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Gobindgarh Fort

This fort is standing tall even after many years when all other forts that existed during Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s time tumbled down. The architectural structure of this fort depicts history in its exact sequence from the time of the Independence movement. The architecture follows military style. This fort has a couple of gateways in quick succession and there are bastions and huge walls that are fortified on both the layers of architecture here. The buildings those are present in the internal chamber of this fort, look and feel like the colonial structures.


The foundation for the Gobindgarh fort was set during the mid 18th century by the Bhangi misl community’s leader. The fort was initially a symbolic representation of Punjab in such a way that anybody who conquered the fort was believed to have conquered the state of Punjab itself. This structure is mostly made from brick and lime. It was earlier known as Bhangian Da Kila, it was later renamed as Gobindgarh after the tenth and last Sikh guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Sometime during the 19th century, this fort came under the control of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and he added valour and elegance to the already mighty building. A moat and numerous bastions were constructed around the fort and the Raja’s priceless treasures, including the famous Kohinoor diamond was kept safely protected within the huge walls of the fort.

Zamzama was traditional and famous cannon that Maharaja Ranjit Singh was eying for a long time.  This was originally housed in Lahore under the custody of Ahmad Shah Abdali, however the Bhangi misl people stole it from here and brought it to Gobindgarh Fort. However, when Maharaja Ranjit Singh captured Amritsar, the cannon were taken back to Lahore, where it still stands as a strong sentinel just at the entrance of Lahore Museum.


The main ingredients used to construct this museum were brick and lime. The 25 huge cannons that adorned the strong iron gates have now given way to weapons of modern varieties.  The basic shape of the Fort was that of a square and it was built on 1500 sq. m. There are two strong iron gates, a sturdy rampart and four huge bastions in the fort currently.

While one of the entrances is named Nalwa gate, inspired by the talented Sikh soldier, the other gate is known as Keelar Gate. There is a popular assumption that this gate is closely linked with a secret underground passage that could take them to Lahore Tunnel. Researchers and officials who have tried to authenticate these facts do not wish to believe this assumption, because their results did not prove the presence of any secret passage.

When the British had conquered Punjab, they provided various modifications to the Gobindgarh Fort. The Darbar Hall, Hawa Mahal and the hanging place, known as Phansi Ghar were all additions of the British to the fort. This fort was the abode for a number of Pakistani refugees during partition. The fort was submitted to the Indian Army in October 1948.

Dyer’s Sadism

The Gobindgarh Fort holds a historical significance because it was at these gallows that millions of selfless patriots were executed during the freedom movement. General Dyer’s office was strategically located just on the other side of the Phansi Ghar, and he used to enjoy the executions of millions of Indian warriors.

One has to give full credit for the Armed forces for maintaining this fort exceptionally well, however, there is a debate going on whether the state governments had the capacity of maintaining the fort and bringing it back to its previous grandeur.

Most of the residents of Amritsar are descendants of warriors who were cruelly executed in Phansi Ghar. Therefore, they are all trying to research about the fort and find out if they were able to trace back data pertaining to a family member who was killed many years ago.

As a mark of respect for the hundreds of thousands of patriots who were brutally killed by the British during execution at the Phansi Ghar, permission was sought to construct a memorial at this place. The memorial was proposed to salute those warriors who lost their lives during General Dyer’s shocking massacre at the Jalianwala Bagh during 1919.

Best Time to Visit

The months between October and March are ideal for visiting Amritsar as the climate is quite pleasant then.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport is the Raja Sansi Airport at Amritsar which is quite connected with the major cities of the country. Srinagar is the next nearest airport to reach here.

By Rail

Amritsar railway station is the nearest junction to this place. The superfast train Shatabdi express from Delhi to Amritsar is a very comfortable option. It is also well connected with frequent and comfortable trains to Kolkata, Mumbai, Varanasi, Wagah Border etc.

By Road

There are frequent bus services from Amritsar to Ambala and other important places like Chandigarh which is 235km, Delhi which is 435km, Ferozpur which is 160km way from Amritsar and other far off places like Jammu.

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