Chatta Rai Mukand Dass
: Narnaul, Haryana
Also Known As
: Birbal Ka Chhatta
: Rai Mukand Dass.
This five-storey building has a number of halls, rooms and pavillions, and the Diwan-e-Khas (inner chambers) flaunts marble floors and pillars. Fountains and springs (they don't work anymore) were made to keep the building as well as the surrounding area cool in summer, the water being sucked in from a well in the southwest. The Persian wheel was used to lift water into reservoirs at various levels from this well so that water could flow down at great speed. The underground chambers (now eaten away) are believed to have had three layers wher light streamed in throughout the day and had tunnels which lead directly to Delhi, Jaipur and Mahendrgarh. Only a basement remains today.
The Splendid Architecture
Imparting spaciousness and light to the interiors, the building has extensive open terraces on the south, light elliptical pavillions on different levels and halls standing on pillars. The verandah that runs around a central court was once adorned with a marble fountain. Marble has been profusely used for veneering the pillars and brackets that are provided with artificial cataracts and drains.
A dilapidated well is in the southeastern corner on the terrace from which the water was supplied into reservoirs, at various levels. An exquisite isolated gateway-complex, well provided with projecting balconies and marble veneering stands a few metres to the west of the palace. This is said to have been the main entrance to the complex.
There are three underground floors though it is possible to visit only one, which has remarkable provision for natural light. It is believed that the building is equipped with four underground tunnels leading to Jaipur, Mahendragarh, Delhi and Dhosi. People believe that a marriage party once went down the tunnel leading to Delhi and was not heard of again.
Sarai Rai Mukand Das lies at a small distance from the Chhatta. The building bears an epigraph, which says that, during the reign of Shah Jahan, Rai-Rayan Mukand Das, a servant of Nawab Asif Khan built the lofty building of under the super vision of Mehta Puran Mal Hari Dass.