July 23, 2024


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RAWALPINDI: For a handful of hours two times a month, youthful explorers and cultural lovers follow Hassan Tauseef as he takes them via the slim alleyways and overlooked streets of Rawalpindi to uncover some of the most interesting and very little-known factors of Pakistan’s fourth-largest town.

“I preferred to get started giving individuals tours because there is so a lot concealed in basic sight listed here,” Tauseef, a 20-calendar year-aged architecture scholar from capital Islamabad, explained to Arab Information.

He has been arranging the Pindi Heritage Walks due to the fact January this calendar year to uncover and doc Rawalpindi with other young individuals.

Neglected for decades in spite of its exclusive cultural and architectural heritage, Rawalpindi is back again on the radar as young men and women find to study far more about the hundreds of years-aged city, and retell stories that formed the town’s history to what it is today.

Acknowledged as Islamabad’s twin town, Rawalpindi’s background is not greatly celebrated, even though it spans loaded and various traditions. It falls inside the bounds of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara, which stretched across parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Its earliest settlement dates back again to when Mahmud of Ghazni, the initial impartial ruler of the Turkic dynasty of Ghaznavids, wrecked Rawalpindi in the early 11th century.

Through the Mughal era, Rawalpindi remained beneath the rule of the Ghakhar clan until it was captured in the 1760s by Sikh rulers, and then ultimately by the British East India Enterprise, which transformed it into a professional heart and garrison town.


https://www.youtube.com/enjoy?v=Ejmu82hzGUsCurrently, Rawalpindi’s heritage is mirrored in the exclusive, decaying natural beauty of its structures and streets, which bear the symptoms of all the palms the metropolis has passed as a result of.

The Pindi Heritage Walks have promptly attained popularity as men and women come to find new treasures, but also to see some of the city’s famed spiritual (largely Hindu) internet sites these kinds of as the Krishna Mandir, Kalyan Das Temple and the aged temple in front of Narankari Bazaar, crafted in 1880 by Shirimati Devi in memory of her spouse.

On a early morning stroll past Saturday, Tauseef reported he experienced come throughout some exceptional new offerings — a statue of a deity atop a residential residence, compact Hindu and Sikh temples tucked away in alleyways, and hundreds of years-old mosques.

“I hope with the tours we can construct a wider acceptance of Rawalpindi as a spiritual tourist spot in Pakistan and do away with the erasure of the religious importance of the position,” Tauseef claimed.

His exploration into Rawalpindi’s architecture focuses on the structures still left at the rear of by the spiritual communities that lived in the metropolis prior to the partition of the Indian subcontinent, when Muslim Pakistan arrived into remaining in 1947.

Ahead of that, the city was dominated by the Hindu group, which largely migrated to India. The properties Hindus still left driving were then inhabited by Muslims who, in identical situations, had remaining India to settle in Pakistan.

Tauseef was encouraged, he said, to look into communities “whose record has been lost” above the a long time.

“The city of Rawalpindi has a distinctive and numerous historical past that is unfortunately no more time known even to most of its inhabitants,” Mariam Saleem Farooqi and Rida Arif wrote in a 2015 journal posting titled ‘The Missing Artwork of Rawalpindi.’

“Even today, deep in the heart of Rawalpindi, households reside in original buildings relationship back to the pre-partition period, several of which nevertheless carry stays of carvings and decoration set in location by the unique inhabitants. These previous structures are now in a state of disrepair and need right routine maintenance and repairs.

“Encroachment, demolition, vandalism, extremism — there is no scarcity of problems for heritage websites,” Farooqi and Arif wrote.

But Tauseef said interest in preserving Rawalpindi was selecting up: “People want to preserve something which is ours.”

Shiraz Hassan, a journalist who typically files Rawalpindi and its record, said he believed the city’s heritage tourism could develop with appropriate financial commitment.

“Narrow streets, lovely doorways and balconies and the architectural jewels of the metropolis give us a glimpse of its wealthy record and lifestyle,” he advised Arab Information. “Even currently, quite a few persons residing in the twin metropolitan areas are unaware of the historical landmarks positioned in the old town.”

Tauseef said he was functioning with a pal to get accessibility to paperwork, maps and facts of historic internet sites to build a databases.

“If we, with governing administration assistance, can have entry to the details, we can develop a database so that other individuals do not have to go as a result of what we did,” he claimed. “We can preserve the background here and construct on the spiritual tourism currently escalating in the country.”