Various things keep pushing me regularly, to visit the Marghazar Valley in Swat, Mount Elum, the emerald gorgeous landscape, sublime environment, its historical background, and above all, the White Palace of the current era in its lap. Swat white palace is located about 13 kilometers southward from Saidu Sharif, the magnificent royal building of the White Palace sits among the lush greenery of the narrow valley of Marghazar, in wait to shower a magical spell over visitors as soon they take their first step into its grand lawn.
Seeing the spectacular landscape, there is the minute surprise that the first ruler of the modern-day Swat state, Abdul Wadood had decided in 1935 to craft a royal summer destination here.
The white marbles for this building were fetched from the marble quarry in Jaipur in India, the same quarry from which the Taj Mahal’s marble was utilized.
According to Miangul Shehryar Amir Zeb, who stands as the grandson of Miangul Jahanzeb (the last ruler of Swat), Miangul Abdul Wadood Badshah Sahab paid a visit to Rajasthan in India and was stunned by the white marble used for the palace of the Maharaja of Rajasthan.
“Abdul Wadood Sahab was so impressed by the white sparkling marble that he fetched it from Jaipur in India on his return to Swat,” he said.
“It was the first structure in the whole region constructed on Victorian architecture. It has a multilayered roof, starting from a bronze layer to the wooden layer of deodar tree, lime layer, mid-layer, and again a deodar layer with an iron layer to the outer top.”
Its bronze, used in the upper ceiling, was taken from Belgium, and its artisan from the Empire of Turkey. Its ceiling fans and its electrical equipment were imported from the British Empire, and they’re all still getting along well.
It was initially named Swati Taj Mahal, then called Moti Mahal but nowadays it is quoted as, Sufaid Mahal.
The flora and fauna are being well taken care of, which adds to the beauty and curves of the palace. Currently, the palace is being run as a hotel where a large number of visitors come only for its breathtaking architecture and ancient background.
There are large collections of ancient photos in one of the halls of the White Palace, including those of Miangul Abdul Wadood and Miangul Jahanzeb Abdul Haq whole were the last ruler of the modern state and Queen Elizabeth II, during her visit to Swat.
This palace is a national heritage that should be preserved but our government is paying no heed to it. The lack of interest is damaging the palace and various historical items are at risk of being lost in the helm. This palace has the potential to become one of the most visited places in Pakistan as visitors come in winter as well as summer.
The Writer is the CEO & Founder of Pakistantourntravel.com - He loves traveling and sharing experiences about Northern Pakistan.
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