Friday, June 01, 2007
Patiala all set to regain past glory
Patiala is all set to restore its pristine glory and grandeur. Huge funds are being spent and the old heritage buildings are being refurbished and restored to its original glory.
Official sources say the state government has drawn up a series of plans to develop Patiala as a major tourist destination since the city is studded with palaces, museums and gardens, encompassing rich cultural and traditional architecture.
Sheranwala Gate, an ancient monument, would be rebuilt with its original grandeur and design with inbuilt gurdwara, temple, church and a mosque as a testimony to the age old cultural and secular values of the erstwhile princely state of Patiala.
The Mohindra Kothi has already been spruced up and now houses the newly established Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law from the current academic session. This is a temporary arrangement and the university will be shifted to its own campus soon. The building, which once housed the head offices of the Punjab Public Works Department, would be preserved and conserved as a heritage site along with "Maiji di Serai". The state government is also committed to preserve the landmark monuments marking the rich historical past like the Qila Mubarak, Old Moti Bagh Palace, Sheesh Mahal and Bahadurgarh fort as Patiala has been declared as counter magnet town under the NCR plan.
Patiala had historic gates built by the erstwhile rulers of this princely state. Now, the state has lost many of the gates owing to official neglect. These included the Lahori Gate, Sheranwala Gate, and Saifabadi Gate.There is a popular demand for the restoration of these gates. The Samania Gate, which was damaged a couple of years back, get repaired under the supervision of experts. Sirhindi Gate, near the Patiala-Rajpura road, was also reinforced almost seven years back when a portion of the roof of the gate came crashing following incessant rains. This gate has also got repaired and given a fresh lick of paint.
The sources said the Heritage Society had decided to take up the restoration of all historic gates. It was proposed to request corporate and industry houses besides other establishments to sponsor the maintenance of these gates.
Punjab Tour, Patiala Tours : www.sikhtourism.com