Mughal Architecture

Mughal Serai, Shambhu

Mughal Serai, ShambhuMughal Serai is situated on Sher Shah Suri Marg about 11 km from Rajpura, near Shambhu barrier. It was originally built by Sher Shah Suri. It lay on the route to Delhi and provided shelter to the caravans of merchants. It also served as a dak chowkie and later on as military and police post. The serai was rebuilt by Mughals which evident from its style. It has been well-maintained by the Punjab Archaeology Department as a tourist spot. It is visited by a large number of people on week ends.

The Serai has two majestic gates with a mosque in the Center and cells on all sides, a 'bowli' (paved well) and a 'baradari' a (building having 12gates). It is a protected monument.

Mughal Sarai, built by Sher Shah Suri in 17th century A.D, was a much sought-after place for fatigued travellers during Mughal rule . The respite offered by the sarai was unmatchable.

The ‘sarai is approximately 168 m. square enclosure of battlement walls with octagonal bastion at each corner. There are imposing gateways in the centre on northern and southern sides. The northern gate has only remains of floral designs while the southern gate has flora and fauna paintings. Both gates are connected with a kachha pathway. The northern and southern sides of the sarai has 20 rooms each whereas eastern and western sides has 30 rooms each with a suite of three rooms in the centre. On the north-east corner of the sarai, there are some rooms which might have been a ‘Hammam.’ One can enter this Hammam, through a barrel- vaulted corridor. Many rooms have ceilings specially designed for light and ventilation. The walls and ceilings of these rooms were richly painted with designs executed in bright colours, the traces of which are still visibly.

Each corner of the sarai comprises a central room. All the rooms as well as galleries, are provided with slanting ventilators. On the western half of the sarai, is a mosque mounted with a dome. The front view of the mosque was richly painted, the traces of which still survive. There is also a single storeyed structure adjoining the wall of the mosque, probably meant for mullah’s residence. The big compound is being maintained as lawns by the department of archaeology. The sarai is protected under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Monuments archaeological sites and remains Act, 1964.

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