Sunehri Mahal

Sunehri Mahal:Nestles in the haven of the lofty uplands. The constitution of this palace is in perfect harmony with its kaleidoscopic environs. History of the Mahal explicates the Raja of Bundelkhand as having constituted a settlement known as Paharsinghpura and had also constructed a palace known as Sunehri Mahal before the death of Shahjahan. The King of Bundelkhand Virsinhadeo, had three wives named Amrit Kunwar, Rani Gumen Kunwar and Pancham Kunwar, who gave him eleven children. Paharsingh was the third son of Virsinhadeo. And it was Paharsingh who accompanied Aurangzeb to the Deccan. Paharsingh and his brother Jhubarsingh fought against Khan Jahan under the leadership of Azam Khan. In May, 1630 Shahajahan awarded them the title "Raja". According to historical evidence, Paharsingh won Chowragarh and advanced towards Daulatabad which was won by Paharsingh and Vikramjit. They were awarded jagir which today is known as Paharsinghpura, a subrub, the income of which was sent to the coffers of Bundelkhand. The subrub was completed in 1651. After which the palace of Sunehri Mahal was also completed. The death of Paharsingh according to some historians is 1657 while majority agree on the year 1663.

The locality around Paharsinghpura was known as Hanuman Tekdi (mound). There is also a memorial of Gogapir. It was also an ideal spot for contemplation for famous saints like Nipat Niranjan.

Sunehri Mahal is a picturesque palace with mountains serving as a backdrop. Wild luxuriant pastures, plants and trees surround and add to its artistic beauty. The palace is in stone and lime having a high plinth swathed in a cloak of gold. It came to be popularly familiar as Sunehri Mahal which was misinterpreted as Sun-Har-Mahal by the Nathpanthis, meaning 'Shunya' or void. It is a palace with a pillared front hall, a number of rooms at the back and a terrace on the second floor open from all the four sides. It is a pristine stone palace, its fabric contributing to the over all effect of delicacy that denies the existence of the heavy rubble construction inside it. The open verandah contains a small pool which exudes a cooling effect even during summers, and the water flowing in between the staircase constructed on either sides of the platform. The earthen pipes distributing water are ingrained in the surrounding walls again through under ground pipes. It probably consisted of a well planned garden.

The entrance of the palace is dominated by a lofty, massive and impressive gateway. The gate has three domes above and two side hallways containing staircase to climb the encircling walls. The walls have pointed arches with regular windows in arched shapes.

After the death of Paharsingh the entire area was occupied by Aurangzeb and his army who camped near Sunehri Mahal, Sukhanpura, Hanuman Tekdi and Gogapir. In this green belt thousands of soldiers, elephants, horses, camels settled accompanied by musical instruments like trumpet, kettledrums, bugles, dwelling in colourful tents. The elephants, horses all properly groomed and caprisoned moving around the city in properly military discipline in royal splendour must have been an enigma with people crowding around to watch the parade with throbbing rapture.

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