Friday, 27 April 2012

BARA DARI, Bahawalpur Pakistan

The Bara Dari or summer pavilion lies south of the Durbar Mahal, connected by a pavement. The building measures 107 feet and 6 inches x 107 feet and 6 inches and has a red sandstone finish. Symmetrical in design and square in plan, it bears a distinct resemblance to typical Mughal monuments built of similar stone. At the plinth level is a wing measuring 10 x 10 feet, connected to a veranda along the facade of the building's main hall. Its courtyard is surrounded by a cloistered building on three sides, with a pond (20 x 20 feet) and five central fountains in the middle. The floor and walls of the pond are also dressed with red sandstone, and there are stairs ascending to its floor.

The Bara Dari itself appears to have been constructed using a point- load structural system with a trabeated wooden roof and console brackets adding beauty to its pavilions. The fountains were probably supplied with water from an old iron tank installed near the Durbar Mahal Mosque. The tank would then have been filled by operating a Persian wheel.

The building is decorated primarily with carvings in stone-the jaali-work in red sandstone on the oriel window of the main hall is an exquisite example of this. Following its restoration by the Pakistan Army, it stands out as an excellent example of conservation in the Bahawalgarh palace compound.

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