Batala, Punjab - Informative & researched article on Batala, Punjab
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Batala, Punjab
Batala, located in Gurdaspur district of Punjab, is an agricultural marketplace and industrial centre, used to be known as Iron bird of Asia.
 
 Batala is a municipal council in the district of Gurdaspur in Punjab. Batala was earlier known as the "Iron bird of Asia" as maximum quantity of C.I. Casting, mechanical and Agricultural machinery were produced here. The city of Batala is an industrial centre and agricultural marketplace. Even now it is one of the chief regions in northern India that manufactures C.I. Casting, mechanical and Agricultural machinery. The area is also well developed in sugar refining, weaving, rice milling, Cotton ginning and manufacturing of various products. Batala is situated around 30 km away from Gurdaspur. Batala city is also very important to the Sikh devotees and a popular pilgrimage site. In 1485, the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev was married to the daughter of Mul Chand Chauna, Sulakhni, in Batala.

Numerous Gurdwaras and temples, associated with Guru Nanak`s marriage have been established here, which attracts several pilgrims from all over the country. On the marriage anniversary of Guru Nanak, an annual celebration is conducted.

History of Batala
Batala was founded by Raja Ram Deo, a Bhati Rajput, in 1465 CE. It was founded during the rule of Bahlul Lodi, on a piece of land donated by Tatar Khan, the Governor of Lahore. Later Shamsher Khan received the area in Jagir from Akbar, during the Mughal period. The city of Batala, encompassed within a fort, developed and flourished under him. Batala had 12 major gates that served as entrance and exit, to and from the city. The gates are still popular by their original names, like Ohri Gate, Sheran wala Gate, Bhandari Gate, Thathiari Gate, Khajuri Gate etc. Batala was included in the Indian state of Punjab during the political integration of the nation.

The other places with historical significance in Batala the Gurdwaras, where Guru Nanak resided during the course of his life.

Tourism in Batala
Batala contains to several monuments of religious and historic significance and attracts a number of Sikhs from around the world. There are many places for the tourists to visit, as there are various monuments and structures that are connected with Sikh history and the Mughal era. One of the prime tourist spots is the Jal Mahal and Maharaja Sher Singh`s palace, which were constructed by the king. The palace and Jal Mahal are inter-connected by an underground tunnel. The remains of the tunnel can still be found in the vicinity. Jal Mahal contains 8 doors in the lower area of the edifice and 4 in the upper area. The inner walls contained stunning wall paintings and art glass carvings. There are also a Bhadra Kali Mandir and Shivala.

Hazira is another popular place in Batala, which was built by Shamsher Khan. The tomb of Hazira is erected on an elevated platform, bounded by a low wall with bastions in the corners. It is an octagonal structure peaked with a dome. The palace of Maharaja Sher Singh portrays the elegant architectural developments of the Sikh rulers. This gorgeous structure with mud plastering was originally constructed as a replication of Shalimar Garden of Lahore. The leftovers of carvings and wall paintings are still visible. Batala also consists of numerous churches that were established during the British domination.

Batala is well connected with Bhatinda, Amritsar, Jaisalmer, Kandla, Bikaner and Barmer through the National Highway 15. Amritsar Junction Railway Station is the nearest major railway station, situated almost 38 km from the city. Pathankot Airport, located 70 km from Batala, is the nearest military airport; where as Raja Sansi International Airport is the nearest International airport, only 40 km away.

(Last Updated on : 16/09/2011)
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