Bathinda was earlier known as Bikramgarh, but was renamed by the Bhati Rajput Kings of Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer. The city is about 3,000 years old and formed part of the Kushana Kingdom under the rule of Kushan King Kanishka. The town was also ruled by Mahmud of Ghazni, Prithviraj Chauhan, Iltutmish, Mohammad Ghori, Razia Sultana, the Mughals as well as the princely Patiala. Bathinda is rich in heritage and culture. For tourists looking to take in the sights and sounds of the city, there are several places that will grab travellers’ fancy. Bathinda can be aptly described as a quiet, friendly city, which has witnessed visits from a few foreign tourists.
There are a number of hotels and restaurants located near the bus station. The bazaars between the bus station and Bathinda’s fabulous fort are fun places to visit during a short trip there. The Quila Mubarak in Bhatinda has been in existence since the time of the Kushana Kingdom under Kanishka. The fort is the place where Razia Sultana, the first Empress of India, was defeated and put in prison. It is among the best tourist attractions in the city. The Bir Talab Zoo is another popular attraction in the city. The zoo is spread over 161 acres and was set up in 1978 by the Red Cross. It is now governed by Punjab’s forest and wildlife protection department. The zoo houses a number of rare and endangered animal, reptilian and bird species. Bhatinda is renowned for its multicultural influences which came about after Sikh and Rajput kings ruled the city. For those looking to understand the city better, these attractions are a must visit. An evening stroll along Bathinda Lake is heavenly. The promenade near the lake’s shores is peppered with a number of eateries that attracts locals and tourists.
One can opt to take a ride on Kashmir-styled Shikara boats. The best time to visit the city is during the winter months – from November to February. Winters are characterised by a dip in mercury and generally pleasant weather. The temperature ranges from 34°C to about 4°C. The high temperatures in summer are not conducive for a visit. Travellers could also visit the city during the pleasant monsoon season. Though a quaint city, Bathinda is home to a number of hotels. For those looking for premium or budget OYO Rooms will be in for a treat. There are rooms located near the railway station and bus stand. For those looking to stay near the bustling part of town can choose to book an OYO room near Mall Road or 100 Feet Chowk. There are also a number of affordable hotels in and around Qila Mubarak, Rose Garden and Bathinda Lake.