Kashif Gurki is a good friend of mine; his ancestors are natives of outskirts of Lahore. He is living in city from childhood and has visited these areas from time to time. Kashif has keen interest towards history, old architectural buildings and one can call him the ‘Khoji’ of these areas. In these numerous villages, there are hundreds of small and ‘less important’ structures bequeathed to us by our ancestors.
I gather information about these structures by spending hours of time on Google maps and also inquire locals to try to get some clues of location, directions and history. I then bookmark the place in my mind. I am not a writer or historian; I only have passion to explore our ancestor’s great heritage. I have a six working days at job and only one day off but still I want to pay a visit once to these sites before they vanish forever.
Dilemma of time is that nobody visits them except the passionate history lovers like me. Some of these structures are even enlisted in the archaeology heritage list, but hardly ever any effort has been made to preserve them.
Along with Kashif Gurki and other friends; we are exploring outskirt of Lahore from last three years. Padhana, Jevan Singh, Sandhwalia, Nawar and Manhala are few names which we have visited in past few years. We found remains of numbers of great Sikh era architectures in these areas.
On one early morning of May; we once again headed on bikes to explore these neglected historically rich areas. This time we were in search of an old edifice about which we heard that it’s located somewhere near Chhappa village. We started our journey from Shalimar garden and further headed towards BRB canal. We crossed BRB canal near to point where Lahore canal begins. After crossing BRB canals on left side there exists Kherianwala Pul. This historical bridge was built during British era on Shah Naher. Shah Nahar was dug out by Ali Mardan Khan from Jodhpur (Now India) to lahore with 2 lakh rupees during Mughal Empire Shah Jahan for irrigation of Shalimar Bagh. Shah Nahar was 161 kilometer long. The portion of Shah Naher beyond BRB Canal is dried up after 1947 independence as India Stopped water flow in it and now remaining portion of canal taking water from BRB canal. We further ridded along the dried up Shah Nahar portion to reach Chhappa village, meanwhile Kashif Gurki shared with us story of ‘Moran Dancer’ related to Shah Nahar.
Mahraja Ranjeet Singh built a bridge on Shah Nahars famous Kanjri da Pul for ‘Moran Tawaif ‘.she was the famous dancer of Amritsar. It is said that one day while crossing the canal one of her shoes fell into the water which vexed her a great deal and a bridge was constructed on her insistence. Now this Pul in India near Indo-pak boarder. ‘Pul Kanjari’ is a famous World heritage site declared by UNESCO. It is one among the heritage sight built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, where he used to take rest while passing by along with his royal troop. During his reign, Pul Kanjari was an important trading centre and the king used to stay there for few days when travelling between Lahore and Amritsar.
At last, we reached Chhappa village. The remains of Gurdawara is located outside the village. There is no approach road after the village; one has to walk around the fields to reach to Gurdawara. It is single storey square building with dome at top. One wall of structure is destroyed due to roots of a nearby tree which demolished the brick work. There is one opening on eastern side, which was definitely used as door, as it’s an auspicious Hindu tradition. I have seen many other Gurdawara’s architectures in nearby villages of this area but found this structure quite different and mysterious because of following reasons.
1- No Gurdawara in the area is single storey.
2- It looks more to me a tomb then a Gurdawara.
I came to conclusion that maybe it was a tomb of Mughal era and during Sikh era that might be converted into Gurdawara. There are also remains of deep well and Sarovar in surroundings.
At present, the structure is in extremely bad condition and already converted into ruin. If not taken care then in few years these ruin will also be vanished forever.( For further detail please contact at (firstname.lastname@example.org))
Posted on 2015-05-05 18:11:35