My first site in Punjab’s tour is a Sarai in the village of Nurmahal. Sarai were kind of inns or rest houses for travelers and businessmen on their trips of exchanging goods. They used to spend the night in these Sarais, which was free of cost. Other times kings and queens used to stay when they used to visit the place for their tours or hunting. A typical sarai used to quadrangular space surrounded by rooms and huge walls with a watch tower on all the four sides, a mosque in the centre and other things depending how important that sarai was.
Nur Sarai is located in Nurmahal somewhere around 30 kms from Jalandhar. It is believed to be the birth place of Nurjehan: Jahangir’s wife. Also it is believed Nurjehan spent a large part of her childhood here. The sarai was built in the early 17th century mainly as a hunting lodge where Nurjehan used to rest after her hunting excursions.
The whole structure is made of bricks as was common in those days. The sprawling main gate has carvings with scenes of hunting of tigers and rhinoceros which is believed inhabited this area in those times. There were around 140 rooms at the sarai of which 75% are still present. In the centre of sarai is a mosque and a small building which as told by the caretaker was the Army’s General’s place of stay. Their was also a Rang Mahal which was the queens part of the sarai. The monument is in a pretty decent condition with three sides of the sarai still in position along with the mosque and the general’s place.
A panoramic view of the sarai
The mosque at the sarai
Rang Mahal: The place where the queens used to stay
Rooms at the sarai
For more photographs visit RA Clicks