Darbar Hall restoration work to be complete by June -min
The high ceiling of the entire hall was built without any supporting pillars (unusual for that time period). The outside has elements of Indo-Saracenic architecture, with influences from French and Mughal styles, as one can see in the high arches, floral motifs and mini domes
Restoration of Darbar Hall in Kapurtala, a building designed in Indo-Saracenic style, is in progress and is expected to be complete by June 2018. Work on the restoration of the Hall was started in 2015 and was to be completed in 18 months. A private firm, Rajputana Construction Private Ltd, is doing the restoration work at an estimated cost of Rs 4.98-crore.
However, restoration of 125-year-old Darbar Hall is proving to be time consuming affair as the building’s intricate carvings and the old wooden flooring need to be handled very carefully. Skilled labourers from Madhya Pradesh and Jaipur are working on the project. The old wooden flooring made of the finest wood of apricot and deodar trees is being replaced by a new one. The intricate carvings are being restored using special material called surkhi. Surkhi is a mixture of redbrick dust, jaggery, bel (stone apple) and various natural ingredients known for their cementing properties.
Work on the Darbar Hall complex was started in 1882 and completed in 1890. The building was designed by British engineer JOS Elmore, who was chief engineer of the Kapurthala state. The Maharaja of the erstwhile Kapurthala princely state held his court in this 330-sq.m hall twice a year.
In all, five heritage buildings in Kapurthala are being renovated – Moorish Mosque, Darbar Hall, Bughi Khana, Gol Kothi and Bhoot Bangla. While the restoration of Moorish Mosque is complete, work on Gol Kothi is expected to start soon. Work on rest of the buildings can be taken up only when government offices located in them are vacated.