HISTORY OF BARNALA
one time a base of Patiala province was set up by Baba Ala Singh approximately
around year 1719 who also laid the foundation of Patiala two hundred fifty two
years ago. Baba Ala Singh conquered Sirhind fighting his battles from this
place. When he overpowered remote areas then from administrative angle he
shifted his capital from Barnala to Patiala.
Punjab, at present, there are half a dozen villages having their names
resembling Barnala town. District Mansa has a village named Khara Barnala. Near
Nawan Shehar, there are places Barnala Kalan and Barnala Khurd. Amritsar
district too has a village named Barnala.
common prevalent details reveal that this place was a village named Anahadgarh.
In neighbouring village Bhadalwadh Rungarh Muslims used to live who indulged in
cattle-stealing and plundering acts in surrounding villages grazing cattle in
their crops. Following tormentation by Rungarh Muslims, people of Anahadgarh
went to Bhadaur for help. Baba Gama was known for his might. When people went to
Bhadaur at that time, Baba Gama was not there in his house but his brother Baba
Ala Singh came along with them and he forced all Rungarh Muslims to run and
started living there planting a tree (it being a Dera at that time marking
foundation of a village).
Sikh historian Giani has recorded the details of setting up of Barnala in the
annals of Khalsa in this manner that in the year 1775 Baba Ala Singh after
offering Bhadaur (set up by King Padhar Sain) to his brother Duna Singh came to
Barnala region which was lying aloof at that time. Setting it up, he made it his
capital and took under his control surrounding villages. It too appears that
Anahadgarh may be existing before and must have been deserted following attacks
are different opinions about the nomenclature of Barnala. Some are of the view,
Vaaran being a region because of frequent storms was at that time also called
Varna. So Barnala was called a land of too many storms which later on became
Barnala because of precision of example. Another view reveals that a fort here
is said to be built by Baba Ala Singh in which there was a ‘Baahuli’ (a well
which had stairs going down). That too due to precision and Malwai
accent was known as ‘Baain’. Thus Baain Wala ultimately became Barnala. Thus
these are different views only but no historical detail is available that how
name Barnala came into existence.
part pertaining to markets of present Barnala city is about eighty years old.
The initial Barnala belongs to fort, its surrounding population, Sandhu and
Bajwa Pattis. It was in fact a village. All rulers lived in the fort. The
officers and other respectables lived outside the four-walls of the fort. The
agriculturists inhabited Sandhu and Bajwa Pattis.
which at one time was the capital of province was District Headquarter when
Patiala province came into existence and Bathinda and Mansa used to be its Tehsils
(sub-divisions). At the time of independence of India, Bathinda became separate
district. After India got freedom, in the year 1954 following abolition of
provinces new state of Pepsu was made. Then too Barnala was a district
headquarter and Rampura Phool and Malerkotla were its Tehsils
(sub-divisions). When Pepsu State with Patiala as its capital was disbanded and
merged in Punjab then status of Barnala district got degraded. Now it is only a
sub-division. Earlier on, Barnala being a district headquarter had District and
Sessions Judge Court but when Barnala became sub-division, it was offered
Additional Distrcit and Sessions Judge Court vested with all the District and
Session Judge Court powers.
Dera Baba Gandha Singh of Barnala too appears to be linked with the history of
Barnala. Once Bibi Pradhan kaur (famous with the name of ‘Pradhan’),
daughter of Maharaja Ala Singh, reached Mukatsar journey then. She met Baba
Langar Singh. Listening to sermon and seeing serving of meals without any break
left deep impact over her mind. She requested Baba Langar Singh that a saint of
high conduct like him be sent to Barnala who may start congregation and meal
service like this there. Accepting her request, Baba Langar Singh deemed his
learned disciple Pandit Nikka Singh worthy for Barnala. Maharaja Ala Singh had
heard a lot very well about Baba Langar Singh and Pandit Nikka Singh and
whenever he talked of appointing a talented teacher for Bibi, then name of
Pandit Nikka Singh used to be mentioned in high esteem. Complying with orders of
Baba Langar Singh, Pandit Nikka Singh reached Barnala then Maharaja Ala Singh
provided him with a beautiful house for residence. Pandit ji started congregation here. In this way, Dera Baba Gandha Singh
came into existence and in fort regular meal-services were arranged where
hundreds of people took meals and even today hearths of Baba Ala Singh present
and Gurudwara is famous with the name of Baba Chulle (Hearths).
Apart from this, Barnala remained a nerve-centre of special activities during Praja Mandal movement and S. Seva Singh Thikriwala was also a prominent Praja Mandal activist who was born in village Thikriwala just four kilometres away from Barnala. Every year on January 19, in his memory a three day fair-cum-festival is organised where political conferences are also hosted by various political parties.