History & Culture

Baradari at Surinsar: Witness to Balwant Dev-Nainsukh bonding

Surinsar, known for its beautiful fresh water lake and a resort, was once famous for Raja Balwant Dev and his Baradari. This Baradari now in ruins, was a centre of entertainment for the royal entourage not only of Surinsar but also of Jammu and Jasrota. Here the musician and dancers from Jammu and Punjab gave their performances and entertained the royalty. As a connoisseur of arts, Raja Balwant Dev gave patronage to many artists including Nainsukh, the famous Pahari painter.
Nainsukh has immortalised this Baradari in his paintings which now adorn the walls of art galleries all over the world. In a close association of about twenty years with Balwant Dev, Nainsukh has immortalised the durbar and activities therein through his pen. He shows Balwant Dev appreciating works of art and enjoying music performances.
Presently, the descendents of Raja Balwant Dev and local community of Surinsar are unaware of its past glory. Being a part of private property it has been encroached upon on all sides by the descendents of Balwant Dev and what remains now is only the ruins. There is no proper approach to the ruins as they are hidden among the trees and wild shrubs. Moreover Concrete houses have come up in its vicinity which have completely overshadowed the Baradari ruins.
As you stands among the ruins and look around, it is easy to make out how beautiful baradari might have been, built on the hillock overlooking the lake. It was open on all sides to allow free movement of air, people could enjoy cool breeze coming from the lakeside during scorching summers and cool evenings with music performances going on.
Inspite of its being important evidence to life and times of Raja Balwant Dev and Nainsukh the baradari is facing neglect.There is every possibility that if care is not taken, it might be lost to posterity forever.

 

…History Beyond Classroom

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