Nau Nihal Singh Haveli the Jewel of Sikh Era in Old Walled City of Lahore:
The Lahore Walled City is renowned for its artistic legacy. One can find attention-grabbing mosques, temples, havelis and buildings that were constructed back in time by the Mughal and Sikh rulers. Inside the Mori Gate of Lahore, one comes across a place of knowledge, named as the Victoria Girls High School. Originally a Sikh era Haveli / Mansion was constructed for Maharaja Naunihal Singh; the 19th century Sikh ruler of Punjab Kingdom. Naunihal Singh was the son of Maharani Chand Kaur and Maharaja Kharak Singh and grandson of Sher-e-Punjab maharaja Ranjit Singh. Here is the detail of Nau Nihal Singh Haveli Walled City Lahore.
Layout Description of Nau Nihal Singh Haveli:
The Haveli is one of the few royal residences from the Sikh era in Lahore. It is an integral construction of more than 40 rooms, with most rudiments of its unique decoration potted on the two main elevations and the internal courtyard facade. The haveli has a underground room and 4 storey on top of the ground level. On the 4th floor, two storeys include the whole area; the third storey is moderately crumbled whereas the 4th stands in the northwestern angle and is called the Rang Mahal or Sheesh Mahal.
Salient Features of Nau Nihal Singh Haveli:
The Central Courtyard Layout
The Haveli is designed around the central courtyard, the typical design of a tropical area. Originally the central courtyard was surrounded by arches, veranda and them the rooms. The central courtyard was vital for the ventilation of rooms and cooling the temperature.
The walled city of Lahore is famous for its unique architectural features like Jharokas or balconies. The most salient feature of Nau Nihal Singh Haveli is the Wodden Jharoka. The Jharokas have delicately carved arches and are surrounded by colorful floral patterns.
Mirror Glass Ceiling
The ceilings of the rooms are made of the wood with geometrical patterns. The looking glass mirrors are engraved or fixed in the ceiling. When light is on during nights, the mirrors not only brighten the space but also create beautiful images.
Wall Paintings and Floral Patterns
Another attraction of Nau Nihal Singh Haveli is the beautiful decorations of walls. There are mainly two types of wall decorations. First type are the wall paintings inspired from Ramayana. The second type are the floral patterns that are created by the top artists.
Naunihal Singh Haveli has wooden pathways designed in form of shades for the upper storeys. The pathways have the wooden railings for the safety.
Jali or Screen
There are many types of Jalis or screens in Nau Nihal Singh haveli. The parapets have red sand stone jalis. The rang mahal windows have red sand stone jalis instead of glass. The jalis not only provide the privacy but are also good for ventilation.
Time to save the Architectural Gem of Sikh Period:
We as a people look into history with painted lenses, enclosed with our very biases. We require starting owning our legacy. We could do with to look at it with satisfaction, whether it is the Sikh era, the Mughal or the British. It is all a part of our combined distinctiveness. The government should take actions to safeguard and expand such sites. I distrust that the Lahore Walled City subdivision is working for its building work, as no subdivision owns it. Unluckily, most of the monuments in Lahore, particularly in the Walled City, are facing a multitude of issues ranging from human abandon and surroundings dreadful conditions to factors such as aging and natural decompose.