( Palaces )
Palaces of Punjab
Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1838 AD), Amritsar
It was constructed under the supervision of Fakir Azeez-ud-din and
Sardars Lehna Singh and Desa Singh Majithia, nobles of the Lahore
Darbar at a cost of Nanak Shahi Rs. 1,25,000/- Originally, laid
in a garden spreading across 84 acres of rare plants, trees and
flowers, surrounded by a boundary wall, 14 feet high and a moat
all around it, this beautiful palace had also several equally beautiful
clusters of structure which were converted into clubs and libraries,
the lawns around them into tennis courts by the British.
entrance of the palace called the Darshani Deori is unique in design.
It has four two storied towers in the cardinal directions. There
are two tanks, the one connecting the palace with water channels
fitted with fountains and the other with the air-conditioning pipes
circuiting the outer walls and the bathing tanks of the double storied
part of the residence. Some of the paintings and the mirror work
on the roofs is still extant.
The Qila (fort) was also the residence of Patiala dynasty. The residential
part was called Qila Androon or the Inner Fort. Its living apartments
have names like Jail Walla Palace for royal prisoners, the Moti
(pearl) Palace, the Sheesh (mirror work) Palace, the Rajmata (Queen
Mother) Palace, the Palace of Colours, the Palace of the Moon. The
recreational structures were called the Putli (Puppet) Ghar and
Bagh Ghar or the Garden House. Its richly painted chambers are peerless.
astonishing of all, the Palace is fitted with underground sewerage
system and has a cool room connected with a tunnel which brings
cool air from the basement.
Khana-the royal kitchen used to feed 35,000 people of all ranks
Sheesh Mahal, Patiala
It was built in the reign of Maharaja Narinder Singh (1845-1862)
in a forest with terraces, gardens, fountains and an artificial
lake. With two watching towers in the north and the south the lake
is connected to Banasar Ghar, where all type of stuffed animals
are kept and Sheesh Mahal, the residential palace with a suspension
bridge which is a copy of the Lakhsman Jhula at Rishikesh. Part
of the three storied building is inset with pieces of reflecting
mirrors and a large number of wall paintings depicting scenes from
Bhagwat Puran and portraits of the Sikh Gurus. The palace has galleries
displaying antique paintings, bronzes, sculptures and portraits
of the Maharajas of Patiala. The highlight is the gallery which
displays the world's largest collection of medals, decoration and
orders of various countries.
best and most impressive Palace in the Punjab was that of the ex-Ruler
of Kapurthala which has now been converted into a Sainik School.