Formalities over for Patiala’s 256-year-old Qila Mubarak to get heritage look

FOLLOWING AMRITSAR PLAN The Punjab government has mooted a plan to get the historic Qila Mubarak added to UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites

Inching forward in executing the dream project of Punjab chief minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh, the construction plan for converting roads in the periphery of the 256-year-old Qila Mubarak in Patiala into a heritage street is likely to start from April 1.

Following the example of Amritsar, the roads leading to Qila Mubarak will be given a royal look for which, the administration has done extensive planning and has prepared a blueprint of the overall appearance of the heritage street.

The Patiala Development Authority (PDA), which is the executing agency for the heritage street project, has already completed all formalities for the project.

Patiala deputy commissioner Kumar Amit said that consultants were hired for designing and monitoring of the project. “We have taken care of minute details while finalising the design and look of the heritage street. All formalities have been completed and we are set to go ahead with the plan. We are expecting to kick-off work from April,” he said.

The DC added that the project has been designed in such a way that the roads near Qila Mubarak should get a heritage makeover while keeping their original look intact.

The task of development of a heritage street around the Qila Mubarak has been entrusted to the consultant which is already undertaking conservation work of the area in a bid to ensure conceptual integrity of the place.

The estimated cost of the project is pegged at ₹50 crore and will be completed within three years of allotment of tenders for the project.

Under the project, the stretch leading from the Samania Gate to Qila Mubarak Chowk and roads in periphery of the fort will be given a heritage look. A heritage park will also be developed at ‘Shahi Samadhan’ and the 120-year-old overhead water reservoir in the area will be given a royal and antique touch.

During review meetings with officials of the district administration on multiple occasions in the past one year, the chief minister has directed them to ensure preservation of the palace’s original look and feel.

Following the instruction, a field survey to find out about the exact detailing of the project before compiling the final DPR.

The erstwhile SAD-BJP (Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party) government had developed a 1-km stretch leading from the Hall Gate and the Golden Temple in Amritsar into Heritage Street in 2016, which is inspiration behind this project. The entire project was worth ₹160 crore. The heritage street in Amritsar has been appreciated by tourists from across globe.

About Qila Mubarak

The palace was first built by Baba Ala Singh, the founder of Phulkian royalty, to which Captain Amarinder Singh belongs. It was first built as a mud fortress back in 1763 and was later reconstructed using baked bricks.

Spread over 10-acre, the Qila Mubarak is situated in the heart of the Royal City and it consists of a guest house and a Darbar Hall (from where Captain’s ancestors ruled over the Patiala province), and 13 royal chambers with many wall paintings on them. The fort had an underground sewerage system.

The ‘Darbar’ hall has on display rare furniture, chandeliers, paintings, cannons, swords, shields, a sword of Nadir Shah and other articles of historical importance.

The Punjab government had mooted a plan to get the historic Qila Mubarakadded to the listof United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) world heritage sites. A team from the UNESCO had visited the site in 2017.

Presently,the Archaeological Survey of India, along with Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), are undertaking the restoration work. The Union government had sanctioned ₹38 crore for its restoration work.

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