The Double Column Serai

Turquoise Mountain

A historic centre of trade in Murad Khani

The Double Column Serai
The Double Column Serai is one of the finest buildings in Murad Khani. Once a great trading Serai, by the 1980s it was being used as a fruit market. And in the 1990s, the Serai had become a dilapidated storage space, with a small rubber shoe business working in one corner.

Traders resting with their carriages and horses in a typical caravan serai.

Conservation Work
The building has mid-19th century carved Himalayan cedar or deodar columns, with lotus leaf motifs, indicating the probable involvement of Kashmiri woodworkers. These columns were saved and conserved in the process of restoration.
A Modern Hub
Today, the building houses the Design Centre, the Ceramics School, and provides free space where graduates of the Turquoise Mountain Institute can set up their businesses for a year or two.
Details in Wood
When originally built, the building was composed of two storeys of nine wooden columns and had an elaborate wooden façade. Each column was carved from a single piece of deodar on a tulip base. Vines, acanthus leaves and roses were carved up the straight sides.

The Turquoise Mountain gift shop is now housed in the ground floor of the restored building.

Patayi screens, coloured tile niches, and Herati glass lamp shades decorating the entrance to the Double Column Serai.

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