The Noor Mahal is a historical palace in Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan. It was built in 1872. Like an Italian chateau on neoclassical lines, at a time when modernism had set in. It belonged to the Nawabs of Bahawalpur princely state, during British Raj. Noor Mehal is one of the hidden gems of Bahawalpur, due to the lack of publicity. The palace is open to public. It is currently in the possession of the Pakistan Army and it is use as a state guest house for holding state durbars and meetings with foreign delegations.

Historical view of Noor Mahal :

The Nawab of Bahawalpur, Sir Sadiq Muhammad, became popular as the Shah Jahan of Bahawalpur because of his deep love of beautiful architecture. This most magnificent royal palace was built in 1872-75. A map and coins of the state were buried in its foundation as a good omen. One of the most exquisite buildings in the state, Noor Mahal was meant for the residence of the Nawab. He, however, did not lived here for a singal day after being cautioned against doing so on account of its proximity to the Basti Muluk Shah graveyard.

The Nawab also held occasional cabinet meetings here and gave audience to notable guests. On some occasions the palace was use as the State Court for the Nawab’s address to his courtiers. Noor Mahal was built in the middle of a spacious garden having a water tank and fountains. Thick carpets covered its verandahs and the walls were decorated with paintings, most of them by western artists.

In 1956, when Bahawalpur State was merge into Pakistan, the building was take over by the Auqaf department. The palace was leased to the army in 1971; in 1997. As army purchased it for the sum of 119 million.

The building was declare a “protected monument” in September 2001 by the Government of Pakistan’s Department of Archeology. It is now open for general visitors, students trips and other interested persons.

This history-based palace is visited by thousands of inland tourists and foreigners. In seeking historic places, cultures, and architectural landmarks of beauty and grandeur.

Construction and Architectural work :

According to the sources Nawab Sir Sadiq Abbasi built the Palace for himself.Mr. Hennan, an Englishman who was the state engineer, designed the building. Most of the palace’s materials and furniture were import from England and Italy. The construction of the palace was complete in 1875 at a cost of Rs. 1.2 million. Noor Palace covers an area of 44,600 square feet (4,140 m2). It has 32 rooms including 14 in the basement, 6 verandas and 5 domes.
Moreover The design encompasses features of Corinthian and Islamic styles of architecture with a tinge of subcontinental style. The Corinthian touch is visible in the columns, balustrade, pediments and the vaulted ceiling of Durbar Hall. The Islamic style is evident in the five domes, whereas the angular elliptical shapes are a stroke of subcontinent style. Nawab Muhammad Behawal Khan the fifth added a mosque to the palace in 1906. The design is based on the mosque of Aitchison College.

Overview on Noor Mahal :

Noor Mahal is in the middle of a spacious garden having a water tank and fountains. It consists of 32 rooms, including a basement. When the construction was complete, Then palace was decorate with thick carpets and paintings made by western artists.
As part of the Mughal traditions, some swords and muskets are also on display inside the palace.
Furthermore the two-storey palace had exquisite furniture and fixture. Like chandeliers and cupboards that were import while it also consisted of rich collection of arms in its armoury.
In 1906, a mosque was added to the palace by Nawab Bahawal Khan, a later ruler of the state of Bahawalpur.

Access to Noor Mahal :

Bahawalpur has an airport, taxi stands, and bus terminals. Bahawalpur can also be reached via Pakistan Railways, as Bahawalpur railway station is a major station on the Peshawar-Karachi main railway line.
The distance from Bahawalpur downtown through Cantonment is 4.5 kilometers by road, which takes about 10 minutes by car or taxi via Quaid-e-Azam Avenue.
From Bahawalpur Airport, it takes 15 minutes to travel the 7 km via Airport Road.
Similarly From Lahore by road (410 km) to Noor Mahal takes 5 hours 30 minutes.
From Multan by road via Lodhran (98 km) to Noor Mahal takes 1 hour 40 minutes.
Moreover From Islamabad by road via M-2 and M-4 (630 km) to Noor Mahal takes 7 hours 30 minutes.
From Karachi by road via NH5 and Motorway M-5 (830 km) takes 11 hours.

Hotels in Bahawalpur :