and Income Tax Department for this reason are also located here. The Northern Religion Centre is also located at Patiala. Patiala has long been a centre of trade and commerce but in recent years it is gradually developing into an industrial town by producing a wide range of goods.
Escorts, Milk Food, Diesel Component Works (DCW) of the railways, Bakeman's Factory Area and Industrial Estate
Sirhind Road are worth mentioning industrial units. Also, Patiala has the proud distinction of having one of the most prestigious army formations.
Famous for its Pegg, Pagree, Paranda, Reshmi Naley and Jutti symbolising joy, respect femininess and aristrocracy, Patiala presents a beautiful cluster of life style blended with people of various shades giving near cosmopolitan look to the city. Patiala is a place that would give one the much-needed tranquility far from urban chaos. The old and the new worlds go hand in hand in Patiala. Its massive forts, its magnificent palaces and its narrow and crooked lanes preserve all the charm of the old world while its modern buildings and institutions, gardens and wide concrete roads make it look a pre-eminently young city equipped with all the amenities of present day life.
The people of Patiala consider themselves the torchbearers of Punjabi language and culture. Patiala is a center of education, an emporium of consumer goods and is well known for its royal cuisine and hospitality.
Art & Culture
The fourth Maharaja Narinder Singh was a great patron of art, architecture and music. It was during his time that Moti Bagh Palace, Sheesh Mahal, Banasur Bagh were designed followed by Baradari Palace. Maharaja also encouraged classical music. Keeping the tradition alive his successors continued to patronise the music resulting the rich creation of Patiala Gharana; on which still thrives the whole of Pakistani Classical Music. Colorful Parandas, Nalas, Chunnies and Patiala Juttis embroidered in Gold Thread and Phulkari motifs are unique handicrafts of Patiala.
Patiala today is the biggest centre of education in northern India. Boosting of almost all possible fields of education which includes Punjabi University, Thapar College of Engineering - a deemed University, Medical College, Aurvedic College, Institute of Aviation, College of Commerce, Nursing, Education and Physical education, Institute of Sanskrit studies and the academy of Sikh religion and culture, Mahindra College, Modi College, Khalsa College, Government College of Women, Yadvindra Public School ; Patiala prides in claiming high academic ratio in the State. Rajindra Medical College, Dental College, State College of Education, Commerce College, Ayurvedic College besides several degree colleges, Govt. Polytechnic for Women and Public Schools including two I.T.I's for boys and girls are located at Patiala.
The city has rich tradition in promoting sports in the country dating back to Baba Ala Singh. He popularised sports like horsemanship, marksmanship and hunting. Later Cricket was introduced as the modern sport and highest cricket ground in the world was built at Chail (now in Himachal Pradesh). Other sports include Polo, Hockey and Wrestling in which Patiala has produced world fame players and Wrestlers. With the establishment of National Institute of Sports, Patiala has become sports capital of the Country.