A Regal Creation by Maharaja Narinder Singh
In the heart of Patiala, a treasure awaits – the renowned Sheesh Mahal. Constructed in 1847 by the visionary Maharaja Narinder Singh, this architectural marvel reflects the grandeur and taste of its creator. The intricate design and lavish decoration were carefully chosen by the Maharaja himself, leaving an indelible mark on its every facet.
The Palace of Mirrors: A Dazzling Oasis
One section of the Sheesh Mahal, aptly named the ‘Palace of Mirrors’, is adorned with a stunning array of colored glass and mirror work. This exquisite craftsmanship lends an ethereal quality to the palace, captivating visitors with its shimmering beauty. Situated behind the Moti Bagh Palace, this triple-storey marvel beckons explorers to delve into its opulent embrace.
A Bridge of Legends: Lakshman Jhoola – At the heart of the palace, an artificial lake graces the scenery, spanned by the elegant Lakshman Jhoola. This bridge, with its timeless charm, adds a touch of romance to the Sheesh Mahal. Gardens and fountains flank the lake, creating a serene ambiance that transports visitors to another world.
The Artistry Within: Painters from Distant Lands – To breathe life into the walls and ceilings of the Sheesh Mahal, Maharaja Narinder Singh enlisted the talents of skilled painters from Rajasthan and Kangra. Their artistic endeavors culminated in intricate floral designs that grace every corner. These paintings are not mere embellishments; they narrate ancient tales in vivid colors, echoing the poetic vision of Bihari, Surdas, and Keshav in the vibrant style of Rajasthan.
A Glimpse into History: The Sheesh Mahal Museum – Within the Sheesh Mahal, a museum unfolds a trove of cultural treasures. The walls bear witness to the lyrical verses of Jaya Deva’s poetry and the enchanting world of Geet Govinda. Kangra paintings, masterfully rendered, bring Krishan Lila to life in breathtaking detail. Fine objects of art, from Tibetan artifacts to Punjab’s ivory craftsmanship, along with exquisite examples of Kashmiri art and the wooden furniture of bygone Maharajas, offer a window into the opulent lifestyle of the era.
Medals, Coins, and a Legacy of Global Connections
The museum also hosts a remarkable collection of medals, a testament to the international reach of Maharajas Bhupinder Singh and Yadwinder Singh. These 3200 medals, spanning from the 12th to the 20th century, tell tales of diplomacy and cultural exchange from distant lands. A treasury of coins from the 19th century provides a vivid tableau of global trade history.
Preserving Culture: The North Zone Culture Centre
Embedded within the Sheesh Mahal, the North Zone Culture Centre stands as a living tribute to India’s rich cultural heritage. Inaugurated on November 6, 1985, by the esteemed Prime Minister Late Shri. Rajiv Gandhi, this center hosts a vibrant array of cultural programs and heritage festivals, keeping the spirit of tradition alive for generations to come.