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The City of Lakes
Central University of Punjab - City Campus, Bathinda
|• Body||Municipal Corporation|
|Elevation||210 m (690 ft)|
|• Total||285,813 (current - about 340,000)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Telephone code||(+91) 164|
|Vehicle registration||PB 03|
Bathinda (previously, Bhatinda), named after the Bhati kings, is one of the oldest cities in Punjab, India and the current administrative headquarters of Bathinda District. It is in northwestern India in the Malwa Region, 225 km west of the capital city of Chandigarh and is the fifth largest city of Punjab. Bathinda is nicknamed the 'City of Lakes', courtesy to the artificial lakes in the city, and was once known as Tabar-e-Hind (or Tabarhindh), meaning the Gateway to India. The first empress of India, Razia Sultan was imprisoned in the Qila Mubarak fort in Bathinda.
Bathinda is home to two modern thermal power plants, Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant and Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant at Lehra Mohabbat. The city has a fertilizer plant, a large oil refinery, a zoo, and a historic Qila Mubarak fort. Bathinda is one of the largest food grain and cotton markets in northern India; the area around Bathinda is a prolific grape growing area. It is one of the leading cities in education in Punjab. It is one of the fastest growing major cities of Punjab.
Two national highways, NH-7 (Fazilka - Badrinath National Highway) and NH-54 (Jaipur - Pathankot National Highway)(according to the new numbering of highways) pass through the city  . The city is also one of the largest railway junctions of India with six lines emanating from it. The army cantonment of Bathinda is also one of the largest in Asia. The city is the economic and cultural hub of the region.
The etymology of "Bathinda" is uncertain. According to Khalifa Muhammad Hassan, author of History of Patiala, the ancient name of the city was Bikramgarh. According to Ibn Battuta it was known as Batrind. It is generally believed that Bathinda was built by Bhati gurjar kings, who were the rulers of Punjab in 6th century AD. They called the city Whatinda or Bitunda after their surname which finally become known as Bhatinda. Bhatinda was changed to Bathinda to conform to the phonetical expression as locally pronounced. According to Henry George Raverty, Bathinda was known as Tabarhindh (Labb-ut-Twarikh). The earliest mention of Tabarhindh occurs in the Jami-Ul-Hakayat written about 607 Hijri or 1211 AD.
The city was under the rule of Hindu shahi king Jayapala in 965 AD. Emperor Jayapala was challenged by the armies of Sultan Sabuktigin and later by his son Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. 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 authority. She was imprisoned at the Bathinda fort in April, 1240. She was released in August and later died in October 1240. While in prison Razia Sultan was allowed to go to Hajirattan mosque to offer prayers on Fridays in a special palki.
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. The city of Bathinda was visited by the tenth Sikh guru Guru Gobind Singh. He halted at the mausoleum of Haji Rattan, a celebrated Muslim saint, which was 2 km outside the city. He visited and surveyed the strategic importance of the Bathinda Fort.
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. With the dawn of independence and merger of Patiala and East Punjab States into a division called PEPSU, Bathinda become a full-fledged district with headquarters at Bathinda city.
As per provisional reports of Census India, population of Bathinda city in 2011 is 285,813; male and female are 151,782 and 134,031 respectively. The sex ratio of Bathinda city is 883 per 1000 males.
The number of literate people in Bathinda city are 211,318 of which 118,888 are males while 92,430 are females, average literacy rate is 82.84 percent of which male and female literacy is 87.86 and 77.16 percent respectively.
Total children (ages 0 to 6) in Bathinda city are 30,713: 16,472 boys and 14,241 girls. Child sex ratio of girls is 865 per 1000 boys.
Geography and climate
Bathinda is in the northwestern region of India and is a part of the Indo-Gangetic alluvial plains. The exact cartographic co-ordinates of Bathinda are . It has an average elevation of 201 metres (660 ft).
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Bathinda's climate correspond to semi arid with high variation between summer and winter temperatures. Average annual rainfall is in a range of 20 mm to 40 mm.
In recent times, Summer temperaures of 49 °C (120 °F) and winter temperatures of 1 °C (about 33 °F) were not unknown in Bathinda, lowest being -1.4 °C (29.48 °F) in the winter of 2013 The weather is generally dry but is very humid from mid-May to the end of August. Rainfall is primarily from the south-west due to monsoon weather and is concentrated in the period July to mid-September.
