Historical Shahi Quila (palace), Behrampur, M.P - a Mogul legacy

Ruined palace Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP. indiasthan.com

Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP. slideshow

Entrance gate, Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP.en.wikipedia.org

The Shahi Qila, once a grand palace now in ruins, is in  Burhanpur, a medieval  town close to the east of the Tapti River in the state of Madhya Pradesh. In1536, with the conquest by ruler Humayun, the Mogul legacy began here. The Moguls became a force to reckon with in the Decaan region  for a long time as in the later years their descendants became a powerful warriors and administrators. 

In 1617 AD, Mogul ruler Jahangir appointed his son  Prince Khurram  as the Governor of Burhampur  to succeed Prince Parviz.  Pleased with the way Prince Khurrams led the Mogul army to victory, as a recognition of his military leadership, he conferred the title of Shah Jahan on him on   12 October, 1617 AD.  Shah Jahan, being the  heir,  ascended the  Mogul throne  upon the death of Jahangir in 1627. As the political scenario in the Deccan region was  quite troublesome due  to rival rulers in the adjacent parts, Shah Jahan came to Burhanpur on the 1st March 1630 to set things right there. His stay in the Deccan saw him emerging as a successful military leader.   His operations against Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, and Golkunda  were a success.

It was during this hectic, but tumultuous period Shah Jahan stayed in the palace called Shahi Quila that was built by Farooqui rulers. To make his stay more comfortable, he ordered additional constructions like Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas  atop  the terrace of the Qila. Being dedicated to his wife Mumtaz Mahal,  he had a hammam or the royal bath built for her exclusive use. 

Royal bath, Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP. shutterstock.com

Royal bath, Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP. shutterstock.com

Interio roral bath, Shahi Qila, Behrampur, MP. tripadvisor.com

Mogul art work, Behrampur, MP.outlook.com

Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP, flicker.com

In the midst of successful handling of political turmoil and war victories his fate was that he had to go through a personal tragedy. The death of Mumtaz Mahal (aged 38) on 7th June 1631 in pregnancy during the birth of her 14th  child   saddened him a lot. Her  body was buried at first in the Garden of Zainabad  across the river Tapti. In the same year  in December her mortal remains were sent to Agra where years later he built the world famous Taj.  A historical fact  is  Shah Jahan wanted to build the Taj here at Behrampur  and the site chosen for it still lies vacant near the Tapti river. Mumtaz.  As he later decided to stay in Delhi permanently, he gave up the plan for good. Shah Jahan left Burhampur in March 1632 for Delhi  to strengthen the administration leaving the Deccan under the care of  Viceroy Muhabat Kahn

While here Shah Jahan liked the palace very much and established a court in the palace for two years to meet his subjects and other members of the administration. Despite aging one can see fine display of  intricate works of sculpture and exquisite carvings highlighting Mogul legacy. But many parts are turned into rubble and mounds of dirt and their conservation is a tough job and time-consuming one.  This Quila is a symbol of glorious past and the locals call it   Shahi Qila 'Bhulbhulaya' (meaning a labyrinth) because the design of this palace is a complex one. 

Location Behrampur, MP, India.mapsofindia.com

Shahi Quila, Behrampur, MP. shutterstock.com

The major attraction in this ruined palace is the luxurious royal bath built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. Locally called Hammam, the ruler built it so that his wife could take a comfortable bath in the water mixed with scents,  khus, saffron and rose petals. Hamman is normally an integral  part of Mogul palace where the queen stays. The main features are beautiful decorations and attractive paintings  on the walls and on the  doomed roof.  At Behrampur one can see the faded paintings in the Hammam even today.  It is believed that one of the paintings here depicts a monument which gave inspiration to Shah Jahan to build the Taj.