RAWALPINDI: For a few hours twice a month, younger explorers and cultural enthusiasts be conscious Hassan Tauseef as he takes them by the slim alleyways and forgotten streets of Rawalpindi to search recordsdata from some of basically the most attention-grabbing and diminutive-identified capabilities of Pakistan’s fourth-greatest metropolis.
“I wished to begin giving folks tours because there is so unparalleled hidden in undeniable watch here,” Tauseef, a 20-year-mature structure pupil from capital Islamabad, told Arab News.
He has been arranging the Pindi Heritage Walks since January this year to search recordsdata from and doc Rawalpindi with assorted younger folks.
Brushed off for decades no matter its distinctive cultural and architectural heritage, Rawalpindi is motivate on the radar as younger folks peep to be taught extra relating to the centuries-mature metropolis, and retell reviews that formed the city’s historic previous to what it is this present day.
Known as Islamabad’s twin metropolis, Rawalpindi’s historic previous is no longer widely indispensable, even though it spans rich and diverse traditions. It falls inside of the bounds of the veteran kingdom of Gandhara, which stretched across capabilities of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Its earliest settlement dates motivate to when Mahmud of Ghazni, the dear just ruler of the Turkic dynasty of Ghaznavids, destroyed Rawalpindi within the early 11th century.
Right by the Mughal generation, Rawalpindi remained beneath the rule of thumb of the Ghakhar clan unless it turned into captured within the 1760s by Sikh rulers, after which finally by the British East India Company, which transformed it correct into a commercial middle and garrison metropolis.
The Pindi Heritage Walks non-public snappy won status as folks procedure to search out new treasures, however also to examine some of the metropolis’s indispensable non secular (mainly Hindu) sites such as the Krishna Mandir, Kalyan Das Temple and the mature temple in front of Narankari Bazaar, built in 1880 by Shirimati Devi in memory of her husband.
On a morning stroll last Saturday, Tauseef acknowledged he had detect some mighty new choices — a statue of a deity atop a residential home, shrimp Hindu and Sikh temples tucked away in alleyways, and centuries-mature mosques.
“I hope with the tours we can originate a wider acceptance of Rawalpindi as a non secular vacationer vacation space in Pakistan and accomplish away with the erasure of the non secular significance of the situation,” Tauseef acknowledged.
His research into Rawalpindi’s structure specializes within the structures left on the motivate of by the non secular communities that lived within the metropolis before the partition of the Indian subcontinent, when Muslim Pakistan came into being in 1947.
Earlier than that, the metropolis turned into dominated by the Hindu community, which largely migrated to India. The properties Hindus left on the motivate of non-public been then inhabited by Muslims who, within the same instances, had left India to resolve in Pakistan.
Tauseef turned into impressed, he acknowledged, to peep into communities “whose historic previous has been misplaced” over the years.
“The metropolis of Rawalpindi has a particular and diverse historic previous that is sadly no longer identified even to most of its residents,” Mariam Saleem Farooqi and Rida Arif wrote in a 2015 journal article titled ‘The Lost Art of Rawalpindi.’
“Even this present day, deep within the coronary heart of Rawalpindi, families dwell in customary structures dating motivate to the pre-partition generation, many of which soundless raise remains of carvings and decoration save in situation by the customary inhabitants. These mature structures are now in a voice of disrepair and need simply repairs and repairs.
“Encroachment, demolition, vandalism, extremism — there is rarely any shortage of issues for heritage sites,” Farooqi and Arif wrote.
Nevertheless Tauseef acknowledged hobby in conserving Rawalpindi turned into picking up: “Individuals wish to address one thing which is ours.”
Shiraz Hassan, a journalist who in total documents Rawalpindi and its historic previous, acknowledged he believed the metropolis’s heritage tourism could well per chance grow with simply funding.
“Slender streets, horny doors and balconies and the architectural jewels of the metropolis give us a leer of its rich historic previous and custom,” he told Arab News. “Even this present day, many folks living within the twin cities are ignorant of the historic landmarks situated within the mature metropolis.”
Tauseef acknowledged he turned into working with a chum to to find entry to documents, maps and details of historic sites to originate a database.
“If we, with government toughen, can non-public entry to the knowledge, we can originate a database so as that others don’t wish to combat by what we did,” he acknowledged. “We are in a position to defend the historic previous here and originate on the non secular tourism already rising within the nation.”