This fort was once the residence of the Patiala dynasty. This piece of marvel is a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, and is spread out in 12 acres with nine big or small baradaris inside. Baba Ala Singh laid the foundation of this fort on Feb 12, 1764, but after his death, his grandson Amar Singh carried out the construction work. Well known masons and painters of Jaipur were hired and the fort remained an official residence of all the Maharajas.
Its living apartments have names like Jailwalla palace for royal prisoners, the Moti(pearl) palace, the Sheesh(Mirror work) palace, the Rajmata palace, the palace of colours and the Palace of the Moon. The recreational structures were called the Putli(puppet) Ghar and Bagh Ghar(Garden house). Its richly painted chambers are beautiful.
This Mahal in old Moti Bagh is designed on the pattern of Shalimar garden of Lahore with terraces, fountains, channels and flower beds. It was built by Maharaja Narendra Singh in 1847 AD at a cost of Rs. 5 lakhs.
Many artists from Kangra and Rajasthan were employed and they expressed their talents on the walls by depicting a vision on the poetry of Kalidas, Surdas and Behari Lal, mythology, Nayak nayika, etc. A special room known as Sheesh (Mirror) Mahal was constructed by the Maharaja, displaying the skills of artists in convex and coloured mirrors. Some designs remind one of the floral designs of the Jehangir period. A very fine set of miniature paintings based on the themes of “Geet Govinda” in Kangra style based on Jai Deva’s poetry, represent the best production of art dealing with Krishna-Lila. The marvellous pieces of art reflect the best professional skill of the artists. These paintings patronised by Raja Nihal Singh of Kapurthala, stand out as great legacies of the 19th century. The Sheesh Mahal museum at Patiala has great importance in the field of paintings, sculptures, medals and decorative art objects.
Bardari gardens sorround the Bardari palace just outside the Sheranwala gate. Rare trees, old trees aged hundreds of years back with colonial buildings, a fern house and a marble statue of Maharaja Rajindra Singh is seen here. There are many bats in the trees. See pictures in the photologue section.
Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was inspired to build this temple and bring the 6-ft statue of Kali from Bengal to Patiala. It is a huge complex.
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