May 29, 2024


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Back garden wherever Aurangzeb was crowned | Newest News Delhi

Tucked absent in northwest Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh is a Mughal royal retreat by the very same title that dates back to the 17th century. A person of the several royal gardens created in the course of this interval, this particular elaborate includes an imposing palace recognised as Sheesh Mahal that served as the web site the place emperor Aurangzeb’s coronation ceremony took area in 1658.

The Sheesh Mahal in Shalimar Garden that was crafted by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The monument comes less than the Archaeological Survey of India’s treatment. (Raj K Raj/HT picture)

These days, nevertheless, Shalimar Bagh — less than the jurisdiction of the Delhi Progress Authority (DDA) — is a shadow of its superb earlier, and the palace complicated within just it has turn into a web page of neglect and deterioration, in spite of its standing as an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-guarded monument.

Shalimar Bagh finds a mention in different historic paperwork — it was prepared by Aurangzeb’s father Shah Jahan, and some accounts say that it was commissioned by Shah Jahan’s wife, Akbarabadi Begum.

According to Maulvi Zafar Hasan, the ASI archaeologist who organized the very first checklist of monuments worthy of conservation in 1916, Shalimar Bagh was at first recognised as Aizzabad Bagh. “It is possible that the backyard was identified after Aizzun Nisa Begum also regarded as Akbarabadi Begum, a mistress of Shahjahan,” he wrote.

Author Khafi Khan, in Muntakhab-ul lubab, a historical account of the Mughal empire which was concluded all around 1732, wrote that Aurangzeb finished ceremonial techniques for his ascension to the throne at Shalimar Bagh.

A courtyard in front of the Sheesh Mahal. (Raj K Raj/HT photo)
A courtyard in front of the Sheesh Mahal. (Raj K Raj/HT image)

“Aurangzeb, not caring to enter the fortress of Delhi, encamped in the backyard of Aizzabad, now identified as Shalimar, and he sent out on highly developed force, under Bahadur Khan, in pursuit of Dara (Shikoh, his brother and rival for the throne). On Friday, the 1st of Zulqada (July 31, 1658), immediately after stating his prayers, and at an auspicious time, he took his seat on the throne of the empire of Hindustan, without having troubling himself about putting his name on the coinage and the sending of offers to other sovereigns and nobles were all deferred to his next accession to the throne,” he wrote.

Shalimar Bagh also finds a point out in Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s Asar-ul-Sanadid, a extensive description of Delhi’s architecture composed in 1847. In accordance to him, Shah Jahan himself named the backyard garden Shalimar.

There are other notable historical moments affiliated with the backyard garden intricate —Nader Shah, the shah of Iran who sacked Delhi in 1739, camped close to Shalimar Bagh even though departing from Delhi. Sheesh Mahal, in the meantime, served as a summer retreat by David Ochterlony, the British Resident, in 1803, and in accordance to Zafar, this was wherever the officer contracted the fever from which he died in 1825.

Even with its rich heritage, however, Shalimar Bagh these days lies neglected. More than the years, Sheesh Mahal has turn into derelict, with the plaster on its walls chipped absent, exposing the layer of lakhori bricks underneath. Cracks operate throughout the pavilions on a person close of the palace, whilst paintings with floral motifs and ornamental carvings, which line the ceiling of the chajja, have light with time.

Behind the palace is a effectively with lakhori brick masonry, from which drinking water was maybe drawn to h2o the channels of the back garden. In addition, there is a square drinking water tank with attractive ornamentation, and two square pavilions adorned with paintings and ornamentation. All these structures are in determined need to have of conservation.

Over the decades, many jobs have been proposed to preserve the elaborate, but all of them failed to acquire off. The most current case in point was in 2019, when then lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, who was also the chairman of DDA, visited the site and gave recommendations to restore the monument and redevelop the park. A dialogue was also initiated with the Indian Countrywide Have confidence in for Artwork and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to operate out a restoration system, but the undertaking subsequently went into the chilly storage.

. Over the years, Sheesh Mahal has become derelict, with the plaster on its walls chipped away, exposing the layer of lakhori bricks underneath. Cracks run across the pavilions on one end of the palace, while paintings with floral motifs and ornamental carvings, which line the ceiling of the chajja, have faded with time. (Raj K Raj/HT photo)
. More than the a long time, Sheesh Mahal has grow to be derelict, with the plaster on its partitions chipped away, exposing the layer of lakhori bricks underneath. Cracks operate throughout the pavilions on a single close of the palace, whilst paintings with floral motifs and decorative carvings, which line the ceiling of the chajja, have faded with time. (Raj K Raj/HT photograph)

Historian and author Swapna Liddle, who was the then convenor of INTACH’s Delhi chapter, confirmed that talks ended up initiated, and extra that Sheesh Mahal’s neglect was not a new story.

“For a long time, Sheesh Mahal was unprotected. In the 1940s through British rule, talks were being initiated to safeguard it considering the fact that it was a Mughal backyard and Aurangzeb was crowned below. It was only a great deal later on that Sheesh Mahal acquired defense,” she said Liddle.

She explained that in the course of talks with DDA in 2019, she experienced prompt that the separation of heritage buildings in just the very same periphery was not a fantastic concept. “Sheesh Mahal is underneath ASI’s protection but even then, it is section of the back garden elaborate (under DDA). We proposed that its separation from the yard was wrong and it essential good conservation,” claimed Liddle.

HT arrived at out to DDA, but officials did not reply to requests for a comment.

Praveen Singh, superintending archaeologist, ASI Delhi Circle, also admitted that the palace required conservation. “Conservation was initiated in the previous but it was referred to as off due to some conflict among locals. I was not at the helm of affairs and will have to come across out the reasons,” he said.

Old-time citizens discuss fondly of the palace’s grandeur and the richness of the orchards it was once surrounded by, and bemoan the insufficient attention it has obtained.

Raj Kumar, 60, a resident of the Shalimar Bagh neighbourhood who grew up in the region, accused the federal government agencies of abdicating their duties. “Around 2018, some perform was started out but it was referred to as off. Considering that the construction has remained the way it is,” he explained.

Kumar advocated the require for conservation and campaigns to highlight the historical relevance of Shalimar Bagh. “The palace is attractive and if it is fixed and conserved, many people will come to see it,” he mentioned.

Even now, a several individuals do come to the location to check out the palace, but are ordinarily directed through the DDA park, even though the palace can only be accessed by close by Shalimar village.

Singh explained the entry to Sheesh Mahal from the DDA park was limited to avoid the entry of “anti-social elements”.

“Anti-social features uncover it simpler to enter the palace from the park. They used to make a ruckus. To avoid this, we have closed the entry from the park. All those who are truly interested in visiting the monument can take a further entry,” he mentioned.

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