The region is very dusty and dust-laden winds often interrupt the normal life during the hot summer evenings. The vegetation is scanty and, due to improper planning and lopsided growth, traffic jams often take the most of ones evening time. The surrounding districts are of sri Muktsar sahib, Faridkot, Mansa, Moga and Barnala in Punjab and Sirsa in Haryana. The boundary of the state of Rajasthan is also under an hour's drive from Bathinda.
Bathinda is surrounded by 14 small and medium towns, making the city a hub of most industrial activities in the region.
Bathinda cantonment is said to be the largest in Asia. Bathinda has one of the biggest food-grain and cotton markets in India. The Multinational CorporationBathinda processes horticultural products grown in Bathinda.
Major industries in Bathinda include National Fertilizers Plant, two power plants (Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant and Guru Hargobind Thermal Plant) (Lehra Mohabbat), Petrochemical Plants, Yarn & Textiles Plants, Citrus Fruit Belts and Sugar Mills. HMEL is building a Grassroots oil refinery  in Bathinda.
As part of a massive development programme to make Bathinda a model city of Punjab, the government has proposed to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) for textile, a flying school, an international cricket stadium and academy, Bathinda Airport and an air-conditioned bus stand within three years. Besides, private players are also building new Shopping malls and a five star hotel in the city.
Bathinda is also an Educational Hub of this region, especially for competitive exams preparations, which in turn is a source of income for the local residents.
Tourism sector in the region has also grown manifold, as Bathinda has some of the oldest monuments, some of them even dating back to 3,000 B.C. to the Harappan period.
Bathinda railway station is located on the Delhi-Fazilka line of Northern Railway. Six rail routes extend from it. Rewari is the only other railway junction in India with six routes extending from it. Mathura junction has seven lines extending from it and is the largest junction on the Indian Railway network.
It is one of the largest Cantonment of Asia and is also known as Sharjah of Punjab due to sand dunes.
Guru Gobind Singh Refinery
Guru Gobind Singh Refinery (GGSR) is a refinery owned by HPCL Mittal Energy Limited (HMEL) a joint venture between Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Mittal Energy Limited, a company owned by L N Mittal (HMEL). It is located in village Phulokheri, Bathinda, Punjab, India.
There has been increasing incidence of various types of cancer in and around Bathinda. It is attributed to the presence of polluting industries and the indiscriminate use of modern pesticides and other toxic materials in farming. A 2007 epidemiological study found that the surface waters of Bathinda are contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, chromium, selenium and mercury primarily due to the discharge of untreated waste water from surrounding industries. Unscientific farming practices, that emerged after the introduction of Green Revolution, are also alleged to be a reason for growing incidence of not just cancer but also, high rates of spontaneous abortions, reproductive aliments, genetic deformities, anaemia, diarrhoea, vomiting, fluorosis and a host of skin ailments including rashes and boils. Many young couples are also reported to be migrating out to save their children from adverse effects. Hence the government has completey banned the use of ground water in the city for drinking purposes.
Central University of Punjab is recently started by Indian government in Bathinda. Government Rajindra College is located in the heart of the city founded by the Maharaja of Patiala. The city also has a government engineering college named, Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus, S.S.D. Senior Secondary School (Boys) is one of the oldest educational institutes and many English medium schools have also come up in the city during the last 30 years. The city also has DAV College which offers various Graduation and Post Graduation Courses. St. Paul's High School is one and only school affiliated to ICSE board. DAV Public School and Delhi Public School have opened their branches in the city. Many missionary schools are being run in the city including St. Xavier's Sr. Sec. School,Police Public School, St. Joseph Sr. Sec. School and Delhi Public School.The Government Girls' Senior Secondary School, at Goniana Mandi is also a well known school of the area and has contributed a lot towards the education of the girls in the area.
Bathinda is often considered to be an educational hub of the region. Many students from the neighboring towns who intend to pursue medical or engineering come here to prepare for their entrance exams. There are many well known private institutes in the city preparing students for various engineering and medical entrance examinations. There is one government funded and nearly ten private colleges in the city.
