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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Remains of Mughal Era Bridge in Lahore

While driving on ring road Lahore there comes an interchange named Mehmood boti. Mehmood booti interchange is hardly 20 minutes drive from Lahore international airport. Ring road (previously known as band road) was constructed around Lahore for protection of floods from river Ravi. On north side of this interchange you can see green fields. Over the period of time Ravi has changed its route and now flows at least 8 kilometer from this interchange. Couple of decades ago I have seen the highest peak flood of my life here, when Ravi was just few meters down from top level of ring road.  Hardly two kilometers from this interchange exists the remains of old flow of river.  This is the source of sand supply to Lahore. The area is very less populated and once was the biggest hide out of notorious criminals. Few years back nobody dare to enter the area even in daylight.

The old route of Ravi has left a sort of canyons which is 30, 40 ft down from normal ground level.  Rain water trap there for days converting into marshy land. You can also found variety of birds there which are almost extinct in city.
My younger brother along with me hikes in this area once or twice a year in winters.  In last hike my brother was alone found strange pillars like structures. When he returned back home he shared details with me and insisted to also give a visit.

I visited the site and surprised to see the pillar like round structures which are 12ft high and 46 ft in circumference. They were constructed with nanakshahi bricks. There are more than 12 in number with atleast 7 in good shape. Being a civil engineer by profession; my first impression was that these are pillars of some mughal era bridge.

We took pictures and posted them on face book. Interestingly renowned historian and travel writer Salman Rashid seen the post and called me that he wanted to see the site. We both brother took him there. He was also amazed that how this site escape from the world for so many years.The structure most likely was built in the reign of Jehangir or Shahjahan. This bridge was built for the Grand Trunk Road so that there would be access from Lahore to Delhi.The structure opens in a sandy area where there is no access to the road and only tractors and trolleys can make their way to it