Sunday, 10 May 2015

Haveli Nau Nihal Singh

Victoria Girls High School is a government girl’s school inside the walled city of Lahore and is housed in a nineteenth century Sikh period haveli of Naunihal Singh, the  son of Kharak Singh and grandson of  Maharajah Ranjeet Singh.

The haveli is one of the few remaining royal residences from the Sikh period in Lahore. It is an intact structure of over forty rooms with most elements of its original ornamentation preserved on the two main elevations and the interior courtyard facades.
The most important and incidentally also the better preserved feature of this haveli is the ‘rang-mahal’, a small picture gallery on the top floor. The ‘shish mahal’ or ‘rang-mahal’, is a typical feature of both Sikh and earlier Mughal architecture and consists usually of a highly ornamental room with embellishment in the form of frescoes, mosaics with mirror pieces inlaid in stucco, decorative ceilings with painted designs and beading patterns.
The rooms were used for entertainment and relaxation and opened on to a view or the courtyard. While the rest of this valuable piece of architectural heritage has lost most of the interior surface ornament due to its heavy use as a school building for over a hundred years the room has been saved due to its location on the top floor and its fame as the haunted room was also a reasonable deterrent.
The lore of the school is what girls from the walled city get to experience.