Serai Nurmahal Home > Punjab > Attractions > Forts > Serai Nurmahal

Serai Nurmahal

Punjab is considered the heart of India for its geographical placement, cultural richness and its eminent role in the history of India. It is also a lush green state with excellent natural beauty. For travellers unfamiliar with its amazing history, you would be surprised to know that this one of the most magnificent states of India with a rich legacy and a history worth narration. This is also home to some of the most established ancient monuments of India.


Many wars were fought between the Sikhs and Mughals during 16th and 17th century. At this time, the Mughals were strong and won time and again. They strengthened their hold with strategic matrimonial alliances with some rulers of this state. They therefore had some establishments at Jalandhar also.

One of their amazing constructions well-known today is Sarai Nurmahal which was built in an ancient town of Punjab called ‘KotKahlur’. Sarai Nurmahal was constructed by Mughal emperor Jahangir in the late 1605-1627 century. Some gold bricks and coins were found under the soil of this town during excavations. It is also believed that this ancient city was devastated or destroyed around 1300 for a mysterious reason. Sarai Nurmahal is named after ‘Noor Jahan’, the beautiful wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir as she was brought up here and is assumed to have spent some of her childhood years at this place. In the shades of history, the place then transferred under the guidance of Talwan Rajputs & Ranghars just before East India Company got legal rights over it.

Sarai Mahal is a major tourist destination in Nurmahal town. It is a fine example of oriental architecture of the Mughals, their faith and the sense of kinship between the most powerful Rajput kings and valiant Kachchawahas of Punjab state.

Architecture Heritage of Punjab

This historical Sarai Mahal is being looked after by the Archaeological Department of Punjab. The entire structure of this magnificent monument is in the definite form of a quadrangle consisting 140 cells and spread out over four gateways.

Sarai Nurmahal’s architectural planning may have been ancient in the extensions of Mughal emperors but its execution is moderately traditional. Best represented by ancient palaces and complexes, it brought together excellent samples of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Till today, this mix is creating new definitions of Punjabi tradition and it has found wide currency in much of North India.

As in the Mughal tradition, this Sarai has open spaces and it is characterized by a spectrum of arched pavilions held on its delicately crafted pillars. This ornamentation had always been an elegant part of Punjab’s architectural heritages which is now voraciously popular. Since defence was no longer a primary concern for Mughal emperors, ornamental windows were built towards the outside to overlook the street areas or courtyards.

Distinct Features

Mughal Sarai is the major distinguishing feature of Mughal emperors because it was constructed using red bricks and marbles. Rather than stone inlay, this structure displays delicate art done with fabulous carvings that are of religious and historical significance. They carry the depiction of forbidden Islamic art in all its essences. The Sarai has small even sized windows that work as an embellishment.

The Pride of Punjab

Rising from the sands, the structure of Sarai Nurmahal looks stunning. It merges with uncountable sand dunes and there are vast chunks of engraved, honey-coloured stone blocks placed together. Within the bastion of this structure is a complete township, comprising havelis of rich Mughal merchants carved with incredible light extensions.

Placed strategically on the trade route and a gateway to India, Ludhiana has become a rich city of Punjab. No wonder, you see large mansions of rich merchants adjoined with Sarai that have created an everlasting beauty for this tourist destination in the middle of a medieval desert.

The havelis, palaces and temples in this area warrant a visit. The Sarai is incredible for the dynamic experiences that it brings alive of a medieval township that remains caught in a time warp.

Best Time to Visit

You can enjoy a visit to this place during summer, winter and rainy seasons. Conversely, the best time to visit this place is generally recommended between September and January as the climate during these months ranges from 18 degree C to 29 degree C.

How to Reach

By Rail

The easiest way to get to Sarai Nurmahal is to reach Nakodar Junction. This railway station lies adjacent to the Sarai. It is served by Northern Railways.

By Air

The closest airport from here is at Amritsar which is an international airport with good connectivity.

By Road

The Sarai is well-connected to all major cities of Punjab such as Jalandhar and Amritsar.

Related Image

Related Topics


The history of Punjab is very rich in its culture and the state is also beautiful while one travels through various cities in ....

Archaelogical Sites

An archaeological site may be defined as a group of sites or places where the evidence of past activities are kept preserved ....


Punjab is a place that has lots of places that ...

Fairs & Festivals

Punjabi's are great fun-filled and love ...