Heat-stricken Lahorites throng Ravi

Kamaran’s Baradari offers added attraction for boating

Khalid Malik

LAHORE: Marred by unending power load-shedding and extremely sultry weather, people here on Wednesday thronged the river Ravi for relief and picnicking as water level is rising there due to recent rains and melting of snow on mountains.

Rush of visitors was observed near Shahdara and Saggian bridges where families enjoyed boating, mangoes, meals, ice cream and got involved in lots of other fun. The green belts and a thick line of trees, thanks to local government efforts, provided an ideal spot along the river to merry-makers.

The excessive inflow also created an opportunity for boatmen, who keep waiting all the year for these monsoon days, as people love go inside the river- much reduced from its past glory, in a boat steered by oars, or motor, and be in the middle of the fast flowing water for sometime.

A boatman reported that number of visitors to the sight had been on the rise with every passing day and people not only from Lahore, but nearby towns are also coming there to rejoice the rare sight of gushing water in Ravi.

Many people were seen taking a long walk along the banks of the river as it looked markedly cooler than the city, sizzling under the sun in the usual July heat.

Some visitors complained about the effluent from nearby industries and inflow of dirty water from settlements in the river bed, mixing up in the Ravi waters. “If that goes on unnoticed by the city authorities, this otherwise fascinating visiting spot may falloff from its repute”, said Mrs Naveed, enjoying a family picnic under the shades of a huge tree on the river bank.

Up till few years ago Ravi had lost its attraction for people and magnificence as well, becoming just a drain. But by getting attention from local municipality and other local departments, the area near bridges connecting Lahore with northern cities, things have improved tremendously, providing a peaceful spot to tens of thousands of visitors during the romance-filled rainy season in the heart of the Punjab.

Another big attraction in the vicinity is the Kamran’s Baradari, a Mughal times monument built right in the middle of the river. Now the baradari has been renovated and a park developed on all sides, looking so fascinating from the river banks, and alluring many to take a boat and explore the centuries’ old building depicting grandeur of the past. Kamran was the cherished son of first Mughal emperor, Zaheeruddin Baber. The marvellous Baradari, one of the earliest Mughal gardens in Lahore, now stands in the midst of a formal garden on the west bank of the River , had always been a popular picnic spot.

Moreover, the garden site has become an island in the river adjacent to the bridge leading from Lahore to Shahdara with the shift of the Ravi’s course. The garden, which once had a number of water features, including an eight-point-star-shaped pool, is no more. Unfortunately during the restoration work in later years, artisans could not keep all features of the historical place.

The Ravi water was allocated to India under the Indus Basin Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan after partition. So, most part of the year there is hardly any water there. It is only during the rainy season that the river reminds visitors of its splendid past.

courtesy the POST

The picture is from Manitoon

One response to “Heat-stricken Lahorites throng Ravi

  1. Pingback: Heat-stricken Lahorites throng Ravi | Tea Break

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