Before getting into the current position, earlier and a long time ago Barnala was the capital of Patiala Riyasat, when Patiala became Riyasat at that time Barnala was declared as district headquarters and Bathinda and Mansa were two tehsils of Patiala Riyasat. During the time when India got freedom, Bathinda was declared a separate district and during the year 1954 Riyasat Rule was abolished and was transformed into Pepsu Rule. Rampura and Malerkotla were its two tehsils. Barnala lost its pride to a larger extent when Patiala Riyasat Rule was abolished and was mingled into Punjab.
At that time Barnala was a sub-division only, but before that when Barnala was District Headquarters, being headquarter it was having District Session Judge’s Court, but later on When it became a sub-division only, then Additional District and Session Judge powers were provided to Barnala. It seems that Dera Baba Gandha Singh is also closely associated with history of District Barnala. Once upon a time Bibi Pardhan Kaur Ji who was also famous with the name of Pardhan Kaur (Daughter of Maharaja Ala Singh Ji) went to Muktsar. She met with Baba Lammar Singh and was deeply impressed by his holy recite. Then She Requested Baba Lammar Singh to send the saint just like him so that he could start the same sangat and langar practice at Barnala too.
Accepting her request Baba Lammar Singh allocated one of his pupils Pandit Nika Singh to perform the task. Maharaja Ala Singh had also heard a lot about Baba Lammar Singh and Pandit Nika Singh and also when Maharaj queried about the teacher for his daughter the name which was suggested was Pandit Nika Singh. Following Baba Lammar Singh’s order Pandit Nika Singh arrived at Barnala and here Maharaja Ala Singh gifted a very beautiful house to Pandit Nika Singh and he started doing Sangat at this place and thus Dera Baba Gandha Singh Ji came into existence and the Langar was started on regular basis in the Fort. Even now a days also one can find the Baba Ala Singh’s Oven in the Fort. This Gurudwara is famous with name of Baba Chula Sahib.
Beside all this Barnala had also played a significant role being a center point of all ParjaMandal Party Movements. Sardar Sewa Singh Ji Thikriwala was the President of the Riyasat Parjamandal Party during the reign of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala and the British. Every year on 19th January a three day is organised at Thikriwal Village (5 Km. from Barnala) in the memory of this great personality.
Barnala became a district on 19/11/2006 and Sr. Surjit Singh Dhillon was the first to be apppointed as Deputy Commisioner of Barnala. District Barnala has two sub-divisions Barnala and Tapa, three sub-tehsils Tapa, Bhadaur, Dhanaula and three blocks Barnala, Sehna and Mehal Kalan. District has 5 Municipal Committees. Seat of Parliament is attached with Sangrur.