Around Pakistan: Gulzar Mahal in Bahawalpur

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After the visit to the Darbar Mahal, we got the chance to see this gem. Another one of the famous palaces in Bahawalpur, the Gulzar Mahal was built in the time of Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV and its beautiful architecture contains European influences just like Noor Mahal.  We were only able to view the outside of this magnificent palace on our visit with my sister-in-law and her husband because of security concerns on that day. Interestingly the Gulzar Mahal was the first building in Bahawalpur to be equipped with concealed electric wiring, and the system operated using a diesel generator. it is also the only site in the area with a supply of sweet drinking water, unlike the saline water found elsewhere. the water supply was tapped through a pump drilled on the premises.

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Here’s some interesting history about Bahawalpur and its founding Nawabs,

The Abbasi tribe from whom the ruling family of Bahawalpur belong, claim descent from the Abbasid Caliphs. The tribe came from Sindh to Bahawalpur and assumed independence during the decline of the Durrani Empire. The Abbasid ameers ruled over the state of Bahawalpur for over 200 years (from 1727-1955). Although the Nawabs were autocratic rulers, they did a lot for the development of the State. The first Nawab laid the foundation of the State in 1727, with only a small locality. As they started expanding, not only did they gain a lot of land, they also made it one of the richest states of the sub-continent. A lot of development work was done in the State in all fields. Schools, colleges and later a university were opened. A number of scholarships were given to students even outside the State. Railway track was laid by the Nawabs in the State. Hospitals and dispensaries were established. Canals were dug and the Sultej Valley Project was completed to provide water to the lands of Bahawalpur region. The State had its own administrative and judicial system. Under their rule, the state developed an impressive architectural legacy and as the state grew, so too did its architecture, with the building of forts, palaces and mosques. Their style of architecture cleverly blended both local and foreign influences- delhi, mughal, sikh and even european. The Noor Mahal and Gulzar Mahal for example reveal details borrowed from European architecture. As Bahawalpur emerged as the Abbasids new royal capital after Derawar, it became the heart of Abbasid architecture in India.  Most of the states well known palaces were completed in the reign of ameer Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV.

Resources: Wikipedia and this resource

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Read more about Bahawalpur and its golden past:

Bahawalpur, the Princely State

Sights in the Sands of Cholistan. Bahawalpur History and Architecture by Major General Shujaat Zamir Dar

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Thanks for stopping by. Lots of love.

For more posts from Around Pakistan go here.

 

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