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Featured Pakistan: The Archaeological Marvel

ghazi52

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Ranjit Singh's Tomb Lahore, Circa 1880.

Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, is considered the cultural centre of Pakistan. Islam came here after the advent of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 AD, and it was subsequently ruled by a succession of dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate, followed by the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British. It reached its apogee under the Mughals, known as the Garden City and with enough architecture to rank it with other great Mughal centres like Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Lahore suffered with the decline of the Mughal empire in the 18th century, frequently coming under attack.

It was finally taken by the Sikhs, who under their leader Ranjit Singh (ruled 1799-1839), were masters of the Punjab region by 1818. During Sikh rule, although some repair and reconstruction of Mughal buildings did take place, many of the Mughal monuments were stripped of their marble and other decorative elements. Buildings in the Sikh style were erected, and the tradition of gardens at Lahore was continued. The grandest edifice in the Sikh style is the mausoleum of Ranjit Singh, begun by his son Kharak Singh and completed in 1848. It blends Hindu and Muslim elements, the square roof features a central fluted dome and is embellished with several chhatris or pavilions. Its interior is decorated with marble arches and glass mosaics.

Photograph of the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh at Lahore, Pakistan, taken by George Craddock in the 1880's, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views.

© George Craddock / British Library




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Buddhist Ruins khyber Pass, Circa 1878.


Photograph of Buddhist ruins at Ali Masjid in the Khyber Pass, showing a length of wall covered in niches with Buddha images, taken by John Burke in 1878. Burke accompanied the Peshawar Valley Field Force, one of three British Anglo-Indian army columns deployed in the Second Afghan War (1878-80),
 

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Kot Diji is an 18th-century fort built by Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur between 1785 and 1795 in the town of Kot Diji in Khairpur District of Sindh Pakistan.

It sits above a pre-Harappan Civilization archaeological site dating to 2500 to 2800 B.C.E. Well preserved
 

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Bala Hissar Fort Peshawar, Circa 1930.

The Fortified Stronghold Of Bala Hisar, On The Site Of An Ancient Citadel, Was The Key To Peshawar And Changed Hands Many Times.

In The 16th Century The Mughal Emperor Babur Occupied And Strengthened The Fort And Laid Out The Shalimar Gardens. After The Decline Of The Mughal Empire The City Was In The Hands Of The Durranis And Later Fell To The Sikhs Under Ranjit Singh. In The 19th Century The Fort Fell To The British Who Replaced The Mud Walls with ‘Pucca’ Brick.

Aerial Photographs Taken By Royal Air Force Pilot During A Reconnaissance Mission In Northern India In The 1930's.



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Kambojaric

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KP Archaeology Dept Excavating 1800yrs Old Buddhist Monastery In Swat

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The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa is excavating 1800 yrs old Buddhist monastery and Stupa at AbaSaib Swat


PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 25th Dec, 2020 ) :The Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa is excavating 1800 yrs old Buddhist monastery and Stupa at AbaSaib Swat.

The directorate official said that scientific process is revealing new Info adding exciting chapters to region's glorious past Swat, ancient Udyana, remained hub of Buddhist civilisation from 2nd C.

BC till 7th C. AD.

Moreover , fencing and protection of archaeological sites throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been started.

The Archeology Department has taken pragmatic steps to highlight importance of historic sites in Khyber Pakhtunkwa and promoting both local and foreign tourists to visit beautiful and historical locations.

Sindh to restore heritage buildings on Burns Road

The Sindh government has set up a committee for the restoration of heritage buildings that were recently painted in different colours on Karachi’s Burns Road as part of the initiative to renovate the famous food street.

The provincial government wants the old facade of the buildings to be restored.
Sindh Culture Minister Syed Sardar Shah took notice of the buildings following public outcry on social media.

The director-general of the Sindh’s antiquities and archaeology department has been appointed committee head. The committee has been ordered to submit a report on the matter.
The buildings will be repainted in their original colour, said Shah. He remarked that some buildings are old, while others are heritage buildings.

