darbar mahal bahawalpur

An Historical Wonder of 20th Century – Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur

Darbar Mahal is a palace in Bahawalpur City, Pakistan. The building was built to house court functions and government offices of the former princely state of Bahawalpur. Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur was built by Bahawal Khan V, and was initially named Mubarak Mahal. 

It was completed in 1905 and is located near several other palaces in the Bahawalgarh palace complex, including the Nishat Mahal, Farrukh Mahal and Gulzar Mahal. Dabar Mahal Bahawalpur is set in 75 acres of gardens. 

Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur Location

Darbar Mahal is a historic fort located in the Pakistani city of Bahawalpur; this city is deeply rooted in Asian history and is considered one of the most important commercial and cultural centers in local history. 

Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur itself is not open for the general public, but its grounds are a popular tourist attraction; as they provide proximity and an excellent view of architecture that resembles the ancient Mughalai fort and is at par with the typical fusion of East Indian and Arabic architectural techniques that were prevalent in the subcontinent during the 19th century. darbar mahal bahawalpur

Architecture & Desgin of Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur

It is built in a style that combines local, Arabic and European influences. The exterior has intricate carvings, fretwork and stucco. Each side of the building has a large entrance and jharoka balconies. darbar mahal bahawalpur

The third floor of the building is a Mughal-style chattri roof, with each of its corners having a highly stylized octagonal turret with Sikh-style domes.

Darbar Mahal History

For more than 200 years, Bahawalpur was ruled by the Abbasi family. During their reign, they contributed immensely to the development of the state. They built numerous palaces with state-of-the-art architecture that are great examples of craftsmanship.

The Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur was commissioned by Nawab Bahal Khan (V) in 1904 and was one of its kind among other forts that were built at that time. Originally conceived as “Bhawal Gerh”; the fort was completed in 1905 and was dedicated to one of the Nawab’s wives. 

The Mahal also served as a bench for the Regional Court of Bahawalpur State.

Who Built Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur

One such beautiful structure in Bahawalpur city is the Darbar Mahal. It was built by Nawab Bahawal Khan-V in 1904, and was initially called Bahawal Garh. The palace was completed in 1905 and was dedicated to one of the Nawab’s wives.

The Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur was built with red bricks and is built in the style of the Lahore Fort. It contains four domes that are interconnected by short corridors. The structure is an elegant blend of red and white; with white dominating the roof and windows, while the exterior walls are red.

The architectural theme of ancient Arab and Indian traditions is consistent throughout the building, with a spacious building decorated with more than 80 windows, which was styled in the old Islamic traditions of the 14th century.

Darbar Mahal Interior

The interior of the Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur is one that exudes elegance and class; the walls have been given a unique light golden brown color that is eye-catching and at the same time gives the rooms a sense of robustness and space.

There are also valuable paintings on the walls that date back to the mid-19th century, and traditional Indian ornaments and swords.

The interior was decorated with fabulous furniture of the first-rate and best local varieties of the day, and the carpets are equally rich and magnificent. On the doors hang velvet curtains, which have been given a fresh maroon color that blends well with the surrounding walls and adds to the effect of royalty. 

The vaults were decorated with ceramic tiles that sparkle in the light of expensive chandeliers. darbar mahal bahawalpur

According to archaeologists, the architecture of the Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur is a mixture of local and foreign influence mainly from Delhi, Mughal, Sikh and European trends. Historians say that Bahawalpur emerged as a powerful Abbasi royal capital. darbar mahal bahawalpur

The main hall of the building was once reserved as an art gallery that housed some of the most valuable and rare art and family heirlooms.

The palace grounds are lush green and cover an area of over 75 acres, making it one of the largest properties in the immediate area and also a suitable place for many plants to flourish. The grounds are always kept in perfect order and also contain fountains

The Darbar Mahal Bahawalpur was handed over to the armed forces and has housed government offices since 1971.

This palace also served as the bench for the Regional Court of Bahawalpur State. It was used by Nawab Abbas Abbasi for a long time

Potential for Tourism

The Darbar Mahal has great potential to function as a tourist site due to its old architectural design, reminiscent of pre-partition India and steeped in local cultural history. 

Sadly, however, very little of the property is open to the public, with only the edges of the gardens rarely open for galas or official events. 

The Darbar Mahal is one of the few such palaces to have been built in Bahawalpur, hence it is often known as the “Princely State” in the local culture.

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