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*(340) The Chhatri of Boliya Sarkar

ind1This artistic chhatri is situated on the east bank of the Khan river near the Krishnapura bridge. It was constructed in 1858 in the memory of Sardar Chimanaji Appa Saheb Boliya. Bikheji Boliya, an officer of Bajirao Peshwa I, was appointed on the post of suba in the Holkar state. Govindrao Boliya II, the grandson of Govindrao Boliya who was the Saranjami Jagirdar of the Holkar, was married to Bhimabai, the daughter of Yashwant Rao I. Chimanji Appa was theirs son. In the development of Indore city he has important contribution.

In the ground layout the chhatri is mainly west facing but there are two entrances from east and west in the garbha-griha. There are stairs in the east and west to reach the chhatri, which go upto the circumbulatory path. After the circumbulatory path there is octagonal structure of the garbha-griha. In the vertical layout, there are jagati, adhishthan and shikhar. There are stairs from jagati to the adhisthan. The adhisthan is square shape. There are artistic doors like arched gateways based on paired pillars around it. There are semi lunar arches in accordance with the Amer style of Rajasthan on these.

A rectangular slab has been constructed over the adhisthan. In total 24 columns are there, 20 columns in all four sides and 4 on the each corners of the garbha-griha. The octagonal garbha-griha is situated in the middle of these columns. There were no plan of pavilion and semi pavilion in the chhatri. One can enter into the garbha-griha by three stairs of adhisthan from the east and the west direction. The icon of Sardar Boliya is graciously seated in the garbha-griha and his wives icons are on the both side. The Shivalinga is in the centre and in front of it there is south facing Nandi.

In outer layout, the chhatri is magnifiscent. There are incorporation of new style in the traditions of chhatri architecture in it. In the shikhars of chhatri where there used to be arrangement of uru shring and ang shringas, there is vaulted shikhar in this chhatri following the Mughal architecture. There are shikhar like paintings on the four gates built on the adhisthan. The situation of the jangha in verticle layout is not clear. The images are inscribed on the jangha portion in the temple architecture but in this chhatri icons are built on the top of the columns. The plexus decoration of the garbha-griha of the chhatri is of special mention.

There are crescent like bullging arches in the middle of the columns of the all entry gates. The edge of the both arches ends into the growing new flowers. There are painting of dancers and women with playing various instruments on the pillar top. The women are inscribed in apparels also. The icons inscribed all over the chhatri are in the Maratha style in which the mental desires of the artist are exhibited. The painting of wild life are also important.

(342) Kushal garh Fort

The village Kushalgarh is situated at a distance of about 20 kms. south-east of MHOW in the same Tehsil. It is at a distance of seven Kilometer from Kalakund station on Indore Khandawa railway. According to traditions, the establishment of this village and the construction of the fort was carried out by the local Zamindar Kushal Singh Rajput. The fort is spread in a five acre area in the foothill here, which is in the Mughal architectural style of the 16th century. With the passage of time in 1794 Ahilya Bai kept Malhar Rao, the son of Tukoji Ra Holkar I in this fort as captive for three months due to revolt. This has been in used by the Pindaris also.

From architectural point of view, this fort is rectangular, made of besault stone in which there is only one entrance. There are strong tower (burj) on four corners. Its arched entrance is made of red sand stone and there are engravings of developed lotus on the both side of the top of the arch. Inside the rampart the residential building had been in the western part whose ruined walls are remaining only. Towards west adjacent to the rampart there had been residential rooms which are ruined. Some architectural pieces are seen in a wall which are of the Paramara period temple. Some Paramara period statues of Parvati, Garud have been found which are exhibited in the central Museum at Indore. There is a contemprary bawadi in the premise.

Before the construction of the fort, there must had been a Parmar temple whose architectural pieces after devastation have been used in the foundation and walls of the fort.

