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Monday, 21 May 2018

Shahi Masjid Depalpur


27-11-2016

The rough location of this mosque is 30°39'59.37"N,  73°39'14.56"E.

Shahi Masjid Depalpur is almost six hundred years old. It is constructed in ­­­Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq regin.

­­­Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq (1309 – 20 September 1388) was a Turkish Muslim ruler of the Tughlaq Dynasty, who reigned over the Sultanate of Delhi from 1351 to 1388. He was the son of a Rajput Hindu princess of Dipalpur. His father's name was Rajab (the younger brother of Ghazi Malik) who had the title Sipahsalar.


Shahi Masjid Depalpur is mark of the magnificent period of Muslim rulers in Depalpur. The mosque is badly destroyed in Sikh era and converted into horse stable. The courtyard of mosque again repaired and enlarged in 1950.

When, inside floor of mosque is excavated 6 ft down for construction of new flooring; Sikh era alcohol refineries found.

Mosques walls constructed from mixture of black lentils, jaggery and gajni. It is said by old people’s such mortar gain strength after hundred years.



There is a tomb in courtyard of mosque, it is said that this grave is of religious man who came in depalpur for preaching Islam in era of Sikh reign.









Thursday, 17 May 2018

Who is Buried at Nila Gumbad Lahore?


15-05-2018

The rough location of this site is 31°34'9.80"N, 74°18'41.69"E.

The mausoleum of Nila Gumbad houses the remains of the great mystic Sheikh Abdul Razzaq. He belonged to Mecca city, and came to Lahore in the reign of Mughal Emperor Humayun (1508-1556). He became a ‘mureed’ of the famous saint Miran Muhammad Shah Mauj Darya Bukhari, who soon realised that his pupil had powers beyond the ordinary. He called him Sheikh Abdul Razzaq Makki. His scholarship of the Holy Quran and his pow ers of the occult attracted a very large following.

Soon he was considered as the leading ‘seer’ of his time, consulted often by the Mughal court. Abdul Razzaq Makki died in 1084 A.H. and was buried at this place. The Mughal court built him a fine mausoleum, which still stands as a testimony to the man. Next to the graves they also built an elegant mosque, which today is known as the Nila Gumbad Mosque.


When the Sikhs came to power, they ransacked the elegant building of its excellent marble, which they transported to Amritsar. Maharaja Ranjit Singh ordered that an ammunition dump be made of the mausoleum, and to one side in the mosque he housed a gun manufacturing facility. To the western side, among other graves, he built a cannon manufacturing facility. Thus a majority of the graves of some of Lahore’s leading saints and seers were destroyed.


When the British came, they removed the arms manufacturing facility and converted the mausoleum into an eat ery, where officers of the British East India Company used to have their meals. A bakery was set up next door, the very first in Lahore. This bakery was owned and operated by a building contractor called Munshi Najmuddin Thakedar. Once the cantonment was shifted to Mian Mir, the contractor persuaded the British authorities to restore the mausoleum and the mosque. He invested in the project and on his death he was buried to one side inside the mosque.

To the west, just along the alignment where today exists the Anarkali Bazaar was the grave of Khawaja Saeed Lahori. Next to his grave were the grave of Haji Abadullah, and a third grave of the nephew of Khawaja Muhammad Saeed by the name of Abdur Rahman. Next to them is the grave of Hazrat Shah Sharaf. In an earlier piece I had dwelt on the grave of Shah Sharaf, who was originally buried at Bhati Gate. When Maharajah Ranjit Singh ordered that the grave be removed to make way for the expansion of the defences of the city, his grave revealed a man, buried over 100 years earlier, as fresh. The famous Fakir Nuruddin got the saint reburied near the Nila Gumbad.

After 1947 the entire area underwent a massive change, in which new shopping plazas came up. If you happen to walk through the ba zaar, the building to the south of the old Hindu temple to the east of the Punjab University, in which a number of clothes shops exists, is where a few well-known shoe shops exist. If you walk inside the narrow alley of shops, to one side, under a staircase, is the grave of this famous seer. This is what one can call a picture of the age in which we live. All the other graves have been cleared and new shops made on them. Mind you the original grave was built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, an excellent structure the Sikh razed to the ground.

