ArmourandChandeliersMuseumTake a guided walk for an enriching glimpse into Patiala’s glorious past as well as its colourful present. Acquaint yourself with some of the more–and the not-so–popular historical sites as you wind your way from the Shahi Samadhi to the Quila Mubarak. Encompassing architectural, cultural, culinary and artistic heritage, indeed, the Patiala Heritage Walk is a delightful peep at the richness of tradition this royal city has long been celebrated for. To participate, reach the take-off point at designated times and purchase a ticket from the licensed guide on the spot.
The walkabout starts at the Shahi Samadhi (Royal Mausoleum) where set in a garden are the marbled cenotaphs of the Patiala royalty. Most notable, delicately inlaid with Islamic & Punjabi motifs, is that of the founding ruler, Baba Ala Singh. Move on to the famed Pammi Puriawala to appease those early morning hunger pangs. Started by brothers Pammi and Parinder as a breakfast eatery in 1983, it has evolved into a must-visit today; denizens of the area swear by their singular combo meal: cholle-bhature and pethe ki sabzi.
Next stop is the Haveliwala Mohallaboasting a number of heritage houses of nobles of the Royal Court and later political figures. Including those of the Royal Astrologer Ram Kishan ji, Deputy Lachhiram Pandhi and Jagannath Kaushal, former Union Law Minister, this mohalla was evidently a well-known address in the past. That administrators and people of prominence were publicly acknowledged for their service to the ruler can be clearly evinced from the Chatta Nanumal. An arched structure over the road used for public hearings, it bears the name of Diwan Nanumal, one of two diwans to have this privilege bestowed upon them; the other being Diwan Magniram.
As you near the fort, you are greeted by the sight of shiny bright utensils everywhere, heralding the imminence of the Bartan Bazaar. One of the many craft-specific bazaars of the walled city area, it is best known for kalai: the tradition of applying a metallic coating to brass and copper utensils for retention of their shine. Visitors can witness the process of cloth dyeing while in the vicinity, and also browse for other local crafts: phulkaris, juttis, parandas and nalas (silk drawstrings). Soon after, you will stop by at the strategically located Darshini Deori, from where people could watch royal processions as they made their way to and from the Quila Mubarak.
The culmination point of the Patiala Heritage Walk is its most magnificent legacy, the ten-acre Quila Mubarak. Built in 1764, the royal fort houses several buildings showcasing a melange of Mughal and Rajasthani styles, including the Quila Androon, private chambers of the royalty. Comprising nine courts, it is also where the Sheesh Mahal is located; elaborately decorated, it depicts themes from Hindu epics through frescoes and mirror-work by artists from Kangra and Rajasthan. Entered through the majestic main gate, the outer perimeter includes the Jalau Khana, Lassi Khana (kitchens), Sard Khana (cool room), Ran Baas (guest quarters) and Durbar Hall. The latter, notable for its superb ceiling and huge chandeliers of Bohemian crystal, is now a museum displaying armour, paintings and royal treasures, including a state carriage made entirely of silver, a jade dagger belonging to Guru Gobind Singh, and the sword of the Persian emperor Nadir Shah.