Shalamar conservation

Dawn Editorial

The news of the completion of some conservation work by Unesco at the historical Shalamar Gardens, Lahore, is nothing short of exhilarating.

For years, the 17-century monument has been in dire need of proper upkeep. There was once a plan to reactivate the gardens’ hydraulic system which pumps water to the dozens of fountains, but then the perennial paucity of funds scuttled it.

The Shalamar is one of originally three, and now two surviving, Mughal gardens from Shah Jehan’s time. The other one in Srinagar is only half as spectacular. The Delhi Shalamar was decimated when the British dug up old Delhi in the aftermath of the 1857 uprising.

The Shalamar (also called Shalimar) in Lahore would have met a similar fate had it not been for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (d.1839). The Punjab ruler was very fond of the annual festival of lights, Mela Chraghaan, linked to the nearby shrine of Madho Lal Hussain which both Muslims and non-Muslims revered equally. The festival used to take place

inside the Shalamar Gardens. It was only in the 1960s that better sense prevailed and the holding of the festival inside the historical gardens was banned.

In fact, whatever remains of Lahore’s Mughal heritage owes largely to the efforts of Ranjit Singh who after his initial vandalism was prevailed upon to safeguard the Mughal monuments for posterity.

Unesco has now taken the lead in conserving this heritage after listing the Lahore Fort and Shalamar as World Heritage monuments. The Punjab government must push the international body to also put Jehangir’s tomb on the list. At the moment, the tomb lies in ruins across the river in Lahore. Dubbed as the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, the tomb complex also houses the mausoleum of Asaf Khan who was Jehangir’s prime minister and the father of Mumtaz Mahal.news of the completion of some conservation work by Unesco at the historical Shalamar Gardens, Lahore, is nothing short of exhilarating.
For years, the 17-century monument has been in dire need of proper upkeep. There was once a plan to reactivate the gardens’ hydraulic system which pumps water to the dozens of fountains, but then the perennial paucity of funds scuttled it.
The Shalamar is one of originally three, and now two surviving, Mughal gardens from Shah Jehan’s time. The other one in Srinagar is only half as spectacular. The Delhi Shalamar was decimated when the British dug up old Delhi in the aftermath of the 1857 uprising.
The Shalamar (also called Shalimar) in Lahore would have met a similar fate had it not been for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (d.1839). The Punjab ruler was very fond of the annual festival of lights, Mela Chraghaan, linked to the nearby shrine of Madho Lal Hussain which both Muslims and non-Muslims revered equally. The festival used to take place
inside the Shalamar Gardens. It was only in the 1960s that better sense prevailed and the holding of the festival inside the historical gardens was banned.
In fact, whatever remains of Lahore’s Mughal heritage owes largely to the efforts of Ranjit Singh who after his initial vandalism was prevailed upon to safeguard the Mughal monuments for posterity.
Unesco has now taken the lead in conserving this heritage after listing the Lahore Fort and Shalamar as World Heritage monuments. The Punjab government must push the international body to also put Jehangir’s tomb on the list. At the moment, the tomb lies in ruins across the river in Lahore. Dubbed as the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, the tomb complex also houses the mausoleum of Asaf Khan who was Jehangir’s prime minister and the father of Mumtaz Mahal.news of the completion of some conservation work by Unesco at the historical Shalamar Gardens, Lahore, is nothing short of exhilarating.
For years, the 17-century monument has been in dire need of proper upkeep. There was once a plan to reactivate the gardens’ hydraulic system which pumps water to the dozens of fountains, but then the perennial paucity of funds scuttled it.
The Shalamar is one of originally three, and now two surviving, Mughal gardens from Shah Jehan’s time. The other one in Srinagar is only half as spectacular. The Delhi Shalamar was decimated when the British dug up old Delhi in the aftermath of the 1857 uprising.
The Shalamar (also called Shalimar) in Lahore would have met a similar fate had it not been for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (d.1839). The Punjab ruler was very fond of the annual festival of lights, Mela Chraghaan, linked to the nearby shrine of Madho Lal Hussain which both Muslims and non-Muslims revered equally. The festival used to take place
inside the Shalamar Gardens. It was only in the 1960s that better sense prevailed and the holding of the festival inside the historical gardens was banned.
In fact, whatever remains of Lahore’s Mughal heritage owes largely to the efforts of Ranjit Singh who after his initial vandalism was prevailed upon to safeguard the Mughal monuments for posterity.
