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Sheesh Mahal Hoshiarpur

The Sheesh Mahal, in the heart of Hoshiarpur city was built by Lala Hans Raj Jain in 1911. The Sheesh Mahal is known so because of the intricate glasswork on both the interior and the exterior of the walls and even the roof. The first floor of the complex thoroughly depicts the coronation ceremony of King George V through the glass painting and the ground floor features various statutes of religious deities along with statutes of Queen Victoria, King George V, various courtiers and visitors. The entire work has been based upon the imagination of Jan Mohammad, an artist who had been present during the coronation ceremony in Delhi. Today, the Sheesh Mahal is maintained and looked after by the local Jain Sabha.

History of Sheesh Mahal

The Sheesh Mahal is one of the most exquisite buildings in Hoshiarpur featuring the rich Sikh architecture and eye for art. Though the complex remains quite neglected now, the interiors still hold on to the rich wall paintings and murals. The Sheesh Mahal complex has been richly adorned both in the interior and exterior and the glass painting feature various religious Sikh scenes and ceremonies from the then British Raj. There are various mirrored motifs in the main hall. It is said that both hands of the artist who build the Sheesh Mahal had been cut off after the building was completed. This was to ensure that the design couldn’t be repeated in some other building later and that the Sheesh Mahal stays unique in itself. The building is located near Hoshiarpur’s famous wood craft bazaar.

Site and Architecture of Sheesh Mahal, Hoshiarpur

The interior of Sheesh Mahal ensembles a rich ornamentation with small and colorful mirror pieces and of various shapes and sizes that have been skillfully inlaid in the walls and roof. The design is mostly floral but there are other designs embellished in the artifacts. Above the Sheesh Mahal is a small pavilion that is well low in elevation and is surrounded by a low golden dome. The walls of the Sheesh Mahal form several rounded pinnacles. Further decorations strictly fall in the category of mural paintings with interspersed floral patterns. The glasswork that gathers tourists from far and wide is largely called Tukri Work which has been a rich 19th century Sikh craft. The Tukri art involves mirror glass pieces o be inlaid into gypsum plaster also called gach which is applied onto the walls to hold onto the mirror pieces.

Tukri work had received immense patronage both from Mughal and Sikh chiefs. The glass that featured in the gach craft usually were coated with copper for a more brightened look. Occasionally, mercury too was used as an alternative for lining the inner surface of the glass. The larger glass pieces are broken down into small pieces and shaped appropriately using sharp stoned called ‘krund’. Dents are then made on the figurines and patchwork wherein the Gatchi is fitter as pert he required motif.

Best Time to Visit

The Sheesh Mahal is open all round the year, and is open from morning to evening. The best time to visit would be the cooler winter months when the semi-desert climatic conditions are a bit favorable for travel. November to February would be the advisable time of the year.


There have been several movies depicted on the Sheesh Mahal at Hoshiarpur. The most famous perhaps is the 1962 silent movie. The architecture and art work has been extensively documented and admired in the movie and visiting the place will be actually like relieving the golden era of Sikh rule in Northern Indian States.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to Hoshiarpur is Amritsar Airport which is located at a distance of 71 kilometers. One can also reach Hoshiarpur via Ludhiana Sahnewal Airport located at a distance of 75 kilometers from the site. Both of these are international airports joining the major cities in the world.

By Rail

Hoshiarpur Railway head is located along the Jalandhar line and is well connected by frequent trains between Amritsar, Delhi and Forzepur. Distance from the railway station to the Sheesh Mahal is about 10 kilometers.

By Road

Travel by road is perhaps the best way to move around Hoshiarpur with a long list of sites other than the Sheesh Mahal. There is a large bus network serving between Himachal, Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh, Rajasthan, U.P. and Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from this, there are various private Volvo bus operators or one can opt for private cars and taxis.

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