Outside the traffic flows past a fast deteriorating Nila Gumbad. In the narrow lanes a few graves have been left in small rooms, mostly unmarked. There is a need to research each one of them. The lost ones of some great saints need to be located, and if it is possible to move commercial interest, just let them be known

Monday, 14 May 2018

Shergarh Fort , Depalpur Tehsil, Okara District, Punjab


06-03-2018

30°49'51.21"N
73°44'21.66"E

The Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi (history of Sher Shah) dating 1580 CE, is a historical work compiled by Abbas Khan Sarwan. In this book Abbas highlighted that, after few years of Conquering of Multan by Afghans; Sher Shah Suri Nominated Fateh Jang Khan Governor of Multan. Fateh Jang Khan, named the town of Shergarh after the Afghan ruler of IndiaSher Shah Suri, who built a mud fort in town.


Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi

Visit Date :-11-10-2012
Location of Site:- N 34 19 15 E 71 56 45
Takht-i-Bhai, Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
All Pictures are  owned
Brief Synthesis
The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol are one of the most imposing relics of Buddhism in the Gandhara region of Pakistan. The inscribed property is composed of two distinct components both dating from the same era.
The Buddhist Ruins of Takhi-i-Bahi (Throne of Origins) are a monastic complex, founded in the early 1st century A.D., is spectacularly positioned on various hilltops ranging from 36.6 metres to 152.4 metres in height, typical for Buddhist sites. The complexes cover an area of around 33ha.
The Buddhist monastery was in continual use until the 7th century AD. It is composed of an assemblage of buildings and is the most complete Buddhist monastery in Pakistan. The buildings were constructed of stone in Gandhara patterns (diaper style) using local dressed and semi-dressed stone blocks set in a lime and mud mortar.
Today the ruins comprise a main stupa court, votive stupas court, a group of three stupas, the monastic quadrangle with meditation cells, conference hall, covered stepped passageways and other secular buildings.
The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi in their setting, architectural form, design and construction techniques are most characteristic examples of the development of monastic and urban communities in the Gandharan region between the 1st to 7th century AD.
Integrity
Due to the location of on the Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi on high hills, it escaped successive invasions and is exceptionally well preserved.
The boundaries of the ancient fortified city of Sahr-i-Bahlol are well defined with part of fortification walls still intact although in deteriorated condition. The site is increasingly threatened by encroachments, although the growth of settlements occurred already prior to 1911, when they were declared protected monument under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act. Houses have been built directly on top of the ancient ruins and only remnants of the perimeter wall survive. The present boundaries of the property are considered inadequate due to the increasing urbanisation.
The inscribed property is also threatened by a number of other factors including uncontrolled vegetation resulting in one of the main causes of decay, inadequate drainage, and lack of security to prevent unauthorized animal and human encroachment and illegal digging. Pollution from local factories and vehicular traffic is also a serious threat adding to the deterioration of the site.
Authenticity
The Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi has high authenticity of setting as it continues to occupy its original hilltop location. Authenticity of form and design has been preserved and the layout of the monastic complex and buildings are visible. Authenticity of materials as well as traditions and techniques of construction is retained in the stone construction in Gandhara patterns (diaper style). The stone sculptures were removed to the Peshawar Museum and the stone inscription of the Gondophares is preserved in the Lahore Museum.
The neighbouring ancient city remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol is endangered by urban expansion. The original sculptures from the site have been removed and are housed in the Peshawar Museum. The Management Plan notes the lack of documentation and the lack of a skilled workforce of artisans trained in the traditional techniques of diaper pattern.
Protection and management requirements
Both component parts of the Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol were identified as protected monuments under the Ancient Preservation Act (1904) and subsequently under the Antiquity Act (1975) of the Federal Government of Pakistan. Proposals are under consideration to amend and strengthen the Antiquities Act. The Takht-i-Bahi ruins are owned by the federal Department of Archaeology, and the Sahr-i-Bahlol ruins are private property, owned by the local Khans.The government has established a Sub Regional Office with appropriate professional, technical and watch ward staff and have allocated financial resources through an annual budget. As well a public sector development programme is provided to maintain and preserve the site by regular and rigorous repair and conservation programmes. Management responsibilities lie with the Provincial Department of Archaeology (Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) situated in Peshawar. A Master Plan for the Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol was prepared in 2011. Intended as a working document for site custodians, it is also designed to provide a detailed holistic framework for the conservation of the inscribed property and sets out principles for management by means of a prioritized plan of action covering a number of areas of concern from site conservation to visitor management.The threat of urbanization identified above, indicates that the boundaries of the property are inadequate. As a result a revision of the property boundaries is being seriously considered along with the intention to acquire the land around the site and to create a larger buffer zone. In an effort to control urbanization, the entire mountain area of 445 hectares was recently declared the “Archaeological Reserve” by the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There remains a need for more adequate documentation of the remains and for enhanced capacity building for craftsmen in traditional building techniques.

