Chhota Bhadkal is one of the gates leading to the places of Naukhanda. Naukhanda Palace complex was built by Malik Amber in 1616 and later addition to these palace were made later ruling dynasties.
At the entrance of this erst while complex of palaces is the Chhota (Small) Bhadkal Darwaza. The gate formed the Zanana entrance to the Naukhanda palace. The gate earned this name because it stands exactly opposite to the majestic Bhadkal Gate created during Malik Ambar’s period.
What is remarkable is the fact that the architectural design and construction technique of the Chhota Bhadkal gate is exactly similar to that of larger Bhadkal gate. For example, the arch has been constructed around a key stone, and black stone has been used for the construction. Also like in most of Malik Ambar’s constructions, there is the widespread presence of the inverted lotus motif.
But the most significant feature of the gate is its shape- it is L shaped. It is only gate with such a shape in the city. The reason was a walled purdah which did not give a direct entrance to the palace as it opened into the Zanana mahal. It has been made with stones and timber and cemented with limestone. This Prada wall is 7 to 8 feet in thickness and called Gulaam gardish.
Today, the gate is in ruins and crumbling at places. It is hardly a noticeable landmark anymore since buildings have come up all around the structure. Worse still, the interior of the gate is being regularly used to dumb garbage by the people inhabiting the slums and houses surrounding the gate.
Written by Prof. Dulari Qureshi
Courtasy: Divya Marathi’s Coffee Table Book/ MTDC