Bathinda (also known as Tabar-e-Hind or Tabarhindh meaning the Gateway to India) is a city and Municipal Corporation in Southern part of Punjab, India. It 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, 227 km west of the capital city of Chandigarh and is the fifth largest city of Punjab. Bathinda’s nicknamed the ‘City of Lakes’, courtesy of the artificial lakes in the city. The first empress of India, Razia Sultan was imprisoned in the Qila Mubarak fort in Bathinda. The gurudwara and mazaar of Haji Rattan is a popular tourist centre of Bathinda having connections with popular legends.
Bathinda is a home of Central University of Punjab and upcoming AIIMS. 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, Bathinda is home of two cement plants, Ambuja Cements and UltraTech Cement Limited. 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.
The iconical Qila Mubarak which was built by King Kanishka in 2nd CE century and is the location where the first Empress of India Razia Sultana was held captive.
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.
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.
In 1634, a battle named Battle of Lahira (at Lahira in Bathinda) was fought between Guru Hargobind and Mughals.
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.
Hinduism is the majority religion in Bathinda city with 62.61% people following the faith. Sikhism is the second most popular religion in the city which is followed by 35.04% of the people. Minorities are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jains.
Sikhs count for 70.89% of the population in Bathinda District on a whole in spite of not being a majority in the city.
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 30.20°N 74.95°E. It has an average elevation of 201 metres (660 ft).
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.
Major industries in Bathinda include National Fertilizers Plant, Bathinda is home of two cement plants, Ambuja Cements and UltraTech Cement Limited. 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. Guru Gobind Singh Refinery, a joint project between HPCL and Mittal Energy Limited is also located in Bathinda.
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 completely banned the use of ground water in the city for drinking purposes.
Bhatinda Railway Station has connectivity to most of the major cities in India. Three national highways, NH 7 (Fazilka – Badrinath National Highway) and NH 54 (Dabwali – Pathankot National Highway) and NH 148B Bathinda to Narnaul pass through the city.
The city has many prestigious school chains too – 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, Shri Guru Hargobind Convent School (Nathana), Delhi Public School and Police Public School have opened their branches in the city. Many missionary schools are being run in the city, such as St. Joseph’s Convent Secondary School (found in 1960) and St. Xavier’s Senior Secondary School. Bathinda is also a famous coaching hub. There are very good coaching institutes for medical and non medical coaching. This is also developing center for competitive examination like CAT, S.S.C. , Bank etc.
Central University of Punjab
The Central University of Punjab Bathinda (Punjab) has been established through the Central Universities Act 2009 which received the assent of the President of India on 20 March 2009. Its territorial jurisdiction extends to the whole State of Punjab.
It started its functioning from Camp Office in April, 2009, which happens to be the residence of the Vice Chancellor, and from November 2009 it shifted to its City Campus spread over an area of 35 acres. Construction of the main campus has started on 540 acres of land in Ghudda Village (21.5 km from Bathinda ISBT) on Badal Road. Engineers India Limited, a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking, is providing PMC services for the project.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University
Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University (MRSPTU), formerly Maharaja Ranjit Singh State Technical University, is a State technical university of Punjab located in Bathinda, Punjab, India. It was established in 2015 and has jurisdiction over 11 districts namely Bathinda, Ferozepur, Moga, Faridkot, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Barnala, Mansa, Sangrur, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Fazilka. University will function from upgraded Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus.
Shopping and Entertainment Center
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’s City Mall — Built by Ganpati Township ltd, it 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.