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White Palace (Marghazar)

The White Palace of Marghazar was built in 1940 by the first king of the Swat, Miangul Abdul Wadud(Badshah Sahib) in the small town of Marghazar situated at about 13 kilometers away from Saidu Sharif. The name was given to the palace as it was built of white marble. The palace now serves as a hotel. The White Palace at Marghazar was the summer residence of the Wali of Swat, Miangul Jehanzeb. Located at 7,000 feet above sea level on Marghazar Hill, it was later converted into a tourist resort. 
The greenery of gorgeous landscape persuaded King of Swat Miangul Abdul Wadud (Badshah Sahib) in 1935 to build a summer resort here. The King brought marble from Agra, bronze from Belgium and artisans from Turkey who designed and constructed the palace, completing it in 1941. It was first named Swatti Taj Mahal, later Motti Mahal and now Sufed Mahal(White Palace). Then it was enriched with selective fauna and flora that made it a mini zoo as well as mini botanical garden. There are 24 active spacious decorated rooms and the Royal Suite (ex-King’s bedroom) where Queen Elizabeth once stayed for three days. There are two big conference halls where King Abdul Wadood used to hold cabinet meetings. There is King's lobby to have a beautiful view of the garden lawn. On
the right side, there is a king’s veranda to have a glimpse of a swirling stream of water. On the left side of palace is situated a six-roomed Lord's Block for the residence of ministers and advisors. On the upper portion of the palace, there is the eight-roomed Prince Block, it is an enclave in tree and shrubs. Climbing further stairs, there is a twelve-roomed Queen's block. King Abdul Wadood had two wives so he built this block in way that each wife got 3 rooms, 3 servant rooms and a separate lawn in her share. The counterpart portion of second wife is replica of the first one. In front of the lawn, there is a single balcony with marble benches and table with engraved paintings of grapes. From here, one can see a marvelous boulder mountain. On the top of mountain, there is a house with electricity available since 1941. It was amazing. 

The material of White Palace was imported from Jaypure India, the same quarry that supplied marble to the Taj Mahal Agra. Chuna (lime) is used as binding material in place of cement. It is so compact to be drilled. The height of ceiling is 30–35 ft to give extra strength and ward off heat. Ceiling fans were imported and installed in 1941 and are still working After the death of Miangul Wadood, Miangul Asfandyar Amir Zeb became the owner. Nowadays Miangul Shahriyar Amir Zeb is the owner. Queen Elizabeth II of England also visited the palace in 1961 and stayed here for three days. There is also a 200 year old colossal chinar tree, serving as canopy for visitors. The White Palace is now converted into a hotel and has become a visitor attraction in summer.

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