April 30, 2013
Few years back, I read an article regarding preservation of Shalimar garden. It was of great surprise to know about a existence of Royal Bath and hidden heating system in it. This amazed me more because my home is situated at walking distance from Shalimar garden; and I was visiting this place for years, but never know anything about it.
This place was under construction for many years. Archaeologists knew that there was a heating system in what was known as the Royal Bath, but its exact location was not known. During the conservation process it was observed that the Hypocaust (the heating system) is in the eastern chamber of the caldarium below the hot water reservoir. The Hypocaust is a sunken heating chamber to warm a room; an aqueduct is provided for the clean cold water from northeastern side. The Bath is unique and matchless among the other bath systems of the Mughals. The system is on eastern side of the main hamam and has hot air ducts leading to it from west and south to make the floors of baths warm. Towards the east the same ducts serve as fuel for firing. For the water-supply arrangement to the hamam there was a well on the eastern side which supplied water to it through masonry channel (aqueduct). The channel was also connected to the water tank constructed on the southeast corner of the hamam. A water channel was also arranged from Shah Nahar and connected to the tank. After feeding the hamam, the masonry channel takes its course to the top of the peripheral wall and reaches the lowest terrace. Terracotta screens are provided at inlet points.