Sunday, May 20, 2007

Architectural Treasures of Bahawalpur

One of the grandest and the largest Princely states of the former British India domain, Bahawalpur was originally a part of the great Sikh empire built by the formidable Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

Located at an altitude of 400 feet and spread over an area of 27,530 square kilometers on the south side of Sutlej River, Bahawalpur is a true display of history, culture and archeological heritage.

Founded in 1788 by Muhammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi, a descendent of the Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad and Cairo, the state has seen the rise and fall of various dynasties. The last to rule were the Abbasi family or Nawabs of Bahawalpur. The 13 princes of this family ruled over the State for more than 200 years (1748 to 1954).

The three main havelis or Palaces of the Abbasi Family are the Sadiq Garh Palace, Nur Mahal, Gulzar Palace and the Derawar Fort outside the city boundaries.

Nur Mahal and Gulzar Mahal
The Italian-style Nur Mahal and the Gulzar Mahal, both belonging to the former loyal family of the state are equally eye-catching and present a beautiful fusion of traditional, Mughal and Islamic architecture.

Sadiq Garh Palace
In the small town of Dera Nawab Sahib, there is another magnificent Palace known as Sadiq Garh Palace. This palace is the most beautiful of the three. Delicate and intricate paintings and displays chandeliers adorn this palace’s many rooms.

Collection of carpets brought in from different corners of the globe is spread in one of its large halls'. Beside these, various types of armaments of both European and Asian make and other gifts that must have been gifted to the ex-royal family of Bahawalpur are kept.

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