Bathinda or Bhatinda (known by Invaders as Tabar-e-Hind or Tabarhindh meaning the Gateway to India) is a city and municipal corporation in the southern part of Punjab. The earliest mention of Tabarhindh occurs in the Jami-Ul-Hakayat written about 607 Hijri or 1211 AD.
The city, named after the Bhati kings, is one of the oldest cities in Punjab. Bhatinda was changed to Bathinda to conform to the phonetical expression as locally pronounced.
In 1004, Mahmud of Ghazni besieged the local fort, which was located on the route from the northwest into the rich Ganges valley.
In 1189, Muhammad Ghori attacked and occupied the fort of Bathinda. Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the ruler of this region, managed to recover possession of the fort thirteen months later in 1191 after the first battle of Tarain.
After the death of Muhammad Ghori, Delhi Sultanate was established. The fourth Emperor - Iltutmish, on his death-bed nominated his daughter Raziya as his heiress. Raziya became the next and the first Empress of India and was known as Razia Sultan.
Her childhood friend named Malik Altunia, the governor of Bathinda, joined a rebellion by other provincial governors who refused to accept Razia's rule. She was imprisoned at the Bathinda fort in April 1240. She was released in August and later died in October 1240.
The city later came under the control of the Sidhu-Brars, who were thrown out of Bathinda during Lodhi's rule but were restored to the area by Babur. A few years later, Chaudhary Roop Chand Brar, a Jatt Sikh, came into the scene. Chaudhary Phul Brar, the second son of Chaudhary Roop Chand, started the practice of langar (community kitchen) for the people in the Lakhi jungle area.
In circa 1754, the town was conquered by Maharaja Ala Singh, the Maharaja of Patiala and since then it followed the history of erstwhile princely state of Patiala.
There are 2 Historic Sikh Gurdwaras in Bathinda.
Gurdwara Qila Mubarak Sahib is situated inside the old Bathinda Fort. Haji Rattan Nagar is a part of Bathinda where a faqir used to live and meditate.
It is said when Guru Nanak Sahib Ji visited this place during his first udasi (tour) that Haji Rattan threw a big stone at Guru Nanak to scare him away. Guru Ji remained unharmed and threw the stone back towards Haji Rattan. Haji Rattan fell unconscious, when he regained consciousness he asked for forgiveness and requested Guru Ji to bless him with liberation. Guru Ji said, "I will visit here twice again".
Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji visited Bathinda and Guru Gobind Singh is said to have come to Bathinda via Bhuchon and Bhago.
While on his way to Talwandi Sabo, Guru Gobind Singh camped outside the mausoleum of the Haji Rattan for the night. The tomb keepers tried to dissuade the Guru from sleeping there with the excuse that the place was haunted. Since the Guru neither believed in tombs or ghosts he spent the night here to show the people that such superstitions were not followed by Sikhs.
When people came to know about Guru Ji's visit, they came in large numbers to have a glimpse of Guru Ji. Guru Ji preached to them. The people said 'Guru Ji you are sitting in a forest, kindly come to the fort'. Guru Ji said that he was sitting in the middle of the city. Today Gurdwara Sri Haji Ratan Sahib is situated in the middle of Bathinda City. Guru Ji accepted the request and paid a visit to Qila Mubarak.
Once at Qila Mubarak, Guru Gobind Singh was told of a evil spirit that was causing concern for the local people. Guru Gobind Singh is said to have banished the evil spirit. There are other myths with associated with Guru Gobind Singh's visit.
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