Patiala, an erstwhile princely state, capital of PEPSU and a district headquarters of Punjab are situated in the Malwa region of Punjab. Malwa has the largest number Of districts in the reorganised Punjab, and antiquity of some of the cities goes back to the ancient and early medieval period. Patiala is relatively a young city, a few years more than two centuries old. The early history of the founders of Patiala state is more of a myth mystery than reality. The rulers of the erstwhile states of Patiala, Nabha and Jind trace their ancestry to one Chaudhary Phul. Apparently the appellation of dynasty ‘Phulkian’ is derived from their common founder. One of his sons, Chaudhary Ram Singh was baptised and blessed by Guru Gobind Singh. His son Ala Singh assumed the leadership in 1714 A.D. when Banda Bahadur was engaged in the fierce struggle against the Mughals. A man with vision and courage, Ala Singh carved out an independent principality from a petty Zamindari of 30 villages. Under his successors, it expanded into a big State, touching the Shivaliks in north, Rajasthan in the south and upper courses of the Jamuna and the Sutlej. While confronting the most trying and challenging circumstances in the middle eighteenth century, Baba Ala Singh, unlike many of his contemporaries, displayed tremendous courage and shrewdness in dealing with the Mughals, Afghans and Marathas, and successfully established and maintained a state which he had started building up bit by bit from its nucleus Barnala. In 1763 Baba Ala Singh laid the foundation of the Patiala fort known as Qila Mubarak, around ‘which the present city of Patiala is built.
It was Maharaja Bhupinder Singh (1900-1930) who gave the Patiala state a prominent place on the political map of India and, in the field of international sports. Most of the buildings with splendid architectural designs were constructed during his reign. His son Yadvindra Singh was among those Indian princes who, readily came forward to sign the Instrument of Accession, thus facilitating the process of national integration. In recognition of his services, he was appointed the Rajpramukh of the newly established state of PEPSU. Eulogizing his role of the Maharaja in fighting against the intrigues and manoeuvres of the unfriendly and hostile princes of India, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel the then Deputy Prime Minister and in charge of Home Affairs Ministry remarked :”1 must mention the notable contribution which His Highness, the Maharaja of Patiala, has made to the unity and integrity of India. He took the cause of the country at a time when there were few friends amongst the princely order and when serious attempts were being made to balkanize India. It was his patriotic lead that contributed in a large measure, to a change in the attitude of the princes to the problem of accession to the Indian Dominion.”