Wednesday, 25 May 2016

BEDI MAHAL AND STORY OF MOHINDER P SINGH

Few days back, one of my facebook friends shared an interesting status on his wall,
 (copying the same)

“If some of my friend interested in Nostalgia may help to trace ancestral home of Mohinder P Singh sb.

Hi Dear Adnan Alam Awan,

I belong to Kallar Sayedaan , Dist. Rawalpindi. I saw some pic of you from Kallar Sayeddan. We lived in Chadian da mohalla, behind For of Bedi family. there is a big fort and Damdama Sahib in it. My father’s name was Chowhdry Santokh singh. He was know figure.any old person can tell about him. I am interested if I can get a pic of my house where we lived. Only some old person of Kallar Sayedan can tell. Hope u can help me in this. Thanks
Mohinder P Singh
 
New Delhi, India”

Unfortunately, I visited Kallar Syedan two days before seeing the above status. My purpose of visit was to capture one of the marvelous haveli’s of Sikh Era i.e. Khem Singh Bedi’s haveli also known as Bedi Mehal.

Khem Singh Bedi’s haveli is located in Kallar Syedan and is a remarkably attractive structure. It exudes calmness, still standing tall in the face of years of change.
  
The haveli was turned into a school for boys after 1947 and was still functional till about 10 years ago. The school since has moved to another location, but in the years that it was used as a school the staff and the children had taken reasonable care not to deface its heritage value.


In this magnificent haveli, one can still see paintings of Sikh Gurus and Hindu deities. This includes a painting of Baba Sri Chand who was the eldest son of Guru Nanak.


Most of the rooms in Khem Singh Bedi’s haveli are adorned with paintings. Paintings of sikh women bundled with jewelry looking in a mirror or holding an arrow. There is also a colorful painting depicting the golden temple in Amritsar. For those who don’t know, the golden temple is a holy site for Sikh’s.


Khem Singh Bedi was a notable of his time and one of the leaders that began the Singh Sabha movement in the late 19th century.



The haveli he built is made of red brick and has 22 rooms and three basements. As mentioned, most of the rooms have beautiful frescos, paintings and carved woodwork.

The haveli has a focal yard with oriels and corridors that lead to galleries, wooden doors and amazing fireplaces. The roof can be accessed via a spiral staircase and gives a serene view of the whole town. 

The haveli inner architecture is quite similar to Nounehal Singh haveli and Dhian Singh haveli situated in Lahore


Khem Singh Bedi himself however, cannot be considered a patriot. History tells us that Khem Singh was instrumental in helping the British in crushing the 1857 Indian rebellion in Gugera, a town close to Okara.



I wish to visit again Kallar Syedan soon only to find ancestral home of Mohinder P Singh sb.