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Faridkot, a small city in Punjab, was established as a town in the thirteenth century by Raja Mokalsi, the grandson of a Bhatti leader of Rajasthan called Rai Munj. The town was named Mokalhar after the founder and was graced by the holy presence of the Sufi saint Hazrat Baba Sheikh Farid around the same time. There is an interesting story behind Baba Sheikh Farid.  The men of Raja Mokalsi had arrested the saint and asked him to work for the construction of the fort that was being built. It is believed that a basket-full of earth, that the saint was carrying, was perceived to be floating above his head. This unearthly wonder compelled the Raja to touch the feet of the saint and apologize. Baba Farid forgave the Raja. He chose to meditate near the fort. He performed penance for forty days and from then onwards the town of Mokalhar came to be known as Faridkot. The spot where he meditated became famous as “Tilla Baba Farid” and the city commemorates the saint’s arrival even today when they celebrate the “Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman Purb Mela” every September.

Historical evidences of ancient Faridkot bear myriad influences from the Indus Valley Civilization. Later, the dynasty that ruled the Faridkot State was believed to descend from Rawal Jaiswal, the founder of Jaisalmer. It is believed that the town of Faridkot was established by his successor named Bhallan who was a Burai Jat. When, in 1643, Bhallan died without leaving an heir behind, he was succeeded by his nephew Kapura who later, in 1661, founded a town named Kotkapura. In 1708, Isa Khan Manj killed Kapura who was survived by three sons named Mukhia, Sema and Sukhia. Mukhia gained control over the region after killing Isa Khan. However, Sukhia, the elder son of Kapura, came to rule the area in 1720 after Sema got killed in 1710. Disagreements between the sons of Sukhia resulted in the state getting divided in 1763. Sardar Hamir Singh Brar, the younger son, got Faridkot while Sardar Jodh Singh Brar, the elder son, gained control over Kotkapura.

In 1803, Faridkot was captured by Ranjit Singh, but it later came under the British control after the Treaty of Amritsar in 1809. In 1845, Raja Pahar Singh helped the British during the Sikh Wars and got rewarded with an expansion of territory. On the southern boundary of the state of Faridkot was the State of Nabha and on the north-eastern and western boundaries was Ferozepore, the British district.

The disintegration of Muktsar and Moga has made Faridkot smaller, but it still plays an important role in the political scenario of present-day India. Punjab has got quite a few Chief Ministers from Faridkot and India even had a President from here.

Faridkot today is easily accessible from New Delhi and Jaipur by train and Chandigarh and Ludhiana by road. The nearest airports are Delhi International Airport and Amritsar International Airport. If you are planning to visit Faridkot, schedule the trip for September. You will be able to visit the “Baba Sheikh Farid Aagman Purb Mela” that is celebrated from the 15th to the 23rd of the month. The festival, attended by more than 100,000 people every year, hosts Qawali competition, Live Theater competition and various programs related to culture and art. Sports events and a “nagar kirtan” also take place. The Gurdwara Tilla Baba Farid, the Gurdwara Godari Sahib, Qilla Mubarak, Darbar Ganj, Raj Mahal, Check Tower and Fairy Cottage are the other tourist attractions of Faridkot.


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