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Jahaz Mahal

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Title: Jahaz Mahal  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Hauz-i-Shamsi, Mehrauli, Mahal (palace), History of Delhi, Chor Minar
Collection: History of Delhi, Mehrauli, Palaces in Delhi
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Jahaz Mahal

Jahaz Mahal
Jahaz Mahal
Former names Front view of Jahaz Mahal
General information
Type Retreat or Inn
Architectural style Mughal
Location South Delhi
Current tenants Ruins
Completed 1452-1526
Client Mughal Dynasty

Jahaz Mahal (in Urdu Language ‘Jahaz’ means “Ship” and ‘Mahal’ means “Palace”, the “Ship Palace”), is located next to Hauz-i-Shamsi in Mehrauli, Delhi on its northeastern corner. It was so named, since its reflection (illusion) in the surrounding reservoir looked like a ship floating on a lake. It is inferred to have been built during the Lodi dynasty period (1452–1526) as a pleasure resort, Sarai or an inn.[1][2]


  • History 1
  • Structure 2
  • Cultural event 3
  • Conservation measures 4
  • Visitor information 5
  • Gallery 6
  • References 7


Jahaz Mahal on the bank of Hauz-i-Shamsi

One reason for building the Jahaz Mahal retreat was to provide transit accommodation as a Sarai or (inn) to the large number of pilgrims from Afghanistan, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco and Turkey who came to Delhi to visit the many Muslim shrines. Another version is that it was built as a retreat for the emperors, Akbar Shah II and Bahadur Shah II and their families, during the summer months, away from the heat and dust of Delhi.[3] Its construction is dated between 1451 AD and 1926 AD, before Babar's invasion and the beginning of Mughal rule in Delhi.[3][4]

Restored lattice-screen,Jahaz Mahal,Mehrauli,New Delhi,India


Mihrab in the Jahaz Mahal

The palace is approached from the eastern side. A courtyard, originally in a rectangular shape now seen in ‘U’ shape, is in the center of the palace. The palace has carved impressive square chhatris (six of them with different numbers of pillars – six, eight and twelve) or towers in the corners and the centre, ornamented with beautiful squinches in different chambers and walls (pictures in the gallery). The domed pavilion over the central gate is decorated with blue tiles. A small mosque is also located within the palace, as discerned from a mihrab in a niche on the west wall.[3][5]

Cultural event

A floral Pankha (fan) over the Idol of Yogmaya in the sanctum sanctorum, Yogmaya Temple

Jahaz Mahal is the venue of the annual colorful festival of the States of India perform dances, drama programmes and hold musical soirees (particularly Qawwalis), in their colourful regional costumes and aspire for honours recognising their talent. Fire dancers lead the procession with pankahs.[3][6][7]

Jahaz Mahal,Mehrauli,New Delhi,India

Conservation measures

The Conservation Society, Delhi,(CSD), established in 1984 as a voluntary organization for preservation of Delhi's environment and architectural heritage with the main objective of creating awareness among the public of Delhi's heritage, conducts seminars, workshops and heritage walks to pramote awareness and pursue conservation activities. Jahaz Mahal is one of the monuments identified by CSD to pursue concerted conservation activities with the agencies responsible for such works, in Mehrauli, Delhi's urban village which is one of 111 such villages identified all over Delhi.[8][9]

Visitor information

The heritage monument is open on all days of the week from sunrise to sunset. The nearest railway station is Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station. The metro station is at Chattarpur on the Yellow Line. The nearest international airport is the Indira Gandhi International Airport. It is easily approachable from any part of the Delhi city by road transport.


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