Quila Mubarak Complex
Patiala city of emperors, gardens and palaces has a huge heritage. Quila Mubarak a Historical National Monument of Patiala is situated in the heart of the city and the oldest part of Patiala. The palace was built by Maharaja Ala Singh in 1764 .In earlier days, Quila Mubarak was just a kuch-garhi of a mud fort but later it was named as Quila Mubarak. It was reconstructed with baked bricks. It was again renovated into a sprawling two-storied mansion with a grand entrance with elaborate arches. A huge part of the fort was changed into a heritage museum. The construction of the inner palace was completed by Maharaja Amar Singh (1765-1781 AD). The royal members of the Patiala reign occupied Quila Androon or the Inner Fort. Maharaja Sahib Singh (1781- 1813 AD), Maharaja Karam Singh (1813 AD – 1845 AD) Maharaja Narinder Singh (1845 AD to 1862) also lived in this fort. The Quila Mubarak complex stands in 10-acre ground in the heart of the city and has the main palace or Quila Androon the guesthouse Darbar Hall or Ran Baas.
The Quila is followed by the Quila Chowk and surrounded by three major commercial markets, Bajaj Bazaar, the Gur Mandi, and Shah Nashin Bazaar. The Adalat Bazaar starts from the Quila and ends at the Anardana Chowk.
The Quila Mubarak Complex includes several buildings, namely the Ran Basa, Quila Androon, Darbar Hall, Sard Khana, Jalau Khana Quila Mubarak Gateway and the boundary walls. Quila Mubarak Gateway is the only entrance for Quila Mubarak Complex which leads to Quila Androon Chowk. The whole structure of Quila Androon can be watched from this space. It is made of red sandstone and carries the exterior of a multiple domes. Androon Gateway is in the inner boundary of the Quila Androon Chowk. The whole gateway is constructed with stucco work. Upper portion of this building was probably used by the king to direct over the functions performed in the court.
This building was constructed in the first half of the 20th century; the Quila was used by various people for various activities. Today, due to lack of relationship between the local people and the Quila, the building is loosing its meaning for the outsiders or visitors. The cultural importance of Quila Mubarak still lies in its form and the way in which its space has been utilized within it.
Quila Androon has a grand gateway as mentioned above. Central axis is located with its northern front wall. It is almost in a square shape. It is very simple in outer look but the gateway is decorated with stucco work.
The Quila is divided in multiple courtyards. Each courtyard is indicating as a palace. Three axis are located with every court. These are known as central, the eastern and the western axis. West courtyards of the central axis are private- residential in nature. The east axis zone is more for public use including performing music and art. A passage between central and east axis leads to the houses the jyot—a sacred flame that was brought from Jwalamukhi by Baba Ala Singh, the founder of Patiala and it continues to be lit till date. The jyot is kept in raised court. Design of the rooms shows the purpose of the construction. The Rang Mahal is an elaborately painted chamber and large in size meant for royal audience—Diwan-i-khas. Whereas Quila Androon itself is a Diwan-i-am or the public court.