The city has a special school, Mahant Gurbanta Das School for Deaf & Dumb, being run by the District Red Cross Society of Bathinda and affiliated by the PSEB. It provides education up to 10th class and also computer and vocational courses for deaf and dumb children.
Places of interest
Bathinda has a rich religious and cultural heritage. There are a number of places worth visiting in and around the city. Many of them are deeply associated with various religious beliefs.
- Qila Mubarak - This is one of the oldest and highest small brick monument. It also contains two gurudwaras as the tenth Sikh guru Gobind Singh visited the place.
- Bahia Fort - This was built in 1930 in front of the main Fort by S. Balwant Singh Sidhu. It belongs to a group of 22 villages, so called Bahia Sahib. It was as official residence of armed forces of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala State. Now it has been converted into a Four Star Hotel.
- Lakhi Jungle - This is situated 15 km away from Bathinda and on the way to Muktsar. A forest having old Gurudwara enjoyed the touches of Shri Guru Nanak Dev who recited one lakh holy Paths of Shri Japuji Sahib. Therefore it was called Lakhi Jungle. Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh also visited this place.
- Rose Garden - This garden boasts of large number of varieties of Roses. It is very near the city and is visited by large number of people on weekends. The 10-acre (40,000 m2) garden is located close to Thermal Plant. It has a vast variety of rose plants and is a good picnic spot.
- Zoological garden - It is a plant nursery of the forest department located approximately 10 km away from the Cantonment and is a popular picnic spot. This place is a small zoo in the midst of a small forest.
- Chetak Park - A beautiful garden built in Bathinda Cantonment is popular among children's and others. It has a lake and boating facility.
- Mazaar of Peer Haji Rattan - It is one of the most revered place of worship in the city. There is something unique about this place. At this place a mosque and a Sikh gurudwara share the same wall and a temple is also very close by. It exhibits the religious harmony among the people of this city.
- City Center Mall - Built by Amravati Infrastructure in collaborated with the Satya Group, this is the city's first mall. It is designed by India 's ace architect Mr. Mohit Gujral. The mall is spread across 1,00,000 sqr. ft. space.
- Mittal Mall - Built by Ganpati Township ltd is considered to be an entertainment and retail project. City Mall is spread over 3 lakh square feet and it has 8 floors.
- Peninsula Mall - Built by HBN group the mall consists of around 2,50,000 sq. ft of retail space, sprawling across 5 floors with a view of lakes.
- Dhobi Bazaar - It is the shopping hub of Bathinda and houses several brands.
- Boating in the Thermal Lake - The boats have been modeled on 'Kashmir-style shikaras
- "Raziya Sultan".
- "Census 2011".
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Bathinda
- http://www.mapsofindia.com/ maps/india/annualrainfall.htm
- under the section 'historical monthly average for may', subsection 'temperature', http://www.myweather2.com/City-Town/India/Bhatinda/climate-profile.aspx?month=5
- under the section 'historical monthly average for Jan', subsection 'temperature', http://www.myweather2.com/City-Town/India/Bhatinda/climate-profile.aspx?month=1
- A news report, http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/bathinda/bathinda-records-region-s-lowest-temperature-at-1-4-c/article1-986114.aspx
- Cancer: Bathinda's dubious distinction
- "BEd students visit school for deaf & dumb". The Tribune. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "ਐਨ.ਆਰ.ਆਈ. ਵਲੋਂ ਮਹੰਤ ਗੁਰਬੰਤਾ ਦਾਸ ਸਕੂਲ ਨੂੰ 1.16 ਲੱਖ ਰੁਪਏ ਦਾ ਚੈਕ ਭੇਂਟ". www.punjabenews.com. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "ਚੇਅਰਪਰਸਨ ਵੀਨਸ ਗਰਗ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਮਹੰਤ ਗੁਰਬੰਤਾ ਦਾਸ ਸਕੂਲ ਦਾ ਦੌਰਾ". Daily Ajit. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
- "Shikaras come to Bhatinda". hindustantimes. 30 October 2011. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bathinda.|
- - First Multimedia Studio of Punjab is also in Bathinda
- Bathinda Cricket stadium: A case of ‘promise and forget’?
- Google satellite map of Bathinda
- Official website of Bathinda district
- City of Bathinda - Google Explorer