chatta-rai-mukand-dass

This is by far the most beautiful and the most ignored monument, I have come across. This magnificent haveli is situated at the heart of Narnaul city and has been around for more than 350 years now.

What I have read in local history books and have heard from people, is that this haveli was the residence of a rich man named Rai Bal Mukund Dass. He was holding a very high and reputable post in this area during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

This haveli is popularly known as “Birbal ka Chatta”. How and why this building came to be associated with this famous courtier of emperor Akbar, is still unknown.

One can only imagine what this monument would have looked like when it was at its prime.

Today its condition is so pathetic that I doubt even the architect of the original building would perhaps fail to recognize it (if he could come back). I know, I am exaggerating the things here, but once you visit this monument and look at its beautiful corridors, halls and rooms then perhaps you too, would start wondering at what our conservation department is doing in this regard.

I know that certain sections have got deteriorated even beyond the scope of repairing and it would be a challenging task for the restorers to look after the remaining portion but that doesn’t mean that this beautiful monument should stay in this current pathetic state. Still a lot can be preserved. Perhaps there is no other better place for highlighting the architectural advancement of this region.

Once a five storied structure, it is now left with only three. Only a small section of the remaining two underground levels is accessible today, rest is buried under rubble which no one has bothered to clear.

It seems that the original area of this building would have been much larger than what is it currently left with.I visited this monument in March 2012 and took more than 100 pictures of its different sections which I am trying to arrange in a better way. Some of them i have shared here.

There are several writings on walls here, written both in old Hindi and Urdu. Many of these seem to have been written more than 200 years ago. I doubt if someone has even bothered to decipher them or even cared to look at them closely.They might prove to be an important source for understanding the environment of those days. Below is the photograph of one such writing.

About Narnaul:- Narnaul city is a part of district Mohindergarh of Haryana State. It is situated at a distance of 50 Km from Rewari and 150 Km from Delhi and Jaipur.

About this monument :- This monument is situated at the center of the city, near Mohalla Nalapur. You can ask anyone there, for directions. It is popularly known as – “Birbal ka Chatta” and is generally kept closed to avoid damage and other activities in it. You can request monument keepers who reside in the outer section of the same monument, alongside the street, for opening it and showing you around.