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Gobind Garh Fort

 
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Photograph of Gobindgarh FortThe fort occupied a unique place in the Indian military history. Built in 1760, it was called Bhangian Da Kila (Bhangis was one of the twelve Sikh misles). According to historians, during 1808, the fort was known as the fort of Gujjar Singh Bhangi. Later it was re-built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh with the help of Jodh Singh. The legendary Maharaja strengthened the fortification of the fort in order to keep his treasures and treaties in safety. The specially constructed Toshakhana, in the centre of the fort, also stored large amount of grains and provisions for the 12,000-strong army.
The fort was constructed with brick and lime with numerous army bastions and iron gates with 25 cannons on the ramparts, now replaced with modern weaponry.
The fort was constructed on a square pattern with a parameter of 1500 sq mt with two strong gates, four large bastions and well-defined rampart.
The majestic entrance has been named Nalwa Gate, after the great Sikh warrior. The other end of the gate is known as Keelar Gate and it is rumoured that in its close proximity existed an escape tunnel, connecting to Lahore tunnel. However, the army authorities said that they had not been able to locate any such tunnel so far.
The British Army had added Darbar Hall, Hawa Mehal and Phansi Ghar (hanging place) to the fort after the annexation of Punjab. After Partition, the fort provided a temporary shelter to a large number of refugees from Pakistan. In October 1948, the fort was handed over to the Indian Army.


Photograph of Gobindgarh Fort
Dyer's sadism
This fort holds a special significance in the freedom struggle. It has been a witness to many nameless freedom fighters who kissed the gallows willingly. Gen O Dyer's office-cum-residence was located just opposite the Phansi Ghar. It is said that he got sadistic pleasure watching the hanging of the patriots in the Phansi Ghar.
Even the staunchest critics agree that the army had tried its best to keep the buildings in the fort intact. However, reservations are already being expressed whether the state government would be able to preserve (and restore) its original glory.
A large number of city residents, who had lost their dear ones during summary trials under the British rule, have been trying to gather information about their relatives who were hanged to death in the Phansi Ghar.
Some of the freedom fighters had sought the permission of the government to build a suitable memorial at the Phansi Ghar, which had stood out as a place of resistance against the atrocities of the British military general, General O Dyer, the perpetrator of the massacre of Jallianwala Bagh in 1919.

 
 


 
     

 

 

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