 Information Board About Site
 RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL (SITE-1)
ANOTHER RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL (SITE-2)
ANOTHER RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-3)
    RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-1,2&3)
RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-1,2&3)
  RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-3)
  LARGE DIAPER MASONRY WALL CONSTRUCTION OF 2ND TO 3RD A,D PERIOD

  RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-2)EXCAVATIONS ARE STILL IN PROCESS
 MEDITATION CELLS ALSO CALLED VIAHARAS WHERE BUDDHIST MONKS ABODE
 ON LEFT SITDE  MEDITATION CELLS ALSO CALLED VIAHARAS WHERE BUDDHIST MONKS ABODE ON EXTREME RIGHT THE WALLS ARE OF CONFERENCE ROOM 

 RUINS OF MEDITATION CELLS, SEMI ASHLAR & DIAPER MASONRY  2ND TO 6TH A.D      PERIOD OBSERVED 

MONKS HOUSES ALSO NAMED VIAHARAS, SEMI ASHLAR & DIAPER MASONRY  2ND TO 6TH A.D   PERIOD
 MONKS HOUSES ALSO NAMED VIAHARAS, SEMI ASHLAR & DIAPER MASONRY  2ND TO 6TH A.D   PERIOD
 MONKS HOUSES ALSO NAMED VIAHARAS, SEMI ASHLAR & DIAPER MASONRY  2ND TO 6TH A.D   PERIOD
 RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL (SITE-2)

 STANDING IN FRONT OF MEDITATION CELLS
 MONKS RESIDENCE PLACE 
 MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND
 MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND, VORTEX STUPAS 
   VORTEX STUPA AND BUDDHIST COURT AND MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND
  VORTEX STUPA AND BUDDHIST COURT AND MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND
 MEDITATION CELLS 
  VORTEX STUPA AND BUDDHIST COURT AND MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND
 VORTEX STUPA AND BUDDHIST COURT AND MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND
  VORTEX STUPA AND BUDDHIST COURT AND MEDITATION CELLS  IN BACKGROUND
 CONFERENCE ROOM
 MEDITATION CELLS 
 MEDITATION CELLS 
 MEDITATION CELLS FOR MONKS 
 UNDERGROUND MEDITATION CELLS 
 THREE STUPA COURT 
 THREE STUPA COURT
 THREE STUPA COURT
   RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-3)



 ANOTHER VIEW OF INSIDE OF MEDITATION CELLS 

 ENTRANCE  TO MONASTERY 

 MEDITATION CELLS 
 ANOTHER VIEW 

 THREE STUPA COURT
 THREE STUPA COURT

 THREE STUPA COURT
 THREE STUPA COURT
 CONFERENCE ROOM 
 MONASTIC QUADRANGLE 
  MONASTIC QUADRANGLE, LARGE DIAPER MASONRY 2ND TO 3RD A.D 
 LIVING QUARTERS OF MONKS 
   MONASTIC QUADRANGLE, LARGE DIAPER MASONRY 2ND TO 3RD A.D 
 LIVING QUARTERS OF MONKS 
 VORTEX STUPA
 MONASTIC QUADRANGLE, LARGE DIAPER MASONRY 2ND TO 3RD A.D 
 CONFERENCE ROOM 
 CONFERENCE ROOM 
 RUINS 
 RUINS OF MONASTERIES SPREAD ON HILL TOP(SITE-5)
 RAIN WATER DRAIN