Chandigarh, April 2: The 18th century historical Gobindgarh Fort has been opened to the public from Saturday which was being closed for restoration work. The Fort was earlier occupied by the army but had been open to the public from 10th February 2017. The historic fort was dedicated to public post completion of the first phase of renovation in a special ceremony in December last year. Various dignitaries including Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Bikram Singh Majithia, Anil Joshi, General (Retd) J J Singh were present at the function. The occasion was also graced by Bollywood personalities including Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Randeep Hooda, Manisha Koirala, Divya Dutta. Also Read - Punjab Imposes Night Curfew From December 1, Doubles Fine For Flouting COVID-19 Norms
The fort is open not just for for tourists but personal functions can be also organised inside fort. There were reports that liquor was being served during such functions. On Saturday the fort was closed for a day on account of a personal function for some tourists. The tourism department has issued a warning to Mayanagri One, a firm by Bollywood actor Deepa Sahi for the closure of the historical monument. Also Read - Air Quality in ‘Very Poor’ Category, States Urge People to Celebrate Diwali in Environment-friendly Manner
About the Gobindgarh Fort:
- Gobindgarh Fort is a historic fort located in the center of the city of Amritsar , Punjab.
- The Fort was earlier occupied by the army but is now open to the public from 10th February 2017.
- Gobindgarh Fort is constructed of bricks and lime and is laid out in a square while each of its corners has a parapet and two doors.
- It had 25 cannons mounted on its ramparts and has four bastions. The main entrance, Nalwa Gate, is named after Hari Singh Nalwa. Keller Gate is the back entrance. An underground tunnel runs towards Lahore.
- The fort was originally built by Gujjar Singh Bhangi, the local chieftain in the 18th century Gobindgarh was conquered and enhanced in the early 19th century by Maharaja Ranjit Singh who renamed it after the 10th Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh.
- The fort had five cannons which included the famous two ‘Zamzama’ cannons, also called ‘Bhangiyon-de-tope’. In 1805, Maharaja Ranjit Singh strengthened the fort.
It was reported by TOI that the director of Punjab department of tourism and cultural heritage Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa had no information about this. When questioned about the private function, the tourism department director said, “It can’t be closed for public.” He said the fort was a heritage site and couldn’t be closed. (ALSO READ: Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government transfers 21 IAS, 30 IPS officers in latest reshuffle) Also Read - Green Crackers, Laser Lights: How Some States Plan to Celebrate Diwali This Year | Check List Here
The fort is spread in 44 acres and stands witness to 256 years of history. Giving boost to the tourism sector of Punjab, the fort was illuminated perfectly to be the front-line landmark. The fort was initially known as ‘Bhangian Da Qila’ and was renamed in the earlier 19th century as Gobindgarh by Maharaja Ranjit Singh after Guru Gobind Singh. It was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who gave a whole new look to the fort with the assistance of French. The fort came under the occupation of the British in the aftermath of Anglo-Sikh wars. After Independence, the fort came under the control of Indian Army and in 2008 it was handed over to the Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board of the Punjab government.