As soon as one hears the word ‘Jal Mahal’ their mind goes on to picture beautiful Jal Mahal of Jaipur, while there’s no denying to the fact that Jaipur’s Jal Mahal is the most prominent Jal Mahal of North India but only a few people that the second biggest Jal Mahal of North is situated in Narnaul, Haryana.
While most us picture Haryana as the land of farmers, we tend to forget there is a lot more to this state. This place has been a historically significant one from many centuries. There are a lot of historical monuments available on this land that eager to tell their stories.
These magnificent monuments have such great stories related to them which makes them worth exploring. One of such amazing monuments of Haryana is Jal Mahal of Narnaul.
History of Jal Mahal
Jal Mahal is situated in Purani Mandi of Narnaul city. It was a pleasure palace built by Nawab Shah Quil Khan; Khan was the governor of Narnaul and commander of five thousand during the reign of Emperor Akbar.
Shah Quli Khan was an officer in the court of Emperor Akbar. In the second battle of Panipat, he got hold of the commander of the Sur army Hemu. This impressed Akbar and he showered all sorts of gifts on him from wealth to higher rank to position of governor of Narnaul.
Shah Quli Khan was a great patron of architecture during his 52 years long tenor as governor of Narnaul he added many beautiful pieces of architecture to the city one of them was this gorgeous palace.
This stunning Water Palace is an architectural masterpiece of Mughal era, built during the reign of Akbar. The construction of this marvelous palace was completed somewhere between the year 1592 – 1593.
This stunning monument is built in a sprawling area of 11 acres. Jal Mahal which translates to Water Palace is situated in the middle of an artificial lake named Khan Sarovar. As the name suggests the palace was built right in the middle of this tank which used to be filled with water in the Mughal era but now it mostly remains dry.
One enters the palace from North crossing a guesthouse. The main entrance of the Jal Mahal bears Persian inscription which tells the visitor about the maker and master of this palace. There is a bridge that leads to the palace which has rooms for the guards which are built on 16 arched spans.
Jal Mahal is a beautiful monument built splendidly with the tasteful amalgamation of Indian and Persian architectural styles. It is built using lime and stone. Jal Mahal is adorned beautifully mostly using golden colors; various paintings, patterns, and designs add to the splendor of the palace.
Jal Mahal includes a square-shaped central chamber that has four smaller chambers on its four corners. The upper storeys can be approached by four staircases two of which are on the southern front and rest two on the northern front. The lower chambered of the palace have vanished and no traces of them can be found today.
On the top, the chamber has a beautiful octagonal cupola which is enclosed by a hemispherical dome perched on four smaller cupolas that are situated over the corner of the chambers.
The current state of Jal Mahal:
Jal Mahal of Narnaul is the second biggest Jal Mahal of North after Jal Mahal of Jaipur. The place holds significant values both architecturally and historically. But sadly, it has not been getting the attention it deserves.
It has immense potential in terms of boosting tourism and developing the town. But currently, this stunning monument lacks even the most basic facilities like cafeterias, proper toilets, water, parking, etc.
The Archaeological Survey of India has announced that they have planned to develop Jal Mahal of Narnaul as ‘Adarsh Smarak’. ASI plans to installed LED lights to illuminate the monument. Also, they intend to bring other facilities such as filling water in Khan Sarovar, parking for visitors, RO water, Wifi facility, library, cafeteria, signboard, and souvenirs, etc.
In 2010 when then CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda visited this Narnaul, this splendid architecture caught his attention and he ordered the authorizes to fill water in the tank so more tourists can be attracted the monument. It was done then but eventually, the water dried after a few months. It was not re-filled until 2017 when it was filled up to 11 feet. On continuous request of locals, the authorities have filled water till about 2 feet in the Khan Sarovar (as of Dec 2018).
There are many monuments like Jal Mahal of Narnaul that hold historical and architectural relevance and still are left neglected. If taken steps this place has a huge potential of making this area a great tourist spot and adding to the development of the city.
We sincerely hope that authorities take the necessary steps to spread awareness about this marvelous heritage and do what they have promised. Hopefully, then this amazing monument will get the glory it deserves.