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MONUMENTS OF RAJOURI

RAJOURI : TEMPLE, SARAI, MOSQUE AND FORT

Dhanidhar Qila Inside

Rajouri town lies on the imperial Mughal road leading to Kashmir. Here few architectural fragments of early medieval temple of Kashmir style are seen in Andarkot mohalla, which are the only relics of ancient Hindu rule.

Radhey Shyam temple

The Mughal remains scattered on either banks of the Tawi River comprise of forts cum palaces, sarais, mosques and gardens etc. These buildings are now occupied by Civil Hospital, police and forest departments and almost stand renovated leaving only a portion of these in their Original position. The ruins of a small mosque in the market are still extant. The garden situated on the slope of a plateau is most interesting of all the Mughal remains in Rajouri. It consists of a walled enclosure divided into four parts by two channels with a fountain at the centre. A double storied baradari stands in the middle of west wall overlooking the river. The garden wall has bastions at the corners. The main entrance to the garden is on the south side but there also exist , two entrances in the west wall and one in the north wall.

On an elevated hill northeast of the town, there is a fort, which commands a panoramic view of the valley. It is locally known as Dani Dhar. 

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MURADPUR: SARAI AND MOSQUE

Muradpur ( long. 74o-19' N, Lat 33o-19' E) lies 7 Kms from Rajouri on Rajouri chingas road. Here the medieval sarai overlooking the green fields is surviving with lower portion of its enclosure wall having a bastion at the corners. The enclosure wall measuring about 30 metres on one side is made of rubble stones in lime surkhi mortar. It contains residential cells each measuring approx. 6.30m x 6.30m. About 1 Km. from this building and on the bank of Tawi river lie remains of a mosque and projected cell of assembly hall. The mosque is of imposing dimension with courtyard in front raised on higher level. It is now full of vegetation.

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CHINGAS: SARAI AND BAWLI

Chingus Sarai

Chingas (long. 74o-14, N, lati. 33o-15, E) is a small and scattered village situated on the right bank of Tawi River on Jammu- Rajouri highway. Mughal sarai of the village is historically renowned for containing mortal remains of Emperor Jahangir who died on his way to Kashmir. It is a wall planned building with two apartments viz. Residential complex and open yard. Both the apartments have separate gateways and are also connected to each other internally. The residential complex is built within walled enclosure and contains arched cell with opening towards the courtyard. Its gateway in the western wall comprises a central chamber with domed roof and a small guard's room on either flank. Outside the sarai shops are seen on both flanks of wide pathway. In construction of the building random rubbles, large pebbles and lakhauri bricks are used in lime surkhi mortar. The cell on the northern flank has fallen down. Thick vegetation growth over the structures now badly damages the original character of the sarai (plate II A) About half a Km. to the north of sarai and by the road side remains of an old baoli is seen.

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KHEORA: KUSHAN SITE

Village Kheora (long. 74o-18, N, latitude 33o-23, E) lies about 1.5 Kms. above Rajouri proper on Rajouri Darhal link road. Here the red wave shreds of Kushan period represented by deep bowls with razor edged rims and thin sides towering towards the bottom are found besides a portion of an enclosure wall built in stones with lime surkhi mortar.

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NOWSHERA: SARAI, MOSQUE AND HAMMAM

 

Nowshera (long.74o-18 N, lat. 33o-E) is a large town in Rajouri District. It lies 110 Kms. from Jammu on old Mughal route. Sarai of the town is more spacious and various from others in its general layout. It comprises two enclosures one within the other. The outermost enclosures have double storied bastions at the corners and are crowned by crenellated battlement. It contains a row of alcoves internally and has machicolations. An imposing gateway in the middle of western wall provides an access to the sarai. It is the only gateway in Kashmir which contains square stone pillar surmounted by bracket with bendent, a feature invariably found in the Mughal buildings of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. The residential complex lies in southwest corner of the enclosure wall. It consists of a quadrangle of arched cells facing a common courtyard and is similar to other sarais of the same period. Above the eastern doorway of the sarai facing riverside palatial complex is seen in dilapidated condition. It was built by Emperor Akbar as an inscription on the western gateway records.

Opposite to main gateway lies a Shahi Mosque, which is still under use. Office district administration and local people now occupy the sarai. In close vicinity of PWD rest house remains of a Hammam is noticed.

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NADPUR SARAI

Nadpur Sarai about 10 Kms. from Nowshera was used as minor halting station during Mughal period. It consists of a spacious rectangular courtyard surrounded by a walled enclosure with battlement-patterned decoration at the top. It is provided with two rows of machicolations and is entered through imposing gateways on the east and west sides. The facade of the gateway has alcoves at the base and is adorned with recessed panels.

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MANGALADEVI FORT

Mangaladevi village is situated on the summit of a rocky hill about 18 Kms. from Nowshera town and close of Seri village. The hill fort lies here on east side of the locality and is one of the largest forts in Rajouri district. It is an impregnable fort difficult of access because of extreme sublimity and strong fortification. On three sides it is amazingly surrounded by a river and on the remaining side it had an arduous uphill ascent. It is built on an irregular plan with bastions at some distance. The fortification wall, survived in the most of the places is about 6 mtrs. high and is strengthened by two rows of machicolations. The main gateway connected with a flight of steep steps. Inside area of the fort is uneven and is full of vegetation. It contains a treasury building a large tank in damaged condition besides a modern temple of Mangla Mata. In the region of Maharaja Ranjit Dev, Mian Rattan Dev had conducted the siege of fort for some years and then brought it under his possessions. It is said that the Sikh Sardar Sahib Singh of Gujrat and Mohan Singh Sukarchaka invaded Khairi-Kharidi and attacked Mangla fort but without success. Finally Maharaja Ranjit Singh occupied the fort after the death of its master Raja Umar Khan.

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