Baba Phul was the ancestor of the Phulkian dynasty.The ruling families of Patiala, Nabha and Jind have descended from Phul. He was born on 17 April 1613 and died on 29 July 1652. Phul’s Grandfather Mohan and Phul’s father Roop Chand died in a fight with the Bhattis in the year 1618. Kala, the next surviving son succeeded to the Chaudhriyat and guardianship of his deceased brother’s sons Phul and Sandali. When Guru Hargobind Singh ji visited that area and due to Kala’s immense faith in Guru Sahib‘s power and blessing, he planned to take his nephews to Guru Sahib. He instructed them to place their hands on their stomachs as if suffering from hunger. They did and when Guru Har Gobind Singh ji asked the reason, he was told by Kala that they had become orphans and were starving. Guru Sahib said that one day they would satisfy the hunger of thousands.Then Guru Sahib asked their names. On hearing that of Phul which means blossom, he said “the name shall prove to be a good omen and he shall bear many blossoms.”
In August 1696, Guru Gobind Singh ji asked Ram Singh and Tilok Singh, sons of Phul for aid in his fight with the Hill Rajas proclaiming “tera ghar mera asay” meaning “Your house is my own”, bestowing special status on the HOUSE of PHOOL. Guru Gobind Singh ji said this in a self written Hukamnama (royal edict) in 1696 CE. It is because of this blessing of Guru Sahib that the Phulka States were never attacked by the other 11 Misls despite several provocations. The sons of Phul; Ram Singh and Tilok Singh were baptized with Khande da Pahul by Guru Gobind Singh himself at Damdama Sahib.
When Phul (grandson of Mohan) realised the need of a place, separate from Mehraj, where he could establish his headquarters and carry on his activities unhampered, he founded a village in 1627, five miles east of Mehraj. He named it Phul after his own name. Phul Town since has served as a Tehsil for villages in the nearby area. Phul, received from Rai Bakhtiar or Karigar, the lease of Kamarivala Theh and raised a village on the site which he called Phul. He gained considerable influence in the area.
Phul built the Historical Phul Fort or Mubarak or Phulkian, which is known by different names. This Fort is nearly 400 years old in Rampura Phul town in Bhatinda District .
The fort is said to be the origin of Phulkian states of Patiala, Jind, Nabha. Initially the fort was made of mud. Later on Raja Hamir Singh, Raja Bharpoor Singh, Raja Jaswant Singh and others showed interest and got it restructured with small bricks and gave a new look to this Fort. There were Four Darwajas on all four sides – Deepaliwala, Mehrajwala, Chottian wala and Rampura wala. Sadly, now those four Darwajas are not there. There used to be gold and jewels studded in this Fort. Most of the tombs have collapsed and rest may fall anytime. There also was an underground tunnel which led to the Queen’s bathing pond located a few steps away. That has also caved in. The high walls of the Fort could not brave the weather for long and have been razed to ground. The artistic wooden doors of the rooms which used to be embedded with jewels and colourful glasses have been attacked with pests. The pearls, diamonds, artistic wooden pieces, handicrafts and mattresses were the charm of this fort. There used to be a huge pool for queens to take a bath and this pool is situated in east side of the fort. The name of the pool is Rani Chand Kaur and this pool is joined with the cave from the fort. There are still seven challahs of Baba Phul in the fort Phul. Here newly married couples visit and obtain blessings. People have a lot of faith in this place. There was a Gurdawara Sahib about forty years back with a handwritten Guru Granth Sahib. In the olden times whenever any Raja got married he used to pay respect here. People believe that if they visit this place after their marriage, their married life will be successful. This is considered a blessed place and there is also a belief among the locals that their wishes are fulfilled here.
The elderly people of the Village Phul have seen the period when there was a lot of activity inside the Fort. They have also witnessed the glorious moments of the last ruler Maharaja Partap Singh whom a huge cavalcade use to accompany on his visits to the Fort. The Raja use to hold Shashi Darbar. Inside there was huge well and also an enormous clock which was very heavy and was operated by a person so that the locals were made aware of time. There was one huge Burj where Guru Granth Sahib ji was placed and now the burj has disappeared. The village elders also say that they have witnessed the Fort when it used to shine from every corner. It is sad that the Government never bothered to preserve the Fort – a piece of history. There were times when this Fort was a great attraction for tourists.
A ray of hope is how twenty local boys of Rampura Phul town took it upon themselves to renovate this Phul Fort in Rampura Phul town. What the young boys saw was the sorry state of the massive main gate of the Fort. The nearby shopkeepers had made make-shift toilets near the main Darwaja. The boys painstakingly cleared all the rubbish from the main Darwaja and inside. They were unable to hire masons but they did whatever they could to make the place look better. Some mischievous people had taken away the wood from the roof, otherwise nothing could have destroyed the fort. They pooled in money and also got some amount from village residents and shopkeepers and started renovating the place themselves. NRIs also gave them some amount for this noble cause.The boys approached the authorities for taking over the renovation work. They did get some funds from the local minister. They have already renovated one part and have moved on to the other. The boys formed Phulkiyan Rayasat Welfare Society and have submitted a file requesting the Archaeological Society or Centre Government or State Government to take to this cause as soon as possible before any further damage takes place inside the Fort. Their main aim and earnest desire is to save this historical fort & preserve our heritage. Also, these boys want to bring Rampura Phul town on the tourism map so as to attract tourists. The boys involved in this noble cause have seen and shared that they are getting abundant blessings from God in more ways than one! The boys feel that the baby steps taken by them will eventually bear fruit. History cannot be built, the least that can be done is preserving it on priority.
Written by: Opinder Kaur Sekhon