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Begum Samru's Palace
Begum Samru's Palace
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Begum Samru's Palace

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Begum Samru's Palace
Begum Samru's Palace can be reached by taking the road just before the Kumar Cinema Hall on the main Chandni Chowk Road when coming from the direction of Red Fort. Popularly known as the Bhagirath Palace and North India's biggest electrical goods wholesale market, Begum Samru's Palace is located just behind a Hindu shrine surrounded by trees.

Now a very busy commercial place, it is difficult for a visitor to imagine the building in its original grandeur with a lovely sprawling garden stretching till Chandni Chowk, when it was owned by an witty Kashmiri Muslim woman, Begum Samru. Born in 1753, Begum Samru proudly lived in this large white mansion that was considered one of the grandest houses in Delhi with massive columns and large rooms. She commanded great respect in the city as Mughal Emperor Shah Alam could call upon her trained private army when in need.


Begum Samru's Palace


Soon, she married an English mercenary soldier from Luxembourg who was holder of the fief of Sardana in Meerut District. His name was Walter Reinhard whom his friends lovingly called 'Sombre' because of his long brooding face and thus the title 'Samru' was derived and became locally popular. A good administrator, the Begum held the fief after Reinhard's death and converted herself to Christianity for strategic and personal reasons in Agra, in 1781. Her new name became Joanna but she was still popular as Begum Samru in the area. Begum Samru was also famous in the European social circle for throwing lavish social gatherings at her residence, in the early 19th century, before her death in 1836.

The building is also the same place where the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah was brought as a captive after the 1857 war. He was later sent to Rangoon in exile.


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