Location: The graceful monument, marking beginning of Mughal’s imperial rule, Jahaz Mahal is erected next to Hauz-i-Shamsi in Mehrauli on its northeast corner in Delhi.

Significance of its name: The palace is marvelously carved in such a splendid shape that its structure resembles an illusion of a ‘Ship’ in adjacent to its surrounding reservoir.

Period of its construction: The heritage ‘Jahaz Mahal’ was carved as a place for rest, i.e. Sarai, resort or an inn, between 1451 & 1526 A.D perhaps during the reign of Lodi king.

History: 

  • The motive behind building this Jahaz Mahal might be providing shelter to the massive number of pilgrims travelling from Afghanistan, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco and Turkey for thronging many mosques in Delhi.
  • For taking refuge under the soothing ambience of the Mahal during hot summer days, Jahaz Mahal used to become a delightful resort as temporary stay for the Mughal emperors, such as Akbar Shah II and Bahadur Shah II and their families.

Structure:

  • Entrance: The historical palace is accessible from the eastern side as per cardinal directions.
  • Shape of the courtyard: Amidst the palace, there lies a ‘U’-shaped courtyard that was square in shape originally.
  • Square chhatris: The six chhatris on the roof of the palace appear like mast of a ship those are designed square with semi-circle dome at the top sprawling on the pillars. Though the number of pillars in every chhatri varies, such as six , eight and twelve yet those add an elegant look to it.
  • Towers: The corners and the centre of this Mahal have towers those are erected while being bedecked with beautiful and lovely squinches in various chambers and walls.
  • The central gate: As carving dome was the master-stroke of Mughal architecture, the central gate has a dome-shaped pavilion as well leafed with blue tiles all over.
  • Mosque: A small shrine is also manifested indoor the palace, mihrab in a corner on the west wall declares it to be a pilgrimage.

Cultural hub:

  • Phool Walon Ki Sair or Sair-i-Gulfaroshan: The month of October is fixed for organizing the annual procession of the florists that is also known as Sair-i-Gulfaroshan.
  • Pankhas (fans): Continuing the tradition triggered by Emperor Akbar Shah II in 1820, the group of florists starts their procession while carrying floral Pankhas (fans) from Mehrauli at the Jharna or the Hauz-i-Shamsi tank. The whole procession is followed after fire dancers.
  • Dargah of Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiar kaki: The group of florists reaches to its first junction called the Yogmaya temple where the floral fans are offered to the Hindu Goddess with revere heart. The next and final junction marking the end of the procession is the famous Dargah of Hazrat Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki which enhances the significance of devotion by presenting fans and chaddar at Dargah. The procession epitomizes harmonial communion of Hindu-Muslim’s synchronized culture.
  • Termination of the festival: The tradition of carrying on the aforementioned procession was called-off in 1942 and the amendment is followed for a long time during the British period.  
  • Resumption of the three day procession: In 1961, the former procession joined the trend in 1961 through the initiative of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India).
  • Cultural programmes: Till three consecutive days, Jahaz Mahal becomes a cultural hub where many cultural events are organized. State-wise cultural troupes try to inform and steal the show through their spell bounding dance, drama and music performances. Qawwalis are the special attraction of the show those are presented by the famous qawwalis in their colourful regional costumes.
  • Centre for holding seminars, work-shops and heritage walk:  The Conservation Society (CSD) takes initiative of holding seminars, workshops and heritage talk here at Jahaz Mahal time to time for spreading awareness about the conservation of our national heritage