Appearing in Schoefft’s painting on the north side of the parkarma surrounding the sacred tank can be seen a very large multi-story palatial building. Surrounding the sacred pool of nectar at Darbar Sahib the leading members of the Sikh misls (confederacies) had established their residences and palaces (bungas) at Amritsar in the late 18th century.
In the centre of the city of Umritsir is a gigantic reservoir of water, from the midst of which rises a magnificent temple, where the Grunth ( the holy book of the Sikhs ) is read day and night. Around this sheet of water are the houses of the maharajah, the ministers, sirdars, and other wealthy inhabitants.
Thirty-five Years in the East
L.M. Honigberger, London, 1852
These palaces were eventually torn down starting in the 19th century to widen the parkarma to accommodate more visitors to Darbar Sahib.