Bathinda is a city and Municipal Corporation in the Southern part of Punjab.The city, named after the Bhati kings, is one of the oldest cities in Punjab, India and the current administrative headquarters of Bathinda District. It is in northwestern India in the Malwa Region, 227 km west of the capital city of Chandigarh and is the fifth largest city of Punjab. Bathinda’s nicknamed the ‘City of Lakes’, courtesy of the artificial lakes in the city.The first empress of India, Razia Sultan was imprisoned in the Qila Mubarak fort in Bathinda. If you are in Bhatinda then visit the places mentioned below for sure.
This is a popular tourist and a weekend destination at Bhatinda. Located near the Thermal Plant and stretched over an area of 40,000 sq. metres, this garden blooms in all colours of roses during winter.
The 1400-year-old Qila Mubarak or otherwise known as Bathinda Fort is centrally located in the city of Bathinda. This fort had once been a residence of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and was the place where Empress Razia Sultana was imprisoned after being defeated and dethroned. The fort’s bricks date back to the era of Kushanas, when Bactria or North India was ruled by Emperor Kanishka. This fort is known to have been built by Raja Dab together with Kanishka. Inside this fort, there is a Gurudwara.
Another popular picnic spot is the Chetak Park which has a garden and a lake. The park also offers boating facilities. Tourists can also spend time watching the plant exhibits at Chetak Park.
Towards the south of Bhatinda, around 18 km from the city is the hamlet of Talwandi Tehsil or popularly known as Damdama Sahib. The place derives its name from a historic incident. Guru Gobind Singh, after the battles with Mughals at Chamkaur Sahib, Anandpur Sahib and Muktsar, went to the forest of Malwa. In the Talwandi Sabo, Guru Gobind took “Dam” or rest for 9 months and 9 days and since then the place is called by this name. Damdama Sahib is busiest during the Baisakhi Fair.
Mazaar, Pir Baba Haji Rattan
Mazaar, Pir Baba Haji Rattan of Bhatinda city represents the multi-cultural facet of Punjab. This place of worship welcomes anyone from any religion. It is believed that Bhatinda’s Pir Baba solves all sorts of problems of his followers. This mausoleum is located between the grain market and the Civil Hospital and has a peaceful ambience. “Pir Baba Haji Rattan” is known to have represented India as its ambassador in the sacred city of Mecca.
Bir Talab Zoo
The Bir Talab Zoo is located just 6 km from Bhatinda. It is also a tourist complex with a children park and arrangements for rides. The lawns of this park are popular as picnic spots. Sambars, cheetah and black bucks are some of the residents of this park.
Built in 1930, Bahia Fort once served as the formal residence of the family of the army of Patiala. This fort was converted into a plush hotel in 1980 and was renovated with a blend of modern and traditional architecture. From a non-star hotel of 1980, regular up-gradation sponsored by the Government of India has awarded this hotel with 4 stars in 2000, which happened to be the first of its kinds in Bhatinda. The Government of India has reconfirmed this status of 4-star again in 2009. Currently, Hotel Bahia Fort has 43 luxury rooms with modern facilities and a banquet hall befitting conferences or marriages with the capacity to accommodate 500 people. There is a Club Room, Beauty Parlour and Kitty Hall in this fort too.
Lakhi Jungle is just 15 km from Bhatinda. This forest has a Gurudwara where Shri Guru Nanak Ji had narrated Shri Japuji Sahib’s 100,000 (one lakh) holy paths. Hence, the jungle drew its name from this background story. The 9th Sikh Guru, Guru Tej Bahadur and 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh had also visited this Gurudwara in the past.
On the Bhatinda- Mansa Road, at a distance of 29 km from Bhatinda is the location of the Maiser Khana Mandir. It is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Jwala Ji and Durga. As per the legend, once there was a devotee named “Kamala”, who couldn’t take the journey of the pilgrimage to Jwala Ji. In order to honour Goddess Durga, Kamala started a penance that was to last a lifetime to get her darshan. Goddess Durga pleased with the prayer blessed her with vision twice a year to see the Jyoti of Goddess Jwala Ji. So every year, two Melas are organised on Ashtami, where people come to get a Darshan of Jwala Ji. During this time, people from all parts of Punjab gather to pray and sing hymns in honour of the deity. Tourists usually visit this place during these Melas, where Hindus and Sikhs both participate. The temple was built around 1951, on the initiation of Mahavir Dal, Hansraj Aggarwal and Maur Mandi’s Radhesham Budhlada Jagannath Ji.