Yesterday I went out with friends, to Farrukhnagar & Jhajjer to check out some not so popular historical monuments. One of them, Vikramjit Singh Rooprai is kind of an authority on monuments in Delhi and surroundings.
It was an amazing day and we had a wonderful time knowing about the history of these not so well known monuments. We started at 9 am and drove straight to Farrukhnagar.
History of Farrukhnagar
It is a small town about 30kms from Gurgaon. Faujdar Khan, a governor of Mughal Emperor Farrukhsiyarin established it in 1732. Till 19th century this town flourished for its salt trade due to its proximity to the manufacturing base in Sultanpur. However during the British Raj it was abandoned, as after the acquisition of Sambhar salt mines, traders found it expensive to trade from here due to high taxes.
In 1923, the office of the salt superintendent was shut down, and all the mounds of salt was thrown back into the wells thereby destroying the economy of the whole town.
Nawab Ahmed Ali Khan, a descendant of Faujdar Khan took part in the freedom struggle and there is monument in his Sheesh Mahal commemorating the event. Jhajjer Fort was built around the octagonal town with five gates. Sadly only one of the gates survives today apart from the Fort, which has now been restored. Later the Jats took control over the town.
As Faujdar Khan took part in the freedom struggle, the British confiscated his jagir in 1858 and made it part of the British Empire.
Post independence the town became a municipality but the government’s efforts to revive the salt mining failed, as the slat thrown earlier was watered down after a massive flood in the 1970.
With Gurgaon’s development the land prices here have also shot up making some people of the town very rich.
Among the monuments we saw in Farukhnagar were the
1) Dilli Darwaza, one of the two remaining gates of the Farrukhnagar Fort,
2) Jhajjari Darwaza the other gate of the Fort,
3) Sheesh Mahal, a double-storey structure with a baradari built in red sandstone and local Jhajjer stones, which appear as spongy in nature. It had decorative interiors of elaborate mirror giving it the fort its name,
4) the restored Ghaus Ali Shah’s Baoli, a large octagonal step well with staircases also built in stone,
5) Sethani ki Chhatri, an elaborate two storeyed memorial cenotaph at the entrance of the town, built in Rajasthani architecture. Each floor has eight arched openings on each floor with floral motifs on walls and ceiling. From the frescoes it seems to be built in late 1800s.
6) Sitaram Mandir-Gurdwara, built in a mosque. The three domed mosque in the center of the town was abandoned when the Muslim residents moved out. It was later converted into a temple and later a part into a Gurudwara, truly representing India’s diversity.
For Jhajjer read my new blog.