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The history of Patiala state starts off with the ancestor of the Sikh Patiala Royal House, Mohan Singh being harassed by neighbouring Bhullars and Dhaliwals (tappedars of the territory). They would not allow Mohan to settle there. He was a follower of Guru Hargobind Sahib and the Guru appealed on behalf of Mohan but to no avail. The result was an armed struggle and the Bhullars and Dhaliwals were defeated by the Guru's men, which allowed Mohan to establish the Village of Meharaj in 1627.
Battle of Mehraj
Mohan fought against the Mughals at the Battle of Mehraj 1631 on the side of Guru Hargobind Sahib. Mohan and his eldest son Rup Chand were later killed in a fight against the Bhatti's (a tribe who also claim to be the descendants of Rawal Jaisal of Jaisalmer, but also an enemy of the Phulkians ). Kala, Mohan's younger son succeeded the "chaudriyat", and was guardian to Rup Chand's sons Phul and Sandali.
When Kala died, Phul formed his own village (Phul), five miles from Meharaj (under the blessings of Sikh Guru's) in 1663. Nabha and Jind trace their ancestry to the devout Sikh Phul. It was one of the first Sikh Kingdoms of Punjab to be formed. Apparently the appellation of dynasty "Phulkian" is derived from their common founder. One of his sons, Chota Ram Singh, was baptized and blessed by Guru Gobind Singh. His son Ala Singh assumed the leadership in 1714 when Banda Bahadur was engaged in the fierce battle against the Mughals. A man with vision and courage, Ala Singh's general, Gurbaksh Singh Kaleka, carved out an independent principality from a Zamindari of 30 villages. Under his successors, it expanded into a large state, touching the Shivaliks in north, Rajasthan in the south and upper courses of the Yamuna and Sutlej rivers while confronting the most trying and challenging circumstances.
Baba Ala Singh
In the middle of the eighteenth century, Baba Ala Singh, unlike many of his contemporaries, displayed tremendous shrewdness in dealing with the Marathas and Afghans, and successfully established a state which he had started building up from its nucleus Barnala.
In 1763 Baba Ala Singh laid the foundation of the Patiala fort known as Qila Mubarak, around which the present city of Patiala developed. After the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761 in which the Marathas were defeated, the writ of the Afghans prevailed throughout Punjab. It is at this stage that the rulers of Patiala began to acquire ensigns of royalty. Ahmad Shah Abdali bestowed upon Ala Singh furm and banner, and the title of Maharaja of Patiala. After his death, his grandson Amar Singh succeeded and received the title of Raja-I-Rajaan. He was also allowed to strike coins.
Treaty with the British
After forty years of ceaseless struggle with the Marathas and Afghans, the borders of the Patiala state witnessed the blazing trails of Ranjit Singh in the north and of the British in the east. Bestowed with the grit and instinct of survival, making the right choice at the right time the Raja of Patiala entered into a treaty with the British against Ranjit Singh in 1808, thus becoming collaborators in the empire building process of the British in the sub-continent of India. The British treated the rulers of Patiala, such as Karam Singh, Narinder Singh, Mahendra Singh, Rajinder Singh, Bhupinder Singh and Yadvindra Singh with respect and dignity.
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (reign: 1900 to 1938) gave Patiala a prominent place on the political map of India and in the field of international sports. This included his dog kennels and he and the Maharaja of Jind were equally interested in a range of dog breeds. His son Maharaja Yadavindra Singh was the first Indian prince to sign the Instrument of Accession, thus facilitating the process of national integration after independence in 1947. In recognition of his services, he was appointed the Rajpramukh of the newly established state of Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU), from its founding in 1948 until its merger with Punjab in 1956. The downtown area of Patiala is Adalat Bazaar, which means 'the court corridor', because this was used as the administrative building by one of the caretakers, before Maharaja Bhupinder Singh had reached the age of majority. The Royal Family are Jats of the Sidhu family, of which Rajmata Mohinder Kaur is the oldest member.
- A History of Sikh Misals, Dr Bhagat Singh