Unesco has now taken the lead in conserving this heritage after listing the Lahore Fort and Shalamar as World Heritage monuments. The Punjab government must push the international body to also put Jehangir’s tomb on the list. At the moment, the tomb lies in ruins across the river in Lahore. Dubbed as the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, the tomb complex also houses the mausoleum of Asaf Khan who was Jehangir’s prime minister and the father of Mumtaz Mahal.news of the completion of some conservation work by Unesco at the historical Shalamar Gardens, Lahore, is nothing short of exhilarating.
For years, the 17-century monument has been in dire need of proper upkeep. There was once a plan to reactivate the gardens’ hydraulic system which pumps water to the dozens of fountains, but then the perennial paucity of funds scuttled it.
The Shalamar is one of originally three, and now two surviving, Mughal gardens from Shah Jehan’s time. The other one in Srinagar is only half as spectacular. The Delhi Shalamar was decimated when the British dug up old Delhi in the aftermath of the 1857 uprising.
The Shalamar (also called Shalimar) in Lahore would have met a similar fate had it not been for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (d.1839). The Punjab ruler was very fond of the annual festival of lights, Mela Chraghaan, linked to the nearby shrine of Madho Lal Hussain which both Muslims and non-Muslims revered equally. The festival used to take place
inside the Shalamar Gardens. It was only in the 1960s that better sense prevailed and the holding of the festival inside the historical gardens was banned.
In fact, whatever remains of Lahore’s Mughal heritage owes largely to the efforts of Ranjit Singh who after his initial vandalism was prevailed upon to safeguard the Mughal monuments for posterity.
Unesco has now taken the lead in conserving this heritage after listing the Lahore Fort and Shalamar as World Heritage monuments. The Punjab government must push the international body to also put Jehangir’s tomb on the list. At the moment, the tomb lies in ruins across the river in Lahore. Dubbed as the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, the tomb complex also houses the mausoleum of Asaf Khan who was Jehangir’s prime minister and the father of Mumtaz MahalThe news of the completion of some conservation work by Unesco at the historical Shalamar Gardens, Lahore, is nothing short of exhilarating.
For years, the 17-century monument has been in dire need of proper upkeep. There was once a plan to reactivate the gardens’ hydraulic system which pumps water to the dozens of fountains, but then the perennial paucity of funds scuttled it.
The Shalamar is one of originally three, and now two surviving, Mughal gardens from Shah Jehan’s time. The other one in Srinagar is only half as spectacular. The Delhi Shalamar was decimated when the British dug up old Delhi in the aftermath of the 1857 uprising.
The Shalamar (also called Shalimar) in Lahore would have met a similar fate had it not been for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (d.1839). The Punjab ruler was very fond of the annual festival of lights, Mela Chraghaan, linked to the nearby shrine of Madho Lal Hussain which both Muslims and non-Muslims revered equally. The festival used to take place
inside the Shalamar Gardens. It was only in the 1960s that better sense prevailed and the holding of the festival inside the historical gardens was banned.
In fact, whatever remains of Lahore’s Mughal heritage owes largely to the efforts of Ranjit Singh who after his initial vandalism was prevailed upon to safeguard the Mughal monuments for posterity.
Unesco has now taken the lead in conserving this heritage after listing the Lahore Fort and Shalamar as World Heritage monuments. The Punjab government must push the international body to also put Jehangir’s tomb on the list. At the moment, the tomb lies in ruins across the river in Lahore. Dubbed as the forerunner of the Taj Mahal, the tomb complex also houses the mausoleum of Asaf Khan who was Jehangir’s prime minister and the father of Mumtaz Mahal.
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4 responses to “Shalamar conservation

  1. Lahore does not exist without Shalamar Gardens and Shahi Qila.
    Both are the jewels of city of Lahore.

  2. Lt Col (r) Ejaz Nazim

    I wish we could have more details of the conservation plan and pictures of the completed
    work.

  3. If in the world there are places worth visiting ..then those are in Lahore too..after my visit to Egypt ..i am proud to say we also have a great heritage…..only commitment and attention is needed to preserve our historical heritage.

  4. Please save this beautiful more than 400 years old monument. I have seen it deteriorate so much in my life time that if it continues , there will be nothing left for future generations. My heart was bleeding when i went to visit it last time and was shocked to see it turning into a ruin with graffiti of I waz here and falana love dhamkana variety. I still remember it with its fountains in fully functioning order, green gardens, and while gleaming marble. Please save Shalimar gardens. We should have a charity, some sort of fund raising campaign to save this beauty befor eit finally fades away.

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