(343) Lal Bag, Indore

ind2It is spread over a vast land of 72 acres on the left bank of the Saraswati river, a tributary of the Khan river, in the middle of Indore city. The grand palace of the Holkar Dynasty is built exactly in the middle of this enclave in an area of 4 acres. Shivajirao Holkar (1886-1902) got the palace of Lal Bag constructed between 1880-90 as a summer House Tukojirao III (1902-25) constructed the final form of the palace and the garden between 1920 and 30.

The palace was constructed and decorated by him in western style with the help and cooperation of M/s Baring and Gilol, London, Martin and Company, Cheltenham and M/s Barhard Triggs architect. Tukoji Rao stepped down in favour of his son and successor Yashwant Rao II in 1926 and resided in the Lal Bag till his death (20th Many 1978). After that this palace and enclave remaind under the control of Usha Trust and Devi Ahilya Educational Nyas. In 1987 the state govt. took control of it and it was handed over to the Directorate Archaeology and Museum (Deptt. o Culture) in 1988. The department dedicated it to the people on 14 Nov. 1988 as “Nehru Kendra”.

The huge entrance gate of the Lal Bag is magnificent and attractive. The iron made this gate is according to the Buckingham Palace of Britain and is bigger in size. The Royal Insignia of the Holkar Dynasty is inscribed in large form on both the doors. The Chandelier is on the upper portion for electric decorations. Two icons of the lions made of Ashthadhatu are exhibited on the both side of the door, which introduce the grandeur of the palace.

The palace situated in the middle of the enclave, which is known as Lal Bag Palace due to the grand garden in according to the Italian villa. It’s entrance door is in semi circular form made of metal. The British Royal Crown is built on its canopy. At both side of the door they are beautiful lamps of metal mouth.

At the basement of the place there are storeroom, pantry and boiler room which are connected to the kitchen situated at the other bank of the river through a tunnel. At present the tribal folk art of Malwa has been exhibited in these rooms. The office of the Maharaja, Library, Billiard Room, Darbar Hall, Banquet Hall, Western Dining Hall, Indian Dining Hall, Crown Hall, Dance Hall etc. are situated on the ground floor. The guest rooms and sleeping rooms are built on the first and second floor.

The Darbar hall (Assembly hall) constructed with colourful marbles of Karar Breshiya and Trevastino imported from Italy is very attractive. There are rectangular wooden pedestal under the columns in this hall, which is based on the monolithic marble columns and below that there is example of an excellent conjugation of mosaic work/inlay work on the different coloured rectangular marble pedestal. The golden embellished carvings, on the roofs and on the walls of the hall and royal insignia of the palaces provide/exhibite prosperity of its beauty.

The Greck Goddess Athena with a torch and a book in hand along with the Angels are painted in the roof of the seating hall. The large dance hall is like the Cathedral hall. It’s floor is of wooden. There are corridors on the both side of this hall. The tray like lamp on the roof is illustrative of excellent electric decoration. There are rooms at the both side adjacent to the corridors in which at the right there are office room, council room, western dining hall and the sitting room. At the left there are crown hall and the Indian dining hall. All these rooms are very much decorated and well equipped.

A room near the left corridor is constructed according to the Rajput architectural style and another according to the Islamic. The arches, flower peacock, pitcher with new tender leaf etc are inscribed in them. The floor is constructed of lustrous marbles. Both the rooms are built for the dining of males and females.

Among the other remarkable rooms are the sleeping rooms of the Maharaja and the Maharani-in which metal bed and precious furniture are there. The bathroom adjacent to the two rooms are made of special marbles. There is barbar room at this floor which is usually not seen separately in the palaces. There is a PAMPORT (Music Room) near it, which is built in such a manner that the melodious echo of the music can be hearted to far off. The stream of the development of the art and learning was prevalent according to the classical ideals in 14th & 16th c. In the sequence of this traditional stream the architecture of the place is in Barok and Rokiko style. Its heavily decorated rooms are in renaissance style according to the European decorational tradition prevalent between 1730 and 1780. The conjugation of the enclave garden is according to the French and the British features. The situation of the palace in the middle of the enclave, the grand entrance gate and the beautiful long way to reach the palace, geometric lawn, the garden with beautiful flowers and the planned fountains are according to the French style.