The process has started and the buildings will be repainted soon, he remarked.
In December last year, the Sindh government formed a 10-member committee for the renovation of Karachi’s Burns Road food street. The assistant commissioner of the Arambagh Sub-Division is the convener of the committee.

Recently, the Karachi administration decided to pedestrianise the food street. A notification issued on January 5 said that the vehicles won’t be allowed on the street after 7pm as a part of the government’s initiative to pedestrianise it.

 

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Amluk Dara Stupa Swat In 1926 By Sir Aurel Sten.


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Stein says, “the Amluk-dara lies on the route followed by the Hindus of lower Swat on their annual visit to the sacred height of Mount Elum, which forms so striking a background to the ruined stupa.

The top of the mountain was an object of pious pilgrimage already in Buddhist times, and may well have been connected in some way with the pious legends which once clustered around it and in a modified form have lingered to the present day” (1930).
 

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Shah Makaee Fort (Kacha Qila) Hyderabad Sindh In Pakistan, Circa 1900.


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The conquest of Sindh by the Arabs in the 8th century helped usher in the Islamic period of the Indian subcontinent. Prior to that the ancient province, strategically located in the fertile flood plain of the Indus, saw many civilisations come and go. Hyderabad, with a history of settlements dating to pre-history, is now the fourth largest city of Pakistan. Its ascendancy occurred when the Indus changed its course from Khudabad, then the capital of Sindh, to its present position.

As a result, the Kalhora rulers of Sindh (1700-1782) decided to shift their capital to this small settlement on the left bank of the Indus and constructed a large fort in 1768 A.D. This fort became the seat of first the Kalhora and then the Talpur rulers of Sindh. The Shah Makai Fort is the smaller of Hyderabad's two forts and is also known locally as the Kutccha Qila or mud-built fort.

It was built by Ghulam Shah Kalhora in 1772 to protect the remains of the Sindhi saint Shaikh Syed Muhammad Makkai which were housed in a mausoleum built earlier in 1671. The saint was believed to have come here in 1260 from Mecca (hence the name Makkai or 'from Mecca') and his mausoleum still attracts devotees from far and wide. Both of Hyderabad's forts are characterised by merlons with attenuated forms along the tops of the walls and deep and vertical loopholes down the external face.

Photograph of the outer walls and bastions of Shah Makai Fort near Hyderabad in the Sindh province now in Pakistan, by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'. Sindh province takes its name from the Sindhu river which flows through it, frequently flooding its banks, and known to the West as the mighty Indus.
 

ghazi52

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'Cubbas' (Tombs Of The Mirs), Hyderabad, Sindh, Circa 1900.

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Photograph of the tombs of the Talpur Mirs at Hyderabad in the Sindh province now in Pakistan, taken by an unknown photographer, c.1900, from an album of 46 prints titled 'Karachi Views'.

Sindh province takes its name from the Sindhu river which flows through it, frequently flooding its banks, and known to the West as the mighty Indus. Sindh has a long history, and the Talpur Mirs, originally from Baluchistan, were the last of the dynasties which ruled Sindh. Reigning from 1782-1843, their capital was Hyderabad. The city had been chosen as the capital of the Kalhora rulers of Sindh in the 1760s. When they were displaced by the Baluchi Talpurs in 1782, Hyderabad remained the capital of Sindh.

The Talpurs were defeated by the British in 1843, and the capital of Sindh was shifted to Karachi. The tombs of both the Kalhoras as well as the Talpurs lie on a ridge north of the old city of Hyderabad, although the latter's are better preserved. An oblong wagon vault is used for the smaller tombs and different levels are defined by low parapets.
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Kambojaric

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Work On Peshawar Museum's Building Accelerated

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Preservation work on colonial era building of Peshawar Museum has been expedited by provincial government where 1,000 artifacts, antiques and statues of Gandhara civilization were put on display for attraction of foreign and domestic tourists

PESHAWAR, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 28th Dec, 2020 ) :Preservation work on colonial era building of Peshawar Museum has been expedited by provincial government where 1,000 artifacts, antiques and statues of Gandhara civilization were put on display for attraction of foreign and domestic tourists.

