About two years ago, I had an occasion to visit Narnaul in Haryana in the Mahendragarh district. The town has had a rich history and there are several historical sites worth visiting. Due to paucity of time, I could manage only the Jal Mahal, which is situated outside the town.
The Jal Mahal was built by the local Mughal governor as a pleasure palace in the middle of a water tank in the late 16th century. In the reign of Akbar the Great. It has a central chamber with four smaller chambers at the corners and four staircases that go up. As you can see, the building is surmounted by one big dome and four smaller domes on cupolas, and is accessed by a causeway with sixteen arches.
|Jal Mahal, Narnaul|
The lower chambers have now been sealed off, but I think the water must have been made to flow into the lower chambers, perhaps surrounding a central platform and four chambers as in the upper floors. Perhaps there was music and dance in lamplight, with floating earthen lamps on the water.
That is pure imagination of course, and the tank is now completely dry. And there was complete silence with nary a soul in sight. The structure stands alone, a throwback to the past amid a rural and rustic landscape. Far from the bustle, far from the madding crowd.