Warfare Museum : History, Architecture, Visiting Hours
Posted On July 17, 2023
Nothing is more amazing or interesting, especially to men, than the history of war. Old weapons, armor, implements and vehicles of war provide a deep and incisive look at how history was shaped and how empires were forged. Now, visitors to Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar can enjoy a trip down memory lane with its exciting new Warfare Museum.
Gobindgarh Fort is an impressive edifice in Amritsar that was built in 1760. It was once the seat of power for the erstwhile Sikh Empire and ruled over by the legendary Maharaja Ranjit Singh, considered to be one of the fiercest warriors and best war strategists in the world. He renovated the fort to glorious new heights and used it as a treasury that held untold wealth.
The Kohinoor Diamond was one of the many priceless items that were stored here, along with a wealth of weapons housed in its famous armory. The armory fed the many campaigns and wars of the Sikh Empire and played a key role in the Anglo-Sokh wars. Today, some of its treasures are on display at the Warfare Museum and can be seen, studied and appreciated by all.
History of Gobindgarh
Gobindgarh Fort was originally built by the Bhangi Sect around 1760 and is therefore called “Bhangian Da Killa” in the local dialect. It is one of the best historical places in Amritsar. It is located on the southwest border of Amritsar and covers over 45 acres in a square design. The initial structure was built by the Bhangi Sect but it was Maharaja Ranjit Singh who gave it the current shape that we see today.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh initially developed the fort to protect the sacred Harminder Sahib and the people of Amritsar from marauding invaders coming into India from the Old Grand Trunk Road. He built a 5-meter deep moat, reinforced the walls and made additional ramparts and ravelins to make the fort impenetrable from attack. Maharaja Ranjit Singh also renamed the fort in honor of the tenth Sikh Guru.
What is most interesting about the fort is that certain aspects of the design are visibly French. This is because Maharaja Ranjit Singh realized that the French were opposed to the British takeover of India and could be made into allies. He has extensive meetings with French Generals and used advanced European designs and cutting edge engineering to make the fort even stronger.
The Warfare Museum
Many of the weapons used by the Sikh Empire can today be seen at the Warfare Museum of Fort Gobindgarh. These include some interesting and unique swords made with advanced alloys, shields, spears, arrowheads, metal armor, coins and more. There is also a replica of the famous Zamzama Cannon that was once the largest cannon in the world and instilled fear in the heart of invaders.
The Gobindgarh Fort is open to the public from 10Am to 10pm but the War Museum is open only between 10am to 7pm and is shut on Mondays and Government Holidays. The ticket price ranges from Rs. 160 to Rs. 680 depending on what package you choose. Besides the Warfare Museum, there is also an interesting Pagdi Museum, a Sikh Art Museum and many other attractions inside the Fort Gobindgarh compound.
To know more about the history of Gobindgarh, visitors can also see various cultural performances and shows that tell the audience more about Sikh Culture and its rich history. The 7D show is especially entertaining and immersive as it is about the history of the great Maharaja Ranjit Singh himself and is called Sher-e-Punjab.
Where to Eat
Fort Gobindgarh is a great place to visit and spend the day because it has many attractions to experience and numerous places to have lunch and even dinner. Its fine dining restaurant in Amritsar called Kesariya Darbar bears special mention as it offers a truly sublime dining experience. Curated dishes made from royal recipes take visitors on an interesting culinary journey that is the perfect mix of innovative flavors and traditional Punjabi cuisine.