Faridkot

Faridkot (ਫ਼ਰੀਦਕੋਟ) is a small city and a municipal council in Faridkot district in the state of Punjab, India.

It has been named after the great Sufi Saint Baba Sheik Fariduddin Ganjshakar, whose verses are mentioned in Guru Granth Sahib the holy book of Sikh religion. Previously it was called Mokalhar.

The main crops of the city are wheat, paddy and cotton. Industries of the town include cotton handling, from ginning to baling, as well as manufacture of machine tools, sewing machines, and bicycles.

 
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History

The ruling dynasty of Faridkot claimed descent from Rawal Jaisal, who founded Jaisalmer in Rajasthan in 1156. The town was founded in the 16th century by his descendant Bhallan of the Burai Jats.

In 13th century, noted Sufi saint, Baba Farid, on his way to Pak Pattan from Delhi, stopped here, and did penance for 40 days, near the fort of King ‘Makoal’, then under construction. The king was so impressed by his presence that he named the city, after Baba Farid, 'Faridkoat, instead of ‘Makoalpur’, and the place, where he stayed, is still called, ‘Tilla Baba Farid’, and ‘Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman Purb Mela’ is celebrated each year, commemorating his arrival in the city.

The ancestor of the Faridkot principality, Bhallan was an ardent follower of 6th Sikh Guru Har Gobind. He helped the Guru Har Gobind ji in the battle of Mehraj. He died issueless in 1643. Kapura, who was a nephew of Bhallan, succeeded him. Kapura founded the town of Kotkapura in 1661. Nawab Kapura was the Chaudhry of eighty-four villages. He was a Sikh but did not want to earn the ire of the Mughals and help Guru Gobind Singh Ji and fight with Mughals. The famous last battle of Muktsar (Khidrane Di Dhaab) now a historic town, happened after Nawab Kapura declined Guru Gobind Singh's request to use his fort to fight Mughal Army. Otherwise the last war between Mughals and Guru Gobind Singh Ji was destined to happen at Kotkapura. Guru ji moved from Kotkapura to Dhilwan Kalan from there to Talwandi sabo via Guru ki Dhab. However, later in the battle of Muktsar in 1705, Nawab Kapuray, helped Guru Gobind Singh Ji in an underhand manner. Kapura was slain by Isa Khan Manj in 1708. He had three sons named Sukhia, Sema and Mukhia. Mukhia killed Isa Khan and took control of the entire area. Sema was also killed in this battle in 1710. Kapura’s elder son Sukhia again came into power in 1720.

A dispute between grandsons of Kapura (sons of Sukhia) led to the division of the state in 1763. The older brother, Sardar Jodh Singh Brar, retained control of Kotkapura, and his younger brother, Sardar Hamir Singh Brar, was given Faridkot.

The state was captured in 1803 by Ranjit Singh, but was one of the Cis-Sutlej states that came under British influence after the 1809 Treaty of Amritsar. During the Sikh wars in 1845, Raja Pahar Singh aided the British, and was rewarded with an increase of territory. The state had an area of and its 642 square miles, and a population of 124,912 in 1901. It was bounded on the west and northeast by the British district of Ferozepore, and on the south by the state of Nabha. The last Ruler of Faridkot was Lt. HH Farzand-i-sadaat Nishan Hazrat-i-kaisar-i-hind Raja Sir Harindar Singh Brar Bans Bahadur. Before partition there was majority Muslim population in Faridkot so the two main languages spoken were Punjabi and Urdu. There are many mosques in Faridkot which are taken care of by Sikh villagers. There was a man named Sher Singh Gill who comes from a warrior family he was known for his brave action against the mob during 1947 riots. In a village named Jattpur there were many attacks on residents that weren't Sikhs or Hindus. Sher Singh Gill saved a man named Mohammad Ali who was running for his life from the mobs. Luckily Sher Singh was in the farms and seen Ali running and presued to stop the mob and save Mohammad from death. Mohammad Ali was really grateful and thanked Sher Singh so much. After the partition was over and killing was finished Ali had resided in Faridkot where he worked with Sher singh. After, Sher Singh death in 1978 he gave all his land, property, and car to Mohammad Ali because of his loyalty. During Sikh militant rule in Punjab in the 80's Mohammad Ali was killed due to not giving up his property to Sikh militants.

Geography

Faridkot is located at 30°40′N 74°45′E / 30.67, 74.75. It has an average elevation of 196 metres (643 feet). Faridkot has always played a very crucial role in the politics of the state with a number of chief ministers and even a president hailing from the area, though after the separation of Moga and Muktsar this district has become considerably small but still this area is an important political arena.

Places of Interest

Chilla Baba Seikh Farid :  The monument was built in the memory of the great saint Baba Farid.  It is believed that the saint rested here during his visit to the town.  The divine couplets of the Sufi saint are also included in the sacred scriptures of the Sikhs.

Faridkot Fort : The 700 years old fort is famous for its spectacular Sheesh Mahal, the hall of mirrors and wall paintings.  The hall built in Rajasthani style was the prayer room of the ruling family.

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