Location: Doraha, Punjab, India
Project Work Status: Ongoing Projects
Client: Department Of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology & Museums, Punjab
Project Started: Sep-2013
Consultants to the Government of Punjab for the the Conservation of the historic Mughal Serai in Doraha, along the Mughal route to Lahore. Built during the reign of Jahangir (r 1014-37/1605-27) the historic complex survives with hammams, mosque and historic gardens within a walled complex with extant wall paintings and decorative tile work. This is among the finest of the Mughal caravanserais in Punjab, built on the route to Lahore and remains today, the only on the present day High Way of the Grand Trunk Road. As its name implies (doraha means "two roads"), the serai is situated at the intersection of two main routes on the Mughal highway.
The distinctive architectural features of the Mughal caravanserais are clearly visible in the north gateway. It was built in the early years of Jahangir's reign, perhaps to 1015-19/1606-11, at least a full decade before Serai Nur Mahal. During the reign of Shah Jahan, this serai was apparently know as the serai of Itimad al-Daula, who was the former prime minister of Jahangir and the father of Nur Mahal. As this region formed part of Itimad al-Daula's jagir, he may have undertaken its construction shorty after Jahangir's accession in 1014/1605, when the emperor commanded serais to be built throughout the realm. The project funded through Central Government 13th Finance Commission Grants is aimed at restoring the glory of Punjab's finest historic monuments.