A lot of us who have been regular travelers have been ruing the fact that our exploration of the world has come to a standstill. We all seemed to have made grand plans to explore the world. But then, 2020 had other plans. Now that travel is slowly looking up, the focus has been on traveling locally.
The opportunity to rediscover your own state, or city, has indeed led intrepid travelers to hitherto unknown destinations.
Set amidst the Shivalik range in Ropar, a little more than an hour from Chandigarh is the magnificent fort of Bharatgarh. Set in seven acres of land, with around 100 acres of scrub forest surrounding it, the most remarkable thing about Bharatgarh is that a part of the fort is still a residence of the owners, Deepinder Singh and his wife, Maninder Kaur. The Bharatgarh Fort is one of the rarest standing live-in forts of Punjab.
The construction of the Bharatgarh Fort dates back to 1783. The fort of Bharatgarh was the most important stronghold of the Singhpuria Misl, led by Nawab Kapur Singh. Punjab, at that time, was divided into 12 misls, or constituencies. Nawab Kapur Singh also laid the foundation of the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) when it was rebuilt after it had been destroyed by Ahmad Shah Abdali.
The original construction of the Bharatgarh Fort has not been altered in any major way, except for probably the water pipes and minor civil work.
This beautiful heritage homestay has been painstakingly and lovingly preserved by the descendants and family of Nawab Kapur Singh.
Here are some glimpses of the beautiful fort and its surroundings...
The Fort is a welcoming, warm, and relaxing retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, ideal to rejuvenate, soak yourself in rustic surroundings in the heart of Punjab.
Surreal views of the sunrise and sunset can be had from the grand Heritage Suite. Don't miss the opportunity of enjoying the view with a cup of tea flavored with gur (jaggery).
The present occupants, Deepinder Singh and his wife Maninder are so committed to presenting the real heritage of Punjab that erstwhile kitchen utensils - brass pots and pans - find pride of place as tasteful decor all over the Fort.
It is not just utensils, but vintage cameras, textiles, photographs, objets d'art from a time gone by, all add to the old world charm of Bharatgarh.
My most favorite place at the Bharatgarh Fort was the bar area. Once a storeroom or dungeon, not an inch of the walls (made with Nanakshahi bricks) have been altered. The only change made to the interiors is the 10-feet landfill that the owners did to make it a level ground. This bar is well-appointed with old memories in the form of photographs, cameras, and moments from a bygone era.
Take out a weekend from your busy city lives, pour yourself some relaxation, and watch life go by as Bharatgarh and its warmth engulfs you in a time where time itself stands still. Believe me, it is a blessing you will be thankful for.