Monday, 12 February 2018

Mamdot Villa


Nawab Shah Nawaz Khan was born at Mamdot in 1883. Sir Shah Nawaz Mamdot played a pivotal role in organizing the historic session of All-India Muslim league in March 1940 of Lahore and bare permanently all expenses. He became one of the trusted lieutenants of Quaid-e -Azam from 1937 to 1947.

Mamdot villa at Lahore was almost a second home of Quaid-e-Azam.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Kot Ramdas, the Ruin’s of Gurdwara & Grave of Muslim Saint in Sikh Smadi

Visited the place: 02-07-2017
Written by:  Ali Usman Baig

Kot Ramdas is a small village, which is situated some three miles South of Nandipur. Outside Kot Ramdas in green fields a two story, square, British era building is standing. On first look building does not gave you any impression that this was an old Gurdawara. Locals told before 1947 Partition, KOT Ramdas was a Sikh populated Village. After, Pakistan came into being; no Sikh family left in Kot Ramdas as they migrated to India. From then, it was converted and used as a girl’s school. Few years back the top roof which was resting on wooden beams has been collapsed and also it created cracks on walls.  The building is in no use now and in extreme critical condition and can be fallen down at anytime.  

Nobody knows the exact history and year of construction of this Gurdwara. However, the building structural member’s configuration and construction material usage gives a rough idea that it must have been constructed in early years of Nineteenth Century.

The most interesting element of fascination in front elevation is the multifold arch entrance. Also, the arrangement of square windows and closed brick masonry arches in front elevation wall was magnificently designed.

In front of Gurdwara, we found remnant of brick masonry wall, which was used as a Sarovar in past. Sarovar/sacred pools are considered to have curative properties because of the continual prayers of Sikh scripture recited in the vicinity.

On backside, of this Gurdwara three well-constructed Smadi’s are present. Unfortunately, the inner walls which once painted with fresco art work are   white washed. However, outer walls paint work is still in original colors up to some extent. On top of Smadi’s roof domes are present with equal partitioned lining and art work.

Well, constructed Smadi’s is a sign that Sikh’s living in KOT Ramdas village before 1947 partition must be wealthy and rich. There is also a fourth Smadi’s which is located at some distance from Gurdwara.

In one Smadi, you will found a grave, which is told to be of Muslim Saint.  This Smadi was tried to be converted into a Tomb. However, Locals told that it was an illegal failed attempt to occupy the Gurdwara’s land.

 In past there was also a well in vicinity, which was filled with time.
One more interesting thing is carved painting of peacock in backside boundary wall.

There is no research and writing specifically done on this Gurdwara. My purpose of visiting this place was to document this place before it got vanishes from eyes forever.

One last thing, which hurts me after visiting this place, was that, this building was used as a school for more than five decades.  When I visit this place, there were children playing in vicinity of this gurduwara, most of them telling proudly their parents got education in this building in past. Now the building taking its last breathes, this building was their first institute of schooling, which is now turned into ruins.

Everybody have childhood memories, specifically associated with their schools. I don’t know how the old alumnus of this school feels, as their childhood memories turned into ruins and debris.

I wished they at least have taken some steps to preserve their school if not doing this for a Gurdwara building.

 The Smadi Converted into Shrine
 (Three Smadi's)
 (Fersco Art Work)
 Gurdawara and Smadi's in Background


 The carved Peacock Painting on Boundary Wall
 Krishna Painting
 The Muslim Grave in Smadi
 (another View)
(04th Smadi)

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Brick Tomb of Sheikh Sadan Shaheed

02 November, 2017

I came to acquaintance with this tomb few years back, when one of my friend Dr. Muzamil shared picture of this tomb with me. I was amazed by the cut-brick decoration on the walls of this building. I did not see such type of architecture in Pakistan before. I thought this is the only one of its kind but I was wrong.

This tomb is supposed to be constructed in Khiljis dynasty. The Khiljis dynasty fallowed by Muslim Tughlaq, who also followed Ghorids & Slave dynasty 1320-1413 dynasty.
The tomb of Muhammad Harun, an Arab governor of Makran in the early years of the 8th century A.D, is regarded to be the earliest Muslim tomb in Pakistan. This brick structure is square in plan and the square chamber is directly covered by a low dome. The second specimen in the series is the so-called tomb of Khalid Walid at the village of Khattichaur near Kabirwala.

The last example of the series is the tomb of Sheikh Sadan Shaheed, near village Jalaran, on the Muzaffar Garh – Jhang road. This brick tomb is square in plan and is erected on a high platform about two meters above the surrounding ground levels. The fine cut-brick decoration gives this tomb a unique place among the early funerary buildings in Pakistan and shows the impact and continuation of the Hindu-Buddhist architectural decoration, which is not found on early Muslim buildings in Pakistan. Internally the square chamber is converted into an octagon by means of corner squinches, which have a few courses of corbelled bricks.

I visited this tomb last year on first week of November; the day was Thursday. I witnessed huge numbers of gathering of followers coming with families on tractor trolleys from nearby villages to pay their gratitude and tribute. There is small mosque situated near tomb as well. People were reciting Quran and some were binding ribbons of hope at entrance of Tomb. There were few stalls as well where you could find pastil, bangles sweets and Shawls having writing of Quranic versus on them.

The location of this tomb is some 2.5 kilometers from Chenab River. There are two stories locals associated with this tomb.  One is that when Sheikh Sadan Shaheed died the locals buried them on nearby sand dunes and built his tomb there. That, location was different from the current tomb site. It is said that, Sheikh Sadan Shaheed was follower of Taunsa Sahib and Sheikh Saadan and first shrine was supposed to be built at higher ground level then Taunsa Sahib Shrine. So as gratitude of follower to s murshid even after his death, his shrine slipped down from top of nearby sand dunes with passage of time. 

The second myth associate with this tomb is that no roof can be constructed on top of this tomb.

I don’t know how much truth present in  these myths and stories but the most amazing truth which nobody can deny about this  tomb is that: It is symbolic representation of our rich civilization and heritage that our land  possess. The cut brick work is one of its own kind. More efforts required from concerned to preserve this national heritage. 

   (followers binding ribbons of hope at enterance)
 (Women Reciting Quran)
 Followers from nearby villages
 Binding ribbon of hope
  locals thought the original location of this tomb was at top of this sand dune
 local from nearby villages came for offering there gratitude
 Nearby Mosque
 Inside View of Tomb

 local villagers
Chenab in background

Mamdot Villa