Tourism in Barnala
It is said that Barnala was originally known as Anahatgarh. May be there was a garh or a fort in this very place long before Baba Ala Singh claimed this territory as his own. However, such relics from the past are no more. History of Barnala practically begins with the history of Ala Singh Ji. Unfortunately much of the relics from that era have also been destroyed. Therefore, visitors looking for places of historical importance in Barnala will have to go back disappointed. Yet for people who have eyes to see, Barnala has much to offer. Let us look into some of those places, which visitors to the town should never miss.
Quilla Mahal and the fort that is no more:It is said that Baba Ala Singh Ji built a fort in Barnala in the vicinity of Sandhu and Bajwa Patti in the beginning of the eighteenth century. He lived there along with his fierce brand of Khalsa soldiers and spread his kingdom from there. Unfortunately, the fort is there no more. Time as well as human intervention has demolished the structure. However, the area is still called Quilla Mahal; it houses many old buildings.
Ouilla Mahal is the oldest part of the town. In spite of that, it has a unique drainage system. However hard it may rain, water drains out very quickly leaving the roads clean and dry. There are quite a few old bazaars in this area. Therefore, if you are looking for some mementoes to take back home, you may complete you shopping from here. More importantly, a visit to this area will invariably give you an idea about those good old days. History is still alive in the lanes and by-lanes of Quilla Mahal.
Gurudwaras in Barnala
Here are some of the important gurudwaras in Barnala:
Dera Baba Gandha Singh:Dera Baba Gandha Singh is a historic Gurdwara located Bajakhana Road in Barnala. As the story goes, Pradhan Kaur, the daughter of Baba Ala Singh Ji, once went to Muktsar. There she met Baba Lammar Singh and was deeply impressed by his piousness. She therefore, requested him to send one of his disciples to Barnala so that a congregation could also be started there. Baba sent Pandit Nika Singh for that purpose.
When Pandit Nika Singh reached Barnala, he was afforded a warm welcome by Baba Ala Singh. The later allotted a beautiful house for him. Pandit Nika Singh started giving Sangat from there only. Over the time, this house became famous as Dera Baba Gandha Ji. It is also said that along with holding sangat, Nika Singh also started a langur from the Fort. The Chula or the oven in which the food for the langur was cooked has been preserved till date. Because of Chula, the gurudwara is sometimes known also as Baba Chula Sahib.
Gurudwara Patshahi Naumi at SekhaSekha, located at a distance of seven kilometer from Barnala is another important religious place of the area. The place has been sanctified by the visit of Guru Teg Bahadur ji, the ninth Sikh Guru. Gurudwara Patshahi Naumi stands on the very place where Guruji used to meditate during his stay at Sekha. It is located on the Barnala Road to the west of the village.
Other Historic Gurudwaras in and around Barnala CityBesides the above mentioned gurudwaras, following are two other places of worship for the Sikh community in Barnala:
- Gurudwara Nanaksar Thath on Kachehari Roadin in Barnala
- Gurudwara Gurusar Pakka Sahib Patshahi Nouvin, located in Handiaya at a distance of 6 Km from Barnala city
- Gurudwara Sahib Arrisar Patshahi Nouvin, also located in Handiaya at a distance of 11 km from Barnala on Mansa-Barnala Road
Geeta Bhawan in BarnalaApart from the above mentioned Gurudwaras, Geeta Bhawan is also a popular destination. This Radha Krishna temple is managed by Om Sat Sanatan Geeta Bhawan Trust. It is located in the heart of the city and draws devotees from far and near.
Besides the above mentioned gurudwaras, the Memorial Gurudwara of Bhai Moola Singh is located in the heart of village. Tila of Baba Tehal Das is also another place of tourist attraction. It has a gurudwara as well as a temple and hence is revered by people of all religion.
There is an interesting story about the town. It is said that, at the time of Guru Teg Bahadurji, Sekha was a cluster of twenty-two villages. In Punjabi language, anything made out of twenty-two separate entity is known as bahia and hence this place too was known by the same name. Anyway, when the Guru came to Bahia in course of his visit to Malwa, the king asked him to leave. Angered by this, the Guru cursed that the Bahia would fall into a heap and that was exactly what happened. The prosperous locality turned into a heap of rubbles. It is said that, the rubbles known as the Theh can still be seen to the west of the main village.
How to Reach Barnala
Although Barnala does not have any airport of its own, it is well connected to other parts of the country through a strong network of trains and buses. In fact, the nearest airport located at Amritsar is 66.22 Km away. Passengers can also avail the same facility from Bathinda, which is located at a distance of 76.9 Km from Barnala. Both these towns are connected to Barnala through a network of roads as well of trains.
In fact, Barnala has a strong railway network. The Railway station, located at the heart of the town, is indeed a busy place. Trains from various places such as Delhi, Hardwar, Rishikesh, Kalka, Ambala Cantonment, Bhatinda, Ganga Nagar, Barmer etc pass through this town. Since the town is located on NH 71, it is also approachable by road. A strong network of buses also connects the town with nearby towns such as Sangrur, Ludhiana, Patiala, Chandigarh, Bathinda etc.