Rupnagar is a newly created fifth Divisional Headquarters of Punjab comprising Rupnagar, Mohali, and its adjoining districts. There are many historical and religious places in Rupnagar, including gurdwaras such as Gurudwara Bhatha Sahib, Gurdwara Bhubour Sahib, Gurdwara Solakhian and Gurudwara Tibbi Sahib. In addition, there are places of historical importance as well of National importance.
The ancient town of Rupnagar is said to have been named by a Raja called Rokeshar, who ruled during the 11th century and named it after his son Rup Sen. Formerly known as Rupar or Ropar, it was one of the first sites of the Harappa and Indus Valley Civilizations.
Here is our guide to spending a weekend in Rupnagar.
Sri Bubhour Sahib Gurudwara
Your first stop from Chandigarh will be Nangal which is 60 kms away from the district headquarters of Rupnagar. In Nangal, you can visit Sri Bubhour Sahib Gurudwara. Situated on the banks of river Sutlej, Gurudwara Sri Bubhour Sahib is the place where Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji composed the Chaupai Sahib, which is one of the five Banis mandatory for every baptized Sikh to recite every day.
From the gurudwara, you can head out to the Nangal Dam, located downstream of Bhakra Dam. Although the two are separate dams, they are sometimes referred together as Bhakra- Nangal Dams. These dams were designed and built to prevent flooding in the Sutlej-Beas river valley and also to produce hydro-electricity and provide irrigation waters to the adjoining states. Tourists require special prior permission from the Bhakra Beas Management Board to visit this place.
Timings 10 am to 6 pm (Monday-Friday)
Your next stop can be the highly eco-sensitive Nangal Wetland which supports abundant flora and fauna including threatened species, such as the Egyptian vulture. Spread across six villages in Rupnagar, covering around 700 acres, the wetland serves as a home for many resident as well as migratory birds. Keep an eye out for the red jungle fowl, large Indian parakeet, Indian cuckoo, wood shrike, yellow-eyed babbler and crested bunting. The wetland is also home to some of the rare and threatened species such as Sarus crane, Indian pangolin, Indian otter, the hog deer, and the sambhar.
A half an hour drive from the wetland will take you to the Virasat-e-Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib. This museum gives visitors an insight into Sikh history, including birth of the &lsquoKhalsa&rsquo displayed through a series of beautiful paintings, portraying lives of all Sikh Gurus, their struggles and the heritage which they have left behind. It is said to be the most visited museum in the history of the Indian subcontinent with around 10 million visitors in a period of 8 years.
Timings 10 am to 5 pm (Tuesday-Sunday)
After the museum, pay a visit to Anandgarh Fort, one of the five forts built by Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji to protect Sikhs and other residents from the Mughals. It is believed that the construction of this fort began in 1689, and it took over 10 years to complete. It was reconstructed in 1970, but one can still trace the marks of the old, original structure.
Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib
Visit Takhat Sri Keshgarh Sahib, the birth place of the &lsquoKhalsa&rsquo, It is one of the five Takhts of Sikh religion which stands out as a prominent and most visited site in the town of Anandpur Sahib. It was founded by the ninth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji in 1665, which was earlier known as &lsquoChakk Nanaki&rsquo. The Gurudwara was rebuilt in the 20th century, transforming it into an impressive shrine, where the relics of tenth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji, including a dagger and
other weapons are kept.
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadar Museum
This museum has a wide collection of paintings depicting the history of Sikhs by renowned artists like Devinder Singh, Kirpal Singh and Jaswant Singh. During night time, the museum looks more beautiful with nine interior domes made of fiberglass shining like a diamond.
Indus Valley Civilization Excavation Site and Archaeological Museum
Rupnagar is an Indus Valley site located along the Ghaggar-Hakra beds. In the city, there is an Archaeological Museum, which opened to the public in 1998. The museum displays the archaeological remains of the excavated site. One can find various unique artefacts relating to the lifestyle of early inhabitants such as burnt clay, terracotta products, trading goods, copper instruments, pottery items and ornaments. The Archaeological Museum in Rupnagar has exhibits of many findings of the Indus Valley Civilization including the pots, skeletons, coins, toys, ornaments, and tools, etc. of those times.
Timings 9 am to 5 pm. Closed on Fridays and public holidays, Entry Fee Adult &ndash Rs.5, Children under 15 &ndash Free.
Sadabrat Nature Trail
The Sadabrat Nature Trail introduces you to a variety of flora and fauna and will remain with you as an unforgettable jungle experience. There are around 40 to 50 type of local birds and animals such as sambhar, neelgai, porcupine, mongoose, etc. You can also enjoy bird watching from towers located at heights and scheduled places so as not to disturb the birds. You can also take photograph of birds from these watch towers. A beautiful Board walk in the wetland will definitely fascinate you.
Getting There The drive from Chandigarh to Rupnagar, a picturesque district in Punjab rich in history, will take about an hour.