Saturday, 6 July 2013

Sheesh Mahal, Farrukhnagar

Farrukhnagar, a Mughal era town in the Gurgaon district of Haryana is a treasure trove for heritage buildings.  Most tourists go to the Sultanpur National Park famous for the migratory wintering birds but somehow ignore this town. Though now the city of Gurgaon is called the 'Millenium City' (a misnomer according to me) it was Farrukhnagar which was a bigger and important town during the Mughal and British rules.

The Sheesh Mahal, Farrukhnagar

The Sheesh Mahal palace was built by Fauzdar Khan around 1711 AD. To reach the palace one has to cross the main market as well as the Delhi Darwaza (gate) and takes one amidst very old houses and havelis.

The entrance gate of the Sheesh Mahal Palace

From the entrance gate one cannot make out that there is a whole palace inside. Though the palace is surrounded by fort walls but at most places there is now no trace of the walls.

The Sheesh Mahal from inside

Though the name (Sheesh Mahal means Mirror Palace) is suggestive of mirror inlay work but with time now there are no more mirror inlay works that I could see. There is a courtyard in front with water channel.  


The backside of the Sheesh Mahal in ruins

Despite being the most important monument in Farrukhnagar what I saw of the state of the monument disappointed me. Only a part of the monument is now under restoration including the basement. The back side is in utter disrepair and the walls are crumbling down.

Red Sandstone was used extensively in the Sheesh Mahal

The Sheesh Mahal is now being restored by the Archaeological Survey of India. When I went there was no restoration work going on and I believe the pace is slow and the work tardy. There is also a memorial for the martyrs of the 1857 rebellion in the courtyard.

An Air duct

The Sheesh Mahal is three storeys including the basement which people often miss to locate. The stairs leading to the basement are steep, dark and dingy. The basement must have been very good place to sit in summers as there are air ducts (you can't see where this air duct opening is going) from which air passes and there is a cool breeze in the basement.

The basement in the Sheesh Mahal

I also saw that the basement was a refuge of liquor bottles and other waste material. How is it possible when  they keep the doors closed as for example I had to wait for quite some time before the caretaker arrived as he had gone somewhere for lunch (and probably a siesta!). He even took my identification card before allowing me to enter and returned it only when I came out of the premises (this is presumably being done to stop the vagabonds from entering and spoiling the place).

In Farrukhnagar one can also see Ali Gosh Khan Baoli, a stepwell and Sethani Ki Chattri which is a memorial cenotaph.

7 comments:

Himanshu said...

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Himanshu said...

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Nasreen said...

Awesome images... Sheesh mahal is very nice.. Thanks for sharing...

Nasreen said...

Awesome images.. Sheesh mahal is very nice.. Thanks for sharing..

Mahima Dutta said...

thanks a lot for sharing, great information. It helped me loads with my research and project. Keep it up !! :) thumbs up

Anil Yadav said...

Thanks Mahima Dutta for liking the post. Also see other posts on Farruknagar on my blog.

Anil Yadav said...

Thanks Nasreen for liking the post. Also see other posts on Farruknagar on my blog.