Monday, July 15, 2024

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Gobindgarh Fort


Amritsar District, Punjab

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Throughout the year  


October to March

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Previously known as Bhangian Da Kila (Bhangis was one of the 12 Sikh misles), the historic Gobindgarh Fort is located in the South-West of Amritsar in Punjab. Built in 1760, the fort occupied a unique place in Indian military history. It has been a mute witness to many historic events. It is said that British Army General O Dyer (the perpetrator of the major massacre in Jallianwala Bagh in 1919) constructed an execution house in front of his office cum residence for to get a sadistic pleasure in watching execution of prisoners. After Partition of India - Pakistan, the fort was used to provide temporary shelter to a large number of refugees from Pakistan.

Associated with the Sikh warrior king Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Gobindgarh Fort was built by the army of Gujjar Singh Bhangi of Misl. Later in 1805-09, it was rebuilt by Lion of the Punjab, Maharaja Ranjit with the help of Jodh Singh and he strengthened the fortification of the fort in order to keep his treasures and treaties in safety.

The British authorities first occupied it in 1849 and the fort was in the army's possession from the British times for nearly 150 years. They added the Darbar Hall, Hawa Mahal and the Phansi Ghar to the fort. Later October 1948, the Indian army took control of the fort. After separation, it offers a temporary protection to a large number of immigrants from Pakistan. The fort that occupies a unique place in Indian military history is now under the administration of Indian Defense Force. In December 2006, the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh had declared to open the fort for general public and tourists.

Gobindgarh Fort was constructed with brick and lime on a square pattern with a parameter of 1500 square meter with two strong gates, four large bastions and well-defined rampart. The magnificent main entrance is called Nalwa Gate , after the great Sikh warrior and the other gate known as Keelar Gate is said to have a connected with the tunnel of Lahore, which is used to escape from the enemies. There were 25 cannons on the ramparts and they are now replaced with modern weaponry. In the center of the fort there is a Toshakhana, which is specially constructed to store the large amount of grains and provisions for the 12,000-strong Maharaja's army.