Latifur Rehman, Spokesman of Tourism, sports and Archeology Department told APP on Monday that preservation work on the historical building of Peshawar Museum has been accelerated to restore its original ancient architecture being a home of the Gandhara civilization in Pakistan.

Converted into full fledged museum in 1906, Peshawar Museum is an oldest museum of Pakistan and the world of Gandhara art where over 30,000 precious antiques, sculpture, coins, statues and art work was kept preserved for around one and half century, he said.

Out of 30,000 primitive artifacts and others articles, he said around 1,000 ancient articles were currently put on display at Peshawar Museum, attracting foreign and domestic tourists, archeologists, students and followers of Buddhism throughout the year.

He said work on a mega scheme under KITE project to bring Peshawar Museum at par of international standards would soon be started.

Promotion of heritage and archeology tourism is a cornerstone of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government making special focus on construction of new museum besides preservation and renovation of the primitive museum to earn substantial revenue for provincial kitty.

KP govt has constructed a state-of-the-art museum at Hund Swabi district from where Alexander the Great had crossed Indus River in 327 BC. Hund is also famous for Mehmood Ghaznavi's invasion in 998, which marked the beginning of Islamic era and end of Gandhara period.

Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) has recently approved a project of six million Euro funded by Italian Government to promote heritage and archeology tourism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Under the project, Heritage Field Schools (HFS) and conservation laboratories would be set up in Haripur, Swat and Chitral.

Efforts were being made to upgrade roads infrastructures in archaeological and tourism rich areas and feasibility studies for upgradation of facilities on archaeological sites including Takht Bhai, Jamal Ghari, Peshawar Museum, Bhamala and Hund Museum Swabi have been completed.

Under KP Integrated Tourism Development Project (KITE) worth $100 million project, the KP Government expedited work on construction of links and mains roads leading to tourists areas of Hazra and Malakand divisions to open up scenic valleys and explores new tourists sites besides improve the socio-economic conditions of people.

As many as Rs 375 million were approved by PDWP for development of 10 tourists spots including six waterfalls and four sites tracks waterfalls including Sajjikot Havellian, Umbrella Abbottabad, Jarogo Swat, Narogo Sat, Noor and Chajian Haripur, Lamchar Upper Dir and 50 kilometers tracks in Mansehra and Abbottabad districts.

Projects related to establishing of signboards and arranging tours of the students leading to ancient sites of Ghandara civilization were expedited to explore Pakistan's hidden tourism treasures before world.

Ghandara welcoming signboards are being installed at entry and exit points of Swat Expressway to facilitate foreign and domestic tourists, Buddhists, archeologists and heritage lovers.

Majority of Buddhists religious sites are located on Swat Expressway and Government of KP has taken principal decision to install signboards for information and education of tourists and visitors proving highly productive.

These signboards are helpful for tourists and archeology lovers to reach historical heritage sites including the world famous Bhuddists Ruins of Takht Bahi (Throne of Origins), Neigbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol and Jamal Ghari in Mardan of the Ghandara Civilization.

Takht Bhai Monastery was established on (Ist CE) and Neighbouring City Remains at Sari-e- Bahlol besides Jamal Ghari in Mardan had been included in UNESCO world heritage sites list in 1980, which were attracting foreign tourists including Sikhs, Buddhists, Monks and archeologists from across the world especially from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand, Japan and others countries to explore around 2,000 heritage sites and 30,000 relics of the Gandhara civilization.

The ruin's monastic complexes are spectacularly positioned on various hilltops ranging from 36.6 meters to 152.4 meters height with a covered area of about 33 hectares.

Takht Bhai monastery was in continuous use till 7th century (CE) composed of an assemblage of buildings constructed of stone on Gandhara patterns in diaper style using local dressed and semi-dressed stone blocks set in a lime and mud mortar.

The Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol located in a five kilometers distance from Takht Bhai's monastery, was a small ancient fortified town of Kushan period that was constructed on an elongated mound of nine meters height on 9.7 hectares surrounded by portions of a defensive wall in diaper-style characteristic dates back to first two or three centuries (BC). The boundaries of Sahr-i-Bahlol are well defined with a part of fortification walls still intact.

Both these historical sites had been declared as Protected Monuments under an Ancient Preservation Act (1904) of the colonial era and Antiquity Act (1975) of the Government of Pakistan. The KP Government has declared the entire mountain area of 445 hectares at Sahri e Bhalol as "Archaeological Reserve.

First ever KP Antique Act 2016 has been passed by the former PTI Govt, empowering the Archaeology Department to protect and conserve historical buildings besides countering the menace of smuggling of antiques and artifacts.

About 1868 ancient houses, monuments and religious places were placed in the protected list including Amlokdara, Barikot, Stupa in Saidu Sharif, Bhudkada, Godara and Panar in Swat besides a monument at Chacha Younas Park in Peshawar.

Cultural Heritage Trail Project (CHTP) in Peshawar has been completed under which about 500 meters long trail from ancient Ghanta Ghar to Gor Gathri was renovated including centuries-old buildings and houses to restore the original grandeur of Peshawar being home of the 3,000 years old civilization.

The trail starts at historical Ghanta Ghar and passes through ancient Bazaar-e-Kalaan and primordial Mohallah Sethian famous for scores of beautifully designed architectural houses constructed by Sethi Family in 1880s. Sethi House, an architectural wonder at Peshawar City has been purchased by the KP government keeping in view of its historical and cultural importance.

The trail completed at a cost of about Rs 301.5 million, has significantly improved the outer appearances of 85 heritage buildings of the Mughal, British and Sikh era. Ali Mardan Khan Valley in Peshawar Cantonment built during colonial era has also been renovated besides ancient inns of Mughal period at Gor Kathri in Peshawar City.

 

ghazi52

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These Tombs are located at Jhal Magsi , Balochistan.

Besides the tombs of Kalhora soldiers, some tombs of Syeds at Fatehpur and of Magsi Baloch and several monuments from the Khanate of Kalat also exist in Gandava, Jhal Magsi.

The octagonal tomb of Muhammad Shah Alatzai located near the Mula river is a magnificent one – erected probably much before the era of the Khan of Kalat.

The tombs of Moti-Gohram and Muhammad Shah Altazai are veritable jewels of Jhal Magsi, Balochistan.



© Posted on the request of Asad Baloch



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ghazi52

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The Haveli of Nau Nihal Singh is perhaps the grandest of the surviving Havelis in Lahore. It is rectangular in plan and comprises of two levels wrapped around a central courtyard. A tower at the northwest corner rises two additional stories and provides a panoramic view of Lahore from its roof. As the west side of the building includes the main entrance from the street, the tower is architecturally integrated with the first and second levels to present an eye-catching facade replete with projecting fenestration and colourful surface detail.



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Magnificent Jharokas of Haveli.
A large jharokha balcony with sculpted brickwork and a small bulbous half dome is above the haveli's entry, which acted as a Jharoka-e-Darshan from which the Maharaja could view his subjects gathered below.



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A beautiful view of from the second floor.
The ceilings of the haveli inside are made of decorated wood inlaid with glass and mirror, as well as sun-motifs in the central portion of the roof. Walls within the haveli are decorated with false arches that each contain a small 18 x 18 inches painting, with blues, golds, reds, and oranges dominating the haveli's colour palette. The interior is also decorated with carved wood, brickwork, and floral frescoes




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The Mahal is one of the few remaining royal residences from the Sikh period in Lahore. It is an intact structure of over 40 rooms, with most elements of its original ornamentation preserved on the two main elevations and the interior courtyard facades.


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